Hanasaku Iroha, On the Other Hand, Can Wait.

Ghostlightning described Hanasaku Iroha to me as “hipster artfag porn,” but also said it was very good and that he enjoyed it.

His description was spot-on. The first half of the episode was so hipster porn that it felt like it was trying too hard, though that might’ve been on purpose to set up for the beatdown Ohana would receive to her hipster pride. The first names to flash through my head with regards to the writing were “Matsuo Kou” and “Diablo Cody“. The episode’s first half reminded me of the small bit of Jennifer’s Body that I watched, which was so overloaded with cheeky “smart” dialog that I felt like I was in the break room at art school all over again and couldn’t take it anymore.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the true nature of the show, and with Ohana’s new company being a load of hard-asses, there won’t be anyone to play off of her witty hipster dialog anymore.

The story reminds me of Spirited Away.

From the stance of a production databaser, there are many reasons that I’ll watch this show. The first episode didn’t interest me, but I see the potential to be a great artfag drama the likes of which we haven’t seen in anime since Red Garden. That said, I can’t watch this show right now.

Unlike Steins;Gate, which is a take on a style that I adore in a way that I’m not currently sick of, Iroha is a take on a style that I adore in a way that I’m completely sick of. Smartly written dramas with any degree of cheekiness always make me wary. While I loved the movie Juno, I held off on watching it for a long time until I felt I could handle the teenage hipster dialog, and since it did that so well, it consequently made all other attempts at teenage hipster dialog pale in comparison. I have to be in an extra-special mood to watch this kind of thing, and my time in the break room at art school last semester killed that mood for at least the next six months.

There will be a time for me to enjoy this show, but right after being blown away by probably my favorite drama ever, Hourou Musuko, is not the time.

3 thoughts on “Hanasaku Iroha, On the Other Hand, Can Wait.

  1. Pingback: Suggested Reading April 3rd-9th « Black and Blue Socks

  2. “The story reminds me of Spirited Away.”

    I think the MIyazaki feel is partly because Hanasaku also sort of draws on this idea of inheriting the past. Ohana is rootless and traditionless; she is an example of the perfect post-modern child (Or to use your words, a hipster child). In a similar vein to Spirited Away, and a lot of Miyazaki stuff, the show is Ohana coming to terms with her roots – roots that she initially romanticizes, then finds out the hard reality of. There’s this same sort of romanticism for a bygone past, when people worked hard with the sweat of their brow, life was slower paced, kids were better behaved, parents had discipline, etc. etc.

    My one worry is that such romanticism is perhaps a little too selective; but Hanasaku seems to be willing to attempt to try and reconcile if not balance the two. It was Ohana, after all, who was willing to ask to be hit too. To be honest, I found Ohana pretty authentic in the sense that teens do talk sort of like that today – snarky, a little cynical, but also not without a complete regard for fairness. If that makes a hipster then so be it.

    If anything, really, I think the whole “hipster” label that might be put on this show points out that there’s already a gender gap between the 80s/early 90s generation (who presumably now would be a good chunk of the blogging audience) and the generation that are teens today. In a bygone day and age we would have called Ohana “plucky”, like Spirited Away’s Chihiro.

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