Wow. Based on my last post here, it’s been a month (and a few days) since I’ve posted anything else. College and a bunch of stuff got to me. My apologies to my co-authors here on Yumestate. Thankfully though, my time for Anime was still intact, and I got to watch some titles worth mentioning. So yeah, for now I’m gonna talk about a series that recently ended. A story of hard work, friendship, love, and finding one’s self, all in the life of a not-so-ordinary teenager.
Here’s my review on Hanasaku Iroha
Hanasahu Iroha (The ABC’s of Blooming) was a ‘roller coaster’-like watching experience. It certainly had its ups, but I think that some may agree with me that it had its downs as well. Nevertheless, the show always had a way of entertaining its viewers, be it the romance of Ohana, or the comedic fiascoes of the Kissui Inn staff in-between.
I believe that this show had one of the best first episodes that I’ve seen in a while. It really set the tone of the series as a whole. We see our main character, Matsumae Ohana, as she becomes forced by her mother to leave Tokyo, and to live at her grandmother’s inn. As if things weren’t bad enough, Ohana’s childhood friend confessed to her. This is where we get the idea that the show was going to be a serious slice of life story, with a few hints of comedy, and focusing more on the drama. That all changed on the third episode of this series (the one where Nako saves Jiroumaru). To at least give an idea as to why, well, it was not so good of an episode. It was like fan-service gone wrong in so many ways, even if it wasn’t meant to be like that.
Despite that, the show managed to get back on its feet, albeit slowly. It was now a light-hearted slice of life about ‘doing your best’ in life., which was also good. The following arcs were entertaining, as it tackled the backgrounds of the other members of the Kissui Inn. Further in to the series we also see the romance conflict between Ohana and Minchi, and Ohana’s struggle to find her true feelings. The romance/drama aspect was what roped me in the most. Aside from being a sucker for that genre, the drama in Hanasaku Iroha felt very real, in the sense that the setting is in a working environment most of the times.
As for the characters, I like all of them (save for one. I don’t seem to find Takako’s character likable) the variety of the cast and their interactions with one another can really put a smile to your face. I mentioned that Ohana is a ‘not-so-ordinary’ teenager, and, she is. Not that she has powers or any of the sort, but you’ll rarely find someone with Ohana’s character. She’s a girl that is aware of her immaturity and unpreparedness in life, and decides to dive into it face first.
Another big point for Hanasaku Iroha is the scenery. The area around Kissui Inn, and the inn itself, had a very traditional feel to it, which I find very pleasing to see.
The only problem I had with this show (although this is very trivial) is that, some of the arcs were really, for lack of a better term, sketchy. Not that I have a specific arc in mind, but the feeling that the first episode left me, didn’t really come back to me, even on the last episode. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m disappointed with how they ended it though. I liked how they ended it, even if it wasn’t how I imagined it to end.
In the end I’d say they pulled it off. Within the span of twenty-six episodes, they did a wonderful job of showing how Ohana grew, from a simple city girl, to a free-spirited and open individual, a bud to a flower, who learned the value of doing your best to achieve your goal. Yes, they bonboru’d quite nicely.