Posted by psgels on 23 June 2011 with categories: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai



And it’s finally the time of the season again to review the large batch of series ending. The first one is Ano Hana, and really: I don’t expect any of the other series in the next few weeks to come even close to this one. There is just no way. This episode was completely amazing and it pretty much cemented this series as my favourite series of 2011 so far.

the creators really wanted this to end with a tear-jerker, and BY GOD, they succeeded! It’s not the kind of episode that tries to be as sad as possible, but god dammit it was emotional. Just about every character unleashed the final bits of his or her development. Every character got the chance to vent his or her lungs and confess about his or her problems. Everything came together magnificently. I cried more at this episode than at any other episode of this show so far.

This show… this show really knew how to save the best for last. Menma’s wish is so simple, yet brilliant. It ties everything about Jinta together. It wasn’t something epic, but just a small detail about one of the friends she grew up with. Or Poppo, who finally revealed that… he actually saw what happened in that river. It was clear that he had a secret, and this episode made such a wonderful use of that. THIS is how you build up plot twist and make them hit as hard as possible!

The ending also was just bittersweet. Sure, it still remains unclear why Menma was a ghost, or why everyone was able to see her at the final time, but really: who cares. Ghosts just work that way, and it didn’t go against anything that this series built up for. It was truly excellent as the emotional climax of this series.

There’s just one overused cliche in this episode: Menma’s airheadedness, or “I like everyone as friends”. This is a bad twist because anime often use it to sneak their way around having to seriously develop romance. Can we really fault Anohana for that, though? With Menma, she just feels like a kid who just isn’t bothered with romance, even though everyone around her is. In terms of that, she was a great character. It’s perhaps not exactly realistic, but even then it has some of the most natural characters of the season, aside from perhaps Showa Monogatari that nobody watches.

Overall, A-1: we couldn’t have asked for a better apology for Togainu no Chi and Fractale. I love these people, and this is the second time they produced something of classic material, after Birdy the Mighty. Not since Asatte no Houkou have I watched a teenaged drama without anything else that I liked this much (and with Asatte no Houkou only half the cast was actually teenager). Just about everything fits here and nothing feels wasted or out of place. This really was a wonderful watch.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

15 Responses

  1. Scruffy says:

    A wonderful end to a wonderful series. I was a bit worried that they couldn’t give this series the ending that it deserved but they really did it. I was working hard to hold back the tears as I was sitting in my office at lunchtime watching it :)

  2. Kiarae says:

    I haven’t even seen it with subs yet, but I was bawling even without knowing the words completely. I’m going to be a puddle when I do get them, and I will be getting this series as soon as possible when it’s released!

  3. evolstar says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Best ending I’ve seen in a long time. Definitely goes in my top 20.

  4. Puran says:

    Maybe it’s because you watched this without subs, but Menma’s letter to Jintan at the end said “My love for you is the kind that I want to marry you”. So the whole bit about her liking everyone as friends in not really true and the absence of romantic feelings from menma.

  5. Nutcase says:

    In general, it was a good ending. However, it came off as the writers trying to cram everything into this 23 minute long episode. As a result, this episode suffered from a lot of overacting. I didn’t really mind the amount of crying in this series, but this episode it reached a critical point, especially for the first half, and a bit too much talking. I was also baffled by how Menma was able to get to the tree and leave those notes for her friends before they got there.

  6. ojisan says:

    OK, I’ve stopped crying. Nutcase has good points, and it was a fine ending, but I can’t get far enough away from enough from the story to be sensible & dispassionate, it brings friends & family who’ve died very very close again –

    “I want to spend more time with you all”

  7. Arcanen says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever been moved to tears by fiction. Utterly amazing.

  8. Arcanen says:

    This whole series just resonated with me so much, since I recently moved to a new country and away from so many people I cared about.

  9. rever5e says:

    pretty good……even though this episode did pretty well, kinda feel like 24 min just not enough, maybe it work better if u marathon the whole thing

  10. Sheldor says:

    I started crying half way through and I didn’t stop – even after my mum knocked on my door and asked me if I was okay.

    Thank you Ano Hana. This was a perfect episode.

  11. nolee says:

    I actually don’t think the amount of crying was overboard at all — it may be a cultural midunderstanding, since it never fails to amaze me to see how emotional japanese middle schoolers get at graduations, partings, etc. in fact, it surprised me that they didn’t cry more.

    lovely episode, lovely series, lovely ending. best anime of the season for me.

  12. yamapishy says:

    Definitely the best anime of the season! I held back the tears in the other eps…this one I had to let it all out. The last anime that made me cry was Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. I wish there were more animes as good as AnoHana. Gokurosama deshita!!!
    *sobs*

  13. Padre says:

    Like Nutcase, I think this episode suffered a bit from rushing. The crying/reconciliation scene, as touching as it was, happened way too fast. It’s still a very emotional, well written ending, but I wouldn’t call it fantastic. The series as a whole, however, is one of the best I’ve ever watched.

  14. foamer says:

    Menma probably dragged herself along the ground to get to that tree O_O

  15. Kyubey says:

    Needed less crying and more backstabbing. I expected more out of Yukiatsu’s bitterness.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.

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