Hanasaku Iroha – 13

Categories: Hanasaku Iroha | July 4th, 2011 | No Comment

After an enormous amount of big drama in the last two episodes, this episode of Hanasaku toned down everything a little bit which was a nice and necessary change of pace. But this doesn’t mean that nothing happened as the episode cast some light on the relationship between Satsuki and her mother, and their conflict that built up over the years.

Although there were some funny moments, the biggest highlight was the family meeting of the three ladies, complete with all kinds of drinks. Although there were some silly moments the scene had a heartwarming and serious undertone. It felt to me as if this was the very first time in years in which Satsuki and her mother finally could sit together and just talk. I think much of this development lies on the side of Satsuki who matured enough to now see the reasons of her mother’s seemingly harsh and cold attitude. The flashbacks more or less prove this point because Satsuski’s only shown in her young, hot blooded age. In a way you could say that their conflict was a clash of shounen and seinen.

Ohana’s relationship with Ko also took some steps with her finally accepting her love for him but at the same time giving up on this somehow non-existent relationship. This won’t be final, though, that much is sure.

One aspect of this episode, that totally struck me, was the development of Okami. I think this was the first time ever I’ve not seen her usual strict “I-am-the-manager” side but a more personal and even a vulnerable side. This goes especially the moment near the end when she’s being carried to her room and the moment before when she unknowingly tells the other girls her dream of Satsuki taking over the inn.

It’s those moments that make this episode one of the best of the series thus far. It proves that you don’t need big drama to develop you characters and the situations. In fact, the quiet tone was absolutely necessary to make those moments work so well.

It will be interesting to see in what direction the relationship of Satsuki and her mother will develop. After this episode I’d be not surprised to see Satsuki taking over the inn. It would be quite fitting to her as up to now she’s been portrayed as a wanderer, as a woman without a true home. The episode also proved that she’d be quite capable of managing the inn with her sharp eye for everything that doesn’t work as it should.

Who knows, there might be even some heavy drama lurking around the corner because some episodes ago Okami was hospitalized so her dead would not be that surprising. Since Ohana’s uncle is pretty useless (not to mention the uber-useless consultant Takako) it’s clear who would take over for the time being.

Well, but that’s speculation for now. The next episode will focus on Yuina which up to now got lmost no development at all so this step was overdue. Let’s hope it will turn out well, although the horrible cliché of a beach episode makes me a little bit nervous.

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