Various criticisms of Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta

Yozakura Quartet – Hana No Uta is remarkably nuanced. It has a lot of unresolved sexual tension, some of which serves to underscore some of the bizarre conventions of anime.

Ao is a catgirl, not a human; she is theoretically supposed to be 15, but in some ways acts much younger or much older (which might be understandable if her psychology is more feline than hominid). She shows no sign of going to school, and while she demands a lot of cuddling from friends of both sexes, she shows an unrealistically small awareness of sex. She is as receptive to caresses as a lonely kitten, but frequently cares for the heroine as if Ao were a mother and the heroine were Ao’s daughter.
In particular, she allows her 16-year-old best friend to lick her nipple through her swimsuit and then carries on as though nothing had happened. If such a thing were to happen in a realistic character drama, there would have to be some social resolution.

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Stories that Try to Commit but Fail in Some of their Attempts: Avenger, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist, Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta

Some stories are inspired by a clear message that is known to the author.


Barefoot Gen was inspired by the creator’s experience of surviving atomic bombs. He knew what he wanted to write about – the story was very clear to him.

In many cases, however, creators know that they need to create a story, but they don’t really know what the plot will be like, who the characters will be, how the characters will develop, etc. A very common experience is for a writer to start out with one idea and say that the characters took control of the plot and ran away with it.

Just like you’re always giving suggestions to your subconscious mind, an artwork is always preaching a message.

If the artwork is committed to a message, it has a chance of being good art.

If the artwork fails to commit to a message, it will always fall short of its potential.

Most anime stories involve highly complex teamwork between many stakeholders – musicians, original character designers, animators, directors, producers, voice actors, etc. In some unfortunate cases, severe failures from a minority of stakeholders can ruin the efforts of all. Continue reading