Hanasaku Iroha – 19

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 19 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.13_[2011.08.07_15.55.44] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 19 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.42_[2011.08.07_15.57.12] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 19 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.24_[2011.08.07_16.01.42]

Leave it to HanaIro to turn a trifle like a culture fest episode into a two-parter.  No subject matter, it seems, is too trivial for this show to waste extended time with.

I find myself sympathizing with Minchi more and more as this series progresses.  Not so much that I love the character, though she’s OK for what she is.  No, it’s the fact that she seems to be the only one in the cast who realizes when people are behaving stupidly and has the common decency to be irritated by it.  She’s become my proxy on-screen as the series has descended into a pretty consistent run of mediocrity.  How much more time could possibly be spent on bad slapstick, males acting like idiots and  wistful depictions of some kind of Nirvana of schoolgirl idyll?

To be fair, this episode wasn’t the worst of the time-wasting episodes on HanaIro by a fair stretch, although it wasn’t as appealing as last week’s.  If I were to guess I think Mari Okada probably didn’t write this one, as the eps she scripts personally – even if they’re throwaways like last week – tend to be crisper and the humor a little sharper.  There were at least a few moments of actual plot development this week, though they tended to be short-lived.  There was a real hint that Tomoe has feelings for Enishi (for some reason).  Minchi and Tohru didn’t really develop but at least the subject was on the table, and we got to see some of Minchi’s memorable facial expressions as she thought of Tohru attending her princess café at the festival.  And there was Ohana’s weird little dream about Kou being a maid right next to her, which is the first time he’s been mentioned for at least a month.

Other redeeming qualities were Yuina safely back to being her frivolous, fabulous self – “Keep the compliments coming!” – and Nako showing that last week’s episode wasn’t a complete one-off.  I wouldn’t say she’s outgoing, but there were at least some attempts to overcome her social timidity, such as her commenting on Ren’s eyebrow.  Pretty thin gruel for one episode, never mind two. But I’ve mostly lost faith that this series is capable of any big ideas at this point, as it’s been so long since anything of consequence has happened, so small victories are going to have to be enough.

Oh, well – at least the show remains pretty to look at – PA Works sure knows how to produce a visually stunning product.

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 19 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.41_[2011.08.07_16.10.59] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 19 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.16_[2011.08.07_16.11.53] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 19 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.15_[2011.08.07_16.12.51]
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14 comments

  1. j

    we need more kou in the show… although not in maid uniforms please… :3 seems like both of these classes have problems, and hope for something stronger next week

  2. More Kou, yes. More plot, please!

  3. i

    …though I think we can all do without that Kimono on Kou…

    btw, yay on another character exposition (this time on Minko), hope the next episode's not wasted.

  4. l

    If all the anime is availed to me at the same time, I actually choose Idolm@ster, R-15 and uta on prince-sama than this. Weird enough this anime no longer interest me. My guess is that the only selling point of this anime will be it's (seem to be) engaging love plot. And we are not seeing it in ages now. Although this episode the Minchi and Tohru issues is finally brought up, it's main issues is probably Minchi inability to interact with other classmates. In other word, no real love plot.

    P.S. So the only Ko we got is in a daydream? Geez PA should stop this and start on Railgun anime season 2.

  5. t

    Nope,doesn't matter what you say,I still love this and was left grinning thoughtlessly at the end of the episode.
    And I'm I guess I'm pretty much "in sync" with this show,I managed to guess the writer correctly for the 3rd time in a row:Tatsuhiko Urahata (main writer behind saki and a-channel)

    So kou shows up in a dream,plot shouldn't be too far away,I'm guessing this arc winds up next episode (and come on now enzo,there's other shows with more than one episode dedicated to a culture fest,Toradora comes to mind) and then Okada takes over for the finale.
    And the dream,I was thinking about how it was weird how in an Okada show their had been no cross dressing,that got taken care of this week.

  6. t

    Sorry for the double post (I foolishly forgot I wasn't on a forum where I could edit my posts later)

    On Minchi,I'm sorry but while I don't hate the girl I find her behavior completely hypocritical.Don't mix work and love?That's what she's been doing the whole show!The main drive behind her work at kissuiso is trying to get noticed by the guy she loves.
    Not to mention,this isn't work,it's the culture festival,the only reason the meal became "serious business" is because Tohru is going to visit ,if he wasn't coming I'd bet she'd go "omelet rice?Sure,whatever you want,I don't care",so she's in a very bad place to critisize someone for wanting to use this event for trying to impress a guy when that's what she's trying to do herself.
    So I'm really curious to see how things will go for her next episode.

    And lastly to me the animation isn't just beautiful for the sake of it,there's little bits of details here and there that add to my enjoyment,each one separatly is trivial but add everything up and there's a difference.
    For exemple when minchi burns herself with the stove,they diidn't need to animate that,but they did and it makes a difference to me.

  7. I think Minchi's hypocrisy is quite intentionally played up, and I don't think we're supposed to admire her for it!

    I'm glad you're still enjoying this just as much – I wish I was, sincerely. It just isn't happening. This ep wasn't terrible but Okada'a writing was obvious in its absence – the dialogue felt stilted and the comedy is never as sharp when she isn't writing the dialogue.

    I guess as much as anything else, it irritates me that the characters in this show all seem to have been hit with a stupid stick – that's why though Minchi is a bit of a tool, I appreciate that she has the sense to be pissed about it. I really miss Satsuki for the same reason – she's a great antidote to these endless stretches of wistful idolization of the schoolgirl myth. It's interesting that the author of Nichijou was the writer here – in some ways the show does seem to be turning into one of those endless copycat series about four HS girls acting cute.

  8. t

    I know you have trouble telling them apart but nichijou is quite different from a channel :)

    Though more importantly,I guessed it was that guy because his previous episodes of hanasaku Iroha were 6,8,9 and this felt like one of those looking back at your posts on them,not too surprisingly you didn't really like them either.

  9. LOL, guess I betrayed my prejudices there – A-Channel, sorry! I confess, when I tried to watch both series I really couldn't tell them apart.

    It's funny, but I was actually thinking maybe it was episode 7 that was the predictor ep – the Tomoe ep. That one really seemed to split the audience, with those who loved it being happy with where this show has gone, and those who didn't (cough) being disappointed.

  10. Oh, BTW (sorry for the double post ;-)) I actually liked episode 9…

  11. t

    Now you've done it Enzo,I had resisted mentioning episode 7 but your post got me over the edge.

    Now,here's the thing,basides Okada there's 4 writers who have worked on HanaIro , 3 of them are veterans with other notable works and have all worked with Okada before.And then there's one guy that had no writing credits whatsoever (he's just been credited with "production setting" on various PA works shows,which,if it's what I think it is,has nothing to do with scriptwriting)
    That guy scripted one episode only and you guessed it,it was episode 7.
    Now option one:like all other writers he'll get his arc to write in addition to that episode and we'll get it before the end of the show,I can see you shaking in fear.
    Option two:we won't get anything more which to me would mean that he never was supposed to write episode 7 in the first place and he was filling in.

  12. Please let it be option two…

  13. D

    Lol. I bet Beanman will get a 2 part story arc next. This show has wasted enough episodes on supporting characters already. (6/8 episodes total) Might be looking at a rush ending.

  14. Thanks for posting, DisAppointed. We'll see – Okada may just surprise and give us a real ending, but who knows?

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