Its been some time since I’ve seen an anime that made me get up lazy self up and write a review. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (literally ‘Anohana: The flower we saw that day’ or ‘The Blooming flower of that summer’). Is one of those one in 1,000 anime where from the getgo it has you hooked right up to the end. For those who are familiar with Ano Natsu de Matteru, it was created by the same team and so has a similiar feel throughout.
Like Ano Natsu de Matteru, it revolves around 6 early adolescents and features a love pentagon. The main difference would be that in Anohana. It follows the issue of the death of one of their friends and the repercussions it had her family and everyone around her. It is truly a profound piece of work which (from what I saw in the little research I did) caused of quite a bit of ‘man-tears’ (ill be sure to write up a rant on man-tears later).
The story tells of six young children who drift apart after one (Menma) dies in an accident. Each growing up emotionally affected in one way or the other by the incident. The ghost of Menma appears to one of them (Jinta) who was the so called ‘leader’ of the group back then. Coming to the conclusion that she was unable to pass on and enter heaven because she had an unfulfilled wish here on earth, Jinta rallies the other members of his group to help Menma pass on. Throughout the ordeal, hidden feelings of resentment, envy and love are uncovered as they try to accomplish their goal of sending their lost friend up to heaven.
The plot was unique, well played out and it was relatively easy to relate to the characters. The progression was smooth without any lags or spikes whatsoever and each of the characters had its own distinct, complex personality. The animation (as you can see from the header) was great as well with no inconsistencies throughout… unlike.. others (not gonna point any fingers) .
I loved the intro and ending (which doesn’t happen much for me) and I went through the entire 11 episodes without skipping past any of them like i normally do. Yes, only 11 episodes so you have no excuse to not go and watch it right now….. well whenever you’re done with this review anyways ). The music throughout the anime was no different, while there wasn’t much variation the calm ‘floaty’ feel it gave complimented the show perfectly.
The conclusion was heart-wrenching but somewhat in a good way. The last episode gave the same ‘extreme anticipation –> mantears –> heartwarming’ flow that Ano natsu did but intensified (not quite tenfold but) three..fold?
Overall this is a must watch show especially for those who love the romance/slice-of-life genres, and shows directors just how anime should be made.
Plot 9/10 (good concept, poor exceution)
Artwork 9/10 (same as Ano Natsu de Matteru)