What They Say:
Ohana us sick and confined to bed, and the Inn continues to operate fine without her. She wonders if she should leave the Inn.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It seems that Ohana has overdone it a little bit, which results in her needing to take an involuntary rest break. It’s not a good idea to have staff dealing with sickness running about. Apparently Ohana has been getting up extra early on her own initiative to do extra cleaning around the public spaces of the Inn, which has led her to exhaustion from overwork. The fever is a predictable result. So, with our heroine sidelined for the episode, how will the rest of the staff react?
In different ways. Tomoe and Nako express concern, Takako thinks of the illnesses as a “teachable moment” to learn about risk management, while Tohru seems overly concerned about Ohana’s health, which Minko notices, with rising resentment, of course. The triangle is sharpening its corners.
After a day of rest, Ohana goes back to her work, or maybe not. Instead, we get to see things from the perspective of the ill. It seems that Ohana is slightly delusional in her feverish state, thinking back to when she was working, as well as thinking that she can get up and do things. She receives get well visits from various people, including Jiromaru with a new naughty work from his lurid imagination. Tohru’s visit with his get-well broth turns into something far more interesting, as it becomes very clear that he is developing more than usual concern for Ohana’s well-being.
The Inn does continue to run without her, and Ohana, believing that she is no longer needed, considers leaving. Of course, she isn’t thinking straight, and she is soon put right by a visit from Minko and then Nako, who make her realize that she is needed there, with Minko delivering the all-important “The More You Know”™ sound-bite moral that no one can do all of the work by him or herself, but needs the help of others. Madame Manager comes by, to see Tomoe peering in through the door observing the younger girls moment of bonding, and smiles in approval (for all of her early severity, this is fitting with Japanese workplace culture, as there is a strong belief in the importance of teamwork and fellow-feeling among coworkers). It seems the entire Inn is concerned, as Enishi and Jiromaru suddenly show up as well, though the Manager makes it clear to them from her looks that this isn’t the time to visit.
The most notable development of this episode is the furthering of the relationship between Tohru and Ohana, with Minko forming the jealous third corner of the love triangle, a formation I called several episodes ago, before the writers misled us all with the fake romance between Tohru and Yuina. I hope that they don’t try to build this towards some sort of explosion between Minko and Ohana, since it’s also clear that Minko, despite her feelings of jealousy for the attention Ohana gets from Tohru, does not hate Ohana (it’s one thing to dream about using a permanent marker and another thing to use it). But, if predictions hold, there will come some occasion where it will likely spill over into an eruption of some sort, likely with Ohana being completely clueless about the matter (since it does not appear that she has any feelings for Tohru, and is nothing but supportive towards Minko in her, it appears, increasingly fruitless quest to gain Tohru’s attention).
Beyond this land-mine being laid down for future detonation, we also see something that was quite predictable from the start: the staff, which was initially a little bewildered or somewhat cool towards Ohana, has warmed up to her perceptibly, even her own once-cold grandmother, the Manager, seems to have some care for her. So the question now is, where do things move from here? The answers may well be in this episode, as a few other markers were laid down at various points.
Ohana is taken ill, forced to stay in bed with a fever. The staff members react with concern and care, showing how much Ohana is now embraced by the people at Kissuiso. One person, Tohru, seems to react with more than just the normal kind of concern that one has for a coworker, which is immediately noticed by Minko. Still, the Inn runs just as well without her, though that does not mean that Ohana does not play a noticeable role in satisfying the customers. But perhaps some indication of where developments may head from here have been sketched out.
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