Anime of Tomorrow
Hanasaku Iroha (ongoing)
Impression – delightful
When Ohana’s mother decides to elope with her boyfriend, she sends Ohana to live with her estranged grandmother who owns a hot-spring inn. Her life is turned upside down even more as reality reveals a much harsher situation than Ohana could even imagine. Ohana’s carefree lifestyle is over. She’s working for her strict grandmother, cleaning rooms, serving meals, having insults thrown at her mother, and sharing a room with the ornery cook-in-training Minko. In spite of this sudden hardship or perhaps because of it, Ohana feels she’s growing as a person in valuable ways that could never have happened without otherwise. As she adapts, friends begin to emerge in fellow waitress Nako, and even Minko’s cold personality begins to melt. But when hardships begin to appear at the inn, Ohana’s unconventional thinking might be the solution everyone is hoping for.
Hanasaku Iroha is a real rollercoaster of emotions, going from some really deep lows only to be punctuated by high points that make the experience all worth it. This anime does a great job developing its characters and making everyone count in some meaningful way. Halfway through the series, I’m feeling great connections with Ohana and how she manages to use her outgoing personality to get all the other characters motivated. If you haven’t checked out Hanasaku Iroha yet, you’re missing out on a great drama.