This is a story about childhood friends, new beginnings, wishes and…puberty.
I saw the PV for AnoHana a while back and it just seemed so…so…bittersweet! It’s about childhood friends who have grown apart and how they eventually all get back together. It definitely grabbed my attention right away. And yes, I cried during this one. T_T
So we begin with our titular main character, Jinta, who by the looks of it is a bit of a social recluse, as he plays video games and listens to passerby outside his house. Cue the appearance of a girl who Jinta is seemingly surprised to see. He then stalks off to make him and his dad dinner, ignoring her pleas for food. After Jinta and his dad sit down for food she indignantly sits on his lap to eat his food and, with a pervy blush, he proceeds to pass out. Hehehe. We’ll just blame that one on the heat, hmm?
Cut to a childhood flashback. It’s Jinta and his friends and they’re happy and playing with beetles like all happy little children do. The girl is revealed to be Menma, his childhood friend. At the end of the flashback she tells him that she has a wish. Why do I feel like this is pivotal to the plot? Oh. Cuz it is.
Jinta then wakes up to find Menma sprawled on top of him and muses about how she is a manifestation of his trauma and pubescent sexual urges. Good stuff. He asks her why she’s here and she replies that she wants to fulfill her wish…that she does not remember. The only thing she knows is that it can only be fulfilled while everybody is together.
Hehehe…Puberty is wonderful, isn’t it?
Then the doorbell rings and it’s Anaru (remember the cute one with the glasses in the flashback?) with homework for Jinta. She can’t see Menma and it’s apparent here that Menma is a ghost. The exchange between Anaru and Jinta isn’t too pleasant which upsets Menma who wants everybody to fulfill her wish. Jinta decides to show her that it’s not possible and that everybody has changed.
Thus Jinta and Menma go on a walk together. They reach a train track where Menma plays around and then slips and falls, triggering Jinta’s memory of her death. Jinta freaks out and rushes to save her…landing on his face at her feet. And this is where childhood friends Tsuruko and Yukiatsu find him. Convenient, huh? Menma, of course, is delighted to see them but it doesn’t last long as Yukiatsu becomes less-than-pleasant at the mention of her name.
Jinta runs away with Menma on his heels, while Tsuroku gets on Yukiatsu for his behavior. That’s right. You tell him gurl!
We get another flashback where Anaru asks Jinta if he likes Menma (do I detect jealousy?). Of course, as per standard elementary school boy protocol, he replies with something along the lines of: “EW. NO SHE’S UGLY.” Menma’s little smile in response was absolutely heartbreaking. Awwwww…why are we all so dumb when we’re little? Little Jinta runs home, intending to apologize the next day. But that “next day” never comes as Menma dies. Yes, I cried here. Back to the present. After leaving a distressed Jinta, Menma visits her house where she finds her family pretty much torn apart. It’s that subtle sort of torn apart where things seem fine on the surface but they’re really not. *sniffles* The tears won’t stop…
Aaaaand back to Jinta who thinks about Menma and how maybe she’s appeared in front of him again so he can get that “tomorrow” that he never got as a child because of her death. He can finally apologize. He runs up to their old hang out where he finds the light on. He busts in expecting to find Menma but instead he finds…porn and the last childhood friend, endearingly nicknamed Poppo.
Porn…Classy. I like Poppo already.
Episode two starts off with Jintan and Menma in a sort of dream land meadow. And I could have sworn she was going to kiss him but she’s just talking about her wish. Darn. Back to reality and Jintan has just told Poppo about how he can see Menma. Not surprisingly, Poppo wholeheartedly believes him. While Anaru and her friends who are sitting at McDonalds, chilling and talking about Jintan. They’re loud and giggly and this disturbs the person sitting next to them – Tsuruko!
Tsuruko leaves her notebook behind so Anaru runs after her to return it to her. They end up in a fight which Menma ineffectively tries to break up. Now we go back to when Jinta called Menma ugly, but through Anaru’s perspective. Seeing as she was the one who started it, she obviously feels guilty.
Back to Jinta; he’s at a gaming store trying to buy a Nokémon game. He and Poppo knew that Menma always wanted to win the game and think that it might be her wish. It’s really sweet how they remember the things that she used to love. And what do you know? Anaru works at the gaming store! She’s of course confused as to why he wants an old game like that. Jinta goes home and plays the game until he falls asleep which is how Menma finds him.
On the other hand, Yukiatsu runs into Poppo during his morning jog, who mentions Jinta being able to see Menma. Yukiatsu doesn’t seem too pleased. Psh. When is he ever? Jinta wakes up, happy to find that Menma is back. To his shock, Menma is clad only in a towel. Remember those pubescent sexual urges? Oh Menma, you’re such a tease!
The doorbell rings and it’s Poppo who stops by for lunch. They discuss the Nokémon game. Meanwhile, Anaru is thinking back to how she was jealous of Menma as a child. She’s watering the garden for her mom when Poppo and Jinta arrive to play Nokémon!
Clearly, Jinta, Anaru and Poppo are not the only ones still missing Menma. Yukiatsu does too…seeing as he’s sniffing what appears to be Menma’s clothes…Er…Huh?
Anaru and Jinta end up winning the Poké…er…Nokémon game and Anaru asks that in exchange for her helping, Jinta should come back to school. Turns out that the game wasn’t quite Menma’s wish, but we end on a happy note as she and Jinta walk home together.
What better way to start of Episode three than with Poppo peeing? Ah…I love this show. After he finishes his business, he looks over and spots somebody walking through the forest. Could it be…Menma?!!??!
This is exactly what my face looks like when I finally get to pee after holding it in for forever. I know I’m not the only one.
It’s morning and Jinta’s dad asks him if he’s going to school. Like any rational teenager, Jinta says no, but Menma pulls the wish card and he heads off. He arrives at school and meets Anaru who is surprised to see him. Her friends come up and make fun of him teasing Anaru about how they’re in love. She denies it and looks over at Jinta who seems upset. He decides to skip school after all. Smart kid. Who needs school? xD
Meanwhile, at home, Menma grows bored and decides to explore Jinta’s house. She comes across the shrine for his mother and we learn that Jinta’s mom has passed away as well. Jinta, who can’t return home lest he face Menma’s wrath, decides to go visit Poppo and finds him chanting and calling for aliens. I suddenly find myself really missing Erika and Walker from Durarara!!
“VENTURA! VENTURA! SPAAACCEEE PEOPLE!!!”
It turns out that Poppo has seen Menma as well! Jinta is rather shocked and returns home to find that Menma has made a mess of the kitchen. She’s made muffins which were the same ones that Jinta’s mother used to make for the Super Peace Busters. His mom fell ill and Jinta, as a child, got upset with her. I guess he didn’t really understand what was happening or how to deal with it.
Jinta and Menma eat the muffins together and discuss the ghost that Poppo supposedly saw. Meanwhile, Yukiatsu and Tsuruko are shopping together. Eh. More like Yukiatsu’s shopping and Tsuruko just got dragged along. He seems to be up to something…
Poppo drops by and invites Jinta to barbecue dedicated to finding Menma’s ghost. Menma of course is excited and pulls her “wish” card once again. On the way to the barbecue they run across Anaru. Jinta’s still not happy with what had happened at school that morning and doesn’t want to see her. They arrive at the fort and it turns out that Jinta’s the only one who brought barbecue food. Poppo brought an Indian sweet rice dish pronounced as “Kheer”, Tsuruko brought candles to summon Menma and Anaru brought fireworks. Hehe, they sure are cute.
Tsuruko goes down to light the candles and Anaru tags along. The barbecue gets into swing and they all agree to search for Menma’s ghost. Poppo declares the Super Peace Busters back in action. Hearing this, Menma begins to cry. Awww. She’s so adorable.
And finally Yukiatsu arrives…with the news that Jinta’s not the only one who can see Menma!
Looks like we’re going to find out more about Yukiatsu next episode! *is excited*
Yah, so I definitely like this show. A lot. In fact, I am entirely willing to profess my love for it to the entire world. May I first say how much I LOVE the animation/art? I LOVE IT. It’s so gorgeous! Like, it’s the first scene and all we see is his computer and I’m just like *drools*. Good art is good. The presentation of AnoHana actually reminds me of Toradora which is no surprise seeing as Tatsuyuki Nagai directed both shows.
I did say that this was going to be a tear jerker, didn’t I? And I was right seeing as I cried several times. I definitely liked the emotional depth of the show and the humor; it’s like the perfect mix of both. It was relatively realistic too; all those teenage emotions are definitely easy to relate to. The characters were very well done and dynamic – there’s more to them than what appears on the surface. The relations between all the characters are becoming clearer as the show goes on too. Anaru definitely has some sort of feelings for Jinta and I suppose the same could be said for Yukiatsu towards Menma. I’m pretty curious about Tsuruko though. She’s way too chill. And I LOOOOVE Poppo! That kid is just too funny and a total sweetheart at that. I can’t wait to discover more sides to all these guys!
In terms of Menma’s wish, it seems like she just wants everybody to be friends again. By doing all these little things like making Jinta go to school and playing the Nokémon game she’s pushing all of them together again.I’d definitely say that the action is progressing at a pretty decent rate. It’s only the third episode and they’re already having a barbecue! Yukiatsu is most definitely up to something though. Like, for sure. I kind of have a crazy theory that involves crossdressing but I’m not sure…
Aaahhh!!! There are only 8 episodes left! Why are all the good shows too short?
And now, a little about yours truly! I’m zabobinator, one of the newest additions to the Meta Team. Formerly a lurker, I decided to wing it and apply and here I am! Needless to say I’m super excited. I’ll starting off with reviews of AnoHana and Hidan no Aria, which I hope you all enjoy. I’m an avid reader and watcher of manga and anime and I love it all so so so so much. I’m a bit of a dork but I like to think that it makes me rather endearing. Nice to meet you! xD