Anime Review: Hanasaku Iroha Episode 9

Anime Review:
Hanasaku Iroha Episode 9

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:

Very Quick Episode Summary: Ohana searches high and low for Tohru, somehow believing that he can save the day. Meanwhile, Koichi rushes to Kissuisou but only ends up crossing paths remotely and only offering support by phone from afar. Ohana finally finds Tohru, they return to the inn, and manage to survive the rest of the day. Taa-dah, the Aristocrats!

My Impressions: I’m back after a few weeks away from reviews. And now, on with the show!

After the big cliff-hanger, I was left wondering what the “big mystery” would be revealed as Ohana furtively peeked through the doorway. And it turns out…nothing. Boy, that was a bit of disappointing misdirection.

Turns out in the end, everything turns out hunky-dory, which I guess could have easily been predicted, given the generally optimistic direction of the series. The major conflict of “Kissuisou’s Busiest Day” was really just the backdrop to the *real* developing story, which is the relationship between Ohana and Koichi, which has been “on hold” since the first episode.

Nothing rang more true than the moments when Koichi would stop in his tracks, think for a few seconds, and question himself, “What the hell am I doing?” Infatuation can do some pretty strange things to your head, especially when you’re a teenage boy that has never really experienced that sort of thing before. Ohana, for her part, is…well…the same as she has always been. Cheerful yet clueless as always, which is equal parts endearing and annoying (Aha! We’ve hit upon the perfect formula for moe-ness, perhaps?)

So now you have Ko who is crazy for Ohana from afar; Ohana is sweet on Ko in return, but get the badump-badump in her heart for Tohru. Minko has hopelessly fallen for Tohru, yet Tohru doesn’t give her the time of day, and seems to be mulling over Ohana in his mind. Then, just to fuck with this love quadrangle, there was some “mystery girl” thrown in at the very end, implied that she is after Ko?

Egads. This is turning out to be just one big soap opera. Er, sitcom-slash-soap. Well, that’s a bit disappointing, considering I was so gung-ho on how Hanasaku Iroha was gearing up to be a really great bittersweet coming-of-age drama in the first couple of episodes. At least it remains fairly entertaining to watch, even if I’m not as crazy about it as in the beginning.

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “I’ve officially lowered my expectations for Hanasaku Iroha. That doesn’t mean I think Hanairo is bad. It’s just dumber and lighter than I’d hoped and I have to adjust. Instead of being a stand-out show with an interesting premise it’s settled into a fairly standard ganbatte/moe/slice-of-life/(very) light drama affair; albeit a good-looking one. Aside from the head-smackingly illogical way they go about getting things rolling there’s nothing too terrible going on (with the exception of a couple bad episodes).” – Moe Monster
  • “As things between Ohana and Ko progressed, I started to pity Ko. Not for his failed attempt at trying to visit Ohana during one of the most stressful moments of this show thus far but more for the internal struggle going on within his heart. The second he started questioning what he was doing, it was clear just how infatuated he was with Ohana. Seeing how he already finished the hard part of actually confessing, things would have probably went ten times better if he was a bit more honest with himself. But instead of being control of his emotions, he follows the traditional male route of being stubborn and ends up going home with regrets over what could have happened.” – Random Curiosity
  • “In the grand scheme of things, I don’t feel like much has changed from this arc though. Minchi has started cooking, and we have a greater appreciation for the manager’s bookkeeping skills. Ohana has gained a boost of confidence (not like she needed one), but otherwise this seemed like a reset ending where everything is back to how it used to be. It was an entertaining set of episodes, to be sure, but I’m most looking forward to the point in this show where the plot gets moving again.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
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