Posted by psgels on 5 September 2011 with categories: Hana-Saku Iroha

Bravo, Hana-Saku Iroha! Well done! Awesome episode! This is what I’ve been waiting for!

Seriously, this is the thing that sets Hana-Saku Iroha apart from the other slice of life dramas: when it wants to deliver drama, it really delivers it well, with terrific acting and imaginative set-ups. This episode brought all sorts of events from the series together, and the great thing is that the creators really put in effort to give this episode an as interesting premise as possible while still never tugging at the viewer’s suspense of disbelief. Sure, there are some coincidences, but their timing is used wonderfully, so who cares?

I mean, the creators could have just settled for showing how everyone would move on after the closure of the Kissuiso. Then however, they didn’t just bring in the director again, they actually also showed the test footage he made during his arc, and the creators show it to Kou of all people. There was a ton of character development because of that, and Ohana and Kou only met at the end of this episode.

To think that, in three weeks there finally won’t be any Mari Okada series airing. Ever since 2008, there have only been two seasons in which she DIDN’T write something: Summer 2008, Spring 2009. Apart from that she hasn’t just been churning out one series after the other, but she wrote many of my favourites with only rare moments of weaknesses (really, only Fractale really went wrong, along with perhaps that Kodomo no Jikan OVA; Vampire Knight apparently was a very good adaptation of an unfortunately cheesy manga, and perhaps Kuroshitsuji I was a bit too long for its own sake). My favourite has to be the work she did on adapting the Armed Librarians, with a close second the amazing original script that she wrote for Ano Hana.

As for Hana-Saku Iroha, I remember comparing it to True Tears, noting how it completely lacked its subtlety. After 23 episodes, this still remains the case, but True Tears was the kind of series that really turned its subtlety and ambiguity into its main selling point: you could never tell what the characters were really thinking. Hana-Saku Iroha meanwhile is a lot more blatant, but it has a big knack for creating interesting situations and genuine drama. Overall, if I had to compare the two then I think I’d still prefer True Tears, but that’s mostly because it really had amazing acting, whereas the characters of Hana-Saku Iroha do tend to try a bit too hard at times. I still consider this to be an excellent series though: it took its hiccups, and didn’t just make up for them, but actually used them and made them a core part of the series.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

2 Responses

  1. Scruffy says:

    The ‘coincidences’ were actually set up by Ohana’s mother. She was the one who was going to be meeting the director and tipped ‘auntie’ as to where he was going to be. And of course she must have known that Ohana was coming as well so went and grabbed Ko for the viewing.

    I loved this episode. I was worried that the show was going to set up Ohana to just see Ko with Bookshop girl and never get a chance to express her feelings but now at least she’ll be able to be clear and ‘fess it up’

  2. Ray says:

    Unfortunately, I feel that all this is too little too late. Hana-Saku Iroha has been a major disappointment and everything with this show has been too easy. The only good episodes were the first two-three and then the rest has been this… depressing filler. Ohana came to ‘love’ Kissuiso far too quickly (ex: The 1999 version of Annie was bad b/c Warbucks grew to like Annie far too quickly than in the older version)…

    I feel as if all the growth that should have felt natural for the characters in this series has been forcibly contrived artificially and nothing has been wholly satisfying. All the emotions feel so flat. Either ‘YAY OMG I LOVE KISSUISO SO MUCH NOW’ or ‘OMG _____ DOESN’T LIKE ME?? WHY?’

    Compared to the Armed Librarians, this show has been a cruel joke. It should have been a 13 episode series for sure, then we might’ve had some real dimension and depth to characters, a plot that was more rigid, and a romance that I would MAYBE care about. If this show ends up getting a 90/100 or higher, I will be very surprised…

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:23 AM)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, even tho it was his highest grossing movie it managed to brought his career to a stand-still. His next film Gods of Egypt looks like it could be fun, albeit it’s just as much as a CGIfest as I, Robot. Egyptian stuff is admittedly rather intriguing, I remember a 2004 French film Immortel ad vitam that blended that with modern themes that became popular for a while.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    *remove second and
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    @Bam: Regarding dark city, such a shame the director of that followed up dark city and the crow and with Irobot.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:41 AM)
    @Kaiser: oh The Celebration- I actually seen that as well, great movie. Didn’t know it was the same director, but thinking back now I can see the similar touches despite the difference in tone.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve seen him in flame and Citroen a WWII resistance/spy film and in Pusher II and the royal affair, bleeder, the door, the hunt.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:37 AM)
    @Bam: Thomas vinterbergs a genius, in addition to the hunt he made Festen, a film which gives me the very odd sensation of being depressed and dying laughing at the very same time.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:34 AM)
    @Kaiser: I’ve seen The Hunt, he was great in it. I don’t think I’ve seen any other foreign film of him tho.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:29 AM)
    @Bam: Mikelson has been in so many good movies outside his English speaking roles.

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