Hanasaku Iroha – 15

All right, we’ve had our little break from the serious emotional stretch ther the middle of the series. I’m ready to go back now, because to be honest this episode was about as light as an animator’s wallet and I was pretty bored by the time it was done.

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…

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6 comments

  1. l

    In my opinion, this show is far more realism than i initial thought. You see unlike anime character which usually have 2 dimension personality. All the character here is more or less a bit more complicated. In this episode, you see Yuina being a brat for not really working AND at the same time you can see she just trying to break free from the chain of fate of being no more than a manager of an inn.

    At the beginning of the arc, i love Yuina for all her cuteness and stuff. Halfway through, i feel her being a brat for giving up on her promise with her fiance in the middle of a crisis. I mean she should have been a bit more supportive or at least choose another time to say what her real feeling regarding being a manager. At the end of it, jealous of Ohana and working for the first time( finding joy within work as well). It make her likeable again.

    One thing i have to say regarding this anime is, kudo for the realism in personality.
    Satsuki – motherly but practical for a single mother.
    Ohana – love ko-chan but unable to return his feeling and still able to feel like a victim
    Manager – care for her family but on a strict attitude that could make them all misunderstand her.

    :) a bit lengthy i see.

  2. I do agree that HanaIro can do a great job developing multi-dimensional characters. I just wish they would try a little harder every week. I really thought this ep took the easy, predictable path. Yuina, now, she never stopped being likeable to me. I understand she needs to understand what hard work is, but I really felt like the ep was trying to tell us that she was wrong for not wanting to spend her life working for Yosuke at his inn.

  3. A

    I think these last two episodes were alright I mean we got to learn about yunia character that is always a plus. To be honest I have no idea where this show is going. I'm sure if the relationships implied will ever get resolved or how the family dynamic is ever going to work out. I think that is my main concern do far.

  4. I worry a little, too, that every supporting character is going to have an arc. We've had Tomoe, Yuina, Satsuki, next week looks like Uncle Enishi. Then a Nako arc (supposedly)and there's still the Minko arc we were supposed to get next week.

    Sometimes supporting characters are supporting for a reason, and it's too distracting to keep detouring from the main road. Some of these stories were necessary (Satsuki, especially) but I don't know if I want all of them.

  5. t

    While as whole I enjoyed it a whole lot more than you did,I too had a problem with the whole "yuina needs to work at an inn" developement.

    Upon a rewatch,I don't think they were critisizing her for not working at an inn,but rather,deciding she didn't want to without even trying.

    In the end it wasn't "well,I don't really like this but if I want to be accepted by others I better do it"
    But rather "hey,you know what,I never thought I'd say this,but I enjoy doing this!maybe I'll make a career out of it".
    She grew up in an Inn,like she says in her monologue at the end,maybe she was too close to it to really objectively judge it.
    That said going from "I hate this job" to "wow,in fact I love it" in one episode is rushed to me.

  6. l

    @ Enzo

    Every supporting characters going to have an arc. I hope no even the old janitor will have it.

    @Everyone

    Wow, look like i'm alone in this thinking that the way yuina a brat for not really working (with sort of attitude) and the way she break her promise with her fiance (almost). Well, i did say i like her at the end of the episode but it is true when i don't feel her to be likeable in the middle of it.

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