All good things must come to an end, beloved reader. So too must Hanasaku Iroha. While some may raise their glasses to ol’ Hanairo for a few mediocre episodes of moe I raise my middle finger at a show I should have dropped weeks ago.
I’m afraid this is going to be my most biased review since I dropped Deadman Wonderland. Not because of vitriol or anger but because of sheer, unfettered apathy. You see, I just don’t give a shit about Hanairo or anything that happens in it. At some point I realized that they were incapable of bringing anything to a satisfying conclusion which rendered the build up pointless. Every door opened to an empty hallway.
There were zero real conclusions. Minko and Tohru have the exact same relationship. Tohru and Ohana never resolve their tension after an entire season of winks and nods. Ren and Tomoe get 2 seconds of shiptease then nothing. Mama-san has an unexplained personality switch. Ohana and Ko get the closest to a resolution but even that felt hollow to me. Flowerhead tries to run away when they once again coincidentally bump into each other then they spout a bunch of nonsense at each other. Ko loves Kissuiso because Ohana loves it, Ohana loves Ko because, uh, well, because. She’s no less flighty in her confession than she was when she wasn’t sure. Don’t just fucking tell me something is, show me, explain it to me, make me feel it. The only time their relationship felt real was when they reconnected and she realized she wasn’t being fair by stringing him along. That should have been the end of their story.
The inn closing is another example of my problems. For more than a few episodes Flowerhead and friends ran around blindly, without logic or plan to do something, anything to prevent Kissuiso’s closure. Takako went after the director guy, Uncle Aizen stood up to show he could handle things, Mama-san wrote a glowing review, the staff mutinied against Granny Pimphand. All to no effect, conclusion or fan-fare. They go out of their way to ramp up the drama and set-up a climax but just throw up their hands halfway through with a shrug and a “fuck it, let’s just wrap this shit up”. ‘Fest it up is supposed to be the lesson learned. I thought it meant “live to your fullest” or some other greeting card bullshit. If the example set by the characters is anything to go by what it really means is “barely hang on while everything around you works out or falls apart on its own”.
Granny is going to be a waitress? That bitch couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without being hospitalized. Being a waitress is physically demanding and I don’t think Madame Manager is going to make it out alive. At least Ohana can come by and check up on her, I thought. Then they had their big, dramatic farewell at the train where they made it seem as if it’s the last time they’ll ever see each other. Every character has been to and from Tokyo a hundred times over but suddenly they won’t be able to see each other? Are they cancelling train service? Shit, at one point Ohana goes to the city, runs around several hotels looking for Tohru, finds him and gets a ride back before dinner is served. She’s your Grandmother god dammit, she took you in when your mother abandoned you, the least you could do is hop on the 3:45 to Bumblefuck once a month.
Ultimately, Hanasaku Iroha was like a really, really attractive sexual partner who whispers in your ear a promise of untold pleasures then promptly passes out the second your genitals touch. Regret/Recommend scale, you ask? I regret sticking around for as many episodes as I did and would not recommend this show.