Like the outrage that happened with Ore no Imouto Episode 4, it seems that the aniblogosphere has started the outrage machine again over brief fanservice scenes, the perverseness of Jiroumaru and sudden lighthearted mood of Hanasaku Iroha Episode 3. I believe that this outrage is misguided considering that a slice of life story in my opinion is never meant to be completely consistent.
From the last episode, it seems that Jiroumaru has been driven to revenge towards Ohana. He carries out his revenge by performing bondage on her. After seeing her tied up and gagged, it makes me wonder… Why would you want to do this to a 16-year-old girl even if she read your drafts? To me, it felt like he is sexually harassing the girls, especially the way he grabs Nako and threatens to tie her up after Ohana tells him off. After I saw what happened, the girls should have contacted the police and have him arrested. Sadly, it doesn’t happen because of her Grandmother’s philosophy that “customers are always right.” After she saw all the problems he caused with the sexual harassment of the girls, complaining about the food and stealing one of the inn’s vehicles, she must be eating crow right now.
Behind the lighthearted comedy in the first half, the second part where Jiroumaru attempts to commit suicide is rather melodramatic. He always put himself down underneath the lies of being a famous author. This causes him to believe that he has nothing to live for. Even after he jumps off the cliff and got saved by Nako, Ohana still believe in him by saying that he helped her to shine. To me, Ohana is a very kindhearted and open-minded person that gains my respect. While writing about perverted stuff with Ohana, Minako and Nako might not be right, Ohana helping Jiroumaru to get motivated with his writing is an act of kindness.
As for the small instances of fanservice in the first half, it seemed that most of the people are crying foul and saying that this episode is horrible and that they are going to drop it. They believe that the fanservice and lighthearted comedy has hijacked the overall premise of the story. Like the comments I said about the outrage of Ore no Imouto Episode 4, I don’t see anything objectionable about the brief fanservice shown with the shower scene and Nako’s wet clothing. Sure the bondage was very iffy and felt wrong, but that’s about it. While these scenes feel out of place with the overall premise of the story, slice of life stories are never meant to be consistent since the events in real life are unpredictable. There is always going to be ups and downs when we go through life as shown with Ohana adjusting to her new home at the inn. Hence, it’s a very bad idea to expect Hanasaku Iroha to be entirely serious.
Despite the outrage from some of the disgruntled viewers, I enjoyed episode three since Nako was the shining heroine of the episode. She looked so pretty with her hair down and saved Jiroumaru even though he is a big pervert. Also, Ohana’s grandmother has definitely gained some more respect towards her as she resolved all the tensions between the girls (Minako and Nako) and Jiroumaru. Things can only get better once school starts and they work together at the inn afterwards.
So in short, Hanasaku Iroha is still a great show.
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