Menma finally proves to everyone that she’s real and removes any doubts of Jinta’s sanity. She did this not just for the Super Peace Busters but for the viewers as well. This was another great episode, after a couple of ‘okay’ ones. The emotions run high and some minor characters are given the attention they deserve.
Here’s my take on why it took her so long to get to this point: Menma knew she was dead, but the longer she stayed with Jinta the more she became attached to him and the idea of somewhat living again. She also was afraid of reminding certain people of her, namely Anaru and her mother. She wanted Jinta to fulfill her wish but that wasn’t something she wanted whole heartedly I guess. So her taking this long, is pretty much forgivable given that there are plausible reasons for it. It is somewhat contradictory though, Jinta describes her as someone selfless, but the truth is that she was being selfish for letting Jinta’s friends doubt him even though she would’ve easily disproved that ages ago. But I’d rather not dwell in that, the thing is that she may have overcome that hurdle and is ready to move on.
This episode is where AnoHana’s real turning point is. I’d like to break down some things I’ve been pondering on.
Menma’s death has severely fractured the family, most noticeably her mother and younger brother. Her mother (who I assume is Russian, after seeing her name) continuously blames Jinta and his friends for Menma’s loss, unable to move on. Her younger brother is neglected, seeing as his parents have burdens of their own. He’s easily the one I feel most sorry for. I hope his character gets used more, he’s actually likable.
Anaru’s confession(?) and Jinta’s reaction was…a bit weak. I’m appalled Jinta would just walk off, I know he’s had a problem dealing with people after being a shut in and all. But to walk off like that? It was like the writers were suddenly faced with the reality that this would be a tricky subject to deal with so they decided to end the scene like that and with the lines “Jintan you’re an idiot, I’m such an idiot.” Really? How many times do I have to hear someone say lines similar to this in an anime?
Thankfully– Jinta and Menma’s scene was much better. After what looks like Jinta realizing that once he grants her wish, she’ll disappear– was easily what could’ve been the saddest moments given it’s subtlety (compared to the rest of the crying scenes here anyway. Everyone likes shouting here.) but still a victim of weak execution and poor animation. It’s not a bad looking scene, but just because you want to be subtle doesn’t mean you can slack off on it. Not bad, but could’ve been much, much better. Jinta and Menma are similar in the sense that he too, had to overcome the fact that if he did grant Menma’s wish then she would have to disappear in his life. This was the only scene I was genuinely teary-eyed in this episode.
Oh and…Poppo and Jinta’s father are easily the most optimistic characters in this show. Everyone should learn from them. Hurhur.
I think I only noticed this now but when Tsuruko is on the phone or shown studying, it’s seen that she’s been staying in two places. Sometimes she’s in a rather nice looking study room and in other times, she’s seen in what looks like a relatively smaller and dirtier apartment. My speculation is that her parents are divorced and one is more successful than the other. There’s a couple of scenes in the preview with her, so maybe there’ll be more development on her side soon.
This episode was great but flawed. I still thought some of the earlier episodes were much better in terms of direction, execution and animation. However, this is the one that showcased the varying emotions of characters aside from the main cast and exercised subtlety in some of them.