Hanasaku Iroha Ep 18: Breathing at the Surface
Nako desperately wants to be a bit more sociable in the public like how she is at home with her family. She describes herself as a mermaid deep beneath the sea who is afraid of going up to the surface. With that said, while the girls go shopping/browsing, Nako tries finding cute outfits and follow Ohana’s advice since she has a good taste. After the girls see how mature Nako looks in the dress she and Ohana had tried on, Yuina grabs a bunch of accessories and insists her to try them all on with the dress – revealing Nako looking absolutely stunning. After hearing Yuina mention clothes really help change people Nako decides to buy everything she was wearing. Remaining in the beautiful outfit, the girls go around town and suddenly find themselves, or more specifically Nako being hit on for the very first time by a group of guys. After returning home exhausted, Nako thinks over her day again and decides that she will try being her usual self at Kissuiso but ends up screwing up. When she apologizes to Sui she voices that she doesn’t feel that she deserved the increased salary to encourage her to work harder, but Sui reveals that was not the reason why she given her the bonus. She given her that since she received a letter from the customers Nako had served before they left saying how she had given them wonderful service and instructions for their hike.
What a wonderful episode! I’ve been anxiously waiting for Nako’s character development and backstory and this episode really successfully reached my expectations. I absolutely loved how Nako put so much effort to be her usual social self at home in the public. It was great to see Yuina suggest all the accessories to reveal her mature side, and my god wasn’t Nako just beautiful! I was pretty shocked to see how comfortable she was walking around town with her new look – that is until those idiots decided to hit on her. (I also got a good laugh when Yuina told them to go and die.)
Using the ocean/sea as the symbolism to describe how Nako felt was a brilliant idea. We all know she is a passionate swimmer and loves water, so being a mermaid who is shy about the surface (the public) was definitely the perfect way to put it. There was one part where I couldn’t stop laughing and that when she imagined Tarou as the Prince, and decided to let him drown anyhow since she could care less about him.
I was surprised to see that Nako is literally the parent of the house, considering she’s like a mother when taking care of her siblings and is the one telling her parents to stop with work and clean up the table so they can eat and such. Not that I’m saying her parents aren’t good, but she is so reliable in a sense, I’m under the impression her parents have become pretty dependent on her.
While everything was positive and bubbly this episode, there was one thing that is worrying me. Sui for the past three episodes has not only been nicer, but it feels like she’s so aware that their business isn’t doing well that she is trying to make the best of it till the very end.