For a show that can be as deep and powerful in addressing relationships as HanaIro, it’s amazing how little ambition it shows at other times. I won’t rank this with the two horrendously misfired attempts at slapstick in the first cour, but it was a pretty unimaginative effort. I was really hoping things wouldn’t turn on Ohana helping out at the inn, and eventually shaming the others into joining her. I had two main reasons for that hope – first that it was utterly predictable, and second was that watching them do it probably wouldn’t be very interesting.
Well, they went there – and it wasn’t very interesting. Mind you, it’s always interesting to watch Yuina going about her business and doing her thing, and she’s been the saving grace of the last two episodes. But really, I get the idea – working at an inn is hard. Yosuke was a dick to the part-time help. Machines break down. But if Ohana can pull the team together with her gung-ho, “fest it up” spirit, they can get through it together! All I have to say is, I hope they got paid.
The one thing that sort of bothered me above and beyond the episode not being especially interesting was the implication that Yuina was somehow wrong or defective for not wanting to work at an inn. I hope that’s not the message the show was trying to send, but that’s how it came off for me. Yes, she’s flighty and silly and never broke a sweat at work a day in her life, and she should learn what hard work is like. But just because working at an inn is right for Ohana, that doesn’t mean it’s right for Yuina. If she wants to be an artist, is that wrong? If she’s a free spirit, is that wrong? I’ve worked in the service industry both as a peon and a manager and trust me, it’s damn hard work. It’s not for everybody. If Yuina has something else in mind that would make her happy, God speed I say. And if Yosuke is all bent out of shape because that means she doesn’t follow him to his place of work for the rest of her life, tough beans for him. Let Yuina be Yuina – she doesn’t deserve to be judged like that.
Ah, well – at least we got to see possibly the most disgusting ice cream sundae ever. Mango ice cream with karaage? Ugh! Looks like next week’s ep is going to focus on Uncle Enishi, which could go either way. He’s certainly as underdeveloped as any oft the core cast, and could use some attention. But so far he’s mostly been comic relief, a hapless punching bag and foil for the execrable management consultant character. If it’s 22 minutes of the same, that’s a problem. If it develops the character into a real person, that’s fantastic. Of course, it could be yet another HanaIro troll preview and he’s barely in the episode at all…