'Hanazuki Full of Treasures' Review: Hasbro's Newest Addition To 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' Stable Of Girl Toons

Hanazuki full of treasures
The colorful world of Hanazuki: Full of Treasures. (c) Hasbro

Hasbro’s first ever animated digital series, Hanazuki Full of Treasures, is a vibrant show aimed with laser-like precision at little girls. In the vein of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the show features a variety of aspects that seem ready-made for a colorful, lovable product line, from moonflower Hanazuki and her changeable outfits to her Hemka companions to the little “treasures” she gets from Little Dreamer and the trees those treasures become.

The enemy in this series is a faceless black void of goop that comes upon colorful moons and sucks their life and color away. Some moons can withstand it, and some can’t. A godlike entity called Little Dreamer, a sleepy baby in a onesie, blows little moonflowers upon the space winds to blossom on various moons. Hanazuki is one such moonblossom and her strength lies in “the ability to embrace her colorful moods.”

Hanazuki’s excited to be here from the first moment she pops into being. Though she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do, she immediately pals up with the Hemkas, the adorable form of native life on the moon, to explore. Each Hemka seems to represent an emotion, and throughout the course of the series, Hanazuki grows a treasure tree inspired by each Hemka and the way she feels the moods they represent during their adventures together.

Other characters include another moonblossom called Kiazuki, a cynical and bitter girl whom we first meet in grayscale and whose companion is a rambunctious version of the innocent, adorable Hemkas. There’s a Chicken Plant, a bad-tempered plant-animal beast who’d rather eat the Hemkas than befriend anybody and Little Dreamer, the mysterious god-like being who produces the seed-like treasures in the first place. There’s also Sleepy Unicorn, upon whose mysterious past the season finale clinches.

“I guess we all do things we regret. It’s just a matter of how you deal with them,” comments the Sleepy Unicorn in an early episode, lampshading what may be a more complicated backstory later on. Really, the Sleepy Unicorn has a lot of gems: “Like I said, I was just taking an innocent nap and I woke up sixteen hours later sinking into this sand pit.”

His design, like everyone else’s except Kiazaki’s and her growly companion, is cuddly and squeaky. The show’s whole vibe is that of vector art gone wild, a Lisa Frank folder with a 2000s aesthetic. But it’s vivid and charming and sure to keep a lot of impressionable young eyes focused on the screen.

The show nods to a more complicated past and rings of the detailed backstory that has made Steven Universe so successful. Yet it also stays  as light-hearted and appropriate for young children as possible, while cultivating an aesthetic strongly inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. But Hanazuki Full of Treasures’ premise feels fresh and original enough to sustain a long life.

Hanazuki Full of Treasures will consist of 27 11-minute animated shorts released on full moons in groups of nine episodes. The first episode will air Jan. 12, which will be the first full moon of the year. Expect an interconnected app, a “hyper-connected” consumer product line and more. Learn more at the official website here.

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