[First Impressions] Hanasaku Iroha

HAI ppl

Today we have yet another slice of life shows. Not one of those moe shows that we all love, but a more a serious soap opera type. Oh well, at least expect slaps to fly and maybe even a doubleslap attack.

Note: These type of slice of life shows are probably one of my least liked genres, so if I am being very biased during certain sections, please forgive me.

What is this show about?

Ohana is your standard 16-year old girl living life without goals. Then one day, her mother decides to run away with her boyfriend, and sends Ohana to her grandmother who works at a hot spring hotel. Hoping for a great life, Ohana is met by Minko, a member of the hotel staff, who tells to Ohana to just die. To make matters worse, Ohana’s grandma makes Ohana work at the hotel while treating her horribly. Still, Ohana remains optimistic about her stay at the hotel. How will relationships change over the next few episodes, only time can tell.

What is there to watch in this show?

As you can probably tell from the synopsis, Iroha is a slice of life that is going to depend heavily on drama and characterization. (T_T no moe comedy) The first episode alone builds up a fair bit of drama with Ohana having her mom run away, watching someone confess to her, and living in a new and antagonistic environment.  If you want a more specific example, one day Ohana tries to air out Minko’s futon but ends up with having her grandmother slap her and Minko. On top of that, Minko starts hating Ohana more. Still, each of these events really help in defining the main characters in the series, such as the strict business-oriented grandmother, the not so tolerant Minko, to some of the other characters that I did not discuss.

In case you wanted comedy, there are a few jokes here and there, but they mostly act as short breaks from the seriousness of the show.

Should i watch this show?

If you are similar to me, this might be one of the more boring shows this season. Watching a girl be dumped into a less than favorable situation was not exactly my cup of tea, especially when her misfortune is created by the combination of her naive behavior form, a business-oriented grandma who does not mind slapping people, and an unfriendly roommate. I guess these are realistic problems that people can identify with, but I don’t find it very entertaining to watch such  mundane things. (Note: the forum I checked seems to disagree with me, giving this show extremely high ratings)

On another note, I will say that the characters are characters are characterized quite well with every character having a distinct personality. I am a little afraid though that the characters might fit stock characteristics, but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

Before I end this review, I must mention that the animation for this show is stunning with amazing amounts of background detail. The show provides great architectural models combined with plenty of light and water reflections, creating beautiful landscapes. Couple this with a decent insert song and ed, and you have a decent last last impression on the viewer before the episode is over.

Personal Rating: 3/5 (I think I am being too nice right now)


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