Today I opened up a few of this season’s new shows, starting with Hanasaku Iroha. As with most shows, I only go by what I see on the Cart Driver (or previously chartfag) listings. I like to start a show with as little bias as possible. To begin, here’s a brief premise of the show:
“Hanasaku Iroha centers around 16-year-old Ohana Matsumae who moves from Tokyo to out in the country to live with her grandmother at an old hot spring inn named Kissuisō. Ohana begins working at the inn and makes friends with the other employees.”
I was expecting one of your typical naïve, slice of life episodic series focused on a cute girl who slowly learns what is important in life. While this does seem to be what we’re going to get, the show starts out strong and presents a very unique mood. The main character, Ohana, is absolutely adorable without trying to hard (Think Taiga, but not tsundere and much calmer). This is supplemented by her personality, which is presented with depth long before any of the naïvety and cuteness come into play.
We are first introduced to Ohana as she is preparing dinner while her mother, Satsuki, is typing away at a laptop. We quickly figure out that Satsuki is a single mother. Her character comes off as bold and a little childish.
We move quickly on to school, where Ohana is relaxing with her close friend, Kōichi. She is playful with him, and right away it’s obvious that he likes her. As they are walking home, we are introduced to the subtle mood of the show that is endearing, tranquil, and ultimately memorable if they keep it up. It first caught my attention when Ohana is lightly chided by her friend, and replies, “Ruin myself”, huh? I like it. Sounds dramatic.”
Oh, and did I mention that Ohana is absolutely adorable? Her character design is beautiful, especially that wavy, blonde hair. That being said, the art style throughout the show is fantastic. Attention is paid to detail in the foreground and background with little noticeable compensation. Frames are smooth, but don’t feel computer generated. Definitely a treat for the eyes.
I have to applaud P.A. Works on doing a good job at getting you hooked early. All of the stunning artwork in the scenery and dialogue is very well done.
“I do like this time of day, though. Lights flicker on, one by one, illuminating my path. I hope they also light the way to my future. And i hope that, at the end of that path, I’ll have changed for the better.” -Ohana
Foreshadowing for the theme of the series.
“The scenery outside reflects the feelings in my heart.” -Ohana
I absolutely loved this first episode, and have great expectations for the rest of the series. I highly recommend that you try out the first episode. It’s heart warming and the main character is so cute I literally wanted to jump up and hug her the entire time.
Let me know how you feel about it as well. Until next time~