|Album Title:||Hana wa Odore ya Irohaniho|
|Artist:||Hidekazu Tanaka, Takao Nagatani, Hanayamata Team: Reina Ueda, Minami Tanaka,
Kaya Okuno, Yuka Otsubo, Manami Numakura
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||August 27, 2014|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, Play-Asia|
|01. Hana wa Odore ya Iroha ni ho||Team “Hanayamata”||4:10|
|02. Dream JUMP!!||Team “Hanayamata”||4:43|
|03. Hana wa Odore ya Iroha ni ho (Instrumental)||Team “Hanayamata”||4:10|
|04. Dream JUMP!! (Instrumental)||Team “Hanayamata”||4:42|
Review: For those whose shyness is overpowering, wandering beyond one’s shell and into the wider world is never easy. The specters of uncertainty and self-consciousness tag alongside self-doubt and together, create an atmosphere that offers false comforts while stifling the potential to live a more enriching, satisfying life. It takes a strong will to reach out in search of happiness. For some, the tug becomes undeniable. And so, with a deep breath and closed eyes, they ride the soft currents of encouragement to take that very first. tiny. step. And the result is wonderful.
That’s the message that Hanayamata and, accordingly, its opening theme, “Hana wa Odore ya Iroha ni ho” convey. Part reassurance, part full-blown cheerleading, “Hana wa Odore ya Iroha ni ho’s” zesty, heartfelt tones elevate it from a mere seiyuu anison to one of the more memorable experiences to come out of the summer anime season.
Few opening lines are more endearing than “Hana wa Odore ya Iroha ni ho’s” “paatto paatto hareyaka ni / sakasemasho hana no you ni,” but through that line, the song captures the internal transformation as the awkward teenager becomes more comfortable in their own skin and gradually opens up. In building towards that level of comfort, the song touches upon those tentative steps for a brief moment, then grows stronger and more confident in its persistence until it becomes a rousing celebration that sheds the last vestiges of self-doubt, allowing the singer and listener alike to soar to greater heights.
And nowhere is that more evident than in the chorus. In listening to it, you can feel it squeezing every drop of genuine excitement from every note and lyric passage, and then splashing it all over the place with aplomb. The enthusiasm and energy is infectious as it acknowledges not only the difficulties involved in crawling out from one’s shell, but also the greater joys that lie in wait, provided one is persistent enough in seizing the day. The message, so wonderfully sculpted through Aki Hata’s lyrics, matches Team Hanayamata’s earnestness, making “Hana wa Odore ya Iroha ni ho” a delight as the girls push on boldly to the end, succeed, and then let the residues of their energy linger on for the next person to draw inspiration from.
The exuberance lingers long enough that it doesn’t leave me with much ill-will to unleash upon the far inferior B-side, “Dream JUMP!!” which, in normal circumstances, deserves quite a bit of ill will. “Dream JUMP!!” doesn’t have the energy of the preceding track, which wouldn’t be a dealbreaker if the performances didn’t also suffer. The way in which the seiyuu navigate the passages is unpolished, with Yuka Otsubo being notably off-tune in certain lines. And although the spirits continue to shine during the stanzas, the chorus phones it in, moving at such a deliberate pace that there’s little emotional expression to be had. In short, it’s a really boring listen and a forgettably boring listen at that.
This leaves us with “Hana wa Odore ya Iroha ni ho,” which does the lion’s share of winning over my heart. Its earnestness taps into the part of me that’s still weighed down by caution and constant worries as it tries to loosen those burdens and pull me into the full radiance of a fresh, exciting world. The manner in which it ushers me along is wonderful, but the optimism that it instills in me is what makes this earwormy song one that will stick, reminding me that it’s far better to risk falling flat on my face than live an unfulfilled life full of regrets.
Hanayamata OP – Hana wa Odore ya Irohaniho