About two fairly heavy episodes, the third installment of Hanasaku Iroha gives us a more light-hearted and typical for the slice of life genre episode. As I really didn’t want to see anything bad of a sexual nature happen to Ohana, and that would have been the other way for things to go, I didn’t mind the way the episode went, even if it was a rather cliched type of episode.
This episode focuses on fleshing on the character of the writer, who is turns out isn’t a best selling writer, but a failed writer with his head stuck in the gutter, and a tendency for dramatics. I did like the character of the writer, but it’s hard to take the story seriously, as he’s so overdramatic and ridiculous. As the episode goes, he’s given up on himself, but a rescue attempt from the whole gang and a pep talk from Ohana brings him back around.
I’m aware that the humor was hit or miss for many people in this episode, but I personally enjoyed it. From Ohana giving advice to the writer on how to tie her up in the turtle shell bondage (from what I can gather, Japanese bondage has a focus on being visually intricate) to the writer’s ridiculous porn to the old man blushing about being tied up, it all worked for me. I don’t have a high bar when it comes to being entertained, luckily for the writers of the show.
However, what I liked best was the subtle development and revelations in the characters on the show. Nako may have really dropped the ball last episode, but she really redeemed herself. Minko gets more interesting as we see the effort she put into hating Ohana and her determination to keep hating Ohana. Then there’s Grandmother (probably my favorite character) who one has no idea if she honestly cares, or only does what her job demands.
I hated the cliches. It was still a good episode to me, but everything was so predictable, what with the speech that saves the day. Then there’s grandma secretly knowing Ohana would save the day, while I sit there can’t believing they seriously pulling that stunt. Hanasaku Iroha has the potential to be a lot better then that, and doesn’t need to use such old and tired cliches.
On a final note, PA Works can really make nice fanservice scenes. The scene of Nako dripping wet is a very memorable one, and one I will not forget anytime soon.