Balut (Hobiron ホビロン) is the 3rd episode of Hanasaku Iroha. It first aired on April 17, 2011.
Minko and Nako heads to the dining room to eat the meal that Ohana prepared for the staff, which they anticipate will include their least favorite food. But when they arrive, they see ingredients that are still in the middle of cooking, but no sign of Ohana herself. While, in Tarō's room, Ohana, who is tied up and gagged, is helping Tarō get some ideas for his erotic novels, but he can't seem to get the grasp of it. Tarō has already admitted to Ohana that he was trying to come up with sex novels to pay his hotel bill, the reason Ohana complied to help.
The staff members are now searching for the missing Ohana when Nako happens to check on Tarō's room. Ohana is freed from her bonds by Tarō. While Ohana is hiding, Tarō tries to make Nako go away by making insults about the staff. But hearing this, Ohana jumps out and tells him to take back the insults. Because Ohana is "revealed", Tarō tries to confine Nako, but there are other staff members behind her. Overwhelmed, Tarō runs away in one of the inn's trucks while the rest of the staff chases after in another car.
They chase him to the sea, where Tarō stands at a cliff ledge. He says he's a failure who can't pay his debt, even after acting so high over the staff. But Sui tells him that she has confidence that he could pay it off if he becomes serious and tries to win the prize. Continuing to say he's a failure, he jumps into the ocean without thinking, but he is asking for his life now. Nako surprisingly jumps in and saves him, and by the time the others reaches her, it’s almost sunset. Tarō continues his babbles that he’s useless, but Ohana straightens him up, saying that he’s a great novelist who was able to know something about her she herself did not know.
It is already late, so the staff agrees to eat at the seaside where they are. At that time, Ohana persists to give Minko the spinach-filled dish she made earlier. Minko takes it, but she responds with "Balut(ホビロン hobiron)!" Later on, Ohana is ready to go to bed, when she sees a notebook on Minko's bed, explaining all the insults she has said so far, especially "Balut(ホビロン hobiron)", which means "Truly, surprisingly, out of question" (ほんとに-びっくりするほど-論外 HOntoni - BIkkuri suru hodo - RONgai). She chuckles at this when she suddenly receives a message on her cell-phone. She thinks it's her mother, but it's Kou, which makes her happy for some reason she can’t explain herself.