I’m finally done AnoHana and my feelings didn’t really change much after watching the final four episodes. While I do think that episode 11 was the strongest one in the series, I just couldn’t find myself getting into it as much as I wanted to.
Overall, I’d probably give this a 6.5 out of 10.
The art is fantastic, the voice actors sold their character and really brought a lot of emotion in to their roles and I also quite like the cinematography here too. And even though I don’t really care for the story, I do find it okay. It’s just a bit shallow at the same time.
Expect spoilers after the jump
A lot of that has is probably my fault. I came into Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai expecting a bittersweet story about friendship and loss, but it ended up being a romance with a love hexagon. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s definitely not what I was expecting considering the nature of this show.
In the final episode, the Jin, Naruko, Tsurumi, Yukiatsu and Poppo come together to find out why their firework didn’t send Menma to Nirvana. Jin believes it’s because he didn’t want to lose Menma again, since he loves her. Naruko believes that it’s her fault, because she wanted Menma gone so she could have a shot at Jin. Yukiatsu believes it’s his fault, because he wanted to see Menma and is jealous of the relationship she has with Jin. Tsurumi believes it’s her fault, because she loves Yukiatsu, but he loves Menma and wants to use Naruko as a rebound instead of her.
It’s all about romance that, might I remind everyone, started when they were five or six. Menma has been gone for ten years and none of them have moved on and their romantic feelings for one another remains strong even though they no longer hang out with one another. (Save Yukiatsu and Tsurumi)
I don’t even remember who I had a crush on when I was five. (I do, but it was a certain teenage mutant ninja turtle and that would be pretty embarrassing to share), but the fact that all of them have romantic unresolved issues even after ten years seems kind of illogical to me.
The worst part is that after everyone shares why they believe Menma didn’t go to Nirvana, Poppo drops a bombshell that he actually witnessed Menma’s death and has been traumatized since.
Poppo is seriously the best character. That was the only time when I actually felt something for the characters here. (Well, I did feel a bit when Menma disappeared too. I’m not that heartless it seems.) Sure it’s a cliché that the happy go lucky character has a deep pain and sorrow to them, but it makes perfect sense and it works here.
The only problem that I have with it is that after hearing it, everyone else’s reasons felt shallow and weak compared to it.
I don’t think Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai is the worst thing out there, nor do I necessarily feel like it’s a bad anime. I just feel like it’s a bit heavy handed with its forced drama. It almost seems like the director wanted to make people cry without providing a lot of depth to the story or the characters.
Plus, despite Menma looking like a teenage she still acted and felt like a five year old. I did like her though and her disappearing was nicely done (even though it still veered into the forced territory).