So Iroha is back on form once again, after that weird aberration of a third episode that revolved around a lame car chase and Ohana doing her best Gutsy Ninja speech. With the start of the semester she’s off to school in the boondocks, finding out she causes an admiring minor stir with her “natural perm from a greater metropolitian area” schtick. All this is handled with the usual light comedy that the show is so good at, but we also get more plot development as it’s revealed there’s a modern competing inn in the same town and that HobironTsun may or may not have some romantic aspirations towards a certain tall strapping man. All in all, a great episode that gives us more good Ohana antics and less bungling bondage, so thumbs up.
So we get some more background on our spunky girl Ohana, learning her mom is indeed a Dark Lord of the Sith and told her to STRIKE THEM DOWN WITH ALL OF YOUR HATRED. Ahem, so yes, bad parenting led to the formation of a stubbornly independent streak, but over the course of this episode she realizes it’s counter-productive to continue doing this in an alien environment, so she resolves to form her tripod support network by first force-feeding her 2 co-workers with prison grub. Excellently cooked prison grub. Supposedly.
There’s also a small main plot regarding her throwing away the supposed masterpiece of the inn’s resident wordsmith guest, but it serves mainly as a backdrop for Ohana to resolve her personality issues and win Die-girl and Shrinking Violet over to her yuri campus, so it wafts in and out of the episode discreetly when it’s not needed, until the last few minutes. When our wordsmith is hilariously exposed, figuratively. Though judging by his awesome verbiage, probably literally too in private. The show continues to deliver its “humorous growing-up pangs” drama quotient, and the art is still gorgeous, so I have zero complaint so far.
This is only the first episode, but it’s obvious the show boasts some really amazing art direction, and Ohana is a great lead, with a genuine personality that doesn’t feel forced into the tsundere/genki/bancho mould. Judging from appearances, this will be a coming-of-age drama that’s going to be almost entirely character-driven, which makes it probably unique in this spring stable of shows. Hopefully it continues to deliver, because the world needs less Working! and more hot spring forced labour.