Spring Anime Reviews - 花咲くいろは

7:33 PM

Is it sexy time yet?

I'm thinking of whether I should do one or two more.

Title: 花咲くいろは, Hanasaku Iroha, ABC's of Blooming
Animation Production: P.A. Works
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life

First off, let me explain the title. 花咲く means blooming (花 being 'flower', 咲く meaning 'blossom'). いろは(Iroha)...I'm pretty sure is a type of Japanese poem from long ago that used every syllabic sound exactly once, and eventually was used to for the ordering of the various sounds or something like that. Basically it's the Japanese alphabet, hence ABC.

Age-tiered seating

The series is for P.A.'s 10th anniversary and it's quite the gift. Like あの花, this is easily one of the best series this season. In fact, if I were to narrow things down, it'd likely be a battle between these two. They're similar and yet quite different at the same time. But this is review of 花いろ (HanaIro shortened) and not a comparison between the two series.

Story-wise, 花いろ is a a coming-of-age story, with Ohana as the main character. She moves to her grandmother's inn, the Kissui Inn, after her mom elopes with her boyfriends to escape his debt. Ohana uses the fresh start to change for the better, and eventually to help the inn and it's staff change for the better as well.

Romeo and Juliet?
The series is a joy to watch. It has so much to offer, and as a coming-of-age story, the characters are front and center at almost all times, especially the main character, Ohana. It's been 6 episodes or so, and we've seen her grow a bit. The main machine of growth is (I think) her text to Koichi, who I hope drops by the Kissui Inn to surprise her. DO IT!!

Staying on the topic of characters, 花いろ has a diverse and colourful cast of characters, from the three girls, Ohana, Nako and Minko, to the other staff at the Inn (like Tooru and Tomoe). Tomoe's always fun to watch and Tooru (Minko's object of affection) is already complicating things, as he seems to have a thing for Ohana (who in turn is still working on her feelings about Koichi).

The first episode or two really made me hate Ohana's grandmother, but she turns out to be caring for her granddaughter in her own way. Seeing Ohana at the inn makes me wonder how things will end. Whether she returns to her mom, whether she carves out a life for herself at the Kissui inn, or something else.

The characters outside of the Inn are great too. Specifically, Yuina, the other 'princess' in the class, as well as the heiress of the rival inn, the Fukuya Inn. She's a rather whimsical characters who isn't too concerned about her position as heiress of the inn.

As amusing the third episode was, it was the odd episode of the batch so far. While it did serve it's purposes, it did seem starkly different from the previous two episodes. The whole bondage scene was pretty funny though, with the bound-ee giving instructions to the bound-er. The whole chase scene, which eventually winded up at the edge of a cliff reminded me all too much of N・H・Kにようこそ! (Welcome to the NHK!) with the chase of Satou. Even his failed suicide was in the episode (minus the head smashing and eventual drug intake). 

The voice work in the series is quite impressive too. Ohana being voiced by Kanae Ito (Misaka (Index), Amu (Shugo chara)), Minko by Omigawa Chiaki (Maka (Soul Eater), Nazuna (Hidamari Sketch)), and Toyosaki Aki (Yui (K-ON!), Kana (Kanamemo)) as Nako. Tomatsu Haruka plays Yuina, and Noto Mamiko plays Tomoe. Full seiyuu casting can be nabbed from ANN

A thing I've noticed is that a lighter episode happens every 2 episodes, like episode 3, and episode 6. It may just be a coincidence, and I don't really have a problem with it, as it helps alleviate the heaviness of the series and brighten's it's mood.

Well, at the end of things, this is one of the series I suggest you watch if you're not already. It's got great characters coupled with a great script and story. The character interactions really make each episode, from Minko's fits of jealousy to Ohana's monologues about Koichi. The art is also superb, if you're still not interested.

There wasn't as much fanservice in the last 6 episodes as I've featured on the blog. Please don't go into the は花いろ assuming that it's festooned with fanservice. It was a result of me being a healthy guy. Fanservice every two episodes maybe though. Anywho, じゃあまた!

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