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Hanasaku Iroha Episode #22 Anime Review

6 min read

The war over Tohru comes to an end without bloodshed. It’s about time. Finally, we can get on with the wedding.

What They Say:
“A Determined One-Sided Crush”

Ohana, Nako, and Yuina begin handcrafting a wedding dress. Tohru, who was put in charge of party dishes for the first time by Renji, works toward creating the menu. Jiromaru begins to prepare for his original skit. Just like that, everyone works to prepare for Enishi and Takako’s wedding. Ohana, now despised by Minko after a certain event, tries hard to make amends but to no avail. Being out of ideas, Ohana wonders what to do…she eventually makes a decision after hearing what her Mother had to say over the phone.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
We start with Takako and her Engrish bothering everyone at the inn, as she wakes up the staff for a 4am meeting to help with wedding preparations. Apparently the bombshell revealed at the end of the previous episode has not changed her mind about going ahead with the wedding, so at least we know her feelings for “Enishing” are genuine. Minko, however, continues to look daggers at Ohana no matter what, whether at the inn or at school.

We have a brief foray at school, but this is mainly to set up an important phone call for Ohana from her mother. Satsuki was invited to Enishi’s wedding, but doesn’t plan to attend. We also learn something rather interesting about Ohana’s family. While Satsuki picks up and drops boyfriends rather often, she’s really only in love with Ohana’s father, but it’s a one-sided crush, as he is no longer able to return her affection. That’s because he died 15 years earlier. Hearing her mother talk about a one-sided crush makes Ohana’s heart beat faster, as she then thinks about whom she really loves, figuring out that it is indeed Ko, her old friend from Tokyo, for whom she has feelings.

This does nothing to placate Minko, however. After Ohana, Yuina, and Nako make a dress for Takako, Yuina refuses to try it on for adjusting the size, Ohana is too small, and Nako, though she wears it, is far too big in a certain area for taking any measurements. They decide to ask Minko to try it on later, but later that day is not the right time, as Minko is in a very foul mood. In fact, Minko and Ohana get into a major fight, with Minko screeching at Ohana to go out with Tohru, while Ohana declares that her feelings are for Ko. The fight stops when Nako suddenly raises her voice, out of character for her at work. The fight has a consequence, however, as Tohru appears right as it is going on. Minko runs off in tears. Ohana wants to follow, but Tohru stops her.

Of course, he goes after Minko, and the air gets cleared a bit at last. He comes out openly admitting that he has an interest in Ohana, but it’s more that he watches her wondering what her next stunt will be. He then tells Minko that he watches over her as well, with great suspense. This makes Minko very happy, so she goes back to the inn and agrees to try on the dress. She looks quite good in it, and Ohana and Minko also clear the air a little bit, as Minko states her resolve not to give up on Tohru.

So, that little drama over, it must be time for the wedding. The wedding goes off without a hitch, but then it’s time for the staff to get into high gear, in order to prepare all the food. Tohru’s in charge of the food, and this time he runs the kitchen, as Mr. Ren, the Head Chef asks what he can do to help out. Apparently, he can do a lot of the work. After the food is done, the staff are also invited to the reception, which is largely a happy and sedate occasion. The low point for the attendees is Jiromaru’s original sketch, which, well, we’ll just leave it at that. The less said the better. Much better is the musical entertainment, provided by an old college acquaintance of the happy couple, who is a singer and guitarist.

Sui also has her say, where she praises the young staff and the young couple for pulling off an impressive ceremony and reception that she did nothing to contribute to at all. She also speaks of the future, looking forward to what the younger people will do. Her words are not misinterpreted by the younger folk (and for her, even Mr. Ren is younger), and after the clean up, Mr. Ren asks her about her words, which make it sound like she is planning to retire. That assumption appears to be correct and it appears that the revelation at the end of the previous episode, where Sui told Takako that she would not hand over Kissuiso to her and Enishi, is true, but needs to be interpreted a little more carefully. At the staff meeting which is shown after the ending credits (yes, it’s one of those “watch it all until the very end” episodes), she announces that Beanman, Denroku, is retiring and wishes to hand over his logs of Kissuiso to someone else. The notebooks contain the entire history of the place as he was there from the start. When she learned of this, Sui herself came to a decision: after the Bonburi Festival, she plans to close the books on Kissuiso as well.

This does not mean the inn is necessarily going to be closed, but certainly things will change.

As expected, the episodes near the end of the series will be focused on closing accounts, that is, closing out story lines and plot arcs. I did not think it would involve a literal closing, as it looks like Sui is planning to retire and take Kissuiso with her. Not, that does not mean the inn is permanently closing. It seems more that she wants to hand over the inn unburdened to her son. We will see what shape the place will take in the future. But before we get to that, I suspect we will see more stories closed out.

In Summary:
While the drama between Ohana and Minko creates a good number of sparks again, the matter is settled to the satisfaction of both parties by Tohru, who witnesses a fight between the two girls over him. Once that is done, things can move on to the wedding of Enishi and Takako. The wedding goes all according to plan, with the ceremony and reception impressing even Sui, who did nothing to contribute to it. She notes as much in her speech at the reception, where she also announces something more significant, a hint about the future. While we may be getting towards the end of the series, the characters are looking forward to the beginning of new things.

Grade: A

Simulcast by: Crunchyroll

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

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