Hanasaku Iroha 23: Family Matters

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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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I’m going to feel about as sad as Nako when this series ends. And don’t get me wrong; the show has had its ups and downs, but the past few episodes (that I didn’t blog about) have really caused a huge ramp-up in the story. It’s so easy to fall into the rhythm of the inn and the characters that bring that world to life that it would seem a bit off not to wait for yet another week of Kussuiso’s day-to-day routines. It’s like being away for a trip for about a week or so and feeling withdrawn when coming back home because that away-from-home lifestyle change has been ingrained into one’s system by then. In this case, it would be a nice little extended (but not so destructive like Tarou’s) stay at the inn.

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Both Ko and Satsuki have really redeemed themselves this week as well. Sure, Satsuki got an entire stay at the inn to really boost how forgiving she wound up being, but Ko demonstrated how deep and genuine his emotions seem to be for Ohana that it made it seem like a no-brainer for a green light on a relationship, whether near or distant. Now it seems like the court’s at fair play, especially with the fated scene at the end of the episode. So, what’s it gonna be for these two? Looks like the fox deity from Yunosagi won’t be able to help you solve this issue out this time, Ohana!

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And here I am, thinking how awesome Ko turned out to be this episode when it was really Takako that stole all of the cool points this week after her slick Judo move on Tetsuo in the Tokyo Tower. So, does that mean Kissuiso has bought more time with the money supposedly recovered from him, or will Sui really stick to what she says and close up shop? I’d like to think the former, but next week’s “Last Boss” doesn’t give us any useful hints.

Two episodes left, and I haven’t even talked about what happened since two episodes ago. I’ll more than likely recap it in the series wrap-up post for the sake of time. For what it’s worth, Hanasaku Iroha is really shaping up to have a great final arc for a lofty show that’s proven itself a worthy anime-only title in just its last few episodes. The bonds that have been made over the past 2-3 weeks are really helping to mold a finale worth remembering, and the references coming together from past episodes offer nice nostalgic touches for anyone who’s kept up with the show up to this point. Let the fest-it-up attitude continue!

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