Ah, what a cop out. This is why friends can sometimes be crutch. If Minko’s team isn’t going to stick around and take her abuse, Ohana will step in willingly to be the punching bag. If Minko isn’t going to listen to anyone but her closest friends, she’s not going to make it far as a chef. In the culinary world, there are chefs and there are cooks. Minko is just a cook. What does being a chef entail? Being a good leader.
- A good leader should have good communication skills. Minko should have been able to explain why her style of omurice couldn’t have been done on a hot plate without resorting to ad hominem attacks (hypocritical, too).
- A good leader should have listening skills. If Minko hadn’t been so dismissive with her team in the first place, they could have told her there was another way to make omurice without needing her best friend to get the job done.
- A good leader should be able to admit one’s own mistakes. I never did see Minko utter one apology for her harsh words and poor behavior last week.
The last episode did a good job of splitting the girls up to sow conflict, but once it got that ball rolling, the story cops out. Ohana and co. re-enters the picture to help Princess Minko sail her ship to safe shores. Friends can be a huge help, but they can also be a detriment. Ohana and co. aren’t going to be around forever to bail prickly folks like Minko out, and this was the anime’s chance to show some character development. Unfortunately, friendship rears its ugly head yet again and we return to the status quo. In the end, what does tsundere Minko learn? Nothing. Well, she can now make a new kind of omurice, I guess. Big whoop.
Nako and her artist friend
This story got the short end of the stick. Nako essentially abandons her friend, who has no one else, to help Minko, who still had Ohana and Yuina. I can just imagine that while the rest of the girls were cooing over some culinary 101 dish, some poor girl is in her classroom and putting up paintings all by her lonesome. But this is “Hanasaku Iroha” where everything’s peachy keen. The friend doesn’t mind one bit; in fact, she even painted a “portrait” of Nako despite being left high and dry.
The only pathos in the series remains with the adults, i.e. Sui, Satsuki and Enishi. Their actions actually have real consequences. The young girls seemingly exist in an alternate universe where everything they do turns into sugar, spice and everything nice. The OP teases a potentially interesting moment: Sui visits a grave in the rain with only Beanman by her side. I’m still holding out for an episode to delve into this particular story, but the previews for next week’s episode don’t give much optimism.
• It’s the bits and pieces in “Hanasaku Iroha” that piques my interest, while the meat of the story leaves me wanting. We see Renji on his break, leafing through a magazine for leather jackets.
Here’s a guy with almost no personality in the kitchen, necessarily so because he wants to let his cooking do the talking for him. When Renji is out of his element, however, what is he thinking when he looks at the “rock it hard” jackets? Does he ever wish he had a different life?
• Did anyone visit the art exhibit? I’m going to guess not a whole lot did:
While you argue that this screenshot comes from an early part of the day, the anime goes to great lengths to show how the rest of the festival is crowded and full of life. Even when Ohana and co. finds the time to finally visit Nako, the first thing she wanted to do was gossip about Minko’s nonexistent love life. I wonder what Nako’s friend was thinking at that very moment.
• Yuina’s the worst character on the show. You might’ve thought I’d pick Minko, but nope. Yuina’s voice, actions and the fact that she never has anything interesting to say… — what a complete waste of a character.