After a half of a year (26 weeks) this journey has finally come to an end, I’ve shared my thoughts on each episode from the beginning. Most where great—but there were a few sub-par ones. The recent episodes had me somewhat worried that Hanasaku Iroha was going to end badly, but the opposite happen. The ending was pure perfection, and one of the best I’ve seen in an anime in a while. Yes, this makes up for Angel Beats disgustingly deplorable ending.
The last episode was handled a lot better than I expected. The drama had died down, and now it was more about acceptance and moving on. Ohana’s confession to Ko felt real, there was nothing else really said about it afterwards. And that’s how it would be if your best friend that you also have feelings for just confessed to you. There wouldn’t be a wedding, or romantic embrace—you’d feel relieved and awkward. The scene between Ohana and Ko nailed this perfectly.
The inn actually shuts down, which was a shock. I expected someone to take over—but I’m glad it didn’t happen that way. That would have been too perfect, and this makes more sense. Seeing everyone at there new jobs was a nice touch, it’s basically saying life goes on. Nako being a swim instructor to children was awesome, she looked happy.
I’ve said it before—but it needs repeating. Sui’s character progression is the best in the series. She went from a heartless old bag, to one of my favorite characters. The final scene with her and Ohana was touching; it almost felt like it was foreshadowing something. Like maybe… Sui doesn’t expect to live long enough to see Ohana’s return.
Sure, some fans will claim that the series lost some of its steam half way through, but this anime was never plot driven to begin with. It was a slice of life with a minor plot thrown in for good measure. The random episodes are actually some of the best, and this series wouldn’t be half as good with out them. Can you truly say you didn’t enjoy Nako’s episode, or Tomoe’s? Sometimes a subtle plot is the best, everything doesn’t have to be spelled out and follow a direct path. Does life turn out that way, of course not! So there’s nothing wrong with seeing this in an anime about a period in a 16 year old girl’s life. It’s called realism…
I could go on forever about how much I loved the ending—but I’ll cut this short. Hanasaku Iroha is a masterpiece, and the second best anime this year next to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Who knows, we could get a second season, the ending left things open. If that day ever comes I’ll be there in an instant, but if it doesn’t… I won’t mind. I’m more than happy with how things unfolded.