Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mid-Season Round-Up: Flower Power

So it looks like I'll be blogging only two shows for this season: Hana-saku Iroha and AnoHana. Ao no Exorcist is quite interesting and C is riveting in its own way but I don't know if I can find time to blog those two anymore. I'm trying to economize and the thing is, while I may randomly watch other shows throughout this season, the two shows that I'm looking forward to, like for sure, each week are Hana-saku Iroha and AnoHana, so I might as well blog about them.

Hana-saku Iroha (4-7)

The show seems to be doing the one-character-per-week approach. In episode 4, for instance, we get introduced to a common classmate of Ohana, Minchi and Nako, who turns out to be the granddaughter of the owner of the Kisui's rival inn. But although she's the new face in the series, the episode isn't really about her but about Minchi. As expected, girl is popular despite (or maybe, because of it) her aloof, unapproachable demeanor.

Ohana once again makes an ass of herself, this time quite by accident, for finding out about Minchi's "weakness" (her crush) and confronting her about it. Minchi is naturally not loving the prying questions, but we get to see Minchi's dere side and it. is. cute.

Episode 5 picks up where episode 4 left off and this time we get to see how Minchi became a staff at Kisui. She'd apparently run away from home because she wanted to be a chef. Ohana's grandmother hadn't taken her seriously but Tohru vouched for her and volunteered to take her under her wing, thus, sparking the girl's eternal gratitude and devotion.

Episode 6 sees the Kisui staff going through some changes. Remember the crass woman in the convertible from oh several episodes ago? Well, she's back and she's of a mind to make her mark. Unfortunately, that means more inappropriate fan service in the series. Err. Good thing Ohana, with the help of Mr. Bean (lol is that his name?), finds some old kimono-maid-thing-whatever costumes that her grandmother made several years ago, which absolutely did the trick. Costumers are satisfied and the grandmother gets a little nostalgic.

Episode 7 is hilarious. This time we focus on another Kisui staff member, Tomoe. Now our first impression of her is that she's laidback and a generally hands-off supervisor. She also seems to be a big gossip. But here, we find out about her personal circumstances, which is the typical woman-in-her-late-twenties-having-trouble-finding-a-man. Her mother tries to convince her to come home for a marriage meeting and Tomoe gives it a serious thought to the point where she does all she can to get fired, as the manager doesn't want her to quit. But all her plans backfire and in the end Tomoe realizes that she finds fulfillment in her job and that she is happy. Surprisingly, her mother understands and the girls now start calling her "nee-san" which of course gives Tomoe the tickles.

This show is shaping up to be really, really cute. It's definitely light and mostly fluff but it's not so sweet as to trigger my gag reflex and there's character development, understated though it may be. There's a little bit of drama involved but it's all light-hearted fun. For a show that's about growing up, there is strangely and refreshingly no angst involved.

AnoHana (4-5)

Ah, this show. I think that out of all the series this season AnoHana is my favorite. Even better than Hana-saku Iroha. It's probably because there's more meat to the story in the former than there is in the latter. I also like the fact that AnoHana has romance in it. That's always a good addition to an already perfect equation.

Then there is the question about whether or not Menma is a ghost or a hallucination but strangely, it's not that important. The  question is unavoidable, sure, but it's also not something whose answer you'd be compelled to find out. It's just sort of up in the air at the moment and you can get back to it any time, just not soon.

What is important, however, is how these kids are coping with the death of one of their own. So far, we've only seen Jintan's (sad) and Yukiatsu's (disturbing) coping mechanisms, but I find that I am most curious about Poppo. He seems to be the most well-balanced of the five but I guess he has scars, too. We'll find out more in the next coming episodes. God, I can't wait.



crazyanimegyrl said...

I like Ano Hana too. It's one of my favorites this season. Great post!

Lu said...

Thanks :) Yes, it's a lovely little anime. Also checking out your movie rec: Colorful. sounds interesting