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Dazzle the Yosakoi way


12 Episodes



Comedy; Drama; Slice-of-Life


Introverted Naru believes she’s an ordinary girl who loves fairytales and is desperate to dazzle. Unfortunately, her lack of confidence has convinced her she’ll never be more than a background character who runs to her two best friends for everything. That is, until she meets American transfer student Hana, whose last visit to Japan spawned a love for Yosakoi dancing. She’s cheerful, overwhelmingly outgoing and confident Naru can dazzle – she’s Naru’s opposite. Although Naru initially finds Hana’s attempts to recruit her into the new Yosakoi club overbearing, she’s told that if she joins, she might find what she needs to truly shine. However, without enough members, a club advisor or the student council president’s permission to use the roof for practice, they’re in for a rough ride just getting started.

Content Advisory

This is not a comprehensive list of every individual use of strong content, merely a guide to show you how extreme it gets and how strong it tends to be. Also, the tags I’ve given each segment (e.g. Very Strong Language) is based on my own system and does not necessarily reflect the tags the BBFC (or other national equivalent) use. According to my system, the ‘Mild’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Strong’ and ‘Very Strong’ adjectives are based on strength, not on volume. Now, obviously, the strength of any type of content is subjective; what I consider strong might just be a relaxing weekend for you. Hence, I have added an explanation for my decision to allow you to make your own informed decision.

Please also note that the ‘colourful’ language I am referring to here is based on sentai FILMWORKS’s English Dub and the Blu-Ray’s subtitles. Streaming subtitles may differ.

Mild Sex References

Some moments see the characters compare bust sizes or tease another character for her bust size.

One of the running jokes with the club’s advisor is that she seems a bit of a pervert, constantly requesting outfits and camera angles that show a bit more skin.

One character suspects his daughter is engaging in some questionable activities after he notices her coming home late so often. This suspicion is not vocalised, but rather appears as a written suspicion as he brainstorms negative reasons she could be late.

All of these references are played for comedy.

One Reference to Strong Language

One reference to the word ‘fuck’ in the preview for episode 8 (this is present in both the subtitles and the dub). The word is cut off by another character’s complaints after the ‘f-‘.

Reasons to Watch

This is the difficult part. I don’t want you to see this entry as an oversized ‘DON’T WATCH THIS’ post. Equally, I don’t want to influence your opinion with a biased review – there’s a reason this website is called ‘Anime Insights’ and not ‘Anime Reviews’! In this section, I’m going to try to convey to you some of the reasons (in no particular order) that I’ve seen this series’ fans give for enjoying it!

High production values (i.e. great artwork and animation, etc.) make this worth a watch for those after a more visually appealing series.

Those interested in Japanese culture may find enjoyment in learning about Yosakoi (an energetic style of dance that mixes elements of traditional Japanese dance with more modern music). Parts of the series are also told through the eyes of an American girl, who makes a few observations and comparisons to her own culture (e.g. meal sizes and the use of English in some Japanese music).

This is one of those ‘Cute Girls Doing Cute Things’ series, so if you’re looking for a cutesy series to make your heart melt, this series may be able to lend a hand.

Barrier of Entry

May be overly dramatic or overly energetic for some viewers. Afterall, it is a series about an excitable fourteen year-old girl who wants to start a club of her own!

The title of the show is a combination of the first syllable of each of their first names: Hana = Ha, Naru = Na, Yaya = Ya, Machi = Ma and Tami = Ta. Despite this, the show is primarily about just four of them, with the fifth member only joining in the last few episodes. Those whose favourite character is the fifth character may be disappointed to see her have so little screentime.

Since the show includes a number of short conversations and thoughts that are only depicted through writing (not through spoken dialogue), those who wish to read everything may find themselves pausing often. It should be noted, though, that this text is not important to the story – they are merely extra jokes and interactions.


Opening Theme

Hana wa Odore ya Irohaniho by Team “Hanayamata” (Ep. 1-11)

Ending Themes

Hanayuki by smileY inc. (Ep. 1-11)

Hanayuki by Team “Hanayamata” (Ep. 12)

Staff List

Animation Production: MADHOUSE

Director: Atsuko Ishizuka

ADR Director: Christopher Ayres

Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida

ADR Script: George Manley


Original Creator & Original Character Design: Sō Hamayumiba

Animation Character Design: Atsuko Watanabe

Art Director: Saho Yamane

Lead Voice Actors

Reina Ueda as Naru Sekiya

Minami Tanaka as Hana N. Fountainstand

– – –

Kaya Okuno as Yaya Sasame

Yuka Ōtsubo as Tami Nishimikado

Manami Numakura as Machi Tokiwa

Lead Voice Actors (sentai FILMWORKS)

Caitlynn French as Naru Sekiya

Luci Christian as Hana N. Fountainstand

– – –

Monica Rial as Yaya Sasame

Cynthia Martinez as Tami Nishimikado

Carli Mosier as Machi Tokiwa

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