Six childhood friends have grown apart over the years following the death of one of them, Menma. The original 'leader' of this friend group, Jintan, is currently aimless in life and it is ... See full summary »
Six childhood friends have grown apart over the years following the death of one of them, Menma. The original 'leader' of this friend group, Jintan, is currently aimless in life and it is at this point in his life that he starts to see Menma's spirit. She states that he may be able to see her because of a wish she would like fulfilled but is unsure of what that may be. Due to Menma spurring Jintan into action, we will see the various paths the members of the friend group have taken over the years as they have matured, as he attempts to fulfill her last wish. Written by
The original draft script by Mari Okada featured more slapstick and more erotica elements, but was changed heavily during planning to include more supernatural elements - turning it into a much more contemplative slice-of-life story with a quieter tone. Much of these changes came from Director Tatsuyuki Nagai and character designer and chief animation director Masayoshi Tanaka. See more »
I really wanted to enjoy Anohana more, but there was too much melodrama between the more interesting character relationships. If the show handled more of the minor character developments/revelations with subtlety, it would have made the relationships feel less contrived.
Without delving into spoilers, I felt like some of the characters were weak. A lot of interactions and dislikes come off as petty, and nothing is done to make them seem less superficial.
The ending theme being played over emotional scenes lost some of its impact as it is also sometimes played over nothing but credits.
The most impressive part of Anohana is that the ending was still very sad, even though I didn't care for most of the characters, and the first half of the episode was drawn-out. While the entire episode was a bit excessive, it wasn't enough to hurt the emotional impact.
If you can connect with the characters, you will probably enjoy this show more than I did. I think it was necessary to care about the interactions and themes of jealousy that take up a lot of the show.
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