「めんまを探そうの会」 (Menma o Sagasou no Kai)
“Menma’s Search Party”
It’s always a funny surprise to see a plot device be acknowledged by the show, considering that Jinta remarks to Menma that using wishes as motivation is starting to feel like an excuse. It doesn’t really matter though, as the reason is not so clear cut this time around. Besides, Poppo’s the real plot driver here.
In the end, Jinta never went to school, which was a slight disappointment, but who is he really going to interact with there anyways? There’s only Anaru and her douchey friends, which caused him to leave in the first place. Menma as a dead person praying for another dead person was kind of ironic, but the “reveal” here is Jinta’s mom passing away. That might have been surmised from the lack of an adult female figure running around the house for the past two episodes, but I suppose I never thought about it. I’m going to assume her death happened after Menma’s, as Menma wasn’t aware of it until now. There is the possibility that Jinta kept it a secret, but it seems unlikely he’d still hang out with the Peace Busters without it affecting him. It’s a development that cracks a bit of the mystery behind his current status, though a dying mother is an overused tactic to drive his emotions. We’ll see how it pans out.
Poppo’s seriously a really awesome character. You’d think Jinta’s the one that was going to bring everyone together, but nope. Poppo’s execution was flawless. Much like Jinta, I didn’t expect that they would all come either. Besides Anaru looking hotter, I’m going to have to question her dialogue with Tsuruko. It just didn’t make any sense. She tells her she’s “trying,” but to do what? Be who you really are? Then how does wearing a dress influenced by Menma help? It’s questionable whether or not coming to the reception dressing like Menma, long hair included, was even in good taste. To me, Anaru is a geek who loves games and manga, but fell in love with an awesome boy without knowing what to do (ironically, the dream girl of male geeks). Other than the question of what her true personality even is, I’m not sitting pretty with her basically asking people to tell her what to do. It came off poorly as a reflection of her character, which is a pity, because of what I know and see under the mountain of influences that have shaped her very being, she’s awesome. She just doesn’t know it.
Of all the characters, they’re still focusing on Jinta, Menma (obviously), and Anaru the most. I don’t mind, but I’m stuck with meager pieces of info for the rest of the characters that drive curiosity up the wall, Tsuruko and Yukiatsu especially. From what I gather, Tsuruko’s a neutral character for the most part, generally up for the right side of things, and most likely possesses some form of weakness. I sincerely hope she doesn’t have a thing for Yukiatsu, because Poppo needs the S to his M (not the actual reason but lol). And Yukiatsu? Remains creepy, despite some defenses that what he does could actually be normal. His childish jealousy finally being soothed by the fact that he can “see” Menma too only further affirms he has a problem. Sorry folks, the dude is not “misunderstood.”
I half expected Menma to suddenly appear in front of everyone at the reception, as if everyone joining together was the first unlock to finishing Menma’s wish. After all, that was the first step she outlined back in episode one. Sure would’ve been one hell of a cliffhanger. In contrast to the beginning of the show, there’s been a huge change in development. Everyone’s pretty much on talking terms now, whereas 2 episodes ago, they didn’t even know each other’s whereabouts. Like Jinta realized in the beginning, Menma’s appearance has made a significant difference in their lives. It’s easy to forget that the main goal is to appeal to Menma’s final wish, especially with this new “ghost by the creek” business. Menma’s death could probably be guessed to her falling in the creek while chasing after Jinta that afternoon, and if the show is this supernatural with a hallucination being able to cook muffins, then a ghost is definitely plausible. Possible setup for a tearjerker due to flooding memories next week? The group is finally together after all.
Whacked out “not sure if serious” speculations:
This is what I mean by meager pieces of info. Curiosity makes me speculate stupid things.