Ano Hana Episode 2
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, a.k.a. “We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day”, shortened “AnoHana”, is a weekly anime television series started in April 2011. This is an original series, the latest in the Fuji TV Noitamina time-slot. Ten years after the death of a childhood friend, Menma, everyone seems to have moved on with their lives, except Jinta. When Menma’s ghost suddenly appears, Jinta must confront both his past and present life.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: Teenagers play Pokemon to try and fulfill dead girl’s wish.
Episode Summary: Upon meeting with Tetsudou for the first time in years, Jinta spills the beans about seeing and hearing Menma’s ghost. Tetsudou believes it immediately, and accepts Jinta as if no time had passed. Naruko chases down Chiriko in the street, leading to less than happy reunion. Tetsudou suggests that Jinta needs to fulfill Menma’s dying wish, and suggests it might involve capturing a rare character in a Pokemon game she loved. Tetsudou and Jinta visit Naruko, who is at first reluctant to help, but the three of them end up playing Pokemon all day, and get the rare character. While it turns out that was not Menma’s wish, she’s happy that the three of them could spend the day together, and Jinta realizes he’s happier than he’s been in a long time.
My Impressions: First off, I’m shortening the title to the generally accepted short-name of “Ano Hana”, because this title is ridiculously long, both in Japanese and in English.
If anyone was looking for a show to fill the quota for melodrama for the season, this is definitely the place to start. It seems the whole point of the show is for the teenagers to heal the painful scar left by Menma’s passing years ago, and it’s going to be a long, slow process to reach the point of redemption and acceptance. From the first episode, I figured it was going to be all about the emotionally-damaged Jinta rejoining society and finally learning to accept Memna’s death. But in this episode, we also learn that Naruko (Anaru) has been equally affected by Menma in her own way, blaming herself for setting up the situation that lead to the event years ago. Wanna bet the other characters will also have their own deep, emotional scars that need to be ripped open and tended to as well? Certainly seems that’s the way the series is heading at this point.
Menma may be a ghost, or a hallucination, or a phantom, or whatever you want to call her. But really, she is just a catalyst to get the five other kids to come together once again. Now we have three of them getting together for a day of fun (like little kids playing video games, a childish pursuit but that’s perfectly okay). And it may not be obvious to hikikimori Jinta, but Naruko has such a crush on him that it’s not even funny, you know what they say, love is blind. Two episodes down and it seems the plot is moving along very fast. But I suspect bringing the other two outcasts into the fold (Atsumu and Chiriko) will not be so easily solved in one episode. Nor is the relationship between Jinta and Naruko exactly stable. Prepare for a bittersweet and bumpy ride.
Oh, and jumping between the childhood names and adult names is a pain, so I’m sticking to the adult names except for Menma, who died as a child (and acts like one, too).
- My earlier reviews: Episode 1 (June 2nd)
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- This series is not licensed for distribution in the United States.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “It can’t be certain that “possible wishes” will continue to be the way the story unfolds, but I sure as hell wouldn’t mind if they were all as great as this episode. The cheerful mood that remained shouldn’t be taken for granted, given a dangerous little individual sniffing Menma’s old clothes tells me this show isn’t afraid to tackle more grim material. If anything, there’s one thing for sure; the show continues to astonish me in all fields.” – Random Curiosity
- “Overall, I did feel as if some parts were a bit too overdramatic, and I’m still not quite able to empathize with the characters. They are slowly starting to grow on me, but the fact that they’ve been so suddenly introduced and thrown into somewhat drama heavy situations with little fleshing out or development makes it kind of hard to empathize with them. Grade: 3.7/5.” – Emory Anime Club
- “If there’s one thing that I was worried about with the second episode, it was that it would not live up to the high precident set up by the first episode. That was definitely not the case, and the second episode proceeded to build further on the great foundation laid down by the first episode. Grade: A+.” – Anime Evo
- “It’s clear that all of these characters still have their feelings about their childhood days, but they all grew away in their own ways. This really turned out to be a wonderful story about people growing apart from each other, with some being left behind. Grade: Awesome.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “Overall, this made for a pleasant episode (not least because Menma largely kept quiet) that was well-produced and nicely realised, while at the same time never really breaking out of its comfort zone at all – everything occurred exactly as you’d expect it to without any real emotion or drama to it beyond what had already been soundly established or at least strongly hinted at in episode one.” – Hanners’ Anime Blog
- “This episode really got those emotions rolling thick with nostalgia and while this episode has considerably less melodrama than the last, it is still very effective in a different way. The fact that the writers managed to use something so relatable to this generation really gives me hope with the future episodes. Fond childhood memories are always a safe bet and since it was executed perfectly, this episode really shines.” – Sekijitsu
- “It didn’t capture the shock in what episode one delivered (then again I’m a sucker for melodrama), but it certainly built off from it fairly well. Two thirds of the show was coursing nostalgia through its softly woven veins, and it’s the obvious case of Nokemon. Nokemon (Pokémon) is a disease and there’s no denying it but we sure as hell do not want to be cured from it.” – Daifuuku
- “These characters are so rich and the first episode has been such a wonderful teaser that I’m dying to know more about these characters and what happened between them after Menma’s death.” – Rabbit Poets
ROUND TWO RESULTS FOR SPRING 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Two: Steins;Gate, Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha, Moshidora, AnoHana
Thumbs-down for Round Two: Dog Days
Coming up next (in this order): Tiger and Bunny, Fireball Charming, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, A Channel, Sengoku Otome Time Paradox, Nichijou, Yondemasuyo Azazel-san, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, X-Men, Blue Exorcist, Kaiji Season 2, Hyouge Mono, Showa Monogatari, Appleseed XIII, Fujilog