Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 16
July 29, 2011
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Last time on Hanasaku Iroha the rival inn heiress decided that maybe being an innkeeper wouldn’t be such a bad life after all. Or even if it was a bad life, maybe a bad life wasn’t such a bad thing. Now her character arc seems pretty much cleared, so we probably won’t see much of her in the future, just like what happened with Tomoe. Well, maybe this will finally clear their plate enough that they can give us some goddamn love triangle among Ohana, Minchi, and Tohru already! Come on! It has been eleven episodes since you started setting it up and it’s gone basically nowhere! Maybe it will go somewhere in episode 16 of Hanasaku Iroha.
…thirty minutes pass…
Finally we see a side of him other than "laughable failure".
So now we’re in Ohana’s uncle’s character arc. I guess his name is Enishi? Everybody always just calls him “wakadanna”, which I can empathize with because “Enishi” is kind of an ugly name. I’ll just call him Ohana’s uncle.
This was a very calm episode, even more slice-of-life than usual. They literally were cleaning a pool and then one of them sprayed the others with a hose. I really wouldn’t have expected it to be Minchi that did it, she’s always such a serious girl. Isn’t spraying people with a hose kind of hobiron? Anyway, they’re setting the calm in this episode up as “the calm before the storm”. Ohana’s uncle has some trauma in his past, possibly related to movies, or his sister, or pools, or middle-school girls, or some linear combination of the four. And now the phone is ringing, which isn’t ominous, but the show tried its best to make it ominous anyway. So, someone on the other end of the phone is going to somehow trigger his trauma, and he will be unable to make sound, rational decisions. Which wouldn’t normally be a problem – Kissui Inn is organized to work around Ohana’s uncle’s inability to make sound rational decisions. But this time the landlady has let him do as he pleases, and he’s taken heavy responsibility onto himself, so he can’t afford to be as ineffectual as he usually is.
It’s kind of interesting to watch how unglamorously this episode treated the movie people. I mean, yes, there was some sense that these were larger than life people with big frames that Ohana’s uncle couldn’t possibly replace, but compare it to the sort of Hollyweird character you’d find in an American comedy that had an episode revolving around the production of a film. I wonder if the Japanese film industry is just that much lower-key, or if it’s Hanasaku Iroha that’s low-key.