No Barakamon this week!  So I’ll try to get Hanayamata episode 9 out tomorrow if I can.  That all depends on how fast subs will be out, though.  For now, episode 8!

I find it hilarious that Hana is known only as “the blonde.”


Tama and Naru embark on a diet/training routine after Sally-sensei comments on their “plump thighs.”  The girls eventually realize that their sudden weight gain was due to muscle build rather than fat, so all is well.  In the meantime, Yaya is able to use her music knowledge to rearrange Tama’s composition into something more up-beat and catchy.

Careful Naru, you’re scaring your dad.

After weeks of practicing, it’s finally time for the performance!  The night before the mall event, Naru suddenly gets flashbacks of a traumatic event in her childhood, where she messed up during a big performance.  And things continue to get worse the next day when it’s discovered that Sally-sensei forgot to bring the music CD.  Fortunately, Machi saves the day!  And it’s also revealed that Machi is Sally’s little sis.

The girls realize that the mall event is… a little bit different than they expected.

Finally, it’s time for the girls to perform.  Things go well at first but quickly turn bad when the girls begin to get out of sync.  Suddenly, Naru is hit with a panic attack when she’s reminded of her traumatic event, and everything begins to fall apart…

Oh dear…

My Opinion:

I was pretty much inwardly groaning when Naru and Tama started their dieting regime just because they thought they were “fat”…  Girls, you aren’t even fat!  I know it’s a different culture and all, and heck, even in western culture the pressure for girls to be perfectly thin is intense.  But there were just so many unfortunate implications about that subplot.  Naru and Tama are only cheered up once they realize that they’re not actually gaining fat but rather muscle.  But like… even if they were “fat” that shouldn’t matter???  I just think that’s a terrible message to send out especially when the girls are already drawn in a way that makes them stick-thin; like, thanks for supporting the stigma that girls are only cute if they have a perfect body, bleh.

Other than that cringe-worthy and completely unnecessary subplot, the rest of the episode was pretty good.  Some people complained that Naru’s sudden trauma seemed forced, which I do somewhat agree.  It really was never shown or mentioned anywhere until now.  But at the same time, I think it’s been subtly hinted at since the beginning, what with Naru being so shy and withdrawn about… pretty much everything.  But, I do agree that it could have been foreshadowed better.

Also Machi is Sally’s sister!  That wasn’t too surprising, given that they look alike, and have the same last names.  There seems like there will be some drama involving the two sisters next episode, which was hinted at in this one.  I wonder what happened between the two of them to make Machi so cold towards Sally?

Overall, this episode was good.  It got off to a really rough start, but the rest of the episode made up for (imo) a pretty flimsy subplot.  A lot of people commented saying that they didn’t like that the girls messed up their first big performance, especially given that they’ve been practicing so long and hard for it.  But personally I think that this is more realistic than them being totally perfect when they’ve just started out.  Still, that doesn’t make Naru’s freak-out any more pleasant to watch.  I feel ya, Naru…

Out of five:

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I usually try to end my reviews with a happy/cute/nice cap but I didn’t know where to stick this one so UHHHH……..