AnoHana Episode 9 – Everything Links Back to Menma

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Menma MeikoIt’s time for my favorite show of the spring season! That said though, the way things are going for “We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day” is bound to divide fans of the series. Some might praise the plot direction, while others might feel it comes across as being cliched or contrived.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Tsuruko YukiatsuWith the revelation that Menma does, in fact, exist, the other characters try to adjust to her presence, even though they can’t see her. Tsuruko and Anjou are clearly irked by the floating cookies, while Poppo and Yukiatsu accept her wholeheartedly. And in Yukiatsu’s case, it’s clear he’s grasping on to that belief strongly. So strong is his conviction that Yukiatsu even kneels down in front of Menma’s father, pouring his heart out and asking him for the permission to make fireworks.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Tsuruko Anaru AnjouAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Anjou Anaru YukiatsuFast forward a bit and the Super Peace Busters are busily creating some fireworks. All the while, Jinta constantly talks to Menma, much to the chagrin of Anjou. Eventually, she can’t handle all the Menma talk and decides to slip away from the group.

Yukiatsu sees her crying and tries to comfort her, even going so far as to ask her out once again, citing their similar situations as a good reason to do so. Anjou is flustered and proceeds to talk back all tsundere style. Tsuruko, though initially worried, smiles as she watches her two friends bicker.

After staying with Poppo for a bit, Menma decides to walk around the city and comes to a stop on top of the bridge. She sees a carp in the water and makes her way down to the river bed. Jinta comes along and rushes over in a panic, telling Menma to stay with him forever.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Poppo

Oh, and Menma can’t seem to write in anything besides her notebook and the wooden pillars of the secret base. Maybe it’s because they hold special significance to her.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Jinta YadomiI think it was pretty obvious for most of the viewers that Jinta didn’t want Menma to go anywhere. He wasn’t as psyched as the others about fulfilling Menma’s wish and even suggested holding off on it for while. Now with this episode, it’s clear that he has no intention of going through with the fireworks plan. And if he does finish it with the others, he’s going to be doing it in tears.

Also noteworthy is that “line” on the riverbed, the dividing line between the water and shore. It’s symbolic of crossing over into death, I guess you could say. It’s grim, but hey, it’s applicable. Menma was about to cross over into the “River Styx” when she was going to capture that carp, and whether she was really going to disappear or not is up for debate, but Jinta certainly panicked.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Yukiatsu Anjou AnaruLet’s face it, Yukiatsu and Anjou are doomed with unhappiness as long as they continue with their love struggles. It’s gotten them nowhere for over a decade, and it’s not going to progress anytime soon, as far as I can see, though in Jinta’s case, if he gets over Menma there might be a chance for Anjou. But what’s the probability for that? Nearly zilch.

Love is hard, no doubt, and the feeling of not having your feelings reciprocated are bound to stab you right through the heart. I guess I should congratulate Yukiatsu and Anjou for finding companionship and solace in each other.

“What are you talking about? They argue, they pretty much hate each other.” Haha, that would be naive of you to think. For you see, they bicker and argue, sure, but they’re being themselves when they’re doing it. Yukiatsu enjoys it and Anjou is more on the angry-playful side when she talks back, so it’s all good. And as much as I love Anjou, I have to say that it’s looking like she’ll draw closer and closer to Yukiatsu.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Jinta YadomiAh, when were we ever going to get to this issue? Talk about grasping at straws, everyone in the Super Peace Busters group now believes that Menma is real. We have the benefit of being the omniscient viewer, so it’s a no-brainer for us, we’d even yell at someone who doesn’t believe it. But look at it from the perspective of someone in the show. You can’t see Menma, you can’t even communicate with her, save through your one friend, so why do you believe it? Yeah, yeah, floating books and secret messages, but really. If you were in your right mind, you wouldn’t have any of this nonsense.

Maybe I’m being critical and over-analytical here, but I think this is a sure sign that the characters can’t move on. They’re living in the past, and just like Men-father said before, not a second has passed since Menma passed away. This is very true for the gang, though at varying degrees depending on who you take into consideration. By far, Yukiatsu and Jinta are the ones most affected by Menma’s death, they both loved her after all.

And that brings me to another point. Sadly, it doesn’t appear that we’ll be seeing much character expansion for Poppo and Tsuruko. They’re going to remain Super Peace Busters, but side characters nonetheless.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Jinta YadomiAnd before I end this huge mega-post, I’d like to comment on Menma’s wish. After seeing that scene by the river and Jinta’s panic at Menma going into the water, a few things came into my mind. First, he can’t let go, but you already knew that. And second, I think that Menma is going to disappear once Jinta is able to look at reality for what it is. When he’s able to live his life without leaning on Menma or his friends, he’s going to be free.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Menma Meiko Yadomi JintaAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower YukiatsuAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Anjou AnaruAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Jinta YadomiAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower TsurukoAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Anaru AnjouAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Anjou AnaruAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Yukiatsu MeikoAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Anjou Anaru Jinta YadomiAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Anjou Anaru Poppo TsurukoAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Menma MeikoAno Hi Mita Hana no Namae Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai Flower Poppo Menma Meiko

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Posted on June 10, 2011, in Anime, Ano Hana, Episode Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. It would be really funny if that fireworks thing wasn’t Menma’s wish lol.

    Seriously speaking, with the way Jintan’s acting right now, I’m definitely expecting a tearjerker finally because I do predict Menma’s gonna be gone.

    • More like derping on A-1 Picture’ part. I mean, even though I have this feeling that they’re going to reveal that the whole fireworks shtick was a red herring, it feels like a letdown and a shame. What was all that setup and tension building for then? I get it, to throw in a twist and surprise the viewer, bit there are more than a couple of better ways to do so. Hint hint, Anjou being happy? but that’s just fanboy rage :P

  2. OK, so I still hate Yukiatsu, even after this episode! Jeez, I don’t know what it is about this dude that rubs me the wrong way.

    Poor Poppo, it looks like he had a crush on Menma too. In the scene where Menma is writing in her diary alone with Poppo, he is about to ask her something but then decides instead to ask her to play that word game. But what he was starting to say was “ano hi… omae sa… ano toki.. ore no koto..” I’m assuming he was going to finish that sentence as “ore no koto suki” (I have nowhere near anywhere good Japanese, I’m just assuming that’s how the sentence would’ve ended based upon my slight knowledge) .. The Doki fansub I watched translated it as “that day.. you.. back then.. did you like…” and that is where it is cut off. But the word “ore” means “me”, so that slight yet extremely important part was left out of the subtitle. So we can only infer..

    Am I the only one who got the vibe that Tsuruko has a secret crush on Yukiatsu? That’s what I got out of the scene where she is watching Yukiatsu & Anjou talking (barf, BTW)..

    I don’t know how I would like this series to end.. I just feel like I’m not going to like the ending. I think the characters are going to be even more hurt then they have been the past 10 years..

    • Haha I know what you mean. I was just starting to like the guy after his supposed redemption after beIng caught parading around as Men-man. It was odd how Poppo was starting to get a bit serious with Menma, only god knows what he wanted to say. It would feel very contrived if he were to ask her if she liked him. Why is it that every boy in the super peace busters likes her? She may be full or energy but she’s honestly not that attractive.

      Tauruko, yes, had acrush on Yukiatsu but like most of the loves inthis show, it was unrequited. Sad. at least she has the good sense to accept the fact and even feel happy for the sad-sack of the man for moving on. I just wish it wasn’t with Anjou, she deserves better.

  3. DRAMAAA!! Awesome!

    Now that the others believe in Menma this makes things interesting! So I wonder when the others see the food get made and other random things Menma does, do they see them floating? I always wondered that lolol.

    @Ross Nope! I get the same thing! Tsurko does have a thing for Yukiatsu, after all those two are always together I think she hasn’t built up the will to say anything to him just yet.

    Great episode anyway I will be sad to see this end! However I think we will learn how Menma died soon and her final wish.

    • Awesome indeed, there’s now a fifty fifty chance of thIs show either ending greatly or failing to meet our expectations, which I have to admit are pretty damn high.

      Poppa and the others would see the cookies flying, what else could it be to them?

      It’s kind of depressing that no one ends up with who they want in this show. There’s room for tragedy and happiness respectively, but is there going to be any happiness at all if no one wins?

  4. My favorite character paired with the character I hate most? DO NOT WANT. If Anaru has to be with anyone other than Jinta, I’d much rather it be Poppo. They did live together for a short while- things could have happened! But nooo…

    On the topic of Poppo, it seems like we did get a tiny bit of development for him in this episode after all. “Ano hi… omae sa… ano toki.. ore no koto..” roughly translates to “that day…did you…back then…(feel/think something in reference to himself)”. Its fairly possible he was about to ask Menma if she liked him at all, but since he mentions ‘that day’ I’d rather like to think he wanted to ask how she felt about his part in her accident. Was she mad at him? Did she blame him? Otherwise, mentioning ‘that day’ wouldn’t have made sense, unless it was Menma Confession Day for all of the Super Peace Buster boys or something. Either way, this is the first time we’ve seen Poppo think back on sad times, and even so, he jumps away from the topic by suggesting they play Shiratori. Shiratori is a quick-paced word game where one person says a word, and then another person must say a word that begins with the letter/character that the previous word ended with. You have to choose your words quickly, or else you loose. With this, Poppo seems ever more like the escapist I always assumed he was. Shiratori is the perfect thing to keep your thoughts on the move, after all.

    Tsuruko also got some development, although it was just as minuscule as Poppo’s. It was pretty obvious that she liked Yukiatsu since the first few episodes, so in this episode we get to see how she feels about the idea of him being with someone other than her, namely Anaru. At first she seems upset, but then she smiles as she listens to the pair talk. I think this is because she’s glad to see Yukiatsu trying to move on. It might not be with her, but its something, and I think she can settle with that.

    • Childhood friend with a crush never seems to win. D:

      When Poppo was asking Menma that question, I instantly jumped to the conclusion that he was going to ask her who he liked but then I changed mind. I think I addressed how silly it would be to have Poppo fall for Menma as well in my other comments. Yes, Poppo is quite the Houdini. he even quit school and roamed around Japan for a while, and I thought walking around outside after an argument was sufficient.

      I’m glad Tsuruko didn’t start any drama and whining when she saw Anjou and Yukiatsu talking. Drama is fine and all, But there’s really been enough so far. it’s nice that not every character cracks under unpleasant circumstances.

  5. I still can’t wonder how they can end with Menma still around.
    It would just make the whole story weird…She has to go. :|

    • My thoughts exactly, being a ghost, her existence is just unnatural and the ending would just seem lazy if the Super Peace Busters never bothered to get her to heaven.

  6. Too much drama in this anime. One of my favourite drama, in Spring.
    I hope everything will go fine in this anime. The way it is currently progressing seems great.
    I wish I never have to drop this anime, as the plot is just awesome. I just dropped Hidan No Aria today, the plot is terrible.

    Owh btw tomphile is your site? Lovely web layout :)

    • Too much drama? Hm, that’s odd, most people want more.
      D: How could you ever drop this anime haha
      And yeah, Hidan no Aria is fun, but the plot’s boring

      -Yeah, I write for test.mon0r is our testing site. :P

  7. Personally, I believe this is the most emotional episode because it’s complete. It has comedy, drama, and even horror. Also after this episode, it’s really official that my favourite character is Yukiatsu because I find him the most honest and sincere of all. And the end part, when Jinta stopped Menma from stepping onto the water, that’s so dramatic, I so like that scene.

    • Horror? Where did the horror come from? -3-

      Hm….Yukiatsu….You got me sitting on the fence with this one. On one hand, he’s obsessive and I hate his guts for trying to snatch and Anjou and defying Jinta. On the other, he realizes all his mistakes and doesn’t hide them. Admirable, yet also dis-likable at the same time. Well-played, A-1 Pictures.

      You might like the scene but I felt that it showed just how unwilling Jinta was in moving on. He’s crying out to a ghost, for Christ’s sake. He loves her :/

      • I only said that just for fun because they’re trying to incorporate a ghost. Subjectively, the thought of having a ghost usually brings fear.

        I know there’s so much hate with Yukiatsu, but he best delivers his role in my opinion, You’ll either love or hate him, and I just simply like his entire character.

        If they’re not going to show how unwilling Jinta was in letting Menma go, then what else is there to show? It’s only a matter of delivery. Plots like that are essential to drama and tragedy. ^^

        • I know, I know – but this anime fan part of me just wants Jinta to run off into the sunset with Anaru already. Or just simply realize that he’s gotta move on. Shoot me. :P

          But yeah, I get where you’re coming from with the Yukiatsu thing, and it makes perfect sense. And though I can see the many ways he’s grown, those slight slips where he becomes obsessive about Menma are off-putting.

  8. I think this was a good episode, what bothers me is that this episode should have been about episode 5 or 6. There is only two episodes left and my guess is that Menma will be gone at the very end of the next one, leaving the final episode to show everyone’s feelings and life after that. Which is very sad, for this way the ending will be kind of abrupt. On the other hand I’d be most offended if there was a second season to it, leaving us in waiting for at least till the autumn, but more probably winter season.

    • Really? I always had the feeling that Menma would disappear in the last episode. That would be a nice resolution, don’t you think?

      And oh no, a second season would be horrible. As much as I love this show, I don’t see a point in dragging it out for another 13 episodes. What’s the point? The building-up is all leading to the fireworks point and Menma’s eventual departure from Earth, and I feel that it’s gone on for a long enough period of time to be satisfying.

  1. Pingback: Ano Hana Episode 10 – The Disappearance of Menma Homna | Ani-Philes

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