I just finished the first episode of Hanasaku Iroha and while I liked it quite a lot, I get the feeling that the rest of the show might not live up to it. Now I have heard very little about it so I might be wrong about this but I feel like the only direction for this series is upwards, that things can’t get any worse for our main character. If this series is about human connection or human growth on that level then it probably won’t resonate with me.
That isn’t to say the show won’t be good but just that it isn’t for me. Sometimes I feel bad about this, what is it that’s wrong with me that I don’t connect to shows about connection? Those thoughts are usually fleeting, it’s a longing to garner a feeling that would be at odds with who I am.
I don’t like people.
I have a few very good friends but outside of those I know, I have no desire to be sociable with anyone. This is not to say that I wouldn’t get along with some people I don’t know, obviously at some point I didn’t know of my current friends but I will never get those people who are able to just get along with people regardless of how well they know them. I distrust people too much to ever want to get close to them, it’s a cycle in which I never want to get close enough to people to trust them because I don’t trust them. Most of my friendships are due to complete circumstance and literally nothing else.
So to begin with, I don’t enjoy the hanging around with friends or “slice of life” shows usually. A theme that runs throughout is that my favorite “slice of life” shows either deal with something else as well (usually death which I find fascinating) or flip the script on their “slice of life” genre trappings (a la GakkouGurashi). So from the beginning I’m less inclined to like these sorts of shows because I’m not a sociable person, socializing takes away time from doing something I deem important in my eyes.
Second is this idea of human growth. I don’t really believe it exists. To me the older one gets the less they change, once your personality begins to be set, that is the way you’ll be for the most part. You may endure slight changes in attitude but you’ll largely be the same. This is not general consensus of course, most people (I think) believe people are capable of change and good for them. I’m just a cynical bastard who can’t get enjoyment out of things that are meant to be uplifting. There’s an Eminem lyric from his song “Evil Twin” which captures my thoughts on this to a tee: “I believe people can change, but only for the worse”. That’s exactly how I feel, that lyric just popped into my head whilst writing this. I’m not a huge believer in human growth so watching shows about it don’t resonate with me.
I enjoyed Hanasaku Iroha’s opening because it was harsh. Ohana’s life is flipped upside down, strangers are harsh to her and when she expects her grandmother to be lenient to her just because they’re related she is anything but. The best scene to me is when Ohana’s grandmother slaps another employee and Ohana says that since it was her fault that her Grandmother should hit her to, her grandmother promptly obliges. The episode ends with Ohana crying whilst cleaning the floors. It’s a harsh dose of reality, something I love to see in shows of this nature. But that’s exactly what worries me, the only way for Ohana is up from here. She’ll probably start to get along with her Grandmother and roommate. She’ll eventually start to enjoy her new life. I’ve seen this type of thing before (see Kotoura-san). I really hope this show keeps up it’s harsh tone but I’m doubtful it can over 26 episodes. Who knows.
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Thanks for Reading,