Posted 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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  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Lacrid Surprising, yes, but it seems they’ve brushed over that so far. The story has gone back to normal romcom/slice of life.
  • LacridSayo
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:11 AM)
    Wow, Horimiya managed to surprise me twice. They teach me that in the face of adversity, conformity is the way. Also, Miyamura and Hori f&@ks.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 04:09 AM)
    The whole world structure and the framework of spirituality, eyes of death perception, counterforce and whatnots are kept intentionally vague so he can have some wiggle room to bullshit and handwave plot elements as they go on. KnK was a pretty good OVA series tho and Ufotable had a big party to play in that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:56 AM)
    Here’s some classic Nasu at work.
    http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2003/30-P02-034.jpg
    A f*cking security system? No, it’s a person creating a small alternate world around them from their mind. Plain and f*cking simple.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:45 AM)
    I’ve heard people criticize Nasu as “writing terrible history fanfiction” and “Like my old bad fanfiction” “When the action scenes actually happen they suck”
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @K-Off: didn’t we all.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @Aidan: I didn’t know what they were, but “withering eyes of death perception” doesn’t really leave a whole lot up to the imagination anyway…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan Reminds me of my English papers where I bullshitted tons of explanations to fill up a ten page report.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:39 AM)
    And the eyes of death perception. Ho Boy. He talks about how it’s not cutting but severing and bonds and blah blah blah.
    Here’s the shorthand. You cut a tree with a knife you make a small cut, cut a tree with a knife while using the eyes of death perception and the tree withers and dies. There only took one sentence to explain something that Nasu uses 10 or so paragraphs for.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:33 AM)
    Take the explanation for mana. All the man had to explain was more mana = More powerful servant. Yet he makes this comparison to ammo, guns and cannons that is just needlessly confusing.

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