Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hanasaku Iroha - Episode 13

Hanasaku Iroha reaches its half-way point with the impending visit of Ohana's mother Satsuki - a visit perhaps less eagerly awaited than one from the Grim Reaper, I would imagine.

Upon her arrival, it isn't really surprising to hear Satsuki noting how nothing has changed with Kissuiso, and pointing out numerous things which could be done better or differently - although of course said tips could well prove to be invaluable, or at least they would if her grandmother and the inn's manager had any interest in hearing them.

Then again, Shijima has some plans of her own up her sleeve; given both her and Ohana's knowledge of Satsuki's personal preferences they have ample possibilities for catering to her particular desires, favourite foods and so on, just as they would for any other returning customer.  As the visit progresses, so things seem to shift from being an evaluation of Kissuiso into a more family-oriented affair, culminating with Satsuki inviting both daughter and mother to join her in her room for drinks and a chance to catch up with one another - an opportunity that allows Ohana to reveal her feelings about both Ko and moving back to Tokyo, while Shijima unknowingly reveals a dream of her own.  Come the end of her visit, Satsuki has a largely positive review of Kissuiso to give to Ohana, although she still seems to have her own fish to fry as her thoughts continually turn towards Ko.

Having thrown so much drama (and a fair amount of comedy) at its recent instalments featuring Ohana in Tokyo and her fracas with her mother, this particular episode perhaps felt a little dull exactly because of what went before - it didn't have the zip or sparkle of previous instalments, which left its thawing in relations between the three generations of women to feel a little arbitrary while there wasn't really much else to write home about, with even the threat or potential of Satsuki's visit as a critic falling a little flat.  Still, given how much this series has entertained me so far, I suppose I can forgive it a slightly "off" episode in the midst of so many beautiful visuals and otherwise great moments.

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