Get your tissue boxes ready kids.
I have been waiting in EXTREME ANTICIPATION for this episode because I really wanted to see the reaction that Yukiatsu would have over getting caught cross dressing and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. THANK YOU A-1 PICTURES!!!
So, after they all find Yukiatsu dressed up as Menma, Jinta walks down to talk to him, asking him if he’s alright. In response, Yukiatsu grabs him into a chokehold and starts yelling about how it was his own fault that Menma died and that, if anybody, Menma should have appeared in front of him. He’s crying at this point (OMG T_T) and Menma decides to talk to him through Jinta telling him that she is in front of him, “thanks for the hairclip” and that she’s sorry. This appears to shock Yukiatsu and he leaves. It is revealed that Tsuruko knew the whole time that Yukiatsu had been cross dressing as Menma.
He’s actually…dare I say…kind of pretty…
Back at home, Yukiatsu goes back to the day that Menma died. After Jinta left, Menma chased after him and Yukiatsu stopped her. He told her that she wasn’t ugly and gave her the aforementioned hair clip…and confessed that he loved her. She rejected him and kept running after Jinta. Oh my god. Poor Yukiatsu. Remembering this, he bursts into tears. At her place, Tsuruko tries on the same hairclip and it doesn’t go well with her glasses. Hmmm…
Meanwhile, Jinta goes off to buy food for Menma. As he shops he and Menma have parallel thoughts about how they had just accepted things as they were and did not give any thought to why she had appeared before him. After he brings the food back, Menma tells him one more time that she wants him to fulfill her wish. Jinta tells her that he’s busy and he’s doing all he can…even though half the time he’s playing video games or sleeping…
The next day at school, Anaru’s “friends” want her to hang out with them and mention that she’s been awfully cold to them lately and that they were thinking of quitting being friends. Uhm…what. Some friends you are! Tsuruko and Yukiatsu are in school as well and Tsuruko’s drawing a picture of what looks to be Yukiatsu dressed as Menma. Huh. Interesting…
I say ditch the bitch(es).
Yukiatsu and Tsuruko miss the train back home so they sit down and he notes how she’s been very normal about the whole cross dressing issue. They notice Anaru walk by with her friends carrying a change of clothes. Tsuruko notes that, like Yukiatsu, there are some things that people cannot bear without wearing different clothes.
It turns out that Anaru is at karaoke with her “friends.” One of the dudes decides to ditch, taking her along with him to a love hotel. She’s surprised and tries to get away but he won’t let her go. Things aren’t looking too good for Anaru and then a hero arrives! Yukiatsu comes around the corner and saves her. They get on the train together and discuss their feelings for Menma and Jinta. Yukiatsu concludes that they have been “left behind.”
Meanwhile, Poppo stops by Jinta’s house for dinner and to talk about Menma. He doesn’t think that it’s a good thing that she’s here and that maybe it’s because she can’t rest in peace. He asks Menma to appear in front of him too and this causes her to burst into tears as she cannot explain why she is here. Dear lord, this made me cry so hard. She must feel so helpless…
I can’t take it! *sobs uncontrollably*
End Thoughts: Wow. This was one hell of an episode. Then again, I wouldn’t expect any less of AnoHana. It’s quickly proving to be one of the best shows I’ve seen this season. It’s already been my favorite and all but plot wise; it’s definitely at the top of my list.
Clearly, the fact that Menma has appeared only in front of Jinta is fast becoming an issue. For one, the circumstances by which she appeared are kind of odd. I mean, I think that she appeared to bring them all together again and not forget about her, but it’s still probably very emotionally stressful for her to be seen and heard by only one of the people who are very important to her. Not only so, but also, I like that AnoHana takes the realistic approach to a dead childhood friend appearing before only one of the friends. Not every believes it and the ones who do are slightly concerned that it even happened and that she’s not appearing before them either. Their responses are all very realistic. I like that.
Also, Yukiatsu definitely grew on me this episode. First off, that display of emotion at the start of this episode was just absolutely heartbreaking. He really thought that it was his fault that she died. Props to Takahiro Sakurai for voicing that perfectly. And just, seeing him as a child with his adorable puppy love for Menma was SO CUTE. Not to mention he saved Anaru. He can still be a bit of a jerk but he’s growing and developing as a character.
It took me a little while to really understand what Yukiatsu meant by him and Anaru being “left behind.” It’s easier to get in terms of Menma in that she left them all behind with her death. With Jinta however, I think it’s because of how he became so emotionally withdrawn after Menma and him mother dying. I don’t know. I’m still pondering that one. Maybe I’m thinking too much into it? xD
Right now, I’m still most curious about Tsuruko and Poppo. We are seeing bits and pieces of how Tsuruko feels each episode but we still don’t know the full extent to which Menma’s death has affected her. Same with Poppo; I feel as though he’s hiding something. His happy go lucky façade cracked a bit there at the end of this episode. I guess we’ll find out soon!
Awww…I want a Menma hug!