I still can’t remember the name of that series I just finished

I’m not really sure what the deal is with unnecessarily long titles, but it definitely draws a lot of attention. Ano hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai or AnoHana for short. I’m interested how this will be translated/localized when it a company picks it up for western audiences. In any case, the title served as a nice hook to get me a bit more interested in the series than others on the backburner, so the sinister entity responsible for trying to overload my hippocampus can breathe a sigh of relief for the time being.

I really liked this series. It tells the story of Yadomi Jinta and his childhood friends who drifted far apart from each other after the death of Honma “Menma” Meiko, one of the beloved females of the group. For some unknown reason, many years after Menma’s death, Jinta has the ability to see and interact with her spirit, and is working on trying to send her to Heaven by granting a wish that keeps her from passing on. Unfortunately, not even Menma knows what this wish is.

AnoHana

She's as airheaded as she looks, really.

What’s great about this series is the way it portrays the members of the group. They all went through some rough times following Menma’s death and after drifting apart, they are each “broken” in their own way: Jinta lives as a hikkimori, another is buckling under peer pressure — each character has their own set of believable circumstances that all somehow tie back to unfinished business that they had with Menma prior to her death. However, as Jinta is the only one that can actually interact with Menma, he is shunned (and sometimes even abused) by the rest of the group for digging up old wounds. As time passes, darker sides of the group’s personalities begin to emerge and AnoHana does a fantastic job of portraying just how much more painful it is to fight with people who were once close enough to be considered family. Friendly rivalries between kids turn to bitter feuds and childhood crushes turn to venomous love triangles. It’s quite a spectacle to see just how icy some of the relationships have grown while still acknowledging the fact that they all still care deeply for one another.

And all for the sake of Menma, who remains as sweet and innocent as she was all those years ago. She’s not as floaty and oblivious as the “typical” airhead girl in most series; she is actually quite empathetic and always mindful of her surroundings, which makes her a very likable protagonist. It’s not hard to see why everybody would care for her so much.

Throw in a beautiful OP and ending, and you have a series that shines from start to finish. A wonderful drama.

—–

AnoHana – Character Rankings

  1. Anjo “Anaru” Naruko
  2. Honma “Menma” Meiko
  3. Yadomi “Jintan” Jinta
  4. Tsurumi “Tsuruko” Chiriko
  5. Matsuyuki “Yukiatsu” Atsumu
  6. Hisakawa “Poppo” Tetsudo
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