It's pay day at the Kissuiso inn, making for a moment of excitement for Ohana as she checks her earnings to find that her payslip contains a whopping 20,000 Yen. Well, whopping by Ohana's admittedly twisted view on life anyhow...
That aside, things still aren't exactly looking great on the business front for Kissuiso, which leads to the latest in what is apparently a regular visit from business consultant Minami Kawashima... oops, sorry - wrong series, I mean business consultant Takako Kawajiri, who comes up with her latest weird and wonderful scheme to bring the establishment into the 21st century. This time around the subject of her business management eye is upon the waitresses uniforms, with her suggestions taking their garb in a more attractive direction which ends up causing more trouble than it does drum up new business.
Despite this disaster, Ohana is still determined that Takako had the right idea and that something needs to change to draw in more customers - something she confronts her grandmother about to no avail. However, what Ohana doesn't realise is revealed soon enough by "Beanman", who shows her a storage room packed full with brightly coloured, hand-crafted outfits - Ohana and Nako decide to give these clothes a try to much success... ironic, given that they were the creations of Ohana's grandmother from her own attempts at innovation in the past; attempts that were shot down by her husband at the time.
Compared to previous episodes of Hanasaku Iroha this felt like a rather run of the mill episode - it carried itself on Ohana's enthusiasm as always, and also revealed a little more of her grandmother's softer side and past to build up that aspect of the show, but away from that it had neither the comedy nor the drama that have been the dual staples of the series to date. It was light-hearted and fun to watch despite this however, via an episode which flowed nicely and looked as good as ever, do for all its relative mediocrity it still raised a few smiles and held my interest, which is hardly a disastrous state of affairs. I just hope it finds some bigger and better topics to play with in future, and certainly next week's instalment looks as though it has more room for big comedy set pieces if nothing else.