「ゆうしゃめんま」 (Yūsha Menma)
“Menma the Hero”

I’ve actually never heard an anime character refer another ethnicity as hot before. I laughed so hard at that. I suppose the fact that it was in particular Vietnamese that he was talking about helped, seeing as how my childhood friends consisted a large portion of them. In any case, Tetsuo is pretty awesome in my eyes, traveling the world while he’s still in high school (ah, the youthful dream). He’s got the drive and he’s ready to do it, and it makes him admirable. Although being readily able to show his junk to Jintan so easily is a bit… questionable.

I wasn’t so sure how the story was going to tell itself (which is a good thing), so I was impressed at the usage of a possible “wish” of Menma’s as a plot device to bring together characters and flesh them out. It’s really quite clever. The general focus given this time around was Anaru, who is revealed to blame herself as well for the death of Menma, due to posing the question to Jintan in the first place. I had guessed her character archetype was the “nerdy girl who was easily influenced by peer pressure,” and that the friends she hung around with weren’t exactly innocent by any means. However, actually hearing that come out of Tsuruko’s mouth like a hot knife on butter, ouch. It’s an interesting contrast that Tsuruko turned out bold, whereas Anaru is an insecure mess, but uphold the opposite images in public. Tsuruko continues to show she’s the “strong” one, but I’m inclined to be skeptical about Tsuruko’s true feelings. She might actually be a softie when she’s alone, but nothing in the show suggests that yet.

Anaru’s love of games probably led to her working at a shop for one, where Jintan proceeds to buy “nokemon” gold, to catch the rare “nokemon” Menma wanted. It’s funny, because most people consider gold and silver to be the best versions of Pokemon, but I had a real laugh with all the Pokemon references (getto daze!). Anywho, the whole deal to capture the “nokemon” was just a brilliant vehicle for character development. Jintan and Anaru’s stiff air gradually dissipated as they bond over their childhood game, leading up to a romantically hilarious celebration that made me really want Anaru to eventually confess. Menma in turn is able to observe all this (as with the sticker that Anaru seemed to hate in the beginning, but is implied to have kept it on after Menma’s death, guilty conscience or not), giving her hope that not all her friends are completely gone “inside,” ending the episode on a rather cheery note.

It can’t be certain that “possible wishes” will continue to be the way the story unfolds, but I sure as hell wouldn’t mind if they were all as great as this episode. The cheerful mood that remained shouldn’t be taken for granted, given a dangerous little individual sniffing Menma’s old clothes tells me this show isn’t afraid to tackle more grim material. If anything, there’s one thing for sure; the show continues to astonish me in all fields. Since we finally get a preview, next week Jintan will actually return to school, successfully fulfilling Anaru’s wish. I can almost smell the possible storm coming up.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「secret base 〜君がくれたもの〜 (10 years after Ver.)」 (Kimi ga Kureta Mono)
by 茅野愛衣, 戸松遥, 早見沙織 (Kayano Ai, Tomatsu Haruka, Hayami Saori)
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼

Preview

132 Comments

  1. This second episode was less emotional then the first.
    I wonder if this is going to be emotional such as Clannad and Angel Beat or do you think this will focus on youth in a more joyful manner?

    Ive only had the chance to play pokemon Red blue and yellow pikachu edition. So i never knew gold and silver were considered the best versions

    sin1505
  2. argh can’t wait and XD rintendo nokemon GOTTA CATCH EM ALL

    also it just occured to me menma ate a piece of meat in this ep…i really don’t want to think about what the others will see…

    qntiria
    1. My mind is actually full of fluff when that occurred… I was trying to imagine where the hell would the meat go.

      Also with Jinta constantly saying that Menma is only in his head and not actually there is still standing strong in a way. Unless Menma says something(a recent scenario) that is completely devoid of Jinta’s presence. So far when she said that when she’s around Anjou and Tsuruko she makes them sad still doesn’t prove if she’s there.

      Anyway great episode! A sure weekly basis watch for me. Also can’t wait for that wallpaper worthy creditless ED.

      megalith
      1. Yes, those 3 series are even mentioned in this week’s credits.

        Not sure about the other two, though I know Working is also produced by A-1 Pictures, so it could be a case of self-aggrandizement by A-1 Pictures here.

        Kinny Riddle
  3. the ED is still epic! one of the most touching ED song ever!
    I really want Anaru to confess to Jintan, but for some reason I feel bad for Menma if that actually happens…
    the “smart” girl and the “sniffing” guy, on the other hand… haven’t shown their likeable points, yet. (hopefully that will change soon)

    jrj
  4. I loved all the anime poster references, and the “Nokemon” plot line was kinda unexpected, but in a good way, hopefully this show will continue to surprise throughout.

    Der Fur Shur
  5. I totally agree with Poppo. There are two vietnamese girls in my school (one of them is in my class), and they’re the cutest girls I’ve ever seen.

    And well, for the episode, it was really good. This is my favorite show of the season, I can’t say anything bad about it. Oh, and I wonder why Anaru blushed when Poppo called her Anaru? :3

    viral
      1. I think it does mean anal but is because she was anal-retentive (yes there is another meaning to that word!) when she was younger shown through her labeling her “Nokemon” game. XD

        Peanut Monkey
      2. Okay, well.. I’m not trying to agree with Peanut, but since Tsuruko mentioned to Anaru that she’s easily influenced by others, it does fit in with the Freud’s stages in psychosexual development. More info on the Wikipedia page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosexual_development#Anal_stage

        Does this mean Anaru will match Freud’s stages? I doubt it. I can only guess that the authors might’ve read about it somewhere and based a character off it.

        Does this whole Freud thing matter at all to this anime? God help us all if it does, because Freud is one crazy guy.

        Luxorcist
  6. I hope Jintan and Anaru work there feelings for each other out. Anaru’s replacement friends are some bitches. I can see Anaru tellinmg them off if they keep on talking bad about Jintan since it looks like she still has some feelings for him.

    infinite
  7. This episode really flew by, I couldn’t believe those 20 minute’s had already gone. I have to say that I enjoy this season a lot better then the privious one. It’s really torture to think that I have to wait another week for the next episode

    Pera
  8. Personally could’ve done without all of the Pokemon references, but as you said, it helped quite a bit in developing the characters.

    Yukiatsu kinda scares me now, with his weird “necrophilia” fetish. =x

    Soiyeruda
  9. They referenced, Pokemon, Digimon (lol dojimon really?), Burger King (Cow King lmao), and Bobobobobobobo (lol it needs to be shortened like they did in Ano Hana).

    I’m liking Tsuruko, she owned Anaru.Poppo sounds like Daru from Stein’s;Gate, kinda acts like him too.

    Yukiatsu…..wtf man….just wtf?

    On a side note, doesn’t Jintan with that hat he wear at the game store look like Pokemon Black’s Male Protagonist lol?

    anishuma
    1. I’m pretty sure “CowKing” is a MushiKing reference, especially considering how Naruko/Anaru mentioned Love and Berry (which is another combined arcade+card game developed by Sega) in the same scene.

      sigmasox
      1. Well neither of those arcade games ever left Japan and made it overseas, unlike the other referenced games, and Mushiking mentions nothing about cows as it’s about beetles so Burger King actually makes more sense seeing as how they have a reference to Mcdonalds and that Burgers are usually made out of Beef, which comes from Cows, hence the reference.

        anishuma
      2. I really hope you aren’t being serious. (◕‿‿◕)

        Anohana takes place in JAPAN, so UshiKing = MushiKing makes total sense (not to mention it’s a one letter change just like the other references incl. Love and “P”erry, “W”acDonald’s, “N”okemon, and D”o”gimon). Making it “overseas” is not the point. Unless, of course, you think this takes place in the States. It doesn’t.

        Burger King is a minor chain at best in mainland Japan – there’s less than 50 individual stores over there and to presume that Japanese viewers will allude UshiKing to that over MushiKing is quite silly, especially considering that MushiKing was a bona fide phenomenon in Japan. It’ll also be out of context with the entire scene because like you said, Anaru and Poppo/Tetsuo were referencing actual games in that scene (they were sifting through Anaru’s collection of games and manga after all) which Burger King is not.

        But hey, if you actually think it’s Burger King be my guest. It’s pretty funny. 😛

        sigmasox
      3. After a quick search, here’s the total store count of McDonald’s and its major competitors (in Japan).

        McDonald’s = over 3800
        MosBurger = over 1200
        Lotteria = over 600
        .
        .
        Burger King = 37

        sigmasox
      1. Dude, sigmasox is right.

        Why the hell would you relate UshiKing to BurgerKing rather than MushiKing? MushiKing is a card game, a video game and an arcade game. This relates much more to Pokemon, Digimon than Burger King does. The BurgerKing videogames are primarily only an American thing and not even in circulation anymore. Also, why would a anime make some obscure reference to BurgerKing that requires you to translate UshiKing into english before making some obscure leap of logic into BurgerKing.

        xcswmboy
      2. The translator would’ve just left it as “Ushiking” and not Cow King if it wasn’t a reference to Burger king.

        Who cares if Burger King is more popular in america? So is Mcdonalds, didn’t stop them from referencing it either did it.

        I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story.

        anishuma
  10. It is a touching interesting anime. I’m drawn to Jintan (plus I like his design) too, so he’s a good character to have the show revolve around, as the other characters are interesting because of how they react with him (hehe, dropping his pants for Jintan, Poppo is a giver isn’t he :))
    But the guy sniffing Menma’s clothes was incredibly creepy, I don’t know if they wanted it to be or if it was supposed to be a sad moment that just inadvertently became creepy.

    Airon
  11. Most definitely my favourite this season, I loved every moment of it and after hating Anaru in episode 1 it successfully made her my new favourite character of this series.

    This series is my new obsession for this season 🙂

    Kurofaise
  12. My favorite moment in the episode was when Popo looked away just long enough for Menma to eat the piece of meat. Reminds me vaguely of Scooby Doo when characters would conveniently look away while something “supernatural” occurred.

    CarVac
  13. Hey, I’m already beginning to like Poppo (Tetsuo). Being a worldly backpacking traveller certainly helps one stay down-to-earth and very likeable, and so it’s no wonder he’s the first to believe Jinta’s story and sets out to help Menma fulfill her wish, whatever that is.

    Anaru (despite the hilarious nickname, I think I’ll stick to calling her that, much to her chagrin, lol ) is already softening up thanks to a Po… I mean, nokemon game, which means Jinta’s already halfway through to assembling the old gang.

    Jinta’s next task would be to deal with the more stuck-up elite-students of Tsuruko and Yukiatsu. Especially the latter, who rather disturbingly secretly sniffs clothes of little girls while maintaining a presence of snobbishness about his 1337ness. lol

    Kinny Riddle
  14. With Madoka being my favorite show of last season, this is my favorite of this season. <3

    There's still plenty of episodes to fill, so I doubt collecting the last two members of the gang will go as smoothly. Maybe something's gonna go wrong with Poppo or Anaru as well.

    In any case, Yukiatsu has a pretty unhealthy fixation with Menma. Imagine Menma though standing in his room watching him sniff her old clothes, I wonder how she'd react. xP

    AngryGoomba
  15. It would be nice of Menma didn’t die =/
    It will be really sad if, at the end, she finally brings everyone together then she disappear since her wish will be fulfill (I guess that should be her ultimate wish, get everyone’s together like the old time). I wonder if other will be able to see Menma in the future?

    Serapita
  16. I’m sure there is more behind her exterior but until I see otherwise, I’m just going to refer to tsuruko as THE BITCH. I understand that she’s probably suffering on the inside, but right now she’s just the cruel one.

    hjerry
      1. Yeah, that gave me goosbumbs. Hearing him tell everyone else to get over Menma when he’s sniffing….aggh. Anyway, he will probably be a hard character to bring over to Jintan’s side. I’m Looking forward to his story arc.

        MrBrownSound
  17. Btw, here’s something that they have left little hints over:
    http://i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp336/Theguy779/1303501144369.jpg

    Screenshot from episode 2, we see Menma at the same river where you see her slipper on the edge. She is talking to Yukiatsu, who clearly is a little fucked up/liked her back then.

    What I’m saying is Yukiatsu must have caused her death, it must be that because you even saw him this episode sniffing her clothes. The guy is a psycho.

    Kurofaise
    1. God, I can’t stop laughing. You’re all killing me by referring to this guy as a psycho. It’s so funny. Initially, I saw him sniff something and bypassed it, never thinking it could be the clothes of a dead girl, but reading the expressions of you all have made me rewatch that part about eight times.

      RonIron
      1. Think psycho is taking it a bit far, but there’s definitely something ominous about a guy who sniffs the clothes of the girl he liked ~10 years ago.

        They had to be about 6-7, so why he still manages to have/developed a form of perceived sexual attraction to Menma, a childhood friend, is rather eye-opening, and will likely become an interesting point to touch upon when Yukiatsu’s arc comes about.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Soiyeruda
      2. @Soiyureda

        Are you seriously suggesting that a 7-year-old boy knows how to have sex with a girl his age, even when he’s obsessively in love with her? I honestly don’t think Okada Mari is that extreme when she’s crafting her story. lol

        Kinny Riddle
  18. I can’t wait until the story line explores every other character. This seems to be on the top of my list this season. I liked that this particular episode seemed a little more hopeful than the previous ep. And judging by the next episode’s screen cap, Jintan is going back to school.

    MrBrownSound
  19. This sure is building up to be another favorite for me. Another episode that played with my feelings. The first episode was the most melancholic thing I’ve watched in ages, while this episode was really heartwarming in a very moving way. Looking forward to more.

    HenDarou
  20. Tsuruko seems really stuck up, I’m not liking her character at all. I thought she might be like a calmer version of Minko from Hanasaku, but at least Minko displays some restraint when it comes to insulting people. Tsuruko sounds like she really wants to hurt others with her words. Anyway, I don’t know if I quite buy the whole “psycho Yukiatsu” thing just yet. He was smelling SOMETHING, but I mean just because he said “Menma” right after doesn’t mean it’s her clothing specifically. And anyway, what did he do? Take the clothes off a dead body right before they found her? That’s just too much of a conclusion to arrive at just now. I’d like to give him the benefit of a doubt before calling me a perv or a psycho.

    Gia V.
  21. Who’s fan sub is better? UTW or GG? I watched both of their episode 2s and the subtitle has a tad bit difference, like when Poppo said Vietnamese girls are hot/cute, GG said hot and UTW said cute! D: Also I dont remember seeing Yukki sniffing, can someone point out what time that was during the anime? lol
    Overall I’m in love with this anime! Hopefully there will be more drama.

    ChaChaGee
      1. hmm but poppo actually said ‘kawaii’ i’m not sure whether it’s the context of where he’s saying it turns the meaning into ‘hot’ but i reckon he said cute.

        Shirikatsu
    1. That kawaii one is the perfect example for why I am going with UTW.
      GG likes to “westernize/americanize” their translations, so they went with “hot”, because that’s what they would say in the US, while UTW translated what was actually said, which is “cute”.

      boingman
  22. I just wish this anime ends with a good ending ^^ (cheerful one)
    I know menma won’t back alive , it’s slice of life , not magic girls.
    And for sure i liked the romantic part in this ep with ana.

    Nice ep and /waiting for the next one.

    Ahmy
  23. The character designs of Menma and Shiro from Deadman Wonderland look quite similar…
    But the vibe they give out is so different… one’s so innocent and the other one’s so daunting…

    Connections
  24. I think the production team was bold enough to produce such a sad anime. I have never watched an anime series so full of tear jerkers in every episode — even when the characters are “happy”, the show was still sad.

    Matroid
  25. I can’t wait til Yukiatsu finally loses his shit and goes off. We know he’s crazy, now my only question is what’s up with Tsuruko? I think she’s hiding something too. I think she still considers Jintan somewhat of a good friend so that’s why she left the restaurant. If you ask me, she wants a piece of the crazy pie a.k.a. Yukiatsu. I wouldn’t quite rule her out as being another one to blame herself for Menma’s death. She probably has a crush on Yukiatsu and wanted Menma out the way, but even with Menma gone Yukiatsu still has feelings for her so that’s why she hangs around him etc etc.

    I’ll even go one crazy step further and say she had something to do with that ‘accident.’ Something is up with her…just watch.

    I may be wrong, but this is the internet and what would be it be without speculation? I’ll you what – as soon as I find out…

    BabyChooChoo
    1. I got a homegirl, she finished her undergrad in 3 years, then went to teach English in Japan, Egypt, stopped by Iran, then taught English in S. Korea, went backpacking in Nepal, worked on her masters in Journalism in Melbourne, then went covering this crazy ass race throughout South America.

      yeah i’m a bit jealous myself.

      Traveling is definitely something that’s awesome. I personally got attracted to anime and video games when I was young and was intrigued by new world and various adventures. When you think about it, reality can provide the same thing. However, it’s a bit more difficult than going out of your neighborhood and slaying Rodents of Unusual Size that drop 200gold every battle.

      RickyMack
  26. Another great episode. Tsuruko was pretty harsh, but I give her props for standing up and walking out when Anaru’s friends were badmouthing Jinta. Also, lol at Yukiatsu sniffing what appeared to be one of Menma’s dresses. That’s pretty creepy, guy. And I love it. The perfect WTF moment amongst a sea of happiness. Anyway, I can’t wait to experience the shitstorm of Jinta returning to school.

    Though I’m curious: is Menma’s death the only thing to have caused Jinta to become a hikikomori? Or is there something else, more recent, which also added to his “trauma”? Because Menma seems to have died quite a while ago, and his shut-in nature seems to be much more recent.

    Or did they already discuss this and I just missed it somehow?

    kirbs
  27. What I really love about this anime is that I can actually relate to it! 😀 Pokemon Gold was the way to go during my childhood! You were known as a sage if you caught Ho-oh! XD Really loving Anohana… <3

    rochichan
  28. I just want more XD
    I was happy to see this episode center around Anaru since I was most interested in her last week. I still like her the best out of the cast, not the least because she’s voiced by Tomatsu Haruka. I guess I’m just intrigued by girls like this who are so lost. For a girl to be lost in the world, to give into peer pressure, she focuses on becoming “cute” and throws herself into trying to attract boys, but for a guy like Jintan, it’s becoming a hikikomori. Weird, isn’t it?
    I think I can relate to Anaru in the sense of not liking who you were as a kid and trying to change that, but regretting it later. I hope she confesses to Jintan, I think they’re very good together.
    And Yukiatsu… creeper.

    innerchihiro
  29. you know despite the creeper talk on Yukiatsu, he was the one that told Poppo that you need to trade the nokemon via cable. i mean he might have his own selfish reasons (guilt most likely) for helping out, but i don’t think the story is that simple where he’s just a prick for no good reason.

    RickyMack
  30. I can’t believe I didn’t watch this straight off the bat this week.

    imo it’s already topped Hanasaku Iroha…at least for now. I was so emotional from just the first episode and it drifted on to the second. Can’t wait to see next week. Even though I can kind of see how the story will pan out, the direction will keep me coming back.

    And secret base as the ending, I saw in the playlist on the side and thank god I did or I might have delayed watching it even more. That song is classic, and its funny because I’ve been listening to SCANDAL’s cover of it again lately.

    Saya
  31. Yukiatsu sniffing the clothes of a dead little girl? Seriously? That’s just so wrong in so many ways… And he called the hikkikomori crazy? Take a look at yourself in the mirror, buddy; pedophilia and necrophilia all rolled into one- the makings of a perfect freak…

    Tran
    1. Uhh.. no. Well it’s rather wrong but calling him pedophilia and necrophilia is just not right at all. Besides it’s obvious that the show is going to go deeper into everything so just sit back and enjoy. Also, didn’t you notice everyone had issues going on with them so they insult one another but deep down it’s rather different for all of them. Popo is the only one who seems problem free so far.

      Silver
      1. I know full well that the show is not going to touch on such…controversial…subjects. I just wrote that for fun, seeing that in psychological terms; such activities are often considered to be precursors to behavioral disorders such as pedophilia and necrophilia, especially in hindsight.

        Tran
  32. Heh, I saw him sniff the clothes and actually thought “aw, that’s sweet. He doesn’t want to forget her scent.”

    Boy am I embarrassed now. Y-yeah, I m-meant the guy’s a c-creep. Maybe I just didn’t think about it hard enough at the time. Sure I guess it can be kinda wrong.

    hoiut
  33. This episode was extremely enjoyable. Loved the Pokemon references (and I agree, gold and silver were the best in the series) as well as Popo, something about his personality just makes me wanna hug him! xD

    My expression quickly changed from “^w^” to “D:” when the sniffing scene came on. Shocking, but in a good way I suppose..

    frice
  34. I honestly see nothing wrong with the sniffing. O_O Its actually quite sentimental. It would be a different story if he was sniffing and masturbating or something. But he’s just simply smelling the clothing. There’s nothing wrong with smelling the clothing of a dead person. Especially if it was an important or very dear person in your life. Its just a very emotional, nostalgic, and vulnerable act. Emotional that your feelings you’ve kept under control start to stir. Nostalgic that the scent brings back memories. Just like smelling a certain scent makes us think of our grandparents, smelling salty air makes us think of an ocean experience. Vulnerable that its a private and personal expression that we wouldn’t normally let others see. Its something you would do alone, when you can lower all of your defenses and give in to that quiet moment of sorrow, and that moment of missing someone.

    Lilian
    1. Question is: how did he get a hold of Menma’s clothes? That’s the creepy stalker part of it. He’s not Menma’s family or relative; he’s just a childhood friend.

      There is also a question of how Menma died which has yet to be clearly depicted. Without further evidence, just the fact that Yukiatsu owns Menma’s dress is cause for suspicion that he may have caused her death.

      xcswmboy
  35. I liked this episode more than the first one. But my problem stays the same, I think they try too much to be dramatic and it doesn’t have impact on me because I am not familiar enough with the characters. It would have worked better in my opinion if they did a first arc with their childhood for some episodes and then this. For example, when seeing that sniffing scene, we could have felt sorry for Yukiatsu if we knew more about him instead of dismissing him as a pervert. Even if we all know he isn’t in the inside, when we think about it , we know he has circumstances. Well I’d liked to see those first, instead of making us imagining them for now, and only giving the bactstory to us bit by bit with the flashbacks. They could even do a “childhood arc” first like I said and cut before Menma’s accident so we still wouldn’t know what really happened until they tell us at the end.

    Rockmanshii
  36. d hell! *sniff* what an emotional episode. menma..TT__TT

    Tsuruko made anaru cry. DX tsuruko’s character is taking my interest more and more. She seems to have feelings for yukiatsu. Said guy is somewhat creepy. o__o maybe he just loves Menma’s scent??! auggh. i see a number of unrequited love in here. Jintan and yukiatsu like the same girl, Menma, inspite the other 2 girls liking them. What else? popo likes Menma too?? hmm..

    a very nice episode btw!! i like this show. =)

    keiOnDaisuki
  37. Yukiatsu is JUST PLAIN FREAKY OMFG. All the respect I had for him flew out the window. I’m really interested in Tsuruko (hopefully they’ll develop more of her character) though since she seems to like Yukiatsu (who… probably should move on from his lolicon-ness imo).

    Fuugetsu
  38. This show is amazing! I’ve re-watched both episodes about 10 times now and I still can’t get over how good they both are!!! It makes me feel sad but happy at the same time, which doesn’t really make sense 😀

    Nojamforme
  39. Okay, so I’m tremendously late to the party that is this heartfelt, unique anime, but as of being 2 episodes in, I. Am. Hooked.

    My heartstrings are stretched to breaking already. I love everything about this show. And I want to own it already! After only 2 episodes!! O.O That’s been such a rare phenomenon with my anime watching experience over the years I was caught completely off guard. <3

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