「ほんとのお願い」 (Honto no Onegai)
“The Real Wish”
Rather than going directly to the date of her death, Jinta flips through the pages of the diary and lands on the first idea that seemed plausible as a wish. Flying a rocket to God. Ah, youth. This episode turned out to be rather similar to when they played nokemon, except with a larger degree of impossibility due to requiring a license to fly rockets. No matter, as this episode provided some more subtle developments, mostly consisting of relationship improvements between characters. Jinta and Anjou’s relationship has moved a little more forward, bonding over being in the same position of running away from school, cohabiting the same workplace, and partaking in the classical “trip on another to raise sexual tension”. The whole scene between them at the game shop was pretty fun to watch, and I like how Jinta’s method of consoling Anjou, intentional or not, makes her laugh to forget the issues at hand. It doesn’t exactly solve the problem, but he’s socially awkward. Anjou’s slip of the nickname Jin-tan easily proves how she feels as of late, settled in comfort due to being able to be with Jinta like the old days. The tsundere effect afterwards works great on her.
Yukiatsu and Tsuruko’s relationship still hides in mystery, with Yukiatsu making what seems to be small advances on Tsuruko, and her profusely rejecting. It disturbs me that she wears Yukiatsu’s gift for Menma casually on her head as if it were a daily ritual, yet won’t put out in any form of emotion that could let me even begin to guess what she actually feels. I guess that makes her repressed. It’s obvious she cares a lot about Yukiatsu, and the rejections may just be that she doesn’t want to be the “pity date” after the Menma obsession. For all I know, maybe she’s just dicking around, screwing with everyone out of not really caring.
They spent quite a lot of time going over Jinta’s lashing out last episode, and Jinta realizes that he’s pretty similar to Menma, and cares for others first rather than himself. Menma then later realizes this herself, and watches Jinta in awe. Excuse me Menma, but I think you’re admiring a quality about him that you were precisely lectured about earlier. Other than that, this felt like a weaker addition to furthering their relationship overall, and it’s weird how it’s supposed to “improve” their relationship, yet Jinta’s still actively keeping her out of the loop. It’s a little counter productive. The reason the relationship between these two is so off is because neither of them know exactly what they want. Jinta can’t decide if he wants her to move on or stay, and Menma doesn’t make it feel like it’s urgent to do so. The story has to go on, so Jinta keeps on going with the wishes, and it feels wishy-washy.
Back to the guessing game of Menma’s wish, we get fed more clues again. Yukiatsu clarifies on the revelation of Menma calling them to the club that day for advice in that it was to be kept a secret from Jinta. This implies the advice had something to do with Jinta, but it could still be anything. Given how the flashbacks are shown, Jinta is already there with them in the club that day, so they must have talked about it before he arrived. The possibility of the rocket being the actual wish fits the current conditions, as Menma was the one that came up with the idea, even though Jinta was well aware of it. However, if the rocket were to be the “advice” discussed that day, the resurfacing of this information should have caused some memory to be rejigged in some of the characters. It didn’t. Menma does “confirm” that the idea may be it, but given that she’s got amnesia and thought all the wishes so far were it, I’m going to have to say it’s a false road they’re going down on. Seeing as how a hit on Menma’s head cranked a memory, she could hit herself a couple more times and we’ll have solved the story! Yeah, there’s way too many of these “apparent” solutions that the show teases but ignores.
I’m a bit perplexed as to why they didn’t check out if the diary had an entry on the day of her death, which initially made this endeavor feel like a needless detour. However, because of the last few seconds, perhaps one of the bigger developments, this detour is certainly going to lead somewhere with Menma’s mother, a good reserve for some dramatic scenes. It seems I was right last episode to assume that her gaze on the group was a look of contempt. With everyone’s scarred-like behavior towards anything Menma, I can’t imagine they’d march up to her house and demand for the rocket to be made, what with all the complications going around. The lack of any explicit development makes the recent episodes feel “draggy” to write for and made me think that they might be saving up for some multiple shocking reveals near the end. It’s been great so far, but I’m still staving off most of my opinion until the final few episodes.