This season’s batch of anime is rather all over the place, and there’s one series I’m not seeing too many people talk about: Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta. Perhaps it is because it’s just another rebooted series or there are better shows out there, but for me, Yozakura Quartet is a great series to watch week after week. Every episode so far has either told its complete tale in its allotted time or set up the next episode on such a cliffhanger that it leaves me foaming for more until next week. It also helps that it’s one of the best animated programs running. Thankfully Tatsunoko Production (Karas, Gatchaman Crowds) is behind it and they are delivering a superb action series this season.
I personally missed the initial series when it aired in the late 00’s, but I was there for the OAV ~Hoshi no Umi~ that aired in 2010, and fell in love with not only the ideas presented, but its fluid, crisp animation. I promised myself I’d check out the newest series ~Hana no Uta~, and I’ve yet to be let down in terms of production or storytelling. The animation isn’t as consistently fluid as the OAV, but that’s to be expected; the OAV was three episodes, and the new series is a full cour, whether it’s a 26 or 13 episode cour remains to be seen though. In the last three episode along, however, the series has proven it can run with some of the action-heavy big dogs as it’s been a three part drawn out (in the best way) fight. The characters have just been so believably represented. They’re not all fleshed out, and it’s likely some prior knowledge for the series will help with that, but you can definitely jump into ~Hana no Uta~ from the start and get it.
The characters all reside in Sakurashin which is a bridge (almost) to the demon world. Humans and yokai (demons) live in harmony, and are under the mayoral watch of sixteen-year-old Hime Yarizakura and her friends. Of course, being this is an anime I hope you’re not scoffing at the idea of a sixteen-year-old mayor. Regardless, Hime is a competent mayor, and although she may stumble from time to time, she’s strong, has a great team behind her, and has been doing a great job so far. The first batch of episodes take us through a short synopsis of what Sakurashin holds, why it’s a haven for youkai, and ends with a climactic battle between another town’s mayor that shows the loyalty and respect the townspeople have for Hime. Nearly every episode is action packed and the fights are just as beautiful as you can imagine. The climactic battle especially as there’s true weight and tact behind every attack. When characters are sent flying from punches, there is gravity and hesitation and true power within every frame. It’s something shows like Dragonball Z only wish they did back in the day.
While there’s still a lot left to unearth and learn about the world of Yozakura Quartet, there’s certainly enough in the first half to keep you coming back for the remaining episodes. Will Hime’s group stay loyal, what of the other cities, will they attack and try and remove her from power too? What’s with Akina’s past and Enjin Hazumi’s arrival? With only 6 episodes left in the cour, and possibly a second season incoming, will we get all the answers? Unfortunately, none of the major streaming sites are yet simulcasting Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~, but be sure to stay tuned to Geekenstein for more as the season unfolds.