Posted by psgels on 27 June 2011 with categories: Hana-Saku Iroha



This was a wonderful conclusion to the past arc. Instead of using the midway climax as the most dramatic of the episodes so far, it was actually really warm-hearted and entirely focused on character development. Ohana’s mother’s visit was very down to earth and it showed something new about pretty much the entire family. Ohana’s mother’s advice and presence really brought change to this series.

I especially loved that the characters weren’t afraid to use liquor in this. That always turns out to be a great way to flesh out characters. It’s a bit weird for Ohana to get drunk on soda, but the way it finally made her lay out her feelings was really worth it. It also was quite unexpected that Ohana’s grandmother suddenly started drinking. Through this episode you could really see that Ohana, her mother and her grandmother are related: they’re all big workers, even though their personalities are completely different. The only oddball here is Ohana’s uncle: this episode really established him as a third wheel, and I suspect that the rest of this series is going to make use of that.

Also, since next week will be a beach episode, it’s clear now what format this show is going to follow. Setting aside the fact that beach episodes are bloody overused, this show will follow about the same format as Tiger & Bunny: the first half has random episodes with a long climax, the second half also has random episodes followed by a bit of a longer climax.

That’s not a bad thing by the way. When an episodic series is done well, it’s the second half where its episodes really start to shine because it’s there where the characters really start to show themselves off, and it’s here where the creators can really play with their development.It’s been a while since we’ve had series like this, so I’m quite interested to find out whether Hana-Saku Iroha and Tiger & Bunny can pull them off again. It’s a format that I really like because it can lead to a lot of variety. Whether or not we’ll already see this with the beach episode though… I’m not sure…
Rating: ** (Excellent)

5 Responses

  1. synkronized says:

    I feel the same way about both series. Both have done an excellent job establishing their cast and even giving ideas about where the main story will lead.

    I do love how Ohana’s mother has been given more exposure. It’s nice to see the suspicions that Okami pushed her away just as much as she rebelled be affirmed.

    And a definite yes on the uncle. You can see how having women play the commanding role in his life has shaped him. And also how he now feels wounded and left behind because of it, it makes one curious as to how that’ll develop.

  2. Censoerd 1 says:

    It was pretty interesting to see the dynamic between Ohana, Ookami, and Ohana’s mother, as we had never seen all three of them interact together. I’m still curious as to if Ko is completely out of the picture, or if Ohana will finally fest it up and lay out her feelings to him. Although, it never really seemed to me as if Ko had decided to break up with her, and I kind of see it as Ohana overreacting…Then comes Ohana’s grandmother’s dream about Ohana and her mother taking over the inn; that could also lead to an nice development for the second half of the series.

  3. Joojoobees says:

    This episode wrapped things up so nicely that I think it is kind of a shame that the show has another 13 episodes.

    I didn’t like the deformation of Ohana’s face when she got “drunk”. The series has mostly stuck to a very realistic style, and that didn’t fit, IMO.

  4. Kyubey says:

    “It’s a bit weird for Ohana to get drunk on soda,”

    They foreshadowed it well with her conversation about mixing soda and tea with Ko. I agree with Joojoobees, they needed to draw drunk Ohana better. It was distracting.

  5. ojisan says:

    Forgive me for being crass, but I’m looking forward to the beach episode. Now that I’ve nearly forgiven them for episode 3, I think I’m ready for some mild ‘character-driven’ fanservice

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:32 AM)
    If a series wants to be sophisticated about complex concepts like war and conflict, then it has to presuppose the fact that it is part of human nature. Resources are limited, and even aside from that, greed exists. There is no way to take out a few head figures to stop a war- there will be a vacuum that will almost immediately be filled by a similar, if not worse, individual. A world “where no one cries” or suffers, or dies, etc, cannot exist as long as we have free will.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:26 AM)
    F/SN delved into this deeply with the Shirou/Archer dichotomy, but then it pussied out at the decisive moment. Archer was right, his arguments made perfect sense, yet the arrogant naive Shirou had to pull thru by sheer will alone, and a vague hope and promise that he’ll find a way somehow. I swear, I’m not sure if Nasu gave in to pressure to make a so-called “good prevails” ending, or that he honestly believes in it. Looking at his material, I’ll bet on the former.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:22 AM)
    hehe … that’s why you don’t get me started on Eva or Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:20 AM)
    It also delved into the depth of what a desperate goodie-two-shoes people-pleaser protagonist would actually be like, and the reception he would get from his peers, specially the women. That alone right there was a deconstruction of the majority of shonen main characters.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:00 AM)
    There was no hype machine back then. The internet was still in its infancy. So when a show became this popular there was certainly some merit to it. The organic/machine hybrid mecha was relatively new, and the scene construction and cinematography was for the most part immaculate. There’s a reason why the mecha genre is divided to “pre-Eva” and “post-Eva”.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:53 AM)
    It also didn’t hurt that the character, costume and mecha designs were slick and attractive, done by the under-appreciated Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:31 AM)
    It came up with clever scenarios to common mecha tropes, and answered the questions that would arise from them:
    -Why do we use mechas with melee weapons against alien invaders instead of conventional weapons? AT fields on Angels.
    -Why use kids to pilot them? The Gehrin Project.
    -What happens when you put kids in sever combat situations? Extreme PTSD.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:27 AM)
    These types of deconstruction shows that are run-of-the-mill now didn’t really exist back then. Eva did afterall became the tropemaker for Gainax endings. To see the creator’s psyche twist in front of our eyes was incredible. The show went from a regular monster of the week mecha series to a deranged psycho-thriller by the end of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:23 AM)
    Eva was fresh and quite unique for its time. Not that everything they did was original, but they certainly put their own twist on it. I also enjoyed the “fuck-you” ending of the tv series. Anno always defended it as intentional, but we all know it was really a budgetary constrain. well, at least we got the amazing End of Evangelion movie to supplement it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @K-of: yup Eva geek here, guilty as charged. In my defense, I watched it week-to-week when it aired back in 96, and the landscape of anime was a lot different back then.

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