Sunday, 25 September 2011

Hanasaku Iroha - Episode 26 (Completed)

It's festival time as Hanasaku Iroha comes to a close - but will Kissuiso be closing with it despite the best intentions of its staff to "fest it up"?

In a word - yes.  Despite their misgivings regarding its closure, come the end of the festival it seems as if all parties have accepted that this is the end for Kissuiso, albeit a temporary one as Enishi promises to learn his trade and come back a better, stronger person to reopen to inn, with assurances from all of its staff that they, too, will return once it goes back into business.

But is this really true, or is Kissuiso simply a marker on the way to those involved with the inn achieving their goals?  For all of the talk of a return and all the emotional goodbyes, the show's closing montage makes it hard to believe that any of the inn's former staff could be in a better place as we see them getting along swimmingly (quite literally in Nako's case) in new roles.

There isn't a whole lot to say about this final episode, as it proves to be a fitting and rather touching finale to a series which has been unreservedly gorgeous in terms of its visuals from beginning to end, and with entertainment value to match more often than not.  I'll be the first to admit that the second half of the series didn't quite live up to the quality of the first, but nonetheless it still had plenty of fabulous moments of comedy coming from various sources, offset by a bunch of characters who were lovable to a man (and girl) which kept pushing the show along even when it threatened to derail.  This is the kind of show whose foibles can often be glossed over by the quality of the package as a whole, and so ingrained in my Sunday afternoons/evenings has this show become that I'm not sure what I'm going to do without my weekly dose escape from reality with Ohana, Minko and company.  I just hope someone here in the west sees fit to give it the Blu-Ray release it deserves.

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