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Old 2011-05-15, 14:24   Link #26
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: cloud cuckoo land

Survival gamers? Are you serious?

This episode sort of lacked substance, instead it filled the void with whacky comedy. I like comedy, but only if it's well done and fits in well with other aspects of the series. In this case, I dare say the comedy wasn't that funny and made me wonder whether I was watching the right series. I just don't get what's so funny about pathetic survival gamers trying to sneak a peek at bathing girls or Tomoe's attempts to get fired by the manager.

It pained me to watch this episode since it started off so well with Tomoe's thoughts about her future. She is in her thirties and clearly feels the pressure to marry and to start a family. Her friends are all married and her parents keep talking about their unborn grandchildren. It's an issue that has a lot of potential if dealt with correctly. Hanasaku Iroha however once again (ab-)uses an interesting topic as pretext for nonsensical comedy. The very same happened in episode 6 in which the inn's financial crisis lead to fanservice and Ohana's twisted logic concerning risque outfits. It feels like the series is slapping its own face by presenting the potential it has got in the beginning and then quickly ruining all of it.

The conclusion at the end made amends for this episode's mediocre execution, though. Tomoe decided not to give in to her mother but to continue the job she loves. I feel like the series is subconsciously following a pattern: Introduce an interesting premise, continue with a weak plot that does not realize the premise's potential at all, add a little comedy and fanservice, then end it with a somewhat satisfying conclusion. It chooses a good starting point and knows what the outcome should be, but doesn't know how to get there. I really hope they're gonna fix this problem, the preview at least looks very very promising.
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