Posted by psgels on 3 June 2011 with categories: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai

Even for Ano Hana standards, this episode was amazing. I mean, how much can you stuff into an episode anyway? This episode went from heart-wrenching scene to heart-wrenching scene, and it just kept going! Each time showing new things about the cast, sharp dialogue and a huge heap of sincerity.

First there was Menma’s mother who actually lashed out at the group as a whole, then Yukiatsu forced Jinta to just go on on his own, Anjou confessed the feelings she had when she was younger, Jinta had a great scene together with his father, then Menma’s brother came along and as a desert Menma finally had the guts to make her presence known to the others. Heck, every single part here would have made for an amazing episode, but this episode found a way to put them all in the same episode. Now THAT’s how you take advantage of Noitamina!

I always found it a bit of a plothole that Menma didn’t just make stuff float in front of the group. Still, this episode showed that she can probably only bump into stuff, and probably thought that that wouldn’t be enough to convince people of her existence (she’s good at running away and all).

In any case though, this episode was also really good for one of the biggest strengths of this series: the way in which it puts so much meaning into its dialogue. The script in this series is masterfully written, in order to get as much out of the characters as possible. The characters here are both big liars, and surprisingly true to their feelings: they’re really able to express what they’re feeling, and this series does that in a way that I haven’t seen in a long, long while.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

33 Responses

  1. Alec says:

    IMO, it would’ve been better if the creators didn’t do the scene where Menma had to drop her diary in order to prove that she is here.

    still… I won’t deny it’s the most epic episode yet

  2. meow says:

    IMO, it would’ve been better if the creators didn’t do the scene where Menma had to drop her diary in order to prove that she is here.

    I’m just surprised she never did it sooner. Forget a diary. Just eat a bowl of ramen in front of the others. Or present them a bowl of her buns. I was half wondering if maybe Jinta was partially hallucinating – he certainly seemed to think so. And I was a little bit surprised that she was strong enough to turn one of those search lights and turn it on for Jinta during the roadworks scene. IMHO not an easy feat if she was a living girl.

  3. Troyen says:

    I’ve been waiting for her to make her presence known since about episode two. Every time she hangs on someone’s neck, that person complains they feel a weight, so she has some ability to interact with the world. She can move objects, cook food, and eat food, why not write stuff on paper, float things around, arrange stuff in a message, or simplest enough would be to have Jintan stand in a corner under watch while everyone else picks a number between one and a billion and have her tell Jintan what it is several times in a row.

    That point aside, I’ve really been enjoying the show, and I’m especially looking forward to how the rest of the cast will act post-dropped diary. Are all of them really going to accept that as proof (looking at you, Yukiatsu)?

  4. EMChamp says:

    I keep waiting on this series to disappoint and fail to deliver on such an emotional level. Instead what I’ve gotten is 8 episodes of superbly delivered plot and rich characterization.

    As the viewer I felt so relieved for Jintan when Menma finally revealed herself. It was painful the way the others would believe in Jintan’s Menma one moment then claim Jintan was insane the next. There was a great quote in the middle of the episode where Jintan says something like since Menma wasn’t there, they weren’t all together anyway, so he might as well try to go at it alone (something like that). I guess that’s why Menma’s revelation is so powerful, because she is the one link holding this fractured group of friends together.

    As a side note, I hope they properly explain why she hadn’t simply tried to contact people before.

  5. ahelo says:

    Lol 4 stars. How long has it been since we got 4 stars in this blog?

  6. Jo says:

    @ahelo : Prolly since FMA : Brotherhood. Can’t blame that. FMA BRotherhood’s my favorite anime of all time C:

    That aside..

    I felt so bad for Jinta when he started to cry.
    Looks like this anime is going to end sadly…

  7. krystal says:

    As for the concern of why Menma didn’t reveal herself sooner, I found this really good piece of speculation on a Japanese blog.

    From the point when Menma first appears, she had the feeling that if she had her wish fulfilled, she would probably disappear. She also was sure that her wish was something that could be fulfilled only with everyone in the Super Peace Busters involved. However, as she continued to live together with Jintan, she started to think that maybe it would be good if she could just always stay this way so she never thought of making the effort to prove her existence to the others. If she proves her existence, then things would progress to the point where her wish would be fulfilled and she would disappear. But then, she realized that by not revealing her existence, Jintan who she likes so much would be hurt instead (by others around him) so she made the decision to reveal herself, have her wish fulfilled, and finally rest in peace.

    I claim no ownership of these ideas and merely wanted to post this because I found this very convincing when I first read this.

  8. ojisan says:

    Krystal’s findings from that blog sound very likely to me – everyone in the series (except maybe Poppo & Jintan’s dad) is hiding their feelings, vacilatting between addressing the situation and flinching away from it. Menma’s doing the same – she wants her wish, but not the consequences of her wish.

    Great, great episode. I like how Menma’s brother pops out of the woodwork top have his say, and how Jintan’s dad finally gets some credit for being the really great guy he is (one ojisan to another) -

  9. meow says:

    I found this very convincing when I first read this.

    Yeah. This makes alot of sense. I suspect some of the characters, especially Yukiatsu, may come to this conclusion too and may even try to argue against fulfilling Menma’s wish later on.

    Looks like this anime is going to end sadly…

    I would say bittersweet. Something like the final arc of Magnitude 8.0. I suppose it’s appropriate given the tragedy that hit Japan recently. Maybe to help some of the viewers come to terms with their own losses. I’ll be really surprised if they can get Menma to come back permanently, although a part of me wishes it was possible.

  10. m says:

    I don’t know if it was during the scriptwriting or the storyboarding, but obviously there was considerable effort put forth that has really paid off by keeping the dramatic scenes, giant crying scenes and all, from ever feeling cheap and forced. It’s not hard for this kind of material to degenerate into the author just telling you how to feel, instead of really placing you into the scene. The non-verbal cues that provide insight into the characters are also excellent.

    I also like that by comparison to many other shows that mix humor and sadness, this series never seems to strive to bounce from the extremes of either, which prevents any significant mood whiplash.

    Every time I hear that ED it’s like a bittersweet screw being turned. So whatever the mechanism, this show has certainly managed to wrap me around its finger.

  11. tomphile says:

    Though it’s a great episode, it would have been better if this series was set to go for a full 13 episodes, but I’ve heard that it’s only going for 11, which is a shame. Anyways, it’s sad that Anjou and the other childhood friends will never win in a love battle.

  12. sadakups says:

    Thanks for the info krystal. That pretty much answered my question on why Menma did not make her presence known earlier.

    And OH SH- four stars. You know psgels is liking it when he gives something so rare like that.

  13. Kei says:

    this is indeed a heart-wrenching episode. it presents the perspective of how each feels about Menma’s death, from her mom to her friends, even her little brother. with so many crying scenes in a single episode, it does not come across as overly emotional. instead every scene counts. even in the last few minutes when her friends realise Menma is with them, it is full of sincerity.

  14. Hogart says:

    Yeah, what krystal presented here is what I’ve been assuming for a number of episodes now.. the OP and ED practically scream it as well. It’s heavy-handed to drag things out this way, but as long as they adequately end it, it will still work.

    If anything, I had forgotten what a good drama was like – I’m so used to wham moments and shocking reveals in anime that I think that’s why I’m enjoying AnoHana so much.. they’re actually letting the story tell itself without forcing it down our throats as much as usual.

    It’s nice to see anime characters again that act more like exaggerated human beings than exaggerated anime characters.

  15. Jérémy says:

    This episode was soooo good :D With all those dramatic scenes I was expecting to find them cheap but the thing with Ano Hana is that they use some cliches but put so much though and feeling in the dialogues that it’s completely original and heartfelt. And I cry again and again and again xD

  16. Ryouichi says:

    As much as I’d wished for Menma to reveal herself earlier, I got shivers when they started reading the latest entry.

  17. Perm says:

    oAo All the small details with Jintan and his mom so far…I wonder if the reason he can see Menma is because he himself is close to dying?

  18. Scruffy says:

    @M I know exactly what you mean about the ED. The way they mesh the ED into the show as quiet background music initially and then when that chorus kicks in, I just get that choked feeling. This has so far been one amazing show in every single way.

  19. Joojoobees says:

    This show is so solid. It really puts most other shows to shame. Most other shows are between 50 and 95% fluff per episode, while this show keeps it down to 10 – 20% per episode, then pulls this one out, where every moment seemed to count.

  20. Sev says:

    This episode kinda failed when it came down to plot developments. Having Memna do something she could do from the very beginning to prove her existence is pretty cheap and a good example of bad writing. She could have done this in the very first episode. Even if she didn’t figure this out back then, she would have realized this as soon as everyone thought Jinta was 1. insane and 2. wrong.
    This development happened because the writer wrote him/herself into a corner. This is pretty much a deus ex machina.

    Also no, Memna can do much more than “bump” into stuff. She can cook, write, etc.

    That said, everything leading up to that mistake was pretty good.

  21. sadakups says:

    There was no deus ex machina. What are you talking about?

  22. meow says:

    So I finally got to watch this and I noticed something weird. Jin-tan’s dad woke Jin-tan up while Menma was asleep on his bed, covered by a blanket. Wouldn’t Jin-tan’s dad have noticed that a blanket is floating on Jin-tan’s bed?

  23. meow says:

    Having Memna do something she could do from the very beginning to prove her existence is pretty cheap and a good example of bad writing.

    No…I have to very strongly disagree. Making Jinta the only one who could see Menma was important plot device. It gives time for all the characters and the whole setting to be introduced and fleshed out, including Menma’s family. It kept me guessing at least as to how “real” Menma was. (See my previous post about the blanket and Jinta’s Dad apparently not noticing it.) You did notice how hard Jinta tried to avoid addressing Menma’s presence in his house, as if he himself only half-believed it himself, and how he refers to Menma as his hallucination? And we wouldn’t have seen Yukiatsu demonstrate so vividly his own feelings for Menma if not for him not being convinced of Menma’s presence.

    Writing themselves into a corner? Hardly.

  24. Sev says:

    I agree that it was important for only Jinta to be able to see Memna. It worked well to establish all the characters and the dynamic between them. Additionally, it created some tension between Jinta and the rest and whether they trusted him implicitly on the existence of Memna.
    This trust issue(and the question whether Jinta was sane) is now thrown away for sake of furthering the plot. And they did this by her using that same ability she’s shown earlier. It’s obvious that they couldn’t do this earlier for sake of drama, but I’d say that they should never have done this. My reasoning behind this is that if she could have done this earlier(and she could), she would have done this earlier. It’s fridge logic.

    Oh, and yes, this is a case of deus ex machina. Instead of having the character work out their trust issues through character development, they anticlimactically ended this plotthread in the cheapest possible way. I guess the writer couldn’t write himself out of this situation.
    To give you another example of this, take the eagles from Lord of the rings. They only appear when Tolkien placed the good guys in such a spot that he couldn’t figure out how they could get back to safety without some sort of divine intervention. By writing eagles into the story, one has to wonder why you can’t simply use them to fly to mount doom and resolve the plot at the very first book. Similarly, if Memna could do this from the get-go, why didn’t she do it back when these trust issues first appeared?

    Now don’t get me wrong. I like this series. But this is just bad writing, especially since it obsoleted one of the better parts of this story.

  25. ojisan says:

    I’d draw attention to Krystal’s input earlier on, that Menma is conflicted about having her wish granted, and thus about making her presence clear to everyone. I can’t remember her being frantic or frustrated that people other than Jintan can’t see her – it’s not like she’s been making every effort. Like Jintan, she’s chugging on day to day, toying with and also avoiding the issues most important to her. Perhaps this attitude is changing a bit, now that she’s making herself known -

  26. meow says:

    My reasoning behind this is that if she could have done this earlier(and she could), she would have done this earlier.

    Well, for one thing, Menma being the airhead that she is, probably couldn’t figure out how to communicate with others when she can’t be seen. Look at how she tried to talk to Poppo in this episode, even though she should have known he couldn’t see her. Two, she was satisfied with just being with Jinta. As the japanese blogger that krystal mentioned in No.7 pointed out, she didn’t want to disappear and was, perhaps subconsciously afraid of having her wish actually granted. This changes when she sees how hard Jinta and everyone else are working for her sake. Finally, the trigger here is her overhearing Poppo’s phone convo and later at the hideout where Jinta was about to get socked. Suddenly she has the need to prove her existence to her friends to stop their fight. Spur of the moment and pretty natural thing for her to do and it works with the story. A deus ex machina might be Menma having never shown the ability to manipulate the enviroment yet suddenly being able to write in her diary to stop the fight. And this is just a plot turn in the story. It’s not the end. It seems to resolve one conflict but opens the door to alot more possible development.

    I for one am pretty anxious to know how the other four deal with Menma. Seriously, Jinta has a much easier time because he can see and hear her. How do you deal with a ghost you can’t see or hear? You can’t read their body language or hear their tone of voice. Would they be happy or terrified? A mix of both? What happens if/when Menma’s mother gets into the mix? Remember the first Highlander movie and how MacLeod’s lover reacted when he came back from the dead?

    By writing eagles into the story, one has to wonder why you can’t simply use them to fly to mount doom and resolve the plot at the very first book.

    So um…*LOTR spoilers*?

    The eagles weren’t a deus ex machina. They were evened out by Sauron’s own flying servants. Even in the final battle, they only evened out the ringwraiths overwhelming air superiority. The ring had to be destroyed first, destroying the wraiths and freeing the eagles for the rescue. If the eagles had tried flying Frodo to Mt Doom from the start, would they have been able to get through?

    One does not simply eagle their way into Mordor. XD

  27. Sev says:

    If I recall correctly, Tolkien himself pretty much stated that the eagles were problematic in his stories. He knew they were a deus ex machina plot device. I’ll leave LOTR for what it is since this is getting derailed enough as it is.

    Even if Memna is truly too dumb to realize what she did this episode earlier, Yadomi himself could have brought it up. It would have proven his sanity and resolved all those issues.
    Subconscious denial from the very start sounds suspect. If it was like that, she wouldn’t have brought up the wish at all and instead just pestered him to get the gang back together.

    Even with your reasoning, it is still a pretty big leap not to call this a gaping plothole, or extremely contrived.

    A deus ex machina is not just limited to the archetypical god descending from the heaven to solve all problems. It applies when the solution is contrived like this one.

    Anyway, I think we’re done here. You’re clearly not going to see it any other way and neither will I. Let’s move on.

  28. meow says:

    No hard feelings I hope, Sev. I respect your opinion but was hoping to at least close the gap between yours and mine a little. I’m a bit disappointed that I failed. XD I guess we’ll chalk this one up to a story that just rubs us in different ways.

    And about LOTR, yea I just watched the movies. I never studied the novels. The opinion above is just from me watching the movies. Kudos to you for having a more informed opinion. :)

  29. Ryouichi says:

    Prevailing argument that I’ve seen about this is that: Before, they got back together and seemed to be getting along, therefore Menma was happy and didn’t see a need to reveal herself. When they start fighting and falling apart, she does this…

    Or so the theory goes.

  30. Hunter-Wolf says:


    I’ll be taking everyone’s side here .. you said this Sev:-

    “”Subconscious denial from the very start sounds suspect. If it was like that, she wouldn’t have brought up the wish at all and instead just pestered him to get the gang back together””

    Point is .. it isn’t Subconscious denial .. she has the mind of a kid and is an air-head to start with .. so having a conflicted opinion is what was happening … yeah .. she does mention her wish … but maybe she did so she finds an excuse to bring everyone together (they would need an excuse) … then she realizes that maybe if her wish is made true .. she might leave this world … but then again if the group doesn’t have a strong motive to band together they will disperse (like what happened this ep) … then finally seeing the suffering she caused (Yadomi crying, the whole group fighting, her mother .. etc etc) she made up her mind and decided to push things towards the final conclusion of having her wish granted even if it will means she will only stay with everyone for a short period then disappear.

    That explains the “time out” phrase Menma said –>i.e she made up her mind/decided to take action .. finally .. she said it when she came into the hideout .. so it isn’t really a deus-ex machina at all IMO (i used to think it is until recently) … it might not have been communicated too well .. but some people did figure it out .. it is there.

  31. Hogart says:

    I honestly can’t understand all this talk of plotholes from the POV of the live characters. It should be obvious that the characters are of questionable sanity and have chosen to struggle with a painfully traumatic incident on their own for many years.

    If they simply confronted their problems that easily it would be even more conveniently forced writing than all of this forced drama. How many broken and traumatized people do you know who have shut themselves away, who can simply say “look, here’s a ghost-girl”? Jintan has many reasons to not exposing Menma, and none of them have to be rational.. he’s a traumatized kid with self-image issues, not Sherlock Holmes.

    Possible plotholes form from why Menma herself hasn’t revealed herself, but if you’ve accepted the fact that she’s a ghost/poltergeist then you’ve also accepted the fact that the writers can contrive any rationale for her they want to avoid plotholes. She is a ten-year-old’s ghost, who apparently still loves Jintan, and would probably not want to leave his side even if she had to be a ghost. That is a pretty common theme in romantic ghost stories, after all.

  32. PL says:

    For once, I agree with this review.

  33. Taara535 says:

    Regardless of plotholes or no plotholes, it is rare that I can rewatach an episode 3 days after I originally watched it and still thoroughly enjoy it. What the writers have done with the dialog here, what the voice actors and sound coordinators have done with the tone of the show, and what the animators have done to bring the two together into a coherent and poignant whole is nothing more than amazing.

    I doubt there will be a better anime show released this entire year.

Leave a Reply


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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 03:47 AM)
    Wow Ash Vs the Evil Dead 01 was a blast; I really should’ve gotten into this sooner. I was smiling thru most of it, either because it was funny or slap-stick gory, or because it was a blast to see that Sam Raimi still got it. I guess the only time that Evil Dead works is when he’s involved. Seeing Bruce Campbell again with the chainsaw was a treat which I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.

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