I’d mentioned before that Yuina has been largely neglected, and this episode rectified this. Ohana’s school visits a hot springs for the class field trip, and it turns out that the hot springs they’re visiting are managed by Yuina’s fiance. Their inn can host a large number of people, but doesn’t have as good a staff or management as the Kissuiso. The entire part-time staff quits the next morning, and Yuina dumps her fiance by telling him she doesn’t want to run an inn.
Typically beach episodes are cliche and pointless fanservice, but the trip in Hanasaku Iroha was actually a good idea. It allowed the characters to escape to a new setting where they would have a reason to interact with Yuina. It also added some impetus to the inn management side of the story by allowing us to see a completely different management style. Ohana and Nako’s reactions to being guests in another inn were priceless, with them arranging the shoes automatically, criticizing the staff and waking up early to set up the futons.
Yuina’s development was good— it fleshed her out, but didn’t really surprise us with too much about her that we didn’t already know. She has almost the opposite personality of Ohana. Ohana wears everything she’s thinking on her face, but Yuina always appears indifferent, even when she is being confessed to or dumping her fiance.
Minchi’s confession scene went pretty much as expected. This is the problem with making up your own words, as Ohana also found out this week with her “fest it up” and Yuina’s usage with lesbian undertones.
As you may have guessed, I’m back from my trip, and there will be a flurry of updates on Iroha and Steins; Gate today. Since I’m late to the party, I’m planning to do a single first impressions post for the new season instead of one per show like I usually do (once I catch up, that is). I’ll decide what to blog next season after watching the first episodes.