Monday, 22 August 2011

Hanasaku Iroha - Episode 21

Love is in the air this week at Kissuiso.... well, love mixed in with the odd frighteningly potent dose of hatred, by the look of things.

Starting with the more upbeat side of things however, this instalment opens with Enishi announcing that he will soon be marrying Takako - rather a sudden surprise even given their earlier dalliances, but it seems that they're now really rather close... Hell, Takako even has a cringe-worthy nickname for her husband-to-be.  As for Enishi's mother, her poker face is as steady as always, but she does agree that the couple can be married with her blessing as long as they do so via a proper ceremony.  Of course, given the finances involved this seems like an impossibility - at least, it does until the rest of Kissuiso's staff suggest the idea of holding the ceremony at the inn with them helping out.  The budget is still ridiculously tight, but all of a sudden the whole thing seems like a distinct possibility.

Meanwhile, matters of the heart are proving to be more troublesome for Minko, as some throwaway comments by Tohru again throws her into one of those fits of jealousy of which she is so prone.  As per usual, the subject of this anger is a bemused Ohana who has no idea what's going on (nothing new there, to be fair).  This time around though, things really do seem to have taken a turn for the worse in this bizarre love triangle, with Minko telling Ohana to go out with Tohru while still finding herself unable to say anything about her feelings to Tohru himself.  This will never end well...

Although we've moved from simple, fluffy fun to some more serious moments of drama, Hanasaku Iroha is continuing to work well.  Okay, Takako and Enishi seem like an implausible couple (and marriage so early doesn't really fit too well with the story up to that point), but the end of episode cliff-hanger is suitable "ooooh" worthy, and outside of that coupling Minko's ferocious jealousy has been fantastically played here.  Throw in some more great one-liners and facial expression comedy and its ever-entertaining character roster, and I'm once again reminded of how much I'm going to miss this series when it comes to a close.

I probably should have bought the Hanasaku Iroha cider and prints on offer at the Ayacon charity auction after all...

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