Sunday, 14 August 2011

Hanasaku Iroha - Episode 20

Minko and company's school festival plans might be in jeopardy thanks to our wannabe chef's brusque and uncooperative manner, but you wouldn't think it to look at her - as she promised last episode, she simply steps up to the plate (both literally and metaphorically I suppose) to buy all of the food for her class' cafe and looks set to prepare it all herself.

Enter Ohana at this point, who can never resist an opportunity to help out even if it means facing the wrath of Minchi, and before she knows it even Nako joins in despite not even being a part of their class to lend a hand.  With the group of girls with whom Minko had argued with also in a suitably apologetic mood, things soon get back on track, and thanks to Nako's own omelette rice-based nightmare of late her suggestion for what to eat on the group's lunchtime break serves up what proves to be a surprisingly conciliatory dish that reaches the approval of all concerned.

Come then big day then, the class "Princess Cafe" goes along without a hitch, proving to be incredibly popular while even Tohru pays his promised video to check out Minko's cooking - a visit which nets him a surprisingly bold personalised dish from his admirer, even though other events conspire to ensure that he doesn't even realise it himself.

So, another hugely fun and entertaining arc of Hanasaku Iroha comes to an end - no real drama or tension to speak of here, just a bunch of great characters bouncing off one another even if this episode threatened to turn into some kind of cooking guidance show for a little while.  This is another one of those instalments which really underpins what works about the series at large, with its gorgeous animation accentuating characters and stories which "just work" in an undemanding yet massively enjoyable fashion.  Goodness knows what I'm going to do with my Sundays once this show comes to an end...

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