More so then any other show airing this season that I’ve watched, Hanasaku Iroha has successfully managed to become my number one pick. If not for the amazing cast of characters, or the stupidly funny situations, it has to be the show’s ability to consistently toy with my emotions — bringing them up and down at its whim.
After last week’s dirty cliffhanger, there was no clear indication what was going to happen until a good four minutes in. While there were some pretty nifty shots of Ohana, Minko, and Nako together, Jiroumaru’s story of being a failed writer really didn’t grab my attention. Watching someone wallow in their own doubt and fear doesn’t hit me where it used to, but the difference between other shows and Iroha is that there were still reasons for me to get emotionally involved. Sure Jiroumaru’s complete 180 was clear as soon as it was revealed he wasn’t going to rape Ohana — but did you expect a handful of important characters to show a bit of their true selves?
Between Minko and Nako, I’m not sure which one of them left a bigger impression on me this week. Nako’s ability to come through when the situation called for it really opened up her character. That shy front is probably the only thing stopping her from becoming some kind of famous Olympic swimmer or lifeguard. Can you even imagine how successful she’d be if she were able to put that much determination into other things? For Minko, it was really disappointing to learn she’s actually a really spiteful person. After she swallowed so much of her pride and ate the spinach Ohana served her, it surprised me that she had a new insult ready to retaliate for the spinach. I can accept that she doesn’t like Ohana, but to go as far and write down her mental notes next to each insult, describing why it isn’t insulting or mean enough left a sour taste in my mouth. Especially after watching her be so friendly with Nako in the beginning of the episode!
But the person who left the largest impression, once again had to Okami-san. Like I said in my first post, I knew that she wasn’t a bad person. Even after that super double slap to Ohana’s face — I always knew that she had a large heart inside of her. Her words of encouragement to Jiroumaru were amazing, but listening to her acknowledge Ohana’s words felt like someone handed me a hundred dollars. To make things even better, after getting a small peek at Okami-san’s personality outside of her role as an Inn owner my opinion was sealed. Who knew such a stern grandma could produce such a pleasant smile.
I could go on and on about Ohana’s amazing performance this episode but to put it bluntly, her attitude towards life is the most amazing thing about her. Being crazy enough to see the good in people like Jiroumaru even when she was bound and gagged really says something about her. That, and the fact that she managed to contain her emotions after finding out just how much hate Minko has for her was amazing.
At the end of what felt like the first arc in the series, I can’t wait to see where things go from here. Even though the preview answered my question of when school was supposed to start, I was left with a new and even bigger one — how will Kouichi play in all of this? And did Ohana even give him an answer to his confession?
P.S. Just for you guys.