Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai.–First Impression
Title: Ano Hana
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.
Story reminds me a lot of Kanon with Menma’s death and her showing up to Jinta and he’s the only one who sees her ghost which he calls his stress. The setting of the story is really sad since we saw that because of Menma’s death the once united ‘Peace busters’ have now drifted apart. On the current time, Jinta has been asked by Menma’s spirit to grant her wish though she doesn’t know what her wish is you will get a feeling that she tries to get her friends back again together just like before. It is really hard since the they are now grown up and that everything has changed, their personalities, their friends and beliefs. For Jinta to grant Menma’s wish, he has to become the shell of a boy he once was, energetic and has good leadership qualities unlike the current him which is a lethargic guy and a shut-in. I honestly don’t have any idea on where this series is heading but I have a feeling that if this is done right the sad ending that is imminent would really move me.
This is another show that I could relate to since as you grow old it really makes you realized that everything around you changes and even your once best friend’s personality will be tweaked quite a bit and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by life and you can’t even meet your old friends or you can’t meet them since your in another place studying or working. What the…just thinking about that makes me sad :(. What more in Menma’s shoes since she sees her friends now apart from each other and it seems that its her fault because of her death so she came back and tries to fix things. Jinta also blames himself since he said something that fateful day when Menma died and he cannot take that back now. Everyone else seems like they have gotten over Menma but their facial expressions express otherwise. Every character has their side of things so I can’t wait to unfold it since it might shed some light on why they tried to forget Menma and why they disbanded. So far the characters are already impressively portrayed, each one has their own personality and attitude that are quite different from their younger selves but underneath that as the story progress, it seems that their old personalities are still there.
The animation is very impressive but not as impressive as HanaIro but still the animation is really fluid for a slice-of-life show. The character designs somehow reminds me of Toradora! specially those facial expressions. The character design really reflects the attitude and personalities of the characters in the present specially that hair of Jinta he really looks like a hikikimori (shut-in) and sometimes a crazy person whenever he tries to talk to a person that everyone can’t see. Anaru’s design reflects that she is one stylish girl that want people’s attention. Yukiatsu maybe handsome but he got this attitude in his eyes that urges you punch him in the face. The girl in glasses Chiriko, really reflects her cold side with that eyes, glasses and hair. Poppo on the other hand looks friendly despite him being a huge guy. Really, this season is the season of the best character designs I’ve seen in a while.
The OP Aoi Shiori by Galileo Galilei is quite catchy and listening to it makes you reminisce your past for a bit. The ED song Secret Base ~Kimiga Kureta Mono~ (10 years after ver) which was sung by the seiyuus of this series is another favorite of mine and it fits this this series and every time the song gets to the chorus it manage to move me.
So far I am still enjoying this and after watching an episode it made me remember the friends I had when I was just a kid, in elementary, in high school and now my college friends. Somehow it makes me feel a bit melancholic in a good way. I am so looking forward to this week after week as Jinta tries to fulfill the wish of Menma. I’ll challenge A-1 Pictures too just like what I did to P.A. Works…go and try and move me and then make me cry and if you could do that….I’ll go praise this series in my review.