The spring season’s anime offerings were promising, but none as promising as AnoHana. The first episode was possibly one of the strongest ones I’ve seen in a while and the premise itself was simple but fascinating. A young girl named Menma passes away due to an unfortunate accident. Ten years later, she appeears in front of her childhood friend Jinta as an older version of herself. It seems she wants him to grant her wish but she doesn’t exactly remember what it is.
Even before the show aired, the promotional art and teasers pulled me in. I just knew it had to be good, and I was right. By the time it started airing, AnoHana rose to expectations. The story and the characters have a universal appeal. It’s easy to relate to and the characters themselves represent personalities that many of us are familiar with, almost as if they’ve been lifted directly from the pages of your teenage life.
The show did well enough to portray these characters and the emotions they go through. The vivid animation adds a lot to the drama, it really pays off when a heavily dramatic scene comes up.
I have one major qualm about it though. The second half isn’t as powerful as the first half. Most of the build up doesn’t quite pay off and many of the side characters are later ignored in favor of developing Menma and Jinta’s relationship. It’s just a shame that AnoHana slowly stepped away from the chance of challenging it’s viewers and opted to dawdle on a painfully awkward romance. I enjoy romance but neither Jinta or Menma are as engaging as the rest of the cast. Jinta stops giving a damn about his friends and his descent from leader to a social recluse isn’t expounded on. Menma on the other hand, has the mentality of a seven year old girl and her personality stays that way right up until the very end. She does grow, but the changes are so minimal you can hardly appreciate it.
Another thing that bothers me about the second half is the heavy handed execution. The show lost it’s subtlety and that inevitably led to some forced drama. I won’t deny that this is probably just a personal preference but this really made me enjoy AnoHana less. I don’t need to be persistently hammered by sad moments.
That doesn’t stop me from recommending it though. I know I already said this in my last post, but AnoHana can appeal to a wide range of people and there are a lot of genuinely heart wrenching and touching moments that can keep you hooked.
Overall score: 7.83/10
To the people who watched AnoHana 11 with earphones on, how are you?
I’m going to be harsh on AnoHana not because I hate it, but because I like it. I expected a lot from it, and it has delivered more than once. People who read Hachimitsu should know that. I showered this with praises, especially during the first half.
But, things were already fumbling a bit from episode 6 onwards. And by the 9th episode, it was clear that the creators were running out of steam, discarding and overlooking a lot of points they built up. Why did this happen? I have no idea. Despite that though, everyone seems to love the ending and this is why I must sit in front of my computer and write this commentary. To me, watching anime and blogging about it is an exercise of observation and a chance to come up with sensible criticism.
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.
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 wasn’t as intense as last episode, which made it feel like the transition was abrupt. But that’s probably me just nitpicking. This was still a good episode and for once, I kind of forgot about all the romantic angles and focused on the friendship between these characters. Most of the time, it felt like while the anime is supposed to be about these friends– it appeared more like a story about young and unrequited love. Continue reading
People will always have their good sides and their bad sides. As much as possible we try to show our best side, that way we protect ourselves. But what happens when you totally expose your weakest side? Does it completely break you? Does the earth split open and swallow you?
It’s just that your life moves on from one thing and the other, and somehow it doesn’t quite follow your expectations but everything turns out better than you thought.
AnoHana is realistic in it’s portrayal of these characters. All of whom try to compose themselves despite the fact that they’re all frayed at the edges. Continue reading
Does this mean we have four traps this season? (cue the awkward silence)