Ano Hana Episode 8
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.
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Episode Summary: The group visits Menma’s mother to get her permission to create the firework, but end up opening old wounds instead. As the group undergoes strain, Jinta vows to push forward himself. When he visits the old hideout, Yukiatsu lashes out at Jinta, and at that moment Menma decides to intercede by adding an entry into her childhood diary and dropping it on the floor.
My Impressions: Looks like they want everyone to invest in Kleenex, because it seems like half the episode involved people sobbing big, wet tears for one reason or another.
In honesty, I don’t like how the episode was resolved. Up until now, Jinta was the only person who could truly “sense” Menma’s presence, and all of the events that took place up until now with all the other members of the group were taken entirely on faith, or with their own motives involved. Up until now, we were left wondering whether or not ghost-Menma was real or just a figment of his guilty conscience (in fact, I suspected the latter). (The handful of Menma’s “interactions” with people other than Jinta could be explained away one way or another, until now.) Part of what made the show so interesting was to see how everyone reacted to Jinta and how they were trying to come to terms with unhealed wounds through their interaction with him.
But now, we add in what could be considered irrefutable supernatural interference with the silent phone calls, the extra diary entry, and the diary moving on its own. Sort of a blaring beacon that screams LOOK, THE GHOST IS REAL!!! That moves the story away from one of self-discovery, self-healing and growth into supernatural salvation.
Although it certainly seemed that the story had reached a breaking point, they had all reached their ends without any resolution. Perhaps some sort of ghostly intervention was the only way past that point. But it feels more like a cop-out to me. I would be more interested if they could have found a way past the breaking point without resorting to playing the ghost card, and left the “Is Menma real?” question up in the air.
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources:
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “One question though: if Menma can actually call people, write in her diary, cook food, and isn’t a figment of Jinta’s imagination, why didn’t she just do these things earlier? It would have saved them both a lot of misunderstandings. It’s not really important though, and it probably did make the show more interesting by adding some extra questions to answer and allowing some suspicion and distrust between the characters.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “I really liked how they handled the ending. I’d rather have Menma do it mysteriously, rather than to see the pen floating in mid-air. I think that would have broke the intensity and to have them suddenly stumble on a new message, it makes it more intimate. I can see how people will cry foul for them to not address such an obvious plothole earlier in the story, but I’m sure this will be explained in time.” – Sekijitsu
- “I’m unsure about what tone the series has chosen for itself, but it seems to be leaning towards the “sad” or “unfortuante” but realistic slice of life anime, more along the lines of Honey and Clover. I feel like its seeming like this series is less and less about the growth of its teenage characters and them overcoming their hurdles and pain of losing a dear friend, and more about the actual concept of death and what it does to people.” – Anime Evo