Sunday, 7 August 2011

Hanasaku Iroha - Episode 19

We've had a beach episode of sorts from this series, so it's about time we ticked off the "culture festival" check box from the big, fat list of generic anime ideas.

In class 2-A's case, the majority decision of its pupils is to create a café, with Yuina getting the nod as being in charge of serving the customers (a decision based on looks rather than ability, obviously, otherwise Ohana would get the job in a flash), while Minko is rather handily put in charge of cooking.  Not surprisingly, Minko isn't exactly bowled over with excitement at the idea of taking on this role, or the culture festival itself for that matter - at least, not until Tohru mentions that he might swing by to check out the café if he gets the opportunity...

Meanwhile, Nako's culture festival is proving to be altogether less exciting, as the idea of holding an art exhibition for one classmate's work soon turns from a class affair into just Nako and the pupil in question doing everything by themselves.  Still, perhaps Nako should look on the bright side rather than casting envious glances at her friend's class - although they're theoretically all working together, and the waitressing side of things is running smoothly, life isn't quite so great in the kitchen department as Minko's overbearing personality treads all over everybody else, completely oblivious to their needs or passions.  Things really take a turn for the worse when Minko suggests that another girl wanting to serve a menu that her potential future boyfriend likes is a ridiculous mixing of work and pleasure - the word hypocrisy springs to mind there, Minchi.  Where's Gordon Ramsey when you need him?

Once again though, this was a wonderful episode of Hanasaku Iroha - great fun, and packed with amusing quips, one-liners and expressions to keep things very entertaining despite the clichéd plot of the episode.  It's also interesting to see Tohru brought back into the mix once again - he seemed to have been forgotten about rather in recent weeks, so perhaps we're heading towards a big love rivalry climax featuring himself, Minko and Ohana after all.  In fact, who knows, maybe we should add Nako into that mix as well given her more outgoing behaviour which he picks up on this episode?  Either way, I'm hugely looking forward to seeing how this current culture festival crisis resolves itself next week.

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