AnoHana finale: The roots that supports the flower called ‘friendship’


While I may not have bawled my eyes with this finale, I do admit that this made me shed a tear. AnoHana has been a good anime through and through and I honestly can’t expect a better, realistic ending than what I’ve seen. This may sound cheesy but I consider AnoHana as a healing anime and I think this is the first time I have ever watched this kind of drama with this much substance. There’s no cliche bullshit, there’s simply acceptance and moving on.

And while the concept of ghosts haunting people in order to revitalize lost friendship sound fictitious as it is, everything still felt realistic for me. I mean, at first, everyone was skeptical about Jinta’s antics of ‘seeing’ Menma but in the end, they all believed. Well, Menma did have to do the poltergeist thing but my point is, regardless if Menma chose to reveal herself or if Jinta made everything up, everyone was moved by their own faith: from Yukiatsu’s and Anaru’s jealousy which is a form of faith, to Poppo’s regret which is also his form of faith, to Tsuruko’s devotion and Jinta’s perception, their faith moved each of them together and it created the miracle.Their faith held them on a common ground and they were able to re-open the bridges thought long gone.

To further point out the merits of this episode, I find it natural how they transitioned from the hard-crying moments to everyone laughing because of Anaru. For some, it may spoil the mood but for me, I think this is what drama is between a group of friends. One moment you may be bawling your eyes out and saying your regrets, the next instant, you’re making fun of one of your comrades while crying in tears. For me, this stuff is authentic. It’s a blessing (sort of) that one gets to experience with the closest of friends and this is probably the reason why I love this episode so much.

I guess the biggest surprise in this episode would be Poppo’s development. Well, Tsuruko being jealous at Anaru is a shocker but I never thought that Poppo’s held the most weight. It kinda makes sense how they’ve been preventing his hurts from getting out in the past episodes. I mean, he was the one who saw her die. I could imagine Poppo’s trauma from watching his friend die right before him yet being unable to do anything. I think hiding plot devices like these for the longest time and spilling it over a moment holds the most effect, the most weight, that can overturn the entire situation, as what it did with Poppo’s, making it reasonable as to why he wanted Menma to go to heaven.

Going back to Tsuruko, I have to say that I sympathize with her a lot and it’s amazing how she suddenly became my favorite character all because of one episode. Probably because we share the same mindset of not dreaming the impossible and relegating one’s role to that of an understanding friend. I think, seeing how strong she is made me realize how much strong I have become as I continued in my role as an observer. The feeling of wanting be close to others yet being able to understand them, in the end I/we simply observe those we care about without even bothering to fully grasp what’s in their hearts.

Lastly, I was never expecting that Menma would wish for Jinta’s sake. I guess that Menma has been lying all along. That she really knew what her wish was yet even in death she can never think of how to solve her problem; how to grant the promise she gave to Jinta’s mom. For some odd reason, this kind of wish is something befitting of Menma. She may be a mischievous girl for making them run around and earn money for the fireworks but her intentions and kind heart are true. It’s actually nostalgic how she gets away with this act of selflessness. I mean, there has been an abundance of selfless anime characters (such as Madoka) but for some reason, Menma’s act of selflessness has been very appealing. Maybe it’s because of the fact that this anime never bordered too much on the fictional. There are no enemies to dispose of or absolute magical powers that threaten the world. There’s only just one dead girl wanting to have her friend open up his heart and let his emotions flow. Fictional still but feeling close to reality

As mentioned, Ano Hana has been a solid anime and I would like to take this corner to praise the excellent seiyuu that literally breathed life into the characters. Truth be told, I’m not actually that fond of drama and was really checking this anime out because of the voices so imagine my surprise in hearing respectable seiyuu like Miyu Irino, Takahiro Sakurai, Tomatsu Haruka, Hayami Saori to deliver the smackdown and pierce through my emotional barriers.

Last but not the least, Ai Kayano deserves an award or two for her role. Despite going unnoticed as Itsuwa in Railgun and doing OK as Tachibana in Yumekui Merry, I think she outdid herself with her role as Menma. *claps hands* Hope she gets to land on more ground breaking roles next season

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nopy
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 10:44:52

    I actually thought the scene with everyone crying one moment and then laughing the next was a bit cliche. The anime was good though, can’t argue with that.

    Reply

  2. Ryo_kun
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 11:59:53

    It was a very wonderful ending I must say. And yeah, I think the seiyuus did a great job on most of the crying moments which made the ending even more sad. But I for one think that Jinta had the most character development – he even goes to school now.

    Overall, I’m glad that everyone managed to move on. Even though there were no outcome on the romance side but I know this show isn’t about all the lovey-dovey stuff. Great anime, love it. XD

    Reply

  3. tomphile
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 13:15:46

    Not the best ending in the world, but it was satisfying. I just feel bad for Poppo. He’s never getting into a good college. 🙂

    I agree with Nopy, a bit cliche at the laughing part and definitely one of the WTF moments of the show.

    Reply

  4. abscissa
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 11:55:07

    Agreed with Tsuruko, I thought we’re not going to see much from her but this episode turned it around. I like her mindset especially how she knows that she’s never going to beat Menma and that all this time it’s Anaru that she’s jealous with.

    One thing I find quite odd with all the crying though, the tears look like gel-drops. But other than that, I truly enjoyed this series.

    Reply

  5. Tsuki
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 12:30:20

    Too much crying. While the episode was touching, some of the crying was just plain uncalled for (and a bit obnoxious in a way).

    In the end, though, a satisfactory ending. Now we just need to convince all the people that don’t believe teenagers could act the way they did in this episode 😛

    Reply

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