Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Growing up Is not that easy.. A review of Hanasaku Iroha

Look At That Smile
With the series nearly over I feel like it's time to review one of the better slice of life anime series for 2011 thus far. Hanasaku Iroha is a sweet done to earth, coming of age series, being animated from the small company P.A Works. This series is being done for P.A.'s year anniversary of being in the industry, although they are not big player in series like J.C.Staff or Studio Deen they mainly just do side work from big studios like I have just stated. The only other series worth mentioning they have done is Angel Beats, but you would have to be living under a rock not to know what that series is. There are also two different manga series in production from P.A.Works as well but from two different writers so who knows how each manga series will end.

Hanasaku Iroha main plot focuses around our main heroine Ohana. She is just an average high-school girl that lives an ordinary care-free life going to school with her child-hood friend Ko-chan that does want a change in her life "however she isn't going to expect a huge change like this". Her life was normal until her Irresponsible mother Satsuki, decides to run off with new boy-friend "without Ohana of course" thus forcing Ohana to abandon everything she has every known to live with her grandmother, giving Ohana the change in life she always wanted. Howeveris this the kind of change Ohana can handle or will fall under the pressure??? 

Our Three Leading Ladies
Ohana not once in her life has ever once meet her grandmother due to some circumstances between her lovely mother and grandmother .. "Oh gee I wonder why..." It's also due in part that her grandmothers lives in the countryside running a hot-spring inn called the Kissuisō, which happens to greatly resembles one from Taishō period. . Before Ohana leave's she has a long talk with Ko-chan and then he does something that most male leads hardly ever do..."He Confesses the love he has for her" Sadly Ohana is to startled by this news to give a answer right away and when she does later on "it's a tad to late.. or is it?" Now when Ohana gets to her new living accommodations in the countryside   she sees some weeds "or what she happens to think might be some"and decides to pull them out, then another one of female leads comes along Minko with a dark look on her face and just tells Ohana to die, due in part that where herbs not weeds "Still that's really harsh"
Sadly Ohana also discovers that she will not be living at the inn for free either. She will have to earn her stay by working there. Her Grandmother or Madam Manger has a very strict nature about her but given her age I can understand that, but still bitch slapping Minko and Ohana is a tad much for making a small mistake, however she does come from a time period where serving the customers and keep them happy is always right. The other character worth of mentioning is the quite/timid female waitress Nako-chan who started to work at the inn part-time in order to change her personality and become a stronger person "she also seems to have a crush on Ohana..". The last character worth mentioning is Toru-san who is a twenty three junior-chief that mainly helps prepare the meals and helps coach Minko to become a chief like himself "There is a love triangle here later on.. but that's something you'll find out on your own".

Aww Ohana and Ko-Chan
For a anime that that has already aired over twenty episodes, I am simply amazed that the quality of the animation, music and depth of character has kept up really strong. Now there are some drops epically in episode three due to another resident there being an "ero-wirter" but the series brushes it's self off and moves on past that with great coming of age story for Ohana, getting used to her new life. A great example of this would be when Ohana had to took charge over the Inn when her Uncial's Girl Friend was wrecking everything and chasing off customers. This happened when her grandmother got sick and had to go to the hospital to rest. Ohana was able regain some customers by following her grandmothers strict instructions in her manual for repeat guest thus proving she can do a good job when push comes to shove.

One other thing I wish to point for the series is the amazing animation that is on par if not above movie quality animation, if there are any drops in the over all quality it's not noticeable from me. The animation just flows fluidly  from one scene to another making it very pleasant to look at. Personnaly I have not seen any anime flow or be this well done since FLCL and that's an entirely different type of genre/series.The music for Hanasaku Iroha gets a worthy of mention although the OP and ED are just a little to unique for my taste. Now just like most shoujo series the bgm music plays a huge part for the series. People really don't realize how important this really is but this series flows it out beautifully to set up the mood, play off characters feelings when they don't speak or show their reactions to certain situations at hand. 

Do I Have To Choke A Bitch?
Some people might find Ohana an annoying/flaky character due to her indecisive attitude she has through out the series. "a great example of this would be when she finally meets back up with kou but is just unable to confess her feelings for him or when she is sick in bed and thinks that no one needs her." This will break for a lot of people form enjoying this show in general or even giving it a second glance or make people want to watch to see what's going to happen next. If you can-not connect to the main female lead then I am sure you can find another character in the series. Ohana ironically would be my character given her nature and despite her only being sixteen and female. I can just connect to her character on some level because of what she is going through in her life and that's what a decent narrative should do.

Overall this is a really decent coming of age anime that nearly anyone of both genders can enjoy. However I do wish point out. If your not a fan of shoujo/romance or slice of life series then don't even bother with this anime it's just not for you. It's heavily focused on these sub-genres in general so I just don't want to waste anyone's time is all. Personally I am really waiting to see how this series ends and I just hope it's going to have a decent ending. I could go on but that's all I have to say for this series, if you haven't decided to watch this series as of yet please re-consider in doing so. Well I will catch you all later and just ignore the post date.. I just did another time-leap. "Yes another cheesy Stein's Gate Reference"

No Context Needed...
-Cecil The Dark Knight

Rating: 4.5/5

Age Rating: 13+


  1. what's not to like there's cute girls bondage wet t-shirts and girl on girl action. joking aside, its a really great series that looks beautiful.

  2. Very nice...Hobiron! *giggles*

  3. Slice of life anime are usually not my cup of tea but you make a good argument to at least check it out.

  4. Thanks again. I only have 2.5 days left of free time and I have a new game and a few books I'd like to read. I'll rewatch the first few episodes and if I feel it is worth while I'll just marathon it.

    Thanks, thanks!

  5. I still need to finish this. I got up to around episode 15 or 16 and got side tracked and never finished it.

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