Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ano Hi Mita Hana - An anime review

First of all, here goes a fair warning. If you ever ever think to watch this anime, watch the last chapters on the solitude of your home. You are going to cry. No matter how manly you are, no matter if you are made of pure concentrated steel and ice, you're gonna cry like a baby. So at least don't be an idiot like me and watch it in the bus (i can only be thankful for it to be pitch dark -_- else i would be hearing from this tomorrow on the job).

Ano hi no mita hana (the title is even larger, but we'll call it Ano Hana from here), is the story of a gang of 6 childhood friends who called themselves the Chou Heiwa Busters, split apart by the tragical death of one of them, a girl called Menma. All of them have continued with their lives as they could, but the causes that left to their separation have had a deep emotional impact on all of them.

Old and new Chow Heiwa Busters

Yadomii, the leader of the group, reduced to an antisocial hikikomori, one day awakens able to see the spirit of the deceased Menma, and decided to fulfill her wish to allow her to go to heaven, he starts reuniting (kinda involuntarily) the Chou Heiwa Busters. But it will not all be fun and games: Through the process of reuniting back the gang he will end up finding their friendship has been long gone, as regrets and old hates have grown deep between them with the pass of years.

Anjou has become a mindless gal, drifting through life with her newfound bad companies, and both Yukiatsu and Tsuruko now study at an elite highschool and look down on the other members of the gang as low hopeless individuals.

You will feel sorry for Anjou... especially when you know her nickname was Anaru (Anal)

Even though they end up getting together, it's more like they feel sorry for Yadomi for having lost her mind, but soon Menma's presence will pull them all to the starting point of the story: the base of the Chou Heiwa Busters, and the events that lead to Menma's passing.

Each member ends up having some deep connection with that past, so of a matter of a tribute everyone decides to contribute for accomplishing Menma's wish... A wish that she can't even recall. So as the gang tries on a trial and error basis to find Menma's wish, the past is digged from the insides of everyone, stirring more than one commotion.

Tensions arise between the group as the guys struggle with a way to straighten their lives before they can even start to help others. And on to this spiral they will pull  Menma's family aswell, trapped forever in the sadness of having lost her eldest child at an early age.
Menma's spirit visits her family. Not a single fuck is given...
The animation is soft and smooth, and the music is nice to help you get in the mood. The 12 chapters lenght is just good enough to maintain the climax without the story getting tedious: in fact, the intensity level on the last 3 chapters goes up in a spike that climaxes on a series of emotive tearjerking scenes.

The opening animation is pretty good despite the music not being all that memorable, while the ending on the other side seems careless, with just a few animation frames before a static image that goes for the full lenght of the so-so song.

Speaking more than this would be a crime, so if you like drama, trust my judgement: this is one of the best you can get. Now go get your handkerchief and watch it!


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