Monday, 30 May 2011

Hanasaku Iroha - Episode 9

Hanasaku Iroha hasn't really delivered us a proper two-part story to speak of until this particular story arc, with episode eight setting the scene for Ohana to set up to the plate in her grandmother's stead and do the right thing for Kissuiso.

Most immediately, Ohana's concern is to find Tohru at the wedding he's attending - something that is easier said than done when you don't know whose wedding he's attending or even his full name, and something which is even more difficult when.... well, when you're Ohana.  Cue some rather slapstick moments of comedy as hapless Ohana falls about the place in her failed attempts to find Tohru.  Just when it seems that all hope is lost, a phone call from Ko gives Ohana the push she needs to carry on, with her male friend effectively telling her to carry on muddling through as she always does.

While this might not be the best piece of advice I've ever heard, it does spur Ohana on to achieve this particular goal, before making the rush back to Kissuiso with Tohru to save the day and leave them with an inn fully of largely satisfied customers.  But what of that alleged mystery reviewer?  Of course, we're given a pretty heavy hint of who the person in question is come the end of the episode, in a reveal which proves that Ohana's desire to make sure that all of their customers left satisfied was the right call to make.  All of this is ultimately and arguably secondary to the biggest points to take from the episode - a potential love interest who isn't Ohana for Ko (whose trip to see Ohana is dashed throughout the episode), and a closing of some of the distance in Ohana and Tohru's relationship.

As per much of Hanasaku Iroha in recent weeks, this episode carried itself well on a mixture of the sheer energy of its story and the fact that Ohana, for all of her foibles, is an eminently likeable girl.  My only real bugbear here is that last week's instalment set us up with a perfect opportunity for Ohana's character to show a little growth and maturity as she took it upon herself to do the right thing for her workplace, only for this episode to willingly revert her to being a clumsy, headstrong girl who gets things done more by luck that judgement.  I might be nitpicking, but this seems like rather a harsh reversion to type after the willingness to take charge and get things done in the previous episode.  Oh well, despite that aspect of this story arc irking me slightly, I still thoroughly enjoyed the episode, so roll on more Ohana shenanigans!

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