Here’s something for those of you with little girls in your lives, like daughter or other relatives, or maybe you babysit or are friends with the neighbor kids. Could this crossover to older and even male audiences like My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic? I wouldn’t have called MLP so I rule nothing out, but that’s not the target here. Hanazuki: Full Of Treasures (we’ll just go with Hanazuki from here on out) is a new webseries on Hasbro’s YouTube page. You may recall my mentioning it in the last Jake & Leon comic.
So what is Hanazuki and does it have the ability to connect with little girls? Or maybe you’re wondering why I watched it, and that’s easy to answer. While still trying to catch up with my YouTube backlog the first nine episodes (released at the same time with two trailers, including the one above) and I was curious, so I watched the first few episodes. The concept was imaginative enough that I stayed on for all nine 11+ minute episodes. And it does seem pretty cool. Created by Amsterdam artists Niko Stumpo and Hanneke Metselaar and produced by animation studio Titmouse (shut up!), the show’s bright colors and happy people seems to invoke other popular shows like Adventure Time but not quite as surreal. I have the first two episodes for you. Do you want to see them?
You get the basic idea. Hanazuki is a Moonflower, guardians of moons where life an ecosystem exists. She’s not aware of the dark force sucking the life from moons, or that she just saved hers. And no, that’s not her enemy spying on her. She’s Kiazuki, another Moonflower who lives on a dead moon. Was it the victim of the dark force? I don’t know. The first nine episodes are focused on Hanazuki and her friends, the multicolored Hemkas, as they learn about each other and try to bring more treasure-grown gardens to the moon. In the next episode we meet Sleepy Unicorn, a lethargic unicorn with a dark and mysterious past that Kiazuki and her pet, a black hemka who acts like a dog named Zikoro, are aware of. Is it connected to the dark force destroying moons? Again, they aren’t going to solve all the mysteries in the first nine shorts.
There are other threats to Hanazuki and her friends. There are pockets of “slow sand”, like quicksand but…slower. There’s the Chicken Plant that eats Hemkas and drops the bitter ones into eggs, while Hanazuki has to save the “tasty” ones from her insides. The only real ally she has outside of the Hemkas is the Little Dreamer (that flying snoring baby), who delivers treasures to Hanazuki. Besides looking like useless junk, the treasures are infused by whatever strong emotion Hanazuki feels during her adventures, which melts and forms a treasure tree, which appears to be her primary mission. It’s through interacting with others that the bubbly and compassionate Moonflower builds the garden that appears to be keeping the dark force at bay.
Of course, being produced by Hasbro means toys have to be coming.
The HANAZUKI brand will include several other ways for fans to express and embrace their moods alongside HANAZUKI, with a digital app launching in April and branded consumer product offerings throughout the year. A HANAZUKI toy line inspired by the series will launch in June at select retailers and nationwide in August featuring over 175 collectible treasures and figures, plush items, and a stylish Bluetooth-enabled and app-connected wearable, enabling kids to share and express their moods, just as HANAZUKI does in the animated series.
27 episodes in total, released during full moons according to the press release linked to above, are scheduled. You can watch the first nine (and I presume any further) episodes on their own playlist at Hasbro’s YouTube channel. I think it’s a real good show for little girls, but there are a few potential subplots that might work for you, too. I know I want to see what happened to the other unicorns and what’s trying to destroy the moons.