Posted by psgels on 29 April 2011 with categories: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai



It’s been a long, long while since I watched a series that made me teary-eyed on such a consistent basis as Anohana. It’s got the most amazing cast of characters that consistently try to develop each other. These people feel real and the acting is absolutely amazing. I mean, even Hourou Musuko needed a number of episodes to get going!

Anohana is really about growing up: some of the characters here already have, while Jinta refuses to do so and Poppo just doesn’t care. The same goes with the rest of the cast, and this friction between the ones who have grown up and the ones who didn’t is amazing to watch, especially with such detailed characterization. These characters just keep telling more about themselves and becoming more rounded and versatile. This was an especially good episode for Tsurumi.

Three episodes in, and I only managed to spot one cliche: the dead mother. It’s a bit unnerving that BOTH Noitamina series this season have the dead mother syndrome, but Anohana even makes good use of that one. Living in a dysfunctional family had a massive impact on Jinta and probably even strengthened his trauma, let alone seeing him first lose his mother and then one of his best friends. The thing remains though that the easiest way for a character to have a dysfunctional family is hardly ever used: we hardly ever get to see people with divorced parents. Out of the top of my head, I can only think of two that did that: Noein and Kuragehime. Oh, and Hana-Saku Iroha.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

12 Responses

  1. pata says:

    Quite a good episode, it really defines “slice of life”. Did his mom suicided? She got somethin in her wrists. Also, QUALITY is goin down. You might not notice it, but it’s goin down. You don’t really need good animation in this genre, but still…you know…

  2. Gottis says:

    The first anime I remember that have the divorced family trope is actually Digimon of all shows. Heh. ^^;;

    @pata And she didn’t suicide. That was an IV, so my guess is that she had cancer or something. (It’s usually cancer.)

  3. Sev says:

    I like how flawed all the character are. It makes them feel so much more alive and human.

    It may not have been called a divorce, but the parents of the lead in Xam’d sure were acting as if they were divorced.

  4. gan says:

    “It’s been a long, long while since I watched a series that made me teary-eyed on such a consistent basis as Anohana”
    I never felt anything teary eyed in this episode.
    I get the feeling Ano Hana is quite a hyped series.
    How come the people around Jintan don’t realize Menma’s actions (especially in the barbecue scene)?
    And it’s quite predictable how the ending would turn out to be.The group would do a bunch of things which would satisfy Menma’s wish.Slowly she starts appearing to the group and finally when her wish has been fulfilled,she’ll disappear and the ending would be quite sappy.
    Although I dont mean to say that I dont enjoy this show,just like psgels say the character development is quite good!And I like the slice of life feel of the show!

  5. garfield15 says:

    Xam’d had divorced parents.

    And Soul Eater, now that I think about it.

  6. Julian says:

    WHile the first episodes are really good… I really hope they will not fail with the conclusion… Like her final wish as him saying sorry to Menma…

  7. foamer says:

    just a thought but maybe Yukiatsu was cross-dressing as Menma when Poppo saw ‘Menma’ that night. Also, Yukiatsu still has the white dress in his closet and buys some girly things to go with it?! hmm he is still a mystery though O_o

  8. betawatcher says:

    This is a bit random, and I noticed this since the 1st episode, but why does the art (for the characters) remind me of HoTD?

  9. m says:

    None of the characters has grown up in the sense that they are complete people. They’re all dysfunctional in some way. The abuse they deliver upon each other at times is motivated by jealousies and insecurities, not really because they recognize that any of them haven’t grown up. There’s also a contrast between the personalities they had as children and their current selves that tends to vanish as they engage each other. The point of the series isn’t that Jinta is childish, which I’d say is a pernicious way of viewing his social phobia, but does focus on growing up. The characters will probably be saved from their respective bad ends through their friendship and resolving the issues of their childhood.

    Atsumu is jealous of Jinta, who Menma favored. His obsession with Menma is why everyone thinks he’s dressing up as her (though she has a mother that looks like her, so it may be a red herring). Atsumu’s verbal abuse of Jinta in the first episode only occurs after Jinta mentioned Menma, and his closing comment at the end of this episode also betrays his jealousy. It’s also possible that he shops for her (or shops for props for cross-dressing, I suppose).

    Naruko is lacking in self-confidence. This is the impetus for her imitation of others to obtain recognition. This leaves her visually uncomfortable in her own skin, and in this episode humorously culminates in her publicly humiliating the boy she’s had a crush on for most of her life. She also blames herself for Menma’s death and the resulting breakup of the group.

    Poppo (I forget his name) is a dropout and a freeter who squats in the wilderness and lives a (possibly fantasy) life of aimless traveling on a subsistence income.

    Chiriko has become an ice queen that indulges in some weapons-grade projection toward anyone that mentions Menma, who she probably harbors some lingering jealousy for due to Atsumu’s obsession.

    Jinta of course suffers from social phobia, which leaves him skipping school and trying to disguise himself so that others won’t recognize him. This is in sharp contrast to his personality as a child, where we see that he was forceful and filled the role of leader for the group. Since he’s the protagonist a lot of the story seems to center around explaining this inversion of his behavior through the circumstances of the deaths of his mother and Menma. When he engages in the present with his former friends his self-consciousness fades and with it much of the aberrance of his behavior, which suggests that unlike Tatsuhiro (from Welcome to the NHK) that his anxiety disorder is still skin deep and there is room for him to escape it.

    I’d also add that Jinta’s father and Menma’s parents also have issues. Jinta’s father is an enabler that takes on an unnaturally cheery disposition in the wake of his wife’s death that leaves Jinta to deal with his own problems, which he doesn’t do all that well. Menma’s family is cold and distant. The mother has difficulty letting go of Menma, which seems to frustrate the son.

  10. Sapphire says:

    Another great, great episode.
    I do hope that Yukiatsu isn’t cross dressing as Menma… it’s too twisted. However, I can’t seem to find another reason for the dress, plus girly shopping, plus Poppo seeing “Menma”.

  11. inchv says:

    Well, i don think Yukiatsu is cross-dressing as Memna. It would seem too much in the portrayal of his character. On the other hand, i would like to believe that the loss of Memna ampliy the difficulties they face at home, or the identities which they pursue; so much so that Memna has become such a central figure in shaping the character as they grow up.

    The group which becomes separated after her death is characteristically linked by her death, and think about it, is Memna’s death solely caused by Jinta’s less than abled handing of the fateful childhood situation, or can it be contributable by other members in the group as well?

  12. Amina Misora says:

    For me, this anime is really great. It’s the best in this season right now… The idea that Yukiatsu was cross-dressing is interesting but I hope not. This episode is still really good but don’t make me about to cry anymore. The story development is going not to fast or too slow. So I’d like to watch more episodes to give more ideas. Anyway, I think I’ve already love this anime!?! ^^

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  • Raggers
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:58 PM)
    And an important thing to remember is that while all thoughts may be interesting, only commit the best to paper. Knowing what to leave out is almost as important as having stuff to put in.
  • Raggers
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:56 PM)
    @ninja: having not read any of your posts I can’t comment specifically, I just said that based on what kind of lengths look comfortably readable.
    Thanks to uni I’ve barely managed to watch a few episodes this season, so I’m trying to avoid spoiling anything. That said, I will say that if you limit your word count you will have much more focused posts than if it was just free.
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:48 PM)
    Just for example, when I had a hard day, watched an episode of the show and then go onto some anime blog to read about it and then there’s some 1000+ words review about it, I’d really LIKE to read but just don’t have the attention to do it, I won’t bother at all. And I believe an impression about an anime episode can be put into way fewer words than that.
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:45 PM)
    @Aidan: Nonono, that’s just a plus of shorter reviews. That’s not the main reason I’d like them. Of course I only read reviews of shows I DO watch, to listen to another opinion, because reading something you don’t know a thing about is pointless. Regarding episodic reviews at least. However I do enjoy reading a review of a show I like, I hope you didn’t misunderstand that. I guess I didn’t really put it into the right words.
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:11 PM)
    @K-Off You know it.
    @Bam NTR finds a way.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 10:46 PM)
    @Hal, So to summarize. You want the reviews to be shorter so that you don’t have to read them and can take in whether a show is worth picking up? In that case your problem isn’t with the reviews. It’s that there’s not a rating at the bottom.
    If need be we can bring that back.
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 09:11 PM)
    The thing is, aside from disliking reading long texts on screen, I looked over some texts about shows I didn’t watch sometimes, to see if they’re worth to pick up (That’s also the reason why I actually miss the rating system. I picked up some shows only because psgels rated one episode as fantastic and I got curious) I don’t know if other people do the same, but short reviews are easier to look through for interesting developments.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 09:09 PM)
    @K-off: not sure how NTR works under incarceration, someone steals their prison-bitch I guess? lol
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 09:08 PM)
    concerning the length discussion, it is true, that reading walls of text on the screen are a pain. As I said 500 words should be the absolute maximum for an episodic review. A full review on a series can be longer of course. You should also think about breaking the text down into smaller paragraphs of 4-7 lines each. It’s much easier to read longer texts that way.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 08:53 PM)
    @Bam make that ntr for ninja.

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