Hanasaku Iroha Episode 3
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Hanasaku Iroha, or Hana Saku Iroha, is a 26-episode weekly anime television series started in April 2011. The series is an original project directed by Masahiro Ando, produced to celebrate the tenth anniversary of P.A. Works. The story centers around carefree sixteen-year-old Ohana, forced to move from the city to live with her estranged grandmother in the countryside, who operates a traditional inn. Finding herself at odds with her co-workers and thrown into an entirely new world, Ohana tries to make the best of the situation.
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ep. tl;dr review: Everyone chase after the fake author! Nako saves the day! Light comedy diversion from bittersweet drama.
Episode Summary: Ohana has gone missing, eventually Minko and Nako discover that she has been confined by the resident “author”, Tarou, who has been trying to write an erotic novel based on the inn’s staff. Exposed as a fake, he steals the company van and runs off, with everyone giving chase. Cornered on a cliff overlooking the sea, he believes he has no choice and leaps, with Nako following after to rescue him. While Tarou continues his self-pity sniveling, Ohana slaps some sense into him by explaining he may be a poor writer, but he has an eye for character and observed something in her she never expected. They all then have a meal, including Ohana’s “revenge” serving for Minko, who continues to think of inventive ways of expressing her hatred of Ohana.
My Impressions: I have come to the realization that this should probably have been a live-action Japanese comedy/drama instead of an anime show. It just feels like a slightly wacky J-Drama series. This episode was more of a light-hearted romp that relied on unassuming humor, rather than the more bittersweet drama and tiny heartaches from the first two episodes. The unforced pacing and storytelling were just about perfect.
What I like about Hanasaku Iroha is that the characters themselves seem like real people, not colorless stereotypes — and this episode only adds more character and dimension to them all. Ohana remains the optimistic dreamer, does not even realize she is mirroring her flighty mother but with flashes of occasional down-to-earth grounded-ness. The dragonlady grandmother may not be as much of a cold-hearted bitch as she first appeared. Minko is certainly putting so much effort into hating Ohana as much as possible, but I’m sensing she’s really a softie inside, but could never admit it. Nako is so vanishingly reticent, but when it comes to her strengths (in this example swimming), she shows uncharacteristic confidence.
I wasn’t especially pleased with the fan-service-y bits with the erotic novel scenes and the Nako Wet T-Shirt Contest, I’d rather have actual character development than wanker bait. Less of that, please. Also, I suddenly noticed all the girls have wobbly giraffe necks, NOW I CANNOT UNSEE IT. And yet, quibbling aside, three episodes in Hanasaku Iroha looks to be the most engaging series of the season.
- My earlier reviews: Episode 1 (May 26th) and Episode 2 (September 4th)
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- If you like this, you might also like: Maybe Toradora or Only Yesterday
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “More so then any other show airing this season that I’ve watched, Hanasaku Iroha has successfully managed to become my number one pick. If not for the amazing cast of characters, or the stupidly funny situations, it has to be the show’s ability to consistently toy with my emotions — bringing them up and down at its whim. ” – Random Curiosity
- “The interesting parts to this episode were the parodies of other genres, with the diversion into crime drama, capped off with the denouement on a cliff next to the sea, combined with slapstick farce, watching the comical attempts of the Bad Novelist to carry out his crime and then make an escape. And, the erotic novel. Grade: B+.” – Mania.com
- “I hated the cliches. It was still a good episode to me, but everything was so predictable, what with the speech that saves the day. Then there’s grandma secretly knowing Ohana would save the day, while I sit there can’t believing they seriously pulling that stunt. Hanasaku Iroha has the potential to be a lot better then that, and doesn’t need to use such old and tired cliches.” – Rabbit Poets
- “I love lighthearted episodes, but this didn’t do it for me. A major complaint for Angel Beats was the slapstick gags that seemed a little out-of-place, and it’s not that I want HanaIro to be a drama-heavy show; maybe it’s because the spotlight turned to the most unlikable character at the inn. Either way, it’s only so-so story and execution-wise.” – Sekijitsu
- “Aside from the comedy, though, this episode felt a bit weaker than the past two installments. It’s nice that the creators here are aiming to develop more of the side characters, but as a result, some of the character development from earlier feels as if it’s almost been sidelined. Grade: 3.9/5.” – Emory Anime Club
ROUND THREE RESULTS FOR SPRING 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Three: Steins;Gate, Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha
Thumbs-down for Round Three: None yet.
Coming up next (in this order): Moshidora, Ano Hana, Tiger and Bunny, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Nichijou, Yondemasuyo Azazel-san, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, X-Men, Blue Exorcist, Kaiji Season 2, Hyouge Mono