Minko’s Bind: Hanasaku Iroha 21

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 21 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.37_[2011.08.22_22.11.31]

I’ve detailed how the exploitation of Minko in Hanasaku Iroha can be exquisitely enjoyed in my previous post. The narrative however cockblocked me in the succeeding episode: all that buildup for a ridiculously painful ritual of adolescence was utterly dissipated by showing a completely feel-good episode. I mean, good for Minko (and Nako too!) As they came away groom the school festival with their victories.

However, I underestimated this show yet again. That whole feel-good milestone for Minko took her to such an emotional high, but only to push her down a precipice on this episode! This episode has more than I could ever have hoped for when I made my wish of cruelty list for the previous one. Of course this all revolves around the tortured heart of Mean old Miss Minko.

It starts with love and marriage, a declaration between embattled couple Takako and the Young Master. This results in the planning of a wedding to be held at the inn, thanks to Ohana being her usual catalyst self. This puts Tohru on the plum assignment of preparing the reception banquet, with Minko to assist her with her heart aflutter with a thousand tiny wings.

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 21 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.38_[2011.08.22_22.00.01]

An aside: you may start to think that Minko moé of pain is the only or main reason I watch this show. No. It’s just I don’t see this level of appreciation in the other episodic blogs that cover this show so I take it upon myself to remedy this deplorable state. The show has an amazing range of things to appreciate. In this episode we see the levels of poverty and privation: educated professionals and business owners struggling to finance a wedding. It brings home economic realities that are seldom explored in similar shows. It’s a fantastic touch, all the way to the dramatic conversation between Okami-san and her would-be daughter-in-law, and her recounting of her own love story and the foundation of the Kissuiso.

Back to maiming Minko. Tohru takes her to market, her ideal kind of date, to test cook his menu for the reception. On the way he starts talking about getting married himself, and the kind of family he wants. Coming from how he appreciated the “love” omurice from the school featival, Minko let herself think that Tohru may acknowledge and perhaps *gasp* return her affection!

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 21 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.19_[2011.08.22_22.04.46]

She starts getting alarmed at the 5 children he wants to have. Clearly Tohru wants to do his part in repopulating Japan’s youth. Tohru is talking real fast and suddenly wants to pull over. He asks her as if he needed her permission as her eyes get fixated on a nearby motel…

What happens next is truly, truly exquisite. She loves him, but wouldn’t want to sleep with him just like that. Clearly she doesn’t know him as a man, for she actually believed be would start a family with her right there and then. She screams “B-BUT TOHRU-SAN!” And of course, OF COURSE Tohru just meant to pull over by the beach. He could sense that something was eating Minko but was either oblivious to her attraction to him or just didn’t know what to do about it. He advised her to take in the coastal air.

He took note of her enthusiasm, but caustically retorted that it was very Ohana-like; Ohana who he credited for bringing in so much change in the environment of the inn. Minko could tell he wasn’t complaining about Ohana at all, but he wasn’t too hot about the idea that she behave anything like her. “One trouble-maker is enough.”

Minko had enough. Rightly or wrongly she thought Tohru wanted nothing more but to go out with Ohana, and she totally took it out on her. In true Hanasaku Iroha fashion we are treated to a naked catfight in the bathroom.

[HorribleSubs] Hanasaku Iroha - 21 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.38_[2011.08.22_22.12.12]

Nothing is resolved, but Ohana is forced to confront here inability to detect male attraction.

For Tohru’s sake (oh LOL) she begs Ohana to go out with him. Such naive adolescent martyrdom warms the cockles of my post-adolescent heart. Ohana sensibly confrontation here with how she’d really feel about her going out with poor, helpless Tohru. Minko can only give her the death curse.

Then, Minko starts fucking up her job so bad that Tohru takes her off his reception banquet service. It might take Ohana’s intervention her behalf to get her back into it. CRUSH, MAIM, FLANGE!

How can this show get any better? The wonderful thing about it is that it’s perfectly okay to expect a neat, feel-good resolution 5 episodes later when the show ends. But if it shoves its girls into an iron maiden and burns the Kissuiso into the ground and razed the whole resort town with the vengeance of Grave of the Fireflies, I’ll be fine with that too.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in Guilty Pleasures, Hanasaku Iroha and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Minko’s Bind: Hanasaku Iroha 21

  1. lelangir says:

    Ok so first off, nice banner. Fucking excellent taste.

    Anyway, this show gives me sort of wishy-washy vibes. It feels like a confused wash of s’life and a story….with a very inconspicuous plot? The danger is assuming that the show is “supposed” to be something at all, pidgeon-holing it does no good really…

    For instance Kou. What was the point of him? It felt like a good 4 episodes were dealt with him, and I haven’t heard of him in like 10 weeks. Meanwhile I feel like Ohana hasn’t really developed, she just learns lessons. It’s like monster of the week, or rather, lesson of the week, or something “incomplete” that doesn’t jive with the presentation of the story.

    Your way of appreciating the show seems more effective than mine. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kissuiso burned down at the end, but that capriciousness is exactly what I don’t like about this show.

    • I can’t say I have an organized way of appreciating the show, as I pretty much intuit my way groom week to week. However, there was a point around episode 5 or so when I thought its capricious nature prevented me from getting into the show as much as I do now.

      What changed was that I expected the show to be as trashy as hell and try to ignore the parts I felt the show wanted to be taken seriously for. It was kind of like K-On!! when at some point I started seeing all sorts of nuance only that in HanaIro it was with the melodrama.

      As for Kou, he currently serves as a reflection point for Ohana to set-up this delicious love triangle. I don’t think there’s much going on from Ohana to Tohru, but she’s pretty random so who knows?

      Tell you what though, I’ve enjoyed this show as much as I’ve enjoyed K-On!! and Aria after even less episodes I’ve seen from both. It’s because maybe it’s different in that it’s openly trashier.

  2. Justin says:

    I’m actually wondering if something’s going to happen to Okami-san–is she going to retire? Why would she want “Enishing” and Takako to take over the inn? I can already see Kissuiso burning so brightly–

    But I digress. Minko is just so stubborn. And Tohru is just an idiot. She needs to make him smarter somehow!

    • LOL I just want more suffering to continue, especially for dear Minko. Everyone else suffering isn’t as fun but if we see more Minko watching Tohru x Ohana play out… Tohru talking about 5 kids to tiny Ohana, etc.


  3. bluemist says:

    With still 5 episodes left there’s enough time to play tug-o-war with their (our) feelings. More or less we’re done with the Kissuiso part (Ohana’s mom can still factor in with that) so good riddance, let’s get some delicious love polygon going. Just less nekkid onsen fighting please.

    I’m expecting a Bonbori-filled grand finale, that may be what you meant by “burning”. Or not.

    • I completely disagree with the Kissuiso part being done. The cliffhanger ending to this episode broke it wide open. This will be resolved as some kind of main plot kind of thing and yeah it will be a very family thing.

      What I meant by burning is if the United States sends aircraft carriers and bombers with incendiary warheads turn the whole town into ash.

      • bluemist says:

        WTF lol with the burning. I wonder if that’s ever done in anime before – A totally unrelated event suddenly devastates the whole harmony of the story. I could only think of Kanon, when Nayuki’s mom *blah blah*

        • As I was telling Snippet Tee, I suddenly envision Minko as one of those tortured teens in the Black Rose arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena, or even the Akio Car arc… I can imagine Kiryuu Toaga asking her “Can you hear it? If your soul truly hasn’t given up, you can hear the sound racing through the End of the World.”



          (The road is dark and leads to raep).

  4. Snippett says:

    I really don’t know how much pain Minko can endure. Last episode, I thought she already reached her limit but yet again she did another full stretched emotional breakdown. Oh well maybe her worst breakdown is yet to come.

    Also, I think Minko is being unfair, not only to Ohana but most of all to herself. Asking Ohana to go out with Tohru, was an utterly desperate move and a sign of lack of self-worth. But I liked how she managed to yelled back when Tohru asked her if there’s something she wanted say, at least we can see her changing.


      I’m so close to imagining Minko going to the Mikage Seminar in the Black Rose arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena, wherein she descends that elevator and Mikage tells her “You have no choice but to revolutionize the world. The path for you has been prepared.” YES!

  5. Pingback: Countdown to the End of the World/Galaxy: ghostlightning’s 30 Favorite Anime of All Time (30-21) | We Remember Love

  6. jreding says:

    Sorry for the belated comment – I just discovered your posts on Minchi via your recent one on Hourou Musuko’s Saorin.

    As for Saorin I also truly rooted for Minchi and did not enjoy seeing her always peeling radish and live through all this misery not only in the HanaIro world but also in the audience’s reception. Unlike Saorin (at least that’s what I think) she does not even fight. I just hope one day she gets over Tohru and finds a better place in life!

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