Grows a new Moonflower
That blooms in every way
When she treasures her moods
She finds her power
To discover a new day...
Hanazuki: Full of Treasures is a 2017 Web Animation digital series created by Hasbro and Titmouse, with Dave Polsky (of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and The Buzz on Maggie fame) serving as co-producer and story editor. The series is based on the ideas of Niko Stumpo and partner Hanneke Metselaar after Hasbro's acquisition of the brand.
Somewhere in a faraway galaxy of moons called the Lunaverse, a childlike being named Hanazuki is born on a particular moon populated by an assortment of colorful characters, including the adorable bunny-like Hemkas. Hanazuki is a Moonflower, the guardian of her moon, who possesses the ability to grow magical Treasure Trees from assorted "treasures" delivered by the mysterious Little Dreamer. It isn't long before Hanazuki discovers that the galaxy is threatened by the Big Bad (yes, that's what it's called), a terrifying force of darkness that has left countless other moons destroyed in its wake. To prevent the same fate from befalling her home, Hanazuki has a simple task: to grow as many Treasure Trees as she can by understanding and harnessing the power of her emotions, with a little help from the Hemkas and her other friends. Of course, she's not the only Moonflower in the galaxy with this duty—and not all of them are so happy to see her succeed...
The show's first season was released as three sets of nine episodes (27 episodes) coinciding with a full moon on the lunar calendar on YouTube and its kid-friendly app, YouTube Kids for free. The series has been renewed for two additional seasons, and a series of shorts released between the first and second seasons, including one that was produced for theaters and featured with My Little Pony: The Movie (2017). There's also a full-length theatrical film in development.
Episodes of this series provide examples of:
- An Aesop: Each episode has its own little lesson to be learned, but the Central Theme of the show stresses the importance of expressing your true feelings, and that a varied emotional lifestyle is the healthiest one.
- All-Loving Hero: Hanazuki doesn't understand how it's possible to "not like" somebody and is perplexed and curious when Sleepy Unicorn says he doesn't like Kiazuki.
- All There in the Manual: The official series guidebook reveals a few details not stated in the series, such as the color-coded inhabitants of the galaxy's moons being known as Alterlings.
- All Your Colors Combined: In the season 1 finale, the Hemkas all combine into one giant "Rainbow Hemka" to stop Kiazuki's Mazzadril from uprooting the Treasure Trees.
- Ambiguous Situation: Invoked by Hanazuki in "Meteor the Family". Dazzlessence Jones gets bonked by the head by a Meteorite and sees the meteor shower as his visiting family. Hanazuki understandably thinks this was caused by the meteorite hitting him on the head and wants to check him for any injuries, but the show doesn't confirm or deny either scenario.
- Animate Inanimate Object:
- The Hemkas' ability to merge and mold themselves into the shape of pretty much anything they want gives the appearance of this.
- Dazzlessence Jones is an animate inanimate Diamond. This gets lampshaded in "Meteor the Family", where his "family" (inanimate meteors) visits him.
- Apocalypse How: The Big Bad causes this to the moons it attacks. The most common cases are between Classes 4 and 5, sucking the life out of everything and leaving barren and twisted husks behind, with Kiazuki and Zikoro being the only survivors of their moon. Maroshi's moon, meanwhile, suffered from a Class X: a moon made mostly of water that was frozen and shattered to pieces.
- Art Evolution: While the show itself is well animated, the theatrical short shown before My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) boasts much smoother animation, darker shading, and more varied facial expressions, mostly stemming from the higher budget. The rest of the series following this doesn't nearly reach that level of detail, but retains the updated designs and more expressive character animations.
- Buffy Speak: Hanazuki is prone to this at times.
- Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series is mostly a lighthearted comedy, but the constant threat of the Lovecraftian horror that is the Big Bad—which can strike at any time with little to no warning—gives it some pretty serious stakes. Less blatantly are the shades of underlying tension between characters, particularly Hanazuki and friends like Kiazuki or Sleepy Unicorn, who has plenty of secrets he doesn't like to talk about.
- Colour-Coded Emotions: Applied to the Moonflowers, the Hemkas and the Treasure Trees: red for feistiness, orange for wackiness, yellow for happiness, lime green for fear, emerald for jealousy, dark green for mellowness, light blue for glamor, blue for sadness, lavender for inspiration, purple for bravery, pink for love, raspberry for hope, and black for despair.
- Dark and Troubled Past:
- Kiazuki's moon was destroyed by the Big Bad, apparently leaving her and Zikoro alone on it, not to mention her being unable to get the point of growing Treasure Trees or even how to do it no matter how hard she tries. Before this, she tried assembling a team of Moonflowers to prevent this from happening, but it fell through after the attack, which scattered Zikoro's friends across space.
- Sleepy Unicorn has one that is mentioned and alluded to frequently, but he doesn't like to talk about it. We get some answers in "Captured!", where it's revealed his original name was Noble Unicorn, and that he is the brother of the evil Twisted Unicorn, who exiled him in the midst of a magic war for attempting to defend their Moonflower.
- Drama Bomb Finale: Not that the series was without stakes, but it mostly plays out a lighthearted and episodic affair. Then we have the first season finale, "Big Bad Sickness", which plays out with very little humor as not only is Red Hemka's life in danger of being ended by a horrible disease, but Kiazuki's bubbling resentment towards Hanazuki, her hatred of Little Dreamer, and her despair over losing her home finally explodes in an emotionally charged final battle.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The 2013 pilot featured a less refined version of neon art-style and relied on Adobe Flash puppetry animation, as demonstrated here. Character design wise, Little Dreamer is the only instantly recognizable character when comparing the pilot to the 2017 series.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Big Bad attack on Maroshi's moon ends up freezing and shattering it.
- Eldritch Abomination: The "Big Bad" has shades of this. According to Kiazuki's narration at the start of episode 1, no one's sure what it is, where it came from, or what it wants, and it's turning moons into barren husks.
- Emotional Powers: The Green Thumb abilities of Moonflowers need an emotional trigger to work, the emotion influences the form the new Tree takes.
- Everything Talks: Several inanimate objects, such as the Treasure Trees and various landscape objects (pyramids, mountains, etc.) have faces and are capable of articulate speech. This is Played for Drama (and a degree of Black Comedy in "Baby Chicken Plant") whenever trees get cut down or wrecked, and especially when the Big Bad touches down on the moon, reminding us that people and animals aren't the only things at risk of losing their lives.
- Everybody Laughs Ending: Darkly parodied in "Meteor the Family", where Hanazuki and Dazzlessence both have a laugh over the latter's family whose voices only he can hear, both laughing for different reasons: Dazz chuckles because he thinks Hanazuki might be going crazy since she can't tell his family apart from ordinary rocks; and Hanazuki laughs worriedly because she can no longer tell whether or not Dazz has actually gone crazy.
- Green Thumb: A limited version. Moonflowers are the only beings capable of growing Treasure Trees. The white treasures (which act as acorns) need an emotional trigger from a Moonflower to be able to grow, but when the Moonflower feels that emotion and immediately plants the Treasure, the tree grows instantly.
- Halfway Plot Switch: Used to dramatic effect in the season finale "Big Bad Sickness". The conflict alluded to in the title, that being Red Hemka being afflicted by the Big Bad, is resolved halfway through. The remaining half spotlights Kiazuki's emotional turmoil that has been building up since the beginning as she turns against her friends and nearly undoes their hard-earned victory against the Big Bad.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: A Moonflower's power derives from their control over their emotional states. This allows them to vegetate moons with magical trees that keep a world-destroying Eldritch Abomination at bay.
- Instant Runes: Each Treasure Tree grown by a Moonflower acts as a protective ward for the moon on which it's grown.
- Improvised Weapon: Black treasures have acidic properties and are used to attack Mazzadrils a number of times in the series.
- Knight of Cerebus:
- The most foremost in this series is the Big Bad, an unfeeling, moon-destroying Eldritch Abomination that adds a dash of cosmic horror to an otherwise lighthearted story.
- Twisted Unicorn comes a close second through his sheer ruthlessness and humorless demeanor, though that image is hilariously ruined when he's forced to reveal his most embarrassing secrets in "The Resistance".
- Lovecraft Lite: For such a cute and lighthearted series about a girl growing magical trees and learning about her own moods, it has a terrifying villain in the form of an Eldritch Abomination that strips away all life on whatever moon it touches. However, those magical trees are also what stops this force of evil dead in its tracks.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: A Treasure Tree can only be grown from a treasure by the first Moonflower to touch it after Little Dreamer hands it out.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: Chicken Plant has had a number of children but doesn't care for them at all, and each has ravaged the moon before flying away after growing up.
- Never Say "Die": Played straight for the most part in regards to the danger the Big Bad poses, since characters manage to dance around saying what would happen to those who don't survive the Big Bad. However, it's pointedly averted in "True Colors" when Hanazuki sees the sentient landscape items coughing and moaning in agony, and she blatantly indicates that their moon is dying.
- No Body Left Behind: This happens to those who are exposed to the Big Bad for too long, manifesting as an affliction that gradually causes their bodies to fade away. This nearly happens to Red Hemka in "The Transplant", but there is fortunately an herbal remedy that's promptly given to him the next episode.
- Ocular Gushers: Of the cascading sheets variety.
- Only One Name: All Moonflowers have this trait (Hanazuki, Kiazuki, etc.), with a few others such as Zikoro.
- Once per Episode: Little Dreamer usually sports a different outfit every time he appears to assign a new treasure.
- Plant Person: Moonflowers are grown from crystal seeds and have flowers on their head, and all share the ability to instantaneously grow magical trees.
- Quarter Hour Short: Every episode is roughly around 11 minutes long, give or take a couple of seconds.
- Really Was Born Yesterday: A lot of Hanazuki's naive nature can be attributed to the fact that she was born in the first episode, and the very tight chronology between episodes.
- Space Police: The general role of the Moonflowers, tasked to protect and sustain their individual moons of the galaxy. Kiazuki attempted this at a larger scale with the Garlandians, but it fell apart when her moon was destroyed.
- Sugar Apocalypse: The Big Bad is the foremost agent of this trope as an ambiguously sentient world-killer that reduces cute, colorful moons to dark gray, dusty rocks with little to no life left on them.
- Telepathy: Mirror Plant, who mimics the feelings and/or thoughts of those who come by her.
- The Unintelligible: The Hemkas are intelligent, but neither the audience nor Hanazuki can understand their language. The same goes for similar creatures like Zikoro, Kiyoshi's unicorns, and Maroshi's Flochis.
- Wham Episode:
- "Moonflower Sister": Hanazuki meets another Moonflower for the first time in the form of Kiazuki. The episode is also the first to end on anything besides a happy note: when Kiazuki gets mad at Hanazuki for helping Zikoro take a treasure for her, a confounded Hanazuki experiences an unpleasant new emotion and throws the treasure away, growing a scowling black tree.
- "Only in Unicorn Dreams": We get a few details of Sleepy Unicorn's often alluded-to past, finding out that he was apparently involved in a war between innocent unicorns, who started turning on, attacking, and possibly killing each other, and ending with a twisted-horned unicorn banishing Sleepy and taking over their moon. Kiazuki also hints that Sleepy is more dangerous than he lets on, resulting in Hanazuki standing up to her for the first time.
- "Friend or Foe": Simply put, Hanazuki is made aware of the Big Bad and the threat it poses, raising the stakes for the rest of the series.
- "Brain in a Cave": Kiazuki betrays Hanazuki by stealing all of the Treasure Trees she had grown up until then, taking off without her companion, Zikoro. While Hanazuki's admiration for Kiazuki was already beginning to falter before this episode, it's this act that completely destroys it.
- "Captured!": We see Sleepy Unicorn's home moon for the first time, meeting his brother Twisted Unicorn and getting some answers to Sleepy's past, where it's learned that he was originally named Noble Unicorn and opposed Twisted for overthrowing their Moonflower.
- "Hide and Seek": Hanazuki meets another Moonflower named Kiyoshi, who can only grow black trees, showing that they have no effect on the Big Bad. Kiyoshi also leaves with Hanazuki, but Zikoro gets separated when he stays behind to keep Twisted from following them.
- "Better Together": We learn that Twisted was successfully overthrown by the unicorns...which means he's free to hunt Kiyoshi at any chance he gets, starting with the end of this episode.
- "Damage Control": Five words: Kiazuki returns at the end.
- "Recovery": Where to begin? For starters, we find out that Kiazuki, the most cynical Moonflower seen, was once an idealist who tried assembling a team of Moonflowers called the Garlandians—consisting of herself, Kiyoshi, and a never-before-seen third one—to fight back against the Big Bad, but the destruction of her moon put a nail in tha plan's coffin. Then, we're shown that Kiazuki's theft of the Treasure Trees was for naught since they have all wilted on her moon's barren surface, and she finally accepts Hanazuki's help, the two making amends. Lastly, a nearby moon spontaneously explodes and litters Hanazuki's moon with debris, and Hanazuki gets sent adrift in space as she rushes back home...only to be rescued by Maroshi, the same third Moonflower from the Garlandians.
- "Rescued!": The debris from Maroshi's shattered moon has badly ravaged the surface of Hanazuki's moon, destroying nearly all of her Treasure Trees. What's worse? Not only was the Big Bad responsible for destroying the moon, but it's already arrived on Hanazuki's now woefully unprepared doorstep! Fortunately, Kiazuki makes a timely arrival with all the Treasure Trees she stole.
- "Big Bad Sickness": The season finale actually resolves the cliffhanger of the above episode rather quickly. The conflict of the title is no longer an issue, Kiazuki has newfound confidence in herself (even if she hogs the glory for herself), and things are looking up... until Little Dreamer once again ignores Kiazuki in favor of Hanazuki, and Kiazuki SNAPS. From there, we see Kiazuki rampaging across the moon on the back of a giant Mazzadril, all ten Hemkas fusing together into a giant Rainbow Hemka for Hanazuki to ride, and a giant monster fight between the two Moonflowers while the Big Bad returns again. It all culminates with Hanazuki finally breaking through to Kiazuki emotionally, letting her pour out all of her anger and sorrow, after which Little Dreamer gives Kiazuki not one, but many treasures for every emotion she feels from then on: sadness over losing her friends (blue), fear that she may never get another treasure (lime green), wackiness and joy when Little Dreamer immediately proves her wrong (orange and yellow), and last of all, love for Hanazuki helping her grow trees at last. The final scene ensures that the Big Bad won't be a threat to Hanazuki's moon for a long time to come.
- Wham Line: This line from Kiazuki in "Only in Unicorn Dreams":Kiazuki: Twisted.
- Wham Shot: Twisted Unicorn's first appearance in Sleepy's nightmare in "Only in Unicorn Dreams".
- "What Do They Fear?" Episode: "The Volcano of Fears", an episode that involves a volcano that projects the worst fears of anyone that gazes into the lava, revealing that Hanazuki's worst fear is being unable to save the Hemkas and her moon from the Big Bad, that Dazzlessence fears another diamond who is even shinier and classier than he is, and further hinting at Sleepy Unicorn's Dark and Troubled Past.
- What Is This Feeling?: Invoked by Mirror Plant in "Moonflower Sister" after Hanazuki has a fight with Kiazuki. The new treasure she gets turns black with a purple glow and an angry face, while Hanazuki looks sad, and the black tree that sprouts looks like an Emo Teen.
- World Half Full: So, an evil blob of darkness that devours entire worlds and any living creature it comes across has you feeling down? So long as you maintain a healthy emotional lifestyle, you can push the darkness away!
- You Got Spunk: Twisted Unicorn finds it cute that some of Hanazuki's "pluck" seems to have rubbed off on Kiyoshi.
Feels like I've waited my whole life
For that perfect moment where the sun shines
Straight through my soul again
Running away from things we should face
Don't need a reason why we celebrate!
Feels like I'm born again..."