This pic makes it look like romance, but I promise it isn't!!
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of the series, and was considered the 'leader' in his group of friend's. However, after Menma dies, he becomes all withdrawn and refuses to go to school.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 >:(
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 !
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
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 :(
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 :(
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 thinkDrawing 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, 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!)
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