「十六歳、春、まだつぼみ」 (Jyu Roku Sai, Haru, Mada Tsubomi)
“Sixteen Years of Age, Spring, Still Buds”

I’m not entirely sure what I just watched. I was pretty sure that I was going headfirst into a slice of life that should look beautiful. But after I really got into things, I can say that I’m still not sure what I just watched. In the words of a Divine person I know, I’ve just been P.A. Worked. If my lame joke didn’t give it away, this is another one of P.A. Works’ works (what an odd sentence). If you’re a fan of Angel Beats, this studio’s name should ring a bell — they’re the ones who did it! At the same time, while I’m not a huge studio buff, I know that I can expect pretty looking things from this studio. What I didn’t expect was an awesome lead character.

Enter, Matsumae Ohana (Itou Kanae), the girl who I hope my future daughter will be like — strong willed, pretty, and eager to speak her mind. While I never expected her mom to be an irresponsible as she was or the guy who likes her to be as shy as he was, I must say that I’m very interested in Ohana’s character. It’s interesting to watch her battle with the idea of not knowing what she wants to do for the rest of her life — a topic which I can easily understand. As I have the same fears at times, I hate that feeling of knowing that time isn’t slowing down and that life isn’t waiting for you to make a perfect decision. While the first episode didn’t really touch too much on the topic, I’m half expecting to find some sort of profound answer to my problems through Ohana before this series ends.

While there are a handful of characters at play, Shijima Sui or Grandma, was the one who grabbed my attention. Something about her being the complete opposite of a candy giving grandmother made me chuckle at first, but I could of swore that I would have normally started to hate her before the episode ended. To pile on the hate, I wasn’t sure how I took it when she super slapped Ohana and Minko. However, something in the back of my mind keeps telling me that deep down, she has a loving heart. The whole idea of tough love and that the reason it’s tough is because the ones who care about you are the ones who are able to treat you the worst echo through my heart. But on the other hand, the only person who I really felt myself getting sort of angry at was Ohana’s mother. That’s not tough love but straight up irresponsibility — how can a mother be like that!?

Honestly, I see nothing wrong with making someone work for their pay, especially if they’re providing a roof over your head and food in your belly. At the same time, I love how Ohana manages to deal with her imagination and the real world clashing with each other. That last scene with her tearing up before roaring off really puts things into perspective. She isn’t some perfect girl who can manage everything by herself — she’s a normal girl who’s trying to deal with the interesting cards she’s been dealt.

P.S. I really like Ohana’s character design. The short hair, two pins, green sweats — it’s perfect! And then have you seen her in the ending? Omg.


OP Sequence

OP: 「ハナノイロ」 (Hana no Iro) by nano.RIPE
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

Divine pointed this out, but the song in this sequence is actually the song for the opening. So we’ll see how things pan out next week. I also really like this song, which apparently makes me weird.


    1. I liked it but man was I miserable watching this show. It seemed like 1 bad thing happened after another. All I can hope is that her charmimg personality rubs off on all of those around her. I especially felt bad for Ko.

  1. “5 Centimeters per Second” meets “Working!”.

    I was in awe the entire time. The background artwork is breathtaking. The characters are simply beautiful (especially Nako). The music is calming. And the story hints at depth and morale. Surefire 10 in my book- this show is going to be amazing.
    (My God, Oba-sama slapped the shit out of her.)

    1. Now that you bring it up, Ohana kind of reminds me of Kanae but only when she’s deep in thought or looking melancholy. Actually, Ohana reminds me so much of Kanata from SoRaNoWoTo. And props to Mel Kishida for baseline designs, the girls are super cute. I have a natural tendency towards Minko’s type but Ohana…wow. A-d-o-r-able!

      Really loving this series. It’s very unlike what I had expected. I’m in the same boat as Ohana when she first came to the inn, totally different from my initial assumptions which was of a comedic love story with the inn and cute girls and the long distance relationship thing going on (although her response to the confession hasn’t been made yet).

      This series will take a look on principles of living on your own, earning your keep and learning to become a respectable and responsible person in life. While I don’t agree with the grandmother’s methods, I also feel her actions are the tough love type. Everything she does is to foster the youth into adulthood, and with attention to Ohana, ensure she doesn’t end up like a loose cannon like her mother.

      Still though…goodness help me if someone slapped around my daughter. Don’t give a damn who you are, don’t touch her.

  2. And I very much agree with your opinion of Ohana. There’s something very realistic an NOT annoying about her that makes for such a nice change. This story actually reminds me of Spirited Away, and Ohana is a bit reminiscent of Chihiro.

      1. I’d really like him to come back too. He seemed like a very likable character. They did develop his character a little, hopefully they did that to later bring him back. I would be sort of mad if that boy was just a trivial obstacle in one of the main characters “becoming stronger” things. Does anybody know if this anime will have romance?

      2. When he asked Ohana about her plans for spring I think he’d say something like “Let’s go to some hot spring named ‘Kissui’! “, but then he chickened out. 😐 LOL

      1. Her naive ways annoy me to no end. Sure the grandmother is too harsh. But spouting crap to the cook and manager about how employees should be respected while she only got there. You’re in over your head little girl.

    1. Despite not really loving the main character, I really enjoyed this first episode and will definitely continue watching this. It was too pretty too drop, and the other characters are too interesting as well. I understand what they are doing with Ohana, but so far it has come off a little forced to me.

      I still really enjoyed this though, a nice change from everything else that I’ve been seeing.

    2. Personally love the main character. It’s realistically naive as you can see that she’s learning from it. She’s thrown into a situation completely different, she’s still getting use to it. Maybe people are taken back by how she’s initially presented as not knowing what to do or not really caring, but don’t it the wrong way. It’s more of she wants something more out of her life. And when she gets it, she doesn’t know what to do. After all, her best friend just confessed, and her parents ditched her. Maybe for older viewers, seeing how she told the assitant chef how to treat his worker was off, but to me, it was her trying to cope with the situation by setting her own view in place. Heck, she wasn’t acting all high and mighty about it, she was just saying, maybe it is better if done another way. She’s not over the top naive as she understand what her actions did, and she’s not sobbing over it either. She takes it in, and then ask for the punishment as well.

      Perhaps to shorten what I’m saying, is she’s not a Mary Sue in the sense as whatever she does is right, nor does her believes so far fetched. She’s a bit naive, but she learns like any other person would. She’s not all high and mighty, she’s just a simple little girl, thrown into 2 complex situations and coping and learning as she goes. And she’ll probably realize it’s not so easy to reinvent/change yourself, but that’s what’s going to make this show even better.

      Sora no Kaze
  3. I’m hooked already. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to her dilemma of a new lifestyle with all the excitement and hardship that it comes with. I also know what you mean Takaii, I love Ohana’s independent personality that I just want to cheer her on.

  4. Character design by Kishida Mel make this one a sure watch for me, and it doesn’t disappoint for a first episode. I just hope the drama won’t drag too long because that’s usually the downfall of drama story like this.

  5. I was shocked at Minko’s voice work — I didn’t really get into Soul Eater, and even though I thought Omigawa Chiaki’s voice was perfect for Hotori, I found her sort of grating in SoreMachi. I think she’s really hit the mark with Minko, I barely even recognized her voice.

    1. It was truly a blessing in disguise. A disguised voice that is.

      I still don’t understand why Chiaki only uses that voice in her roles, as her normal one sounds nothing like it. I still hear it in Minko’s role, but there’s a very subtle difference.

  6. It’s absolutely a feast on eyes, that is for sure. Plus, the main character is a fresh wind among all stereotype characters these days are fond of. It’s a bit early to judge other characters, since it will be character interaction-based anime but I’m more than hopeful it will be a blast.

    On another news, Hanasaku Iroha is sort of confirmed to be 2 cours=26 episodes. Well, I hope the length doesn’t affect this anime much negatively.

  7. After watching this first episode I found myself thinking that the others have bad graphics.
    This one actually looks AMAZING. I didn’t know that such amazing drawings would be used in an anime. For example the God’s rays when she looks out of the train into the ocean. The train as it moves, the whole backgrounds. Almost everything shows perfection.
    And then we have the story that has much potential because it treats an universal subject. I can see a lot of potential in both the story and the characters.

  8. Hanasaku Iroha will definitely be the best Spring 2011 anime, alongside Nichijou. First episode got me completely hooked. The animation was very fluid and easy on the eyes, Ohana seems to have a great personality (myself, and probably many other people, could easily relate to) and the pacing was just right.

  9. Amazing! PA Work is really doing something fabulous about this original work of theirs.
    From the characters’ design to the depth of the story, it’s truely a show worth watching

  10. Ohana is great girl, but somehow I find this work-your-ass-off, be-humble-and-let-yourself-be-slapped-by-superiors/elders aesop not to my liking. If someone slaps you, slap him back. You gotta be able to stand up for yourself girl!
    On the other end of the spectrum is of course her runaway mother, free but completely irresponsible. Oh well…
    Anyway the production quality is top-notch, if they can keep it up without dropping it would be real classic for only that reason.
    oh and btw Steins Gate screwed my mind…

    1. I share your opinion.
      I’ve never been one for child abuse (naysayers can wax lyrical and call it “teaching”, but I won’t buy it)

      It would have been awesome if the girl took the slap, smiled at the hag and said, “getting back at the daughter that left you, are we?”. Now that would be different!!. But I suspect the anime doesn’t really wanna thread that risky road.

    2. Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you slap them back. Can you really slap the woman who’s giving you a home and something to eat, without her she’d be homeless. You have to consider the situation she’s in, there’s really nothing she can do.

    3. I don’t really understand that as Ohana clearly asked to be slapped as well (literally). She wanted to be slapped because she made a mistake. I saw it as a “I don’t want other people to get punished for my mistake(s)” kind of thing.

      Also, when I was a kid I got smacked (not slapped) a lot of time when I did something wrong or irresponsible.

      Anyway, I really loved that Ohana asked to be slapped after Minko got slapped. It showed that she takes responsibility for her mistakes even if she doesn’t understand why it was a mistake.

      Also, we should consider the danger in what she did. I’ve never had a futon fall on me but I imagine that from a height and if I was completely unaware of it falling on my head, that it’d hurt or probably injury to my neck could occur. So it was extremely reckless for Ohana to just hang it without considering it falling out the window.

    4. You’re kidding me right? There was no point in standing up for herself by slapping back. She stood up for herself by asking for it in the first place. By taking responsibility for her actions. And the grandmother was actually being kind of grateful in the first place, by oh, I’m going to lecture you, it’s your first offense. Plus taking into consideration, she was in a way pointing out that if a customer sees an employee in poor shape or health, would indicate bad treatment and give a bad name to the inn. And the customer shouldn’t worry about the employee in the first place. Some people may be incline out of emotion to help and accidentally cause more trouble. This was a lesson in customer service that no matter what state you’re in, you have to be presentable to both your customers and coworkers and if you’re sick, tell them that you need the day off, so you don’t cause inconvenience to them. It’s rough, but it’s like the given rule that you shouldn’t cause inconvenience in the service business, cause you’re creating twice the work for your fellow co-workers. Especially in Asian Culture where it’s more of a collectivist society.

      Sora no Kaze
      1. Well excuse me, you’re forgetting that the grandmas is acting guardian for her as well. She’s not exactly considered an employee. She’s a. only 16 which means despite being a trainee, is also falls under the guardian as well, especially since she’s living there. And we don’t know how often this slap sort of punishment has happen in the first place. It could be the very first one for all we know, so you can’t really cry abuse. Trust me, a slap by guardian/parent is a hell of a lot better then a beating from a belt. Sure if she was 18, and everything, lawsuit right away. But you’re failed to recognize to important things here.

        Sora no Kaze
      2. Believe me, if I was hit such way by any employer it would be the last day I worked for him and possibly few broken teeth for him/her no matter family or not. And guardianship is a duty from which you can be relieved,not surprisingly, after being proven to hit your underaged protegee. Believe me nowadays Japan has quite good laws and police/social services making sure such things dont go unnoticed. Certain Higurashi arc springs to mind, and it was set back in the 1980s… And the second girl isnt even a family member!
        Still I look forward to this series, as it can be a new Rainbow regarding the story and with great visuals to boot.

      3. Relieved with just cause of course. And saying that she’s not family doesn’t justify your point at all. Each adult will have different set of rules. You just don’t say bitch no, when they invited you to their house and ask you to stop a certain action that may be offensive to them, even if it’s not to you for example. As much as there are laws against mistreatment, you still have to have another adult testify, and the child to also testify constant abuse, etc and usually I would tend to think it’s set for worse cases where scars and injuries are apparent compared to a slap. Sure, we can do the Amuro Ray’s line, “NOT EVEN MY FATHER HIT ME!”, but Minko has no intention to do so. She’s earning a wage, experience, and free room and board. If you think about it, a slap is hardly anything. I’d hate to imagine what would happen if you got slapped by your girl friend, no offense, but you’re making a slap a lot worse than it actually is. Sure it’s painful, but families still do punish/discipline their children in such away. Of course the extreme cases such as getting whipped would get brought up, but a slap? At most, if you complained about it for example, they might just put the parent/guardian through counseling or explain why their action was not the best way to convey the punishment, especially after hearing both sides. I’d have to say, you’re pretty well off if you didn’t get punished by your parents through pain. Regardless, to each of their own, my view is there is no black and white, only a gray, and that the world doesn’t always work in your favor. If it was simply an employer slapping a employee, I can see where you’re coming from, but the situation presented is much much more complicated.

        Sora no Kaze
      4. My parents hit me when I was little, and they hit me hard 😛
        It’s part of the culture, but I don’t know about hitting employees.
        Minko didn’t deserve it at the least

      5. My parents hit me as a kid too. However, I never thought of it as child abuse or that it was unfair of them to do so, I always thought (and I still do) that I deserved it for what I had done. Just like what prooof said, it depends on the culture.

        “If someone slaps you, slap him back. You gotta be able to stand up for yourself girl!”. Personally, I definitely wouldn’t consider that to be standing up for herself. I’d just consider it to be spoiled and disrespectful. Of course, I’m definitely not pro child abuse, but it pisses me off when I hear children calling the police on their own parents for the simplest reasons. I would definitely never do that to someone I love, and that’s why I’m against people that say things such as standing up against their own parents.

        I’m saying this considering that the relationship between the grandma and both the kids she slapped was more of a parent-child relationship than a boss-employee relationship. I definitely don’t think she’d slap the chef or the head waitress. 😛

      6. what some people fail to understand these days is that there is a big difference between child abuse and teaching them a lesson for their own good….. BIG difference

        in this situation id go with teaching 😀

        also wow this anime exceeded my expectations and is on the top of my to keep watching list XD

      7. Although, I did think that slapping Minko (Ohana asked for it :P) was unfair. I was just saying that rebelling against the grandmother would have been wrong and disrespectful. ^Charles is right, child abuse and teaching a lesson are different, but this case probably isn’t the best example of “teaching a lesson” xD. In this anime, the grandmother will probably reflect on her methods and she’ll probably eventually take it easy on the girls. I see it heading in that direction.

    5. well
      this is the difference of culture betweem west and east
      I still remember when I was 11 my father slapped me when I cried hard in front of lot of peoples ( dont remember why i cried that time but i’m a crybaby back then )
      and I NEVER think my father is a BAD father

  11. Oh…didn’t know it’s from the same studio as Angel Beats!…no wonder it’s so pretty!!!

    Initially I thought that the main character looked a bit like the young version of Taiga Aisaka (in a flashback in the Christmas arc of Toradora) for some reason. But yeah, what a refreshingly awesome lead character 🙂

    As for the grandma…tough love is one thing, but randomly slapping Minko was like D: But i have a feeling that she’s reluctant to slap Ohana because she reminds her too much of her own daughter who she claims she has disowned completely etc. I hope Ohana can open up a gentler side of her grandma over time.

  12. 1st good anime this season the quality of the animation is beyond great and the characters are interesting. There isnt any stupid nonrealistic women behavior and there are 26 episodes so they wont rush with the story like most of the anime go trough (Gosick).I like a bit hot ecchi stuff but in the last few years theres just to much of it and the anime industry is fd up so much atm but im glad that an anime like this comes along.

  13. They sure picked a good script for the first run out to hook people. It didn’t feel out of sorts for me when she asked for a smack since she’s used to being the only responsible person in her own household it seemed. The nosebleed was a nice touch lol. And then… she even bows so you realize she isn’t totally defiant. She’s really trying. That’s quite the character. Honestly I haven’t been this excited for a drama since True Tears.

  14. Good presentation and character designs, but doesn’t seem that special with regards to plot (right now, at least)

    I was never one for these “learning process” type shows, since most of them are basically just made up of characters getting abused… plus I have a general hatred towards the hospitality industry, due to some ‘trauma’ from a past job. >_<

    Dunno if I'll pick this up full-time, but will follow this blog for summaries, I guess.

  15. now this is some tough slice of life here…
    I wish the school guy who confessed will not be left out of the picture completely.
    our female lead has a strong heart, I guess for normal girls, it won’t be as simple as shed a tear or two…
    the title of the new episode makes me worry about her fate already 🙁

  16. Loved the first episode too 😀 The artwork is really beautiful and I just love the characters. Definitely one of the series to look forward to during the spring season!!

  17. The PA works fanboy in me is pleased to see all these positive reactions.

    I know PA works did angel beats! but it’s my least favorite of the 3 they’ve done and to me the least good looking one,I preffer both True Tears and Canaan.

    And if anything this is closer to True Tears than Angel Beats!
    Less romance but similar athmosphere

  18. For some reason, I thought the art design seemed similar to Harvest Moon, Tree of Tranquility (just face wise). I adored the art (though I thought the game kinda sucked, when compared to previous Harvest Moons).

    Anyways, Hanasaku Iroha looks very promising. I was hooked by the poster and the PVs, and this episode got the story rolling. Ohana’s personality just feels very realistic and like many people, I feel like I can relate with her (Starting college in like 4-6 months. Really don’t know what I’ll do from there though).

  19. The first episode was a whole bunch of “I’m not sure what I think of this show” for me. It was an exercise in frustration, which I think is what the creators intended. And they certainly hooked me into coming back for another episode.

  20. Every season there are shows that are good and then there is at least 1 or 2 shows that are just great. Hanasaku Iroha might be that show. I cant get over how beautiful the show looks.

    1. After the first 5 minutes of the jaw-dropping visuals, I tried to figure out why I like it so much. I noticed one thing that made it feel different from other series’ airing: The initial appearance. It’s like everything has a “Sepia Tone” over it. Soft on the eyes and a smooth finish.

  21. Well… I definitely think that this will be one of my favorites this season. Beautiful artstyle, great animation, promising story and I really like Ohana’s character design.

      1. I mentioned it in the other post, but Minko may not have asked for it, but the lesson was that Minko should take care of herself as equally as she does her job. There are always people who’re worry and will take matters in their own hand in taking care of people, which is an inconvenience to the business as a whole, as it spreads the work force thin if everyone is taking care of everyone. Customer is the main priority. People going out of their way to help someone already disrupts this priority. And in the extreme case, a customer almost got hurt because of this.

        So sure, she didn’t ask for it, and granted she works very hard, but the boss is asking to give a 100% without neglecting yourself or else it may disrupt your ability or performance of your work later on. The lesson may not have been needed in a slap, but it’s a very important lesson to keep in mind that used the slap as a plot device for Ohana to shine a bit and learn something as well.

        Sora no Kaze
    1. Keep in mind the era that Ohana’s grandmother comes from and how detached she is from the Tokyo city life. It may not be acceptable in this day and age, but she’s not from this day and age. I imagine there are a lot of places that still hold onto old forms of discipline.

  22. I’m a fan of PA Works and they have produced some good shows before (True Tears and Canaan my personal favs). This production is supposed to be in celebration of PA Works’ 10th anniversary as a studio.

    It seems promising after the first episode. It’s slice-of-life but it’s not marred up to its knees in the tired old cliches of the genre. The show is obviously not a happy-go-round story like so many others but a serious story about growing up and adulthood. (See people? This is what slice of life is SUPPOSED to be!) I expect great things from this show; will definitely keep tabs on this one.

  23. This show comes up at the time when I’m in despair over how stereotypical new series has become. I was at a point of giving up watching anything this season, but Ohana saved me <3

    Overall a very intelligent slice-of-life story. Strong set of characters and it really shows how Ohana really is in a new, alien culture she doesn't understand at first. The people at the inn are truly traditional Asian working class who are dead serious about their work. (I am reminded of my uncle who was an extremely tough business owner – just his glare could kill!) Though the harsh way her Grandma treats Ohana really angers me, it does portray immense realism and authenticity of the setting.

    Ohana being poetic in her narration of the story is a very nice touch as well.

    Again this episode contains very little "perfect world" atmosphere abundant in other anime, where bad things rarely happen. Realism (SUPER SLAPS FOR GODS SAKE) hurts, but I believe that at the end of the series we would all be in bliss after experiencing a professionally made story.

  24. I gotta be honest – this episode depressed the hell out of me. It just reminded me of all harshness that so many Japanese kids (and come to that, kids of any denomination) have to deal with when their parents simply don’t make good decisions. It’s a problem that has, in all likelihood, been around forever, but I can’t but feel that parents who do this simply didn’t grow up correctly themselves, and that the only people who can break the cycle of being royally screwed over by their parents are the characters like our protagonist who manage to tough it out and rise above. I have no doubt that she’ll be able to do this as the series goes on, but in the meantime, it’s highly troubling for me to watch her struggling through her situation, and managing to keep such a bold face. Were I in this situation, I would probably have run away before the first episode was up, and either joined a street gang and/or most likely wound up dead.

    That said, it is with bated breath that I watch and see how the next episode is going to turn out.

    Kraven Ergeist
    1. I’m on the same wavelength with you there. Whether this show would rise above the average shitty TV soap operas is yet to be seen.

      I hope that story progression would be about Ohana coming to terms with her new world, make friends, win over her grandma’s trust, and just get along fine albeit some entertaining blunders. However if the creators decide to throw in loads of misfortunes and having Ohana go through shit and slaps every episode just for the drama, then that would be incredibly painful to watch.

      Nevertheless I’m sure we will have a happy ending for this kind of series. The writer seems to be too good to resort to crappy soap formulas.

  25. This was a show that I had seriously been looking forward to, up until the slapping incident. I had even accepted the grandmothers disgusting attitude towards her granddaughter who she never had met as necessary for the story, but that incident made me question as to whether I want to keep watching this. Her assaulting Minko was unforgivable. I understand this is old line Japanese superior/subordinate treatment, but it creates a situation when I hope for cosmic retribution on the grandmother. Minko’s story and her relationship with the family could be very important to the story though. I also think that Enishi is going to be a weasel and maybe even backstab his mother at some point. God I hope so.

  26. Was drawn to the show by these 3 factors:

    1. Ito Kanae and Toyosaki Aki reuniting
    2. PA Works and Okada Mari’s script
    3. Taisho-like uniforms (in a ryokan)

    That said, like Takaii, I actually ended up more interested in Sui, the no-nonsense Okami of the ryokan Kisuishou. She may look and feel like an unreasonable cruel hag at first glance, yet there is method to her “brutality” which I totally agree with.

    Her uber-slapping Ohana is actually her way of saying she respected Ohana for not being afraid to take responsibility. OTOH, Minko is the one that acted like a total bitch for first impressions.

    BTW, here’s a good page that explains some of the basic terminologies used in a typical Japanese ryokan, like Okami and Nakai:

    Kinny Riddle
  27. Actually found this pretty bad and annoying. The main source being the main character, she’s treated like shit and thrusted into a life full of not so nice people, yet the most emotional response we got was her tearing up a little :/

    I dunno, I wanted her to shout at the grandma, show some anger, emotion, be human. Left a pretty bad impression sadly.

  28. I was like ^_^) when slapping incident happen. I think it is understandable because i have seem some parents teach their children like this and I have been like this situation before. The question is how will Ohana adjust herself for the new home in the future.

  29. Looking at the episode, I can see some of the points of the hot spring characters, her initial actions could be read as acting as if she owned the place (for example, pulling out the “weeds” because she didn’t like them, getting involved in a dispute between a superior and his employee, not asking where the best place to hang the bed would be), but still came off with the impression the hot spring staff are hostile to this intruder into their world.

    I’ll be very interested to see how they rationalize the Grandmother. Had Ohana not spoken up, I could easily imagine a Private Pyle kind of scenario happening since Grandma beats up other hotel staff for Ohana’s mishaps, hotel staff verbally (and maybe physically) abuse Ohana for doing things to get them in trouble, Ohana goes to the dark place inside… Additionally, the fact the Grandmother can disown her own daughter, yet will saddle the granddaughter with her mother’s sins just feels absolutely wrong to me, but then again that may be the cultural difference I guess.

    Overall, I do have to say Ohana is a very interesting, upbeat character and I was impressed with how well this 16 year old was reacting to all the changes and challenges she faced. Oh and loved the fact they actually mentioned Amerasians for once with Ohana’s joke to her mother about being fathered by a US service member.

  30. This first episode meets all my expectations of the show. Looking pretty, strong and love-able main character, drama/slice-of-life with a bit of funny moments. The best of it all? This is 26 episodes show!

      1. We’ll have to wait and see but most of my favorite shows have been 24-26 episodes one like Kanon, Clannad, Index, Shana, Aria. And some I wish they made it 24-26 episodes and Angel Beats, Infinite Stratos

  31. It was really sad when she started crying and I loved the feeling I got when the ending song started playing at that scene. Almost made my tear up first episode, I really think I’m going to like this anime.

  32. If I offend anyone with this comment I apologize in advance, but why does anime always have to be serious, gritty, and emotional for us american fans to like it? that’s like saying if a movie doesn’t have drama, death, and misfortune it will fail at the box office. Ifinite stratos for example that was based on a light novel series so it was supposed to be funny and comedic. the new show dog days again suppose to be comedic and funny but alot of people are considering dropping it just because it’s not making us fans think or feel anything for the characters. I know worn out story premises can get tiring but these shows are not our stories to tell.

    1. Wow i don’t know about you guys but I saw “cosette girl” last week so this is nothing This is like back in Jamaica for me. All I know is she got got slapped by Grandma she had asked for it but this isn’t about her. This is about how she affects the people around her. If she retaliates i don’t care how awesome that would be for you guys, but it would be just as bad as if the male protaganist hit back a tsundere girl for being a jerk. i hope hope grandma’s icy heart melts, I’ll be watching this show for granny dearest. Besides Ohana will only get stronger from this.

      1. Oh, how does Minko being slapped apply to “asking for it”? Minko had nothing to do with what Ohana did. It was assault pure and simple and on a subordinate that obviously couldn’t defend herself. The old hag is despicable and dishonorable and I hope she gets screwed out of the inn by her son or something equally nasty. Of course I doubt that’s going to happen but I can hope.

    2. it doesnt, its just series like Infinite Stratos dont bring many new things to the table. The characters arent very relatable, the story is okay, and the scenarios far too contrived (only girls can operate IS, and the guy just happens to be the only guy in the world able to operate one is just an excuse to build himself a giant harem in a school full of girls… with mecha. i just cant genuinely grow respect for series like that. Besides, the production value was not the best, and honestly, the amount of money and effort put into a series CAN make or break a series.
      Im not saying this series will be amazing, cause its only the first episode, but i believe it wouldnt hurt if the anime industry had more series like this.
      Ouran High School Host Club is a comedic series with a contrived scenario, but was masterfully executed, so series like that gets more respect in my book.

  33. Forgive me for saying this, but i would love to go to jail for punching that grandmother in her face.

    Other than that, loved the first episode, it got me hooked pretty fast. Maybe bacause i felt strongly for a show just like this, this season.

  34. I love love love Ohana’s grandmother. As for Ohana herself, she could stand to butt into other’s business a little less, though I suppose that is part of her charm. She’ll probably learn when it’s appropriate and when it’s not eventually, haha. I like that she’s an upbeat idealistic sort of girl who is beginning to learn the worth of hard work while still maintaining what makes her herself at heart.

    And of course, the stunning animation! I couldn’t get into Angel Beats, but loved Canaan, and PA Works’s skill is really shining through.

  35. “Divine pointed this out, but the song in this sequence is actually the song for the opening. So we’ll see how things pan out next week. I also really like this song, which apparently makes me weird.”

    Didn’t exactly seem like something you’d fit into an ending (too fast paced) and the vocals are kinda strange. I don’t mind it, but Nano’s voice just sounds like some 13 year old girl trying to sing, but trying to hide the fact she’s a crappy singer.

  36. This is definitely on my to watch list! The story and characters are amazing and believable. The animation and art is also great. I hope they keep it up. I plan on watching this all the way through.

  37. Wow, this show is absolutely beautiful. What I can’t believe is that for once the actual animation looks EXACTLY LIKE THE PROMO ART. <3 <3 <3
    Anyways, plot wise I feel like this can go either way. What I'm guessing is something that will start up slice-of-life and then very very very quickly spiral into Ultimate Depression Inducing mode in like the last ten episodes. I dunno, I'm just getting that sort of a ring….

  38. I’m seeing tons of hate for Ohana’s grandmother, but I’m feeling more malice towards Ohana’s mother. Honestly, I didn’t her grandma’s actions to be that outrageous. In fact, its more or less how my parents treated me and I’m sure many others with traditional Asian parents have experienced this before. It doesn’t make it anymore right, but taking Asian culture into perspective, it’s completely understandable to me. This is their definition of tough love. That being said, I think it was nearly impossible for someone not to feel sorry for Ohana and Minko. The scene made me recall similar personal situations and seeing how Ohana handled it made me like her character design even more.

    tl;dr – Grandma is mainly a cultural difference. Like Ohana. High hopes for this series.

    1. I think part of the issue is that, depending on the viewer’s background, the grandmother’s actions could be interpreted as assault (of the female employee) and corporal punishment (of Ohana). Particularly in European countries like Germany and the Netherlands where I lived, corporal punishment, even within the home, is now outlawed. It’s important that people take cultural differences into account before forming opinions, but we need to make sure we don’t use it to excuse behavior as well since a cultural norm can still be morally wrong (ex. established discrimination in parts of Asia against mixed descent children).

      All that said, the mother is horrid too, abandoning her child >_<

    2. It’s funny, I didn’t even flinch when either one was hit.

      I’m white, American, and I was never brought up like this, but maybe just from watching a lot of anime and learning as much as possible about Japanese and Asian culture in general, I felt that the actions of the grandmother were completely natural. It’s things like this that fascinate me about Eastern vs. Western lifestyle. They’re often opposite, but both still work. Neither is necessarily right, but they still work.

      For many Westerners, I can see why this is so upsetting because it goes directly against our manifestos. An interesting case study is Amy Chua’s excerpt from her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother that appeared in American news about a month ago. http://on.wsj.com/esA57L I recommend reading it because it highlights the difference in parenting from an Eastern and Western perspective, with the predominant theme being that Western parents value the individuality of the child and are soft with them to promote them making their own choices and being themselves. They guilt the children into ultimately making the correct decisions. Contrary to that, she says that Eastern parents are hard on their children, forcing them to do things they don’t want to do, shaming the children, and making them take responsibility for their own actions at a young age.

      But of course, as Chua admits, she is generalizing. Not all Westerners and Easterners are like this, the perfect example being Ohana’s mother.

      A lot of what we saw in this first episode was Ohana moving from two different parental environments. Her mother leaves her to herself and guilts her when she does something wrong, but her grandmother shames her and forces her to feel the pain of her actions. Ohana is eager to accept responsibility for once in her life which is why she asks for it.

      Thus, I saw the slaps as almost a success on Ohana’s part. I’m sure the grandmother would have expected Ohana to shy away from the her own way of life given Ohana’s parenting until then, but Ohana’s insistance on the matter shows us that she can and will survive in this atmosphere. She’s saying “I can and want to take responsibility for my actions,” which, at least for Ohana, may be the best thing to ever happen to her.

  39. Dang that a whole load of comments already before mine. Well now it’s my turn to give an opinion. The character designs of this show really matches Angel Beats. Right when you mentioned it I was totally like “oh yeah!”. I don’t really mind Ohana’s mother right now because she’ll probably never show up again until the very ending or with some brief calls but her grandmother, holy cow, what a mean person. Customers above everyone else, what kind of family is that? Also I agree with how Ohana is just a normal but very pretty girl that just wants to get through life. Oh and yes, Ohana in a kimono… OMG!!!!

  40. I agree I’m impressed of Matsumae Ohana strongwill though I get the feeling she is a drama queen, just from the opening and she even got a noise bleed I thought it was funny, here’s hoping that her character isn’t a trouble maker but perhaps ditsy.

  41. Not your typical cliche slice of life anime and I cant think of any other show that hooked me with the very first episode in this genre. Tons of potential here and thank god it looks like this wont be completely centered around high school life which has been done to death. Beautiful character designs and animation is just the cherry on top.

    Many people seem to hate the grandmother but its obvious she is the real role model for Ohana. Her strictness and old school mentality no doubt has something to do with her fucked up daughter. I think the grandmother+Ohana aspect of this show has some great dramatic potential and theres just alot of different relationships and aspects this show has going for it.

    1. i think the focal relationship in the story would be between ohana and her grandma. i do believe that the old lady actually does have a very good heart beneath that cold exterior, like takaii had mentioned. XD

  42. I was hooked on this show before it even aired. “P.A. Works does drama/romance” was simply too much to resist.
    This show has a lot of slice-of-life undertones, which, in my opinion, is done extremely well. It’s probably going to end up a coming-of-age story for Ohana. Also, an onsen resort seems like such an interesting setting for this to take place in.
    Well, I have my fingers crossed for HanaIro. It seems like a great premise, and with original shows like this, you have no idea where it’s going to end up.

  43. OMG! This is the show of the season. I am sold. Even made me forget the problem I had with the filesystem of 500 GB disk (which I solved after 10h). It’s good to be back to normal slice of life. Character are kinda flat chested but it’s ok.

    Tiberium Wolf
  44. Frankly, I only watched it because Ohana is the spitting image of Taiga, and your first impression was favourable (I wasn’t planning on picking anything new up this season), but I’m really glad I did – I’ll definitely be keeping at this for the same reason as you said, Takaii – wishfully hoping for a profound life lesson.

    I love shows like these – it’s really easy to put yourself into the main character here. PA Works did an amazing job with True Tears, and I’m happy to be feeling similar vibes here.

  45. This reminds me of one of the countless Asian drama series I have watched (filmed w/ real ppl and all too – hint:TVB)…

    …aka. happy end predicted…

    one thing to note for myself: why Minko’s physical reaction to the slap felt a bit overreacted while Ohana took 3 of those with little movement?

    Anyway, this is one of the confirmed shows I’ll be watching this season.
    (Steins;Gate’s gotten too weird for me to finish the last quarter of that first ep.)

    1. Ahem… I’m pretty damn sure PA Works and Okada Mari would deliver REAL Drama, not the boring recycled garbage TVB churns out from their decaying assembly lines, devoid of all innovation and having to resort to copying soap plots from other countries, most notably Japan.

      Kinny Riddle
  46. i finally watched it!! and i like it! XDD the art style though,(for some reason, i saw it nice at the PV) i found it not that good. (just like how i wasn’t fond of how the AB characters were drawn)DX

    it’s funny what things ohana expected to be fairy-tale like didn’t turn out that way. i like her first encounter with my already favorite girl, Minko. XDD she’s so awesome, just telling ohana to die. XD i think though that there’s a story behind why she loved saying that phrase.

    i’m not expecting much in the romance department though. kou’s confession was kind of out of place.prolly because it was shown at the very first episode and i haven’t seen the build up of the relationship between kou and ohana. XDD btw, i like nako as well. she’s so shy. <3

    looking forward to next episode!! XDD

  47. Looks really promising. Good and consistent art.

    Sadly, I am right now in no position for drama. I will still keep the show in check.

    But the most funny (curious or even scary) thing about it, is that I can´t never ever get to coincide with Mr. Takaii´s shows. I can coincide with Mr. Prooof/Divine/Kiiragi/Omni in his time but never with Mr. Takaii D:!!!

    Lectro Volpi
  48. Great stuff amazing art and music!

    Mom’s basically like F you kid I got a man so live with bitchy grandma and work. WHAT THE HELL! Worst mom ever. But hey i puts the drama into this, either way I will continue to watch

    <3 and the voice work YAY my two favs from Railgun Uiharu and Saten.

  49. I just watched the first episode and WOW, i really wasnt expecting something this good. I usually shy away from girly looking animes but im glad my predujice didnt take over on this one.

    Can’t wait for more!

  50. I really liked this, and like everyone said the backgrounds and all were awesome too. The overall story is pretty classic but it’s done right. We just all know Minko and Iroha will become best friends, that the Grandma actually loves her grandchild, that the guy from the episode’s beginning will pay a visit etc.

    I’ve seen some other anime with a similar scenario, the first one I thought of is Princess Sarah, which is one of my favorites anime ever. This seems much more bright and happy than Princess Sarah though. Iroha got slapped because she screwed up. Sarah was getting slapped most of time while she did nothing wrong, it was just abuse. Here like Takaii said the Grandma did it for her own good.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this first episode overall and I just had a huge grin on my face when I read it’s gonna be 26 episodes long.

  51. I feel so ripped off this season. Stein’s too serious, Dogdays’ too lax. Nothing interesting in the first episodes. I don’t like slices-of-life too, but somethings off with this one. I’ll give it a few more go…

  52. Once in a while we see an anime that a lot of people love and it’s difficult to systematically/critically explain why it’s loved so much, I believe that it’s an attribute for work of genius (in anime it’s mostly a collective genius).

    Characters are beautiful, but if this alone is the factor for loving this anime then many would have had great expectations form the promo. Story build-up alone is not enough yet, after all, only one episode we watched so far.

    Generally, great work, and the fact that it generated on RC more than 150 comments, while other new animes only around 30 sends a clear message. It’s jut amazing to see how people with reasonable budgets can produce something so great. I hope that Hanasaku Iroha will realize its full potential.

  53. I really like the characters. I feel that anyone can relate to them. The first episode was really good and some parts it kind of brought me to tears. Hope this series goes well for P.A works 10th year. 🙂

    Side note: in the beginning was Ohana being serious to her mom? about the whole mom part? i wasnt sure if she was kidding or not

  54. Looks like the grandma is a master of the famous Archie Slap.


    Ohana and Minchi was transported back to their childhoods lol.

    This anime is just like Spirited Away without the fantasy element.I thought it’d be moe’d up and all that, but it’s serious AND moe’d up.Looks like another anime that I didn’t think I’d watch has forced me to watch it weekly.

    Note to self-Must stop being fooled by previews.

  55. I expected the old lady to grow into some sort of huge monster like in spirited away, and magical doors to open and dragons and stuffs.

    The artwork is really well done though, and the storyline is just interesting enough for you to wonder what is going to happen next

  56. P.A. Worked indeed! That was awesome! This definetely will be one of the best show this season and with 26 episode there will be no repeat of Angel beats!’ problem. 🙂

    I was very.. emotional by the end of the episode. All the things that happened to Iroha makes me feel like hitting somebody and every act of Ohana made very impressed of her. :).

    It passed my mind that facing problems like what Ohana has may be harder that faicng some monsters or stuff like that. Maybe I just watch to much action/fantasy/sci-fi/ but … I think if I dropped into those of kind of stories, I may be to scared shitless to act, but I would know what I ashould do. If I got into Ohana’s situation. Bleh. I have no idea what I should or will do. Probably just went crazy.

    Ohana’s awesome and I hope and looking forward for things to be better for her (because if not, oh boooy, I think I wil go into even greater emotional turmoil than ever from watching anime)

  57. I was absolutely disgusted by the “super-slap” by the grandmother. How could someone hit such a well meaning child so cruelly? I don’t care if she has a loving heart underneath it all; in most countries, probably Japan included, hitting a child til she bleeds constitutes child abuse.

    Overall, a strong start, but I’m afraid that this show is going to go down the ol’ “tough, traditional love” cliche road. I hope they don’t. For example, I’d be stoked if the story involved something like the grandma being an abusive parent to the main’s mom in the past- explaining her current irresponsible attitude- but I very much doubt this is the road they’ll be taking.

    But it’s just the first episode, and I like what I see. I wait in anticipation for this show to pull off something original and impress me- if not, at the very least it’ll be a good tough love story, guess. “sigh…”

  58. Uh oh, now I don’t know what I should do.
    I was planning on watching this, since I really enjoyed all other P.A. Works shows, especially “True Tears”, but judging from the comments this looks like a pretty depressing story. And yeah, I can’t really stand overly depressing stories, which is why I never finished Clannad. 🙁

  59. So she literally asked to be slapped…

    I decided to check this out from the comments here and it was difficult(almost to the point of quitting) to get past the first part because it was so unbelievable and her mother and mother’s boyfriend made me rage hard. Once she got to the inn it seemed a lot better. Pretty dramatic and probably the main story is going to revolve around getting Minko to like Ohana and find out what her deal is. I guess that’s a good enough reason to continue watching this and at least Mamiko Noto is in this.

  60. Hmm the grandmother is good. Slapping the “die” girl without a reason to make her resent Ohana. It’s an old tactic but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad tactic. Ohama tried to counter with the “see I shared your punishment let’s resent the senile hag instead of each other” tactic but I don’t think it worked.

    I hope they don’t go the predictable route with the grandmother and let her be an unlikeable person for most of the season and then suddenly try to show that deep down she is a good person because she does a few things which in no way compensate for all the assholish things she will probably do before that. (In my opinion building an character up as unlikeable is easy but many shows fail at really redeeming such an character. And since I like animes but dislike huge party of japans culture it’s even less likely that I will still dislike the grandmother at the end.)

  61. Woah, a mexican drama turned anime. Go, Thalia… I mean, Ohana!

    I dont understand how Ohana can not hate her mother. And I can understand how the granma hate her daughter. What a bastard.

    And by the way, the workers needs to form an union or something. Corporal punishment? We´re in the 21st century!!

  62. “I’m half expecting to find some sort of profound answer to my problems through Ohana before this series ends” <= me too!

    Wow… this is much better than I thought… I've decided to drop Nichjou for this
    So many to choose from yet so little time, bummer!

  63. This Ohana girl kinda reminds me of Taiga from Toradora, was it because they look the same? I like the first episode and the background scenery is wonderfully animated. Being a 26 episode series I hope that PA Works stay consistent with their animation. As for the story, I don’t know yet what the right words to say, it looks like this series will have heavy drama, I just hope it doesn’t drag being a 2 season worth series.

  64. Halfway through the episode I was expecting a kind of Princess Sara story, with the whole “mean old lady” thing. It was almost confirmed when I saw the window open and the darkness around her grandmother’s forehead, but then she smiled and I thought it wouldn’t go in that direction.

    But the bucket out the window and the “you’re going to work for your keep” talk really confirmed my suspicions.

    Still, it’s quite good XD


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