Hanasaku Iroha Episode #12 Review

Hanasaku Iroha Episode #12 Review

Ohana decides that a little direct action, kidnapping her mother and dragging her to Kissuiso, is the best plan of attack. But will she be able to pull it off?

What They Say:
“See ya”

Ohana has a new plan, kidnap her mom and force her to visit the Kissuiso. Tohru agrees to this plan on one condition, Ohana has to bring Koichi.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This episode is the one where all of the chickens come home to roost, figuratively speaking. The little threads of fate were laid down for some time, but now the two (yes two) love triangles come to take center stage. Ohana is for the moment back with friends, as Tohru and Minko came to Tokyo to “rescue” her from the rain. But neither Ohana nor Tohru can sleep and as they talk, Ohana makes an acute observation about Tohru (he does not deal with women well, though he is a kind person) while Tohru probes deeper into Ohana’s mental state, noting that her inner turmoil is not solely driven by the bad review from her mother, but also because of her continuing inner debate about her feelings for Koichi.

The next morning, Ohana has at least made up her mind about the Review Problem: with Tohru and Minko’s help, they’ll kidnap Satsuki and drag her to Kissuiso. Minko reacts sanely, of course, but Tohru actually says yes, but on one condition: Koichi has to come along as well. Ohana does not seem to understand why Tohru is asking this of her, though the reason is obvious.

So, Ohana goes off in search of Ko, but cannot find him. And here we cross over into love triangle number 2, as Ohana does come across Igarashi, the glasses-wearing girl who likes Ko. Igarashi issues an ultimatum to Ohana: make up your mind about Ko. So, Ohana takes some time to think. Of course, Ohana being away leaves Tohru all to Minko, who could not be happier. Especially as Tohru wants to take advantage of this trip to the capital to experience the culinary expertise of Tokyo. Minko thinks of it as a date, but is soon disabused of that notion when Tohru drags her to restaurant after restaurant, constantly eating. Like a good chef, this is not gluttony: Tohru is taking detailed notes about technique and preparation; Minko, on the other hand, is at her limit, coming near to a reversal of fortune.

Ohana later does get through to Ko on the phone, and here we have the Important Discussion. When Ko tells her that he came to Kissuiso (when she was in Tokyo looking for Tohru), Ohana suddenly realizes how selfish she has been in her treatment of Ko, asking him to wait for her decision while not coming any closer to making that decision. With this realization, Ohana asks Ko not to come along on the trip. She finally begins to think about how her actions have only been driven by her own needs and desires, not taking into account the feelings of others.

The upshot of everything, however, is that Satsuki agrees to come to Kissuiso on her own. It seems that Ohana’s behavior recalled something Satsuki herself had done while much younger (which we get a glimpse of in flashback). On the ride back, Satsuki opens up to Tohru, interestingly, as we finally start to see another side to Ohana’s mother.

While this episode was heavy on the drama, it also did much to advance the story. Ohana is showing that she is gaining in maturity and understanding, as she now does try, even if it is only baby steps at the moment, to think about how others are feeling before blindly charging ahead and doing only what is convenient or pleasing to her. Her relationship debate over Ko may now be resolved, as she realizes that she has been selfish in her monopolizing his heart (even if the original bearer of that message has her own self-interested agenda), which Ohana has no right to do. On the other side of the, I guess, rhomboid? at this point, Minko seems to be torn between her friendship with Ohana and her deep feelings for Tohru, who clearly has a strong interest in Ohana. While the signs were there earlier in the show, now there is no mistaking that Ohana is the girl in his thoughts, with Minko seen as nothing more than a younger co-worker. This will have to be resolved at another time.

Show note: During the initial stream, it appears that some script errors crept in, as several lines in the second scene at the crane game with Tohru and Minko had “missing line” as their subtitle.

In Summary:
While this episode focuses on relationship angst and drama, the tone is quite measured and instead of frustration, there is actual movement on some fronts, as Ohana begins to stop dithering and think more deeply about what Koichi, her old friend from Tokyo, means to her. We also see the situation between Ohana and her mother take a possible step forward. Positive developments all around.

Grade: A-

Simulcast by: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Apple iMac with 4GB RAM, Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard

Hanasaku Iroha Episode #12 Review

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