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Old 2011-04-24, 23:08   Link #941
Guardian Enzo
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Long version review. Short version: wow.

I was a little worried after last week, but unless this show has serious multiple personality issues I needn't have. I thought this week was absolutely top-notch, start to finish. So many moments I loved - Ohana's reaction to the heron, her classmates reaction to "Tokyo!", the scene in the bath, the scene at the end - which was right out of True Tears. All beautiful.

As was, I might add, the animation. P.A. Works is blowing my mind here - this is some of the prettiest TV animation since Seirei no Moribito. I was pausing and going back to look at a few shots again, which I almost never do. Masahiro Ando directed "Sword of the Stranger" so he clearly knows how to use gorgeous animation to its full advantage.

I feel sorry for Ko-chan, but it makes an interesting internal struggle for Ohana. There's clearly something very special between them, but Ohana is trying to grow as a person. Can someone grow without growing away from the person they left behind? I think that's one of the central questions at the heart of the series.
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Old 2011-04-24, 23:22   Link #942
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I wonder if after the end of the series Jinomaru finally writes a masterpiece about his experience at the inn.
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Old 2011-04-24, 23:22   Link #943
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I have to agree with the sentiments of those who say Hanairo is slowly losing it's focus. I thought the story was going to revolve around Ohana initially resisting the harsh, business-like lifestyle of the inn, yet she slowly accepts her role and grows up into a more mature woman. Likewise, Ohana's own idealism softens the hearts of everyone else working at the inn, especially her grandmother.

Now, the story expands outward to include school life - and returns to typical adolescent themes, such as gossip, comedy and romance. The serious drama of entering a new environment, present in the first two episodes, slowly slides into silliness.

I don't think this has to be a bad thing. I'm open to anime switching styles, but I just don't think the anime is as funny in episodes 3 and 4 as it is dramatic in episodes 1 and 2.
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Old 2011-04-24, 23:31   Link #944
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Originally Posted by Deconstructor View Post
I don't think this has to be a bad thing. I'm open to anime switching styles, but I just don't think the anime is as funny in episodes 3 and 4 as it is dramatic in episodes 1 and 2.
Yeah I think this describes my problems with the shift quite well. The show just hasn't been quite as good since the shift in these two episodes as it was in the first 2 episodes.
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Old 2011-04-25, 00:12   Link #945
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After seeing episodes 1-4, I think I will have to change my perspective of the series. Regardless of the outlier that was episode 3 with its out-of-place direction, the fourth episode indicates that this is now what we should expect from the series.

Firstly, I would say that the 4th episode per se, is not bad. In fact, it's pretty good... if this series was intended to be one of those high school-based slice of life/comedy with some drama. Problem is that the 1st two episodes set it up to be more along the lines of a coming of age story where Ohana faces conflicts between family members, colleagues and herself as well as bring up interesting themes such as traditional Asian values and modern Asian values. However, the 4th episode was not this, but rather one that would be befitting of the former, and after this episode, I think it's fairly safe to say that this will now be the direction of the show. Although somewhat disappointed as I would preferred the coming of age/drama direction, I'm happy that P.A. Works looks like it has decided on a direction and sticking with it than do something ridiculous like episode 3 which fits in neither category in my opinion. From now on my expectations will match the direction - this is a slice of life/comedy first than a drama/coming of age story second. In essence, this is True Tears' direction fused with Toradora (with some Honey and Clover coming of age elements), but more-so on the Toradora side. Looks like AnoHana will have to provide me with the serious drama dosage, as it looks Hanasaku Iroha won't be from now on.

As for the episode analysis itself if it was labelled as a slice of life/comedy with some drama, this was pretty good, albeit predictable bar Yuina going out with Tooru. Though that reminds me a lot of True Tears with Jun as Tooru seems to be a similar character to him. Shouldn't be surprised though, since both that and this were written by Mari Okada. Talking about True Tears, there were some references I picked up, like Ohana doing squatting exercises (this one ripped straight from a scene of True Tears), the umbrellas that Nako and Ohana were carrying and the "True Tears mob" in the classroom (I seriously lol'd at this).

Somewhat looking forward to the next episode.
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Old 2011-04-25, 00:35   Link #946
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I think all of those themes people talked about in the first two eps are very much present in the 4th and will likely be present in the rest of the series. Personal growth vs. personal ties, growing up, traditional vs. modern lifestyles, parents vs. children... I see no evidence whatsoever this week that these are being tossed aside in favor of some sort of high-school romantic romp. Quite the opposite - I think they drive the episode for the most part.
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Old 2011-04-25, 00:37   Link #947
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I'm feeling that there will be contrast between the two managers. Both are stern matriarchs but they may differ in some aspects.
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Old 2011-04-25, 00:49   Link #948
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I liked Episode 4 a little bit more than acejem, Archon_Wing, and Reckoner, but I wasn't as wowed by it as some other posters were.


I actually liked seeing the girls head off to school. It effectively expanded the cast, bringing in a few more characters, most of which I found likable, particularly Yuina.

I also liked the classroom reception Ohana received, and especially how she handled it.

We have our classic "female transfer student gets mobbed by new female classmates adoring her" scene here, but I like how Ohana handles it calmly, responsively, realistically, and warmly. She doesn't completely freeze and fail to answer questions, but she does get slightly flustered, and so I like how this anime took this trope and made it feel much more realistic than it normally does to me.


I considerably enjoyed all the school-based scenes, really, and found most of them pretty lively and funny.


The rest of the episode was not quite as enjoyable to me, but it was pretty solid.

The big problem for me is that I just find Minchi to be a rather unlikable character, and I'm growing a bit tired of Ohana's attempts to win her over constantly backfiring in Ohana's face and just making Minchi more and more angry. I know this is probably supposed to make the audience laugh, but it just doesn't do that for me.

Since I don't like Minchi much (at least not yet), it's hard for me to get emotionally invested in the big twist at the end of this episode. It does create viewer intrigue, no doubt, but I have a feeling the romantic drama here might be somewhat lost on me.

Still, I find both Toru and Yuina to be very interesting characters, so I do see a silver lining here at least...


All told, I think that Episode 4 managed to recapture a slightly more serious tone, albeit by focusing on a new setting and new conflicts. I am looking forward to Episode 5.

I'll give Episode 4 a 8/10.
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Old 2011-04-25, 01:02   Link #949
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejem View Post
From now on my expectations will match the direction - this is a slice of life/comedy first than a drama/coming of age story second.
I don't see why "coming of age" should be tied in with "drama",life isn't always dramatic and has its lighthearted moments as well and those shape and individual just as much as the dramatic moments when (s)he "comes of age".

It's normal the first couple episodes were more on the dramatic side,Ohana had to go through a pretty big even that would change her life drasticly,that said,I find it normal that after a while things have settled down a bit as she adapts to her new life but I really expect the drama to pop up her and there,especialy towards the end.
So I don't think the show will have a "direction",it'll try to balance out the comedic and dramatic aspects so that in some episode the drama will come first and others comedy will come first.
I personaly think that's the point of going two cour, if we were going to have one cour,I'd want the story to focus on one thing and stay there,but two cour allows the show to mix things up more (and four cour even more but that lengh is almost never seen these days) so that I see a "lack" of focus as no problem at all this early in the show as well as I'll have no problem with the show shifting between different directions (as long as the execution is there of course)
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Old 2011-04-25, 01:17   Link #950
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
I don't see why "coming of age" should be tied in with "drama",life isn't always dramatic and has its lighthearted moments as well and those shape and individual just as much as the dramatic moments when (s)he "comes of age".
You are right that it doesn't always, but my point is that Hanasaku Iroha now seems to be taking the same route as the other 95% series of the genre are taking, albeit with superior animation and better direction. I don't have a problem with that per se, but it is a bit disappointing to see the direction and atmosphere that was in the first 2 episodes almost sidelined at this point.

Quote:
It's normal the first couple episodes were more on the dramatic side,Ohana had to go through a pretty big even that would change her life drasticly,that said,I find it normal that after a while things have settled down a bit as she adapts to her new life but I really expect the drama to pop up her and there,especialy towards the end.
Actually, I usually find its the reverse - series tend to start of light-hearted comedic and then gradually become dramatic as it goes on.

Quote:
So I don't think the show will have a "direction",it'll try to balance out the comedic and dramatic aspects so that in some episode the drama will come first and others comedy will come first.
I personaly think that's the point of going two cour, if we were going to have one cour,I'd want the story to focus on one thing and stay there,but two cour allows the show to mix things up more (and four cour even more but that lengh is almost never seen these days) so that I see a "lack" of focus as no problem at all this early in the show as well as I'll have no problem with the show shifting between different directions (as long as the execution is there of course)
Perhaps you and I have different opinions on what's a good direction and between tastes but personally I have seen too many series that jump back and forth between comedy and drama that it's getting kind of old for me. I rather just see either A) A slice of life/comedy series or B) A drama (with some lighthearted moments but not too much) and not some mish-mesh between the two as then I don't know what to expect or if it's worth my time because I don't tend to like A)-type series.

Anyways, I've already made up my decision on how to perceive the series and I won't be going back. If the series goes back to serious drama again in later episodes after a bunch of episode 4-style ones, then I may have to question the direction once again, but for now, I'm fairly happy with the approach atm.
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Old 2011-04-25, 01:37   Link #951
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I think all of those themes people talked about in the first two eps are very much present in the 4th and will likely be present in the rest of the series. Personal growth vs. personal ties, growing up, traditional vs. modern lifestyles, parents vs. children... I see no evidence whatsoever this week that these are being tossed aside in favor of some sort of high-school romantic romp. Quite the opposite - I think they drive the episode for the most part.
But even you have to admit, these last two episodes don't seem like they come from the same anime we see in the first two episodes. It's like they switched out Mari-san for the author of Nichijou. Sure, Ohana and company are all in the same inn, but it's a total flip-flop where styles are concerned. I had very little to laugh at in episode 1... and the previous two episodes are loaded with comedy. I laughed, yes. But it's kind of strange, having the dramatic situation mellowed out into a light-hearted slice of life. In the air, there is certainly far less tension and far more romance.

Reiterating, I'm open to accept these sudden shifts. I think the show is better at drama, but it's also pretty good at the casual high school girl plot. I just don't feel the two different styles coming together to form something better than each piece separate. Episode 4 had some meaningful moments, like when Nako tells Ohana the meaning of the Bonbouri festival. Unfortunately, the dramatic effect is lessened due to the comedy before and afterward.

This may sound strange... but the comedy and drama seem to be competing for my attention. It's like dealing with multiple children. They each have their own unique needs and personalities; I can't deal with everyone at the same time. I have to take this one to violin practice, and the other to a football game... ugh. That's why I find value in an anime staying consistent with it's style. A mix of lightheartedness and seriousness can work - but only if the ratio between them remains roughly the same. If you're going to play up the drama of the inn, then don't suddenly switch to some random jokes! Otherwise, you might as well stick with one style.

Ergh, this whole post blew up longer than I wanted...

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I personaly think that's the point of going two cour, if we were going to have one cour,I'd want the story to focus on one thing and stay there,but two cour allows the show to mix things up more (and four cour even more but that lengh is almost never seen these days) so that I see a "lack" of focus as no problem at all this early in the show as well as I'll have no problem with the show shifting between different directions (as long as the execution is there of course)
I firmly believe style is just as important as the execution. I could be the best cheese grater in the world, but people aren't going to spend 24 minutes of their time watching me grate in 1000 different ways. (Would be cool, though.) Now if I had a choice between being the best cheese grater and the best basketball player... yeah. Of course I like basketball more than cheese grating. One professional violin player can please me more than 1000 harmonica players of greater skill. And that's only because I like the violin much more than the harmonica.

Now you might enjoy each style equally, or maybe you like slice-of-life a little more than coming-of-age. So you aren't really concerned with the shift in plot direction, as long as both styles are executed well. But some of us are... some of us watch solely for the drama. Is it wrong of us - is it greedy of us to watch Hanairo expecting mostly serious scenes? Nah. Then does the fault with you for being so diverse? I don't think so either.

I hate to say no one's right or wrong, as such an indecisive answer... but no one's right or wrong. Some people want comedy, some people want drama, and some are okay with having both in the same episode. I do enjoy what I saw in episodes 1 and 2 more than episodes 3 and 4. But I like the lightheartedness of episode 4 as well; I just like the seriousness of episode 1 even more.

Please let there not be another Kyubeyesque war... *hides*
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Old 2011-04-25, 01:37   Link #952
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Quote:
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Perhaps you and I have different opinions on what's a good direction and between tastes but personally I have seen too many series that jump back and forth between comedy and drama
It is indeed a difference of taste,I'm generally not too fond of all out drama or comedy and like a mix of both more.
I have seen way too many series recently that try to do this in one cour which I don't feel is the right format for it,that's why the fact we've got two cours here makes me happy.
I don't really expect you to change your mind,I just wanted to present "another side of things".

edit:

Quote:
I hate to say no one's right or wrong, as such an indecisive answer... but no one's right or wrong.
Oh definatly,I just wanted to present my point of view but don't consider it right or wrong.

Quote:
It's like they switched out Mari-san for the author of Nichijou.

*sketchbook fanboy mode on*

Let it be known that Mari-san is responsible for my favorite 4 komas slice of life comedy adaption: Sketchbook full color's,which is to me some of her best work.

*sketchbook fanboy mode off*
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Old 2011-04-25, 01:47   Link #953
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After seeing episodes 1-4, I think I will have to change my perspective of the series. Regardless of the outlier that was episode 3 with its out-of-place direction, the fourth episode indicates that this is now what we should expect from the series.
I think it's still early to assert that. Considering it's a 26-episodes show, both life/comedy and drama/coming of age story can be put in it
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Old 2011-04-25, 02:33   Link #954
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That crane wins this ep. Awesome bird.
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Old 2011-04-25, 04:29   Link #955
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Old 2011-04-25, 04:34   Link #956
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I thought this episode was great aswell. A lot of people still don't like the shift but I honestly didn't think it was much of a shift to begin with. I always figured things would get better for Ohana quickly and more lighthearted and I honestly like it this way aswell. All the characters seem so realistic and empathetic and the comedy works. Loved it. I was smiling and sqeeing all throughout.
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Old 2011-04-25, 04:39   Link #957
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The drama discussion is still going on... Am I really the only one who figured out right away this wasn't going to be a dramatic series? It's always been obvious to me this was going to be a light-hearted coming of age story with bits of drama here and there. And that's exactly what I'm looking for in this series. I watch HanaSaku for the slice of life, and AnoHana for the serious drama. Win-win.

The first episode had more drama than the others, but it was because Ohana was suddenly thrown into a new environment. And even then, there was still a decent amount of comedy and the mood was still not truly dramatic. It seems to me people are blaming this series because it doesn't meet their (mistaken) expectations, and that seems a little unfair to do so.

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Yuina struck me as fronting a deliberately wrong persona. She even said she only added the accent for fun. She's probably nothing like how she appears at school. Also I think she does have a crush on Tooru because she mentioned there being a cool guy at their inn, but why did Ohana connect "cool guy" with the pervent author?!?
I was appalled and a bit amused by that. How the hell can she think Jiramaru is cool? He's the complete opposite of cool
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Old 2011-04-25, 04:53   Link #958
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The drama discussion is still going on... Am I really the only one who figured out right away this wasn't going to be a dramatic series? It's always been obvious to me this was going to be a light-hearted coming of age story with bits of drama here and there. And that's exactly what I'm looking for in this series. I watch HanaSaku for the slice of life, and AnoHana for the serious drama. Win-win.

The first episode had more drama than the others, but it was because Ohana was suddenly thrown into a new environment. And even then, there was still a decent amount of comedy and the mood was still not truly dramatic. It seems to me people are blaming this series because it doesn't meet their (mistaken) expectations, and that seems a little unfair to do so.
I'll admit that I was a little harsh on this episode due to personal bias (Though episode 3 was trash no matter what anyone tells me), but really I wouldn't be so mad if the shift in direction in the series wasn't so abrupt.

Episode 2 ended on a dramatic note, but episode 3 went from this dramatic note to pure absurdity. If the transition to more light hearted and silly episodes was more gradual and natural, I wouldn't mind. But the fact is that they've introduced more than a few points of drama that we're supposed to take seriously and while they haven't been eliminated from the picture necessarily, they just aren't presented with the same weight as episodes 1 and 2 due to the changes in atmosphere.

It's just a little hard to take it seriously when at the same time we have light hearted antics going on. This is the usual formula of most school-life animes, so like acejem pointed out, it's not "bad," but its also disappointing when there are so few actual animes focused on telling a serious story as its main focus.
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Old 2011-04-25, 05:01   Link #959
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I was appalled and a bit amused by that. How the hell can she think Jiramaru is cool? He's the complete opposite of cool
Jiroumaru's a wannabe novelist. So it's, hm, kinda cool?

(Poor Kou, if Ohana gets seduced away by Jirou...)
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Old 2011-04-25, 05:01   Link #960
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If there's anything I've seen in this school life episode that should relate and resonate with the first two episodes, it's that there's not such thing as personal growth and maturity that is isolated from others. Growing with oneself is dependent and related on one's growth with others. One grows both as an individual and a social person.

More comments and blog post later.
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