Sixteen-year-old Ohana Matsumae is a mildly happy-go-lucky but pragmatic girl who dreams for drama in her typically normal life of school alongside her best friend Koichi "Ko" Tanemura. One day, upon coming home, her eccentric mother Satsuki decides to send her to live with her estranged grandmother, Sui Shijima, while Satsuki plans to flee their apartment with her boyfriend after he racks up substantial debt in their name. Ohana tells Ko, who confesses his feelings for her, but their relationship grows awkward when Ohana is too surprised to respond and Ko runs off without telling her goodbye.Ohana's mood soon brightens, only to get quickly get dashed against the rocks when she finds out that Kissuiso, her grandmother's hot springs inn, doesn't quite live up to her fantasy as her unfeeling grandmother quickly puts her to work, she runs afoul with coworker Minko "Minchi" Tsurugi, and each of Ohana's well-intentioned gestures towards Minko end up with not-so-pleasant results.Despite this, Ohana tries to not let the circumstances get her down as she works hard in her new environment.Hanasaku Iroha is a Spring 2011Anime First series from studio PA Works. It was eventually followed in March 2013 by a movie, Home Sweet Home, which tells the story of Satsuki's teenage years, as read by Ohana on an old logbook, detailing her deteriorating relationship with her mother and a fateful meeting with a young photographer.
This series provides examples of:
Abusive Parents: Ohana's mother abandons her and her grandmother works her like a dog. Subverted in that Sui actually works her no more than she does everyone else (and like everyone else, is chastised if her work is not up to snuff), and pays her well enough for it, judging by Ohana's reaction to her paycheck.
However, Sui always put her work before Satsuki.
Accidental Pervert: Enishi, who accidentally gropes his niece Ohana after they bump into each other.
A Day in the Limelight: Episode 3 is one for Jiroumaru, Episode 7 for Tomoe, Episode 13 for Satsuki, Episodes 14 and 15 for Yuina, Episodes 16 and 17 for Enishi (and to a lesser extent, Takako), Episode 18 focuses on Nako, and Episodes 19 and 20 for Minko.
Adults Are Useless: Satsuki flees with her boyfriend and leaves Ohana to stay with her grandmother.
All Love Is Unrequited: Ko liked Ohana for a long time without the latter knowing. Minko likes Tohru without the latter knowing. Tohru develops an attraction to Ohana without the latter knowing. And Ko's female co-worker, Igarashi likes him, but it is unrequited.
As of episode 22, Minko and Ohana have a fight about Tohru and he overhears Minko's feelings. He reveals that he may like Ohana but it is because she always surprises him and he likes to see what she'll do next. He tells Minko that he does care about her and Minko decides not to give up.
Finally subverted between Ko and Ohana by the last episode: she confesses her feelings to him, and they seem to have gotten together.
Ohana's grandmother Sui slaps Minko because Ohana brought Minko's futon outside to air-out and it accidentally fell on two customers and inconvenienced them. Ohana demands that she gets slapped too because it was her fault, and her grandmother slaps her thrice-fold.
Ohana delivers one herself to Jiromaru after his failed attempt at suicide, telling him he does have talent in writing because he told something about herself that she didn't even know—that she wanted to "shine."
Sui delivers multiple slaps to Enishi for panicking about Satsuki's visit.
Enishi tries to slap Takako and she intercepts and slaps him instead
The first opening credits start and end with Ohana stopping to gaze at a passing butterfly.
Ohana's first task in Kissuiso was to cleans the inn hallways, guess what was the last thing she did before leaving Kissuiso in the final episode?
Bound and Gagged: After discovering his original draft, Jiromaru abducts Ohana and restrains her. Ohana ends up giving him advice, and realistically her cleave gag doesn't keep her quiet and she quickly works it off.
The Cameo: Kimiko, the singer of the group nano.RIPE (who perform both openings and some endings for the series) makes an small appearance as one of the guests to Takako and Enishi's wedding.
Captain Obvious: In Episode 7, Ohana and Nako talk to Tomoe about their first run-in with the survival gamers:
Ohana: "Survival Gamers?"
Nako: What are they?
Tomoe: People who play survival games.
Nako: No, for starters, I was wondering what "survival games" are ...
Catch Phrase: Minko's "Just die" to Ohana. She also Apologises a Lot. Minko changes her "Just die" to "balut" after being chided by an angry Ohana.
Ohana's own catchphrase, 'bonboru'note 'fest it up', Ohana has made a verb out of 'Bonbori' in anticipation of the festival.
Childhood Friend Romance: Ohana's best friend Ko works up the courage to confess to Ohana after learning that she is moving away, but he runs off and doesn't see Ohana off when she leaves town because of her confusion and lack of an answer to said confession.
Chivalrous Pervert: The survival gamers are ultimately this. Even though they stalk girls at the inn paramilitary style, and try to peek on them, it never develops beyond that.
Disappeared Dad: Ohana's dad died when she was only a year old. Satsuki had many flings after she got widowed, but, as she told he daughter, she never really got over the loss of her husband. (Point is that she still uses the surname "Matsumae" instead of her maiden "Shijima".)
Satsuki and Enishi's dad (Sui's husband and Ohana's grandfather) is long deceased before the story began.
Epunymous Title: The title translates to, roughly, "The ABCs of Blooming a Flower." Hana means "flower," and the story is about the coming of age of a girl named Ohana.
I Have No Daughter: Ohana's grandmother's has disowned Satsuki. Her treatment of Ohana might be seen as an extension of this, until one realizes she treats all her workers with the same strictness. She also privately acknowledges Ohana as her granddaughter with satisfaction.
However she did personally cook for Satsuki, when she stayed at the inn. She also made it no secret that she'd prefer Satsuki to succeed her
Lost in Translation: Minko's new insult for Ohana, "balut"—or rather the Vietnamese term, "hột vịt lộn"/"hobiron"—stands for "honto ni bikkuri-suru hodo rongai" ("truly, shockingly out of the question"). The official CrunchyRoll subtitles totally drop this and preface the already-present comparison of balut and Ohana by stating Minko's notes read "smelly and ugly".
Another one in episode 23: The 'black tea' pun is lost on those who don't know the Japanese word for black tea is kocha.
A third, and another pun in episode 7: the discussion on survival (contracted to "saba") gamers is interrupted briefly by Minko, carrying a large, clearly labeled crate full of mackerel ("saba"). This camera cut just looks completely random without that understanding.
Love Dodecahedron: It appears the series is going in this direction with Yuki->Kirito->Minko->Tohru->|Ohana<->Ko<-Igarashi.
Minko likes Tohru, but Tohru appears to be dating Yuina. Subverted in Episode 5, as Tohru was actually lent to Fukuya for a little bit since they were short on chefs and Yuina just wanted to ride his motorbike.
As of Episode 6, a new one is sprouting, as Tohru seems to have become smitten with Ohana. This won't end well. It surprisingly gets resolved well in Episode 22, with Ohana determined keep her crush on Ko and plans to confess to him, Minko determined to keep her crush on Tohru in hopes of dating him one day, and Tohru admitting that he likes Ohana but won't do anything about it and while he doesn't feel the same about Minko, he does acknowledge her feelings.
Ko's co-worker crushing on Ko isn't helping things either.
Mood Whiplash: Episode 2 ends dramatically with the implication that Ohana is about to get raped, or at least attacked, and Episode 3 even starts with panting and grunting sounds, implying that she is indeed being raped, only to suddenly drop the drama and turn into a comedy when it turns out her kidnapper is harmless and incompetently trying to tie her up with her helpfully telling him where to tie the knots.
In Home Sweet Home, Ohana surprises Minko while she's making a bento for Mana, and asks if she's based it on a Hokemon, but Minko replies it's a Pretty Cure. The hairstyle of the character resembles Madoka, though.
Sickeningly Sweethearts: Enishi and Takako act this way when they break the news of their engagement, surprising everyone. Subverted as soon as they drop the charade when they realize they can't afford a complete wedding ceremony.
Sleep Cute: Ohana and Minko in Episode 12. And when Minko falls asleep in class in Episode 25, some of the boys relish a look at "the princess' sleeping face."
Soundtrack Dissonance: For some viewers, the Catholic-esque choir and pipe organ during the panorama of the Shinto Bonbori Festival at the end of Episode 25. Probably not used ironically, since the music fits the uplifting, spiritual atmosphere of the festival perfectly, but some viewers find the difference in religious and cultural motifs jarring.
Springtime for Hitler: Tomoe deliberately attempts to anger the survival gamers and get herself fired, but everything she does only makes their stay more enjoyable.
Sprint Scrubbing: How Ohana cleans the inn hallways. Sui as well back when she was younger.
"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Sui is content with her decision to shut down Kissuiso, feeling she has allowed her workers to pursue their greater goals; Denroku is happily retired; Enishi and Takako, having felt they aren't yet ready to run Kissuiso, decide to train in the meanwhile; Jiromaru is back to writing his novels; Tomoe becomes a waitress elsewhere; Nako becomes a swimming instructor; Ren becomes a cook at another restaurant; Tohru and Minko get to spend more time together; and Ohana moves back to Tokyo with Satsuki, after she finally confessed her love to Kouichi at the festival.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Ohana constantly talks about living dramatically and arrives at her grandmother's hot springs inn, feeling as though she is in a movie. However, the beautiful girl who resembles a fairytale character and extends her hand out to Ohana tells her to die, and Ohana's grandmother — who Ohana assumes will be like another elderly lady giving out candy — throws her a bucket and washcloth instead.
You Shall Not Pass: Watching a sergeant play this out in an old war movie inspires Tomoe to do something about the survival gamers for Ohana and Nako.