This thread is to be used for discussing the entire episodes of Hanasaku Iroha ... your thoughts about the show, overall impressions, expectations and hopes about the DVD only footage etc.
A few subjects you might want to ramble on about:
And so on.
The poll represents your total series rating. In other words, how you would rate all the episodes combined (1-10)? If you'd rather rate the whole series by technical/artistic merits, you can do so. An example:
Animation Quality: 1-10
Voice Actors: 1-10
Emotional Involvement: 1-10
Average = Total Series Rating
Or a combination of the two. Or your general gut feeling.
Feel free to discuss and more importantly, have fun :)
Hana Saku Iroha, is the latest anime from acclaimed studio PA works. While they can’t be bothered to pace an anime to save their lives, there’s no doubt that they can draw great backgrounds and come up with occasional moments of directorial brilliance. The writer, Mari Okada, has been gaining a lot of notability lately, and considering she was there for their best work, True Tears, there was no doubt I would be interested in seeing something turn out great but yet again implode into a disappointment.
Fortunately, Hana Saku Iroha, while flailing around a lot, manages to achieve some level of quality and delivers quite a few brilliant moments.
“I want to sparkle”
And sparkling they do, since Hana Saku Iroha looks great. There are numerous shots of beautiful scenery, especially those sunset shots of the inn. I always end up liking the city based episodes more, because they really put a lot of effort into the backgrounds there. There are also random moments in the anime when you’re like “wow, that looks really good!” Sometimes it’s a lamp, sometimes it’s an escalator. In any case, they didn’t skimp on the frame rates for the most part.
The character designs aren’t bad. They have the moe thing going on, but I’m not too fond of them either; it seems like everyone’s head is a bit too big. That being said, sometimes the backgrounds do look a bit too sterile to the point where I’m just like, “can people interact with this?” But this isn’t really much of a problem. All and all, great to look at. I just don’t think it’s as appealing as True Tears though.
Unfortunately I have not much to say here. No soundtrack is too bad, and there’s a few nice ones, especially at the end of episode 25. The voice acting is adequate; Ohana’s great, Minko not so much. Everyone else is kinda there. I’m not really a fan of the OP/ED outside of ED1 “Hazy”; it just sounds too whiny and trying too hard to sound cute. The sound’s just kinda just there.
“Cool Story Bro”
So I really have to ask? What was the point of Hana Iro’s story? Well, there technically is a plot; it involves Ohana’s journey through her being abandoned by her mom and going to her grandmother’s inn. During the time she has many experiences and develops as a person. It’s not horrific by any means. The outline of the story is fine, but I really have to ask—did we really need 26 episodes of this?
And so the story kinda meanders around, jumping from one character to the next, causing me to not care about any of them. Oh sure, it does eventually come together, but the way it does it makes me feel that it could have been done in half the time. If PA failed with Angel Beats in making it too short, Hana Iro erred in being too long. Do I really give a fuck about Yuina’s inn? Or the most underwhelming romantic triangle since Shakugan no Shana? Do we really need people crying over omelet rice? So for the most part it tends to try everything, and accomplish very little. This causes me to feel that the story just wasn’t moving in an interesting direction.
Intrestingly, True Tears also had the problem of staring too many threads for its own good; but with even twice the time Hana Iro just keeps getting lost.
But at the very least, it manages to serve as storytelling on the most basic level. The last part of each half is very strong; the first half unites the 3 generations, and the second half bids farewell to the inn where everyone puts in a legimate effort to enjoy and experience their last days there. So for all its faults Hana Saku Iroha had a coherent plot that didn’t suffer from any major contrivances and made sense. That makes it the 2nd best PA script made thus far. Yay!
Solid concept, but flubbed execution.
“The Ohana Show: Men are terrible people”
This is a very hard category for me to rate, because there was one amazing character in the show, and a whole bunch of ones that are more props than actual characters.
The main appeal of the anime , without doubt, is Ohana. Ohana has a certain charm that would make her a great lead for many an anime. You could almost imagine her in some kind of action series, being some kind of hot blooded heroine that takes the initiative whenever she gets the chance. Ohana is adorable in her naivety, but unlike your typical moeblob, her mental abilities are strong, and she’s one of the wittiest characters in the show, besides her mom. The early scenes in the anime where she messes with her mom leads to much humor. She also has a healthy dose of realism; she’s very aware of her surroundings and other people. It reminds me of a certain magical girl nicknamed the “White Devil”
So without a doubt, Ohana’s personality helps run the series. Although she has a few hiccups in the middle (it’s ok, everyone loses their dignity in that part), she is a solid character with a clear and strong personality. Ohana does not sit around and cry; she solves problems!
And all of this is done with a certain amount of grace. She’s not shoved in our faces where Okada’s like OMG SHES SO FUCKING AWESOME YOU SHOULD WORSHIP HER. She is likable on her own merits. The Ohana at the end of the anime is very different from the one at the beginning. So even if she must leave, there was much learned and much more to be learned.
Sui, Ohana’s grandmother is another good supporting character. While at first, we saw her as some kind of cold bitch that just liked slapping people, Sui is a character with dreams and ambitions. There is no doubt she sees some of her past self in Ohana, and does show a human side. She’s also not just some cranky boss detatched from her workers—in fact she considers herself a worker just like the rest, and expects everyone to do their part as she does her. Determined and open to changes in the situation, she serves as an interesting comparison to Ohana. In the end, she decides to shut down the inn because she doesn’t want to push the burden and her own dreams onto others.
The rest of the cast is a mixed bag. Minko, while serving as someone you could never take seriously, eventually mellowed out to be less obnoxious and served for mostly humorous gags with Ohana. Nako as well. However, I felt the anime seemed to go out of its way to humiliate its characters for comedy. You can’t really do that repeatedly and do a rapid switch to serious. There’s no way I can take Einshi and Takako seriously when I’m just laughing at them all the time. Also, anything involving Jinomaru tends to send the show in the trash can. This usually applies to the male characters, but everyone suffers, and an annoying effect was that there was many an episode where nobody left with their dignity intact.
In fact, near the end, having the characters NOT do retarded shit would satisfy me. Low standards indeed. Also, Yuina was worthless. Why did they waste 2 episodes on her?
Hana Iro’s characters are a mixed bag. Some are funny, some suck, but one of them is Ohana and that’s all that matters.
Hana Iro was pretty inconsistent, delivering heartwarming and fun moments in its heights, and then proceeding to immediately disgrace itself with the most insulting things possible. It’s almost like every time they’d do something good, they’d immediately come up with something to cancel it out. Nonetheless, the interactions between Ohana, Minko, and Nako were amusing to watch, and there was always the fun of trying to figure out what kind of relationship trolling was going on, or which of Okada’s bizarre fetishes would make it into the episode.
Unfortunately there wasn’t too much emotional impact due to all of this, however, seeing Ohana rush into the next thing unprepared always kept me watching. Basically, just keep the camera on her.
Overall: 6.5/10 --> round to 7/10
Spoiler for A quick definition of the overall score:
It’s a decent effort, and entertaining overall. But honestly, this isn’t really something I’d recommend to everyone. If you experience it just for the ride, then HSI proves to be a decent distraction.
Like other PA works animes in the past, Hanasaku Iroha has managed to provide quite the unique experience, but this is not necessarily a good thing. If I were to sum up the idea of this anime, it could be put quite simply as learning to love your work. It is a fairly down to earth idea, and I would have been hard pressed to imagine that I would be coming into a show with such an identity crisis as this one.
The story begins with the main character Ohana being forced by her mother to move in with her Grandmother who happens to be the very strict owner of a hot spring inn. Being forced to work for room and board, Ohana decides to do everything she can to make the most of her life.
The series really started out quite wonderfully as a very promising coming of age story. It had top notch visuals and had a compelling enough premise to get behind our main character Ohana as she tries to "fest it up." The problem is that this show had an odd balance between trying to be a drama that could be taken seriously, and a story that often disgraced its cast in favor of some not so great comedy. This would surface as soon as episode 3 in the show where all of a sudden the show is injected with odd fanservice and the cast is beaten with a stupid stick.
I do not have a problem with trying to have comedy in this show, but in a story that tires to take itself seriously it should never come at the expense of each character's dignity. One of the best representatives of this in the series is the character Minko, who is supposed to be a very moody, but beautiful girl with a one tracked mind of fulfilling her quest to become a chef. Unfortunately, her mannerisms and actions often lacked grace and style, so she often just came off as an unnecessarily angry and unlikable person. The balance of her character definitely became better as the show went along, but the handling of her character was pretty poor and led to several awkwardly bad moments in the series.
Still though these problems usually came at the expense of the male cast rather than the female cast, which made Minko look good by comparison amazingly enough. Throughout the show this anime had a penchant for showcasing males to be far more incompetent at everything they do compared to their female peers. Ohana's uncle Enishi is always shown to be an incompetent fool who could never compare in ability to his mother or his sister when it came to running the inn Kissuiso. The cook Tohru is first shown to be a serious chef, but then is often displayed as an insensitive, bumbling fool. Ohana's romantic interest in this show, Kou apparently only ever knew the method of inaction in his one sided romantic relation and preceded to waltz around in melancholy the whole time.
As far as the female cast went, Ohana's character was the shining star of the entire show, and I would be hard pressed to find someone who actually dislikes her character. Her little phrases like "fest it up," or "sparkling" would become trademark aspects of her character that both the cast and audience would come to love her for. A character once said in the show that the "Kissuiso is fun because she's there" and I could not agree more. Without her character, I doubt this show would have ever worked at all. She was a bullheaded girl who often charged into a chaotic world. She would constantly butt into people's problems and try to fix everything up. The cast would label her as inconsiderate for doing so, but this inconsideration is precisely what made her character so likable.
Much like some of the characters, the plot often was handled very awkwardly. The main plot threads consist mostly of Ohana's romantic troubles with Kou as she moved from Tokyo, Ohana finding a place for herself in this new life of hers as she learns to appreciate her work, and the impending crisis that is the Inn's future, both financially and in leadership. This was all clear at least by the very end, but it often got side tracked.
Several of the arcs throughout the show seemed to be pointing in different directions altogether. Worst of them all was the ones involving Enishi. Several times we are led to believe that he would take leadership of the Inn, and truly lead it in a good direction only to find out that he is incompetent and incapable of doing so. Many times in the show we are shown Ohana making progress in her new life in certain arcs, but then it flips around and paints her as a distressed person who does not know quite what she wants to do coupled with huge self-esteem issues.
These are but two examples of the sort of backpedaling and moving forward at the same time that this show constantly treads, which really does become tiresome as it goes on. It is hard to know what the anime is quite trying to show us or tell us. Sometimes it hamfists certain messages through that are very disagreeable, and other times does not capitalize enough on the good things it's trying to tell. Despite this of course, the main message of this show always was learning to love your work, and that is something I think anyone can get behind.
In considering the production values of this show I must say the visuals were very good as always for a PA works show, but not perfect. I did not absolutely love the character designs, but they were not bad. The audio side of this show on the other hand had lots of issues. Too often there was a complete absence of a BGM track to set the mood and pace of this show properly. The few tracks they did have were quite forgettable.There is nothing wrong with utilizing the magic of silence in a show, but it needs to be used properly, something this show definitely did not do.
Despite my tone, this anime was not all bad, and I definitely found entertainment throughout it even if at times for the wrong reasons.. The anime's best moments were definitely at the start, the very middle, and towards the end. There were enough highs in this series for me to look upon it sort of fondly. It was indeed a unique experience, precisely because it was such an infuriating mesh of love and hatred.
I can justify this anime as a passable "good" watch, but nothing more. It was much too flawed and mishandled for me to consider it anything more. It started beautifully and ended beautifully as a series I must say, but there were many problems between the beginning and end points to drive me more than a little crazy. This leads me to believe that this show should have been 1 cour, but alas PA works seems like they have some issues on reigning in their productions properly as this is not the first example of an anime with tons of potential just not doing enough with it. I definitely would not say this anime is a waste of one's time, but it also is not something that I would jump to recommend to most people.
To be honest, it wasn't a bad anime. I mean, in both cours that this anime aired, there were plenty of bad anime (mainly light novels though). This had good production quality and didn't bring me to cold sweat with utter badness. It was "watchable".
But I think the biggest con of this anime is that it tried to compare itself to True Tears. It tried to advertise itself as the successor or something like that, when... it honestly wasn't even close. The genre was different.
True Tears was a romantic drama. This was daily life of a few girls that tried to solve problems that occurred on its way.
On top of it, nothing was on the True Tears, except the amount of episodes. The characters, the story, the OP, the ED, the BGM... I almost want to bow down and apologize to Hiromi for ever comparing Minch (who, to the very end, was just some hysterical girl with a bad attitude that had a lack of calcium) to her.
And while watching this, I also watched True Tears. Oh boy... It moved my heart in 1/8th the amount of episodes Hanasaku took.
And True Tears comparison aside, it just wasn't good. Not bad, as I said, but not good either. The first half of the anime solved every problem with that crazy protagonist bursting in and forcing her way through. I thought she said something about trying to read the mood better... Er... What was that about? She never tried.
The 2nd half didn't have Ohana acting like a psychopath, which is an improvement, but then they focus on characters like Takako (stupid random English speaking) and Enishi (Ugh...), that were never likable enough to sympathize with.
The only episode that really was "good" was the last episode and I guess you could say every single other episode existed for this one episode. Without all of those episodes, the loss of the Inn would not have seem as important.
Yuina, as a character, felt pointless. Quite.
The 1st ED was the only decent song. The OPs had a terrible singer and the 2nd ED wasn't even Japanese. Well, it might have been Japanese, but sure required careful listening to figure it out.
I think the story could have been better organized.
If you watched this for the romance, you got boned. If you watched it for the family/belonging themes, which wasn't immediately apparent, it ends on a much higher note. Ohana had been uprooted from the only home she knew and looking at the series (well, looking back) it seems easier to rationalize the story as many people's search for place--where they are comfortable, where they belong.
If we divide the series by both cours, in the first half we have Ohana becoming accustomed to the inn's denizens and operations, and fleshing out how a small inn like Kissuisou operates. In the second half, there was a greater focus on the inn as a place where the employees liked to be and why. A 'place where they belong' if you will. Despite this, I would say many episodes suffered from focusing too closely on the specific character that was being developed without allowing for other characters on the side to subtly grow with them (ie, the focus could have just been on Ohana). Incidentally, Ohana dragging her mom back and the wedding arc probably had the best development of non-focus characters, if only just the Minko and Tooru development that went on in the background.
- His introduction episode felt wholly unecessary as he could have appeared as an established inn worker with history that could be developed through interactions. What we got from episode 3 was jailbait tied up, jailbait in wet shirt, and an Ohana who will supposedly forgive attempted kidnapping and rape if (she believes) you say something inspiring about her (out of context).
- Her brief episode brought some insight that helped define the theme of the second half and how Kissuisou was like a sanctuary to her outside of her home. This ties into the overarching theme much better than the other characters. The way she finds the outside world suffocating brings us back to her good swimming skills, something which would be much better if she actually had a chance to live up to the supposedly well known nickname that was mentioned early on in some other capacity other than being a bit of a maniac about swimming here and there.
- His story elements served to reinforce Ohana's own feelings and resolve for Ko. Otherwise, his only purpose seemed to be the driving force behind making Minko an insuffrable bitch in more than a few instances. Toward the end he seemed to flop much like the dead fish he prepares. It's a bit harder to justify what may tie a chef, whose interaction with customers is limited to food, to a location.
- We get to see a lot of her drive and desire. She had to live with Ohana and go to school with Ohana and watch Tooru show interest in Ohana for over half a year before it culminated in a spectacularly unspectacular bottom half to the wedding, after which we just see her in an awkward place with Tooru not much from what the status quo was before--except for where she seems to be much more congenial toward Ohana (however few those interactions were). Vintage tsundere? Considering how much time she had to spend with Ohana, this was something that could have been dealt with much earlier than as fourth chair to some insecure twit's wedding.
- As much as I liked her episode, she could have had as much development without needing a voyeuristic insight into her nagging mother reminding her about having grandchildren. She has shown her sly side, her man-hunting tendencies, and aggressiveness without needing to be the focus.
Takako (and Enishi)
- Takako mostly served as a source of conflict that allowed for Ohana's meddling by bringing back her grandmother's ways eventually won out (though it miffs me that Sui's old waitress kimonos were only used that one time by the staff). If you consider Takako/Enishi as being a part of a broader theme of family or place, then the movie and wedding will feel less out of place. The movie arc helped us understand the Shijima family a bit more, and we realize why Enishi enjoys femdom. The marriage brought the Tooru love triangle to an end, kind of, and set up the succession issue. This being said, early on Takako was just a vehicle to convey conflict, a role that other characters could have easily assumed (probably without the annoying engrish).
- .... I guess she's here to show that a girl changes when she thinks her airheaded friend might NTR them?
My overall impression of the series was one of "meh." Don't get me wrong, It's not a bad series. It has one great character in Ohana, and a relatively simple overall story. Where the story suffers mainly stems from the lackluster supporting cast, who are often forgettable, and sometimes annoying (looking at your sorry ass Jinomaru).
However, one or two bad examples aside (*cough Yuina *cough), most characters display some level of development, and even display some memorable moments. HSI just had the rotten luck of airing in the wrong year. Had this been 2010 or 2009, we might be here arguing its the best anime of the year. Given how strong 2011 was, it makes HSI somewhat forgettable outside Ohana.
I'd say its worth a look, but don't expect to be blown away. It's good for a few luls, but not for too much more. And remember, if things aren't going your way or the way you planned, maybe you just need to fest it up more!
For me, Hanasaku Iroha was a show of peaks and valleys unlike any other anime I've watched before or since.
When it was good, it was exceptionally good.
When it was bad, I was doing the Minko face. :heh:
Aside from a short stretch from Episodes 4 through 6, there wasn't much middle ground here.
HSI was a charming little show, with an equally charming female lead, but I don't know if it took itself seriously enough. The blend of lightheartedness with drama was slightly off, I think. Too much K-On!!, not enough True Tears, to borrow off of a very fitting shorthand assessment of this show that 0utf0xZer0 once shared with me. If Okada had turned just two episodes of relative fluff (the ultimately unimportant Yuina two-parter, say) into two episodes of greater and well-executed romance development/conflict, that could have made a big difference I think. Like Decagon said, the romance side of this show ended up a bit weak
Still, Hanasaku Iroha's peaks were good enough, and its artwork gorgeous enough, that I have to give it 8/10 overall. Even with all its flaws, it deserves that rating from me, given my artistic tastes.
let me write about this anime :
the visual is epicly made.... I know that this anime is based on a real location in Japan... maybe that's one of the reason why the visual looks so real and calm. Good Job so far
Soundtracks are very good. Perfectly matched with the plot. The VA is so-so... Ohana's VA and Minko's VA are good but I don't really amazed with others character's VA
Plot of this story is good for me. Although there are some boring episodes, I'm satisfied with the ending (first half of this anime is better than second half)
I enjoy this story until the end. Almost dropped it after the first half but I'm glad I manage to finish it. At least they try to put everything to final conclusion at the end even though they should do it sooner (not at the end!)
I'll give 9/10 overall
The story line of HanaIro was empty and there was no catharsis after all. It was not even a M.O.E properly.
I have no idea what Okada was trying to do.
If the reason of those 26 episodes were so weak is that they are aiming to make 2nd/3rd season, it's totally ridiculous method.
But...I had a dream this morning that I'm a chef and Minko is a fellow worker.
Her attitude was tsundere but of course I knew that she loves me in that dream.
Actually I felt happiness. :)
Even if this series were fake, I realized that my love toward Minko was real thing, ironically.:D
Having only seen half the series, I completely understand if anyone invalidates my opinion and considers this review a piece of trash. Nonetheless, I feel obligated to give Hanasaku Iroha some parting words.
I can recall a few very emotional, powerful moments despite watching my last episode about 4 months ago. I speak of Ohana's protest against her own mother for writing a bad review about the inn. It was more than Ohana's stubbornness; Satsuki provided a most-welcomed dose of reality to the ideals of a young girl. The contrast between these two characters generated intense drama as the series progressed toward its midway point. I have really bad memory, but I could never forget episode 11. The one scene where Ohana is running through the rain with a myriad of negative emotions on her mind - confusion, anger, sadness, and despair - truly marks the highest point of enjoyment for this series.
Otherwise, there is much mediocrity to pass around. Most of the episodes try to sneak some moral lessons underneath a giant layer of humor, fanservice, and romance. Only in the last 2 minutes of an episode will you hear one of the older characters say something wise, or maybe watch Ohana reflect on her experiences. This ratio of seriousness to filler only works when the filler is enjoyable. Alas, episode 5 is the most prevalent example of how filler can be so strange without being interesting. There were many chuckles, and sometimes even outbursts of clamorous laughter from my end. But as these moments were too few and often replaced by the boredom of simplistic story-writing, I cannot give Hanairo any praise in this department.
Cumulative Average Rating: 8.33/10
Feels More Like: 8/10
It's rare to see such unanimity in reviews, but as I feel exactly the same, I can only concur.
Basically, I agree with about every single word from the first review by Archon Wing. He really sums up near-exactly my thoughts.
As such, I'll just point at the few parts where I feel I have something to add or to differ - for everything else, you can just look up his post and consider I agree down to the last letter.
Hanasaku Iroha was an enjoyable and charming serie, but lacking in direction and most importantly in seriousness - it was too light for its own good, hence making the drama part feels disjointed with the light-hearted one.
Especially, there was some weird dissonances between what you would expect as serious issues, and what the show did (in particular, how Satsuki is allowed to be such an horrible person without it looking like any kind of big deal, and her being in fact mostly celebrated ; also, the constant worship of being a workaholic even to the expense of your personnal life, health and the like often made me feel uncomfortable).
As such, drama was hampered by the badly-timed humour, characters were too often ridiculed when there was no need, and it was sometimes hard to follow the mood as it didn't conformed to the path you would expect.
In the end, I had some fun, but the bad pacing, weird mood whiplash, and lack of direction and seriousness prevented this anime from reaching its potential.
So it was nice, but not great, and I give it a lower 7.
Took me over 2 years, but I finally finished it, and I heavily regret it not having watched it when it aired.
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