My Asian Weekly ♥ Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

By Rachel L - 7:07 PM

Hah, more like MyAsian Quater-annually. I haven't done one of these in quite a few months! But I just HAD to share this anime that I watched pretty recently, with you guys. This is a really lovely 11-episode anime, short enough to watch in one day but the storyline really captures your attention. 
It's called Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. You might have heard of it already (if you've watched it let me know what you thought!) It is classed under the genres of: Drama, Supernatural, Romance, Slice of Life and Tragedy. Tbh though, there isn't much typical 'supernatural' in it, which was good for me because I don't really like supernatural anime's that have vampires and werewolves; it's way too twilighty. 
I don't want to give away too much of it but I'll provide a basic summary. So, it's about a group of kids, and one of them (Menma) dies at a young age, then all the other kids are greatly affected by her death. She appears as a ghost to Jintan, the protagonist and the show is just about how she brings this group back together and helps them let go of the guilt towards her death. It's really sweet but sad. If you're looking for one of those animes that'll make you cry, this is probably a good one. 
I like that it depicts a story about a group of friends who grow apart, but are eventually brought together again by a common link. It just describes for me the immortality of friendship and really brings out what my friends mean to me :D 
So let's jump into a quick and completely personal review of each aspect of this anime!
This pic makes it look like romance, but I promise it isn't!!

Characters: The main characters comprise of the 6 students within the friendship group. The relationships between the characters as well as the love lines are totally cray! In addition to this, each character personally feels like it was their fault that Menma died, and this is something that they gradually overcome through the series.

1. Jintan
I was pretty neutral about Jintan's character. He is the protagonist of the series, and was considered the 'leader' in his group of friend's. However, after Menma dies, he becomes all withdrawn and refuses to go to school. This leads to him becoming somewhat of a loner. I think he undergoes the biggest change in the series, as he returns to being that natural leader and reconnects with his friends. He is 'in love' with Menma. What annoyed me was that Jintan didn't see how much Anaru liked him and he was just pining after some (admittedly cute) ghost >:(

2. Menma
Menma is the main female character of the series and the who reason for the rekindling of friendship among the group. She dies in an accident at the beginning of the series, then comes back as a ghost who can only be seen by Jintan. She's really lovely and selfless and she's not sure why she's come back as a ghost. They decide that for her to rest in peace, she must fulfil an incomplete wish. I think she is so loveable, but in a way, it's a little annoying that most the guys are in love with her, even though there are TWO other amazing female characters in their friendship group !

3. Anaru
I ADORE Anaru :D I think she's actually a strong character and I guess I identify with her cute style. She's a secondary character, who really likes Jintan but he never really considers her as more than a friend since he likes Menma. As a kid, Anaru was quite nerdy looking, but then she grew up into a totally kawaii girl, ahaha. I feel for her unrequited love and the pain she experiences as she is torn between sadness for her friend dying and secret satisfaction in that she has a chance with Jintan. She's also really good at video game :) respectt

4. Yukiatsu
Yukiatsu is a really confusing character for me. He seems like that perfect, nonchalant school boy often found in animes, but he is actually so complex and unexpected. He also was in love with Menma and is constantly jealous of Jintan's relationship with her. He even goes so far to say that he can see Menma too, even though he can't. It's interesting how much her death affects him and this is where we see that even the most perfect-seeming people have their own problems too. I really ship him with Anaru ;) Both facing unrequited love :(

5. Tsuruko
I also liked the storyline of Tsuruko's character, who is a quiet and logical girl, close friends with Yukiatsu. They go to the same school and of course, she has a 'crush' on him. It's really sad because she thinks she'll never measure up to Menma, so she doesn't dare try to become more than friends with Yukiatsu, instead is content with being his 'guardian angel' and his voice of reason. I feel like we never got to see enough of her in the series to connect with her on an emotional basis, and this is why I don't really ship her with Yukiatsu :(

6. Poppo
Poppo is a very bright and happy character, adding a sense of joy to the series. Otherwise, we would probably just feel depressed through the whole thing. He is very trusting, immediately believing that Jintan can see ghost Menma. But once again, he has his own issues as well, harbouring an intense guilt in seeing Menma as she died, but not helping her.

Overall, I think that the character developments aren't that great, as they don't really change much throughout the series, except for Jintan. However, each character is also written really well, as it doesn't seem as if any of them are just there for the heck of it. They each have a hidden aspect which they overcome as the story progresses, and it just shows that even the people with the seemingly perfect life struggle with problems of their own.
Erm fanart i think
Drawing style:

I really adore the drawing style in Anohana. It's very innocent and fresh, reminding me of the style of ToraDora (i think they had the same writer involved; Mari Okada?). It's also very, very simple not taking too much away from the plot or the interactions in the series. The proportions are all relatively realistic (not like Special A, with the super long legs) and the character's clothing choices are aesthetically pleasing as well. Though there isn't a bright array of colour, I think this is suitable for the anime as it helps portray the serious tone of the notions considered. One of my key issues though is...Jintan's hair. OMG that is abominable, especially from the back. Idk, it's like a mop cross a porcupine and I just really didn't find him attractive in this anime.

The plot is engaging, and long enough for us to establish a connection with each of the characters, whilst not being too long that it just feels like the anime is dragging on. Each couple of episodes feels like it's dedicated to one of the certain characters, and through that episode they work to overcome their adversities.
I've been watching stuff along the lines of ToraDora, Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun or Kaichou Wa Maid Sama, so I'm glad that we're moving away from the cheesy (but so good) romantic love lines and concentrating on the importance of friendship. Similarly, it doesn't much concern action and supernatural like in Bleach and Soul Eater, which is very refreshing for me. This anime is more of a slice of life, relatable to the audience in terms of the big ideas explored in it. It's more realistic and depicts valid reactions of students to when a friend of their dies.
I also found the end of the anime to be very satisfying. Especially the scene where they really came together and we could see that they were doing it for each other and Menma. I'd say that's the part that leaves you an emotional wreck (the rest of it is nowhere near as sad).
I liked how the past was slowly built up and made sense as the anime progressed along and each person developed and overcame their adversity. Only when they all overcome that struggle did we discover the full story of what happened, and the group were able to let go of that guilt and accept what happened was not their fault.
We also get a few scenes of just everyday life for the kids, and it's a nice touch for an otherwise emotional rollercoaster.

Overall comment:

Overall, Anohana was really enjoyable, and a nice break from my work. I suggest that you watch it, since it doesn't take too long and really opens you up to consider and appreciate your friends. I heard there was an OVA but didn't watch it since I haven't heard amazing things about it. It had a good ending that left me feeling really satisfied, and it couldn't have ended differently in my opinion.
though now I'm sad it's over. wish I could rewatch it as if I had never watched it before.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did (I'm pretty sure some of you may find it a little boring though, give it a chance!) 

xx Heylinni
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37 replies

  1. I also saw this anime! It was really lovely, but in the end I cried a lot. ><

  2. Ahhh I watched this, the story's so heartbreaking and I quite like the character designer's art style.

    1. I agree, the art style was really nice and simple (but still can't get over jintan's hair)

  3. I love this anime so much! (and I cried my eyes out T__T)

  4. OMG! Now all my feels for this anime is resurrected! I watched Anohana years ago and it was one of my favourite anime, i also love the bittersweet ending of it. haaaayyyy i cried a lot watching this anime :(

  5. I seldom watch anime now
    but they look cute
    Please visit my blog back if you free

    1. You should get back into it:) it's a great way to relieve stress

  6. I love this anime so much!! ^-^ I cried so hard throughout the entire anime; I couldn't stop and spent weeks afterwards listening to the OSTs. The ending was amazing and beautiful and GAHHH, the feels <333.

  7. Hello Dear!I really like you blog I'm a new follower on GFC and Bloglovin and I'd love it if you followed back :) Looking forward to future posts!

  8. that looks so cool! hi dear, i cant seem to find you on my gfc followers. what name did you use? just lemme know, if you did follow me so I can follow back right away... :)))

  9. Cuuuute! I haven't watched any anime recently but this sounds like such a great one! :D

  10. wow! I'm a huge fan of anohana!!
    I want to visit the place Chichibu someday.
    The last scene is so heartbreaking....

  11. It sounds interesting, at least the story appears quite impressive :)
    If you'd like to follow each other (gfc/bloglovin), just let me know :) xx Maja

  12. I would love to follow each other! I start by following you now :))

  13. thanks for the synopsis of each one. i've never followed anime. looks interesting.

  14. Just followed you on bloglovin (: Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for offering to follow back!

    Have a great day!

  15. oh my this anime looks sooo cute and lovely! That girl with the white hair <3


  16. Wow sweetie you touch me with this post because Anohana is one of my favorite anime~ I love it is so wonderful so deep~
    I love it the character of Menma makes me cry to the end~
    Thanks for share this Anime on your blog!
    Now I´m following you in GFC#302 and Bloglovin´333
    I hope your follow me back in both!
    Comment to me back, to keep in touch~

  17. I haven't watched this anime but I have heard good things about it. When I have spare time (not playing league lol), I'll be sure to check this out! I am in a mood for a slice for life and won't mind crying over a sweet story :P Thanks for the detailed post!

    Check out my blog: Snow Queen Secrets