Haven’t seen anime sweatdrops used in a looooong time.

Summary:

Tama Nishimikado is a beautiful and talented middle school senior who is the pride and joy of the wealthy Nishimikado family.  She is also Naru’s “older sister,” as the girls both met when they were young.  Naru considers Tama to be “her princess.”

So when Hana is properly introduced to Tama, she immediately wants to recruit Tama into the club.  However, Tama is a busy girl, who has no time for such things.  Tama is not only a vice president of the student council, but she also partakes in tea ceremony lessons and piano lessons.  Tama sacrifices all of her free time to do these things so that she can please her father, whom she loves dearly.  But lately, Tama can’t help but feel that her father has gotten colder towards her, and also realizes that she feels just a little bit… lonely.

Slowly but surely, Naru is getting better at dancing!

When Tama gets a chance to see Hana and Naru dance Yosakoi, she is entranced.  Tama desperately wants to join the two girls in dancing, but when she brings this up with her father he is less than impressed.  Thus, she ultimately has to refuse the offer to join the club.  But Naru realizes that Tama is still incredibly distraught over this, and chases her down in the rain after school.  That’s when Tama reveals that she’s not happy at all with her current life style.  She used to do ballet dancing and loved it, but had to quit because she became so busy with all the lessons she started taking to please her dad.

The ballet and water imagery in this episode was beautiful.

Having finally reconciled Tama’s inner conflict, Naru says that Tama will always be her princess no matter what.  This motivates Tama to finally learn to find her own happiness, and to join the Yosakoi club.

Wasn’t expecting this series to be this emotional to watch but hey.

My Opinion:

I really loved this episode, because Tama surprised me as a character.  When she was first introduced, I thought that she was a pleasant character, though a bit bland.  Oh how wrong I was.

In this episode, Tama takes the center stage, and we learn a lot more about her and her family than we have for Naru and Hana’s family.  Tama’s situation is something I think many can relate to—she tries to please another person (in this case, her father) because she thinks that if he’s happy she’ll be happy too.  But I personally think that this is a rather unhealthy way to live, and the episode seems to think so too.  True happiness comes from living your life your own way, not always trying to please another.  And (if the episode is anything to go by), it seems that Tama’s father was happiest when Tama was doing things that made HER happy, instead of her constantly trying to please him.

This episode is also great in that we see Naru’s character developing in leaps and bounds.  In fact, the situation between Naru and Tama is almost reversed—Tama used to be the one to look out for and comfort Naru, but this time it is Naru who is doing the comforting.  Naru realized that Tama looked just as sad as she did before she met Hana, and finally has enough confidence to support someone else.  First episode Naru wouldn’t have been able to do this, and I think the final scene between Naru and Tama was pulled off beautifully.

Overall, this was just a lovely episode.  The only few criticisms I have is that the conflict in this episode does get resolved a bit too quickly and cleanly, but whatever, I’m a huge sucker for happy endings.  Also, the animation is just a tad bit lower than usual during the first half of the episode, but I think most of the budget went towards animating the gorgeous rainy scene so all is forgiven.

Anyway out of five:

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Episode 5 Summary:

Hana and Masaru’s friendly relationship is pretty cute.

Yaya gets roped into joining the Yosakoi club, so they are now an official club with four members!  The first thing they do as a club is go to a nearby Yosakoi festival to see some Yosakoi dancing in person.  Yaya and Tama end up having a moment, as well as Hana and Naru.

The girly team power duo it seems.

Later on in the day, the girls watch a group of middle school girls Yosakoi dance, and this finally motivates Naru to join the upcoming festival happening near their school.  Yaya, however, is still reluctant to join in, as she considers herself a club member “in name only.”

So glad to see Naru be confident enough to give her friends a motivation speech… which she quickly regrets immediately afterwards.

My Opinion:

This could be considered the “breather episode” after the really dramatic one that came before.  Fortunately it’s still a pretty fun (and very pretty to watch) episode so that’s fine.

My summary for this episode is so short because not much really happened plot-wise.  Instead we get some nice character interactions between our four main girls.  I think the most interesting character this episode was Yaya, actually.  It’s pretty obvious she feels terribly out of the loop.  She only joined the club because she wanted Naru to be happy; she obviously doesn’t have much interest in Yosakoi dancing.  I couldn’t help feeling bad for her, because it’s not great feeling like you don’t really belong in a group.

Overall, this was a nice episode.  This episode was really more of “cute girls doing cute things” but it still managed to be entertaining.  I kinda wish we could have seen some more Yosakoi dancing while the girls were at the festival, but I understand time and budget constraints would have limited that aspect.  At this point, I’m just really curious to what will happen next.

Out of five for this episode:

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I feel ya Yaya.

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