「I wonder」

Everything went simpler than expected. I realized I’ve been thinking “too big” for the plot, and it backfired on me hard this episode. With only three episodes remaining, this was much like a turning point, with scenes of tears back to back from characters.

Menma’s mother didn’t prove to be any “final boss” after all, as she is just like everyone else, suffering with immense resentment at the sight of her friends being still alive. Rather than become a common enemy, she springboards the realization of parental sympathy from Jintan, who later gains a new respect for his father. Menma’s little brother explained my feelings for the scene pretty well; she was pathetic, pitiful, and embarassing. The group talk afterwards resolved the issue rather adeptly, a skill in these characters that I’ve always appreciated.

Like the average movie before the climax, the main character loses everything, reverting back to the situation he was in the first episode, with only himself to solve Menma’s mystery once again. Anjou taking advantage of the situation to express her feelings was long overdue, but sadly didn’t gain any results from her confessions. I suppose it shows that things haven’t changed between the two, and it probably never will. Even so, I’ll still cheer for Anjou, because you can’t date a dead girl.

The third person to finally let out those overdue tears is Jinta, who can’t get over his conflict with Menma’s disappearance. It sucks for him, because one could say he likes Menma the most, and yet has to take on the burden of basically making her disappear. I suppose the scene was built upon the pressure and stress compounded from the previous episodes, but I think it’s fair to say Menma’s mother breaking down into tears was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Menma once again remembers Jinta’s mom, which seemed like she visited her one on one some time back in the day. It’s either a sympathetic memory, or a clue to her wish.

I always claimed that Menma’s existence to the others isn’t important, because in the end, that’s not what the show is really about. Plus, it’d totally be stupid if Menma eventually proves herself real, because she could’ve done that eight episodes ago. Well, my fears are now reality. It’s not at all that this makes the past eight episodes pointless, because no, the past eight episodes let us get to know the characters, and brought about some nice conflict. It’s that her physical bearing was a tease, something I had expected NOT to be used as a crutch to move on to the final conclusion, because it would be too easy. Way too easy. Yukiatsu’s anger, which was great as it finally exploded into physical contact with Jinta, was made to be pointless. Every character’s frustration and problems dealing with trust over Jinta’s mere words set the whole plot into relatable realism, and the WHOLE series banked on that ONE dynamic. It was extremely important, and it was the only thing that mattered. Menma doing something that completely undermines all that now even though she obviously had the power to do so back in episode one? Quite simply a mockery to my trust in the series. Did Okada Mari even know what made her plot work?

That said, there’s three episodes remaining. This was a huge step in the wrong direction, weakening most of the emotional impact of the show, but there’s a lot still left unconveyed. Menma’s wish for one, and the conclusion of the rest of the characters. No matter how bad the decision was to reveal Menma’s existence, the result should at least let the story move on.




  1. You make a good point about the past few episodes giving us a lot of good character development, but there’s a lot of needless conflict that would’ve easily been resolved if Menma had proven her existence a lot earlier. Especially at times when the opportunity was absolutely prime but nope, they gotta go and try to hide it for some reason.

    At least Anaru finally confessed. That was a good part. If you ignore how Jintan reacted by walking off, though. Like really, is that the go-to method of writing that kind of drama? The other party just walks off quietly to leave the other one crying? Can’t you do it another way, like making him actually respond somehow?

  2. I’m starting to think its not Menma’s wish, but rather Jinta’s mom’s. Perhaps she asked Menma to make a promise/wish with her to do something for Jinta, hence why Yukiatsu remembers that it was Menma who called them all to meet, minus Jinta. Thus when Menma unexpectedly dies, the promise goes unfulfilled. Thus no one remembers the wish. Thus she returns from the netherworld to finish the “wish”. Menma’s constant flashbacks to Jinta’s mom must mean something significant, and perhaps Menma has been set up as a distraction to keep us focused on something else, while missing the big picture.

    Well this is just my wild speculation.

    And I am still waiting to see if Tsuruko is crazy or not. Whats her side of the story?!?!

    1. i saw something similar in the animesuki forums, unless you’re the one that posted that. i think it makes total sense, it would make menma’s first encounter with jintan’s mom’s shrine pretty significant in retrospect. “oh yeah jintan’s mom died…”

    2. I’ve been wondering if Menma’s wish is for Jintan to be happy with Anjou and Jinta’s mom asked Menma to take care of her son (figuring they would be together) and because Menma is dead then Anjou is the next best thing.

      Whenever they show that flashback to Jintan telling Menma he doesn’t like her that embarassed and crushed look on Menma’s face breaks my heart every time.

  3. I too was a little frustrated by the sudden ability for Menma to reveal her existence by writing in her own diary and dropping it on the floor. We don’t know the repercussions of this yet, but it came as somewhat of a shock. I’m not as angry about it, though.

    I expected her to either A.) Never reveal herself, or B.) Reveal herself to all of her friends in her ‘ghost’ form. Instead we get this weird diary thing that she could have done, as Kiiragi explained, 8 episodes ago!

    I’m not so certain that Anjou “confessed” in full. I mean, she didn’t ask him out on a date or anything. She just said she feels guilty about being happy Jinta called Menma ugly because she liked him. It’s a little different, at least to me. But, I am an Anjou fan and, like Kiiragi, I hope she is the end “prize” if you would.

    Jinta walking off confused me a bit. Was it him saying to Anjou he doesn’t care about her feelings, or was it him saying she shouldn’t worry herself getting involved with him? I’m hoping for the later.

    1. Not that he doesn’t care, but more that even though Menma is dead, Jintan still loves her. He can’t reciprocate the feelings Anaru has for him, but didn’t want to directly turn her down. That’s how I saw it at least.

    1. Oops, just actually read the post. I think this episode was good because of the sense of release after eight episodes of build up. I felt like I was holding my breath until this episode and waiting for Menma’s existence to be affirmed. Kiiragi makes a good point that it may be a cop out, but I still like it because I wanted it to happen anyway.

      It’s not like the show will suddenly turn supernatural and ghostbusters show up. AnoHana will be just as dramatic as it has been with the angsty characters able resolve their feelings with Menma. The characters will get some well deserved release or purification like they wanted for Menma.

      Thus, everything can only go well from now on.

  4. I got to say im right with you on the fact that Menma shouldn’t have revealed herself. I was expecting a massive build up to a dire situation for Jinta in the last or second to last episode which FORCED her to reveal herself not, she DECIDED to reveal herself. I honestly think thats what they were trying to do and missed the timing on it.

    Maybe its simply the episode with which they revealed her presence, not so much that they did it.

  5. While I happened to like the ending of this episode, I have to admit that it did indeed feel watered down, just because they could’ve done this eight episodes ago and made the anime less interesting. I’m guessing the only way to actually grant Menma’s wish was to force the revelation of her existence, though I think it should have happened an episode or two later.

    I feel like with the early reveal of Menma’s existence, we’re going to get a filler episode or something. =/

      1. I love love. Therefore I don’t care if romance isn’t the prominent theme in AnoHana, I want to see some form of confession from Jinta to Menma.

        I am sorry Anaru.

  6. Menma’s existance to the group wasnt important, but Jinta’s words that she did exist were? There is too much contradictions there.

    Which isnt even bringing up brushing aside the fact that Jinta thought she was just in his head for most of the show.

    1. The difference is that Jintan, up to the end of this episode, acted as a bit of a weak connection between Menma and the rest of the gang. This created conflict among the characters, which was interesting to watch.

      Menma revealing herself to the group creates an immediate link between them, and everyone would not view Jinta with doubt, thus creating less conflict because everyone is more focused on granting her wish.

      Also, Jinta stopped believing she was just an hallucination quickly enough. I’d say around the time she told Jintan to tell Yukiatsu “thanks for the hairclip.”

  7. It’s sad to see that two of the characters in this anime are unable to get over their love for a dead girl all those years ago. And though this is a good show, is it really realistic to assume that high schoolers are thinking about their guilt and actions to this extent? I think everyone can attest that they didn’t think like this when they were their age.

    1. i wrote about my experience on the topic (albiet i was already in college) on the first episode thread. long story short, if a loved one dies and you have some kind of regret even if it’s not guilt, that will stay with you for a very long time.

    2. By just saying “guilt and actions” you are just watering down the situation. As the post above indicates, death and your involvement with it especially at a young age can have lasting effects *insert-evidence-to-suggest-childhood-trauma-leads-to-this-and-that.

      And yes, _most_ people can attest that they don’t ponder their guilt as much as these characters, but _most_ people don’t have childhood friends who died at a young age.

      1. How do you know death is a harder issue for kids?
        I personally call bullshit on that one.
        It’s bullshit to say everything’s harder when youre a kid.
        Death of someone important to you is a trauma at any age, and if anything it’s actually harder when your older because the older you are the better you knew the other person who died and the more sad you are.

        Also, while sentiments related to departed staying for a long time is true, the mere fact that most of them feel guilt-GUILT for not even remotely influencing Menma’s death is just dumb and an example of a bad writer using well-known phrases.
        Anjou and Jinta are really the only characters that should feel guilt because they sort of acted bad towards menma on the day before she died.
        The others should just plain feel sad…

        See Key
    3. I lost a school friend at age 9. We just got to know each other as he transfered schools kinda late in the year. But we were all happy to have a “new guy” to be friends with. He was a cool tall guy with great sense of humor, nice addition to the gang.

      Fast foward to the next year. Rumors started to spread early, while we gathered for the first daily morning flag rise of the new term.

      Some classmates: “Hey, did you know? Samuel died this summer”. “Samuel is dead, man”.
      Me and the rest: “The fuck? Hey, don’t joke about that”, “It’s a lie, shut up”.

      Soon after that, the school principal announced the death of our friend. He died along with his mother in a car accident in the middle of nowhere while coming back home after summer vacation. He had his arm amputated and lost his life in the hospital. Luckily, his dad and little sister survived.

      I have yet to feel as heavy as I felt that day. Now I’m 23 and I still remember that day as it were yesterday. I can not imagine how it would feel to lose someone really important to you as a child.

  8. It is called Genre savvy. A lot of things could make easier a show or task but for the sake of an “important plot” are being left out (genre blindness). Genre Blindness being important is really pathetic as it plays just on denseness over reason (this is the prime reason I hate horror movies).

    This was bound to happen. I would not play along with this “farse” if it ends up hurting someone (they stopped with Irene´s reaction). They obviously told Jin-tan to stop being a looney tune for once and poor Jin-tan, being the one enduring Menma´s presence can´t just “drop the act”.

    This was a wonderful episode. Why now they are sticking with the “11 pack”? they used to have 12.

    Lectro Volpi
  9. Jesus, I didn’t know who to feel worse for, Anaru or Jinta. Anaru poured her heart out for Jinta and got rejected after a really, really sad confession. And every single one of Jinta’s friends took a big, fat, emotional dump on him, saying how they didn’t believe in him and the ghost of Menma. It was even revealed that Poppo was just pretending to believe for Jinta’s sake. Luckily, much of this got resolved in the ending, but it still really sucks for Anaru.

    Even after what happened though, I still don’t blame Menma’s mom for acting crazy at her house. Just think about how ridiculous the situation sounds. Her daughter’s five friends go to her house, asking to make fireworks, then tells her that Menma would want that. To her it must totally seem that they’re using her death to screw around. Plus, it’s not like Menma’s going to be dropping diaries at her house, especially since she doesn’t want her mom to remember her.

  10. One thing I didn’t like was the scene where Menma tried to prove her existence by dropping her diary.

    Still I’d be dumb if I say this episode was crap — its not! In fact, it is the best episode yet so far!

  11. I am getting flashbacks to Madoka, where the series was amazing before the delay but it hinged on several plot devices and plot holes.

    Hopefully AnoHana can come up with something good for the end.

  12. Great episode. I understand the frustration of Menma not revealing herself in the first 7 episodes. However, I don’t necessarily think Menma is desperate to have her wish granted or that she even really knows why she is there. She loves Jintan and seems to have been more than happy just spending time with him over the years since her death. She is probably reluctant to part with him, which would make her less than willing to speed up the process of solving the mystery of why she is there.

    Only now that she sees the group back together and about to be blown apart again, with the blame almost fully on Jintan, does she step in to reveal herself to stop the damage. It makes sense to me, though I might be over-thinking it 🙂

  13. Finally!!!
    Had to wait 8 episodes for her to finally realize that she could show them a proof. That’s what she should have done from the beginning, but the serie would have sucked and been 3 episodes long.
    The serie had a bitter taste until now, of refusing to see the true, and just play around the problem.

  14. No one is at fault, but yet they are doing wrong! Such realistic manga/anime are so rare! But a point, why does Menma’s mom hate her frnz so much? Isn’t that bad? It wasn’t their fault or Menma’s fault or her family’s fault! Why the heck are they blaming themselves?

    Menma didn’t reveal herself. But the diary part proves that she isn’t Jintan’s stress, but a real ghost. Can ghosts do such things? Thia anime is confusing me. Anyhow, I would wish to see an ending in which each of them move on, as Super Peace Busters, and Menma staying there.

    Was the bond between Jintan and Menma so strong that only Jintan can see her? /(>.<)\ I want the Next ep really FAST!

  15. I have to agree that if Menma had revealed herself at the start of the series, it would’ve been a pretty lame pretense. I mean, we’ve had shows with the visible ghost (ahem Kanon) and it seems to create more tension when it could simply be a hallucination.

    Poor Anaru, I somehow figured if she were to finally confess her feelings, they would be met with the reaction she got. The whole episode overall had me going. Let’s just hope it keeps it up.

  16. I hope everyone realises that Menmas ability to affect the world around her was there all along. She did jump on Anjou and Popo and they both complained that they feel her weight on them. There is also the mater of the horrible horrible muffins, and the construction lamp in the last episode. Also Jinta asks Menma not to eat before his father as he could see it. It was foreshadowed. All in all this only proves that Menma is not the type of ghost found in 7th sense, and Jinta is not hallucinating like in Black Swan.

    If you take into account what the ending lyrics are I think its obvious why Menma is still around, and what her real wish is. I just really hope I’m wrong.

  17. I don’t agree this is plot device was a mockery. And I’m 100% sure you are wrong about this:

    Every character’s frustration and problems dealing with trust over Jinta’s mere words set the whole plot into relatable realism, the WHOLE series banked on that ONE dynamic. It was extremely important, and it was the only thing that mattered.

    Maybe that was the only thing that mattered to you and the many who could only focus on that. But the show was about a lot of many other issues that even were conveniently summarized by Jinta himself.
    – The Honma family grief.
    – Yukiatsu’s obbsesion and mess up head.
    – Anjou’s self-loathing personality.
    – Tsuruko and Popo both are also have their own deep problems.

    Just look at the screencap while asking yourself again if it’s all about the trust these guys has over Jinta’s claim.


    These are words from the redditor “TigerxDragon”. Who worded my feelings on Menma’s action (or lack of them) better than I would ever do.

    Before this episode Menma never had a reason to need to prove her existence. Before this episode the entire group was met back up, worked together, and were generally improving each others lives. That was all making Menma happy so there was little importance to her whether or not they believed Jinta or not. Then this episode happened where the break up of the group was entirely because they couldn’t see her existence so she needed to prove her self to get the group back on track.
    It fits with the story and the writers and staff knew it. It never really bothered me because until now I also never thought that it was a necessary development to throw in and now they did it and perfectly.

      1. OH YEAH, totally called the forget-me-not symbol two episodes back.

        But anyways, I definitely agree with you on everything. Menma had no reason to reveal herself to until everything actually blew up. Also, it would have been a really bad situation, if Menma proved her existence before now. Before Episode 5, Yukiatsu was much more unstable than he was now, and he definitely would have exploded at Jinta and all of his friends. Also, it’s not like Menma can show herself in front of her mom, especially since she doesn’t want her mom to remember the pain of losing her.

    1. I agree with you. Menma’s self-reveal felt like an acceptance of a particular failure. The group was unable to divine her true wants and Jinta was unable to drag them through the pain and grief of others despite how accepted he was as leader.

      Everyone had been willing to go along, despite doubts, until they started causing pain in others. Menma intentionally acted to reveal herself at the moment of their rejection of Jinta out of respect (and fear) of her family. It was the first moment when her real presence could make a difference. She hadn’t shied away from contact before but she had let Jinta lead. This moment of his failure and her choice resulting from that doesn’t make the series wasteful.

  18. I’ve posted this elsewhere but I feel that the question of why Menma didn’t prove her existence earlier was addressed really well in a section of speculation on a Japanese blog.

    From the point when Menma first appears, she had the feeling that if she had her wish fulfilled, she would probably disappear. She also was sure that her wish was something that could be fulfilled only with everyone in the Super Peace Busters involved. However, as she continued to live together with Jintan, she started to think that maybe it would be good if she could just always stay this way so she never thought of making the effort to prove her existence to the others. If she proves her existence, then things would progress to the point where her wish would be fulfilled and she would disappear. But then, she realized that by not revealing her existence, Jintan who she likes so much would be hurt instead (by others around him) so she made the decision to reveal herself, have her wish fulfilled, and finally rest in peace.

    I claim no ownership of these ideas and merely wanted to post this because I found this very convincing when I first read this. My main point is that I feel that this helps to justify why Menma revealed herself at such a late point in the story (though it’s merely speculation since we might find out later about any thoughts concerning this issue).

    1. Wow, I see that similar ideas were posted shortly before mine (though they focus on slightly different things). I also agree with the ideas that Richard presents and want to add that even Poppo asked about Menma writing it in a way that might have shown slight doubt though I’m sure that he probably sincerely believed that Jinta wasn’t lying. Overall, I think that this was a plot device implemented at the crucial timing necessary (not at all a mockery like you say kiiragi) and I’d like to defend and argue for Okada Mari having a clear idea of how and why she had Menma reveal herself.

      1. Popo may be the only one who really believed in Jinta, but that may correlate to his own way of living, denying the fact that he has grown up and living like he was still a child in his secret base (or something like that). I think he has his own issues too, he can’t get over being a child.

  19. I didn’t think it was that bad that Menma only revealed herself in this episode, even though she could have done so earlier on. I think it could also be that back then, she still believed that her presence will make others sad. Also, everytime the group was together, something else will pop up. For example, the first time everyone was together, Yukiatsu whipped out cross dressing version of Menma, and telling everyone that he can see Menma too. Then there was Poppo asking Menma to show herself, causing her to be upset. The group was always fighting amongst each other whenever Menma was around (which the exception when they were at Anjou’s house, but even then she felt her presence would make Anjou sad). This could’ve caused her to try and not show her presence. However She had frequently made body contact with the rest of the group (hugging Anjou and Poppo on different occasions). She has also given hints (i.e. telling Jintan to thank Yukiatsu for the hairclip) and yet still the others do not believe of her existance.

    I think with overhearing how hard Jintan has been working for Menma, and that the group was on the verge of splitting up after seeing her mum, it was more of a desperation attempt to get everyone back together. I actually loved the way Menma showed herself. Rather than throwing random items in the air, adding a new entry in her diary which has been untouched in years is pretty damn convincing, and I thought it was a “smart” way for her to reveal herself.

  20. As for the concern of why Menma didn’t reveal herself sooner,
    This is my speculation

    From the point when Menma first appears, she had the feeling that if she had her wish fulfilled, she would probably disappear. She also was sure that her wish was something that could be fulfilled only with everyone in the Super Peace Busters involved. However, as she continued to live together with Jintan, she started to think that maybe it would be good if she could just always stay this way so she never thought of making the effort to prove her existence to the others. If she proves her existence, then things would progress to the point where her wish would be fulfilled and she would disappear. But then, she realized that by not revealing her existence, Jintan who she likes so much would be hurt instead (by others around him) so she made the decision to reveal herself, have her wish fulfilled, and finally rest in peace.

    I claim no ownership of these ideas and merely wanted to post this because I found this very convincing when I first read this.

  21. I totally agree with ALL of this. Menma’s plot device was the one thing I didn’t want to see from Anohana. Worst of all, nothing even lead up to menma wanting to communicate to everyone. They were all fighting many times before yet what was the last straw for Menma? Because there’s only 3 episodes left of course! Maybe they’ll pull a Madoka and squeeze all the plot into the last 3. It’s kinda ironic how Jinta says they haven’t changed at all from when they were little, because they didn’t even change from episode 1.

    1. Exactly. My one hope for this series was that menma was not actually a physical entity and so could not reveal her existence. I would have to disagree with Kiiragi on one point though – he said that this plot whole didn’t ruin the show for him but I know that when I look back on this series that will be all I’ll remember.

      Plus, just to make it worse she didn’t even fully confirm her existence. I’m willing to bet that next episode everyone will think Jintan somehow wrote the stuff in the Diary. All she had to really do is pick it up – the diary floating in the air would have been much more convincing.

  22. There’s also the very slim possibility that Yukiatsu can copy Menma’s handwriting and intentionally started a fight to ‘prove’ Menma’s existence, and that the cold calls were just Yadomi being Yadomi without his knowing again.

    It’s not like it would be the first time…

  23. Finally!!!! Menma freaking did something….
    I love this series and all but I ve really been hating how Menma who can physically touch things cant even do something as simple as prove that she exist so that Jinta wouldnt look crazy to everyone.

  24. Whoa, Kiiragi, chill out man! Why get so worked up over a plot device? At least it’s not as cliched as Menma picking up a mug.

    For the record, I will have to respectfully disagree with you that Menma deciding to reveal herself was the series jumping the shark.

    As for why, krystal above pretty much got it absolutely spot on. Menma probably subconsciously wanted to prolong her after-dead existence so she could spend time with Jinta.

    But when she realizes that doing so merely increases Jinta’s suffering, she knew what she has to do and make the sacrifice – i.e. involve the Busters in fulfilling her wish, resulting in her disappearing.

    Kinny Riddle
  25. Hmm… It was definitely not what I was expecting from this. At the most I was expecting her to prove she was a ghost wrather than a hallucination and leave it at that.

    Did anyone else notice Yukiatsu’s phone was an iPhone? lol. It even has facetime XD

    O well, It hasn’t ruined the series for me imo but it all depends on how they deal with it in the remaining episodes.

    1. I was the same. I’d rather see it happen sooner or later than not at all since I was really curious as to how it would play out. Plus, with the reasoning the others gave above, neglecting proving Menma’s existence for so long doesn’t seem as stupid.

  26. There’s so many theories being thrown around here that I think the guilt which all of them face is the real problem because they can’t help themselves. They still have deep ties with each other and haven’t been able to face the idea of their lives being different. Menma especially, why would she come back and specifically only to Jintan? Has she also been unable to pass on or only is there for Jintan as she likes him?

    This might have been written lots of time. Correct me if I’m wrong

  27. i..didnt really mind menma revealing her presence that much, as a matter a fact i actually kinda anticipated it. I mean if u think about it, menma s’probaly just as frustrated as the others are over her and what its like to know they cant see you. However this does go back to what you were saying about it being a tease and i could understand that but i liked it i gess :P.Despite everything, one of the best episode thus far XD

  28. The issue I raise, while not as extreme as kii’s complaint: If Menma had it so easy in contacting others, why did she have issue with Popo asking for her to show herself? I doubt he cared how she showed herself to him, even if she just threw a cup at him. So, why did she cry about it? Its not like she didn’t know how or not have the capabilities to do it… it seems as if that was an episode ending that was designed simply to pull our heart strings even if, in context of later developments, it didn’t make any sense.

    The only thing I can see being the reason for why she waited so long was either: doubt, reservation, or that in showing herself as she does it creates problems for her in some way. If she starts phasing out next episode or if we see that, in spite of it all, doubt still lingers in the minds of her friends then I can understand why she waited/hesitated/didn’t. The former is self-explanatory but the latter, if you pause to think about it, would be crushing to experience. You try and convince your friends that you are there, you leave them a note, and then… in spite of it all, they doubt you and the one person they can see is accused of even more cold-heartedness. I doubt the latter will come up, though possible, and I see this development as an aim at aiming us towards a conclusion even if its not in the best way possible.

    All that said, blah blah blah, cookies and milk, this was a good episode that fleshed out more on our characters (fore and background) and I still enjoyed it and the ending. Analyzing the ending leads to some red-flags or cocked eyebrows but it was still enjoyable and touching the first time it was seen.

    It isn’t the 6th Sense in terms of pow-development with the doctor but, heck, its still good.

    1. Heh, sounds like I wasn’t the only one hoping for a Sixth Sense/Perfect Blue type of revelation like I mentioned in the April monthly post. Unfortunately, recent episodes made that possibility less likely, so I had pretty much given on that idea and have been looking forward to the direction that this story actually takes.

      Like many others have already stated, I like the way Menma revealed herself here and didn’t feel it was a cop-out plot device. Early on in the series, Menma, Jinta, and of course us viewers, weren’t even sure whether she was a ghost or his hallucination, which made the series extremely captivating as more of the story (both past and present) was told through their interactions. While I wanted answers to my suspicion, I was engrossed by the in-depth and emotional look at how everyone’s changed since Menma’s death, so I didn’t mind the extra build-up towards the eventual revelation. To me, this always makes for good development in a drama anyway.

      I also feel that Menma hasn’t had any reason to reveal herself to everyone, considering that she was purposely avoiding doing so. From my understanding of the story thus far, Menma didn’t want to remind everyone of her death and have them feel bad about it. She mentioned this to Jinta when he visited her mother, saying she wants her mother to just forget about her and move on, so it’s only natural to assume she wants the same for her friends.

      As for Poppo asking Menma to show herself to him, I had a very similar thought as you did, wondering why Menma broke down in tears instead of giving him some indication that she’s really around. In connection to the above, I believe it’s because she was torn over revealing that she exists (because she really wants to be with them) and her original desire to have all her friends move on with their lives (knowing that she never can).

      Interestingly enough, her reaction then is what made the ending of this episode leave much more of an impact. Over the past couple of episodes, Menma realized that the group was falling apart from their guilt after overhearing all their telephone conversations and finally felt that she had to do something about it, even if it meant that she may move on sooner and not be able to spend time with Jinta anymore.

      P.S. Menma’s younger brother’s name is Satoshi, or “Sakkun” like she affectionately called him, and he’s played by Mizuhara Kaoru.

      1. I would have loved a sixth sense style but this isn’t bad either, heh.

        I am 50/50 on the idea that she didn’t reveal herself because she was torn between moving on faster, interfering with their lives, or seeing them all on move on with their own lives. I can certainly understand the thought in it but the I feel as if two of the three could happen just as fast if she and they come to a conclusion (such as granting her wish) while working together. Its a pretty staple plot-point that everyone has regrets that they cannot let go of so if she stays hidden, Jintan continues talking, then their old wounds will only open and never heal. If, on the other hand, she were to reveal herself first or right off (knowing now that she could, or at least sooner since we’ve seen indication since the baking episode that she had an effect on ‘reality’) they could have worked to solve their grievances and old wounds in a way that would be beneficial (I think they are going that way either way but it seems like it could have happened sooner).

        What I can say in counter to the above, though, is that she did not think she needed to be revealed which is understandable. Jintan was going out for once, Anaru was opening up, Tsuruko…, jerk-ass got over one problem and seemed to be warming up to his old friends, and Popo was pulling the whole group together through his antics.

        I dunno, its just something to think about. I still greatly enjoy the show and this episode.

      2. Vera, It seems you missed something, I can’t understand this passage:

        I can certainly understand the thought in it but the I feel as if two of the three could happen just as fast

        I believe that the reasons why she decided to write that last entry are pretty clear: she didn’t want to see them fighting. Sin ir mas lejos, It’s written on the damn note.
        More should be revealed in next week’s episode and It shouldn’t be a such a big deal as the diary was last week (people went apeshit with the diary reading last week).

        BTW, Episode 5 had two different moments to think about: Menma delivering a message through Jintan and after that, behaving differently with Popo. There’s clearly more going on, and we will know about it in the next episodes.

      3. That’s pretty much what I was getting at. Menma never felt that she had to step in (or should step in for that matter) until she learned about everyone’s guilt and how it was tearing them apart.

        In hindsight we can say she could have revealed herself earlier, but that’s assuming she knew exactly how everyone felt right from the get-go. There hasn’t been any indication that she’s been watching over them all this time though, meaning the first seven episodes were largely devoted to Menma finding out how they’ve all changed since her death.

      4. My only issue with that idea Divine is that though the show the impression I got was that Menma really wanted everyone to see her, or rather she wanted (or wants) to play with everyone like they did when they were younger. Certain parts like when she jumps on the other characters or shouts at them kinda imply to me that she’s wanted them to know that she exists, and not just in their memories but right in front of them. Thats just my take on it but they’ve been too vague about Menma’s feelings to really say anything for certain – (I’m expecting an outpour from Menma to everyone on the last episode; everyone seems to have had their own monologue fully portrayed except hers).

      5. Richard, I understand why she wrote what she did, my statement was directed at what reasons she might have had prior to that event for not revealing herself in the way that she did now, as I joked she could have thrown a cup at Popo’s head or anyone’s for that matter and shown her ‘presence’.

        I am 50/50 on the idea that she didn’t reveal herself because she was torn between moving on faster, interfering with their lives, or seeing them all on move on with their own lives. I can certainly understand the thought in it but I feel as if two of the three could happen just as fast if she and they come to a conclusion (such as granting her wish) while working together. Its a pretty staple plot-point that everyone has regrets that they cannot let go of so if she stays hidden, Jintan continues talking, then their old wounds will only open and never heal.

        What I was speaking of here was that, had she revealed herself from the get-go or from the point where she realized she could effect reality by moving objects (cooking episode) then two of the three issues she may have had: everyone moving on with their lives and her interfering with their lives, could have been solved all the faster. Think of it, whether or not she is revealed, she’s in their lives and has been for the last X years since she died. None of them were going to “move on” and that is a staple plot point in all of this, that they are bogged with regret. So, when she appears to only one of them, that one of them mentions her name even in simple passing, brings backs bad memories and regrets for everyone. No one was going to “move on” in the cases where either she was dead and gone or a ghost no one could see, she was on their minds one way or the other. (That is to say, being torn is a bad plot device unless its actually a character trait of being… well childish. I’ll get to this in a line or two.) In effect, by not revealing herself, her presence causes a negative which ultimately culminated in this episode. (So, in fact, a way we should be looking at it is that all of this, the boiling point of emotion and conflict reached in this episode, is in fact her fault. Which, in many ways, it is.)

        That is what I was speaking of, if we’re going to break it down into her being torn it will amount to: a fear of moving on or not (faster or not at all); there is no consideration present for the sake of others because (as I’ve talked about above) her not revealing herself leads to negatives, accumulating and lingering grief/guilt, and dissonance between friends. (This episode is this in all ways.) Had she revealed herself, the latter would not happen because in her being present then their grievances/regrets/guilt can be put to rest (which is going to be happening now) and her wish would be granted.

        So, in conclusion, by taking this analysis to such an extreme I’ve decided that we’re dealing not with bad plot or cheat plot (still debatable) but with selfishness vs. selflessness, child vs. adult. Ie. Menma’s character traits vs. Jintan’s developing character, her foil. He grew up, one way or the other, she didn’t.

        Fandango! Just because.

  29. That’s was a great episode. And I disagree with Kiiragi. I wanted to see Menma showing herself and see the reaction of the group (especially Yukiatsu). Sure, they could’ve done this earlier, but I don’t dislike the way they did it now. This show 9.8 out 10 so far.

  30. While I agree that her physical presence could have been revealed much earlier on, I am taking the reveal this episode with a ‘Alright! FINALLY!!! (^o^)’ attitude as opposed to feeling annoyed at it.

    It was kind of the same for me with Endless Eight. I didn’t look at it with resentment, but with a sense of satisfaction that after 8 episodes (which works for both series), we finally get what we’ve been waiting for.

  31. This episode was both incredibly satisfying and extremely disappointing. I found myself thinking the exact same thing “MENMA, WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THIS EIGHT EPISODES AGO?!” and yet, I’m just so happy that they’re finally all on the same page.
    Highlight of the episode for me was Anaru’s confession, perhaps simply because I like Anaru the best. I think I’d find Menma highly irritating in real life. Jintan, you better give Anaru some recognition at the end of the series. She’s a more interesting person too!
    I found Yukiatsu’s exclamations highly ridiculous as he claims to be so cool and collected and then just snaps at people. His words were highly hypocritical as well.
    There are several things I think need to happen in the next few episodes:
    We need a fucking introduction to Tsuruko. It’s slightly ridiculous to me that we STILL don’t know anything about her.
    We need Jintan to actually STICK UP for himself for once and get shit done.
    We need to find SOMETHING wrong with Poppo so that he can develop… you know…
    We need Anaru to forgive herself for being HUMAN. And we need Jintan to tell her that. Still, I think Anaru’s character is the most fleshed out.
    We need Yukiatsu to move on. Period. AND we need to understand how he can go from an obsessive cross dresser to a normal rage filled guy and why the hell he decided to cross dress in the first place. (If someone would like to remind me of something regarding this, it would be great.)
    And Menma’s mom… she needs to get out. She needs to face reality and see what she’s doing to those around her, especially her son. Nothing excuses that. Not even loss.

  32. I disagree with your feelings about how the plot is going, that ending sequence was fantastic and had me on the edge of my seat. Yes, Menma could have revealed herself earlier but then at that point there was not much point in her revealing herself. The story is about Menma’s wish but the 6 characters each move the story along in different ways and that for me is the story. Whether they knew Menma was there or not for 8 episodes is irrelevant imho, though now they will gain trust in Jinta and work towards her wish as a group over the next 3 episodes.

    This was an amazing episode.

  33. well, menma was a ditz and jinta’s currently a social recluse…

    so jinta couldn’t just tell menma to show herself, and menma’s not the brightest person so i sort-of understand why it took her this long to reveal herself.

    1. A very good point made here. Jinta for the longest time thought of Menma as his own “problem/regret” and is the reason for only him seeing her. Obviously after a while he realized that may not be the case. But he can’t just tell her “Hey menma punch Yukiatsu in the groin will ya?”

  34. I enjoyed the episode.

    Assuming it’s 11 or 12 episodes, it’s obvious they had to make some kind of revelation to push getting everyone to come together to grant the wish.

    Some will be annoyed that Menma now gets the idea to physically show herself. I guess you could speculate though that maybe she has the thought “If the wish is granted, I will disappear from this life and won’t be able to be with Jinta”–so maybe she wanted to be a little selfish and remain with Jinta for a while. Then after seeing so much conflict between the friends, she finally decides to that it’s time to get rid of the rough feelings that were created over the previous episodes.

    Either way, I was fine with how it turned it. 🙂

  35. I hate it that Menma revealed herself. She could have done this what…. 7.5 episodes ago? I was hoping Menma was like a personification of Jinta’s inner turmoil brought on by the anniversary of Menma’s/his mother’s death and longing for the past where everything was the better and more innocent. Instead we are setting up for a deux ex machina where Menma is revived or the same ending as before- but with a less believable lead up. (aka Menma disappears after fulfilling her wish- everyone cries, etc etc.)

    Still probably the best show this season, but could be so much better if Menma didn’t do anything and in an epilogue Jinta realized she was a expression of his inner desire to reconnect with his friends and heal their wounds. Then it could be like an international bestselling novel instead of a light novel.

  36. I have to 100% disagree with what you said here.

    She couldn’t have possibly shown any “proof” of her existence. Why? At first she didn’t even know that Jinta was the only one that could see her. And with Menma being the way she is, it seemed like she was pretty content with the way things were (compared to being just dead) since she is still “alive”. But after everything she heard from Poppo and about Jintas part time job (along with finding out about everyone working hard for her dream) she most likely couldn’t stand around and not do anything.

    So she “calls” everyone so that she can show:

    A) Jinta isn’t lying and she is actually there.

    B) She’s not useless. She isn’t just a spectator anymore.

    I personally thought how they ended this episode was by far the best cliffhanger. Why? Well look at the preview for one. Obviously theres going to be a lot of confusion going around now. Poppo will obviously be like “JINTA!!! SHES REAL! REAL REAL REAL REAL REAL RE-”

    But the others, you can’t be so certain. Yukiatsu obviously will deny it along with his GF (come on she is at this point). Anjou will have the “I want to believe but cant” ordeal.

    Just because this came to light doesn’t mean everyone will just accept it and have a happy ending.

    Remember, you can’t judge a series or story until the last episode.

    Code Geass S2. I’ve gotta say I watched that and after a while thought “Alright Lelouch is psycho and is power crazy. Done deal”. But here comes the final episode to show the true intentions. That blew my mind. Made me think of the show from a sub-par level to a “A great ending to a great series”

    1. I don’t agree with this “she could have done this on the 1st episode”. It’s a obvious thing to do, the first thing you think of actually, but think about that: little by little, if not suddenly, an socially excluded boy says he can see a dead girl. A dead girl that tickles inside everyone but, still, managed to regroup everyone together.

      To simply ask her “hey, move that so they can notice you are there”, and then a object would stand still in middle air, that would make the group fall apart, make Jintan look worse than he already was.

      What I’m trying to say is that, given all the tension built up ever since Menma first appeared, trying to prove her existence really isn’t a easy task. I’d say that what happened this very episode was pretty much well done, the timing was perfect. And it was not a coincidence.

      What I’m really afraid of is the end and how all this will be finished off.

  37. Upon reading what kiiragi wrote, I was going to defend how Menma not revealing herself earlier dilemma. Fortunately many already defended what happened. eight episodes earlier, yukiatsu believed Menma is a hallucination. under no circumstance will he have an idea what exactly is she capable of because he isn’t sure what is really happening. even if Menma moved or ate or stuff he could be simply hallucinating it. Now Menma proves that she is not a hallucination not only to Yukiatsu but to everyone.

    Jack Vojack
  38. I would have to respectfully disagree with your thoughts Kiiragi. You seem to feel that Menma’s reveal is simply a plot device to move the story forward to a conclusion. While it does move the story forward, I personally feel that it did not lessen the emotional impact so far and it is as also very revealing of Menma’s character. Yes, Menma could have revealed herself, but her inaction can be just as important in revealing her character development.

    This is simply conjecture, but she probably really didn’t want to have her wish granted and so really didn’t try to reveal herself to others. Why, I’m not so sure, but it is likely that she would hate to be a burden on others. It has already been touched upon that Menma always thinks of other before herself, sometimes to a fault. This is why Jin-tan tries to keep their efforts of granting her wish a secret. Also, considering that Menma seems content to stay at Jin-tan’s place and have fun reinforces this thought. In fact, she doesn’t really seem to worry too much over her true wish. However, when she sees first-hand the anguish that her friends are experiencing due to her death, she finally admits that it may be time to move on, both for herself and to bring peace to her friends and family. At least, this is my personal opinion.

    Without Menma’s actions, I believe the characters would continue to remain in an emotional quagmire. The previous episodes already indicate the inability of each character to move on, particularly the actions of Yukiatsu. While the severity of their feelings may lesson over the years, they would never be fully able to escape their perceived guilt. Thus, Menma’s eventual decision to reveal herself do not really make the character’s feelings to be pointless. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of them and the desire to move forward and bring healing.

  39. I’d have to respectfully disagree also. I just don’t think it lessened or cheapened any of the emotional impact from before. I think, if you want to consider Menma’s reveal as a ‘plot device’ that they wrote themselves into a corner, and had no choice. After Menma’s mother’s outburst, there was nothing to hold them together anymore.

    Kiiragi said,

    “Every character’s frustration and problems dealing with trust over Jinta’s mere words set the whole plot into relatable realism, and the WHOLE series banked on that ONE dynamic.”

    I’d have to disagree, I don’t think any of them ever trusted Jinta’s words. It was apparent to me that all of them believed what he said not because they really had any faith in him, but because it aligned with their own interests and emotions. After the first half of the episode, that very tenuous self interest was exposed as selfish: projecting their pain onto others, as Yukiatsu put it, rather than actually helping.

    Yukiatsu had been doing something similar and so was tolerant, but seeing Memna’s mother finally led to Yukiatsu getting fed up with the act. Tsuruko has no reason to continue to be interested if Yukiatsu wasn’t. Anaru humored Jinta because of her guilt, not though any true belief. She never believed. If you look closely at earlier episodes, she always turns away when they talk directly about Menma existing. After her admission of guilt, she was left a broken mess and also had no reason to come to terms with Jinta or the rest of them. Yukiatsu’s comment about Jinta projecting his pain onto others was right, but not for Jinta; that’s why Poppo wants to believe. He wants to bring everyone back together and enjoy those bygone times not for Menma, but for himself. His almost desperate frustration when anyone questions their reason for being together betrays his real reasons.

    To sum it up, trust in Jinta NEVER held any sway over them. They never believed him. The funny thing is, they’re completely right. In a world where Menma was just an illusion, Jinta is quite clearly insane. Yukiatsu and Anaru have been humoring him, thinking perhaps it will help them all get over it. Tsuruko doesn’t really care either way. Poppo uses the entire incident as a device to bring everyone back together. All of these ‘reasons’ to believe in Jinta were destroyed by the end of this episode so there was literally nothing holding them together.

    The characters emotions are realistic and relatable, because the situation is very real, and if in reality, they’d have split right here. Their emotional scars run too deep. There’s no way to reconcile this properly, even for Jinta. Jinta clearly doesn’t believe she’s an apparition. If she really isn’t, then he really is completely and utterly insane. The consequent of Menma starting this is she has to end it.

    I also agree with two other points made about Menma:

    Before this episode Menma never had a reason to need to prove her existence. Before this episode the entire group was met back up, worked together, and were generally improving each others lives. That was all making Menma happy so there was little importance to her whether or not they believed Jinta or not.


    Menma didn’t want to reveal herself for two reasons: she’s afraid (to some degree, she hasn’t gotten over her own death herself, this is clearly shown during the periods of Jinta and Menma’s apathy), and she wanted to help her friends move on, not get hung up on her.

  40. Wow, writer-san that’s really smart of you….after 8 episodes, FINALLY proving Menma’s existence by making phone calls or dropping a diary = =….. (why can’t you just let her write down her feelings, instead of making Jinta passing on her msgs…??)

    I dare say this series is a disappointment….it didn’t go into the depth I was expecting, its plot not as promising as it seemed ….the characters are lacking an amazing bunch of common sense (in solving the Menma problem) that they no longer seemed real or relatable…let’s see how they wrap this up

  41. Kiiragi, another poster from another blog posted Menma’s reason for not revealing herself simply as her running away the reality of her being dead, and not wanting to move on from the present situation. Also it came from the fact that she saw herself as a burden that made everyone dear to her miserable. Therefore, she chose to hide herself away.

    Her mother said that everyone’s changed and moved on, and time is frozen only for Menma. However, that wasn’t really the case because nobody’s really moved on like Jintan said in his monologue; everyone’s still wrecked with guilt and misery over her death.

    That said, Menma revealing herself was a sign that she chose to stop running away from the reality of the situation, and as a plot device, it may seem shallow at first, but it’s very fitting.

    This episode was a climax so to speak. Seeing as Naruko, Jintan, and Yukiatsu chose to stop face their problems and feelings regarding her death. They’ve all stopped running away and chose to confront the problem. Menma chose to do the same with regards to her own death.

    Also, I find it unfair to criticize Menma revealing herself as a shallow plot device given the motives behind her revealing herself, and her choosing to hide herself to begin with. Time was frozen for everyone, not just Menma. Menma making a move is just a sign that time has finally started moving for the group again.

    Note: Menma couldn’t actually reveal herself prior to this. As noted by her breaking down in front of Popo.

    1. that explanation sooort of makes sense, but i cant help but think that memna not revealing herself up until this point was for the sake of dragging on the drama and use as a plot device. jinta has been taking quite a bit a shit from everyone because they didnt believe that he could actually see her, and all she did was cry and acted unsure of what to do.
      this is an amazing series no doubt, but i think that it was pretty obvious to everyone watching this show that she couldve easily revealed herself earlier on without a problem. i find this to be an annoying plot hole that the series didnt try hard enough to patch up or justify why.

    2. That explanation is nothing more than a justification for bad writing. She could have done this from the very beginning. Even if she somehow forgot that, she would have done this when she saw people regard Jinta as a clinically insane idiot who is living in the past. Reasoning behind this is obvious. She wouldn’t want him to be hurt.

      This happened right now because the writer wrote him/herself into a corner. Hence this deus ex machina, where they didn’t know how not to make everyone turn their back onto Jinta except through this cheap event.

      Pretty weak, and it’s not helping that it stands out in this otherwise great episode.

      1. Not going to get into a debate over this. You obviously belonged to the Jintan’s crazy camp, and are therefore peeved that they chose to go down to the supernatural route. All I can say is get over it? Nothing cheap about it. The writers have been hinting towards it all along at any rate. On the contrary, I would have been to be disappointed had there been no proof she that she really wasn’t just in his head, so I can sort of relate to your feelings.

  42. So the gang finally accepts Menma’s presence. She can communicate with more than Jinta now.
    Lets see how this plays out.
    I was really sad to see Anaru so heartbroken, and pretty much confessing to no avail.

  43. The major pitfall here is that Jinta and everyone else is running around trying to fulfill Menma’s wish which is still pretty much unknown. On top of that Menma doesn’t know/reveal what that wish is and just says she’s here until that wish is fulfilled.
    I find myself feeling why should I care for a happy ending for Menma. I’m just not liking her character.

  44. Personally, I believe her revealing her existence at the very beginning would have solved nothing. What good would it have done if she had indeed do that? None what so ever. Sure, Yukiatsu, Tsuruko, Poppo and Anaru would see that Jinta is right – so what? That would be all, they would just continue with their lives like they always have, they would just stop seeing Jinta as a mentally ill person. Then what? Only they would know, Jinta would still remain a social reject. It’s not like they will suddenly change their attitude towards him just like that. Anaru is a weak conformist, Yukiatsu is a hubris guy, Tsuruko follows Yukiatsu, and Poppo will just be himself.

    Jinta never held much of anyone’s respect after the disintegration of the Super Peace Busters, and as Delwack pointed out, everyone had their own reason for ‘playing along’ with Jinta’s little ‘delusions’. It was through those that we got our character depth and plot, and surely enough, Jinta slowly regained some respect – he was the leader once more.

    Then all of a sudden, Menma’s mother breaks down right in front of the group destroying their peaceful, little world. They realise it is not only they who are suffering from Menma’s death. All of them, except Jinta, loses their reasons to follow him and the group falls apart once again. Everything is nearly broken – Menma shows up.

    Thinking from Menma’s point of view (which was never really shown), I find it almost unbearable that she was forced to play this hand and reveal her existence. Despite knowing that she is dead, she finds it outright impossible to accept that reality, that’s why she was always running from those who cannot see her. She believes, almost entirely, that she’s still alive, that she’s able to spend time with the one she loves after all those years waiting, that she can still have fun with the entire Super Peace Busters. To reveal her existence to those other than Jinta (who can see her) meant accepting her death and accepting losing what she had believed in. When Poppo was desperately calling out to her despite her being right in front of him brought her to tears because it was destroying the world she was living in.

    At the end of the episode Menma apologises to Jinta (and everyone else) for not being able to reveal her existence earlier causing the suffering each character went through particularly Jinta, and for being selfish. She finally accepts everything, acknowledges everyone’s actions and turmoil, and forces the clock to tick.

    1. Wow, I agree with Kiiragi completely. You don’t prop up the premise of a show on some fucking nonsense. Yeah, it would’ve ended early and killed the story. But it’s the writer’s job to think up of believable ways of creating a show.

      Think of it this way. (An example of a story.)

      There’s a man trapped in a hotel room with an open door. Now he could just go through the door, but that would ruin the story. Instead, we’re given 5 episodes about him surviving using the food that his captors left for him. Episodes that also have him trace his memories of any people who want to kidnap him. Episodes that have him train in preparation of any possible fighting. Episodes that also have him use his eating utensils to slowly claw his way through one of the walls.

      But you see, that all doesn’t matter because he should have tried using the open door in the first place.

      1. No real-world rules that we know of. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended and Menma actually was an hallucination and Jinta was just insane. All of the “encounters” could then be explained through flashbacks as natural occurrences or being setup unbeknownst by Jinta.

        The nosebleed scene keeps coming back to mind.

  45. I get the feeling that Jinta’s mom asked Menma to do something for her son. Something other than “take care of him”. It’s probably what Menma called the super peace buster meeting for (warning the others not to let Jinta know). I have a feeling that Menma has basically been a Red Haring for Jinta’s issues. Menma is back to help Jinta get over the loss of his mother, not the loss of Menma.

    This makes a lot of sense, since if you think about it everyone else is incapable of confronting their issues. They may recognize that they have issues, but its not in their power to cope with it. From the beginning, Jinta has recognized Menma’s presence as his “issue” and been confronting it trying to fix it. But that’s why it’s not really his issue. His real issue is the death of his mother, and he is preventing himself from confronting that issue by focusing on Menma’s ghost.

    1. P.S. As further support, I offer the proof of Menma being a ghost and not just Jinta’s hallucination. Which justifies Okada Mari’s decision to use the physical presence to provide that proof. It’s necessary to reveal Menma as the red herring.

  46. The revelation of Menma’s existence was much too easy, so I’m holding out on the possibility that this was a gambit, and that the final episodes will blow our minds.

    I’m hoping so, at least- because I really enjoyed the series thus far- I want a strong finish.

    1. It would be an especially powerful red herring if she ended up not being real. Even before this episode there has been tons of evidence to indicate her existence.

      So if you are right, and this is all just designed to throw us off guard… I’m not sure what I would think. I guess it depends on how it ended… if there will even be an ending. I always go into a series with the assumption that it will have an “open ending”.

      Is it possible that Jinta was actually delusional? All of the evidence of Menma being there can be explained through natural events through flashbacks? Maybe Jinta has just gone crazy and developed multiple personalities, one of which is setting all of this up?

      That would be… to coin a 90s phrase… totally whack!

      As long as Anjou and Jinta end up together, I honestly don’t care how it ends. >_<

  47. I don’t have the first episode anymore to confirm, but I think Menma did try to “reveal” herself in that episode … or at least she tried to. On that very first episode, she knew that Jinta could see her, and when Anaru came by she embraced her. Anaru wondered what the sudden ache in her neck was which caused Menma to question why Anaru couldn’t see her. Being the very first episode and possibly first incident of seeing Menma, as I recall Jinta kept thinking he was hallucinating so he probably didn’t think too much to tell Anaru that Menma-ghost is ‘real’ and around.

    I think Menma-ghost just didn’t bother to physically contact anyone before because she knew the rest couldn’t see her. Why bother? But in this episode she probably got fed up with everyone accusing Jinta, hence why she decided to take action now.

  48. Best episode so far with nearly flawless execution. Anohana has gotten really good; I preferred Hanasaku to it in the beginning but now, no Spring 2011 even comes remotely close to it.

  49. We know Menma made the pastry thingies earlier on in the series.

    But maybe she only just realised that she could interact with objects when she used the telephone. After all, even her mother said she was pretty slow and probably didn’t realise she was dead (although she gave a bad example seeing as she does know she’s dead)

    Also the above points made by people about Menmas conflicting thoughts on what she wants to do now she’s technically in a state of eternal life and has to choose whether to move on quickly or stay with her friends.

  50. Just to throw it out there: I can understand why Menma broke down in tears when Poppo asked her to prove her existence, I mean put yourself in her shoes, how many times does reality have to rub it in your face that you are dead and dont belong in this world? Also, from our logical perspective, Menma revealing herself by levitating a cup or something right away makes the most sense. But how would she feel about that? Her friends would more than likely be shocked/freaked out about it, not to mention they cant hear her out. Remember, despite her looks, Menma is fundamentally still a child…its hurtful to be disliked by other because you are ‘different’.

  51. Have to disagree that Menma revealing her physical existence betrays the show … on the contrary .. it shows Menma herself had conflicted feelings and was hiding them … despite seeming like an air-head and having the mind of a child … yeah .. she does mention her wish to Yadomi … but maybe she did so she finds an excuse to bring everyone together (they would need an excuse) … then she realizes that maybe if her wish is made true .. she might leave this world … but then again if the group doesn’t have a strong motive to band together they will disperse (like what happened this ep) … then finally seeing the suffering she caused (Yadomi crying, the whole group fighting, her mother .. etc etc) she made up her mind and decided to push things towards the final conclusion of having her wish granted even if it will means she will only stay with everyone for a short period then disappear.

    That explains the “time out” phrase Menma said –>i.e she made up her mind/decided to take action .. she said it when she came into the hideout .. so it isn’t really a deus-ex machina at all IMO (i used to think it is until recently) … it might not have been communicated too well .. but some people did figure it out .. it is there .. i too was waiting for her to use her physical presence to prove her existence .. but now i realized why it was delayed to this ep (several reasons .. most importantly Menma’s own hesitation of having her wish granted … and Yadomi thinking he is having a strong vivid hallucination) … and it feels just right.

  52. Did Okada Mari even know what made her plot work?

    I’m pretty sure she does, at least I know she’s the writer, not Kiiragi. Besides, like what everyone already mentioned, Menma is most possibly a plot device, the red herring from the real point of this story.

  53. It being fictional isn’t an excuse. There’s a ghost. So what?

    Does that mean it would be alright for a magical, cyborg-giraffe to appear and destroy the town in the next episode just because the show is fictional? Fiction isn’t synonymous with nonsense.

    The Tyler Durden-esque scenario doesn’t quite fit either. If it were Jinta actually performing Menma’s tangible actions, how did she knock over a mug in her own house without his presence? And if Menma’s actually a hallucination, why does she have a tangible effect on the environment?

    And if she’s a ghost, you can refer to the first post.

  54. It may have a few plot holes and it may not be ground-breaking in the drama genre, but it is good enough to stir one’s emotions. It may not be the best… but it is better than all the generic ecchi/comedy/harem/romance anime out there; Anohana is a breath of fresh air.
    Many people are saying that it is overrated and “not that good”, yet I rather see this anime, and not a tasteless and plotless ecchi anime, gain the attention of the public eye.

    It has made me tear up a few times… and i think that it should at least win the title of Best 2011 Spring Anime…. But hey, to each their own.

    *In no way is this comment meant to insult or criticize anyone’s point of view regarding the credibility that this anime has attained.*

    Akai Ito
  55. Well I thought it was very entertaining. Obviously the show isn’t trying to be revolutionary. It’s just accomplishing everything with impeccable timing so just sit back and enjoy the ride already.

  56. Up until now I was rooting for Jintan’s success in bringing everyone together, and while that hasn’t changed, this episode made me hate him.

    That gutless idiot couldn’t even respond to Anjou properly. Though I didn’t expect much from him anyways due to his introverted nature, the emotionless front he portrayed to mask the self-loathing completely put it past me.

    Props to the creators for making a character I pity yet hate so much.

  57. I don’t see Menma revealing herself now instead of back in episode 1 to be a problem. After all, she has no basis from which she would be inclined to reveal herself. She trusts that her friends would trust Jinta at his words and that was enough for her. It was only after hearing Poppo on the phone with another member of the group that she realized she was mistaken. That her actions (of not revealing herself) has basically put a lot of heat on Jinta. And that contrary to her beliefs, her friends do not trust Jinta’s words. Menma might have the body of a teenage girl right now but her mentality and memory’s still pretty much stuck to the time of her death, that of an innocent child. I don’t think children would expect people to not believe them if they say they saw a ghost, or Santa Claus.

    Also, you might ask why Jinta doesn’t ask Menma to reveal herself to the group. I could ask you, “why should he?”. Jinta may have his own reasoning to it but I personally think that it is not in his personality to be selfish. To ask Menma to do something like a poltergeist movement just to make things easier for him doesn’t seem to fit him very well. Besides, culturally speaking, Japanese are not big on self-interest and have been trained from young to put the group and communal interests before self and by extension, the other person before oneself. Jinta may fit the mold of such an archetype too in that he thinks about Menma and fulfilling her wishes rather than how it affects him and I think we’ve seen plenty of clues to allude to that.

  58. Well Menma’s decision did come as a shock to me as I was actually expecting her to be a hallucination of Jinta… And every physical phenomenon that everyone experiences is actually done by Jinta and his vision of Menma carrying them out is his mind’s method to cope with the changes.
    But this is fine as well 😀
    This episode did evoke a lot of emotion from me. From Menma’s mother being unable to accept that only her daughter is not alive to Yukiatsu’s outburst of begging Jintan to stop tormenting him with the memory of Menma. From how the story is progressing, I see no other way for Jinta and co. to resolve the high tension moment at the “base” other than Menma revealing herself or Jinta finally realising that he was really hallucinating… Though I feel that this moment could be reserved for the last episode for a great catharsis.,.,., seems like it wont be so… Now i am really interested in how they will pull off the last 3 episodes that will deliver the emotional impact people has been waiting for (or not).

  59. Now that I’ve watched it again(kind of rushing through it the first time). I feel the ending of this episode is very well done… seriously, secret base is just THE ED song for Ano Hana, there is no other song more fit to it than this, especially for this episode.

  60. Actually I think it’s a good timing. Maybe one of the reasons Menma finally did it was because she has seen everybody works so hard for her and finally, she sees them fighting in front of them.
    What she wrote in the diary is very touching, I cried in the end.
    Best ep so far. But I’m kind of worried how this will work out for the next 3 episodes.

  61. Wow did this series turn out to be awful…
    I really thought it might eventually get better until this episode.
    First they ruined Menma’s mom character, which by all means should be the most emotional character in this type of set up (parnets definately suffer MUCH more then the dead’s friends), then going with the “menma reveals herself after all lulz” plot-point after purposely avoiding it for so long, and it’s been 8 episode and we still don’t even know how Menma died but characters still rant about feeling guilty about….. Something?

    The execution in this episode was especially awful except for the last scene (which in my opinion was killed by stupidity anyway).
    Menma’s mom’s pain is realisitic, but she went crazy from absolutely nowhere. It was kinda like:
    “MM: Here, here! Come in and have some milk n’ cookies!!
    Jinta an’ friends: Thanks Menma’s Mom!! Hey can we make fireworks for-
    They should at least try to make the characters say something to provoking to her.
    Plus, even if she is jealous of the kids for growing up, you’d think an adult person would realize what sort of selfish thoughts those are and won’t just say them out to thier face like that. Espcially after all these years since Menma died. (Then again in the episode when they got the diary it’s kind of implied they cut-connection with her parents after she died… o3o Those kids are kinda jerks lol. Thinking of it like that, no wonder she’d hate them.)
    Personally I’d be kinda mad when hearing people say such inconsiderate stuff about a parent who lost his child like Kiiragi said in his post (“Menma’s little brother explained my feelings for the scene pretty well; she was pathetic, pitiful, and embarassing.”), ‘cuz parents losing thier kids is nothing to laugh at. But after seeing how poorly the whole scene was executed I guess you can’t blame someone who hasn’t saw the real thing.

    Then came Anjou’s confession…
    Which went something like that:
    Anjou: NO DON’T GO!!
    Jinta: I have to…
    Jinta: Wait what?
    That was a really werid change of topic and I don’t quite get why she told him that now after keeping that a secret for so long or why it should’ve stoped Jinta.
    …And then she tells him about not saving menma ‘cuz he’ll lose her… Only I was sure she didn’t even believe in Menma ’till the end of this episode…
    Seriously, her story was good an’ ol’, but the execution was just so werid and paceless…
    Oh well, at least her “atashi no bakaaaaa” line was so hilariously done I actually got back to it after watching and laughed for a few secs.

    The last scene dispite being executed really well, was just… Oh well everybody and Kiiragi already said, I have nothing new to add to that.
    Im also kinda surprised Jinta get hated by everyone for saying he has marry adventures with a dead girl, but nobody got pissed at Popo for causing just as much commotion. Sure, Popo seems like a naive child who just goes a long with his friend’s fairy tale, but his attitude should’ve pissed everyone off all the same considering he talks so childishly about Menma’s death. Yukiatsu should’ve attempt-choke him as well.

    See Key
  62. Definitely the weakest episode of the series, barely any character development. 🙁
    But still a decent episode nevertheless.
    I can’t wait until next week 🙂

  63. And I just can’t grow to like menma, even after trying really hard to for all these episodes. But I just find her to be extremely annoying. I don’t entirely dislike her but I don’t like her at the same time if you know what I mean, it’s like she’s too cute too hate but too annoying to like imo

  64. Well if they showed menna could communicate with the others before episode 8 wheres the drama? its a good way to draw out the emotions and such, and it finally answers the question of her acutally being a ghost. but yes finally cant wait till next episode.

  65. While I can understand where you’re coming from, and I agree to an extent that sticking with the realism aspect of this show could’ve probably been a better way to go, I still loved how this episode played out.

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