Preview: Hanasaku Iroha


Time for the next installment of “Riyoga Disagrees with Popular Opinion and Pisses People Off.” First was The World God Only Knows, then Dog Days, and now it’s time for Hanasaku Iroha.

Alright, maybe the “pisses people off” bit is an exaggeration, but I’m willing to bet one of these days I’m going to rub someone the wrong way.

Hansaku Iroha is about Ohana. It’s all about Ohana.snap2

Sometimes it even seems like Ohana knows she’s the main character of a show. She never really hesitates to let out lengthy monologues that serve no real purpose.

Ohana doesn’t even really care about herself. She just wants to go through the motions of life and doesn’t have any ambitions. She does seem to hint that she hopes for abnormalities to happen in her life when she likes the idea of “ruining herself,” though.

She completely contradicts this multiple times, though. Take the whole thing with Ko, for example.snap3


What, not out of the ordinary enough for you? Even if she doesn’t have feelings for him, she could have handled that much better. She admitted after Ko ran off that she was planning on running off, too. That’s not how you treat your problems.

This is the part where people start getting mad at me and saying, “But Riyoga! It’s a story about growing up! Of course she isn’t perfect!” Yes, that is true, but you can make a story about growing up with having a character be this irritating. She has no goals, she doesn’t know how to treat difficult situations even when they deal with her best (only) friend, and her monologues just make her seem like she’s full of herself.

If she grows out of this, then that’s great, I look forward to it. But right now, she annoys me. Especially this part.snap5

Of course he didn’t, you twat. He’s a guy that beats around the bush when it comes to his feelings because he’s too nervous to be straightforward. He finally summoned the courage to say it to your face and you blew it off completely. He had every right to blow you off, too.

She did say it as a more matter-of-fact thing than a disappointed thing, but the fact that she said it at all means she thought there was a chance he’d show up. Because everyone forgives you instantly, right? Just like how you forgive other people for stuff. Oh wait…

Anyways, we also get more of Ohana’s, “I want a simple life yet am emo because I feel I deserve better without having to try” monologues.snap6

What is this, Twilight?

…Wait, I stopped giving a plot overview, didn’t I? Damnit.

Alright, so Ohana’s mother runs off with her boyfriend, abandoning Ohana. She has Ohana go to her grandmother’s, because abandoning her daughter was a terrible thing to do, and leaving her all alone at the apartment would have been even worse.

Upon arriving in the new town, Ohana finds out that her grandmother actually runs quite the extravagant inn.snap7

Right away, she meets a bunch of the staff, along with a lovely girl that nearly matches Ohana in an irritating contest. About 50% of her vocabulary seems to just be the word “die.”

The grandmother also tells Ohana that she isn’t taking her in as a daughter, but as a staff member. Ohana is extremely upset that the simple, boring life she clearly desired has instead become even slightly more exciting. Seriously, she’s upset that she can’t have more than a simple by-the-book life, and then when something abnormal happens she complains? Ugh.

Anyways, I’ll divert my attention to “die” girl, also known as Minko.

There’s a scene where she’s working in the kitchen and getting scolded for peeling some skins to thickly. When Ohana feels that Tohru, the assistant chef, is being a bit of a hardass.snap8

Just when Tohru is about to respond, Minko interjects.snap9

Now, I know the whole “mind your own business” argument all too well. I usually think of it as the “you’re right but I don’t want to acknowledge it” argument, though there are exceptions. However, the argument isn’t usually thrown at you by the person you’re defending.

It’s obvious Minko has feelings for Tohru, but that’s no excuse for being flipping bonkers. Unless it turns out she’s a masochist or something, and gets off from hearing Tohru get mad at her.

Moving on, there’s a scene where Ohana is cleaning out Minko’s futon, and it accidentally falls off the windowsill or whatever it was and falls on some customers. After apologizing profusely with her grandmother to the customers, her grandmother calls Minko over for a little mini-staff meeting with Ohana.

And this happens.snap10

Apparently, because it was Minko’s futon, it’s her fault that it fell on the customers.


That doesn’t make any sense. It was not deep or meaningful or anything. It was just stupid cruelty for no legitimate reason. Ohana knew this, and told her grandmother to hit her instead, which she obliged.

Then after it was over, what kind of thanks does Ohana get?


Oh you insufferable bitch.

Before I move onto the second episode, I need to mention that the ED sequence for the episode (which is actually the OP sequence), had the most annoying song in the world. That voice was like nails on chalkboard. I’m sure the lyrics were deep and profound, but I couldn’t even concentrate on reading with that voice ringing in my ears.

Anyways, this is dragging on so I’ll just point out the more important parts in the second episode (read: more of Ohana being annoying).

I certainly wish Ohana would grow up faster, because she’s even worse in the second episode. While I can sympathize with her “don’t trust anyone” ideal, given that I’m also a cynical person, I keep it to myself whereas Ohana channels it into outright antagonism.snap12

When Tohru comments on how it’s foolish to not rely on others because you can’t do everything yourself, Ohana throws a hissy-fit in her head, saying how she hates him and says the above line.

God forbid someone have a conflicting opinion to your own and provide a logical reason to back it up, right? Ugh, Ohana pisses me off. I could understand if she was 10, maybe 12, but the girl is 16. Yes, her mother was not a great role model, but the “I’m right about everything” mindset is something you are very capable of growing out of.

There was hope near the end, when she talked to both Minko and Nako about her behavior.snap13

However, it was shattered moments later when she insisted she’s make their least favorite meals the next day. That is not how you make up with people, nor convince them to be your friends.


This is also not how you be more considerate.

The episode ends on a sour note, that was utterly predictable at the same time.snap15

The drama in this show is so damn forced it isn’t even funny. Actually, I take that back, it is funny.


So yeah, that’s my thoughts on the show. I’ve already started taking bets on how many angry commenters I’m going to get for this. And I don’t mean people who just disagree with logical reasoning, because I actually encourage that. I love a good debate.

Anyways, I thought I’d also mention something else. I normally don’t care for ANN’s reviewers’ opinions on shows, but Carl Kimlinger brought up an excellent point on this show: “The series is obviously trying to provide a quiet, realistic alternative to the bawdy, hyperactive, alien-and-ninja school of teen anime, and that’s very nice of it, but harshness isn’t realism, and cruelty doesn’t make your characters complex; it just makes them bad people.”

Don’t get me wrong, the show isn’t bad. It has some fantastic art, and I’m enjoying the ride (but hating the characters) so far. Though I’m not sure how much longer my tolerance for Ohana and Minko is going to last.

It’s just that this show is massively overrated, that’s all.

P.S. WordPress still won’t let me do blank paragraph separators, which is why I had to use a period for one. Sucks.

2 Comments on “Preview: Hanasaku Iroha”

  1. Yi says:

    While Ohana does entertain the idea of ruining herself, I think she still accepts the kind of situation she gets thrown into, and doesn’t actually rebel. There’s something very powerful in that casual passivity. To me, she gave me a sense of someone very confident and secure. Later episodes further highlight that part of her, especially her independence.

    HanaIro might not be the best masterpiece, but I like it so far, and I like Ohana.

    • Riyoga says:

      But that’s just the thing. She may not complain to others about her situation or feelings, but she doesn’t stop doing it in her head. That kind of thing just irritates me; if you’re so upset about something that you can’t stop thinking about it, you should DO something about it.

      She just comes off to me as someone who feels like she deserves a grand life, but doesn’t even try to earn it, so she’s “willing to put up with” a normal one. I just find that arrogant.

      Of course, that’s just the impression I’m getting, and everyone else is entitled to their opinions.
      I bet I’d like the show more if I cared for Ohana at all, and if the third episode hadn’t rubbed me the wrong way.

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