Hanasaku Iroha Episode Two

Hanasaku Iroha is so easy to watch. It’s not particularly funny, so you don’t miss parts because you’re laughing; it’s not particularly clever, so you don’t have to stop and think about what’s “really” happening or look for hints of foreshadowing; and it’s not heavy on the thinking, which means you don’t have to consider symbolism or metaphors in the script. Or at least I’m not. Hanasaku – for me – is like sitting down with your 16 year-old friend and having her tell you what’s been going on in the last little while.

Ohana’s character is also easy to watch. She’s well balanced enough that in every different situation, a different personality trait she possesses has the opportunity to show, rounding out Ohana’s character and helping us feel like we know her a little better. The bits of background into her childhood also helped us like her more – and in some ways, appreciate that a girl with a mother “like that” was able to still grow up so cheerful and not completely bitter and cynical against the world.

I love Ohana’s form of revenge and the way she deals with her anger, starting with her mother. It’s such a selfish and selfless act to cook and serve a meal that’s comprised of someone’s least favourite food. And then force them to eat it. I think I’ll try that the next time someone upsets me: Make them something they don’t like to eat, and serve it with a side of “I hate you”. And then force them to eat it. But her actions are very mature in a sense too; it shows that she’s not willing to hold a grudge, but also not willing to be taken advantage of and hurt. Her method in learning what Nako and Minchi’s least favourite foods were not… as mature though, but effective. Maybe I should do that too: Pin someone down to figure out what their least favourite food is. And if they refuse to answer, at least you’re in the position to beat it out of them.

Over at Sekijitsu, Mint mentions how she really likes Ko, and is totally on board the Ohana x Ko ship. When I read this, I thought – well first of all, how much I like Ko too, but also how unlikely it was that Ko and Ohana would ever get together (sorry Mint; but you know what, when I say things like this, I’m very often wrong). This is mainly due to the geographical issue, which is often overlooked and underestimated, but in a real life situation – in which case this slice of life is representative of – long distances are difficult to overcome. All things considered, I don’t think Ohana will be returning to the city, and I don’t think Ko (being a 16 year-old boy) is in the position to get up and move out to where she is. Plus he seems to have resigned himself to an unrequited love. Which I’m sure he – being a 16 year-old boy – will get over (eventually). However, despite the lack of screen time, Ko is a very important part of Ohana’s present and new life: He represents a part of life Ohana had just but a taste of before being whisked off: Romance. Plus he is Ohana’s main anchor of friendship.

That is until she makes all her new friends. Starting with Minko and Nako. Minko and Nako are so different from each other, and so different from Ohana. Who wants to bet that Ohana helps teach Minko to cook? You really have to admire Ohana’s persistence and honesty in her earnest approach in befriending Minko and Nako. A lot of people would have backed off when Minko repeatedly told them to die, or when Nako was so difficult to communicate with. But Ohana won’t accept them not being her friends – or at least not giving her a chance to be a good friend. And she’s not just asking to be friends: she’s asking them to change with the promise to change herself. That’s bold.

So at this point, I still like Hanasaku; actually, I really like it. The story is easy and interesting to follow (even if I don’t care to think about what will happen in the “future”), the characters are fun and well designed, and the animation is just beautiful. From the people to the scenery, it’s such a pleasure to watch Hanasaku Iroha’s world. As long as the animation stays at this calibre of quality (unlike, let’s say, Yumekui Merry, which started out with pretty animation that dropped drastically about halfway through), I’ll watch Hanasaku till the end – even if the quality of the story goes away. But that would make me sad.

did anyone notice the ginormous bird!?


15 Responses to “Hanasaku Iroha Episode Two”

  1. 13 April 2011 at 8:56 am

    Great post as per ush, BA >:3

    I agree that these different aspects to Ohana’s personality make her a really interesting story to follow. She may not be unique, but with all her past troubles and present quirks, it really rounds out her character, making her believable which in return makes it easier to sit back and enjoy.

    I think I wouldn’t mind seeing Ohana and Ko together (they seem like a really good fit), but it seems a bit out there for them to meet up, like you said. They still might though, since this is a 24 ep story. Maybe the story will round off with Ohana finally understanding herself enough to return Ko’s feelings. I can even see grandma finally trying to go through to her daughter, and maybe that will make her mum open her eyes and accept Ohana back in the city? Finishing the series off with Ohana returning Ko’s feelings seems like a possible route at this point, and I wouldn’t put it past these sort of coming-of-age dramas.

    Anything is possible in 24 eps, so I’m not gonna disregard anything right now. There’s just too much possibilities given how quickly the story has unfold so far.

    I just hope that there is no impending pedo-raep scene coming up soon cos I fear for Ohana’s life 😛

    • 2 blindability
      13 April 2011 at 9:03 am

      Oh: I keep forgetting that there are 24 episodes. It’s true, then, that there’s a chance they could work Ko and Ohana together, but even then, I don’t know if I want to see them together. I think I want to see Ohana grow from the experience of having Ko confess to her and for her to realize how oblivious she was to his feelings (although it’s also his fault for being so passive), and take these lessons going forward to maybe meeting love in a different shape or form.

      But you’re right: Anything is possible in 24 episodes.
      And I did add the disclaimer that I’m often wrong, haha.

      • 13 April 2011 at 9:17 am

        If I’m being brutally honest, I don’t want a pairing either. Like Minami-ke, I feel like this is the sort of series where I don’t want any pairings whatsoever >:3

  2. 13 April 2011 at 8:58 am

    I definitely agree that Ko and Ohana will end up together for various reasons but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them together, probably more than Mint. :p Poor, unfortunate childhood friends. 😦

    Ohana is adorable. I like how she confronted Minko and Nako–very straightforward, and not at all cruel. Really appropriate. Though I’m surprised both girls answered honestly when Ohana asked for their least favorite foods. I definitely would have lied if someone asked me that, haha!

    • 5 blindability
      13 April 2011 at 9:05 am


      I think if someone just asked you, you could lie; but if someone bowled you over, pinned you down, and then shouted it to your face, you’re more likely to tell the truth – out of shock, if nothing else.

      The real problem with that question is meeting someone who truly enjoys eating everything.

      • 13 April 2011 at 9:18 am

        Fish that didn’t come in a can. True story.

        Oh and kimchi.

        • 13 April 2011 at 10:57 am

          D: I ❤ kimchi
          my least favorite food would have to be korean or mexican style eggs. I just had some terrible memories of food taste aversion.

      • 13 April 2011 at 9:36 am

        Fair enough, haha. I’m actually not a huge fan of sweets and am a huge fan of healthy, homemade meals (with CARROTS!, broccoli, etc), so if I told someone my least favorite foods, they probably wouldn’t believe me, haha.

        I agree with Bass that kimchi is kinda gross though. 😛

  3. 13 April 2011 at 10:27 am

    Aw, the unrequited-best-friend kind of love makes me sad ;P I don’t think they’ll meet up at all during the main part of the series, but I had a feeling that the show would end with Ohana making up with her mother and coming back to the city, after she goes through her coming of age at the hot springs inn. Although the thing with anime originals is that you never really know how things will turn out…

    I noticed the stork in the ED when one of Ohana’s classmates was feeding it, haha. That thing is huge >.<

  4. 15 April 2011 at 1:34 pm

    No matter how pesky Ohana gets, or how much of a white knight she fancies herself, they made her a realistic enough personality for me not to hate her. Agreed that she seems like a very normal teenage girl, discounting her strong drive for independence.

    From here, the series will have to play it very delicately so as not to go overboard with how they abuse her. I mean only so much can happen to a girl before it all feels like overkill, and implied assault is about where that line is before laying off for a little while would be a good idea.
    I think it’s great so far, but the story has a high potential for getting ahead of itself.

    • 12 blindability
      16 April 2011 at 4:59 am

      I don’t think the dirty writer will actually get his hands on Ohana. But you’re right in saying only so much can happen to a character before it leaves the realm of believability.

  5. 13 jGLZa
    15 April 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Ohana x Ko will never happen. The show is too close to real-life, Ohana will never see Ko as anything other than a friend without vomiting slightly in her mouth.

    Its sad. Hanasaku Iroha is a sad story. 😥

    • 14 blindability
      16 April 2011 at 4:57 am

      …!! I know it’s not realistic for Ohana x Ko to happen, but it’s not that unrealistic either that she’ll never see him as anything other than a friend. I think she might eventually come to grasp his feelings for her, and that may cause her own feelings to enter a stage of limbo (do I like him? do not like him? are we just friends? and if we’re just friends, then why do I miss him so much?).

      You make Hanasaku sad!

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