Friday, May 16, 2014

Rewind: AnoHana

When I finished Clannad and Clannad After Story, I wanted more. If I couldn't get more of the Clannad franchise, I'd settle for a different anime cut from the same cloth. Anime-Planet recommended AnoHana (full name: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai). So I tried it. Sure enough, it was precious, and it shared several themes with Clannad.

There are only 11 episodes in AnoHana, and I didn't get quite as attached to the characters and the story as I did with Clannad. But it was still impossible to avoid getting the feels. It's about a group of childhood friends, who called themselves the "Super Peace Busters." When they were still very young, one of them, Menma, died. The rest of them split up, and they're no longer on good terms.
The Super Peace Busters, lined up in the opening sequence.

They've grown into a diverse bunch of teenagers... except Menma.
Throughout the show, friendships are slowly restored, and grief is dealt with. But AnoHana didn't just warm my heart; it inspired me.

One of the main characters, Jinta, has been a hikikomori (shut-in) for a couple of years. It's just him and his dad at home, ever since his mother died, and he makes himself a lot of ramen. When Menma comes back and haunts him, Jinta shares the ramen with her (once he accepts that she's not just a "manifestation of his stress"). He put eggs in the ramen, which inspired me. When winter break was over, and I started living in a rented room off-campus, I began putting eggs in my ramen - as well as veggies, meat, and even cheese. I discovered a whole new world of ramen-based food, and I became a Ramen Evangelizer on Tumblr.

I don't think I actually shed a tear over AnoHana, but I came close. It's precious. I know I've said that many times already, but I can't think of any word that describes it better.


  1. yup, gotta agree on that last tweet.. I actually have this habit of picking up anime just because I want to feel warm and inspired... (and to cry perhaps, lol). AnoHana was one of those shows for me, although I haven't rewatched it because I feel that it won't feel the same.. but yeah, it's one of those shows that really made me cry particularly in the last few episodes :3

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

    1. This is a new habit for me. I never used to have the patience for this type of anime (or book, or movie, or TV show). And I didn't see the point in watching something meant to get me all emotional. But, now, I rather like that warmth and inspiration. ^_^

  2. I really loved Anohana and it was very touching but to me it also felt very forced especially with the last episode and everyone crying so hard and the very touching song in the background I couldn't help but notice how much it was trying to get the viewers to cry. I felt that if they could portray it in a more subtle way that they could actually get me to shed a tear but the amount of emotions was just ridiculous.

    That being said I really loved the artwork and soundtrack especially the ending with it's very touching lyrics and the show also portrayed summer very well.

    I don't really watch many slice of life dramas but from what I watched I really enjoyed 5 centimeters per second for how gentle and realistic it was.
    I just don't like when the anime is exaggerating and forcing the emotions upon me.

    1. I can agree with much of what you're saying. I was in a pretty accepting mood when I watched AnoHana, but with some anime, I sit there, thinking, "I know you really want me to cry right now, but it's just not happening. Not even close. I feel a little sympathetic, but if you push it too much more, I'll just laugh. So you can stop trying."

      The portrayal of summer was great! I hadn't thought about it much before, but I'm glad you brought it up. Actually, just reading your comment makes me hear the summer insects chirping/doing that noisy thing with their wings/whatever.

      I still haven't seen 5 Centimeters Per Second, but I'd like to someday, now that I have the patience for it. :)

  3. Funny, it's the exact opposite for me. I cried like a baby at the end of Anohana, it's the only piece of storytelling to ever do that to me (ok, the kid that got shot in Les Mis might have drawn a single tear). And I have seen Clannad, I actually binged Clannad and Afterstory in a single day, and as soon as I finished I watched Grave of Fireflies for the first time. That didn't get me to cry, but Anohana sure did.

    Anohana is definitely the happiest sad show I've ever seen, like, the end isn't sad... at all, its like a graduation ceremony, its a joyous occasion on paper, heck the characters are crying tears of joy. But that didn't stop me.

    Oh yeah, nice to meet you! I just found your blog, and I'm hooked, not only are you a eloquent writer (without being to... poetic, for lack of a better term), but you're Christian AND and Blimey Cow fan? Sold. I look forward to your posts. In the meantime I'll be devouring your backlog.

    1. You watched Grave of Fireflies, Clannad, and After Story all in such a short amount of time? Without any comedy anime in between? ... wow. I'd have to to take a break.

      Nice to you meet you, too! I was wondering why I had so many pageviews... you reading through my old posts explains it. I'm glad you stopped to comment! Thank you for your kind words. :)


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