Evirus isn’t the first or the last person to make the comparison, but it doesn’t come to mind at first, at least to me.
The parallels between Satsuki from Hanasaku Iroha and Hiroko from Hataraki Man are easy to make at first. At a glance, it seems that both are career women who write for magazines. Both are not really attached to a SO, even if Hiroko does have a steady boyfriend and Satsuki has…whatever she has. But once you get beyond that, I don’t think the two are really a good pair for comparison.
I mean, Satsuki raised Ohana on her own.
It’s the one big secret behind Hanasaku Iroha, I think. It’s the question it is begging people to ask, but not really: I think what will happen is that they’re going to save this as a surprise for later.
I don’t want to play up the whole single mom angle, but the fact nobody paid it any attention in their analysis of Satsuki seemed almost like a social injustice. It’s also probably the singularly most progressive part of Hanasaku Iroha’s strange clash of viewpoints. If one can even see it that way. Perhaps it is no big deal to see a line-up of elderly women as the matriarchs of small businesses and clans, as it’s a trope of some sort. (I’m just not sure how realistic that is.) Seeing single parents coming through the way Satsuki does, however, is rare anywhere. Except maybe in anime, lol.
The more proverbial glass ceiling that Hiroko explores is something that women face everywhere. Its approach is honest and simple, actually, and I think that’s how it wins readers. Single-motherhood is a tough subject to be sympathetic about once we get beyond the pity factor and when we start to analyze the real difficulties and hurdles they have to overcome. It’s not a common thing people experience, so it’s difficult to just throw it in there. It wouldn’t surprise me if the schtik in Hanairo was more akin how it is in every other anime, and is just an easy way to add a chip on our protagonist’s shoulder, or something.