Hanasaku Iroha 20 — Into the Magical World

Of cooking.

This week’s developments are fairly predictable: Ohana, Yuina and Nako help Minchi reconcile with her classmates, and they end up cooking omelette rice. Nako makes a friend. Minchi writes “LOVE” and draws a heart on Tohru’s omelette rice. Everyone is impressed with Minchi’s courage. Tohru thinks they write that for everyone.

It was a decent episode, but at this rate, the creators need to get moving if they want everything to come to a conclusion. We’ve spent a while in this rut of episodes focusing on the side characters, and Ohana and her family have been more or less neglected. Ohana’s relationship with Ko has no resolution in sight, we haven’t seen the mother for a while, and Ohana’s relationship with her grandmother hasn’t changed much, if at all, for the past ten episodes. Hanasaku Iroha has the potential to be something more than another cute girls doing cute things series, and the creators seem reluctant to latch onto that possibility.

In other news, little kid Minko is cute. She dreamed of entering the magical world of cooking ever since she was little. And Nako’s titling of her new friend’s painting as “Sloppy” appears to have been part of a dream. The “it was all a dream” ending is the first entry in the book of terrible cliches, and even if it wasn’t the application here was not amusing at all. I found myself laughing surprisingly little in this episode, actually. The only parts that were mildly amusing were Ohana and Minchi crying over the onions, and Ohana working at her job to stuff down failed culinary creations.

So I have to say: this episode wasn’t that funny, it didn’t advance the plot much, and it didn’t tell us much we didn’t know about the characters. Well, we did learn that Minko wanted to be a cook since she was little, but I think this was already fairly obvious. So what were the creators aiming for with this episode? I can’t tell. Perhaps a relaxing atmosphere? It did succeed at that, since it almost put me to sleep. Of course, it may be the other way around: I didn’t get much out of the episode because I almost fell asleep.

6 thoughts on “Hanasaku Iroha 20 — Into the Magical World

  1. At what point do you start docking this series for failing to live up to expectations?

    I follow baseball and in baseball, you “forgive” players on the team when they don’t perform well in April and May. The thinking is that it’s still early and there’s plenty of time for them to perform up to expectations. June comes and goes but by July, you begin to believe that what you’re seeing is what you’re getting.

    It’s July for Hanasaku Iroha. This show had all the potential in the world to be great but it isn’t delivering and we have no choice but to call it what it is: another average slice-of-life anime more concerned with fanservice than story development.

    I’m beyond disappointed. What happened to this series? Was the manga written this way? Minchi went from creatively outspoken to bland tsundere in a handful of episodes. Ohana hasn’t been developed in who knows how long and Yuina has become dead weight. Seriously – you could seriously cut her character out of the story and the plot would remain the same.

    I feel like I’m watching filler.

    Three weeks from now I hope I can take all this back. Even if things pick up, Iroha will be downgraded in my book for its mediocre middle and inconsistent plotline.

    1. Filler is a good way to describe it. We need more of the family and Ko and less of all these school antics and dress up games…

    1. I’m not sure that “slice of life” is even something you can be good at… I like most slice of life shows either because they’re funny (see: Minami-ke, Hidamari Sketch), because they have an interesting setting / story (see: Haibane Renmei) or a combination (Niea_7, Aria) and because they have interesting characters. Hanasaku Iroha isn’t particularly funny, the setting isn’t anything all that special, and the characters, while they seem to be on the cusp of that special something, aren’t anything to write home about. It’s felt at times like it’s on the verge of having some great drama, but keeps backing off at the last minute.

  2. I think the creator’s intention this episode clearly was to illustrate just how large Ohana’s stomach is. This show is time filler for everyday life. It’s slightly better than looking at my monitor when it’s turned off.

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