Hansaku Iroha – 22

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[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 22 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.02_[2011.08.28_18.45.46] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 22 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.51_[2011.08.28_18.46.35] [HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 22 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.37_[2011.08.28_18.49.21]

The optimist in me wants to be believe that HanaIro has finally gotten all the nonsense out of its system.  The experiments with ecchi, the bad slapstick, the two-part episodes about egg dishes.  Maybe, with a month of eps left, all that is behind us and the series will focus on what’s important.  It can never undo all those past mistakes, but a lot can be redeemed with a strong finish.  I’ve been burned so often, though, that a part of me is going to be skeptical until the credits roll on episode 26.

Between the episode itself and the preview, it does appear that one of my major fears has been put to rest – there’s going to be some sort of resolution to the Ohana/Kou relationship.   It might not find them together, but at least the matter will be dealt with. I never believed even a series as maddeningly obtuse as this one could simply ignore that altogether, but I was beginning to worry.  I do have to question Ohana’s sanity a little in saying she has a “one-sided crush” on Kou – after all, the guy did confess to her in the very first episode!  But if that’s what it takes to get her off the pot and confront her feelings (which always seemed pretty obvious to me anyway) than so be it.  It was fortuitous that she had that conversation with Satsuki, who always manages to impact events in a scale disproportionate to her actual physical presence.  Nice job blowing off your brother’s wedding, Mom – although that “Make sure she’s wet!” note made up for some of it. Especially seeing it delivered by Yuina.  If only she’d been in a massage chair as she read it out…

I remain singularly unimpressed with Takako and Enishi as characters, and my sincere hope is that the wedding allows them to fade into the background for the last four episodes, though the converse is a frightening possibility too.  That said, their wedding was an important watershed to drive things forward (at long, long, long last) and not just in terms of the phone conversation mentioned above.  It was the impetus in forcing the “is it or isn’t it” triangle of Ohana/Minchi/Tohru out into the open.  Though the way Minchi’s feelings to Tohru were revealed was rather clichéd and hackneyed, at least they were revealed – and it forced him to come clean with her about his feelings. Non-committal as they were – “I’m fascinated watching her but you leave me in great suspense” – I think it’s clear that Ohana has no romantic feelings for him whatsoever.  I never thought there was anything to all that no matter how much space it took up in the fan discussions, but it’s nice to see the series following that route, too.  And Minchi certainly held a lot of resentment towards Ohana, who was guilty of nothing worse than cluelessness – if she couldn’t figure out Kou liked her after he confessed, she sure as hell had no idea Tohru did.

Minchi is a troubling character for me.  In a lot of ways I like her – she seems like the only one who realizes when BS is happening on this show, and that’s been pretty often.  But it’d be a lie to call her likeable – empathetic maybe, but certainly not likeable.  Not only is she prone to anger, but to violent anger – and when she gets angry, she tries her hardest to hurt the source emotionally and even physically.  This character is so unlike any other Omigawa Chiaki character than I wonder if she didn’t go a little overboard in that direction, though I think most of the problem is in the way she’s written.  With Kou and Satsuki on the sidelines and Ohana pretty much having laid her character on the table in the first episode, there hasn’t been much in terms of watching a good character actually develop in this series.  Yuina is strictly a diversion – a fabulous max one, don’t get me wrong, but not a serious character.  That’s why Nako has assumed a fairly important role, because she’s not excessively annoying or unpleasant and she’s actually grown a bit.  But the onus is Ohana now – she has to do the heavy lifting in that department in the home stretch.

As was hinted at last week, Madame Manager made the announcement that she’s planning on closing the inn after the Bonbori Festival (which always felt like it would provide the dramatic conclusion).  She and Beanman (who caught the bouquet – is he getting married?  To Jiromaru, maybe?)  have been together running Kissuiso for more than 40 years, and it appears that both of them are just tired – though it’s interesting that she’s not choosing to give her family a chance to follow in her footsteps.  Clearly she doesn’t think Enishi is up to it, but I suspect she would have given Satsuki the chance if she’d wanted it.  As she apparently does not, that leaves only Ohana – and she’s the one I can’t imagine being happy about the inn shuttering.  She might be too young to run it now, but she won’t be in a few years.  What does Ohana want, though?  Her heart is with Kou and Kou is in Tokyo, but she’s come to love the people at Kissuiso, too.  Whether this is what she would have wanted for her future or not, I suspect Ohana will be pretty pissed off about not being part of the decision.

While it wasn’t among the best we’ve seen, nevertheless this episode finally moved things along considerably, opening a few doors and seemingly closing a few others.  Next week will likely go a long way towards deciding the ultimate fate of the Ohana/Kou relationship, though probably not definitively given that there are three more eps to follow.  My money is still on the “Forever Alone” end, with the closure of the inn being a 50/50 tossup.  But hey, we’re at least talking about things that matter – and that’s a huge step in the right direction.

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  1. L

    Lol @ Make sure she's wet.

    I don't think Okami really thought her decision through. Where would the staff go? Would they need to get new jobs at that mega-inn being built? It'd be a huge mess that doesn't need to happen.

    And, for the sake of plot, I can see the next few episodes focusing on the festival and Ohana trying to convince Okami not to close the inn using the "friends" argument. Maybe Ohana will read through the Beanman logs and make some kind of enlightened speech or something. Instant character development!

  2. l

    Several things need to be commented:
    1)Minchi is too volatile to be likeable. It was at times like this when I thought of Ohana is much too ideal a friend. Who in a right mind will be so fast to befriend someone back? Especially if that someone is occasionally having an outburst out of reasons nobody able to comprehend.

    2) The Minchi X Tohru X Ohana was solved pretty cliché and simple to the extend it doesn't make sense. The "LOVE" dish Tohru prepared at the end, does it mean he accept Minchi love? Whatever it is; I'm just glad that this nonsense is finally done with. Just like Enzo.

    3)How in the world can Ohana have an one sided crush on Ko? He confessed and Ohana left him hanging. He still care for Ohana the last time they met and Ohana once again run away. To me it more like Ko is having an one sided crush on Ohana. Plus, he is doing it by resisting the advances of Megane-girl. Of course he might already going out with the girl but that is entirely not his fault.

    I suppose with all this nonsense got out the system, the show can finally focus on things we all care about? Frankly I just not sure what kind of ending I want to see?
    Ending a) Ohana confess and Ko accept (that is so fake)
    Ending b) Ohana confess and Ko reject (I don't think I feel good about it)
    Ending c) Ohana decided to forever having one sided crush and stay in Kisuiso(Now I'm going to rage)

    Enzo is right that we burned too many time to be even a bit optimistic of the ending. So I'll will keep my expectation at bay until the ending come.

  3. d

    @Enzo: Agree with forever alone ending although I am naturally against it.
    @Ikaze: 3) Cause Kou-chan is presumably currently dating another girl and has not contacted Ohana (remember the Sayonara not Mata Ne?).
    So it is like this. Beginning Kou likes Ohana, later Ohana breaks off with Kou and Kou is with glasses gal. Ohana realises she loves Kou but it is too late. Currently, Kou with glasses gal?? no idea. Ohana still loves Kou.
    Meaning in Ohana's point of view, she likes Kou and Kou has left her meaning one sided.
    Physics:Law of relativity. Based on Ohana's perception Kou is with another girl, Ohana loves Kou = One sided Love for Kou

  4. I'm pretty sure Kou made it clear that he'd rejected Glasses-Girl he was still in love with her, so I don't buy that as an access for her thinking it's "one-sided". Mind you, he could certainly be dating her now, but he wasn't at the time.
    Ikaze, I really don't think it would be fake if Kou accepted a confession from Ohana, though I doubt it will be that easy. He made it very clear he was in love with her, and I can believe quite easily he'd be waiting her out for a while longer.

  5. A

    Ko (to Ohana): No, Ohana you're nothing like bland coffee…but am dating Glasses Girl now and if you keep bothering me SHE WILL KILL Y'ALL!!! (Roll Credits) The end.

  6. That would be a classic troll even by Okada standards…

  7. t

    Enzo have you seen the movie "500 days of summer"? because that's the ending I'd like for Hanasaku Iroha (just reverse the guy and the girl) complete with a scene similar to the last scene of that movie.

    I don't know what'd be more entertaining,the show or seeing people rage after watching it.

  8. totoum, you're a cold bastard aren't you? 😉 While it would be fun to see the rage, I kind of hope it doesn't end that way. Guess I'm a pure romantic at heart.

  9. S

    I was so confused when Ohana said she had a one side crush on Kou. I was like "B17ch, where the f* have you been for 22 episodes?" Anyways, it was sad to hear about Ohana's Dad since I was hoping for him to make an appearance at some point. It seems that his passing has been the reason Satzuki acted so distant from Ohana and was in search of a new love rather than being a more involved parent. Also, it seems like the Bon Festival will be the setting for the climactic finale for the series with Satzuki and Kou joining in, perhaps.

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