「蒼鷺ラプソディー」 (Aosagi Rapusodī)
“Grey Heron Rhapsody”

This past week I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. We were sort of arguing about our favorite shows of the season. His was Anohana and mine was Hanasaku Iroha. Can you imagine how heated that conversation got?

After last week’s fun-filled conclusion to what I consider the first arc of the series, I was curious what kind of turn this show would take. Then I remembered that the whole school aspect hadn’t even begun yet! Not only that but the whole romance angle returns with Ohana having some free time to think about just how she wants to deal with Ko.

Apparently coming from Tokyo makes you some sort of star in Japan. I guess you could compare it to someone moving from upstate New York to some small urban town in the Deep South — sort of like a big culture shock. While I can’t imagine any school where openly expressing your stalkerish intentions out loud wouldn’t warrant some strange looks, who would have thought that Minko would be one of those popular girls? It was a little unbelievable at first but it was pretty eye opening watching her turn down a guy so easily (and quickly). But if you’re looking for someone more strange then Minko, Wakura Yuina (Tomatsu Haruka) would be your girl. After she blew away my expectations speaking with a Kansai dialect, I was so depressed when she admitted that it was a fake accent. But I suppose when you’re the next in line to run the largest inn in the area, you can do just about whatever you want.

Between Ohana and Ko, I’m not sure exactly how things are going to play out. For those of you who haven’t experienced the feeling of not knowing how to phrase what you want to say, I’ll tell you that it sucks. I can clearly picture myself in Ohana’s shoes — retyping the same message over and over trying to figure out the right combination of words to express my true feelings. The fact that she’s trying so hard to find that perfect response sort of illuminates her feelings toward Ko. While she hasn’t publicly accepted it and loses all her nerves when someone mentions the word “boyfriend”, it feels like she does have some sort of feelings for him. Maybe there will be some sort of amazing message about building relationships somewhere along this trip.

With two new angles already playing, I never expected to see another love problem emerge so quickly. Who would have thought that Minchi would take the spotlight so quickly? Besides learning the origins of her nickname, what does she see in Tohru anyways? While she finally showed a little bit of her girly side when she got infuriated by Ohana (of all people) blurting out the name of her crush, it was a huge surprise to see Tohru ride off with Yuina. It’s like P.A. Works wanted to up the OMG factor by letting Minchi’s crush on Tohru blow up in a single episode. Now I don’t know about you but Minko hasn’t been one of my favorite characters. However, after this past episode, I can’t help but feel bad for her now that she has to deal with a rival for Tohru’s heart. Sure Yuina might have zero feelings for Tohru and this could just be a huge misunderstanding (I’m assuming it’s not), it would really suck to be in Minko’s shoes right now. Watching the person you like getting snatched from right in-between your fingers is something no one should experience but happens all too often.

With a new problem in place, I’m rooting for Ohana and Minchi to hopefully start to patch things up with each other. Like Ohana said, girls seem to get along better when they have a common enemy. While Yuina might not be an enemy she effectively became the catalyst to hopefully bring these two girls together. Why can’t next week come already!?




  1. Minko’s pretty f****ng jacked. She just lifted Ohana and strangled her WITH HER ARMS OUT.

    But anyways, that was a pretty nice twist at the end, and as usual, the plot and production values are amazing

  2. Nako in thigh-highs = FTW. <3

    Anyway, poor Minko, not only has the person that annoys her most (Ohana) figures out her hidden secret, she then sees that cherished secret get obliterated in an instance before her own eyes, sucks to be her. It's as though she's getting payback for rejecting all the guys that's been confessing to her. lol

    Sure took Ohana a few seconds to put 2 and 2 together, she sure is one slow girl. XD

    Once she did get it, it's as though she's making the most fun out of it. lol

    Though if she pushes it too far, this is what she gets. LMAO

    PS I must be getting old, to see a Noto Mamiko character complaining about not getting any boyfriends her age. lol

    Kinny Riddle
      1. The heron is a Chinese symbol for Strength and Purity It is also a global symbol for wisdom. I think the bird is actually trying to help our protag since our protag is also a strong and pure girl.

  3. Omg, how much more character development they can cram into episode? Ohana and Ko distance relationship. Minchi’s hidden crush. The carefree inn owner daughter, Yuina. Tomoe and her single’s woes as a reason behind her rumor mill. The perfectionist-looking-like-jerk Tohru.
    I am sucked in completely…

  4. … also the way the giant grey heron freaked up Ohana was priceless 😛
    ss#37 – Ohana doing the shiro from Deadman Wonderland
    ss#38 – Minchi gets from words (Die!) to actions…

  5. I want the twin tailed girl from her class.
    Was quite surprised that ohana was not too happy about Tohru’s comment about her growth. She does not seem to be the bothered about herself too much type. And she already has a guy who likes her…
    That sparkle in her eyes reminds me of Chaos Head, bringing image from mind to reality.

    1. I don’t think his comment about her height was what annoyed her, but she finds him annoying in general (ie he already told her: she has thick arms, has no friends, is inconsiderate, looks like a little kid, etc).

      I actually find it funny that she doesn’t like him, because they seem kind of similar. While she’s considered inconsiderate, and he blunt, they both do things with the best intentions in mind.

  6. And here I was ready to feel pity for Minko till she tried to choke Ohana to death and then I’m like “Fuck her ass up Ohana, stomp that bitch out NOW!”.

    I don’t care what Minko does now, she can go “Die”.

    And I’m glad that Tohru Netorared that bitch Minko.

    Hey Minko, you just got a taste of Netorare and I’m sure it’s not the last.

    Desperately awaiting the next episode.

  7. I initially thought that ohana would be in a sort of love triangle with minko and tohru. I already got the impression that he was interested in ohana in the last ep or two. I expected that that would heat up and add more tension and drama with ohana’s relationship with minko.

    turns out it went differently. hanasaku iroha is now getting more interesting in my book than the earlier eps did.

  8. Nako is my favorite character so far. I like the story of how she came up with Minko’s nickname and how she’s trying to overcome her shyness by working at the inn.

    I couldn’t care less for Minko(lol too harsh of me),serves her right for strangling Ohana.

    PS: Someone just mentioned this to me, apparently those mob who rushed in to Ohana are the same characters in True Tears.

    1. that would be interesting.
      my vote would go for anohana. while I do like hanasaku, I prefer anohana.
      the drama is good but sometimes reminds me quite a bit of some of the tv shows here in the philippines. while again its good, anohana is more interesting to me.

      unless hanasaku shows explicit/implied yuri of course….

  9. >>Except after this past episode, I can’t help but feel bad for her now that she has to deal with a rival for Tohru’s heart.

    Actually, Takai, I thought this episode achieved the opposite effect on me. I liked her in the previous episodes but this one made me realize what an irrational and weak character she is in spite of her tough appearance. To me, her crush on Tooru sort of shows that she has low self-esteem and vents her frustration on Ohana. Not only does she not defend herself when he’s being a jerk, but she also doesn’t try to win him over. Right now it seems like she’s stuck in an inferior position, passively admiring someone who she might never obtain.
    But I see a lot of potential in the latest development. That is, if Minchi moves on from this crush. Right now I think TooruxMinchi is everything but a good couple. I think someone like Tooru might actually prefer a girl that speaks her mind or is at least a little bit more active like Yuina or Ohana.

    1. while I do agree that he might prefer an open girl, I disagree that he is a jerk. as minko said, he just has a bit of a sharp tongue but he works hard and cares for others. he does seem a bit harsh when scolding minko in the kitchen and ohana in arranging the food but minko can see that he does it so she can learn and that he does have a kind side. ohana is just more sensitive person. ironically she didnt mind when the fake author tied her up and when the grandma scolds her(though she does say that the later was pretty harsh).

  10. Hmmm.. no crazy bird stalking Ohana mention, I thought that was pure gold (can totally relate to funny culture shock reactions). Though with everything that happened in this episode I can’t really blame you.

    Plot, romance, laughs, girls and quality, I couldn’t ask for more.

    1. I’m still baffled where my caps of the bird went. But if I remember right, it appears in the opening sequence as well right?

      While I don’t feel like it’ll have a significant role, that heron is a pretty awesome sawce bird.

  11. So Minchi has a guy she likes, Ohana has someone who likes her (and who she may like back), and Yuina is currently in a relationship. Nako’s certainly got the right idea of flying solo, guys are nothing but trouble for highschool girls. Though I bet she would be adorable in love.

    I’m kind of torn on what I would like this show to end up being. While I love me some comedy, I feel they could take this show down an extremely beautiful road of heartbreak and renewal, but that may get a bit too depressing… a perfect blend would be the best I guess. Anyhow, no matter which way it goes, I will enjoy this show regardless of what it decides to be. Cheers to my favorite show of the season, hopefully they keep this up.

  12. I hope Tohru is not the “cool” person Yuina was talking about.He’s nothing but a foul mouth jerk who cooks food.Okay,I might be exaggerating.Anyway,Nakochi fan here,so I’m happy.

    1. i notice that too i so think he is the cool person that she is talking about back with Ohana but im not worried about the cool aspect of him (he seems kinda of cool in his motorcycle) but the ecchi part is what im worried about lol what did he do to you yuina? and she is under age is against tha law lol.

      1. WHOAAAA…Don’t say that…I totally didn’t get that from him AT ALL. Don’t ruin it for me! 😛

        If anything, I was thinking that by some weird twist Minchi was actually in love with Ohana… but then there was that scene with Tohru driving off with that fake Kansai dialect girl…Now I pretty much think that theory’s a bit far-fetched, but I’m not ruling it out completely (…or more like I’m still hoping ;D)

      2. @Splintered depends on the area. The different municipalities and prefectures in Japan have there own laws. Tokyo has a Youth protection law where you have to be 18 years old. Prefecture laws overrides federal laws.

  13. I can’t wait until Minko and Ohana develop a solid friendship, I really think it’ll be a great thing to see developed throughout the season. I’m partial to Minko because I can understand her personality and see that it’s really only a front. However, I do think her character went a little overboard with trying to choke Ohana… I do feel sorry for her now even more than before, after seeing Tohru with Yuina. It might not have been anything at all and one would hope that in the end things work out, but I just want to see the next episode already! I thought Ohana was very cute in this episode. I didn’t take to her character the past few episodes, but I’m really starting to like her, and I thought it was hilarious that she noted how people in that area seem to write down all of their thoughts, lol. I do think Ohana has feelings for Ko, but she hasn’t realized what those feelings mean so she doesn’t really know it yet 😀 I think her flashbacks were adorable.
    As far as AnoHana and Hanasaku, they’re both my favorite anime of the season, might become some of my all-time faves depending on how they work themselves out throughout their runs. But really, I’m in physical pain at having to wait a week for a new episode from each!! T_T

    Gia V.
  14. For the record, I would like to say I called the whole Minchi x Tohru thing. Also, for the record, I would like to say I would have never seen the Yuina x Tohru thing coming lol.

    I wonder how Yuina and Minchi will become friends because they’re seen together in the ending hanging out with Ohana and Nako. Maybe Yuina x Tohru isn’t really what it seems. Maybe Minchi gets over him. Who knows. Personally, I hope Michi does end up with Tohru or something. She gives off the impression she’s liked him for a long time, but lacks the self-confidence to say anything. That’s not to say Yuina isn’t equally as ‘worthy’ or anything, but right now we still don’t know a darn thing about her really so until we do, I’m in Minko’s corner.

  15. As far as I’m concerned, I’d say she Minchi deserved what she got- if indeed everything is as it immediately seems. She’s selfish, emotionally unstable and has self-esteem issues, contradicting her immense popularity in school. Altogether, it makes her by far the most immature character of the lot; I presume that her “growing up” over the course of the show will be a major plotline, one that I am much anticipating- the lack of which would equate to abysmally poor character development.

  16. Tohru physical compliments to Ohana really seem he has an eye for her, as for Minchi there is still so little developed for her I get the feeling she is somewhat in Ohana’s shoe’s her rudeness seems to be an impact. I wonder what nickname they will come up with for Ohana, still my favorite!

  17. I pretty much knew Minko had a crush on Tohru since I saw them first interact, and I love both of their characters. And honestly I think people are a little too harsh on Minko- we don’t know anything about her yet. From what I’ve gathered, she’s awkward, blunt, and doesn’t understand how to express herself properly. She’s living at the inn herself, so there must be some sort of family issues on her behalf. Minko is defensive and quick to judge, slow to trust. I don’t know, I find her very intriguing.

    This episode made me feel horrible for her. Both her and Tohru seem to have trouble relating to others and I can see why she’d fall for him. He’s brash, but he doesn’t mean to be rude. It’s just how he is and he has the best intentions when it comes down to it. I’d like to see things work out for Minko as she grows up and this arc seems like an interesting one. Want the next episode already! Tohru’s been one of the characters I’ve been most interested in since the beginning.

    1. I agree with you…but I just hope there is a pretty good reason that she was so spiteful the first time they met. Yeah there was that accidental pulling out the plants in her garden thing but that’s no reason to be so upset…and Tohru and Ohana likely never met at that point so there couldn’t be reason for jealousy. Other than that, I actually love her character. I just can’t figure out what she has against Ohana…and that’s a good thing…as long as the reason isn’t really lame or cheezy when we find out what it is.

  18. I’m seeing a ohana and touru thing happening in the future. He really seems to be eyeing her but it is still too early to tell but I enjoy this calm atmosphere. I can say this is my favorite slice of life so far.

    1. Hmmm, I don’t think we’ll see that though. Since Ohana is stil trying to sort her feeling for Ko and Tohru just sees her as a normal brat, plus he’s freaking dense.

  19. I KNEW IT! I knew she liked Tohru. That’s why she’s so serious about work.
    Well this week was great as usual. I can’t stop praising this show. I loved how we saw more of Nako’s cute side, like the “Minchi” incident. And Minko… I can’t wait till next week.

  20. me and my frd were argueing about the same thing lol his fav show was ano hana too. I admit ano hana is really good as well of course but hanasaku iroha is better by a bit imo

  21. Nako needs more screen time, she’s so cute D:. I also agree with takaii about minchi, I didn’t really like her much because I thought she needed a major attitude adjustment, but now i really feel sorry for her. It must be tough hiding your feeling for someone even when they are right in front of you. I in fact am sort of in the same situation and it’s just the most terrible feeling not being able to express yourself. I guess in a way thats also like how Ohana was feeling trying to reply to Ko. All in all it was a great episode and i enjoyed it thoroughly. This is turning out to be one of my favorites this season and i didn’t even plan on watching it in the first place. Next week please.

  22. An improvement from last week. I’m really interested into seeing more development between Ohana and Ko.. Man boy must be frustrated. Even as the watcher I really next to no idea how she feels about him romantically. She just doesn’t seem to be the type who contemplates having romantic relationships, at least for now.

    Really loved the waking up bed scenes. It does remind me of Shiro from Deadman’s Wonderland. So cute.Choking scene might have been funnier if it was chibi, but at least you see the full force of Minchi’s hatred ahaha. Can’t wait till next week.

    P.S Since everyone seems to be doing it … I still think I prefer AnoHana by just a bit DESPITE only two episodes having been shown. I’m a sucker for tearjerkers.

  23. Comparing Hanasaku Iroha and AnoHana is like comparing Ghibli films to Madhouse films, respectively. On the one hand, you have a story of a heroine in a coming of age story who overcomes hurdles to make something of herself, while on the other hand, you have a story of overcoming tragedy that will surely make you tear up sooner or later.

  24. finished watching!!

    Damn! nako is so effin cute!!! <3 i love it when she was writing nicknames for her friends. <3
    i want to see more of her. <3

    anyway, so yuina and tohru are an item? i think not? perhaps just a misunderstanding in minko's part. man, she really likes him, i'm jealous. LOL.

  25. I’m with Ohana. That bird is scary.

    If I were Ohana, living/working in a beautiful Japanese oasis, I would have trouble looking straight too. When it comes to finding out there’s a local pterodactyl that’s “bro”? Being Ohana is suffering.

  26. Strange. From the previous episodes, I had an inkling that Tohru was interested in Ohana. And I think Ohana is in love with Ko but unaware of the signs at the moment. But then these are typical plot lines. Perhaps the story will go another direction.

    1. At any rate Tohru hooking up with any of these high school minors would be unconventional at best. He looks like he’s at least 6-10 years older than most of them (I may be wrong, and age gap isn’t as much of an issue as the fact that the girls are underage)… but hey, anime’s known for pulling off these kinds of things- Don’t get me wrong, I’m not put off by these things and will enjoy a show regardless (I mean hey, I watch Seikon), yet I can’t help but point out the unconventionality of the situation.Concurrent realization of reality and suspension of disbelief, I suppose…self-contradictory, some may call it, but I call it a prismatic, comprehensive approach.

    1. I actually didn’t notice her voice in the first episode, until after I read it was her in the review, but now I find her voice kind of annoying too. And it doesn’t help that i’m not a fan of Minko.

      In Soul Eater and Arakawa, I actually didn’t mind her voice. But after Machi Sore, with her voicing Hotori, I found her voice annoyingly grating. It fit Hotori perfectly, but now I can’t help but find her voice annoying.

  27. I’m like you, Takaii, not a big fan of Minko (which feels really weird for me since I liked her design best when first looking at the promo images), but love Ohana. I also find Nako to be super cute. While I should’ve felt bad for Minko, I just couldn’t totally do it. The way that she’s just so stubbornly rude to Ohana, unwilling to give some leeway is really irritating. I sincerely hope that by the end of this Minko arc that she’ll become more likeable for me.

    On the other hand, I’ve only seen Yuina for a few minutes, but her fake Kansai accent and carefree attitude really makes me like her. Maybe that’s why I don’t mind if she’s actually in a relationship with Tohru.

  28. Am I the only one that doesn’t like the Tohru x Minko pairing? I dunno I’m just not feeling it :/

    Also the girls aren’t underage in Japan. The legal age there is 14.

  29. yup, the person u had in mind being snatched up by sum1 else right infront of you; sucks so much TT
    but i really didn’t like minko too much so didn’t feel too bad for her as I should’ve lol

  30. Good episode and insightful impressions (as always).

    Just as my conjecture for next episode, it kinda sounds like Tohru might go to work for Fukuya (and leave behind his knife) and Ohana will try and follow him there as to why (and ask to work there as to gain entry or something I don’t know lol).


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