Aside from being away, being real-life-busy, and – above all – being really, really lazy, I apologize for the lack of content and updating on the site, especially on my behalf. I’ve been a poor example to follow and I can’t possibly expect my team to pick up my slack, so I apologize to my boys too.
Now: Shall we get down to business?
Wrapping Up AnoHana
Since I can no longer differentiate what happened in which episode, you’ll have to excuse the vagueness in which I write. This was a really enjoyable show to follow: it had good characters and a pretty good pace. And the storyline unfolded in a way where I was actually excited for the next episode week after week. If I had to pick a favourite character, I couldn’t; they were all great in their own way and interacted with each other realistically – even Menma, the dead girl/manifestation of Jinta’s summer stress though not so much by the time summer was over and she was moving things around in the real world. I know that really bothered some people, but it didn’t so much as bother me as it didn’t make sense – actually, there were a lot of things about Menma that didn’t make sense especially when she stopped just interacting with Jinta. But I won’t dwell on that.
Boy there was a lot of crying in the last episode – which I was also okay with, haha. Let’s remember these kids are in high school; they’re at the peak of their emotional exploration, and they’re incredibly self-centred – as displayed by their individual confessions somewhere in the middle/end. It almost felt like they were each trying to be the most inconsiderate of all friends. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you before, where you’re apologizing for being bad or for doing something wrong, and then your friend apologizes and tries to take the blame, and then you go back and forth trying to be more apologetic; it kind of felt like that. Was it dramatic? Yes. Was it over dramatic? Probably. But it wasn’t unrealistic. We’re talking about a group of friends who lost one of their close knit members at a young age; each one feels responsible in one way or another.
I will admit that Poppo’s experience with Menma’s death was probably the most traumatic though, and it’s a shame they didn’t spend more time on his story, but I can understand why they didn’t: because romance sells so much better. Plus Poppo’s memory involving Menma is much more haunting and would probably have changed the tone. No, when it comes to selling the storyline, it’s much better to put up unrequited love on the poster.
Remember how Hanasaku started out really dramatic too, but kind of lost its edge? Well AnoHana somehow kept the drama going for
13 11 episodes (thanks Bass). Somehow it managed to make all its characters useful, even if they played a small role (like Jinta’s dad or Menma’s family; even Anaru’s mother). And every character was different – and necessary. Even Poppo, who was a bit of a limbo character for most of the series. (And as the only one who isn’t hopelessly in love with someone else, is still a bit of the odd one out; but thank goodness he wasn’t secretly in love with Menma!) The show did very well at achieving balance between the characters, because while Jinta and Menma were really the central protagonists, the other friends were equally strong and could carry the storyline and spotlight all on their own. Each character’s story and development was believable and not the least bit rushed – from Anaru’s road to self discovery and Yukiatsu’s unhealthy obsession with Menma to Tsuruko’s subtle words and actions.
But it always was about Jinta and Menma. And I have to say that I really enjoyed the progression of their love story. I think Jinta’s mother could have been left out of it though, but I guess it just further highlighted Menma’s innocence and reminded everyone that she didn’t get a chance to grow up like everyone else did; she died as a child, and therefore retained her childish behaviour and way of thinking as part of the essence of who she was. I think there was a moment where I was really hoping Jinta would get together with Anaru, but only because I felt like they needed to move on. I realize now the importance of Jinta being able to admit he loved Menma – and how important it was for Menma to say it as well, even if we suspected it all along.
With Menma gone and the Super Peace Busters moving on – with or without each other – I only have one question: Are Yukiatsu and Tsuruko an item!?
And as a final note on drama and believable characters… THIS was actually the most unbelievable moment to me (aside from Menma being a ghost and being able to talk to Jinta and touch things and stuff):
Although… I’m not really complaining about it either.