A thoughtful response to current anime.

Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 14

I guess I will see if I can live with Doki’s incredibly shitty subs for Hanasaku Iroha, because I had been really enjoying the show.  It’s a shame that these unpaid, unelected, unaccountable fansubbers have such control over whether or not I enjoy a show.  Not for the first time, I wish I were fluent enough in Japanese to watch raws.  I could probably sit down with a dictionary and get most of the important points, but that sounds even less fun than dealing with Doki’s godawful translation choices.  Doki, you suck, but I’ll watch your version of Hanasaku Iroha episode 14 anyway, just know that all the while I will be resenting your poor decisions.

…thirty minutes pass…

Looks like last episode's translation issues were just a momentary lapse of judgment. Sorry for all the mean things I said, Doki.

The rival inn heiress is a great character.  She has a light, playful personality that doesn’t conceal depth of character, but rather works naturally with it.  She’s at home in her own life, so sure of herself that she can play neat tricks like dialect code-switching just for the sheer amusement of it. It works really well as a foil to Ohana who is earnest and tries hard, but who has to try hard to cover up the fact that she’s lost and confused and doesn’t know where she’s going.  She also plays cute linguistic tricks, like coining “bonboru”, but she does this to create (the illusion of) meaning in her life, rather than just because language games are cool.  If she invented “bonboru”, then that, she thinks, must mean she has some special ability to strive hard to attain her goals.  Never mind that she doesn’t even really have goals, or that when she does she abandons them when they get too hard.

All the characters were great in this episode.  I like getting to see them outside an inn-work context. I know that school life comedies are a saturated market, and inn life comedies aren’t, but these characters are strong enough that they can overwhelm the competition in any setting, so why not put them in a school life setting, which has all sorts of nice properties to allow your characters to shine?  Sadly it seems we’ll be getting right back to waitressing in the next episode, as the inn looks around to find waitresses to replace the ones who quit and finds they don’t have to look very far.  I dunno what Minchi will do during all this – maybe they can convince one of the chefs at the inn to quit too?  Or maybe she can provide moral support by blushing and muttering “Hobiron” whenever they talk about boys.


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