A Nako-centric episode. The highlight is everyone becoming mermaids in Nako’s dreams.
I felt that this episode was one of the weakest of the show so far. It wasn’t bad, but at this point I just want to get all these side stories over with and get back to Ohana and the drama. It’s been four or five episodes now since much of anything has happened regarding Ohana. The Yuina and arcs were excellent (and the Nako arc somewhat less so), but as standalone arcs, not as part of the overall story. Hanasaku Iroha lately has lacked a central thrust and overarching focus binding everything together.
My main complaint is that unlike the last couple arcs, where Yuina and Enishi were developed, we simply didn’t learn much about Nako that we didn’t already know. We knew she was shy, we knew she took care of her family, and we knew she wished she could be less shy like Ohana. It felt like the entire purpose of giving her more money was to get her to cosplay (and have Ohana complain about being poor). I don’t feel that this episode added much to her character, or the overall story.
Yuina getting passed over in favor of Nako was fairly amusing though. As were all the mermaid scenes. The grandmother as the queen…
In the end, Nako learns that shy waiters are popular too. So we’re back at square one, except now Nako has learned to accept herself. I guess. Next week is a school festival, so hopefully Ohana will get back into the picture.