This episode just blew me away. I think it was one of the best episodes of Hanasaku Iroha we’ve had so far. Yuina truly came into form as a main character, as Ohana’s can-do attitude has begun to rub off on her.
The scene in the bath with Yuina and her fiance was spectacular. The socks. The SOCKS. Then her fiance tells Yuina that he only wants to marry someone who will work there with him, like Ohana. And Yuina’s jealousy sets in. When you have a character who has been so indifferent towards everything up to this point— her many confessions from classmates, telling her fiance she didn’t want to work at an inn, and not helping when the part-timers quit— it becomes all the more effective when they do show some emotions. Even when it’s such a mild display compared to what Ohana does all the time, it has so much more impact because of how different it is from how Yuina usually acts.
Their reconciliation was touching, as Yuina attempts to work but fails miserably, and Yuina decides to become an inn manager after all. She claims she has been opposed to the idea due to having an inn as her home all her life, so I’m guessing that next week she’ll be coming to Kissuiso.
As an aside, the use of the evening light falling into the bath room during Yuina and her fiance’s conversation was a great touch. I loved the evening colors and how one side of Yuina’s body was in shadow. It made everything feel much more dramatic.
As for the rest of this episode, it’s interesting to see (but not all that surprising) that Ohana’s grandmother has such a reputation. From Ohana, Minchi and Nako’s helping at the inn, we had an aha moment when Ohana realized that she had actually learned to be a waitress. But honestly, this entire half episode was worth it just to show how Yuina wasn’t offering to help so we could have that bath scene.