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Dated 16 October 2015: I watched Hanayamata for Ueda Reina

Naru
Ueda Reina was fine as Naru, but I think I like her better in more assertive roles.

After learning Ueda Reina won a rookie seiyuu award in 2015, I decided to watch Hanayamata, since voicing Naru appeared to have been her first starring role. Ueda Reina is good enough to continue drawing my attention in other roles (such as Mikan in Jitsu wa Watashi wa and Loose Cannon Witch Killer in 35th Platoon), particularly as Kousaka Umi in THE iDOLM@STER: Million Live! where she appears to be the best idol (at least on paper), now that Shiho has stopped being a bitch to everyone else. As far as Hanayamata itself goes, it was a pleasant enough show about a bunch of girls getting interested in yosakoi and becoming better friends as they improved at it.

Hana
Hana was less of a nutjob than I was expecting.

The anime had a somewhat contrived crisis for its ending, but it wasn't too offensive. Any Hanayamata viewers should probably have expected by that point that things were going to work out all right. This was a pleasant anime where good things happened to good people, so I didn't really have any meaningful complaints about the show itself. With regard to minor gripes, I guess I wished the OP hadn't so obviously spoiled who was going to end up in the club, but spoilers are an anime OP & ED staple. I also would have liked to have had more interaction between the teacher and "Umibouzu," but it wasn't their show. I'd definitely watch a second season of Hanayamata, but these 12 episodes are probably all we're ever gonna get.