On Hanasaku Iroha Fanservice – A Late Night Blooming

Hanasaku Iroha Ohana Nako fanservice kimono maid

Let us just have some fun today. Nothing too serious.

My favorite anime this season is by far Hanasaku Iroha. It starts as a seemingly compelling drama that develops into a more servicing portrayal of the lives of these young ryokan girls. While many have been disappointed by the more sexual presentation, I love it!

In fact, I am very surprised at just how… titillating I find Hanasaku Iroha.

Hanasaku Iroha Ohana Nako china dress

A few nights ago, I stayed up to watch the latest episode of Hanasaku Iroha. It is another fairly innocuous day at the Kissuiso. Ohana and Nako try on china dresses (cheongsam) to add some spice to the traditional old ryokan. It is a a cute scene, but nothing too intense.

However, when the story delves further into the girls’ worries, encouragements, and simply their personalities, things all come together. Everything becomes far more adorable and sexy. And I ended up having quite a night…

Hanasaku Iroha Yuina Ohana skirt

It all started with Yuina. Her confident sense of humor and carefree, generous demeanor are nicely complemented by her fashionable features and large, gorgeous hair. And beneath that warm, cheerful personality lies the subtlest hint of seductive allure, waiting to be explored.

Hanasaku Iroha Yuina skirt lift

Her slim fingers slide across her smooth thighs, dragging along her short skirt to expose the perfect pearly skin under. Her elegant legs angle in just the right way to almost, barely reveal a little too much of the luxurious hidden desire.

Hanasaku Iroha Ohana Kimono

And, when Ohana comes upon those chic kimono, she lights up the room with her loud, passionate voice. Her petite body contrasts with the strength that exudes from her every naïveté. Her large pair of eyes glistens with a drive that is at once forceful, gentle, and accepting.

Hanasaku Iroha wet Nako back

Of course, those brief voyeuristic views at Nako are even more exciting. Nako’s toned, slightly muscular, but slender back is so incredibly sexy. Her swimmer’s build is somewhat undone by her ample full breasts. This contrasts creates a most fascinating and sensual body. Those arousing curves further belie her soft-spoken personality. Instead, her carnal side is exposed through those uncontrollable blushes. The beautiful, shy princess.

Hanairo Nako Oshimizu blushing

Classy and just a little erotic, the fanservice in Hanasaku Iroha is at once obvious and subtle. The several deliberate attempts—like the bath fantasy and wet Nako—never quite degenerate into the sort of tasteless “panties-flying-at-the-audience.” Instead, the breathtaking visuals and forms keep an air of sparkling elegance to it.

Hanasaku Iroha Yuina Wakura Ohana Matsumae yuri

More importantly, the sexualized scenes are beautifully spliced between the main allure of Hanasaku Iroha—the girls’ fluffy daily lives. In fact, I find the passing glimpses into the girls’ personalities especially enticing, more so than those cosplays or bath scenes. It is this beautiful blend of physical and emotional stimulation that makes watching this series so arousing.

Hanasaku Iroha is my type of fanservice.

Side notes:

  • Idea for the post came after a series of late night tweets as I watched the latest episode.
  • Please do forgive this slightly different, and somewhat awkward (tasteless) post… My imaginations ran wild.
  • My earlier post on bondage in Hanasaku Iroha is a discussion on what fanservice can do for character development, and perhaps this post is the reverse.
  • Forgive me Minko, for leaving you out in this post. Here is a tweet for you:

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115 Responses to On Hanasaku Iroha Fanservice – A Late Night Blooming

  1. AXYPB says:

    I’m starting to consider expanding my analysis of the Sonohana OVA.

  2. @fkeroge says:

    I dislike most kinds of fanservice, but strangely, I find Hanasaku Iroha’s fanservice to be quite… nice. It doesn’t put the girls on a demeaning level as with other anime. Perhaps I still enjoy some fanservice here and there and Hanasaku Iroha hit the right targets for me.

    However, I still find the plot quite shallow, and Minko’s really getting in my nerves. Tooru is starting to become a loser and Ohana is having her share of annoying moments. I will still keep watching this to see if I can get more development. Hopefully, it does.

    • CainHyde says:

      Plot? What plot? :p
      I think you only need one things when watching anime like Hanasaku Iroha.
      You just need to enjoy it, and also probably mad whenever seeing something that annoy you.

    • Yi says:

      While I don’t dislike fanservice, they usually don’t do much. Anime like Strike Witches and Queen’s Blade are cute and erotic, but they’re not quite arousing. The treatment of their fanservice is almost comical. And stuff like the standard harem series where woman fall and such are just bad. I usually roll my eyes whenever I see that, and leave to grab a drink or something. Hanasaku Iroha, however, is on another level. I really enjoyed it.

      It certainly doesn’t feel as exploitative as say, a rape h-anime or something. However, whether fanservice in general is degrading is opening up another whole discussion. And honestly, I haven’t quite made up my mind…

      While I find the overarching plot somewhat shallow so far, I think each episode packs a nice little story in a half-hour. I’m not really expecting a serious drama anymore as HanaIro seems to have become (for lack of a better term) a slice-of-life anime.

      p.s. No love for Ohana and Minko? I kind of (really) like them.

      • @fkeroge says:

        I saw episode 7 of HanaIro this morning and I have to say that it went up and over my expectations. I am slowly starting to see HanaIro as something more of a relaxation anime more than anything.

        I do agree about the fanservice. I really can’t put it into words last time, but now that you’ve pointed them out, I now have words for it. It’s fanservice that doesn’t make you want to punch your screen. Rather, it is on a whole different level, as you said. This is how fanservice should be done, in my opinion. Just enough to leave the audience admiring the characters, and not making them pervert-bait. It adds to the characters’ personalities and are not stupid-looking.

        All that said, I just loved Tomoe this episode! Mamiko Noto FTW!

        • Yi says:

          I really think those first two episodes sort of did the series a disfavor in that they box a lot of the audience into this melodramatic mood for the show. If it started out as simply a lighter, relaxing, fun series, then I don’t think as many people would dislike it.

          “It’s fanservice that doesn’t make you want to punch your screen.”
          Haha, yea. That’s a good way to distinguish between good and bad fanservice.
          And personally, I think good fanservice is all about subtlety. It’s the chase that’s exciting.

          Loved Tomoe too!! She’s a lot of fun.

      • @fkeroge says:

        Also, the latest episode made me appreciate the characters more, so that’s a plus.

        While I think Ohana is still annoyingly naive at times, I guess I can forgive her for now. I’m sure she’ll turn out to be a really likable character by the end of the series. And besides, she’s rather cute, to be honest.

        Minko, on the other hand… while I try very hard to understand her circumstances, I just can’t stand her sometimes. Telling someone to go die is one of the things that annoy me the most, and she does it so many times. I guess I just don’t like verbally abusive tsundere too much. I do hope that she can fix her attitude, though. I like plain-looking girls in anime, so I hope Minko doesn’t change that.

        • Yi says:

          Those “go dies” lost me in the earlier episodes as well. I thought that was unnecessarily harsh, even if she doesn’t actually mean it. But the more I got to know Minko, the sweeter I find her. Still, she is not my favorite character in HanaIro. (That’s not to say I dislike her though… Just not as much as the others.)

          I don’t know if I want her to change that abrasive attitude though; it’s what sets her apart, and I like that.

  3. CainHyde says:

    Hanasaku Iroha is also one of the anime I enjoyed the most for this season.
    Especially for the personality of the characters.
    Compared to most anime I watched lately, Hanasaku Iroha characters personality looks more alive and refreshing to me.
    Although I don’t think I can stand someone with Nako level of shy, if I were Ohana I think my temper will explode earlier than her. :p
    She should talk more and louder, it’s not as if she got her swimming ability by trading her voice right? :p

    Btw it’s funny that I think Ohana looks more charming by wearing those old kimono of her grandma than the more showing skin cheongsam. 😀

    • Yi says:

      I’m really loving the character personalities as well. They’re all so distinct and lovable. I really like all of them quite a bit. Nako’s shyness is actually one of my favorite things about her, but I do enjoy shy girls usually.

      “She should talk more and louder, it’s not as if she got her swimming ability by trading her voice right? :p”
      Loll. ^ ^

      “Btw it’s funny that I think Ohana looks more charming by wearing those old kimono of her grandma than the more showing skin cheongsam.”
      Same here! The cheongsam, while cute, didn’t really do much for me sexually. The kimono on the other hand… I think it’s a perfect example of that classy fanservice I am so in love with right now.

  4. I’m also enjoying Iroha greatly this season, though I can’t say it’s for the exact same reasons as you but they are quite similar. The everyday life of someone trying to learn a new style of living and how that impacts everyone around her is a great plot. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the more visually impressive shows I’ve seen.

    I think you nailed why fanservice works in this show compared to some of the others this season when you stated it’s more eloquent and involved. I’d add that it’s quite logical as well when it’s used. There’s no time where there’s a panty shot just to have a panty shot. Fanservice isn’t something I enjoy, but when it ‘s used like Iroha uses it I can’t complain.

    You mention Yunia, Ohana, and Nako but where’s Minko’s analysis? Her sharpness in both personality and design contrast to her moments of embarrassment when she’s passionate about something. It’s a great visual representation of someone I’d consider a tsundere.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, I’ve always really enjoyed stories about people trying their best. There’s something very… charming about a tenacious will. And I think each of the girls exhibit that in their own ways. And that’s part of the reason it’s so satisfying to see the kimono scene, a scene which is really Nako and Ohana’s will coming to fruition. And of course, that only makes them so much more adorable!

      “There’s no time where there’s a panty shot just to have a panty shot.”
      Exactly. I think that’s a very important discussion. There maybe fanservicing subplots, but all of it progress the story just a bit further.

      Minko… Unfortunately got left out because I didn’t want the post to run too long, and she just happens to be my least favorite of the four. 😦 Of course, she’s very lovely in her own way, and I enjoy watching her.

      Anyway, here’s something I tweeted about her before the post was written:

  5. Oh, but isn’t it fun just to let your imagination wander over these things? I like the mental playfulness you’ve thrown around here and I just wish you were present in the discussion of Rideback’s fanservice in that it’s fairly subtle just like the way it is in Hanasaku Iroha. And I favor subtlety since the nuances that go into it create the fun kind of suspense of wondering what’s around the corner rather than have it be all in-your-face, which feels kinda distasteful rather than the classiness I seek.

    • Yi says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Before posting, I was actually kind of afraid that this post might be too tasteless for most, but it seems all right. Just having fun~

      Rideback. It sounds like something I’d enjoy. Subtlety and nuances is definitely the way to go for that exact reason. Lingeries is so sexy because of the anticipation of what lies beneath, and the thought of peeling them off to explore. I prefer anime to have that feel rather than shoving everything in my face at once.

  6. Overlord-G says:

    I can pretty much summarize your latest post in one, simple sentence: Welcome to my world Yi-san. Nako 4 Life!

    • Yi says:

      Your world? pssh. ^ ^
      I might not be this outspoken all the time, but this isn’t the first time I enjoyed fanservice.

      • Overlord-G says:

        So true, after all, you ARE one of the best Sonohana sources out there right now. I only meant that the sexiness finally got you good in episode 5 while I was smitten by the flames of voyeurism since episode 3…or probably after Nako’s debut

        • Yi says:

          Again, episode 5 isn’t really the first time I thought these girls are cute. ^ ^
          But who really cares?

  7. du5k says:

    You almost sound like a pervert! =D

  8. gozieson says:

    Ah yes, the cheongsam, wow they really made them look great in those! I’m still surprised that I haven’t been on your blog for quite a while now though…

    Heh, it’s great that animations can embrace a little culture from other countries. Me being a Chinese myself would always look forward to CNY every year (too bad I didn’t this year, my gramps passed on, no ka-Ching in the dollar jail this time) and having a good conversation in Chinese with other family members. I mostly speak in English but speaking in Chinese is a rarity for me nowadays.

    Please continue, ignore what I just said because this is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    • Yi says:

      Those cheongsam were pretty indeed. I really enjoyed watching them. Although the HanaIro’s cheongsam’s have very lovely cuts, they are a bit bland in their design compared to some cheongsam in real life. In fact, I’ve had several opportunities to attend events where cheongsam is prevalent (engagement parties… etc.), and some of them are just so beautiful.

      It’s really wonderful to hear about your Chinese identity. Being from Taiwan, I celebrate CNY with my family too, and I also get red envelopes. Every year, I love to count the money after CNY and imagine what I should binge on. And it’s always nice I think to have a gathering with the whole family, especially those that we don’t see often.

      Anyway, it’s lovely to see you here again~ Please visit again. ^ ^

  9. Ashlotte says:

    Indeed I quite like the service level in Iroha. It feels like a true “Service” to me as a fan where as other series with panty shots everywhere feels like the complete opposite.

    Something to be said for subtly and showing just enough to let the mind fill in the rest. ~_^

    • Yi says:

      The subtlety really hits the mark. While I don’t mind the more blatant kind of fanservice, they never really quite tickle me. And yes, the imagination really builds the arousal. ^ ^

  10. Smithy says:

    That’s very nicely worded! While one wouldn’t expect fanservice from a slice-of-life/drama series like “Hanasaku Iroha” much less as from a show like “Aria” or “Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~”, for some reason these few brief shots in “Hanasaku Iroha” work, and they work well.

    As you stated, it seems to be fanservice but it is not the overdone, plain, vulgar or downright silly scenery seen in too many other anime were ample pantsu exposure shots become so plain they in fact undo their original purpose and fail to create a candid shot of the characters in an unguarded or sensual moment.

    The cheongsam versus kimono episode is a prime example. The cheongsam in that way represent the more classic and abundant fanservice with their tight fit and gratuitous exposure of skin. While the comedy effect for that scene works, it fails at really showing the girls as sensual, appealing creatures but instead cheapens them to a dime in a dozen pin-ups.

    Instead, the scenes with the kimono, or the spontaneous, unguarded moments from Nako, the times where Ohana’s bubbly, energetic self showcases the other aspects of her personality there lie some scenes that are true fanservice as they capture a definite sensuality of these girls that show us that while these are young, innocent girls, an aspect of sensuality -eroticism even- is a full part of their character.
    (And a part of their character without cheapening them to a mindless drone that throws herself at the first guy she sees.)

    This type of fanservice in “Hanasaku Iroha” I like, there’s a sensual quality to some of the scenes but mostly it shows us interesting aspects of these girls’ character. Fanservice mustn’t necessarily be sexual in nature, a Gundam or other super robot series overused mecha transformation scene is also fanservice. (Though hope the latter is never seen as sexual by anyone…)
    After all, the feuds between Ohana and Minchi would also reach a fanservice state if they’re only brought to provide a short entertaining blurb for the audience and no longer serve a plot or character development purpose.

    And Ohana is still ❤ Can I tie her up?
    (Just kidding… XD )

    • Yi says:

      That’s a really good point about vulgarity and quantity. While hard to define, there is a clear difference between classy and vulgar fanservice, and I think Hanasaku Iroha lies on the classy side. And not only that, just a little goes a long way. The fanservice in Hanairo never degenerated into mere shallow comedic distractions for me, as it tends to happen when a show overloads with random fanservice.

      Agreed with the cheongsam vs. kimono dichotomy, although to be fair, the cheongsam scenes are still so much better than most really fanservicey anime. But yea, I found the later scenes of the girls’ walking about in their kimono much more adorable, and perhaps sexy. Hanairo, keeping it classy. ^ ^

      “Fanservice mustn’t necessarily be sexual in nature”
      Very true. I would further say that in many cases, service that isn’t designed to be sexual may, ironically, turn out to be the most sensual. A passing scene of Nako putting on her work clothes, or Yuina lying on a chair, while not erotic in their nature, can be so arousing. Thus, when we do get to the more revealing parts of the show, it all works so wonderfully.

      I guess a big part of it is that HanaIro successfully builds lovable personalities, and so we end up caring for them. And perhaps, even develop a little crush.

      ♥ Yuina.

      “And Ohana is still ❤ Can I tie her up?"
      Haha. I'd want to tie her up too!

  11. 2DT says:

    This reminds me of an observation someone made on Twitter, that the “male gaze” seems to be absent in Madoka Magica. In contrast, it seems like the male gaze is all over the place in Hanasaku Iroha. I’d bet a dollar that what you have written here is exactly what went through the mind of whoever scripted these scenes, in so many words.

    And yes, quite a lot of leg in this show, which is a nice change of pace. I’ve always considered myself more of a leg man as it is. 😉

    • Yi says:

      True true. Although I wouldn’t say that “male gaze” is absent from the Madoka franchise, even if it is absent from the series. But yea, Hanasaku Iroha knows really well how to… get those imaginative juices flowing.

      “I’d bet a dollar that what you have written here is exactly what went through the mind of whoever scripted these scenes, in so many words.”
      I’ll take that as a compliment. ^ ^

      Anyway, totally agreed about legs. I find legs to be perhaps the sexiest of the human form.

  12. Yesssss the fanservice in this show is super great. I haven’t been so overtly excited about sexual fanservice (as I’m usually driven by the mechanical combat kind) since idk when. You wrote excitingly about this show’s salacious content which is very cool.

    • Yi says:

      Salacious indeed. Sure, I’ve had my crushes in the past, but I haven’t found that many anime to be as arousing as this.

      p.s. Thanks for visiting, and glad you thought it was cool. ^ ^

  13. Sakurai_Hideru says:

    Gosh, hearing you describe them’s more than enough to make me blush. X)

  14. fathomlessblue says:

    I’m not that big on fanservice in general especially when it’s tacky and lacks subtly, which (partly) explains my unbridled hatred of high school of the f**king dead, grrrr… It’s very rare for it to be used for good effect. The last anime where I really enjoyed it was the Mikaze seduction scene ep 11 of Occult Academy, because it served the plot and was surprisingly sensual (tongue kissing in anime; not often you see that!)

    The service in Hanasaku Iroha has so far been pretty tasteful, so I’ve mostly appreciated it. The only problem I’ve had with it relate to the wider plot and pacing issues in general. Some shots like Nako, after swimming, or tied up Ohana (both from ep 3) are great on paper, but don’t really fit in the context or tone of the scene in question (especially with Ohana’s ‘abduction’). I also thought the cheongsam scene initially came across as just a forced excuse to show the girls in dresses, without any real purpose to the show other than that. Possibly it’s just me, but I found those sections a bit jarring in relation to the rest of the material, and needed to be integrated in a bit more smoothly.

    I’m probably a bit of a grumble puss when it comes to these things, but I enjoy fanservice that’s subtle, both in depiction and in the context of the show. I like it to mean something or than sheer titillation alone. That’s probably I liked the old-kimono scenes so much, there was real heart and passion behind wearing them. That’s the kind of fanservice I’m into. 😛

    • Yi says:

      Ahh… High School of the Dead. Its fanservice is so ridiculous that I actually ahd fun enjoying the “comedy.” It’s a farcry from anything remotely sexy though. As for Occult Academy, I have yet to get to ep. 11, but now I’m really looking forward to it!

      Kind of agreed about the tone/ pacing issues, but I think there are a few other considerations. The first two episodes introduced us to a serious drama, so those scenes in later episodes feel out of context. However, if we assume the first two episodes as the ones that are off, then the fanservice scenes are more appropriate for the sort of slice-of-life, light playful story that HanaIro seems to have become. And those scenes don’t feel all that jarring anymore.

      I really loved the old-kimono scene as well, and most of the fanservice scenes in general. Granted, the cheongsam scene is indeed a bit forced, but I found the other scenes to work wonderfully, even (especially) the rope bondage scene. The best fanservice for me are ones that develop characters as well as show us their sexy sides.

      p.s. If you have time and would like to, please do check out my other post on that rope bondage scene: http://goo.gl/sStAK

  15. catchercatch says:

    This is the kind of service that I can appreciate.

  16. abscissa says:

    Saw your rantgasm on twitter about this and I totally agree with you.

    I’m usually apathetic when it comes to fanservice, but with Hanasaku Iroha it was made in such a way that the characters were beautifully sensualised first before they become sexualized—I don’t know if my making sense but that’s how I find it especially with Nako ♥ Also, the fanservice isn’t offensive and degrading at all, but rather alluring and eroticize in an extremely fashionable way. It’s really naughty in a very good way that’s why I’m so appreciative of that—it’s not just fanservice but also funservice.

    Btw, I’m sorry, I know you’re going to disagree but Nako > Yuina. ^^

    • Yi says:

      Haha, rantgasm. I suppose that’s what I was doing on Twitter the other night.

      “Hanasaku Iroha it was made in such a way that the characters were beautifully sensualised first before they become sexualized”
      Ooh very very well put! I love it. ^ ^

      I think you’ve nailed the things that make this fanservice so effective. Alluring, a bit naughty, and just adorable!

      Personally, I find Yuina > Nako, although it’s very very very close.

  17. Cell says:

    I absolutely love Hanasaku-Iroha, and as with you, it’s my favorite anime this Spring season. At first I thought that the series would be far more dramatic and serious, but it turns out that it has some playful sides to it as well. This just adds more to my love for the series. Although there is more light-hearted content, the story still manages to add in thought-compelling lessons within every episode. I find the fanservice very appealing and although short, there is still a lingering memory of it even a few weeks after watching it. I hope to see more of the lovable characters soon in a deeper aspect involving more to do with their personalities.

    • Yi says:

      I really love the playful side of this series too. I think a lot of people were disappointed/surprised/put off by the change of tone at the end of episode 2, but I think that change makes the series even better for me.
      And I really appreciate that HanaIro is still a very character driven series, even with all the fun added. Loving it!

  18. Ristlin says:

    Well, I can’t say that this was my favorite show of the season since I was quite disappointed at the direction it took after episode one. I expected it to be a tear-jerking melodrama mixed with cute slice of life and light comedy. Instead, it became an aimless show with characters who are frankly annoying at times. I would say that my opinion of Ohana have dropped like a rock since her show of emotion in episode one with a show of innocence that approaches the idiot level. Most of the personalities are also extremely exaggerated i.e. the quiet/shy girl (Nako), and the total tsundere (Minko, who fails at being likeable). However, the perverted writer (Taro) was actually fascinating to watch, and Yuina is slowly becoming my favorite because of her friendly and carefree nature. I have to admit that the fanservice is pretty well done and have a nice, classy feeling to it, but I find most of theses scenes a bit out of place. I’m still continuing to watch it, but only because I have the time to do so.

    • Yi says:

      Wow, we have totally opposite opinions of this show. ^ ^

      I thought the series would be a serious drama at first too, but I wasn’t that disappointed that it turned out not to fit neatly into what I thought it was going to be. I also found all the girls to be very lovable. I don’t really think Ohana is idiotically innocent. She may be naive about certain things, but she’s strong in others. As for the characters themselves, I personally don’t find their personalities that exaggerated. Nako is quiet shy, but she can be loud. We’ve seen her talk with assertiveness at times, especially in certain situations, like reining Minko back. As for Minko, she isn’t exactly a tsundere. Just someone who is shy about her feelings. She actually reminds me a lot of a friend who always gets really embarrassed when we ask her whom she likes. She even gets angry sometimes. I’m really enjoying the characters… Or most of them. I hate the perverted writer. He’s sexual harassment on legs, and he should be thrown in jail… So yea… I guess we have very different opinions of the show.

      Perhaps more enjoyment would be had if expectations were adjusted. Go with the flow.

  19. Nopy says:

    Slice-of-life traditionally doesn’t have much fanservice, so it’s interesting that Hanasaku Iroha decided to go down this path. It brings together fans from the two most popular anime categories right now.

    While it does a good job of catering to the audience, I’m a bit disappointed that there isn’t as much drama and conflict as episode 1 had led me to believe.

    • Yi says:

      I’m not too sure if that’s true about slice-of-life. K-On! season one had plenty of Mio fanservice. Still, such good fanservice is hard to come by.

      Also, I’m not sure if it really caters to its audience. Most of its audience seem to want a very serious melodrama, so… I don’t really mind the change in direction though. I personally don’t think anime needs to fit neatly into a genre or into expectations in just two episodes.

  20. ~xxx says:

    Those shots, It is just an eye candy… It does not sore my eyes watching.

    But I do hope I could watch a real love interest in the later parts of the show.

    • Yi says:

      There is a real love interest, I think. Tohru, Minko, Ko, and Ohana are mired in a love polygon.

      Also, I don’t think it’s just an eye candy. I believe those scenes help to build a lot of character. They also make us care about the girls, and by extension, the series.

  21. Aya says:

    I like this anime due to the Slice-of-life and the Drama theme still not huge fan of fan service thought but it’s nice to see those sometimes hope not too often as watch this slowly (wait few episodes first end so i can’s watch in a row __<, for me Kimono are cute and Cheongsam are sexy 😀 any fan service are nice as long not flashy panties -_- when they get rid of these………

    • Yi says:

      I’m not that big on flashy panties either, and I’m glad Hanasaku Iroha is devoid of them. Also agreed about kimono and cheongsam. ^ ^

  22. Haha, I enjoyed reading your interesting thoughts and the way you described the girls. Some very intriguing points that make provoke me to think more on the detail of shows.

    • Yi says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. ^ ^
      And there is quite something to say about the details of this series. It’s gorgeously animated.

  23. CeleryFungus says:

    Nako FTW! ^///^ ♥

  24. For a moment, I forgot whose blog I was reading. Then as I was typing that sentence I almost used ‘who’s’ instead of ‘whose’. I’m just full of fail at the moment.

    Anyway. I never, ever looked at anything in Hanasaku Iroha in a sexual way because it’s all so innocent (OTHER than Ohana getting tied up way back, anyway) but…I think this is about to become one of those ‘cannot unsee’ things for me. I’ll just be uber-focused on the all subtle sexuality now. That’ll be interesting.

    • Yi says:

      Is this post that deviant from my usual style? I guess it kind of is. ^ ^

      “I think this is about to become one of those ‘cannot unsee’ things for me.”
      I hope that’s a good thing. If not… sorry about this. 😦

      Anyway, I think it is the subtle sexuality amidst all the innocence that makes especially cute.

  25. Ryan says:

    Classy and just a little erotic, the fanservice in Hanasaku Iroha is at once obvious and subtle.

    Definitely. It’s a shame fanservice tends to be a turnoff by default for many people, because the service here is directly enticing and tries avoid any sort of humor about it. Arousal is beautiful in the packaging of Iroha, but as you mentioned, the life-focuses give the viewer an alternate and complementary lift through the earnest occurrences in the story.

    The series isn’t complex or weighty, but I adore the warm place I find myself when watching. Youth is wonderful. ^ ^

    And I believe we see eye-to-eye on Minko. I do enjoy her kind of character; vicious, naive… lost, but trying.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, I think fanservice can really be a wonderful thing if executed correctly. It’s a shame that sexual fanservice gets a pretty bad image because of all the stuff that anime usually hit us with. Fortunately, anime like Hanasaku Iroha are able to present sensual, but elegant portrayals. This series is really quite something.

      I’m actually kind of glad the anime shifted tones from the serious melodrama in the first two episodes. I like the warm fluffy feeling it gives me. It’s almsot a bit nostalgic.

      Agreed about Minko. She may not be my favorite, but I definitely like her a lot. She’s so passionate, even if she doesn’t want to show it.

      “Youth is wonderful. ^ ^”
      ^ ^

  26. Swordwind says:

    You’re very enthusiastic…

  27. Ryo_kun says:

    While I do prefer Hana Iro to contain more drama, it’s current slice of life directions isn’t that bad afterall. It’s really entertaining watching their everyday life, with bits of fan-service too, but in an acceptable way. And yeah, so agree with Nako having a sexy back, she really has a nice figure overall. You’re so descriptive. Haha XD

    • Yi says:

      The more I see of this slice-of-life direction, the more I like it. Melodrama is nice and all, but I think I might actually just prefer the lighter version.

      And yea. Nako has a really really gorgeous figure. Watching her kind of reminds me of some of the wonderful friends from my swimming days.

  28. Vendredi says:

    Yuina’s massage chair scene was probably the most brilliant so far of her scenes, precisely because it’s so ordinary yet amusing. The series has been really great so far at providing these little touches and nuances that make the characters feel like, well, people, rather than attempting to capture a stereotype.

    • Yi says:

      I loved loved loved that scene, and for precisely the reason you said. It’s so everyday, but it added a lot to Yuina’s character and attitude. Love her!

      Also agreed that these girls don’t just fit into tropes. ^ ^

  29. Jo says:

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun writing this piece up…^^

    I dunno, the fanservice in this show still feels kind of jarring for me…just a bit. I mean its nice and all (Nako FTW!!)…but I guess for me it was unexpected in a show like this…considering how it was all serious business in the first couple of episodes..


    • Yi says:

      Haha yea I certainly had my fun.

      It is a bit unexpected judging from the first two episodes. But I think if we were to just adjust slightly what we think the show should be, wouldn’t the first two episodes be the jarring parts? Taken that way, the fanservice is actually more in tune with the series. In reply to a similar sentiment above, I mentioned that I thought the first two episodes did the series a disfavor. I think they boxed Hanairo into a melodramatic mood, when it really turns out not to be that.

      Anyway, Nako~ ♥

  30. baka~ says:

    I don’t really think that this anime should be bashed by others just because they featured “fan service” in the form of a revealing cheongsam. If anything, these are still uniforms to be used by employees of Kissuiso. What’s surprising is how gung-ho Ohana was in trying these out, not because she sees them as something that would drive fetishes wild but as a means of cooperating in order to do what she can for her company. Looking at it on a business mindset, there’s no more malice or indecency, there’s just a business strategy to boost sales. Nothing more, nothing less… Then again, I guess we could consider the fanservice as a bonus content… for the viewers of course! XD

    • Yi says:

      Is there that much bashing against Ohana and Nako wearing cheongsam? I think most criticism for the fanservice is against the use of the male gaze in the show instead of against the actual plot. Anyway, agreed about Ohana. Personally, I don’t mind the fanservice at all.

      • baka~ says:

        I’ve read from some forums that HanaIro is turning out bad because it lacks content and “is just another moeblob anime”. While true that the recent episodes follow the typical slice-of-life pattern, I don’t think that this anime should be bashed for its traits. Not every anime can compete to stand above the rest but HanaIro is still unique in its own right as a slice-of-life anime

        • Yi says:

          Very true. ^ ^ I don’t think it’s fair to just dismiss HanaIro as just another moeblob anime. Furthermore, we’re still fairly early into the 24-episode series, so the series might take a turn for the more melodramatic spliced with levity later on. The pieces certainly are there (Ohana-Tohru-Minko-Kou.) So yep agreed, I really think this will be quite the “slice-of-life” anime.

  31. bluedrakon says:

    Love seeing the ladies in the china dress, but when they are in the kimono’s, for some reason I find that sexier.

    My fan service ends up having the mind numbing bouncy boobies ~ you know us guys, simple minded and simple pleasures – LOL

    • Yi says:

      Same here. Even though the cheongsam is really sexy, that storyline felt just a bit too forced. With that said, I think it’s still much more subtle than the sort of blatant stuff we see in many other anime. It’s just that the kimono scenes felt more organic and more warm.

      “My fan service ends up having the mind numbing bouncy boobies ~ you know us guys, simple minded and simple pleasures – LOL”

  32. Xine says:

    It’s always nice to read your blog, I learn about a lot of interesting anime series here so thank you very much for sharing them. I also like how you choose the photos you add to your post, they’re always super nice and fitting. I’ll check out HanaIro soon. Oh, I just finished watching OreImo and I like it, it was really fun. ^^

    • Yi says:

      Aww thanks. I’m glad you’re finding the posts nice. ^ ^

      Also, Oreimo is indeed fun! Hopefully, you’ll enjoy HanaIro as much as I do if you decide to watch it.

  33. skyhack says:

    Wonderful post. Quite provocative, in the classic sense, and the modern. I’m really enjoying this season, lots of character driven shows. Of course, that won’t keep me from watching this year’s “Shana”.

    • Yi says:

      Maybe a bit too provocative?
      Anyway, this season is indeed quite nice. I’m enjoying most of the series I’ve picked up so far.

      This year’s “Shana?” Which anime would that be?

  34. Fabienne says:

    I haven’t really followed your Hanasaku posts because I just haven’t watched the show ;D, but because of this post I will take a look into this show. Seems that there are some more aspects in it than I initially thought. I guess I could like it ^_^

    • Yi says:

      I really hope you enjoy it. It turned out to be more than I thought as well, but I loved it… clearly. ^ ^

      • Fabienne says:

        Yes I’ve enjoyed the first seven episodes yesterday and today.
        The setting and the characters are very nice and its really entertaining to watch. Good that I gave it a try ^-^

        • Yi says:

          That’s really good to hear. ^ ^
          I’m on episode seven right now too. Can’t wait to catch up!

  35. Dang… All these provocative talk are making me dream of yuri delusions in Hanasaku… Such an extremely nice and yet, oh so enticing fanservice, with ephemeral glimpses into the wonderful world that is Hanasaku Iroha. Nice write-up! *thumb up & nose bleeding*

    • Yi says:

      Provocative, enticing, but ephemeral. That’s certainly enough to induce nosebleeds. And yes, the yuri potentials. ^ ^

  36. glothelegend says:

    Fanservice done RIGHT. It’s hard to find these days…

  37. Wonderllama says:

    “Titillating” is one of my favorite words 🙂

  38. Itachi says:

    The girls are gorgeous and sexy too. Favorite anime so far indeed. Fanservice FTW!!!

  39. mathrave says:

    Hello there,
    Well I jumped in your blog while I was in my crusade on Google to find out more about Sono Hanabira. I’ve read a lot of your posts and I really appreciate what you have in here.
    I guess my comment seems kind of unrelated but I hope I can share some of my thought of Hanasaku Iroha. I’ve watched Hanasaku Iroha since the 1st episode (because it’s a P.A’s product) and I’m amazed with the level of foreign languages (mostly English) mixed in the series. Since the manager assistance (Takako-san?) appeared, this series has become the anime with best English pronunciation I’ve ever heard ^^
    But, well, the main problem I want to share is the ‘balut’ I often see in the translated sub. I don’t know if you follow this series in English or Chinese – if English then which fansub – but ‘balut’ is totally wrong there. The word Minko uses is “hột vịt lộn” (you can see it in her note at the end of episode 3.. i think) which is Vietnamese and not related at all to ‘balut’ which is a Filipino dish. I don’t think “hột vịt lộn” has an English name for it, and I’s really tried to find the fansub group to tell them this. It just a small mistake, but when you see your country’s culture on your favourite TV show and it is wrong, I guess everyone’d have the urge to correct it. I couldn’t find the subbing group, so I think I’ll just share this with anyone I found interested in this series.

    • Yi says:

      I’m not entirely sure about this, but I think hột vịt lộn and balut are very similar (if not the same) dish, just named differently in different areas. The reason the translation is balut is because that is the English translation for a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo. In this case, the etymology doesn’t take into account all the other different cultures that have developed the dish as well. It’s something we see in English often.

      Take for example, tofu. The word comes from the Chinese name for bean curd, but in English, the translation is used to talk about bean curd in all cultures, even if other cultures don’t say tofu for it. Another good example would be the English word, umami, which is derived from Japanese. Umami is certainly not a flavor exclusive to Japan, but it just happens that the English loanword derives from Japanese instead of all the other cultures that also developed the flavor.

      Thus, I don’t think it’s that “hột vịt lộn” has no English translations. It’s that hột vịt lộn’s English translation is Balut.

      It’s just like “umami” is the English translation for the fifth flavor regardless of what each other language calls it. And if I were to translate a Chinese show, and they mention “鲜味” (hsien wei), the English translation would still be umami.

      • mathrave says:

        Nice to see such an interesting and detailed reply.

        ‘Tofu’ comes from China, and Vietnam (and I think Japan as well) uses somewhat the same word, so I can’t say anything further with this.

        “Hột vịt lộn” is just 1 of the variation of the dish using undeveloped embryo of birds (ducks… well I have never seen chicken egg used for this dish), but I think it is different from balut: the way we cook it and eat it can make each and every dish become different. And thus ‘balut’ or ‘hột vịt lộn’ can’t alone represent the whole ‘undeveloped embryo of birds’ thingy… because you know, just ‘noodle’ has hundreds of names in English dictionary now, specific for each kind and country. We have phở, bún; Singaporean have hokkien (?), Italian have pasta, spaghetti.. and so on.

        So until the English dictionary expands its limit again, let just put the how-to-read/pronounce word in the translation (hot vit lon) instead of a not-official way of calling the word. That’s what I think.

        • Yi says:

          Given enough time, the English language would eventually adopt some of these loan words I guess.

          Noodles is an interesting case. While some more authentic restaurants will transliterate the words, others might translate it instead. For example, many restaurants, menus, and recipes translate phở, seviyan, bee hoon (Singaporean), and mai fun into vermicelli, whose etymology comes from Italian, even though those are all prepared differently.

          English words in these cases have grown from their more specific use to encompass a wide variety of foods. And I think balut, just by being more used in media, is having the same effect.

          In any case, thanks for bringing this to my attention! I actually had no idea hot vit lon/ hobiron/ balut/ duck embryo is also eaten in Vietnam. I had thought it is a very local dish. You learn something new every day. ^ ^

          p.s. I’m not necessarily defending the translators, but I take it simply as how English develops as the language adopts more loanwords into its dictionary.
          p.p.s. I think Hokkien is the dialect, not noodles.

  40. lovelyduckie says:

    I’ve been meaning to give this series a try, and I will at some point! I still haven’t watched Arakawa but I have seen Madoka! I also think I need to try Gosick sometime soon ever since a friend said people who liked certain horrow/mystery series would probably like it.

    • Yi says:

      Wow, that sounds like an ambitious addition to your (I’m sure already massive) backlog. If I may, I’d suggest going Madoka first, HanaIro or Arakawa second, and Gosick last. Madoka is the shortest, and possibly the most hyped. And I found HanaIro and Arakawa to be a bit better than Gosick. I hope you eventually get through them all. ^ ^

  41. yunra says:

    I saw your tweet about planning to watch HanaIro 08 and I was curious to find out what it is, so I googled it. The results that came out are “Hanairo Virgin Soil”, a yaoi manga that got me flustered reading through it. After awhile only I realised… that you actually are talking about this anime. How embarrassing of me… Anyway it got me started on Hanasaku Iroha too ^^

    • Yi says:

      Haha, Hanairo Virgin Soil sounds… so dirty! Glad you’ve started on this anime though. I hope you’re enjoying it. ^ ^

  42. toffee-kun says:

    No love for Anohana? 😦
    I enjoyed Iroha the first few episodes, but lately it seems to be dragging on. No plans on dropping it, though, especially with loli Ohana making a comeback in episode 11.

    • Yi says:

      I’m not watching Anohana this season unfortunately. I only really have time and mental space for so many series. Most of both have been occupied by other series I’ve picked up, and AnoHana seems like a pretty heavy anime.

      Loli Ohana is super adorable! ^ ^

  43. Overlord-G says:

    Not too far off topic but I have a strong feeling you’re going to LOVE episode 14 and the upcoming 15th episode…trust me…have I ever steered you wrong mademoiselle?

    • Yi says:

      I have a feeling I know what you’re hinting at. Hopefully I’ll catch up soon. Summer season is upon us already after all, so I should really get to watching more anime. I am actually pretty free these recent weeks.

  44. Pingback: Fashionable Nudity in Mawaru Penguindrum | Listless Ink

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  46. jreding says:

    Since you and some commenters refer to HanaIro in your recent post on Penguindrum and its discussion I’d like to supplement my own comment on that post (http://bit.ly/HSb7RH ) with a few words of praise for the excellent and at times in my subjective view almost perfect fanservice of this show.

    I confess that I do enjoy this voyeuristic view on the girls who – still at least half innocent – just start to explore their attractiveness. As captured essentially by your first Yuina picture and your poetic description of her. For me as a viewer, the scenes with the girls bathing have a clear purpose but for the girls themselves it’s just enjoying a bath together after a long working day… or is it? HanaIro imo manages better than most other shows to introduce a nice amount of fanservice without destroying the natural flow and the impression of the girls’ innocence. Therefore, HanaIro is my type of fanservice, as well.

    Maybe my favourite fanservice scene in all anime is the one starting at 10:53 in episode 15 (I took a dozen screenshots but this one should suffice: http://bit.ly/HOi7iV ). I wasn’t sure if I should envy Yuina’s fiancée or pity him as I couldn’t concentrate on anything in his place. In any case, this scene just blew me away and not least b/c Yuina just seems to be just almost unaware of what she’s doing.

    Unrelated to the fanservice discussion I really appreciate the lovely tweet you dedicated to Minchi. Personality-wise she is my favourite HanaIro character and your tweet captures perfectly why this is so. It makes me sad that so many people seem to hate her.

    • Yi says:

      “HanaIro imo manages better than most other shows to introduce a nice amount of fanservice without destroying the natural flow and the impression of the girls’ innocence. Therefore, HanaIro is my type of fanservice, as well.”

      Yes. I called it classy fanservice (which a lot of people disagreed with). But my rationale is similar to yours. It introduces fanservice, but does not introduce the sleaziness that comes with it, nor does it ever feel exploitative of the girls’ innocence.

      Thanks for the screenshots! I have yet to get to that episode though… I think I’m still on 6 or 7. Kind of put this on hold for a bit while my life completely consumes me. But yea, now I’m super looking forward to episode 15 and Yuina. ♥

      Ooh, a fan of Minchi. That’s a bit rarer, I would think. I think a lot of people don’t like Minchi’s… harsher personality. But yea, she’s a darling and a tsundere beneath all that annoying meanness.

      Glad you enjoyed the tweets, jreding~

  47. darkness447 says:

    I find this post very stimulating, more so because we’ve been having a lack of anime that can’t quite capture the essence of sexiness and class without ecchi scenes ruining everything to the ground and forced onto the screen. I watched the first 5 minutes of this anime, and I closed it immediately. As for the reason, I don’t know.

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep. It’s quite rare for me to see an anime so sexy. I think a lot of it also has to do with how atttacted I am to this character design. I found the art style extremely to my liking. The aesthetics, the proportions, the faces are all perfectly catered to my tastes. As such, I found the moments of toned fanservice extremely sensual.

      Anyways, I’m glad you found the post stimulating. ^ ^ I really apprrciate the comment, darkness!

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