September 13, 2011
Hana Saku Iroha Ep24: Something Out Of Nothing
Every parent has a dream for their children. For many, they dream for their children to find something in life that they’ll love, and do it with all their heart and soul. I come from a very business oriented family. It was something of a shocker for my parents when I told them all those many years ago that I wanted to be a doctor and not continue the family business. That task has mostly fallen on the shoulders of my brother these days. It took a while for them to accept the fact that I would never ever change my mind.
Every parent has a dream for their children. It just so happens that Sui’s is for her children to stop living for hers, but for their own.
Call it a counter confession if you will. For the first time in their long halted relationship teetering between platonic and romantic, Ohana takes the lead like she had always done in many other aspects of her life. Still quite vague as per her personality, but by inviting Ko to the Bonbori festival she indirectly suggests a sense of impending finality to their troubled relationship. An end is in sight for for both of them, at the same night that Ohana’s own grandparents made their vows to be happy together.
It was this same happiness that Sui claims made the lives of her children miserable. Despite the fact that the inn is being overrun by reservations Sui is still hell bent on closing down the inn. She intends to close down the inn at the same time as her own involvement in lives of her children and her employees. Visiting grandfather’s grave with her granddaughter, she finally reveals everything she’s been thinking to Ohana, as to the lives she’s lived and the lives she wanted her descendants to have had the opportuniy to live. She considers this her finally gesture to making the lives of her children difficulty, an insinuation Ohana’s greatly disagrees with.
Ohana had always been that gung-ho, take charge kind of girl, which makes her hesitations regarding Ko all these episodes make a very big contrast to her very dualistic personality. This episode we however see her finally take charge in one of the last aspects of her life where she had been but a passive observer, feeling unable to change the course of things. Again, serendipity it may have been, but now she chose to stay when she had almost ran. She pulled a great amount of courage inside her to finally say what she had been wanting to say for a long time, in a playground so much reminiscent of the playground where Ko confessed for the very first time, where she had left him dangling.
It was still rather vague, yes, but enough context clues remain for all of us to see a general direction to where this is all going. Perhaps the Bonbori festival is merely a symbolic gesture at this point because the answer may be obvious for all to see. Regardless of the outcome, the Bonbori festival is where this turbulent relationship will finally see its resolution whatever it may be.
The Kissuiso is not anymore just an inn but a family. Everyone there feels like a brother or sister to each other as they live and work together trying to make the inn as best a place as they can. They reacts as any family would if they learned the place they called home all these years would be closing down. The mental processes of Sui has been pretty much a mystery to everyone, both to the characters and even to us viewers. For the first time in the series her real feelings are revealed to Ohana, the daughter of her essentially partially disowned daughter. She reveals the regrets and the purported selfishness she has displayed over the years towards her family as she tried to live the life her husband wished for the both of them. Some will call her selfish, others selfless.
Selfish? Yes to some extent she is. By doing so she is disbanding a group that has become as strong and united as any blood related family unit could be. These people have come together, grown together, laughed together and cried together for years. To shut the inn down would be to split these people apart, all because she thinks she’s doing the right thing after all these years.
Selfless? Yes perhaps she is. The idea of the inn has pretty much dominated the lives of everyone involved, especially those of her descendants. She has a point: the family’s lives have been forced to revolve around the inn and it’s functions when they could have had the opportunity for other things. Satsuki’s rebellion had shown her how her iron fist had forced people to go away.
In the end I’m more inclined to thin that Sui has a slightly misplaced view of doing the right thing.
The Bonbori festival will undoubtedly be the climax of the show, where the resolution finds its way and where the finale will be set in stone. The lamp that Sui and her husband held is itself the aforementioned Bonbori, which is a direct indication of just how much the festival has meant for more than one generation in their family. It was apparently in the Bonbori that Sui made the promise with who was to be her husband and the eventual family patriarch. It is to be the place that Ohana finally settles things with Ko. Probably more importantly, it is to be the place that ultimately decides the fate of Kissuiso. The festival then becomes a place of paramount importance for all of them. Cliche perhaps, but it comes out as a very common thread for many of them, how one place and one event had set in motion events in the past, and how it would set things in motion for the future. The Bonbori festival birthed the inn that was Kissuiso, and it may become either that which renews it, or finally puts it to rest.
Aside from Ohana’s personal life anyway.
The Bonbori festival lies around the corner, and here we will finally see where the stories of these people will continue when our time with them ends.