Is everyone supposed to be unlikeable? The grandmother continues her vicious streak, of course.
But Minko doesn’t let up either, continuing to be a frigid bitch squared. Still, I don’t know… her portrayal just seems so devoid of effort. Minko can’t even be witty or interesting; she just huffs and puffs whenever Ohana’s around, repeatedly telling the new girl to “Die.” Die? Are you like five? Actually, I think that’s the problem — everyone is just so petty, childish or both. adaywithoutme nails it: we’ve all met these kinds of people in real life, but there’s no way they all reside in one place. But realism aside, does any of this actually improve the story? Even if everything’s for the sake of entertainment, the fact that Ohana’s so utterly alone at the start just takes away from the weight of the drama. You can only shit on the new girl so much before I, the viewer, go numb from the entire affair.
Minko makes a mistake in cooking again, and this time, it can potentially ruin a staff meal. As an aside, having seen kitchens before and having been a waiter for a short period of time in high school, the kitchen staff can honestly be brutal in berating its subordinates. Anyhow, Ohana observed the whole affair and it turns out Ohana is a fabulous cook. I wouldn’t have guessed it from her omurice and broccoli concoction, but shrug. I dunno how Ohana snuck in and operated an entire kitchen without any of the back of the house staff noticing, but she did and saved breakfast. Rainbows and ponies, right? Not to Minko, though! Some slight needling from Toru causes her to charge out of the staff meal — again, like a child. Upon Ohana’s pleas, Minko accuses Ohana of cooking the meal just to spite her. That’s a little narcissistic, don’t you think?
Branching away from the three main characters doesn’t offer much relief. This week, we also get to know maid/waitress Nako and junior chef Toru a little better. We’ve already seen that Toru’s a dick. Nako, however, is so meek that if there was a gentle breeze, we’d never hear from her again. It’s like everyone in the cast has to be exasperating. We would have been better served to have just one person who is friendly to Ohana. This would offer a contrast to the nasty treatment she gets from her grandmother and Minko. Instead, we get someone (Nako) even my fat orange tabby of a cat could beat up.
As for Ohana, we see a little pathos this time around. I’m not going to say too much about her “Never rely on others” mantra, because we each have our hang-ups and as long as Ohana’s not a mess of walking angst, one flaw doesn’t bother me. But her solution to Minko and Nako freezing her out? Ohana demands to know their least favorite food so she can prepare it for the next staff meal. When Minko and Nako finally act normal for once, i.e. just walk away, Ohana charges at them and knocks both girls to the ground. What the hell? Really?
I know the girls are all around 16 or 17 years of age. I get it — most teenagers, regardless of gender, are relatively immature. But c’mon, we’re shortchanging young people if we think they all act like this. I was 16 once and I don’t seem to remember a lot of blithering idiots charging at people and telling them to, “Die.” Having said that, I’m not really hung up on whether or not the anime is realistic. Sure, it’s realistic… if everyone was five. The story is trying to sell me on the fact that these are young adults though. I’m being hard on the Hanasaku Iroha because it could really be a solid series, but it’s just a little too silly right now to take seriously.