Hansaku Iroha – 20

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 20 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.56_[2011.08.14_19.01.09] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 20 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.55_[2011.08.14_19.11.09] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 20 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.22_[2011.08.14_19.13.35]

While it probably says a lot when when you’re watching an episode mostly to kill time while waiting to see if anything interesting happens in the preview, there were enough amusing moments scattered in this week’s HanaIro to make it watchable.

Yes, they managed to do it – pretty much an entire episode about omurice.  While your pulse just quickened if you’re a die-hard omelette rice otaku, for me it’s a pretty thin premise to stretch for an episode, never mind the better part of two.  But given that every episode in the second cour has been “about” subjects this trivial, the only telling question has been whether the trivia was entertaining.  In that, I’d rank this episode about in the middle of the pack.  It was slightly better than last week’s, perhaps due to the presence of Junji Nishimura as director.  His efforts as a scripter for this series have been hit or miss at best, but in this chair he knows what he’s doing – as witness True Tears.   In fact, Nishimura-san gives himself a little free plug with the Hiromi cameo at the train station, which was actually the highlight of the episode for me.

The course of events as they play out is pretty predictable.  Ohana butts in as she always does, insisting she help out Minchi in the kitchen after her nastiness has chased away everyone else.  But it’s when Nakochi takes a leave of absence from her class’s festival prep (even though she’s on the committee) to help out that things actually get better.  She shows Minchi how to make omurice in the style her little brother likes it – which is doable on a hot plate – and Minchi agrees to add it to the menu.  Even more predictably, when Tohru shows up at the café he orders the omelette rice, naturally.  Minchi decorates it with kethchup hearts, but he misses the point because Omurice Girl has already decorated her crush’s rice the same way. Interesting to speculate what might have happened otherwise, as it was cooked by Minchi and served by Ohana. 

The little cutaways throughout the episode to Nakochi interacting with her friend Eri (Kotbuki Minako) from the art club were interesting in that they felt so different from the rest of the episode.  Maybe I’m just conditioned to see it because it’s so prevalent in anime these days, but I could swear I was picking up a little yuri vibe between the two of them.  Yuri or not, they provided a nice change-of-pace from Ohana’s usual insanity and Minchi’s usual snappishness with their quiet, very Japanese “zen garden” of a friendship.  Nako even got painted (heh) though the resemblance was totally lost on me.

And then there was that preview, which did indeed prove the most interesting part of the episode.  And depressing, given that next week looks like – you guessed it – a Takako episode.  And not just that, a Takako-Enishi episode, with the two of them engaged to be married.  Ack, episode 21 devoted to the first and third-most annoying (gotta save a place for Jiromaru) annoying characters on the show?  Even two seconds of Takako in the preview is enough to instill dread.  As a gesture of apology we also get a little teaser that Tohru confesses to Ohana, which would certainly liven things up to say the least.  Given that HanaIro is the most trolling-est series going when it comes to previews, though, I’ll assume that’s a misdirection until proved otherwise, especially given the shot of Minchi grinning with uncharacteristic abandon.

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 20 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.11_[2011.08.14_19.18.25] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 20 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.28_[2011.08.14_19.18.41] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 20 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.56_[2011.08.14_19.19.09]



  1. A

    there is also the preview shot of minchi tearing up. True Tears after so many episodes of knowing your guy likes someone else

  2. A

    I'm going to go ahead and say that Takako and Enishi aren't even the one's who are getting married and the episode won't be focused on them.

  3. Interesting theory. Care to guess on who it might be?

    Nako and Eri?

  4. l

    I suppose to be squealing like a fan girl now that the story is moving to the main plot. However the theory Tohru X Ohana happening has just as much chance of seeing Ohana mom come back to help the inn. (which are nil)

    If this was any earlier, it would be a great love triangle. But at episode 21 I just can't see that happening at all.

    But there was nothing against hoping for something of a dramatic twist at the end right?

    My speculation ending: Ohana end up with nobody but her job. Ko finally let go and Tohru remain the same.

  5. A

    Denroku's son is mentioned to be getting married and Kissuiso staff invited?

  6. Could be a good guess…

  7. A

    can't lie, went and made omu rice to try out after this, was delish (gotta admire minchi's skillz with the flipping of the egg, I completely broke mine lolz)

  8. t

    Enjoyed this episode as always.Definatly predictable ,Ohana was Ohana,Yuina was Yuina,Nakochi was Nakochi etc but that's why I like it, it's kind of like getting together weekly with a group of friends
    I underestimated Minchi a bit,I though she lied when she said that they couldn't make Omu rice in the classroom she wasn't lying,sorry minchi!

    With Kotbuki Minako making a cameo appearance that makes 3 sphere girls
    Hopefully Ayahi Takagaki makes an appearance and we'll get the whole group (they did sing the first ED after all)

  9. t

    Whoops,forgot to say something about the road ahead on this show

    I definatly wouldn't bet on it and won't say this with as much confidence as I've predicted things until now,but I'm willing to bet that Okada isn't scripting next week's episode,I consider Tohru to be just another "trival subject matter" and not the main plot,though I can understand why you'd find it a more interesting subject but to me he's pretty much on the same level as omu rice.
    Of course that's what I think,Okada could very well accord him more importance and script it.We'll see.It's not like I'd mind lol.
    Also I wonder when director Ando will show up again,he storyboarded about half the episodes of the first cour but has been completely absent in the second half,which I can understand since the shows been more in "cruise control mode" these past few weeks but I expect him to back when Okada comes back.

  10. t

    triple post sorry and you can feel free to delete this one if you want

    I's just that I've read my post and:

    "I definatly wouldn't bet on it and won't say this with as much confidence as I've predicted things until now,but I'm willing to bet "

    see something wrong?Here,let me help:

    "I definatly wouldn't bet on it (…)but I'm willing to bet "


    I guess that's why you're the blogger,I've never been good at this lol

  11. LOL, I get your point, don't worry.

    My assumption has been that Okada will write the final arc, and my hope that either Ando or Junji-sensei will direct. The question is, how long is that arc going to be? Two eps? Four? You're right, Tohru is a side story to me – one of the more important and more interesting than Omurice, but a side story. The main plot is Ohana, Kou, Satsuki and Grandma in that order and that's what I hope the final arc focuses on.

  12. j

    no Kou… no kou… no kou… NO KOU this episode :( the whole show seems lost its point without that guy even though he wasn't even the main character :( hopefully the final arc would be somewhat better…

  13. t

    I'm expecting four episodes and we agree on what the main plot is,on that subject I wanted to say I disagree with Ikaze on the odds of Ohana's mom coming back to help the Inn being nil,she already made a step by making that phone call a few episodes ago and this episode gave a message that could forshadow future events:it's never too late to find your true vocation,you're free to get sidetracked.Mom has shown the potential to be a great manager and it's not like she's that happy about how her life is right now.Not saying it'll happen but to me there's a chance.

  14. m

    I actually thought it might be the head cook guy who is getting married. You never really know with this show though.

  15. W

    This makes 2 months worth of episodes that this show has used for supporting characters. I liked the way the show ended its first half with Ohana finally moving on and leaving her life in Tokyo behind. However, the show has failed to capitalize and has for the last 2 months left its main character, Ohana, in the middle of the pack with the support characters getting more screen time than her. It kind of feels like the show is dragging this as if asking to be renewed for a second season.
    I personally enjoyed when the show was more focused on Ohana and showed an insight to her thoughts. Also, it seems like people are rooting for Tohru and Kou to end up with Ohana, just because. There has to be a deeper connection than just a teenage crush to make a pairing in this series work.(TakakoxEnishi?)
    Iroha needs to bring back Ohana's mom and look into her story and how she met Ohana's dad (or introduce him in the story…is he alive?) as Ohana's precautionary tale. Finally, I feel like the Okami needs to die before the story ends and Ohana and her mom honor the Okami's wishes to keep Kissuiso running.

  16. @Morg: Not impossible. Could explain the odd focus on Mr. Ren these last two eps, though it seems more like he's trying to dress to get chciks than about to be married.

    @WX: How about Okami dies, Satsuki takes over the inn, and Enishi goes to Tokyo to try to make it in the film business?

  17. L

    This is just me but I kind of gave up on this show already. Which is sad because I enjoyed it so much before but now…..

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