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And just like that, my Nichijou posts have come back from hiatus to talk about the last episode; much like Nano’s sudden overjoy over the prospect of ridding of that giant key on her back once and for all.

Final impressions on the series as a whole to follow…

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This is the episode we’ve all been waiting for. Will Ohana finally muster up the courage to match what her yakisoba plate is trying to tell Ko about her feelings for him? Will either party (Sui vs. za warudo) ever win and will Kissuiso actually close or continue to prosper after the days leading up to the Bonbori Festival? More after the jump to find out!

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Tomoe’s going to have a lot of forehead wrinkles when she grows older. And if the staff of Kissuiso keeps it up with their bickering during such critical times, Sui’s intent on closing up shop on them just might come true in spite of all they’ve worked for.

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The entire staff of Kissuisou now faces the very real possibility of Inn closure and job transfers. Meanwhile, Ohana confronts both Kou’s feelings once more (in yet another playground) and Sui’s physical collapse as everyone’s lives begin to take dramatic turns in opposing directions.

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You know the end of a series is around the corner when the creators begin to tie up loose ends with subtle hints and irregularities like Minchi caring about her spinach dish, bringing Ko back into the story, Beanman actually giving good advice, and.. wait, what’s this; Ohana and Takako bonding and teaming up in an attempt to catch runaway Producer-san from a few weeks ago?! I like where this is all going.

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Burden and struggle; sadness and conflict. HanaIro does it again this week by throwing two of its main characters into fires that neither understand how to put out. And like any good story, their plight presents a tedious dualism – Minko can’t convey her feelings effectively enough whereas Takako seems to be effective in all the wrong ways. Perhaps if we had a bit of a roll reversal and let Minko use butchered English instead and turn Takako’s tsundere switch on, we would have an even more radical (and possibly more entertaining) show.

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There’s been a lot of kitchen scenes in this series, but no episode has ever caused my appetite to soar through the roof until Minko displayed her professional omurice dish preparation. I definitely have to try making it the way she does it next time.

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Character building’s the name of the game for these past two weeks as each of the girls besides Ohana and Tomoe get the spotlight and a chance to show off their talents for the upcoming cultural festival. But like how all good things must come to an end, so nearly does Minko’s own kitchen committee as she puts up an uncrossable line between work and play that gets the best of those who just want nothing more than to cook their crush’s favorite omurice dish. Drama ahead!

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As much as Rin and Daikichi are engrossed in their respective choices of literature, I decided to pick up the Usagi Drop manga and haven’t been able to put it down lately. Does that explain why some shows on my blog reel are a bit behind, like Sacred Seven and Ikoku Meiro no Croisee? Well, partly.

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Yukko continues her facepalm streak from last week and gets caught by yet another troll by Mai. Isn’t it hard to walk with that left foot raised so high, though? And when it comes to attention to detail, she even had bird feed inside of the stilt. It’s a wonder that Mai manages to keep doing things like this and still get by with school. Poor Yukko.

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Kissuiso’s big movie break winds up being as much of a fluke as Yuina’s desires to run her family’s inn in the future. Meanwhile, Enishi and Takako get hot and heavy poolside about the mishaps of the deal, the Ohana-Nako-Minchi trio soak up what little soap opera drama they witness at said pool, and Sui actually admits to wanting to act like a mother for a change?! Woah.

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Looks like Kissuiso and staff are set to appear on the big screen at some point. Aside from the Hollywood-esque flair of camera crews and glistening actors suddenly populating the relatively small inn, did anyone else get Spike Spiegel vibes every time Isami uttered a word? I was kind of hoping he’d say “bang!” at least once before one of the shoots.

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Have you ever ordered an espresso from a coffee shop and thought it was going to be an actual cup of coffee? If not, then you may not have resonated with Yukko’s palmface upon its disappointing size and bitter taste. But then again, espresso has its own origins, so shame on Yukko for not understanding or asking about details prior to ordering!

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Had some friends over. Made some takoyaki (well, one person did and we all enjoyed it), watched some anime (and a little bit of Mikunopolis for nostalgia’s sake), and drew on one of my whiteboards. As if nyan-cat wasn’t already awesome, the Nichijou reference took it a step further in hilarity. Curious about why the hand is pointing downward? Check this out:

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Ever since it was revealed that Menma’s only form of communication was through her personal diary and pen, the gang of friends have been (more or less) doing their best to see her off to heaven. By shooting off fireworks together, Memna’s wish would be fulfilled and she would supposedly move on.

Well, suffice to say that the fireworks indeed went off without a hitch, but Memna still doesn’t disappear. Oh no! I guess all that hard work was for naught. Hopefully, Tsurumi doesn’t regret cutting her hair after that. But what now? If Memna’s true wish wasn’t for everyone to collaborate of the fireworks, then what was it?

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“It’s rude not to give a proper answer”

Looks like Ohana’s faults are brought to the surface a lot quicker this episode just by being in Tokyo for an entire day. It takes lots of rain, a stubborn mother, jealousy, and realizing she’s her own hypocrite to get her to experience what it’s like to deal with seemingly adult issues. Welcome to the real world, Ohana!

Make no mistake, this is the episode I was most waiting for when it came to serious melodrama. We’d seen hints of it in other episodes in the form of petty day-to-day issues at Kissuiso, dilemmas in the staff’s personal lives, and Tohru going gaga over Ohana. But never until now has she been exposed to everything falling around her as much as what was revealed this week.

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Poor Annaka. All she wanted was some noodles on a nice, summer day at the neighborhood park. Is that so much to ask for?

(Would have been even better if that was Tsukasa getting trolled. Balsamic vinegar would be used instead of cold water, and the noodles would be a chocolate cornet. Oh Lucky Star, how I’ve missed you.)

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Anyone who’s ever worked so hard while forgetting about their own health will have a lot to relate to this week. Ohana continues her due-dillegence as Kissuisou’s up and coming waitress by taking on more than her normally assigned duties entail, but makes the rookie mistake of not calling out sick when her health begins to decline. Then again, it’s kind of hard to call out sick when you live where you work.

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Kinji’s Hysteria Mode reaches new heights this week in terms of length of time used in one episode, as well as the quantity of women he happens to use it on. As much as it is used to get him and his comrades out of tough situations during battles, it’s still hilarious how Shirayuki and Aria fall for it each time. Who’da thunk his lock picking skills would skyrocket just in time to escape the oncoming rush of water?

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The moment the (former) Super Peace Busters realized those words in Menma’s diary were probably written in near real-time had to have been the biggest sentimental (and even somewhat supernatural) shock I’ve ever seen in a while. It must have been difficult on a completely different level when she was the one that barely shed any tears over her situation despite everyone else doing just that. It says a lot about Menma’s character in both past- and present-tense, even when she’s technically not around to directly mediate the quarrels between her friends.

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What’s better than a blind, female shaman that eats greasy McDonald’s fries, sips a Starbucks latte, manages a Tamagotchi, and rocks out to tunes on her pink 2nd-generation iPod nano? A blind, female shaman that has all of that, plus trolls Nakanojo (mohawk kid) for 5,000 yen for summoning, of all things, soap. I hope I’m not the only one thinking Nakanojo has some sort of trick up his sleeve to try and get the hair on the side of his head to grow (back?).

(The show continues to maintain its pension for absolute randomness. And trolling. Everyone loves trolls at Kyoto Animation)

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Run continues to be her ditzy self, Yuuko continues to be harassed by Tooru and Nagi, and it rains. I think that pretty much sums up this episode. Am I forgetting anything?

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Ha! I called it! Dere-Minko-chi is just around the corner! All that’s left is to figure out how she’ll deal with the revelation she and Ohana witnessed outside of the rival hot spring inn. Otherwise, another great episode with more Nako and Minko development to mix in with Ohana’s first day as the highly anticipated transfer student from Tokyo.

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Ohhh, episode just got CliffNoted!!

In all (attempted) seriousness, Tarou’s efforts in free-riding the entire staff of Kissuisou fail miserably; meanwhile, Ohana lectures Tarou on the right way to truly sparkle in ero-novels life, noting that tying someone up in turtle shell rope bondage absolutely does not count.

There, I tried to be serious. Let’s move on to more fun stuff after the break.

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This week’s loser award is reclaimed by Yuuko as she tries yet unsurprisingly fails at doing her homework, arm wrestling against Mai, negotiating for answers, and keeping secrets. She’s her own Dumb and Dumber but without the need for two people. Seriously, who has room in their school bag to tote a karaoke mic, broccoli and cauliflower, 30%-off ground beef, an apple, a whole bag of rice? I guess that’s why 1) Yuuko is terrible with anything involving academics because of the lack of academic materials in her book bag, and 2) Mai doesn’t snap her arm off after losing 23 rounds in a row of arm wrestling.

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