Note: These notes contain spoilers and have not been formatted for third party readership. They are provided only as a curiousity.
Oh goddess I’ve got to have standards.
So let me guess: Ditzy MC, through seemingly harsh new environment, is made to grow up due to these new life experiences and greater independence/earning her keep, but also changes those around her as part of the process. Basically standard coming of age. What’s-her-tsun is going to come to like MC and MC’s grandmother will turn out nicer and a better parent than she initially seems (they’re trying too hard to make her look cold and distant for that not to be true). I’ve surmised this much from ~half the first episode. How right will I be? Because that’s basically paint by numbers if I’m right.
Mother of the year.
CDs are okay and might grow on me. Seiyuu seem okay but I need more time on that. Color pallet seems decidedly warm. Not overwhelmingly but still bright and vibrant colors everywhere. Yeah, definitely a warm, nature in spring vibe.
I don’t really like any of these characters yet, but it’s only fair I give them time to develop.
Oh, you’re my niece? Let me just molest you a bit. Pure class. And that one guy was totally undressing Ohana with his eyes, wasn’t he? Creepy.
Having the tissue paper fall out of her nose as an extra visual exclamation of shock? Nice touch.
If Ohana is yet another genki girl who just tries to keep everything cheerful and has indomitable spirit (and no personality) I will open up this MacBook, take out the HDD and smash it with a ballpeen hammer out of sheer rage and disgust. So stop giving me that vibe, show.
ED seems like it’s confirming my initial guess at how this show will turn out. Welp.
Bingo! “Let’s all grow together!” from “I’m gonna try my hardest! ~so genki~” Ohana. I wretched. How long until the melodrama kicks in?
So I said he was creepy but ho boy, I didn’t see him being that creepy. Is... is he gonna rape her? Well that didn’t take long.
Animation doesn’t seem standout but is competently executed. Fluid enough and not garish on the eye.
How long until granny reveals she’s not so bad after all?
Being able to see so many of this series’ moves so quickly is boring. Could you be any more telegraphed?
Honestly, rape dude was set up way too hard as the creepy bad guy. Which is just dumb on a number of levels. Firstly, good job understanding subtlety! But rapists or whatever he’ll actually do usually aren’t the ones acting like creepy perverts ready to lunge at the nearest bit of nubile young flesh. If it were that obvious, things would be a little simpler, you know? But anime doesn’t seem to usually understand how actual human beings work. (See 97% of queer anime characters.)
And how pithy a.... well everything, really. She’s in the car and tells him to die like what’s her tsun does and he almost does and BOOM epiphany with sudden flashback. And just like that she instantly forces character growth and change through the powers of genki.
Genki! Lazy plot developments! Unrealistic characters! Predictable story! By your powers combined, I’m bad anime!
P.A. Works made Another. This explains so much.
It’s not that she stood up for herself. Of course she did. It’s how she stood up for herself that’s the problem.
Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. He abducts you, ties you up, reads to you his erotica starring you and your co-workers all while revealing that the whole time he’s been treating you like dirt he’s actually a fraud, and all you ultimately do is feel sorry for him and try to give him a genki boost? You are the worst character.
Could this be any more cliche? Could the characters be any less not just relatable, but even human? Is this some elaborate joke by PA Works? I honestly suspect I’ll like Heaven’s Lost Property more than this. At least that show isn’t kidding itself.
Those car windows were ugly, too. Nice CG.
Creepy, awkward fan service.
This is a bad show.
A love triangle. Seriously. A love triangle.
No. Not seriously. Not a love triangle.
Okay, maybe a love triangle? Nah, not really. Maybe.
Requisite beach episode!
These plot elements are so disparate and poorly woven together I forgot they were even in high school.
So let me get this straight: Yuina and Minko are constantly hit on and desired by the boys at school. Fair enough. But exciting new impossibly lithe transfer student from Tokyo Ohana, subject of so much sexual harassment at the inn, doesn’t receive any male attention? What are you trying to tell us, show? Nothing. This is just inconsistency because you didn’t put the thought and effort in to realize this is something that should be consistent. These are the touches that are missing. Those two characters are supposed to be popular with boys, so they are. But Ohana isn’t supposed to be a class idol. It’s just supposed to be her and Ko. So you don’t even have boys so much as pay attention to her. Lazy.
Backgrounds seem there. Keep an eye on those.
Hanasaku Iroha is a show you could only make if you have no experience ever being or interacting with human beings.
Hanasaku Iroha doesn’t have characters. It has props. It has little puppets that do as they are scripted and exist in their own void and blah. There’s no world of Hanasaku Iroha. There’s a setting, but there isn’t a world. We are 14 episodes in and one has not been built. There is nothing fleshed out here. Everything is so divorced from everything else. Nothing logically follows from anything else.
Ohana et al are nothing more than little dolls with stereotypes for personalities trotted out for the male audience to fawn over these timid, obliging madonnas. I struggle to believe that anyone who wrote these characters has ever met an actual female. I struggle to believe that anyone who wrote these characters has ever met an actual human being. I struggle to believe that anyone wrote these characters.
Why is there no merging of these various strata? Why is this show so awful? It seems popular. Are people going to react negatively when I savage it? (Because there’s still another 12 episodes, but you know it isn’t going to improve dramatically. Come on.) I feel that I can raise valid points about why I don’t like this, but people can tend to attack a review simply because it didn’t reach their own opinion. (I remember before an Uncharted game was even released, people were attacking reviews for scoring it too low. Anime fans don’t seem quite as ravenous, but this is how people are.)
Well, you know what, I’ll be okay with that. If they think the points in my review aren’t fair, I’ll respect that and even amend it if they’re right. But if the critique is just that my score, my opinion, my conclusion, whatever you want to frame it as, is wrong or unfair because the show “objectively” deserves higher, I’ll die just the teensiest bit inside and ignore it because that’s not even worth acknowledging.
Or nobody will read or care about it. That’s certainly possible! “Who’s IssacandAsimov and why should I care what they think?” Them’s the breaks.
Because there’s nothing human about these characters. It’s almost uncanny valley territory. Challenges are only ersatz. Gee, I wonder if everything’s going to be okay? Characters do not have to face a relentless onslaught of misery, but when characters don’t always get to win, and you show how they make the best of what isn’t the best, that’s good. Unless it’s iyashikei or something in which case that’s not the point. But this isn’t that sort of show.
Ohana’s mom feels like a slap in the face. Just “Ha ha! Consistent characters? Heck with that, we’ve got plot points to hit!” Motivations are a mess. If Ohana does one more genki thing I might just lose it. Grow a personality. Be a person. Please. This show needs someone to do it.
You see side characters aren’t really fleshed out but I don’t think it would matter if they were. Because we have the best chance to get inside Ohana’s mind, and there is nothing to this character. So what would really be behind the curtain of all these side characters? (The answer is nothing.)
What is Yurina’s purpose in this show? I don’t get that. We get the “Oh, this is the big rival and we’re on awkward terms and blah blah blah” but she’s just this silly, flighty spoiled girl with zero personality again and these are italics because it makes me angry who is Ohana’s friend and what does she even do in the show? This other inn could’ve been so much more to the plot but right now it’s just this thing to exist to occasionally use as a device but it’s not fleshed out and it’s not very relevant and why is Yurina even there? Unless it’s just to give us yet one more doll to fawn over. I wouldn’t put it past this show.
Art and sound are decent. The rest is awful. And I don’t mean that just in an “Oh, I don’t like this” kind of way but in a “this is absolutely terrible with nothing going for it” kind of way. Still better than Eiken!
Ohana’s genki is genuinely annoying. I want to see her suffer terrible tragedies just to spite her relentless never-fail genki and that makes me feel like a bad person. But I get the feeling she’s supposed to be endearing to us and she’s not that at all. She’s a really, really bad character.
Has PA Works ever made a good show? Hmm. I haven’t seen Canaan. Angel Beats wasn’t terrible but had a lot of problems. Well, I won’t write this studio off just yet, then. Watching this makes me even more sure I was right to drop Tari Tari, though.
It’s good that I’m as far along in this series as I am. I don’t want to be writing the review rushing at the last second. Give myself some time to find just the right words for my thoughts, go over it, refine it a bit.
Mango ice cream with fried chicken toppings? That sounds incredibly gross. But this is the country that thinks mayonnaise and sweet corn belong on a pizza. Sometimes I just don’t get their palette.
So it looked like maybe she’d be used as a contrast for Ohana which would be a pretty obvious role, but guess what. Nope. Oh it turns out working isn’t so bad and working at the inn is possible and develops your character and burn this show to the ground. Salt the earth. You pithy pile of garbage.
Minko’s seiyuu underwhelms me.
Okay. Just stop right there. Now you’re just insulting me. There’s no logic here anymore. So the idea is that the film will be great advertising for the inn, right? But there’s complications here: How are they making money? Do they have guests here during the filming? That would be madness. They’re not charging a location fee. Any movie that would be worth their time to let shoot there would take a while to film. So we’re talking several months of no income. And the manager, so savvy, just okays this and hands over the reins to her son?
I think my mind just imploded from the intelligence black hole on display here.
Oh, but of course! You didn’t actually think it through that far, did you PA Works? No. You just decided this is what you wanted to happen, logic be darned. If you actually stop and think about this for even a second you just can’t suspend your disbelief any further. Is this a joke? Is this some kind of parody? An ironic meta statement? Something so brilliant and subtle in its messaging that I just can’t appreciate it? Because if this is seriously everything it looks like it is you need to apologise. To humanity.
How will it manage to top itself past this point? How can they actually start applying whatever the inverse of thought is? Is there no bottom?
They have guests?! On what has become a movie set? At this inn? This inn that is so formal and never wanting to inconvenience the guests? They have staff working on a film instead of assisting paying customers and making noise and doing everything a movie entails and well I see how they’re making money at least but that involves going down another nonsensical route. This show has violated its own internal logic.
There weren’t many avenues for this to actually follow the show’s logic because it’s a terrible idea. If they’d charged a location fee it would make more sense. Once they can use the place for free, this is the road we’re down. The consistency is gone. That’s it. This has gone from a barely cohesive narrative to a train entirely off the rails. They don’t even care. They think we’re idiots. They think we won’t notice the absurdity of the situation.
So when did it happen, PA Works? When did you just give up?
And wait wait wait. If this pair of customers says they’ve “heard” a movie is being filmed, they have to inquire, that means you didn’t tell them? They’re just staying at your inn and suddenly there’s a camera crew and people jumping out of windows and-
Ha. Ha ha! Oh, it’s a joke, right? Oh man, you had me going there, PA Works! I thought this was a real show! (Play along. It’s better than the truth.)
Wow! The shadiest people this side of a used car lot were shysters? Who’da thunk? These people are just idiots, aren’t they? Rubes. Everything about this deal was shady, but oh wow, publicity! And we get to be in the movie! Who is so blindly greedy that they couldn’t see through this?
How terrible can your characters get?
Now I’ve lost it. I know I can’t drop. The truth exists... beyond... okay this isn’t working as well as I hoped.
There is nothing sympathetic or endearing about any of these characters. They deserve every misfortune that comes upon them.
If everyone involved in writing this show and then approving this show as it was written were to never work in this industry again I’d consider that a positive development.
Yes, I do have to get this angry. The gall, the sheer gall to put this show out and act as though this is your best effort. Rank 378 on MAL. 288 on A-P. Do other people just not see this? Is it me? Am I the problem? Because this show and those sorts of ratings just don’t seem to compute. What do they see that I don’t? Tell me somebody else sees the same flawed wreck I see. Truly, I am a stranger in a strange land. For they all walk on land and I alone am drowning.
What’s the best way to communicate a flaming bag of feces via a review?
“One of the best points of the series is how well they understand their audience. Each point that needs to be made is clearly made without underestimating the audience’s ability to understand. They show character development and conflicts rather than telling us about it.”
This is all just one big, elaborate joke. It has to be.
There are nine more of these. Deep breaths.
Have they always been getting that lazy with the animation? What I mean by that is have they been abusing tricks so much? You know, static backgrounds, still shots, show a character from behind so you don’t have to animate lip flaps, etc. There was such a paucity of movement in episode 19. The animation is decent when you get it, but that’s just it. There’s so little of it.
The backgrounds seem a little sparse and plain. I’ll pay closer attention to see if that holds up.
That’s the thing. When I’m just casually watching a show, I’ll definitely notice things like these sorts of budget tricks and terrible characters and complete failure to actually form a world. But I’m not anally obsessing over backgrounds. Should I fault it for something I wouldn’t notice ordinarily? I think so. Because it’s there. Even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, personally, other people will care. If a show has bad background art or whatever, no matter its importance to you, it has to go in the review, right? So yeah, I’m including it even if maybe most people wouldn’t be paying that much attention to it. And I’m not going to downplay it for that reason, either. Because it could be a huge deal to someone.
So seeing Ohana get flustered when her mom asked if she had a new boyfriend gives me another thought on the matter: Maybe the reason that Ohana isn’t receiving any male attention like the other girls isn’t strictly because they didn’t think about the importance of it. (I mean, they clearly didn’t, but still.) I think it’s also to keep Ohana as some kind of pure, untarnished girl. Ohana X Ko-chan OTP, right? And maybe (and now I’m just speculating) it’s because the male high schoolers are such side characters that a viewer could self-insert and they don’t want to have to have Ohana turning down male suitors because that would just complicate things too much and-
I mean, it’s terrible no matter how you look at it. It’s a thing that seems small but it has a big impact. In conjunction with other things, that is. It’s not like “Oh, a guy hit on Ohana? Well, we can check world building off the list!” It’s things like that that all combine to build a world. This is not the only failure to build a world in this show. It’s just one of them. And regardless of the “why” of the matter, you still have that disconnect. As aforementioned, shiny new Tokyo transfer student who seems to recieve a notable bit of sexual attention at the inn is completely irrelevant to the guys in her class? I get they have the two “princesses” but we’ve seen that doesn’t disallow romance outside of them. It’d be silly if it did, anyway. It’s not that I want Ohana to be hit on (I don’t care), but it’s that it’s only logical that she would at least get some kind of attention in that department.
Oh, right, they got hit on in that one episode as a group, right? But that really seemed more aimed towards Nako and a “Ha ha, you thought they’d be interested in Yurina, but no! She’s attractive just like we’ve been telling you! How do we beat this into your head?” deal and Ohana just finally came along for the ride. (Who the heck hits on people like that, anyway? Has that ever worked for them? Just approaching strangers on the street, breaking into song, getting way too close and spouting cheesy lines? Well, they’re young. Or I think they were young. Please tell me those people hitting on high school girls were right around their age.) (I’m only 21 and I’m calling high schoolers young. It’s only my fourth year of college, sheesh. I’m not old yet. Right? Oh goddess I’m talking to myself.)
“Why did I try to forget about Ko-chan?”
You did? Would’ve been neat if the show had demonstrated that, but no, sure, we’ll take your word for it.
And wait, wait, why are they getting married again? Because I knew he was interested in her, sure, but I never really saw much reciprocation. Were they even a couple? You have one moment that’s supposed to be this “Oh, look, relationship advancement!” with the pool scene and now they’re getting married? Well that sure is sudden. It’s not impossible, but come on. Or there’s been a lot more there than they’ve shown, but how should we ever know that?
I like how there’s this huge ruccus and the security guard just stands there watching. Fire that man.
Wait, wait. Why are they filming an interview with Ohana et al? Ohana was jut a bit player in the movie, wasn’t she? Well, that never really gets demonstrated well. But she’s not one of the big stars on the ticket. You really just do whatever’s convenient for you, don’t you, show?
And call me jaded, but this “true love” between Ohana and Ko is laughable. Long distance, barely contact each other, she tramples on his feelings, another girl is actively interested in him, but he just keeps carrying that torch for her. The magic of childhood friends! Ugh.
I hit a character limit and had to divide this into another blog.
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