From left to right: Minko, Tomoe, Ohana, Yuina, Nako
|Made By||P.A. Works|
|# of Eps/Volumes||26|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
After her mother elopes, a girl begins working at her grandmother's hot spring inn.
Ohana Matsumae is a bored, somewhat cynical city girl. Until the day that Ohana's single mother runs off with her boyfriend to avoid debt. Ohana is sent to live with her estranged grandmother, the authoritarian owner of an old hot springs resort in the countryside. Ohana will have to work to earn her keep, and win over the hearts of her fellow employees. Ohana decides to make the best of her new situation, but can't quite forget about the life she left behind, especially her childhood friend Koichi who confessed to her just before Ohana moved away.
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I really enjoyed HanaIro. It does a good job balancing the drama with more lighthearted slice of life parts. There is some real character development throughout the series. Just compare Ohana at the start to how she is at the end, and you will see how much she grows. Every character gets their time in the spotlight too. With a cast of about a dozen regularly appearing characters, the time taken to develop everyone really helps the show. While not a comedy, the jokes are well done, and the show doesn't need to draw unwarranted attention to them.
There are a couple of drama plot points that are just drawn out, and relied on too heavily though. For a show where everything else works really well together, this is a bit disappointing.
All in all, it's a good coming of age story with P.A. Works' quality animation. Recommended.
HanaIro has fantastic art direction, a pretty soundtrack and some rather lovable characters. It's also surprisingly tame for show about teenage girls set in a hot spring. It's funny when it's playing for laughs, and heartfelt when it's shooting for drama. But that's also part of HanaIro's main problem. The tone of the series seems to change like it's flicking a switch, rather than flowing one into the other. Which leaves the whole thing feeling wildly inconsistent. Ohana is a likable, believable heroine and her coming-of-age tale is, though shallow and haphazard, genuinely enjoyable.