Hanasaku Iroha 01

Hanasaku Iroha

I’ll admit, this show is probably my favourite of the new crop that has just arrived. Hell, I watched it like four times, three times in raw. That should tell you how good it is… or that I have a huge problem.

First off, I’ll have to praise Itou Kanae’s performance. I’ve been quite… in to her lately, and her lack of presence last season was greatly felt. She has that knack of making her characters unable to get mad at for some reason, and a whole show with her as the lead, especially in a show like Hanasaku, really makes me feel great about this show. I just hope my expectations aren’t betrayed. But so far, Itou Kanae’s Ohana is really a character that I like.

Rest of the cast looks steady, and even Omigawd doesn’t sound horrible at all in Hanasaku. Then again she has like about ten lines and pretty much a third of them are the same ones, so yeah, hard to fuck that up even for her. Toyosaki’s gotten the shy type, so I don’t think we’ll hear a lot of her either, but what really threw me off was Tomoe.

Hanasaku Iroha

Noto’s so high as Tomoe, it actually took me like ten lines before I recognized it was her at my first watch. Bear in mind, I pride myself of being able to discern her voice instantly, so this is actually quite embarrassing for me to not actually even notice it was her for like ten lines. For further proof, not even Aroduc actually noticed her and he fucking hates Noto. Still, I like that performance of hers, and I sure hope she gets a decent amount of screen time.

Anyways, Ohana’s so cute and d’aww so go watch this show already. Just, uh, try not to get in to a problem with this show like I did rewatching it four times in like three hours, herp derp.


  1. alex Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    to watch 4 times an episode, I would do that when it would be BRS anime

  2. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:06 am

    alex, you make zero fucking sense and are dangerously approaching the spam filters limit.

  3. alex Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:13 am

    are you fucking sure you mean the same alex
    and what’s that bullshit about spam filter, that was my first comment in a few weeks

  4. kaz3phyrous Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 4:02 am

    took me awhile to notice noto’s voice too..
    and i too am a big fan of hers..

  5. Kaisos Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 4:53 am

    That was fantastic and I have no idea why.

    I already wish it was next Sunday…

  6. qwerty Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 4:58 am

    When the right character design meats the right cast it just makes a show so… natural feeling.

    If even a fraction of the remaining shows this season can match this kind of quality I’ll be happy. After watching Dog Days and Nichujou so far it’s nice to watch something that doesn’t feel so forced.

  7. suguru Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 5:00 am

    Awesome first episode – I haven’t watched it four times yet, but I probably will in the course of waiting for next week’s episode to air. Someone needs to smack Grandma by the time the series is over though. And if it makes you feel better, I’d NEVER have guessed that was Noto…

  8. spider from mars Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    violence against children, yay! -_-

  9. pat Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 5:16 am

    Nice episode. I’m glad that Mamiko Noto isn’t doing that stupid infantile voice anymore. Today, I was surprised when I googled for Tomoe’s voice actress.

  10. coyote Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 5:17 am

    The grandmother needs a Dalmatian farm out back, and at least 4 baby seal fur coats.

  11. Kaisos Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 5:39 am

    I guess I’m the only person who thinks that Grandma is awesome.

  12. lion_of_genesis Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 6:38 am

    As one who practices kendo (and is used to that kind of education), I can certainly see grandma’s point. If she were too lenient, the staff would be less careful with the clients, which would hurt their business. I guess we’re used to seeing that as a bad attitude, but, that aside, she doesn’t really look like a genuinely bad person. I mean, in the ED animation, she looks kinda gentle.

    Ohana is adorable, though.

    Also, first comment here!

  13. Jack Spicer Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    I’m interested in this show, but since it was picked up by Crunchyroll I’m going to have to wait until next week to watch the free legal stream.

  14. Pw3age Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 10:22 am

    Damn, I managed to convince myself the grandmother was the same seiyuu as the grandmother in Summer Wars.

    Itou Kanae did another splendid job.

  15. Shin Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    >ctrl+f Mel Kishida
    >0 results

    So there’s actually a reason to watch this?

  16. Bass Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    Agreed on Itou, she made Ohana into such an adorable lead to follow. The little quirks in her voice make her seem like a proper character.

    Looking forward to more of the same.

  17. LordHuggington Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    Probably gonna keep an eye on this one. I already have a seething hatred for gramma / Cruella DeVille, so I want to see how Ohana deals with her. Also like the mom if only because she’s so hilariously irresponsible. Ohana herself is cute, and I hope she keeps her carefree attitude in that place. Also like the production values on this show.

  18. octoberasian Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    The first anime this season to impress me and make me want more. I can’t wait for the second episode now.

    I’m with Kurogane here, I watched it two times already and planning on watching it more. Ohana is adorable and I love her character.

    And, speaking of which, the production value in this anime is incredible. The artwork and scenery, the music, it all comes to together very well. It is one of the very very few animes that I’ve seen where it feels and looks more like a movie than a thirty minute TV anime.

  19. Kah Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    Is that… sexhair the second?
    It’s a very shiny episode though. For sure – I want to see more.

  20. Keiya Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    Sort of a dorama turned anime with awesome production? I’m pretty impressed.

    Minko and the grandma are dorama-fare antagonists, all right. Kinda makes you wanna go Kamina on them.

  21. sadakups Said,

    April 4, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    This took me back the days of World Masterpiece Theater. It’s like the fusion of Cedie and Princess Sarah and that Ohana’s objective is to make Grandma Cruella appear as being misunderstood. Heck, all the stuck-up people in the inn will probably turn loose, including that death-girl.

  22. JELEINEN Said,

    April 5, 2011 @ 7:04 am

    The evil old woman did nothing but inspire revenge fantasies. I’d rather not deal with that, so I will not be following this show, unless I hear that she dies horribly within the next couple of episodes.

  23. Dakkar Said,

    April 5, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    It might sound a bit too harsh, but people who seriously think that grandma is evil are just idiots… or teenagers.

  24. The Hordesman Said,

    April 5, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Dropping it unless the grandmother gets her face slapped around with a revolver and her face blown away. I have met people like this, and if I would like to see them again, it would be dead. Very dead.

  25. Ryouichi Said,

    April 5, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    I’ve already watched it 3 times, subbed D:. I’m sure to be watching it more. Can’t get enough out of Ohana.

  26. sadakups Said,

    April 5, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    Don’t hate the misunderstood old lady.

  27. Keiya Said,

    April 5, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    @sadakups: WMT is right; it’s been a while since we had this kind of anime. So long a while people forgot how these kinds of shows go. XD

    Anyway, it has a really strong old-school anime drama feel to it, plus good visuals, so I’m really banking on it to be good.

  28. foshizzel Said,

    April 5, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

    Great series so far not happy with the mom! Dumping her kid off at bitch grandma’s house so she can play with that old dude LOL FAIL MOM FAIL!

    Over all good stuff especially the voice work yay! Will follow this one for sure.

  29. Silver Said,

    April 6, 2011 @ 1:03 am

    The grandma does not seem that bad. She seem to hesitate when Ohana ask her to slap her as well but since she has to be strict, she finally slapped her afterwards. Anyway, that sure was interesting.

  30. bear Said,

    April 6, 2011 @ 4:45 am

    Yes she is that bad. She’s a tyrant and a bully. She hesitated because it was a lose/lose situation. Striking Minko and not Ohana was to show she was in charge and could arbitrarily decide who to punish. It was to instill fear in the staff. If she didn’t strike Ohana after she spoke up, she would have allowed Ohana to be disrespectful without consequence. if she did she allowed a subordinate to force her into an action she did not intend to do. Either way her striking of Minko looks as if she did it without just cause due to Ohana accepting responsibility. So she loses face. Ohana thanking her was perfect because it made it appear that her actions were not insolent even though they actually were.

  31. Peanutbutter003 Said,

    April 6, 2011 @ 7:00 am

    I sense Itou Kanae is gonna win something for this role.

  32. Dakkar Said,

    April 6, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    Slapping Minko was a punishment for both girls, actually. Minko was at fault because her negligence was the cause of this situation, while for Ohana that was a lesson about how her thoughtless action can turn around and cause harm for customers, management, herself, and the the people she tried to do a favor for. When she stepped in and asked for personal punishment as the means of taking direct responsibility, she’s got just that. Or did you expect a pat on the head for acting cool? Time to grow up if so…

  33. bear Said,

    April 6, 2011 @ 11:55 pm


    Oh, and I was well aware of what Sui was doing by slapping Minko and that both girls were in the wrong.

    But what part of physical assault did you miss? Those weren’t love pats. Know of any modern culture where assaulting your employees is acceptable, let alone lawful? I don’t disagree with your description but to go from that to assuming that striking someone was appropriate behavior is laughable. I doubt that even in Japan that is legal, although it may be culturally acceptable at some level. A dressing down? Sure? Punishment? Ok. Assault? Nope. Want your employers/teachers to use the same technique on you?

  34. Jason "moofang" Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 12:26 am

    Totally missed Noto there too @_@

  35. Kaisos Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    @bear: Slaps are not physical assault. The Grandma would by physically assaulting Minko if she tied her down and beat her with a nail bat.

    Lighten up and grow up. This isn’t that big of a deal.

  36. bear Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 4:09 am


    Your concept of what the minimum action for assault is is the immature one.

    Not a big deal? Hah! What planet are you from? Try hauling off and slapping an employee in the face that hard in the US or Europe and see what happens. Explain to the police that smashing someone in the face isn’t assault I’m sure they’ll understand. Grandma isn’t some kid on the playground and neither were the girls.

  37. Dakkar Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 6:10 am

    Minko is living in the inn, apart from her family, if she has one to begin with. This makes grandma not just an employer, but a guardian as well, legal or not. And for old-school people, particularly in the countryside, there’s nothing wrong with using the corporal punishment.
    Some parents might be against it, but this approach is still widely practiced, you know. And often works pretty well. BTW, when I was growing up, it wasn’t uncommon for school teachers to use the corporal punishment as well. I remember our math teacher in grade school used to cuff the nape of anyone who were to laugh at the person who was called out and couldn’t answer. Slap on the wrist with a ruler wasn’t all that uncommon either. It was never strong enough to really hurt, but it was embarrassing enough for a kid to think twice next time.
    Well, by the time I was graduating from the high-school that teacher was already fired because she tried to put-down some rich stuck-up kid, so the times do change. Whether for the better or the worse is a different matter, though.

  38. bear Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    @ Dakkar

    Yep, and when I was growing up the principal had a paddle in the office that he’d use. My friends who went to Catholic school would tell me how the nuns would use a ruler (hard) on the hands of students that goofed off. I knew kids that were beaten with belts, but I’ve also known some kids that deserved to get flattened (not that they were). I have a visceral reaction to people being slapped in the face, however. As some of the comments here show it’s “whats the big deal?”, but to me it’s demeaning and treating someone as subhuman. But that’s an emotional reaction on my part.

    Not sure if Minko qualifies as Sui’s ward or not and what the Japanese rule are in that regard. A lot of school related anime have kids even younger living on their own, but I don’t know if that is even realistic. One thing that we don’t know yet is what actually is Minko’s relationship to Sui and even to Ohana. Somehow I think there may be familial relationship that isn’t obvious at first glance.

  39. Dakkar Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    No one likes to get slapped in the face :) Out of all the ways to get beaten in public, this one is perhaps the most humiliating (belting is usually done in private), and might as well be the most painful for the amount of force used. If it was a burly man to slap a girl, I wouldn’t be supportive either, but here we’re talking about an old woman who doesn’t seem to have much physical strength. It’s not like she has a lot of options to choose from when it comes down to it.

    I’m not an expert in Asian culture, but I doubt that in any civilized country underage children could be left unattended. We were given some hints about the relations most of the characters share, and it would have been unreasonable to ask for more after just one episode. I’m sure they’ll elaborate on that matter as well, and grandma is likely to come out as a strict, but fair and caring person in the end, but for now, perhaps, they actually expect the viewers to dislike her. At least as far as the majority of the target audience is concerned…

  40. DocAstaroth Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    Considering grandma:

    She is the keeper of a seemingly very old and very traditional inn. You can expect, that she also suffered corporal punishment, when her family trained her for her position as next heir. Therefore, it is very likely, that she doesn´t consider corporal punishment as wrong. So it is justified for her character and while the portration of said scene make us pity Minko and Iroha, it doesn´t look like, it will critique grandma´s behaviour directly.

    Japanese youth stories are more about how you can change yourself to solve a conflict than to solve a conflict by changing the others.

  41. bear Said,

    April 7, 2011 @ 10:59 pm


    I looked back at an old book I had on manga (Manga! Manga The World of Japanese Comics) and the section on work related manga reflects what you say. Slapping and other physical punishments were par for the course for apprentices, but on the other hand they showed the masters working even harder than the apprentices. Given her probable age Sui grew up either during or just after WWII so she would definitely be of a generation where that was par for the course. Since this is just starting we have yet to see if Sui shows us that sort of dedication to her profession or if she is going to act as the sadistic overseer. I’m interested to see if they play this out as a conflict between old and new values or not.

  42. arigatou Said,

    April 9, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    Due to uncanny painful similarity to my life, I’m avoiding this anime after watching episode 1.

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