(I misjudged the order of posting and so my first sentence won’t make much sense… I’m also far too lazy to change it, though it may have been about the same amount of effort it took to put in this opening disclaimer.)
If you’ve When you read Poro and my review of Hanasaku Iroha Seven, you’ll know that Poro’s granted my wish and given me AnoHana. …Wondering what my end of that deal was, are you?
Now this is a good show with fantastic characters, an intriguing story that holds a good pace, and does plot revelation right. Other than Poppo, every single one of the characters has developed some depth over the last five episodes. After discovering that Yukiatsu was cosplaying Menma as a means to cope with his grief over her death, it’s further revealed in Episode Five that he was in fact, in love with Menma when they were little, and that he too blamed himself for her death.
And so there were three. Jinta, Anaru, and Yukiatsu each feel responsible for Menma’s death each in their own respective and very credible ways. Had Anaru not put Jinta on the spot, he wouldn’t have run out, and Menma wouldn’t have run out after him. Had Yukiatsu not confessed to Menma when he did, she might not have been in a more confused state of mind. Had Jinta not run, Menma would have never left the clubhouse, chasing after him. I don’t think Tsuruko will be shown to share this burden, but she’s got her own issues to deal with, being in love with Yukiatsu. (As a side note, the music they used during the whole Yukiatsu revelation and flashback scene with the hair clip was perfection.)
I might be overanalyzing the story here, but I just thought it was so ironic that Tsuruko has kept this hair clip that was intended for Menma for ten years – and is shown putting it on (which I imagine she does from time to time) – because she had so memorably accused Anaru of being “easily influenced”, and yet dons something “Menma” on herself. She even removes her glasses to see if it looks better without them. When she casually comments that she can’t see, it felt implicative of her inability to see or realize that she too was doing things that mimicked Menma because of the boy she was in love with.
In a story where wishes are central – wishing you hadn’t or wishing you had – love seems to be the common factor.
As the five remaining friends find themselves drawn back together, it’s interesting to see how they interact, carrying old preconceptions of who they were while pushing forward who they think they are and claim to be at present. One more notably vulnerable character is Anaru and after what happened to her after leaving the karaoke place, her character is only going to change more drastically, moving away from her “popular” friends at school and finding herself drawn back to her friends of old. Her exchange with Yukiatsu was also interesting as they really are the most attractive characters in the show. Logically, it would make “aesthetic sense” for them to date: she’s popular and gorgeous, and he’s hot and intelligent. But love doesn’t work that way, and again, Yukiatsu finds yet another woman infatuated with (in his eyes) the unworthy Jinta.
With great tact and timing, we’re brought back to the original purpose of the story: Why is Menma there? But now she’s not just vaguely saying that she has a wish to be granted, she confronts Jinta – the only one out of their entire group of friends who can see and interact with Menma despite her sincere desire to speak with all of them – and specifically asks him to grant her wish. And speaking of wishes, you realize that Menma isn’t the only one who’s been carrying around the burden of an unfulfilled wish: Everyone (with the exception of Poppo so far) has an outstanding wish.