In Asian culture, ghosts are just that– ghosts. Jinta described Menma as the beast of summer, a embodiment of his stress. That isn’t the case though. This episode has cemented the fact that Menma is a ghost and not some psychological side effect of Jinta’s past trauma. She has a physical influence over inanimate objects that much is obvious, but the creators gloss over this fact unless they can use it to their convenience. In short, these guys are like this: FUCK LOGIC.
This is where I realize that while the show is enjoyable, emotional and has a great set of characters, I have to pay attention to more than just that. So I’ll try to do just that.
This episode was more of a build up for the next episodes. But as Menma’s mother said, they’re just messing around in this one. I don’t understand how Poppo, Jinta and Anaru just skimmed over the diary and didn’t read the whole thing. If you went to all the trouble of asking her mother for the diary, the least you could do was finish reading it first right? So why were they so quick to jump into the conclusion that Menma would still want to make fireworks so they could send a letter to God for Jinta’s mom? That kind of defeats the purpose of a letter to God if said mom is dead.
It’s almost weird Yukiatsu and Tsuruko (Because let’s face it, they’re the smarter ones) went along with this– until you realize Yukiatsu decided not to tell Jinta that the meeting they had that day was planned by Menma, and was meant to be a secret to Jinta. I suppose that he wanted Jinta to figure it out by himself. He’s really grown up in the last few episodes. He and Jinta are the ones who’ve developed the most if you ask me.
Things between Jinta and Anaru have been changing. The way things are going, my take is that Jinta will eventually move on once Menma’s wish is granted and she crosses over to Nirvana. Then, we’ll have the perfect set-up for Jinta to move on and this time, with Anaru. That’s just speculation though.
Unto Anaru, who still isn’t attending school. Jinta warns her about skipping, and his words are true. I believe I mentioned that I was in a similar situation to Jinta before. I kind of turned into a recluse. The reason skipping school is so dangerous is that you get used to it, and it’s easier if you’re someone who doesn’t stand out. People tend to forget all about you, and no one’s going to bother about checking up on you. That is, until you go back and people stare down on you. Enough about that though, it’s unfortunate that Anaru can’t stand up for herself. She’s only truly outgoing around Jinta and the rest of the gang. I hope this issue regarding her isn’t swept under the rug and actually given a proper closure. Considering that this is the 7th episode, we’re near the conclusion but there’s still some time left to tie loose ends.
Then there’s Tsuruko, who wears the flower hair clip Yukiatsu was supposed to give Menma. Her appearance here was brief, but her conversation with Yukiatsu was telling. They talk about Jinta who decides to look for part time jobs so he can afford making fireworks. Tsuruko decides to skip it if Yukiatsu isn’t participating. The conversation then shifts to Yukiatsu inviting her out for tea. Tsuruko declines because she has exams coming up. It turns out Yukiatsu and Tsuruko are ranked 2nd and 4th in their year respectively, in an elite school nonetheless. That’s hella high. These two are ridiculously smart and have different priorities compared to the three.
The call ends and Tsuruko comments that hanging out with Yukiatsu has its problems. After all, Yukiatsu is stubborn. And while he’s likable as a character, I can imagine what a pain in the ass he can be. Tsuruko removes the hair pin and uses a scrunchy to tie her hair back. I’d like to interpret it was her setting aside the thought of emulating Menma and returning to who she really is. I liked that this was included, no matter how brief it was.
Finally, Menma and Jinta. Because this show doesn’t care enough for Poppo a.k.a the least developed character so far. Jinta taking on part time jobs reminded me of that Oh My Goddess OVA where Keiichi works himself to death to get Belldandy a ring. But that’s not the point. One of the best compliments you can give a guy is that he looks cool. In the perspective of of a child-like Menma, that’s almost a love confession. So that’s where we are, Menma and Jinta love each other. The two are described as selfless people, who can only think of other people even when they’re in trouble or pain, so what’s better than having two selfless people love each other? Is is what they call pure love? This love is probably what’s going to unlock what Menma’s wish truly is.
I’ve already stated that AnoHana’s premise isn’t new. It’s fairly easy to digest, I’ve even went on to compare it with Jdrama classics like Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu and Sekai Chuushin De Ai wo Sakebu both of which are simple and straightforward. These three all revolve around a central theme: Death and how the people left behind have to cope with it. AnoHana and Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu have more in common though, as the deceased lead girl returns and gives the main character a second chance to make amends. Unlike the two dramas I mentioned though, AnoHana doesn’t have the same delicate kind of storytelling, nor is it subtle. And while the show is pretty– it lacks the atmosphere. This show is good enough to overcome that though.It’s very good at conveying and portraying emotion and in a drama that’s pretty much what you need the most. That and a satisfying conclusion, but that’s a very vague criteria.