At long last, Jinta’s efforts to break from his hikikomori shell bears fruit. He ventures out into the world and takes on a variety of jobs, though he does it for a reason besides simply becoming part of society. Along with this, we get a glimpse into the minds of Menma and, unexpectedly, Menma’s mother.
Hm… did that sound a bit dirty? Sorry about that. I’m going to get back on track now.
A brief summary: So, with Anaru away from home for the time being, Jinta starts to get concerned for her and proceeds to lecture her about missing school. Pretty ironic coming from Jinta, but the points he makes are valid and Anaru accepts his advice, hinting at the fact that he’s always been considerate of others. Of course, the tender moment between the two that soon develops is ruined by Poppo coming in with his beef curry. Shucks!
Once Poppo returns with the curry, the three of them, Jinta, Anaru, and Poppo, start to take a look at Menma’s diary and are initially underwhelmed by the simplicity of the entries until they come across a sentence that reveals that Menma wants to launch a rocket to the gods in order to pray for Jinta’s mother’s health.
On the way home, Yukiatsu confronts Jinta about Menma again, though he asks him whether or not he’s right about his ideas rather than attacking him. Tsuruko seems disappointed when she comments on how Yukiatsu didn’t tell everyone how Menma had called everyone to the hideout until he replies by explaining to her that it was supposed to be kept a secret from Jinta.
Elsewhere, the other three Peace Busters are working, with Poppo off on his own, and Jinta and Anaru sharing the same shift at a videogame store. Anaru calls Jinta by his first name and gets embarrassed until Jinta uses Anaru’s nickname so as to reciprocate.
Jinta’s father is greeted by a neighbor who then goes on to ask him about his son, and why he’s not doing anything about his situation. He answers the neighbor, citing the fact that teenagers need freedom as the reason he’s not doing anything.
Menma listens in on the conversation between Jinta’s father and the neighbor and runs off to find Jinta when they start to talk about his school habits. She finds out he’s in the mountains working at a construction site. Jinta is trying his best but Menma realizes he’s having trouble. Because of that, she turns on the lights next to Jinta, much to the surprise of the workers. Also, Jinta’s plans to use fireworks are thwarted by none other than Menma’s mother, who is seen in the last seen saying, “The time for games are over.”
Whoa. Talk about unexpected. Who would have thought that Menma’s mother would go against her own daughter’s wishes? I sense some sort of misguided thought process on the mother’s part. In all likelihood, she believes that in order to send her daughter to heaven, she needs to get rid of actions that would commemorate her in some form or another. This goes hand in hand with Jinta’s father in a way. They’re both similar since the death of a family member has caused them to change their views on the world. Jinta’s father opted for a more liberal option whereas Menma’s mother closes in on obsession by the looks of it, though it’s not apparent.
But on a lighter note, we do see Jinta and Anaru growing closer, which is by far, the relationship in this show that has evolved the most. The other characters reunite and get friendly with one another, but none more so than those two. I don’t know if it will lead to romance, but without a doubt, the two of them are going to become something like best friends who can count on each other through thick and thin.
It’s kind of strange though that Menma would want to keep a secret from Jinta, which could mean that her wish wasn’t the launching of the rockets. By keeping that a secret from Jinta, she hoped to confide in her other friends before making a decision. So that means Jinta is at the center of Menma’s wish, among other things, maybe along the lines of having her love reciprocated? That seems the most logical reason to stay behind as a ghost to me.
All in all, I love the fact that this anime attempts to incorporate a lot of elements of real life into it, all of which serve to convey subtle messages. It’s subliminal messaging in anime, and it’s a powerful one at that. What do you think the messages are? I’m not just going to outright tell you, it’s better to think about it yourself. Though I may give hints as to what I think in the next post, so stay tuned for that.