Recently I watched a really beautiful anime entitled Hanasaku Iroha (花咲くいろは, literally meaning “The ABCs of Flower Blooming”), which aired in Japan between April and September 2011 and had two manga adaptations created. There was also an animated film (Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home) which was released in Japanese theaters on March 30, 2013.
The plot centers around Matsumae Ohana, a 16-year-old girl living in Tokyo, who is left in the care of her estranged grandmother, following her mother’s elopement with her new boyfriend. Ohana arrives at her grandmother’s country estate to realize she is the owner of a Taishō period hot spring inn called Kissuisō.
Although it was not her intention, 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.
In Tokyo, she left “Kō-chan”, a very special friend, leaving their future uncertain.
Accustomed to her new life in the countryside, returning to Tokyo is something that is not on her mind. But then again, there is someone waiting for her there.
I found this a marvelous anime not only because I also wish to leave Tokyo and move to the countryside one day (might be in a close future), but also because it was really touching how she was “confused” about her life. “Where is my place?” was the question that was on her mind.
When you think about it, Tokyo has so many people, so many events, so many opportunities to fill one’s life, so how come people feel so lonely sometimes? The city has a lot of “life”, but that doesn’t mean it matches your life.
It was really touching to watch all the events and developments, and this is one of those series that make you wish for more, but at the same time, it’s better let it end how it ended, as it was a really good ending.
Make sure your life is one you feel good living, otherwise it won’t feel like life at all.
Enjoy a trailer of this series below!