A thoughtful response to current anime.

Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 3

When we last left our poor beleaguered heroine, she hand just come back to the inn that she had left for… some reason?  She was feeling pretty down in the dumps and uncertain about her future, but that is sort of how she normally feels.  And then she discovered that one of the guests had been writing erotic fiction starring a character with the same name as her?  And then that guest started advancing on her, in a creepy fashion?  This show could be about to get, uh, interesting.  I had figured this for a coming-of-age story, but hadn’t figured on it happening quite that way.  Well, let’s see how they handle it in episode 3 of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

The story of a man whose life was going nowhere.

All this time, I have been calling Ohana “earnest”, when that is not quite the word I have been wanting.  I mean, Ohana is earnest, in her own way, but the adorable thing about her is that she is unflappable. She gets kidnapped and tied up by a dude who is writing erotic fiction in which she stars, and she takes the opportunity to critique his writing?

Unflappable isn’t the right word, either.  Take last episode, when she told that guy to “die” and he almost did, and she freaked out.  I guess maybe the thing is that… she doesn’t take things personally?  Like she wants to be friends with Minko even when she told her to “die” or called her “hobiron”, and she’s willing to lend advice to a creepy kidnapper who got her in trouble with her boss.  I guess with a mother like hers, if she started taking things personally she would never stop.  And so she creates this scapegoating ritual of the disliked food to deal with the issues she is too forgiving a person to otherwise resolve.  I wonder what food the writer guy has to eat, now?  He’s a staff member, so Ohana might end up cooking for him.

This was a bit of a weaker episode, I thought, though still quite solid.  The beginning was fun, and the end was heartwarming (Minko’s scratchpaper especially), but in the middle it sagged.  Too much actual stuff happening, not enough people talking to each other.  It focused on characters other than Ohana for a lot of it, too, and I don’t think I actually like the landlady or the writer as characters.  I am having trouble buying the landlady, in particular, as a kind old lady, when I remember just two episodes ago she was mean to Ohana for like no reason and dabbled in mild child abuse.  Maybe she’s better than Ohana’s mom, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to like her on an absolute scale.


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