Promotional image of Hanasaku Iroha featuring (from left to right): Minko, Tomoe, Ohana, Yuina, and Nako.
|Genre||Coming-of-age, romantic comedy, slice of life|
|Illustrated by||Eito Chida|
|Published by||Square Enix|
|Original run||December 2010 – October 2012|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masahiro Andō|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Music by||Shirō Hamaguchi|
|Original network||Tokyo MX|
|Original run||April 3, 2011 – September 25, 2011|
|Hanasaku Iroha: Green Girls Graffiti|
|Illustrated by||Jun Sasameyuki|
|Published by||Bandai Visual|
|Magazine||Web Comic Gekkin|
|Original run||July 1, 2011 – July 2, 2012|
|Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home|
|Directed by||Masahiro Ando|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Music by||Shiroh Hamaguchi|
|Released||March 30, 2013|
Hanasaku Iroha (花咲くいろは, lit. "The ABCs of Flower Blooming" or "The Blooming Colors"), or Hanairo for short, is a Japanese 26-episode anime television series produced by P.A.Works and directed by Masahiro Andō. The screenplay was written by Mari Okada, with original character design by Mel Kishida. P.A.Works produced the project as the studio's tenth anniversary work. The anime aired between April and September 2011 and had two manga adaptations created. An animated film was released in Japanese theaters on March 30, 2013.
Hanasaku Iroha centers around Ohana Matsumae, a 16-year-old living in Tokyo, who is left in the care of her estranged grandmother, following her mother's elopement with her boyfriend. Ohana arrives at her grandmother's country estate to realize she is the owner of a Taishō period hot spring inn called Kissuisō. She begins working at Kissuisō at her grandmother's request, but finds herself at odds with many employees and customers at the inn. Initially feeling discouraged, she decides to use her circumstances as an opportunity to change herself for the better and to make amends with her deteriorating relationship with the Kissuisō's staff for a more prominent future.
- Ohana Matsumae (松前 緒花 Matsumae Ohana)
- Voiced by: Kanae Itō
- Ohana is an energetic and optimistic 16-year-old girl and the protagonist of Hanasaku Iroha. She is sent to live at her estranged grandmother's hot spring inn, Kissuisō, after her mother elopes with her boyfriend to evade his debt. Her best friend, Kōichi Tanemura, confessed his feelings to her before her departure, which was left unanswered until later in the series. At her grandmother's demand, she works at the inn as compensation for staying there. After parting with Koichi, she realized that she has feelings for him, though she still hasn't admitted it yet. However, she is always dependent on him. She is a strong willed girl who is stubborn and is realistic for her age. She likes to drink a mix of cola and black tea.
- Minko Tsurugi (鶴来 民子 Tsurugi Minko)
- Voiced by: Chiaki Omigawa
- Minko is a 16-year-old apprentice chef and resident at Kissuisō. She is a tsundere, and dislikes Ohana from their first meeting, nicknaming her balut (she pronounces it hobiron ("hột vịt lộn" in Vietnamese for balut)), but has slowly accepted her as a friend. Against her parents' wishes, her dream is to become a professional chef, resulting in her search for training opportunities. Her search led her to Kissuisō, where Tōru Miyagishi accepted her as an apprentice chef. Since then, she has strong feelings for him and becomes jealous when he talks about other girls.
- Nako Oshimizu (押水 菜子 Oshimizu Nako)
- Voiced by: Aki Toyosaki
- Nako is a shy and timid 16-year-old cleaning part-time maid and waitress at Kissuisō. She has three younger siblings whom she assists her parents in raising. She becomes close friends with Ohana and teaches her how to perform her duties. Nako is very good at swimming, by which she gains since childhood the nickname "Kappapa", after an aquatic mythic creature kappa.
- Yuina Wakura (和倉 結名 Wakura Yuina)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
- Yuina is the 16-year-old daughter and heiress to the Fukuya Inn, the rival inn of Kissuisō. She is in the same high school as Ohana, Minko, and Nako, and is seen hanging out with them on several occasions. She is divided on the choice of whether to go on with her family's inn-running business, or to find herself a different form of career fulfillment.
- Kōichi Tanemura (種村 孝一 Tanemura Kōichi)
- Voiced by: Yūki Kaji
- Kōichi is a 16-year-old teenager who is Ohana's best friend. Kōichi confessed his feelings to Ohana before her departure, but was too afraid to hear her answer and ran away. He often offers Ohana support when she feels down. As the story progress, he feels abandoned by Ohana as she adjusts to her new lifestyle.
- Sui Shijima (四十万 スイ Shijima Sui)
- Voiced by: Tamie Kubota, Takako Honda (young)
- Ohana's 68-year-old grandmother and owner of Kissuisō. Behind her fierce and strict composure towards her employees (to the point of physically reprimand them), Sui eventually reveals herself as comprehensive and caring toward them when most needed thus earning not only obedience from them, but also respect and devotion.
- Tomoe Wajima (輪島 巴 Wajima Tomoe)
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto
- Tomoe is the 28-year-old head waitress working at Kissuisō. She enjoys hearing gossip about other employees and customers lodging at the inn. As a single woman near her thirties, Tomoe is usually reminded by her mother that she should start looking for a husband and start a family.
- Enishi Shijima (四十万 縁 Shijima Enishi)
- Voiced by: Kenji Hamada
- Ohana's 32-year-old uncle. He was bullied by Satsuki during their childhood. He often calls upon Takako and considers her his partner. The two marry late in the series. After Kissuisō's closure, Enishi plans to improve his management skills in order to succeed his mother.
- Tōru Miyagishi (宮岸 徹 Miyagishi Tōru)
- Voiced by: Junji Majima
- A 23-year-old junior chef working at Kissuisō. He is very outspoken and easily frustrated. He strictly mentors and supervises Minko's training, often going too far with verbal abuse. Ohana was initially intimidated by him, but has since developed a dislike to Tōru. However, Tōru appears to develop feelings toward Ohana as he feels that she is the only one who is willing to say she needs him. Afterwards, he is often seen looking out for Ohana, much to Minko's jealousy.
- Renji Togashi (富樫 蓮二 Togashi Renji)
- Voiced by: Taro Yamaguchi
- A 42-year-old cook working at Kissuisō. Renji is Tōru's mentor and the head chef of the Kissuisō kitchen. He has a very gruff appearance, evidenced by a small facial scar, but has been shown to have a light-hearted side on occasion. He gets nervous very easily when under pressure, but is usually well-focused on his job.
- Takako Kawajiri (川尻 崇子 Kawajiri Takako)
- Voiced by: Ayumi Tsunematsu
- A 30-year-old business consultant adviser for Kissuisō. She attended the same university as Enishi. She often has erratic plans to improve the inn and tends to spout out random English sayings. She eventually marries Enishi late in the series. Her new name is Takako Shijima.
- Tarō Jirōmaru (次郎丸 太朗 Jirōmaru Tarō)
- Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe
- A 31-year-old novelist who frequently lodges at Kissuisō. He writes erotic novels using the Kissuisō's staff as character references. He eventually starts working at the inn after it is discovered that he can't pay the bill. Ironically, his past works include a cooking manga that inspired both Minko and Tōru to become cooks themselves.
- Denroku Sukegawa (助川 電六 Sukegawa Denroku)
- Voiced by: Chō
- A 73-year-old janitor working at Kissuisō. He has been working at Kissuisō since its establishment. The staff call him "Beanman".
- Satsuki Matsumae (松前 皐月 Matsumae Satsuki)
- Voiced by: Takako Honda, Kanae Itō (young)
- Ohana's 38-year-old mother. She is a journalist who elopes with her boyfriend to evade his debt. She leaves Ohana to the care of her mother, who claims to have disowned her daughter. She neglected Ohana as a child and raised her with the mentality of relying on oneself. She works as a hotel and inn critic, often asked to write scathing reviews by her higher ups.
- Ayato Matsumae (松前 綾人 Matsumae Ayato)
- Voiced by: Ryota Takeuchi
- He was Ohana's father, who died when Ohana was a baby. He was a photographer and inspired Satsuki to be an editor.
A manga adaptation, illustrated by Eito Chida, was serialized between the December 2010 and October 2012 issues of Square Enix's Gangan Joker magazine. Square Enix published five tankōbon volumes between March 22, 2011 and December 22, 2012. A spin-off manga with Minko Tsurugi as the main character, illustrated by Jun Sasameyuki and titled Hanasaku Iroha: Green Girls Graffiti, was serialization in Bandai Visual's online Web Comic Gekkin magazine between July 1, 2011 and July 2, 2012. Two volumes of Green Girls Graffiti were released between December 10, 2011 and July 10, 2012.
The Hanasaku Iroha 26-episode anime television series is produced by P.A.Works and directed by Masahiro Andō. The series aired in Japan between April 3 and September 25, 2011 on Tokyo MX. The screenplay was written by Mari Okada, and chief animator Kanami Sekiguchi based the character design used in the anime on Mel Kishida's original designs. Sound direction was headed by Jin Aketagawa and the music was produced by Shirō Hamaguchi. The anime series was simulcast in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Brazil, and Portugal by the Internet streaming website Crunchyroll. The series has been licensed in North America by NIS America under the title Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow. The first Blu-ray/DVD combo pack was released on April 9, 2013 and the second part was released on July 2, 2013.
An anime film titled Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home was released in Japanese theaters on March 30, 2013, featuring an original storyline. At Anime Expo 2013, NIS America announced the rights to distribute the film in North America.
An image song titled "Patricia" (パトリシア Patorishia) by Nano Ripe was used for the promotional videos and anime; the single was released on September 22, 2010 by Lantis. Another promotional video featured the image song "Yumeji" (夢路, "Dreaming") by Nano Ripe. For the first 13 episodes, the opening theme song is "Hana no Iro" (ハナノイロ, "The Color of a Flower") by Nano Ripe, and the main ending theme is "Hazy" by Sphere. For episodes 14 onwards, the opening theme is "Omokage Warp" (面影ワープ Omokage Wāpu, "Trace Warp") by Nano Ripe, while the ending theme is "Hanasaku Iroha" (はなさくいろは, "Blooming Colors") by Clammbon. Nano Ripe provided several more ending theme songs: "Tsukikage to Buranko" (月影とブランコ, "Swing with the Moonlight") for episode 6, "Yumeji" for episodes 8 and 26, "Saibō Kioku" (細胞キオク, "Cellular Memories") for episode 11, and "High Leap" (ハイリープ Hai Rīpu) for episode 22.
The series received generally positive reviews. Mania praised Kanae Itō's voice as Ohana, the animation quality, and execution of the plot. The reviewer however commented that the beginning was not new nor innovative. Anime News Network praised the realism and quality in the animation, score, and opening and ending theme music. The character designs were noted to be attractive yet subtle enough to retain the realism, and also noted how Ohana's design is much better than a moe clone. As the characters' personality developed, the reviewer highly praised the realistic interactions between them as they are touching and substantial. Ohana's relationship with her mother and grandmother was noted to be especially well written with daunting emotions. After reviewing the second half of the series, the reviewer considered Hanasaku Iroha to be one of the best titles in 2011. Many fans of the series have visited the anime's real life setting of Yuwaku Hot Spring in Kanazawa, Ishikawa. Prior to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, all nine hotels were fully booked by fans of the anime, but 1,500 guests canceled their reservations after the disaster. Hanasaku Iroha received a Jury Selection award in the Animation division of the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival.
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