Hanasaku Iroha Volume 7: Blooming love

Last year, P.A. Works broadcast their tenth anniversary work [i]Hanasaku Iroha[/i] beginning in April. The show looked to be amazing throughout the first half, but some episodes near the middle of the series began to show faults. Volume 7 picks up from an amazing focus episode on Nako and starts the final arc of the show! BDInfo/Photobucket album

Volume 7 does an excellent job moving forward from Nako’s focus episode into a mini-arc focusing on Minko and then into the final arc for the show. This volume contains episodes 19-21: Sloppy Omelet Rice, Love, Kourin Festival, and The Return of “Die”.

Sloppy Omelet Rice starts out showing that Nako’s focus episode wasn’t a one-episode matter; she’s going to continue to grow. That leads us to returning to the school the four girls attend and the start of the usual culture festival event. Having been put on the cooking committee, Minko shows that she’s truly capable of judging how to prepare to cater depending on the situation. It also shows that she’s not used to working with her peers. That leads us into…

Love, Kourin Festival, where we see not only why Minko wants to become a chef, but how she’s already been talented thus far. We see some growth in her character as she yields to the omelet rice request and prepares one just for Touru. A splendid end to this arc, and some much needed focus on the softer side of Minko.

Unfortunately, the very next episode, The Return of “Die”, reverts back to her older self as she begins to get the impression that Touru is fond of Ohana after an excursion. The cause of said excursion: Enishi and Takako are getting married! The movie arc brought the two closer together and this furthers the development for those two. We get to see Takako get the approval of Sui to marry her son, but they’re not going to be able to inherit the inn. A great opening episode to the final arc.

Included on this set is character commentary on episode 20 (if you could really call it commentary) by Minko (CV.Chiaki Omigawa) and Yuina (CV.Haruka Tomatsu). This is hands-down the best commentary since the first one. I was laughing so much everytime Yuina tried to get Minko to enter “dere mode” throughout the episode. They even comment “isn’t this supposed to be a commentary?” a few times. Conversely, the commentary on episode 19 bySupervisor Masahiro Ando, Editor Ayumi Takahashi, and Line Producer Mitsuhito Tsuji is just about par. They talk about the progression of the characters, but I didn’t notice very much. Also included is a textless version of the second ending.

As always, this set contains Hanairo Notebook 7. We have summaries of the episodes, character designs for Jiromaru and Denroku, comments on the artbox design by Mel Kishida, and the designs for many small items throughout the series. This is an area that is often overlooked due to how detailed they are. Seeing the varied designs for cups, cell phones, and the like is amazing. I truly got an appreciation of just how much work they put into this show.

Since this is volume 7, we also got another beautiful artbox drawn by Mel Kishida. Of course this one has to feature Nako since Ohana and Minko were featured previously. As Kishida said, this depicts the girls as they head out to go shopping. I don’t know if it’s my Nako fan showing, but I feel this is the best looking one thus far.

And so concludes another month of the Hanasaku Iroha BDs. Only two more months to go to finish the set. It’ll be hard waiting another month to continue this arc, but we’ve got to wait. Next time: Yuina and Nako out shopping!

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