Ano Hana Episode 6
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:
Episode Summary: Jinta decides to return back to school, but his “grand entrance” is upstaged by Naruko, who is the talk of the school when someone saw her near the love hotel. As the gossiping reaches a crescendo, Jinta stands up for her. Along with Poppo, they decide to visit Menma’s mother to pay respects, where they pick up her diary. When Menma hears this, she becomes angry, but Jinta ends up yelling at her about her inadvertent self-centered behavior.
My Impressions: When I started with Ano Hana, I really did expect it to be a real tear-jerker, overly heavy on the sentimentalism with cloying, sickly-sweet emotions layered one on top of each other, purposely designed to tug at the viewers’ heartstrings. In short, the type of show that reduces the girly-girls to sobbing, quivering piles of tears while the manly men huff and puff and say “What is this crap? Give me some robots and guns or something!”
Well, yes…it definitely is an emotional tear-jerker, there’s no doubt about that. But by god, they manage to do it all so well that it manages to maintain my interest, as skeptical as I was in the beginning. Here we are halfway through the series, and I’m beginning to think this could turn out to be the “best” show of the Spring 2011 anime season, once everything is said and done. Yes, yes, yes, they really do lay on the sentimentalism very heavy and thick, but the characters have been rounded out so well with their own unique perspectives and conflicts that it all seems like real and raw emotions rather than purposely manipulated feelings overlain on cardboard-thin character constructs.
They *all* have their own problems, they are *all* still trying to work them out. Even as we begin to tackle Naruko’s insecurities, it is forcing Jinta into action, even if he is socially awkward and inexperienced in his response (his heart’s in the right place, though). After having his ego bubble popped, a chastised Yukiatsu can finally see a way forward. Even poor little Menma, receiving a well-deserved dressing down from Jinta, starts to understand how her concerns for others are preventing her from moving forward as well.
At this point, I really don’t know how everything is going to be resolved. Or, like “real life”, if it can all be so easily resolved at all. But I do know that I am looking forward to the second half of the series to watch the characters continue to grow as the events from many years ago can finally be put into the past.
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources:
- If you like this, then you might also like: Clannad (or so other people say), but I think I would recommend Colorful the Movie.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Menma’s stumbling, uncertainty, and eventual breakdown was interesting to see. As I wrote above, you usually don’t see ghost/spirit characters come back without some sense of certainty to what they want. At least the kinds of ghosts or spirits that interact with people normally and benevolently. She’s having to come to terms with the impact of her death just as much as the other characters.” – THAT Anime Blog
- “I somehow knew that this anime wouldn’t disappoint, and I was right. It’s keeping up with all my expectations so far, so all I can say is keep it up to the anime staff. Oh, but I would like to say that Jinta’s growth into a dynamic, outspoken character is rather staggering.” – Ani-Philes
- “Far from being a celebration of childishness, Anohana is about coming to terms with the responsibilities of adulthood, among them coming to a healthy acceptance of the events of the past, whether good or ill. Jinta, Menma, and the rest don’t have the strength to achieve this on their own. But perhaps they can achieve it together.” – The Anti-Otaku
- “A solid episode overall, not that I expected anything else. The teary moments were not as teary as it used to be though, but I’m fine with that; a good story doesn’t necessarily need to be tear-inducing.” – Polychromium