Anime Review: Hanasaku Iroha Episode 5

Anime Review:
Hanasaku Iroha Episode 5

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.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

ep. tl;dr review: Minko depressed at Tohru leaving, forcing Ohana into action; Trite storyline but interesting characters.

Episode Summary: After seeing Tohru running off with Yuina from the rival hot springs inn, Minko’s in the dumps. When Tohru does not show up for work the next day, misunderstandings lead to Ohana, Nako, Tomoe and Tarou to believe he took up another job at the other inn. Seeing how important Tohru is to Minko, Ohana rashly heads off to plead with the head of the Fukuya Inn, only to learn that he was just filling in as a favor for the day, and Yuina had no intentions of stealing Tohru away.

My Impressions: Ah, so this is how the show is going to be, is it? Clue “A” and Clue “B” lead Ohana to come to Conclusion “Z”, which only causes more drama and problems than Reality “C”. Mind you, that seems to be the standard format for yuk-it-up comedy on most sitcoms anyway, so it’s not really a surprise. But it is a rather trite and lazy way to tell a story. Too easy.

On the other hand, that’s not really the main thrust of this show anyway, which does not appear to be necessarily plot-driven. Instead, Hanasaku Iroha is much more of a character-driven show, where all the events exist to define and refine the characters more. In this case, to help put the hard-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside Minko into better perspective, and throw a bit of a twist on at-first-seemingly-douchey-but-perhaps-misunderstood Tohru, too. And Ohana is, well, Ohana: the well-intentioned, indefatigable but infuriatingly ditzy girl who is clumsily trying to figure out this thing called life. Her enthusiasm remains infectious, and it appears she may have found a crack in Minko’s armor.

For a show that is all about the characters, the good news about Hanasaku Iroha is that all of the characters are fun to watch. The only problem is that some of them seem to be thinly stereotyped into some of the standard, well-worn stock anime character roles (I can think of at least half a dozen Minko clones from previous shows right off the top of my head) — and whether or not this show ultimately succeeds will depend upon whether they can transcend this label and turn into more complex, not-easily-defined characters.

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “Misunderstandings in anime are annoying. Especially when they can be solved by just… talking to each other. Unfortunately this episode didn’t escape that. What’s worse, is that the creators tried to hide the fact that Tohru was just filling in for a day, yet it was obvious from the start that nothing was going on. Seeing this only fueled up by the novellist, who was the most annoying character of this series anyway, made things even worse. At least this episode fleshed out Minko and Ohana.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
  • “This episode was strange. I had a hard time getting into it because the beginning was so awful, I’d try to watch, give up, try to watch, give up. Yet once I got past the beginning, the episode had moments that actually had the feel of the first and second episode. Yet, when this episode sucked, it really really sucked.” – Rabbit Poets
  • “Awww, I loved this episode. But that might just be because I think it’s an improvement over the past two; it’s not all that special, but I’m still enjoying it. I still have to wonder what the heck happened to the writing from the first episode, though! Most of the characters are still either a) completely bland, or b) downright unlikable. And although b) is much worse, Hanasaku is a character-driven show with boring characters. Not exactly a winning combination.” – Sekijitsu
  • “Oh, the drama~ I really loved this episode because not only did we find out why Minko is staying at the inn and working as an apprentice, we also got to delve deeper into her character and find out why she likes Tohru so much.” – Anime Evo
  • “Although this streak of being denied my tear-jerking drama might continue, I am still thoroughly enjoying HanaIro. It must be the characters that I love so much (and, to some extent, the setting). Yuina is pretty awesome, Minko is quite a tsundere, and Ohana is a sometimes rather dim, but caring and honest person.” – The Kotatsu
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4 Responses to Anime Review: Hanasaku Iroha Episode 5

  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Hanasaku Iroha Episode 6 | This Euphoria!

  2. Pingback: Anime Review: Hanasaku Iroha Episode 7 | This Euphoria!

  3. Pingback: Anime Review: Hanasaku Iroha Episode 8 | This Euphoria!

  4. Pingback: Anime Review: Hanasaku Iroha Episode 9 | This Euphoria!

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