Creativity Magazine

Hanasaku Iroha

Posted on the 06 February 2016 by Aritrasen
MAL rating-8.04/10Genre:- Slice of Life/Romance(not yuri)/Comedy
After her single mother decides to run off with a boyfriend to dodge debt collectors, the young and energetic Ohana is sent to live with her grandmother. However, her grandmother is the strict owner of a hot springs inn and requires her to work at the inn to pay for her living expenses. Although Ohana is unhappy about this situation at first, she decides to make the best of her situation and work hard. Ohana's life is suddenly filled with fun, mischief, and drama!

tl;dr- A slice of life anime that ticks the right boxes, leaving you with a warm fuzzy feeling. If you need a healing anime and cannot really get into Aria and the likes because of less drama, this one just might be for you. It pulls your heartstrings in the first half and gives a memorable conclusion in the second. An anime that everyone should watch. Of course I cannot guarantee that you will like it or it is flawless, but then it will all depend on how much you focus on the flaws itself.Overall this is one of the better SoLs out there and the second best P.A. Works after Uchoten Kazoku.
Animation and artwork-7.5/10(character atwork is great, use of palletes extraordinary, but it falls short of other P.A. Works in the background scenery. Some are badly drawn and blurred in 720p, filtering issues are there)
Sound- 9/10(Exemplary, could not skip the 2nd Op and ED for once, the insert songs and music greatly heighten the atmosphere, not one which I will download OSTs for, but it acted as a brilliant compliment to the anime)
Story and coherence- 7.5/10 (Doesnt divert much from the main storyline, though sometimes goes in random direction to develop a character, overall we can call it a meandering river with small rivulets, but most of the water flows together from source to sea)
Characters-7.5/10(4 characters obviously dont get equal development, but each is given time to develop. Even the weak link becomes completely different person in the beginning than in the end. Relationship development between two main characters are beautiful to watch, and the development of side characters top notch. I fell in love with all of them after the anime)
Enjoyment-9/10( Something that made me not skip episodes or drop in the middle to pick up later. Hooked from first episode, and kept me in the journey till the end)
Now that we are done with the ratings let me focus on some aspects of the anime.
The show initially may seem like just another cute girls doing cute things show. But no its much more than that. What I did not expect is the romantic angle to the show at all, because it wasnt mentioned anywhere. In fact the romance though subtle plays a very important part in the show, and the relationship between the lead female character and her lover reminded me of mine, so I could connect at a personal level. The lead character though is a bit absurd because she is unaware of sexual harrassment and such in the beginning and some weird things happen to her(nothing like sexual assualt and rape mind you, its actually funny), but looking at her age it is a bit too much far fetched.(But I know a few girls in real life at that age who really did not know anything about sex at that time). Anyway the lead character doesnt start off as somebody pampered and already has a strong character, so to see her molded into something better is a treat to watch. Plus the character interactions and dialogues are handled skilfully and the reactions seem totally realistic and believable.
The one big flaw however is the romance angle which might be argued is a bit too convenient setting and conclusion, but for my purpose its okay, no complaints I like it.
As with every slice of life there are plenty of quotes which will impact you. One particular thing which did for me was, this,
"Marriage is a promise not to let your spouse be alone, ever again. yes, even if one of you pass away first"
In today's world of divorces and marriage related violence(what am I saying marriage related violence was since forever) people need to relook at the original reason for marriage. Most of the people today see marriage in a completely different light, so reading this quote brought a smile to my face. Too many people nowadays forget about this. And yes, this show shows a beautiful relationship between husband and wife as well.
One thing that this anime does exceptionally well is using of screenplay to heighten the effect of an event. To show how an action simultaneously changes lives of two people, to use "movement" and "direction" as an allegory to their lives. And yes uses the fucking trains..
The ending episode, however deserves special mention. There was no miracles, yet there were many. The yakisoba guy was a badass(watch the anime to see what I mean). The setting was the bonbori festival, which made it all the more beautiful and P.A. Works could have delivererd better but they did just enough with the artwork. The OST used literally brings tears to your eyes and tears your heart off yet healing you at the same time. I dont know what the movie shows, but in my opinion this was the best ending this anime could get, it couldn't have been better.
The ending quote sums the anime up
" I am probably still a bud,
But thats why I stare up at the Sun so high.
I quench my thirst with water.
I am a bud that's trying to bloom."

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