So I recently got around to watching Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home several months after I had seen the original series. While watching the movie, I was suddenly reminded about all the aspects that made me enjoy this series so much. The amount of character development shown throughout the series along with the characters’ relationships mixed with the relaxing slice of life aspect of the show made it a really enjoyable watch for me back in the day. When I heard there would be a movie for Hanasaku, I was initially thrilled but after hearing it would just be a side story I was kind of let down and lost a lot of my initial hype. However, I was pleasantly surprised for the actual content and story of the movie.
From the original series, I never really understood Satsuki`s character and how she could be so irresponsible as a mother with her overall lack of care for her daughter. However, Home Sweet Home has managed to change my opinion on her character and view her in a different light. We got to see how she met Ohana’s father and the events leading up to her leaving the inn. From these flashbacks, I got the impression that Satsuki was similar to Ohana in the sense that she didn’t have any real dreams or goals but knew that she wanted to move forward. She put a lot on the line by moving to Tokyo and worked hard to get to where she is despite losing her husband. Even when she wanted to give up and run home, she realized that she couldn’t just give up and went back to continue her dream as a writer/editor.
The other mini stories within the movie were well done as well and fit together nicely. We got to see the characters one more time showing off who they were. Minko with her hard work and dedication to the kitchen, Nako being such a hard worker despite all of her responsibilities, Sui continuing to run the inn while maintaining her core beliefs and values of putting the people first. One thing I would have liked to see more of from the series overall though was Kouichi. I don’t really remember the series all that clearly but he was supposed to be a romantic interest for Ohana who kind of got left behind as she found herself. He did make a few appearances here and there in the series as well as a short appearance in the movie but I kind of wish the story between the two got some more development.
I want to write more about this series but I’m finding it difficult to recall everything clearly since it’s been so long since I watched the original series. The one thing that I do remember clearly though was the ending of the TV series with Sui bidding farewell to Ohana and revisiting the memories that the inn has brought her. We finally get to see Sui and all the other characters moving on from the past (the aging inn) and pursuing their goals and dreams in their lives. The final episode, in my opinion, is what drove the series up in the ranks on my lists since it tied everything up nicely and ended where it needed to end. While I wouldn’t mind seeing more Hanasaku, I think that they ended the TV series off perfectly and the movie helped tie up a few loose ends to give it a more complete picture overall.