|Article by Ben Huber
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta is one of the most wild and pretty shows of the past few years, featuring an eclectic cast of characters and some fantastical fight scenes. The original (and still ongoing!) manga was created by Suzuhito Yasuda, who's a big name in his own right, but you may also recognize for his Durarara!! and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor character designs. The anime has had two iterations, but the latest one has an abundance of sakuga: when the animated suddenly bumps up in quality, resulting in fantastically well-animated scenes. Want to see?
Welcome to Sakurashin!
This is Hime, the protagonist of the series. She's the mayor of Sakurashin, and must protect the city from all outside threats. Humans and yokai live together here, so to keep things running smoothly, she and her friends run the Hiizumi Life Counseling Office, where they help all the townsfolk.
When she rolls onto the scene, you better watch out, because she's pretty good with a staff! ...Or anything else she can find laying around!
Kotoha can summon things via the words she speaks, from a hammer to a flak cannon. Some objects are harder to conjure than others, but yet this makes some challenges so much easier: when you need to catch a giant goldfish, why not just summon a big net?
...and then Hime can just demolish it with her staff!
This is Ao! She has cat ears that she uses to read thoughts, talk to animals, and also act as a "Spider-sense," letting her sense her opponent's next move. Mostly, though, she just likes to eat and be cute. And there's nothing wrong with that!
That Looks Like It Hurt
Here's Kotoha again, this time wrecking someone big time. Maybe you thought this would be all cute and cuddly? Nope, people get beat up in Yozakura Quartet a lot. Most of them seem to be okay in the end though -- supposedly it's the yokai powers at play, but we think some Looney Tunes physics are happening, too!
Like we said, people get beat up.
Despite her impressive abilities, many people still try to take Hime on. In addition to her mastery of the staff and her impressive ability to rarely trip on her own scarf, she's also a dragon descendant, so that's got to be a pretty big advantage! We think she stands a pretty good chance, don't you?
Despite that, everyone messes up sometimes. I guess you can't always be cool.
Wait, maybe you can!
Here's some more sakuga! When the animation quality suddenly goes up like this, it's a treat in any anime you might be watching, but in Yozakura Quartet it seems to happen all the time! You can really tell the animators had fun making this show, as every corner oozes character and colorful art.
We'll Have "Nun" Of That!
Also: watch out for the nun in this town. At least, they look like a nun, right? Maybe they're actually an ancient land goddess obsessed with teddy bears. That would make way more sense... in Yozakura Quartet's world.
Dealing Some Damage
Don't get in the way of the Hiizumi Life Counseling Office! Even if you're a giant monster, you'll have a tough time against Hime, Kotoha, Akina, Ao, and the rest of the gang. If you're looking for a show that's very very "anime," revels in the tropes of the medium, and also features heavy doses of sakuga, then it's hard to go wrong with Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta!