15 out of 16 people found this review helpful:
Without going into my source for episodes of this show, I have to say that this is the best anime of the season that hasn't been licensed for streaming in the US. And quite possibly the best anime of the season, period. This is the one that got away from Crunchyroll and every other US online distributor, at least for the time being.
"Ano Hana" (full title Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai) is a character-driven slice of life story about a group of friends who have issues. Serious issues, dating back to when one of their friends (Menma) died tragically in an (as yet unspecfied) incident during their childhood. All feel guilty about their friend's death, and that guilt has warped each of their personalities in different ways and pushed the old gang apart. Even the girl's parents quietly resent the rest of her gang for growing up while their daughter has stopped growing.
And then Menma's ghost appears to old "leader" of the gang, Jintan. Emotional chaos ensues.
The animation style is reminiscent of Toradora and is notable because the character models are very good at capturing the characters' personalities. Menma still has a child-like look about her despite being quite a bit taller than when she was alive. Poppo is a tropical Santa, a happy go lucky veneer over a deep and sincere faith in his friends, JinTan has a look of festering anger that only softens when Menma is around. Also, when the characters move, it's captured as animation not simulated by panning and sound effects. There aren't a lot of long high speed action sequences, which means the animation budget can be spread more evenly, not concentrated in short bursts within an episode or burned through in half a season.
The opening and closing themes are both distinctive, establishing a hopeful attitude without going into carefree territory. The opening is reminiscent of an acoustic song by Toad the Wet Sprocket (assuming you're old enough to remember them), and (again reminiscent of Toradora), the producers manage to integrate the closing theme (Secret Base) into the closing action of each episode to establish a feeling of new possibilities for the next episode.
Ano Hana is a real tear-jerker that ranks up with classics like Clannad and Toradora. Even better than Clannad: there is real emotional conflict between the characters here, not just cute girls in tragic circumstances and some vague metaphysical backstory. Despite the conflict, none of the characters are unsympathetic. Yes Jintan is the male lead, but the story doesn't make you root for him at the expense of the hostile Yukiatsu. Tsuroko makes sure we understand that Yukiatsu's pain goes just as deep. You aren't rooting for one character over the others. You're rooting for all of them to work out their issues and get the old gang back together again. You're rooting for Menma's parents to use their grief for healing, not resentment. You're rooting for Menma's wish (whatever that turns out to be) to be granted.
As a slice of life drama, Ano Hana invites comparison to Hanasaku Iroha available here on CR. Although Hanasaku Iroha's character models and animation are comparable to or better than Ano Hana's, the characters in Ano Hana are far more interesting. The story line is quite a bit darker and more mature than Hanasaku Iroha. Hanasaku Iroha is a nice melodrama grounded in reality about how a plucky girl makes good in life. Ano Hana is an Ingmar Bergman psycho-drama with death personified as a character, rendered as anime.
This night, will not be forgotten..
Tonight.. I cried, deep, deep, from the heart. I have never watched any drama genres when it comes to anime, but this one.. Blew my mind..
I say it again and again, I have never cried at something like this in my whole life! My feelings where easily manipulated by the anime, the story, the telling, the characters.. Everything..
I really, really recommend this masterpiece for anyone, and everyone.
It doesn't matter whether you like anime, hate anime, never heard of anime, or not interested in anime..
I don't care.. Anohana is different.
Thank you, the flower they saw that day...
Overall Personal Rating: 10/10
"The more things change, the more things stay the same. Boundaries shift, new players step in, but power always finds a place to rest it's head. We fought and bled alongside the Rus-" wait a minute! Sorry, sorry. Too much Modern Warfare...
An emotionally moving anime has very commonly been associated with romance and indeed many of the well-known emotional anime have lots of romances in them most notably being Air, Kanon and Clannad. There's absolutely no problem with this but it is nice to to find one that has little romance elements that drive the sadness concept itself. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai is a 2011 anime done by A-1 Pictures and is popular enough for it's name to pop up here and there across the anime community. Being released into a year that saw the likes of great stuff like Steins;Gate and Fate/Zero to name a few, it needed something, a sort of x-factor, to define itself.
Jinta "Jintan" Yadomi is a hikikomori who lives an unmotivated lifestyle and shuns going outside and interacting with anyone. It all began when he was an energetic child who led a group of friends called the Super Peace Busters (don't tell me that you didn't try that when you were young). They were extremely close to each other and everyday passed in fun and laughter. Everything changed, however, when one of the members- Meiko "Menma" Honma, dies in an unfortunate accident- for which everyone blames themselves in one way or another. Devastated by the loss, the group soon breaks up and everyone goes their separate ways.
Jinta now has a dilemma- the ghost of Meiko is now "haunting" him (aka, eating his food, sleeping on his bed and doing other stuff that freeloaders do). Meiko knows she is dead but cannot remember how and, most importantly, why she is still in the world. Jinta then goes on a mission to find out what is it that is keeping her in this world and, by suggestion of the optimistic Menma, has to get the old team together to help out. The first few episodes are there to show us how the characters have changed from being little children. Some of them become asses, some of them become upstart but one thing is clear- few of them are willing to help. It's really quite understandable considering that Jinta is the only person who can see and touch Menma. I'd tell him to get lost too.
The six main characters are made up of the group and I don't like giving long back-stories for fear of spoiling but what I really liked about them is just how deep and complex the cast of characters are. Each has their own reasons and are diverse in characteristics which makes them more human then other anime characters with the same or similar tropes- for example, a quiet, glasses-wearing girl. They gives us a good insight into the concept of how little people change even if it looks like they did a 180. In fact, the only real problem I have is our main character- Jinta. He is just so overshadowed by the other characters and their interactions and back-stories. He's more predictable to follow but at least he does get a good amount of development. The rest of them (by their nicknames)- Yukiatsu, Tsuruko, Anaru, Poppo and Menma make a very enjoyable cast to follow as they confront the tragic past and accept what happened. The anime is pretty much heavily based on these characters so thank goodness they didn't fail in this department. The other thing I didn't get in the character department is that they never really tell us what exactly Menma is. She's an older version of herself, sure, but is she really a ghost? Why is it that only Jinta could see her initially? Why can't she interact with anyone else even though they were also her friends? Just a few questions that went unanswered.
The story is well set out and wraps itself very nicely in just eleven episodes (one less then Madoka Magica). It's amazing how they manage to get a lot of complex character interactions and plot twist into such a short amount of time. It does things at a fairly good pace and you'll be sure to remember the important bits at the end. One thing I did find annoying was how, near the end, it looked like it became a game show where the characters compete over who has the saddest story. It's got a good point but it felt a bit too rushed and repetitive for the anime. Even so, it was very well structured with the themes given enough time to sink in.
The ending isn't the best ending but it is emotional enough to cry for. It was well-built up and by seeing all the sad stuff literally 10 minutes before, I don't think you'll have a chance unless you're a charizard or something. Due to the shortness and amount of themes, the anime doesn't joke around too much so look for comedy elsewhere. It doesn't give mind blowing stuff but I like how serious it was taken and I can attribute that to 1- It's an original work and 2- it's a slice of life anime not animated by Kyoto Animation.
All the anime I've seen done by A-1 Pictures have great animation and this is no exception. Everything from characters designs to backgrounds is done really well and it is truly a sight to behold. It's highly detailed and I would say that this could deal a bloody nose to any Kyoto Animation work out there. It also has very little fanservice and it doesn't need it because the animation itself will get you hooked instantly. The soundtrack is good and goes really well with the emotional scenes. Just wish that they didn't make everything an emotional scene when it didn't have to so that the main soundtrack doesn't get too repetitive. The shortness of the anime does curb the problem well enough to make it difficult to notice and that's a good thing because it sounds great in every way possible. And that piano...
Overall, Ano Hana is flawed in some parts but is definitely something everyone should give a try because it's different. It's not meant to blow your mind like many other popular shows out there but just to quietly tell a story of acceptance, honesty and friendship beautifully. But I still don't know why the Japanese name has to be so long and complicated..
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful:
I must admit that after watching 7 episodes, I only teared. But when it came to episode 10 and 11, I'm a baby for tearing so much. THIS ANIME IS ONE THAT TRULY SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED. AND THOSE WHO DON'T CRY WHILE WATCHING THIS, ARE JUST COLD!
SAD!!!!! The single best word to describe Ano Hana. After pulling an all-nighter to watch this, at 5 am my roommate found me crying like a five year old girl who lost their teddy bear. But to be honest the ending isn't some big surprise, you kind of see it coming for the entire series. But, even though it's predictable, that doesn't hinder this anime in any way. It's more of a character study, or something. It's hard to put my finger on it. But yeah, I found myself more intrigued in how the characters responded and reacted around one another, and how they each seemed to move on, and for some not move on, from a tragedy in their past. And, oh my god, that ending is SO sad. . . but also weirdly uplifting. A solid series overall.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful:
Anohana is a masterful emotional roller-coaster ride that delivers more than expected. Backed up by an impressive writing and a powerful and emotional (and perfect) final episode, Ananohana delivers a unique, tight story that offers deep drama, and a well balanced comedy, supported with an excellent small cast of characters. The contrast of the lead characters with their friends is very special, as Yadomi grows stronger (mentally) as the series progresses, specially towards the final two episodes; while the others are presented to the viewers as "stable" characters until the very end. Definitely, character development was one of this show's strong points. The final episode delivers a powerful blow to anyone that really falls for this series, and while not everything is perfectly explained, the series really patches up the most important points. Soundtrack is heavily underrated for this series, I really enjoyed both the opening and ending sequences, while the soundtrack for the final episode was perfectly executed. This show is a masterpiece because it had a very unique, hard-to-explain story, and turned it into the most entertaining anime of its season without going overboard. But most importantly, it did everything just right. Highly recommended for any anime fan.
This anime made me realize how strong the bonds of friends can be whatever life may throw at them. The characters were really well-portrayed. Individual traits and personalities and also the voices behind each characters made it more interesting. The plot was very well thought out. Music was touching and added to the mood. Definitely one of the most unforgettable tales. I loved this anime!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful:
I started watching this 11-episode series after I saw someone compare it to another series (Natsuyuki Rendezvous) since they have similar plots. So, I started watching this and fell in love with it within 2 minutes into the first episode. This series is about six best friends, five of them in a love pentagon/square, and most importantly, one of the best friends dead and came back as a ghost. The ghost's has a significance in all the living five friends lives. Whether they love her or envy her or just love her as a friend, she plays an important role in their group. This anime is about friendship, romance, moving on, and is slice of life. Recommended for everyone! Unless they don't like friendship or romance or slice of life.
Great. Can be shortened though. But otherwise, it's really good.
Great OST and OP/ED. Nothing bad about it really.
Very well written. All are special in their own ways and develop into better people at the end of the story.
Good, not the best. The OP is well animated gotta say.
I've watched Clannad, kanon, angel beats, well.. a lot of sad animes, Anyways this is a story about friendship. Menma, the girl who died in a accident one summer day suddenly appears to Jinta asking him to help grant her wish. As the story progresses the characters grow closer together and start to become like the old times when they were all close friends. I would personally recommend this to everyone. The story is absolutely touching. The ending... made me cry for two minutes, but in the good way.. When Menma says "You found me!" I just couldn't hold it back.
If your thinking about not watching this, well its a mistake! It is one of the best animations i've watched. Please consider this my sentiment.