An Inn and growing up (Hanasaku Iroha group review)

This post is loooooooooooooooooooooooooong overdue. Believe me. Me and SleepySlacker completed this show almost a month ago and I only just got around to writing my half of the post. So lets pretend that you’ve magically been sent back a month in time and continue the post.

Hanasaku Iroha has been on my “Plan to Watch” list in MAL for quite a bit of time already. I decided to watch this show from my stalking around on Twitter. At that time, Hanasaku Iroha was airing and quite a lot of people were tweeting about it. But I decided not to start yet for 2 reasons. Firstly, it was already in episode 12 at that point in time and also because I’m simply f*^&$#g lazy.

Shortly after me and Sleepy Slacker’s End of Year exams, I decided that I should (and required) an anime to watch to take my mind of the impending results. A random decision later and I was getting the episodes for HanaIro (In Blu-Ray ^.^). I started watching first and told SleepySlacker about it after around 6 episodes. Hence, we both were watching it. Having no other interests or any other way to burn his time, SleepySlacker finished it a day before me. And we liked it.

Hanasaku Iroha is a slice-of-life anime that shows the path of someone growing up and finding out about themselves. It follows the story of Ohana Matsumae, a cheerful high-school girl who finds herself feeling “caged” from living in Tokyo city. So when her mother runs off with her “boyfriend”, Ohana gets sent to live at her grandmother’s inn in the rural countryside. At first she thought of it as an excellent opportunity to re-invent herself and to escape the city. That’s before her grandmother reveals that she has to work to pay for her living in the inn.

As usual, let me talk about the graphics. As some people told me on Twitter “It’s P.A works, of course it’s great” and I agree with them. The “feel” of the show portrayed through the visuals really matched the story being told. I especially liked the scenery shown in the anime as well as the designs for the characters (Minko :3). Their facial expressions and general posture and actions really suited their images. Ohana is an extremely outgoing person and Nako is conversely introverted and shy and they were portrayed very well. None of their actions felt completely out of place or random in accordance to their character.

In terms of storyline, Hanasakua Iroha has a rather mellow storyline although the very last arc was rather dramatic. As a slice-of-life anime as well as a Coming of Age anime, the focus is not so much on the storyline but more of how the plot affects the characters. Personally, I felt that P.A works did an excellent job to show their growth. By giving you the opportunity to relate to the characters also aided to make them seem more lifelike and made the overall experience better. This is 1 show I feel that can be marathoned without ruining any aspect of it. In fact, I think it will be more enjoyable to marathon Hanasaku Iroha as the feelings and emotions would be fresh in you mind as you watch.

Minko X3

 

As a conclusion, I’ll like to add that the anime’s timing was planned really well and the “filler” episodes still aided to push the story along instead of just being random to add humour to the show overall. I would very much like to hear about other’s opinion on this.

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And now, for SleepySlacker’s part of the review.

So, quite long ago, Cyborg asked me to watch this anime, Hanasaku Iroha. Basically, Hanasaku Iroha, or Hana Iro as we like to call it, is about Ohana, a girl whose responsible mum eloped away leaving her to work at her grandma’s hot spring inn and fending for herself.

Poetry

The entire anime revolves around Ohana gaining the trust and respect of the other members of the inn. Like any other slice-of-life, there is no plot progression whatsoever but the anime is expressed sweetly and actually have rather deep themes like the want to be accepted, which I am sure many people have experienced before. For those who have not watched this anime yet, please watch it then continue reading as the next paragraphs have plenty of spoilers or if you want the show spoiled then go ahead.

I have to say that this is a fantastic anime as the different characters blend in together so well that if even one character is removed, the anime will seem dull and boring. Try it, when you have finally watched the anime, imagine what it would be like without Minko or Nako. Ohana’s wild antics will be kind of repitive and boring if the Min-chi was not there to yell “Balut” at her. You always need the funnyman and the stooge for something to be funny. That is how this anime works.

It will be completely pointless for me to tell you all the tiny things that occur in this anime, so I will just immediately zoom in to 2 points. The end of both courses of the anime. (AKA after 13 eps and the op changes) The first cour ends with Ohana and her “sweet” grandma making up with her mother and both sets of mothers and daughters get to know how each other really feel. Not really touching, unless you have actually experienced it before. Try talking to your parents after both of you cooled down after an argument, if you just swallow your pride (because they definitely will not) and apologize, they will go into a long monologue of what they really meant and from listening to that, you learn a lot.

Now at the season finale, the grandma decides to close the inn and everyone tries to stop her. The show plays with your emotions well as your anger for her will turn to respect as you find out that what she wanted was to free the young ones from her own dreams and let them grow on their own. This part will be completely pointless if not for the ending where they show each character taking their own paths, then you finally realize that old people are never wrong.

And  finally, the music. The closing theme is “Hazy” by Sphere which has Toyosaki Aki and Minako Kotobuki in it who are the seiyuus for K-ON that was how I actually found this anime before Cyborg asked me to watch it. For me music is extremely important so sometimes animes with really good Ops or Eds really catch my attention.

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As the final word, I say please leave comments stating your opinions on the show if you’ve watched it or criticisms for out post (especially spelling errors because we all love perfect English ;D)

Bad English pronunciation

Also, look out for the next couple of days as there will be a crap ton of posts about me and SleepSlacker’s 1st visit to AFA. I will also be writing about AFA on both AOIA and Daifuuku.

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About Manfred Tham

Manfred can typically be found hiding from people behind his computer screen or a tall pint. However you can easily contact him in any given video game where he will either insult you or be really nice to you. In addition his nerdiness transcends the digital plane when he partakes in the arcane rituals of rolling dice in both table-top and board games. Disregarding the countless hours he has logged into games, Manfred loves nothing more than cooking food to satisfy his craving for Northern European cuisine or to sip away from the many bottles of whiskies he fondly defaults to. Manfred is also what is commonly known as a “metalhead” with a penchant for both symphonic and power metal. Manfred summarises his life philosophy with a quote by Samuel L.Jackson, but it has been redacted for being far too vulgar.

Posted on November 14, 2011, in Anime, Otaku-ism and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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