suntzuanime

A thoughtful response to current anime.

Category Archives: Hanasaku Iroha

Sun Tzu’s Picks: Top 10 Anime of 2011

2011 has ended, as years often do.  Soon the new year’s anime will be starting; I haven’t taken a close look at them, but I’ve heard there isn’t much to be excited about.  So rather than worry about the upcoming year right now, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on the year that has passed, and rank the ten best anime of the year.

Some rules regarding what I consider eligible to receive a ranking: I’m counting anime (so no J-Dramas or My Little Pony) that aired on TV (so no movies or OVA) starting in 2011 (so no Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu for #1 anime five years running).  I’m also excluding any anime that were just continuations of a series that began prior to 2011.  There were a few good second seasons that aired this year, like Ika Musume 2 and TWGOK 2, but those shows have already received consideration during their original airing years, and it’s time for them to step aside and make room for new blood.  Shows that aren’t done airing or shows that I haven’t finished watching are fine, though, so long as I’ve seen enough of them to have an opinion.  All the descriptions below are going to contain spoilers, so maybe you should just read the titles and then go off and watch all of them?

The Top 10 Anime of 2011, in Ascending Order (the last shall be first and the first shall be last)

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Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 26

This is it, the last episode of Hanasaku Iroha.  It seems like in the last episode they managed to persuade the landlady not to shut down Kissui Inn after the Bonbori Festival, but if the show ends anyway, there’s not a big difference to us, the viewing audience.  I guess it’s the difference between a happy ending and a sad ending, but if Ohana gets together with Kou-chan after the Bonbori Festival, it’ll be a sad ending anyway.  Well, maybe it will be good for her to learn how romance works in a low-pressure environment.  Kou-chan may not be interesting or appealing in any way, but at least he’s not dangerous.  There will be plenty of time for dating people with personalities later.  Ok, I’m at peace with it, we can go ahead with episode 26, the final episode of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 25

Last episode the staff of Kissui Inn was getting rebellious and refusing to wind down their operations in advance of closing.  It’s a gutsy move, but I wonder what will come of it.  The landlady has stated her intention to close after the Bonbori Festival and she’s the sort of stubborn person who would refuse to back down on that intention, but what is she gonna do when customers come that Enishi has booked for after the festival?  She also has a strong sense of responsibility, to serving the customers’ needs first and foremost.  She is, in her own way, heroic, and perhaps her attempt to shut down the inn is an attempt to give up the hero’s burden before it kills her.  She has been having health problems lately. I had interpreted them as just her getting old, but perhaps it’s also her heroic self-destruction.  Perhaps Enishi’s refusal to do as she says will literally cause her death in episode 25 of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 24

Last time on Hanasaku Iroha, Ohana wound up back in Tokyo through various plot machinations,  where she came face to face with Kou-chan.  This is bad.  If they start comparing stories, they might realize that neither of them had actually been intentionally dumped by the other, they just each jumped to conclusions on account of their ordinary teenage self-loathing.  And then they might get back together!  That would be a disaster, Ohana deserves better than that mopey spineless chump.  She can be mopey at times too, but she bonborus, she smashes through the barriers in her way with earnestness and hard work.  Kou-chan, as near as I can tell, does not have a single redeeming quality.  Here’s hoping Ohana comes to her senses before she does something she regrets in episode 24 of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 23

Last time on Hanasaku Iroha, we learned that Kissui Inn was being shut down.  I mentioned this possibility at the beginning of my post for episode 18, but I anticipated it as a result of Enishi wasting all the inn’s money on that movie scam.  It seems more like the landlady is just sick of running an inn.  In that case, you would think she could give it to one of the stakeholders, or at least sell it to one of the stakeholders, or at least sell it to some random outside investor, it’s not like it’s actively unprofitable, right?  You have Ohana there as cheap slave labor, and that erotic fiction writer too, and you could probably cut Nako’s pay and she would be too cowardly to complain about it.  I guess she just doesn’t want to entrust this thing that she put so much of her heart into over decades of her life to anyone else.  I can understand that, even if I don’t agree with it.  Let’s hope one of the stakeholders can convince her not to let the inn go to waste in episode 23 of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 22

Last time on Hanasaku Iroha there were actually quite a few plot points in the air.  There was a wedding in the works, or perhaps not in the works, since the groom was surprise-disinherited.  Minchi and Ohana were fighting over Tohru, or worse, not fighting over Tohru.  They set off an all-out War of Passive Aggression over Tohru.  Things are hopping, the show is more like a soap-opera style drama than the slice-of-life show it was at the beginning.  Maybe it’s a symptom of the summer anime season drawing to a close.  I don’t want to think about that, losing Hanasaku Iroha and all these other good shows that are airing.  Well, let’s enjoy episode 22 of Hanasaku Iroha while it’s here.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 21

Last episode on Hanasaku Iroha was the culture festival, where Minchi basically came out and professed her love to Tohru, and he basically rejected her.  You could argue he’s being dense, but it is said that there are none so blind as those who won’t see.  He’s not interested in Minchi as anything more than a colleague, or possibly has concerns about how unprofessional it would be to get romantically involved with his coworker in the kitchen.  I’d suggest that she’s too young for him, only he blatantly has the hots for Ohana who is the same age.  Poor Minchi.  I wonder if that’s all the closure we’ll get on this romance or if we’ll pursue it further in episode 21 of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 20

Last time on Hanasaku Iroha, Ohana’s school was preparing for its culture festival.  Minchi, as a professional chef, was tapped to lead the cooking group for her class’s cafe, but she had very particular opinions on how things should be run (no scrubtier dishes like omelette rice, obviously, that would be an insult to her professional integrity), and so she ended up alienating everybody.  Now she has to cook all the food by herself??  Hanasaku Iroha has a history of some pretty weird morals, so I wouldn’t put it past her to actually succeed, serve delicious food that impresses Tohru and makes him fall in love with her, and just generally shows the rest of the class why she felt like her opinion was more important than theirs.  The moral of the story is, if you don’t know what the heck you are talking about, don’t argue with somebody who does.  On the other hand, Minchi is still sort of a trainee chef, so probably she will just fail as one would expect in Episode 20 of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

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What I Watched On My Summer Vacation

I’m heading back home tomorrow morning, so I hope to be back to my regular somewhat-irregular anime blogging schedule then.  I have watched some episodes of currently airing anime while I’ve been here, so here are some brief thoughts on them, almost twitter-style.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Episodes 5 +6:  Funny enough.  The jokes about how the girls dominate and beat up the boys for perceived infractions are starting to grow a little repetitive, though.  It was fine when it was just Shouko, that was sort of her gimmick, but it’s getting old.  And I dunno that I’m really looking forward to the rest of this arc, the whole “track down the secret blackmailer” hook never really took with me to begin with.

Hanasaku Iroha Episode 19: Cute!  We got lots of Minchi, and even some Yuina.  I’m always in favor of seeing Ohana’s school life, too.  And it looks like we’re headed toward some sort of resolution on the Tohru/Minchi/Ohana love triangle maybe?  I know I’ve said that before.

Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 5: I still don’t understand what this show is trying to do.  Maybe it’s trying to deconstruct a genre I’ve never watched and so has never been constructed for me in the first place.  I thought Ringo was a murderer from last episode, but she seems unwilling to murder in this one, so I dunno what’s going on.  It’s starting to look like they may eventually tell me?

SKET Dance Episode 19: Quick fun double feature.  I never have anything to say about SKET Dance so I’ll use this as an excuse not to say anything.

Steins;Gate Episodes 19 + 20: Things have gotten serious again, it was almost in the “horror” genre the way everybody was treating poor Moeka.  I’m surprised that recovering the computer wasn’t enough: why can’t they just give it to John Titor and let her do the stuff she was gonna do with it?  You’re so obsessed with returning to the Alpha timeline, why not create a new Gamma timeline where nobody has to die?  Maybe it’s because Makise Kurisu is a CERN spy after all, and we can never be free so long as she lives? BTW I totally called the identity of FB right the first moment his name was mentioned.

Usagi Drop Episode 6: Yep, Rin’s a cute kid.  It’s nice that we have issues of ownership squared away so now Daikichi and Rin can just hang out doing cute slice of life stuff, at least until the next crisis arises.

Hanasaku Iroha – Episode 18

Last time on Hanasaku Iroha, Enishi had been ripped off for a bunch of money by some shady filmmaker.  People seemed to think it was a big deal, but the landlady didn’t think it was a big enough deal to stop it, so I dunno if it’s actually going to cause a huge impact in the day-to-day workings of Kissui Inn.  Maybe it will, maybe they’ll have to shut down and Ohana will have to go work for the rival inn and we’ll get a bunch of episodes with the rival inn heiress in them!  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  Let’s have our hopes dashed in episode 18 of Hanasaku Iroha.

…thirty minutes pass…

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