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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogAnime with Sakura: Best Hanami Scenes!

Anime with Sakura: Best Hanami Scenes!

By James Lau
March 28, 2023
A school girl in an anime with sakura scene with petal falling around her.

See how prominent anime featuring sakura reflect hanami, the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom gazing! In series and movies, let’s look at the beauty and meaning of hanami scenes in anime with sakura, from Naruto to Garden of Words!

What is Anime with Sakura?

Hanami is the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing. Its beauty and symbolic significance is present in various art forms, including anime. Hanami scenes are usually periods of introspection, beauty, and, in some instances, crucial plot elements in anime. Here are some anime with sakura that many people enjoy!

“The Hunt for the Rare Bikochu Beetle,” Episode 148 of Naruto

Naruto is a long-running anime series based on Masashi Kishimoto’s manga of the same name. The story follows Naruto Uzumaki, a teenage ninja who learns to become a formidable ninja and protect his town.

Characters from the ninja anime Naruto at a hanami picnic on the grass.
This episode is one of the few moments when the group relaxes! Image via Tumblr

In this episode, Naruto and his pals are on their way to collect a rare insect when they come across a bunch of females having a hanami picnic under the cherry blossoms.

The scene is brief but lovely, with the characters pausing to savor the cherry blossoms’ beauty and spring’s arrival. Overall, the hanami theme is essential to the episode since it signifies a period of serenity and introspection amid their mission’s chaos and peril.

“A Lobelia Girls’ Academy Challenge!”, Episode 9 of Ouran High School Host Club

Ouran High School Host Club is a romantic comedy anime series based on Bisco Hatori’s manga of the same name. The anime follows Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student, as she becomes a recruit for the eccentric Host Club. While there, she has to serve as a disguised host and entertain their female patrons.

Young characters from Ouran High School Host Club surrounded by cherry blossoms.
The Host Club always has a unique theme when they’re open! Image via Otaku San Magazine

In this episode, the Host Club members visit a school festival and set up a hanami-themed tearoom. The setting is a visual feast, focusing heavily on the hosts wearing traditional Japanese attire while surrounded by pink blossoms. The hanami theme is significant to the episode since it depicts the Host Club’s elegance and beauty. In addition, it depicts the cultural traditions they represent.

“I’ve Been Fooling Myself,” Episode 5 of Fruits Basket (2019)

Fruits Basket is a shoujo anime series based on Natsuki Takaya’s manga of the same name. The anime follows Tohru Honda, a high school student who moves in with the enigmatic Sohma family.

This family lives with a curse, transforming them into Chinese zodiac animals when touched by someone of the opposite sex. The concepts of family, love, acceptance, emotional storytelling, and character growth are notable in the series.

A scene from Fruits Basket with a man in a trench coat a woman in a dress. They are walking arm in arm among the cherry blossoms.
Fruits Basket is a popular romantic anime. Image via Fandom

The Classic Literary Club members attend a hanami picnic in this episode. During the picnic, they must solve a mystery involving a hidden message in a haiku. The scene is lighthearted and intelligent, with the characters appreciating the beauty of the cherry blossoms and the puzzle difficulty.

Ultimately, the hanami topic is essential to the episode because it represents Japanese culture’s poetic and intellectual traditions. It also represents the necessity of paying attention to nuances and symbolism in our surroundings.

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Episode 3 of Sword Art Online, “The Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Sword Art Online is an action-adventure anime series based on Reki Kawahara’s light novel series of the same name. The series depicts a group of gamers trapped in a virtual reality MMORPG where they must fight for freedom.

Characters from Sword Art Online an anime with sakura. They are wearing a lot of medieval RPG clothing.
Sword Art Online features a lot of cherry blossom imagery! Image via Alpha Coders

In this episode, Kirito and Klein are on a mission to gather ingredients for a special lunch. While they embark on their journey, they come across a beautiful forest full of cherry blossom trees! Afterward, they picnic under the petals. The setting is serene and peaceful, with the characters enjoying the woods’ tranquility and the flowers’ beauty.

The hanami theme is significant to the episode because it depicts the natural beauty and wonder of Sword Art Online’s virtual world and the value of pausing to enjoy our environment.

Words in the Garden (Kotonoha no Niwa)

Makoto Shinkai, noted for his breathtaking graphics and emotionally charged storytelling directed this film. The Garden of Words follows Takao Akizuki, a high school student who aspires to be a shoemaker, and Yukari Yukino, a young woman who suffers from her troubles.

On rainy days, the two meet at a park, bonding over their shared love of haikus and the beauty of the rainy season and cherry blossoms. The film delves into connection, loneliness, and the search for identity.

A scene from Garden of Words, where two people are relaxing at Shinjuku Gyoen Park.
“A Garden of Words” is one of Shinkai’s lesser-known works. Image via Mubi

The hanami scene in The Garden of Words is a watershed point in Takao and Yukari’s relationship. They’ve been meeting at the park on rainy days, but this is their first encounter during the cherry blossom season. The animation is stunning, with cherry blossoms in full bloom and petals falling like snow around the actors.

Overall, they sit under a tree, surrounded by pink petals, and discuss their hopes and anxieties. It captures cherry blossoms’ transient beauty and fragile fragility, and Takao and Yukari’s typical enthusiasm for them brings them closer together.

5 Centimeters per Second (Byousoku 5 Centimeter)

Makoto Shinkai’s latest masterwork depicts the story of two childhood friends, Takaki Tono and Akari Shinohara, who grow apart after Akari moves away. The film has three parts, each taking place at a distinct moment in the lives of the individuals.

Moreover, the title refers to how quickly the cherry blossoms fall, and the film addresses issues of distance, time, and the bittersweet nature of growing up. Cherry blossoms are visible in the background throughout the film. In the first section, Akari and Takaki are frequently together under cherry blossom trees or watching the petals as they fall.

A scene from Five Centimeters per Second, where a oy and a girl are standing among cherry blossom hanafubuki.
This movie tells the story of a distant friendship. Image via Impress

After Akari and Takaki graduate from elementary school, she promises to return to observe the cherry blossoms with Takaki the following year, only for her father to be moved to a different prefecture in time for the next school year.

At the moment when Akari and Takaki had their first kiss as a fantasy in the middle of winter, there are even more symbolic cherry blossoms nearby. The moments are bittersweet and melancholy, conveying the film’s themes of nostalgia and desire.

The hanami theme adds an added layer of significance and beauty to each anime, emphasizing the ephemeral aspect of life, the value of cultural customs, and the importance of pausing to appreciate the world’s beauty around us.

The pink petals of the cherry blossoms create a striking contrast against the characters’ surroundings, reminding viewers of life’s fleetingness and beauty. Have you ever seen any of these anime with sakura before? Is there a hanami scene we should be aware of? Please let us know in the comments below!

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