Ano Hana 11 Episode Review [END] – The Floods Have Come
After a good run of about eleven weeks, “We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day” is finally over, and what a telling narrative it was. Strangely enough, I don’t have this yearning for more and this feeling of sadness that usually comes over me whenever I finish a good series. I think I’ve finally come to realize that more is not always necessarily better. That couldn’t be more true for Ano Hana, even if there was more character expansion in previous episodes to stretch the show out.
Boy, oh, boy, were there a lot of tears in this episode, but let’s get cracking at the plot for starters. The Super Peace Busters are perplexed as to why Menma hasn’t disappeared yet. They later meet up in order to contemplate on this. The young teenagers come to the conclusion that the reason Menma hasn’t moved on was because their intentions were selfish. Everyone hoped to achieve something by having Menma pass on.
Tensions soon run high as everyone starts to accuse the other of being selfish. In the ensuing madness, Anaru’s fake eyelash falls off and makes her look ridiculous. The gang cracks up at this and regain their composure. With new-found clarity they decide to meet Menma one final time in order to sort out this whole ordeal.
Jinta brings a frail Menma to the secret base but is in shock when he realizes that he can’t see Menma any longer. The others are clearly surprised at this development as well and they set out to find her. Menma (trolls) tells them that she is simply playing hide and seek. Once the teens are running in the forest, she starts writing messages for each one of them and proceeds to lay them under a tree to be found.
As they each read the message that Menma left behind for them, they all burst out into tears. They all scream their affection for her and see her, one last time. Unfortunately, she’s fading away at this point and states that her wish was to make Jinta cry since his mother thinks he shouldn’t hold back anymore. Jinta and the rest of the gang say their goodbyes, and with that, the friendly-ghost Casper- I mean, Menma disappears.
Whew, that’s it. Ano Hana is over. Man, eleven weeks ago, I would have had no idea what to expect, but I’m glad that I stuck around to watch this show. A tearjerker it was, without a doubt, but I still feel that it comes nowhere near the brilliance of the Clannad stories. But then again, it’s unfair to compare anything to Clannad – every piece of work has their own merits, and Ano Hana definitely has its own.
So, it turns out that Menma actually had a wish all along. I was right on the nail in regards to her wish’s goals, but I wasn’t on the ball in terms of its wording…which was just strange. Make Jinta cry? I get that she was young at the time, but they could have worded it more gracefully – I’ll work towards getting him to move on, or something to that effect. But yeah, I keep on forgetting, they were around seven years of age at the time. No seven year-old could speak that succintly.
And let’s talk about Menma as a character for a bit. Though Menma is featured prominently throughout the show and is on the minds of every character, she is far from the star of the show. More than anything else, really, she is a plot device, used to spur on the developments of the other characters in the show. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that she’s a rather static character. She didn’t change once throughout the whole story, she was simply trapped in the mindset of a seven year-old, which was actually a smart move. Had they made her develop as well, I’m sure I would have had a hissy fit for whatever reason.
It goes without saying then that the an important motif in this show is moving on. Everyone had their own doubts, regrets, and worries that shook them to the core. And even though Poppo had some extremely out-of-character moments here and there in this episode, it didn’t detract too much from the show. It still perplexed me how the creators never cared to delve more extensively into what pushed Poppo to become how he is today. He did say that he saw Menma’s place of death at the time of the event, but was his inaction really enough to force him to abandon school and travel the world? Well, death does have far-reaching effects, doesn’t it?
But really, the ones who grew the most in the show in my opinion were Jinta and Yukiatsu. Yukiatsu transitioned quite easily from becoming a cross-dresser into a normal guy, albeit with some necrophilic tendencies, but regardless, the strides he made from then onwards were remarkable. He became more level-headed and honest with himself, to the point where he calls himself disgusting. I couldn’t help but get fascinated with Yukiatsu as he tried to acknowledge the ridiculousness of the situation he was in.
Jinta’s transformation was more straight-forward than anyone else’s. He simply need to emerge from his hikikomori shell and look at the world outside the world more. Kudos, then, to A-1 Pictures for making his emergence that much more enjoyable by spinning a captivating tale around it.
Anaru, what can I say? She’s my favorite character from the show and the fact that she got nowhere with Jinta makes me feel a tad bit sad on the inside. Luckily, Tsuruko’s words do hold a bit of truth to them. Once Menma moves on, Jinta may come to accept the real world more, and in turn, Anaru. But that’s just wishful thinking and I don’t believe anything like that would ever happen.
Tsuruko…unfortunately for you, you didn’t change much throughout the show, did you? All you did was cut off your hair after you realized that there was no chance in hell that Yukiatsu was going to hook up with you. Not that I hate you or anything. But the thing is, it strikes me as odd that she didn’t change much. Then again, she didn’t need to change. Out of the whole Super Peace Busters group, she was the one who had all her marbles together.
A picture of everyone’s crying faces for you because the floods have indeed, come.
In the end, the story was just right for me. At this point, I can’t see a better way that it could have ended. And for those of you who wished this series was longer, shut your traps. If it went any longer than it already has, it would have been ruined. We should be happy that A-1 Pictures had the good sense to quite while the anime was still good.
EDIT: Boom! I’m back in a whirlwind of energy. I just hit the gym and I’m ready to write more. lulz.
Anyways, so let’s address the other aspects of this anime, something akin to points that would be addressed in a formal review of this show… though this won’t be anything like it. And I noticed that a lot of people who like animu-buroging tend to make a separate post for their impressions on the “entire” series. What’s the point in that? Not to criticize them, but I just find that there’s no need to write a whole post. Most of the stuff is going to seem like reiterations of what I’ve said previously, after all, it is an overview of the whole series, is it not? So let’s get to it.
I’ve talked a lot about the characters so far and I feel it’s high time to talk about the art. I’ve said it in a previous article before, but the art style in this anime is similar to that of Tora Dora, most notably in the characters’ faces. They have that distinct sharp nose and chin… if you get what I mean. But anyways, I love the color palette of this anime. There’s a stark contrast between the stunning colors of the setting during the day and the monotone dreariness of the night. In terms of sheer animation quality, this was top-tier for this season. When you have other shows like Deadman Wonderland with eerily, contorted faces, you can’t help but marvel at the splendor of Ano Hana’s art.
Seiyuus? Do I really need to talk about them? No, because I feel that they did a fine job with the whole show. Especially my Yuki-chan, whose freakish Menma-obsessive tendencies were a gateway to realizing his awesome voice work.
Then what about the plot? It was typical enough. Boy remembers death of girl- girl appears as ghost. Fairly normal stuff in the world of animu. So what then makes it different? Dare I say characters? Yes, I do. Hit me. But let’s move on and think about the “realistic-ness” of all this, just for argument’s sake. I know a few of you out there have heard me ranting about this point a lot but there is way too much crying going on this anime. I even get a bit uncomfortable sometimes when one of the characters suddenly starts bawling. The last episode was an exception though, it was a given. But any time before that, and most of the crying scenes weren’t called for.
At that age, I take it around 17-19 years-old, teenagers do not think about life that deeply. There are undoubtedly the select few kids who are unusually introspective and notice the flaws in their personas, but let’s get real, did you think about things to this extent way back whenever? Did you really weigh your decisions against some higher moral standard and smack yourself over the head for wanting someone to love you back? You may have, but not to the extent that these kids did. Because trust me, in my book, they are very dedicated.
Music…no need to talk about it, it was superb.
And there you go, keep in mind, I’m not necessarily reviewing this anime – I’m giving my thoughts on it. Plus, everyone in the anime is happy, even Jinta, who’s managed to move on.
All’s well that ends well. Except for Poppo. He’s never getting into a good college.
Furious that this isn’t the long-winded review that you always hoped to see? Want to start a flame war against me because you think my writing is a steaming piece of shit on the sidewalk? Or do you simply want to voice your thoughts and opinions and this show? Either way, I
command ask that you write your comments in the box below. Or send me an angry letter. Take your pick.
Arbitrary Number I Call a Score: 86%
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Posted on June 24, 2011, in Anime, Ano Hana, Episode Reviews and tagged Anaru, Anime, Anjou, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, Atsumu, End, Episode, Final, flower, Jinta, Meiko Honma, Menma, Poppo, Review, Shu, Tsuruko, Tsurumi, Yadomi, Yukiatsu. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.