Anime Review: Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Anohana is a sweet, incredibly touching, 11 episode anime that was released in America during the summer of 2012. From the excellent animation quality to the rather unique story you would be hard pressed not to be hooked in.
The story revolves around a group of childhood friends who had grown distant ever since a tragic accident which ended up with the death of their friend Menma. After the accident, the remaining friends slowly stopped talking to each other and eventually, as the years passed, lost almost all contact. Jinta, who was once the “leader” of the group, has grown to be a total recluse to where he even stops attending school. One day when Jinta was playing video games in his room, the spirit of Menma appears before him and looks as if she herself had continued to age for she is no longer in the body of a little girl. Jinta, at first, thinks he is simply hallucinating but as it becomes clear that he is not he decides to help Menma fulfill whatever unsettled business she has, although she herself has forgotten.
Image of Jinta:
Image of Menma:
Jinta is the only person who can see and speak to Menma, although Menma can perfectly understand others. Jinta decides to try to gather all of his old friends back together and to figure what they can do for Menma but it is clear that they all think Jinta has lost his mind and has been unable to cope with the loss of their long dead friend. As the anime progresses, it becomes clear that none of the characters ever really came to terms with the loss of Menma and Jinta showing back up in their lives doesn't help that either.
What is really impressive about this anime is the emotions it makes a viewer feel. Even though it has been several months since I've seen this anime, I can still remember the great empathy I felt for this cast of characters. I'd also say that one would need a heart of steel to not cry when reaching the climax of the series and its incredibly satisfying ending. The only real downside I can say to this anime is that you need to be in the right mood to watch it, just like any other sort of highly emotional piece of media. Without the right attitude while watching it, it might strike you as a little slow at times.
This is one of those rare anime where you could consider it a true work of art. It is an entirely serious journey of the human spirit that will make you feel a large range of emotions. From the scenes of innocent kids, just playing around, to the total mental break down of various characters, this anime simply exudes a sort of magic and realism that is hardly ever seen. I cannot recommend this anime enough, it is simply brilliant.