Flowers, family, and a hot springs inn

ひさしぶり! Sorry to be a while between posts; I can only attribute my laziness to the end of the season and the poor weather near me. But, like the skies that have cleared, it’s time for a new season of anime. If you’ve been following my Twitter account, you’ve noticed that I’ve already started out with two episodes from Nichijou and Hanasaku Iroha. To keep things short, Iroha absolutely hit all of the right signals for me and is challenging for number 2 on my favorites list already. (It’d be a 9 if it was an OVA) Since I like to conduct some research on various things relating to a show, I figured it would be beneficial to share my findings.

To begin, we all should know that hana (花) refers to flower (thus a translation of the title can be How a flower blooms) and our main character wears flowers in her hair. The first episode references flowers again by stating that our lead is 16 years old, in spring, and still budding. I wondered why PA Works would wait until Spring 2011 to air this show, but it ties directly into spring itself with the abundance of blooming flowers. This shall be a good theme to follow throughout the show.

Our main character is named 松前 緒花 (Matsumae Ohana). Her family name from her father is “in front of a pine tree” and her given name means “beginning of a flower”, thus tying in with the flower theme. Her grandmother’s family name would be 四十万 (Shijima) meaning 400,000 perhaps referencing the old age and tradition.

What I find interesting about “Ohana” is that it’s also a Hawaiian word meaning family. It stands that family must always remember each other and work together. Given the state of the relationship between Ohana’s mother and the rest of her family, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s some way to re-unite and become one again (reminiscent of Toradora! and Summer Wars).

Finally, the inn itself is named 喜翆荘 (Kissuisou) which has the kanji for “Taking pleasure in a kingfisher inn”. Once we see more of the Yunosagi area, we’ll see if the name fits as much as the others.

Honestly, I’m more than impressed with this show. I’m almost scared to see if it deteriorates as the season goes on, which I certainly hope it doesn’t. I’ve already gone ahead and pre-ordered the BDs from Japan in hopes that this will only be topped by Haruhi in my scale. I look forward to seeing more. Only 156.75 hours to go!

2 thoughts on “Flowers, family, and a hot springs inn

  1. I was very impressed with episode 1 of Iroha too (plan to write about it later on in my first impressions of spring ’11 post). I didn’t really put it all together in terms of the names and themes of family and flowers, so thanks for the info XD The title itself is interesting and can be roughly translated as “The ABCs of flowers blooming” =P

    It also gave me a very “Summer Wars” feeling. But as for the Toradora! comparison, so far I don’t really want to see Ohana get back together with her family and would rather she make a new life for herself without them. At least, that’s how I feel after seeing her selfish, immature mom and overly conservative, bitchy grandma in this first ep. Just like Taiga’s dad turned out rotten and she didn’t need him in the end, I wonder if Ohana will be the same.

    • It’s highly unusual for me to write about an episode (much less the first one) of a show due to my dislike of episodic commentary, but Iroha was one that deserves it. I couldn’t do a breakdown of the episode (If you haven’t seen it, GO WATCH IT!) so some research was my compromise. According to P.A. Works’ blog, the meaning of Iroha is supposed to represent colors, so we were both a little off.

      I think Summer Wars and Hanasaku Iroha have many themes in common with family, seasons, and being together. It’ll be interesting to see the contrast between summer and spring. I agree with you on the fact that I don’t want Ohana to move back with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. One aspect that Taiga had and Ohana doesn’t, is someone to truly support her. Taiga had someone that placed her needs above his many times whereas Ohana is going to have to be on her own. Honestly, I’d love to see her grow as a character and become self-reliant throughout the show. There’s just many good ways this show can go and I cannot wait to see the next episode (133 hours to go!).

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