Anime Rewind: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

One of my resolutions this year is to watch some animes that have been on my “To Be Watched” pile. So in an effort to make this happen, I started watching Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, or AnoHana for short. An anime that came out in the spring of 2011. I haven’t finished the series yet, I just finished episode 7, but thought I would share my thoughts on what I’ve seen thus far.

Synopsis: Jinta Yadomi is peacefully living as a recluse, spending his days away from school and playing video games at home instead. One hot summer day, his childhood friend, Meiko “Menma” Honma, appears and pesters him to grant a forgotten wish. He pays her no mind, which annoys her, but he doesn’t really care. After all, Menma already died years ago.

At first, Jinta thinks that he is merely hallucinating due to the summer heat, but he is later on convinced that what he sees truly is the ghost of Menma. Jinta and his group of childhood friends grew apart after her untimely death, but they are drawn together once more as they try to lay Menma’s spirit to rest. Re-living their pain and guilt, will they be able to find the strength to help not only Menma move on—but themselves as well?

Many in the anime community love AnoHana and it has a fairly high score on MAL (8.61), so my expectations were quite high. There’s mystery in finding out what Menma’s wish was, friendship angst, since everyone went their separate ways and haven’t spoken to one another in years, and feels. Because a friend died and you know that this will bring the waterworks.

Right now I’m at episode seven and one thing I will say is that the animation for AnoHana is stunning. You can tell that A-1 pictures clearly put a lot of money into this project and it really shows. The expressions on the characters, the scenery, everything is well thought out and beautiful to look at. The voice acting is great as well. Even if some of the lines are a bit on the cheesy side, the voice actors make it their own and give life to these angsty characters.

But other than that, I’m not really feeling the show. Perhaps this will change once I watch the remaining episodes of the series, but so far…it’s just okay.

The story is okay.

The characters are…okay, though I do have to say that I quite like Naruko and Poppo. Naruko has shown the most growth, while Poppo seems to have been the only one who seems to have somewhat moved on with his life after Menma’s death.

anohana2

And I think that’s my main issue with the story so far. Menma died when she was young (like 5 or 6) and while death at any age can be traumatic, I find it sad that these kids couldn’t move past this event and go on with their lives. I mean, one of the characters decides to cross dress just to get over his grief…10 years later.

This is making me sound heartless…sorry, but I wonder why they couldn’t have done anything earlier or something. Then there’s the bit where the two guys, not named Poppo, seem to hold a candle for Memna…10 years later.

There’s a lot of angst and forced drama here too. It almost makes me wonder if I would have been okay with this had I not watched this after watching Nagi no Asukara.

Nagi no Asukara made me wary and tired of forced dramas. I’m the type of person who cries very easily. If the music is right, if the characters are doing their thing, and I’m in the right mood I’ll tear up along side the person who is crying. Nagi no Asukara, if you haven’t watched it, overplays the music and crying to a fault. By episode 8 you’re done with crying all the time and just want them to stop. But it doesn’t. Not for the entire 24 episode run that it had. After I finished that, I’ve gotten a bit colder when it comes to angsty drama. It’s a beautiful looking anime though.

Anyways, I’m fairly certain that I’m in the minority with my views of the AnoHana, since it is so highly praised and adored by everyone. But so far, I’m just finding the entire thing to be okay.

Maybe my views will change once I finish this series. Only time will tell.

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