Hanasaku Iroha was an Anime I didn’t like at first, but as I got more involved in the Anime and got more immersed in the episodes, I grew to really enjoy and like this Anime. I also hope that if you haven’t yet seen it and thing it maybe worthwhile, then I definitely think you should check it out!
Hanasaku Iroha is a slice of life anime that follows the life of city-girl, Ohana, while she lives and works at her grandmother’s inn. Like all slice of life anime, the story does not necessarily follow a focused plot, and instead finds its niche in story arcs complimented by underlying themes and a very loose main character arc. The story by no means breaks any grounds or really stands out from the crowd in terms of its concept, but its execution is what elevates Hanasaku Iroha’s story from the crowd of the slice of life anime. The story has many great character arcs that really get you attached to the characters. The themes in the story are also very easy to relate too.
Whether its the idea of hard work pays off, the struggles of adapting to a new setting, failing to live up to your parent’s expectations, or simply struggling to gain the love of the one you want, Hanasaku Iroha tackles a slew of themes that many will connect with. Because of these themes, the show can get quite emotional at times, but the characters and writing do also open the door for some entertaining comedy.
I also have to point out that the homestretch of the show does provide some edge of your seat entertainment as you desperately hope to find out what happens next. Slice of Life anime tend to limit themselves on how good their story can be due to a focus on a character driven plot, and Hanasaku Iroha is no exception. However, the execution and maturity of the story are without a doubt worth recognition.
P.A. Works has yet to fail to impress me with their animation quality. They always manage to bring a really cinematic feel to all their projects and Hanasaku Iroha is no exception. The character designs are all great, as well as the varied settings. There were quite a few still frames, but seeing as the show wasn’t action-packed, and with the lighting and colors being as beautiful as they were, this wasn’t much of an issue. Really, the art is just beautiful and really helps immerse you into the show.
I played the opening and ending song again and again but it’s not something that I can remember in an instant. Though if you’ll watch the animation while listening to the music, you can somehow see a connection and say to yourself, “It’s a match.” The main protagonist’s CV has a childish and lively voice which suits it great. But some of the characters have voices that don’t seem to fit the character that much. Nonetheless, it’s good in its own way.
The character design for Ohana, the main character is simply cute. Again, nothing makes it stand out but I think it is the best fit for the role. With those curly hairs with a flower on each side and a small height, I don’t doubt for a second that she’s lively. For the other characters, it may be a little bit too soon to describe them since they seldom appeared. One more thing, their school uniform was so ordinary. Bad, because I think one of the possible forte for an anime like this is having unique uniform designs. On the other hand, they’re in the countryside, so it is to be expected that it is not something extravagant since it’s not a fashion school or private anything.
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