125th G-View: AnoHana

Before I begin, an update on my main dood Chocokara. I’m happy to report that the operation was successful and that he’s slowly recovering. I wish him a speedy post-operation recovery and look forward to hearing him report being back to his old self in no time. Welcome back my friend.

And now, on with the show.

Hello and welcome to the G-Views, where creativity is respected and Dokuro-chan is rejected…Where do I even begin with this one…I don’t have an intro for this review so let’s get right to it. this is “Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai”, or simply AnoHana. Phew, try saying that five times fast.

English Translation: “We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day”

Genres: comedy, drama, romance, supernatural

Themes: coming of age, ghosts, love and loss, love triangle

Number of episodes: 12

G-Rating: N/A

Plot Summary: Five childhood friends grow apart after the death of Meiko Honma, close playmate of them all. Jinta Yadomi, leader of the group when they were kids, neglects high school and lives as a shut-in when he unexpectedly starts seeing the ghost of Meiko, who can only interact with him and no one else. She has returned to ask Jinta to fulfill the forgotten wish she made as a kid.

After finishing this anime I’m reminded of two other things with a similar premise: The movie “Ghost” starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, and the manga Honey Crush (Both enjoyable for what they are).

I can’t empathize with these up and coming youth but I can somewhat feel for them. I’m one of the few whose had a pretty straightforward life. Friends have come and gone, so many times that I’ve stopped making best friends and just consider people I frequently speak to colleagues. The few best friends I still have are either studying abroad like myself or working full time. Basically I can’t say much on this subject personally but I’ll still give it my all regardless.

The show’s premise centers around the following emotions just to name a few: Guilt, remorse, trauma, spite, confusion, fear, envy and jealousy. This is a tale of a past event that has left many people in an inner circle full of the aforementioned emotions ruling over their lives. It is a tale of coming to terms with not only your past but both your outer and inner self. I mentioned in my previous review of KnJ that a very serious past event can affect or even traumatize a person for a very long time unless they somehow get a grip on themselves, face their fears, doubts and sins head on, plus accept their true feelings and patching up broken bonds from long ago. Heck even parents aren’t left out of the moody express (obviously).

To make the plot even simpler for myself I compared it to a story about getting a band back together, prior to going their separate ways to either succeed or taste a downward spiral. You have a band leader who’s coaxed into getting the old gang together for “one more concert” at the Carnegie Hall for old times sake just to prove that even though times have changed (and so have they), no matter what old scars continue to hurt them, no matter how hard it is to get back the boom shakalaka smackadelic boogeylicious beat they’re known for back then, the band can still swing doods.

Now then with this show being a drama and all expect tear jerking moments. How effective they are depends on the viewer. Personally I shed more tears watching Homura Akemi’s valiant quest to save her beloved from destruction but that’s just me, HOWEVER, I will admit I was hit hard during the last remaining episodes so make sure to have a box of tissues nearby in case you’re sensitive.

Amount of drama: For a show like this, it’s just right. It isn’t as over the top and ridiculous as Yumekui Merry’s and it’s believable. Is it realistic?…that depends on the viewer but I think so.

Ecchiness: Anaru wearing casual clothing. That’s it, thankfully. All a person who enjoys staring at feminine beauty is to stare at Anaru wearing a black tanktop and short while lying on her bed.

Animation: You ‘re, kidding right? The animation is pure win. I have no qualms with it because the setting’s beautiful and I’m a sucker for countryside locales. As for the wway the characters are drawn and their sense of fashion, hey I’m no Yi-san(Listlessink) but even I can tell that everyone’s style of clothing fits their personalities perfectly, even more so than Victorique’s epic Gothic garments.

The Music: Many animeniacs MUST have heard and enjoyed the OP and ED songs (Aoi Shiori and Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~ (10 Years After) respectively) Also, the show’s a drama at heart with some minor funny moments here and there so naturally the music will be soft toned and somber during tear jerking moments.

I love this part.

Characters: Hoo boy, discussing these guys would be spoiling too much so I’ll keep this short and disguise it as a ranting session rather than an lair peeling segment.

Each character is part of a group they formed called the Super Peace Busters, each with their own nickname which they stopped using over time but slowly addressed each other with once again after reuniting.

Jinta “Jintan” Yadomi: Hikikkomori who’s coaxed to get his groove back. I don’t have much to say about this guy. He’s okay. I’ll give the writers credit for one thing, his face just screams depression whenever you look at him. So yeah, whenever I looked at his face I became depressed. Good job writers for making him not only act but look the part as well.

Meiko “Menma” Honma: Ghost Girl. Alright, I want to ask one simple question: Can anybody explain to me what the big deal is with this girl? I mean, choosing her over the following two shaggarific home girls? Really? REALLY?! You’ve got to be kidding me! But for the sake of plot convenience, I went with it but it did bother throughout the entire show. Yes she’s cheerful, spunky, energetic, somewhat adorable and selfless but I would treat her more like an imouto than a love interest.

Naruko “Anaru” Anjō: “Swan” type character with low self confidence and kind of a groupie. Yeah I’ll jump on the bandwagon and say that this is my fav lass. I guess I’m fascinated by ducklings that evolve into swans.

Chiriko “Tsuruko” Tsurumi: Megane behind a mask. The most level headed character whom most sadists eagerly await the moment she snaps (Which she does). Now I know I said I have a megane babe fan and I AM…because little miss swan up there STILL uses glasses after evolving so she counts. Anyway, she’s the level headed member of the group, which makes her appear as a haughty, pompous and superior to her classmates when really she isn’t. Ah well, she’s there for the viewers who like her.

Atsumu “Yukiatsu” Matsuyuki: One word…issues. Pretty boy who’s Latino Heat on the outside but Mr. 2nd place on the inside. Too bad he doesn’t pick up chicks by calling them “mamacita”. That would have rocked.

Tetsudō “Poppo” Hisakawa: Energetic shrimp that evolves into Mark Henry. Somewhat the voice of reason on the show but I’m not sure how well he does his job.

Like I said above, I gave very vague descriptions of the characters in order to avoid spoilers.

In conclusion: I’ll say this about the show due my inability to rate it: It must be seen at least once, except by people with hearts of coal. It doesn’t matter if you’re a “usual crowd” or “geezer” type anime watcher, it doesn’t matter if you focus on graphics (in this case the art style), it doesn’t matter how much you have to rant about, just give it a try and see how it goes.

P.S.: A self high five for noticing an epic anime poster in the shop Anaru works part time at. Mega easy hint: “Someone ONE ONE!” Now then, on to the next show. Will it be another one of my favs? Hint:…NO!

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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26 Responses to 125th G-View: AnoHana

  1. abscissa says:

    My favourite character is Tsuruko and I’m one of those sadists who want to see her snap. Even though it’s kind of late, she didn’t’ disappoint me because I liked how she broke down. My other favourite is Yukiatsu. Despite being a cross-dresser and a somewhat psycho nerd, I still see him as “papacito,” plus he’s not really a bad guy at all.

    Anyway, I truly enjoyed this anime. Although it’s full of jealousy and angst, it didn’t disappoint me to be entertained. Aside from that, at the end I feel like there’s actually no lead characters since all of them sparkled in their own ways.

    Like

    • abscissa says:

      Btw, regards to your dude Chocokara, I’m glad that he’s getting better.

      Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Good point about there not being an actual “main” character and all 6 members of the squad having roles of equal importance. IMO, Tsuruko and Yukiatsu were okay, just a bit too high strung and stuck up for my tastes but that doesn’t mean I disliked them. Everyone in the cast was awesome to watch…even though I still don’t get why they’d pick Menma over Anaru and Tsuruko. I’m talking about a realistic standpoint and not because it’s in the script.

      Yup, Chocokara is slowly regaining his strength so he’ll be back in top form soon enough. Thanks for your support milady.

      Like

  2. tomphile says:

    I never even knew most of the character’s real names, I always thought their nicknames were the real ones. 0____o;;

    Anyways, this was a long time coming for a review, but that’s fine. Loved it, would recommend it, but wouldn’t put it on my all time list.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      I was late for the party with this one, same goes for [C] and Deadman Wonderland (Which I’ll review later next week). In any case, this was a very interesting watch and it’s good that you saw it at least once. I may not watch it a 2nd time anytime soon but I might watch it again in the future.

      Like

  3. feal87 says:

    The main problem with this is that the drama is most of the time over-exagerated, but its a nice series anyway…:P

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Compared to Yumekui Merry’s, the somewhat extreme drama near the end fits quite well with this show. This IS a drama anime first and foremost so it shouldn’t be shocking that they would ham it up.

      Like

  4. Ryo_kun says:

    Ano Hana revolves around the characters and they’re very lovable, no complain on that one. IMO the drama was effective at first but gradually wear off as the series goes by. Though it still managed to tear me up a little. What made me feel touching was their strong friendship between each other. Even after so long, they still cared for Menma’s death.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Like I answered to my broski above, the drama was a little too much but it didn’t feel Disney-esque like in yumekui Merry. The drama here felt more Telenovela like so it definitely geared toward a more adult audience.

      In a way, Menma’s memory is what tore them apart AND ironically what brought them back together…if that makes sense.

      Like

      • Ryo_kun says:

        Lol sure it makes sense. I think if Menma didn’t prove that she exists as a ghost and was always with Junta all long I believe they’d have just ignored Jinta and move on with their lives. They won’t even bother dedicating their time for the part time jobs and fireworks and all. So yeah, you’re right then in the end they were all brought back together as friends again thanks to Menma.

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Exactly. Overall a great show with tons of cool stuff happenin’ around each corner. It’s funny how influential a nearly traumatic past event can be to someone many years later.

      Like

  5. Cuatro says:

    and here actually i thought that you would never watch this..

    Like

  6. Leap250 says:

    Yeah, I can probably see the drama being realistic. I mean, the main characters had their own ways of coping with what happened, and some people really do that.

    My fave character would probably be Tsuruko. Count me in the sadist group ’cause a while back, when the series was still on-going, I would be like “Okay, Anaru broke down, it’s Tsuruko’s turn now right? Right!?”

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Understandable that some would also be Tsuruko fans. I wasn’t exactly THAT fond of her but I was one of those sadists as well. Besides, Anaru’s charm was too strong for me to deny her.

      Like

  7. coeli says:

    I’ve been wondering if this is worth watching since my friends keep raving about it. When I ask what makes it good, all they tell me is, “just watch and you’ll see” — which doesn’t really give me the urge to do so lol.

    Reading your review however, I think I just might try to find time to watch 🙂

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      My style of reviewing is to say as much as I can, without spoiling too much. The fact that my review got you interested in watching this show puts a smile on my face. Thanks for stopping by and heed your friends’ advice, the anime is definitely worth ONE viewing.

      Like

  8. glothelegend says:

    “…make sure to have a box of tissues nearby in case you’re sensitive.”

    Fuck that I’m not sensitive.
    Anaru with glasses is hot as hell.

    Like

  9. Yi says:

    I feel like I should watch this because of all the praises it gets, and I’m a sucker for tear jerkers. (Also, I loved Ghost!)

    Anyway, can’t comment too much about Ano Hana, but great review.

    Now for something tangentials, I think it’s pretty natural to not have a best friend per se, but rather, groups of colleagues or friends, some closer than others. I don’t think I have a best friend now either, although I do have people I see more often than others. The concept of friends is a loose thing.

    Like

  10. I’ve not nothing to argue with you on your review of Ano Hana. My own review, while much shorter, goes pretty much the same way. However, while everyone else seems to like Tsuruko, I’m a sucker for ghost girls, so Menma was my heartthrob. =P

    I was a little suspicious about the Working!! reference you talked about at Anaru’s job, so I did a little digging and sure enough Working!! is there. But it’s not the only anime that makes a cameo in Ano Hana. You can also see a lot of posters for Hourou Musuko as well as a few other titles I was unable to identify (I swear I think I see a Persona 3 Aigis poster, but probably not). The cameos start during episode 7 at about the 13:25 mark if anyone else wants to check it out. If someone can identify the other titles in the posters that would be cool and please leave a reply.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      The Working!! was the only one I noticed. I’m pretty sure there were others as well. Some anime like to promote other anime in them just like live action movies promote other products.

      A Menma fan eh? She’s cool and all but I don’t get her sex appeal at all. Still, everyone has their favorite.

      Like

  11. Rei says:

    The anime was good, but they ran out of ideas or something in the end. It started from the day there are going to do the firework thingy. That is the only con in this anime, for me. I mostly enjoy watching this show, I like the songs, I like the characters. This anime is No.2 in my top 2011 anime list.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      I dunno what else they could do with the show in the 2nd half. I do agree with you this show being awesome. Good stuff and I still can’t get enough of Anaru’s sexiness.

      Like

  12. Pingback: YMC #29: Honey Crush | The G-Empire

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