The fact that Ano Hana’s pacing is as solid as ever and that the character development comes across as organic rather than contrived is a huge plus in my book. Yes, this is what I expect from an awe-inspiring anime show. This is why I follow this series religiously every week.
This is why I love Anaru. Wait, what? No, sorry, scratch that. *Ahem* Where was I?
Here in this picture, we see Jinta finally growing a pair and heading to school. Not only that, he speaks up in front of the whole class. However, he didn’t do so in the happiest of circumstances.
After the love hotel incident of the last episode, we learn that Anjou had been seen in that area by a teacher and a student or two. Of course, this spreads all sorts of trouble at school and Anjou has to deal with all of the behind-the-back chatter that’s going on. Jinta is initially amazed that Anjou is able to concentrate on school work despite all the smack-talk, that is, until he realizes that Anjou isn’t writing down notes for the class, she’s writing words along the lines of, “I didn’t do anything! Help me!”, and the like.
She’s on the verge of tears when Jinta realizes her plight. What’s a hikkikomori to do? Stand up and rescue the girl in trouble, of course. He ends up doing so valiantly, yet he also manages to say some rather embarrassing things, but at least he’s making some progress.
Meanwhile, Yukiatsu and Tsuruko take the train home from classes and discuss Jinta’s plan to go to Menma’s house. Yukiatsu begins to berate Jinta before Tsuruko reminds him that it was Menma who called everyone to the club house on that fateful day way back when.
Also, Poppo, Jinta, and Anjou head over to Menma’s house and pay their respects to their “dead” friend. Menma’s mother then gives them a tour of the house, including Menma’s now cleared room. After which she decides to give the three friends the diary of the deceased. How will that play out in the story’s progression?
Also of great importance this week is Menma’s great concern for others. She hates to see others become sad and disregards her own needs and feelings for the most part as a result of this. Jinta recognizes this and calls her out on it, and the result is what you see. Menma’s eyes start running waterfalls as she soaks in the words that Jinta has said.
I somehow knew that this anime wouldn’t disappoint, and I was right. It’s keeping up with all my expectations so far, so all I can say is keep it up to the anime staff. Oh, but I would like to say that Jinta’s growth into a dynamic, outspoken character is rather staggering. I remember at the start of the series when this guy could barely bear (hurhur…see what I did there?) to go outside to the convenience store. In that sense, it’s an awfully wonderful treat to see a character who doesn’t suddenly change after one event, but rather changes over time, gradually (I’m looking at you Luke). It’s also notable that Jinta is developing chemistry with Anaru. It shows that he’s able to move on with life. He’s different from most other anime leads who never seem to forget that one girl who escaped them.
And it looks like I’ll have to take back what I said about Poppo and Tsuruko having the biggest mental issues out of the Super Peace Busters. The way the anime is proceeding, it seems set to unfold without fleshing out those two and their insecurities. I hope I’m proven wrong, but that’s what I think.