「あの夏に咲く花」 (Ano Natsu ni Saku Hana)
“The Flower Blooming on That Summer”

Two weeks ago, I dreamt up Anohana’s finale. It was completely random and unexpected. Sadly, I also completely forgot about it, and I wish I hadn’t. Partly because it would’ve been hilarious to write about here, and interesting to compare it to the finale we’ve come to today. Such a storm of tears with the emotional weight of a freight train has inevitably left me battered, like the stillness you experience when your mind is still processing a shock, and it takes a little while just to take it all in. But you know what? They pulled it off. They really did.

Due to Menma failing to disappear last episode, the cast calls together a meeting to discuss what actually went wrong. Was it the wrong wish? No, said Anjou, we were simply being selfish and caring for ourselves. Yes, said I, someone finally understands what has been going on! Yukiatsu pipes up, at his wits end as well, with some confessions of his own. One naturally lead to the other as the entire cast based their hidden motives on each other, and once the cork was popped open, the truth swiftly poured on out. This, was the first right move that had me nodding my head in agreement. Ten episodes of unchanging characters HAD to have the change on the last episode, and not 3 minutes into it, the beans are finally spilled. Without the secrecy, the cast can finally move on, even unveiling some final secrets about the two seemingly underdeveloped characters.

Tsuruko’s relationship to Menma was closer than it appeared, but she was simply made into a worse Anjou, which strikes me as interesting to look at if you were trying to, but in the end, didn’t really add too much variety to what Anjou’s troubles signify already. Poppo, on the other hand, was a gamble to me. The sudden 180 turn he made into a deeply troubled individual who happened to see his friend’s sandal (maybe body? wasn’t made clear) felt unfortunately rather out of character given his character impression so far. Yes, I’m aware that these types of characters do work, but Poppo suddenly swearing and sounding like a depressed individual after THAT good of an act all those years? They could have toned the seriousness down a little bit. On the other hand, there were hints dropped in previous episodes that once you think of, make his sudden outburst more believable. Like his odd persistence in asking to see Menma too that I remarked was a little weird? The guilt he feels explains that. Then again, why feel so much guilt over seeing a sandal? It’s not like he watched her die without doing anything right? Well, maybe he did, and I just had terrible subs. So take that point with a grain of salt. It would’ve been an easy plot point to fix anyway.

But yeah, beans spilled, everyone telling their hearts out, the things they kept within themselves since they were kids, and that weight that’s been holding everyone back is suddenly released. It’s one of the best feelings in life, I’ll tell you that. They finally laugh at something stupid, and more importantly, they laugh as a group again, with a child’s innocence they once had. And with that comes a pure motivation to finish what the whole series came to do in the first place, to let Menma move on. Criticisms in this case would be that they went the safe route. It was expected, and it was done, and to be satisfied because the show didn’t go off the rails is not something worth praise.

In returning to Menma’s state of daze, her wish is finally revealed because she remembers, if only because the wish had already been granted. In the end, the wish ended up being about Jinta, and his inability to show emotions while his mom was stuck in the hospital. This development was really interesting to me, simply because of how much speculation over the course of the series was pissed away due to it. She didn’t appear for the Super Peace Busters at all, it wasn’t because she wanted them to get together, but in so being there with Jinta, it inevitably happened anyway. Since it was such a huge part of the story, the idea that the whole thing was merely a peripheral plot to Menma’s mission is pretty awesome.

While the wish is rather broad, it was quite the endearing wish as depression hits close to home. Jinta’s mom wanted him to snap out of his depression and feel emotions again, from the broad range of laughing to crying, and Menma couldn’t carry it out, thus explaining that day, the planning, and everything. It works. By now you’re thinking, well no shit, original stories like this are planned with a conclusion in mind you know. Yeah, but how many times has that actually worked out? Again, because the plot ended up being rather simple and broad, tying it up well isn’t exactly a great feat. Just keeping it real.

The last act, while almost had me in tears, almost (letter scene and beyond almost had me), admittedly did border on forced drama at some points. The antics of the group with the shouting and things had me giving odd looks, but having been to a couple funerals myself, it’s hard to label it as cheesy when you’ve seen it first hand. It was a heartfelt bowtie on the story that is Anohana, a gentle satisfying ending to ease the minds of the characters (and the viewers), and an applaudable send-off for Menma. You get your throwback scene to the characters finally looking like they were as kids again, and of course, Menma being able to be seen and have her feelings reached out to everyone one last time before she disappears (her last words still give me shivers when rewatching). Kind of like the ending to GHOST, where Demi Moore finally sees her husband Patrick Swayze, who was a ghost the entire film until the end when he finally goes to heaven. There was the light behind him and everything, so I guess the sunlight behind Menma represented heaven as well. Then comes the epilogue, where everyone moves on satisfied with their past, and the scenes showing hope that the girls might actually get their love returned. A very strong finish, the epitome of a satisfying ending, and with a little afterthought, bittersweet.



Final Thoughts:

When starting off Anohana, I had the problem of expecting something absolutely brilliant. Like, Fight Club brilliant. I don’t know why I do that, maybe it’s because the first episode simply blew me away, but I like to be optimistic, which is funny, because I also like to be cynical. I like to think that the next anime that shows promise will end up absolutely amazing, and may even change my life a little. Stupid way to think. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s a letdown when you come to realize such great titles don’t come every season, perhaps even every year, but that’s just how media flows.

So Anohana didn’t become the most flawlessly riveting innovative look on drama as a genre. They didn’t go for that. They didn’t want to. When you step back and look at the show, it was simple. And that’s okay, no matter how much I wanted more from it (which through this post, as you’ve come to notice, is my biggest beef with the show). I mean, it did have kinks and bad plot devices to make certain things work the way they wanted it to, so the writing wasn’t devoid of holes, but with the finale’s direction, it became clear what the writers thought was most important in the story, and these essential ideas came through perfectly.

Anohana is a lesson on life, and the narration in the epilogue cements this fact. People often trap themselves in ignorance thinking, “these problems are so stupid, why couldn’t they just do this and this? It’d be so much faster.” Mind you, while I made a similar argument about Menma’s physical abilities, that was one of the devices I felt was poorly thought out. I wasn’t looking for a quicker solution on the character’s problems, but more so on the ones that were obvious that they were just there to conveniently bridge the gap in developments at points, throwing away believability for the main plotline to work. It’s a thin line that I’m walking, but I hope you can see the difference.

Because past the line, if you were to say, “why couldn’t the characters just talk to each other and tell the truth earlier? Stupid idiots, blah blah forced drama”, then you would be ignorant. Problems always look stupid on the outside because we’re not actively living with them. News flash, humans ARE stupid. We are flawed when it comes to emotions, and it’s the only thing holding us back (some philosophers might say). But, it is what makes us human. It may be what makes us weak, but it is also what makes us strong. Anohana conveyed the human struggle with emotions very well, and is definitely the show’s leading strength.

Of course, having such a strength, even being one of the main points, still can’t make me ignore the things that were lacking. Menma could have been more captivating or even interesting considering how important she is to the story, and while this may have just been a personal problem, I felt her lack of taking things seriously coupled with childish behavior was a jarring aspect of the show. I could never take the show completely serious with a character like Menma around. Considering this is a drama, I’d say that’s a huge problem. Thankfully, she was great in the final scenes. There’s more, but this post is getting way too long already, so if you see them, great, you’ll understand the show more to cast your opinion. If not, well, you’ll enjoy it that much more.

Anohana started off amazing, turned out to be lacking in areas, but with a finale that only focuses on what’s important, turned out convincing enough to see what they were going for. Recommend? Definitely, yes. Rewatch? Probably not.



  1. Awesome episode overall. I second the forced drama towards the end. I kept going like “okay, it would’ve been perfect if you just cut it off now!”. All in all, well executed.

  2. I thought the finale was beautiful and loved every part of it, it just fit together so perfectly and had me to tears for the whole second half, by the letter scene I was a mess.

    Also, “It’s not like he watched her die without doing anything right?”, in the subs I watched Poppo said that he saw the body going away further and further but he was too late and simply watched it disappear, so I guess it makes sense his emotions when you put it like that.

    Some people like to hate on Ano Hana but I will say that despite the hundreds of series that I’ve watched, this is the first one where I’ve been genuinely sad that it’s over and felt so many emotions, granted some elements were not perfect but to me that doesn’t change anything as Ano Hana never was about perfection and instead about the flaws of everybody.

    I just loved it and I though the ending was spectacular, the epilogue where the girls had implication of their wanted romance just added to everything. For me, I highly doubt anything this good will come up for the rest of the year but I’ll be accepting it freely if it does but Ano Hana easily tops everything this season, quite easily.

    1. Same, but I felt the base of the ending was well put but faulted in some areas. It felt rushed a but when Jintan found Menma laying on the ground and the shouting part seemed a bit much, but going with emotion it felt more natural that way. Overall a very good execution.

      The epilogue tied things up nicely with the girls and their loves. I think the conversation at the Shinto shrine set that all up with everyone just letting it out. It would be anti-climatic if Anaru and Jintan, Tsuroko and Yukiatsu didn’t get together.

      As for the reincarnation thing, I’m thinking a flower or Anaru and Jinta’s daughter…possibly the latter.

    1. That was the best song this season. I also like the 2 songs from A Channel (OP & ED), and the end song from Nichijou.

      The show started to loose some direction towards the end but this finale was great and made up for some of the shortfalls. A tear jerker for sure.

  3. At first I thought there might have been some dere in our beloved Kiiragi

    Such a storm of tears with the emotional weight of a freight train has inevitably left me battered

    But in the end he stayed true to his cynical love.

    The last act, while almost had me in tears, almost

    Oh Kiiragi you _tsun_dere <3

    There has been some great attention to detail throughout your coverage, and nearly all points you brought up were interesting to discuss regardless of how many voiced their disagreements.

    Great coverage overall. Good stuff.

    1. kiiragi, menma does only have a one sided personality, you got to remember, she died when she was little and prob never matured. Its that innocent personality that carried over and made this show simple and bittersweet.

  4. Hmm, I thought it was a decent ending. I didn’t cry at all, but I guess it’s because this isn’t the type of thing to bring me to tears.

    I’m just glad they didn’t do an open ending, or a memory erase type of thing. It felt… complete.

    Maybe they could have added some sort of final three seconds of Menma’s “reincarnation”… but they didn’t. I don’t suppose that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I think it would have been a nice final touch.

    My singular gripe with this particular episode was the “LET US YELL AND CRY AND CONFESS TO EACH OTHER” scene… it didn’t feel very authentic.

    Overall… a solid 7/10. And this coming from someone who usually avoids drama like a plague.

  5. I think what I’m most relieved about is the simplicity of Menma’s wish. I was dreading some complicated wish that a child of her er, personality type would never really contemplate.

    I do believe that Poppo saw her body, as I’m quite sure I heard him say her name before “Don Don”, so my guess is that it wasn’t her sandal that he saw. (I’m assuming this isn’t a spoiler since you mentioned it in your post?)

    In the end, I, too, expected far more from the series than it gave. But, I actually don’t feel cheated at all by what the series lacked. Which surprises me a little, but I loved the ending. It definitely delivered.

    Thanks for blogging Ano Hana! ^^/

    1. One way or another, the ending was definitely going to center around the final moments before Menma moves onto Heaven/reincarnation. A WTF ending wouldn’t have fit well with the mood.

      And yeah, that’s anime for you. Unrequited loves that began from elementary school. Arguably, Jinta and Poppo were more believable. Jinta basically lost his Mom and a dear friend/love interest before he could make a proper apology, so his aloof attitude was justified. Poppo had to live with the image of a best friend drowning, which at a young age, can be traumatic.

  6. I was chuckling at the scene where they’re screaming “Menma, come out!!” just because it sounded ridiculous. Despite that though I let out a small tear when Menma disappeared.

    In the same area, the sudden decision for all of them to just run around the forest (until morning, no less), knowing full well that four of them couldn’t hear Menma just felt weird, and as others have said, forced. Luckily, I didn’t dwell too hard on it.

      1. Wouldn’t hearing and communicating sorta be the same thing in that given situation? Also, I don’t mind “in the moment” moments, but saying “I’m playing Hide and Seek” then having five people, four of which can’t see/hear her, wander aimlessly through a forest up until dawn, just to buy some privacy to write out her goodbyes just won’t sit well with me. Again, it’s not overly bothersome, it just sounded and looked silly when implemented.

  7. While it is not the best drama series I’ve ever seen, I would still rate it as one of my favourites and one of the top 2 or 3 of this season. I’m glad they all managed to see Menma at the end (…well more like I was on the verge of going into RAGE if they didn’t…). Imagine if Menma disappeared before the rest could see her? That would’ve got the tears rolling!

  8. Disappointed in the series. Felt that it was just a wild goose chase with convenient plot holes and plot filling. Things like a father who lets his son do anything and menma being extremely dumb about her wish.
    I found it hard to care about any of the characters. I think they should have spent more time on when the group were children to really set a strong foundation instead of spending all the episodes in the present giving us the runaround with obviously fake wishes. With poor character set up, the finale didn’t have a strong of an effect as it could have been.

    4/10 score as a drama

  9. I said it once before! Poppo saw her die and went overseas because of the guilt. And goes to live at the secret base like how the criminal goes back to the scene of the crime. Guilty conscience for not helping to save Menma floating away.
    @Kiiragi, was surprised thought you use raws not subs.

  10. Mewmaaa-chwaaaan T_T Kwwirragwwii….pls let me hug you i cannot stop crying. this episode extremely sad…..so saddd……gwood bwyee….Mwenma-chan..you’ll always in my heart

  11. Any idea what the song that played halfway in the episode, when Jintan carried Menma on his back and carried her to the secret base?
    I know there was an instrumental version of it played in Episode 8 when Jintan was crying.

  12. Overall a nicely done drama especially during the middle of the series. During the last episode where i thought like everyone just went back to what it begin in the first episode, i didn’t know how true was that. Since nobody really let out their heart to communicate with each other, nobody is moving forward.
    Now that i think about it, all that feeling where everyone seem to be getting along well is just a pretense for the sake of menma. It wasn’t until at the end of the series do everyone actually move forward. I’m glad that this is one anime that it’s ending is done well. 🙂
    7/10 for the show but yeah i won’t watch it again (but will definitely play it song for a very long time)

  13. YAY!!!!!!!! happy ending!!!!!!!! my coochie was especially moist when they read Menmas individual Letters:
    “I love Yukiatsu for working so hard at being a tranny freak”
    “I love Tusruko for being a slightly below average Glasses-Girl”
    “I love Anjou for having a Love hotel face that will be exploited in Doujins”
    “I love jinta for always wearing the same T-shirt everyday”
    “I love Popo………..well, because his name is POPO”

    …Ahhhhh tears. i thought for sure at the expected “menma REVEAL” that her mom and fam would witness it. but i guess bonds between friends you had in da 2nd grade are stronger than those of your parents and kin….HUH!?!?!?! good show, thanks fo blogging!

    BROOKLYN otaku
  14. I didn’t absolutely love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I’m really glad they all got to see grown-up ghost Menma.

    The show was well-executed and if anything, I’ll rewatch it when the BDs come out (Anaru in 1080p <3). The music, acting and ambiance of the show felt very real and believableーsomething a lot of anime either fail to do or don't even attempt, IMO. They definitely could have toned down the Everyone Screaming and Crying in the finale, but it wasn't as awful as some people make it seem.

    Anaru and Tsuruko, you girls go get a happy ending.

  15. huh, i actually snickered when everyone started crying. i don’t know; maybe it was the stress of today or something but, i wasn’t really feeling this episode compared to the previous ones.

    still, really love the music of this series as well as the character designs. thanks for picking this up kii! if you didn’t, i would have probably skipped over this since the initial premise put me off.

  16. A great end to a great series, and a great summary at that as well, Kiiragi.

    I particularly nodded my head in agreement that you have succinctly compared Menma’s departure to the ending in GHOST.

    While not the greatest, it’s certainly in my top 20 to recommend to people, if not top 10. (Madoka Magica still has a stronger impression on me. )

    The series is certainly not without flaws and had its bumps and turns in some of the tropes being utilized, but in the end, screenwriter Okada Mari manages to wrap the story up impressively and leaving a powerful impression in the minds of the viewer.

    Now for Okada to work the same magic for the second half of Hanasaku Iroha… As well as free up Tomatsu Haruka’s (Anaru) schedule so that she may expand on her nearly non-existent role as Yuina in that series.

    Kinny Riddle
  17. Menma’s body was more mature then her mind (looked like her mind was still a little kid’s) so her not being as smart/mature as the othert kids was is acceptable.

    1. Oh come on. Everyone knows Key’s tear-gas bombardment is miles away, so it simply isn’t fair to compare AnoHana to Key’s works.

      Credit where credit’s due, AnoHana still delivered the emotional impact, if not the tears.

      Kinny Riddle
  18. Decent, good even, good ending at the very least (even if it was overly dramatic) but it wasn’t the Sixth Sense (and I’m still sour they didn’t have a Dr. Malcolm cameo… just cause) level of good in either ending, delivery of said ending, or overall plot cohesion.

    I enjoyed the whole of the show, though, so I can’t really complain and I’ll watch it again in a few months in BR for the added niceness of the character design and the generally gorgeous art that permeated this show… in HD!

    The biggest downfall, I believe, were the plot holes but it wasn’t the sort of plot hole/cliffhanger addiction that has been used by other more well known shows to hold together flimsy plot ((coughGcoughEcoughAcoughScoughS) Oh excuse my cough.). The plot was, for the most part, solid but some delivery decisions and some plot turns and twists were strangely delivered and led to “why didn’t this happen sooner” sort of flags. A bit more work/explanation early on on these holes and events that leave us a little perplexed would have avoided much of the problems that some of us have come to see in the show. Foreshadowing is a useful tool but its a pity its so rarely used to its fullest or… at all without just being in your face “this, remember it for later its important!”. The drama was at times overly dramatic but I feel that to some degree it came with the territory of being a drama.

  19. I really did think the scene(s) in which the characters cried, confessed, and wailed were very realistic. It’s interesting that you mentioned a funeral, which is a most appropriate comparison – I thought of a revival/retreat atmosphere, where the exact same actions can be seen. In those cases, it’s usually one admitting their guilt, often with sins against another person – how much more emotional when your “sins” involve another’s death? The episode was thus both powerful and true emotionally.

  20. one of the best anime i’ve ever seen. i didn’t cry at all in clannad, and usually drama just has me rolling my eyes. this is the first series in a long time that had me so torn up. menma was a cheerful girl who died young, and that personality was somehow preserved after her death. the behavioral dichotomy between menma and her grown-up friends was one aspect of the anime i enjoyed the most. sure she wasn’t deep, but children usually aren’t.

    <333 this series~

  21. great review, Kiiragi.
    I agree with all of your thoughts including the giving odd looks to them when they shouted.

    this now has the running of being the best drama series this season. some parts were like melodramatic in some of the past eps but overall the drama was well done.

    the romance aspect was also dealt nicely. while I do admit on shipping some of them, I didnt really take that much seriously since I didnt expect them to end up(in the future maybe) and pairing them was a bit hard since they all had their own perks.

  22. After teaching at several middle schools in Japan, I think the idea of ‘forced drama’ with all the crying at the shrine scene is actually a cultural misunderstanding. Middle school students do cry easily in Japan. It fails to surprise me at every graduation ceremony do students cry their little hearts out over graduating or losing a class singing contest. Considering the context in Ano Hi with losing a friend, I’m surprised they didn’t cry more in this series.

  23. I was a little disappointed that the nosebleed thing/tumor speculations never panned out, which could’ve been quite the ending in itself. But I still really enjoyed this show. I originally started watching to try to diversify my interests and I am so glad I did. Possible best show of the season right here

  24. How come not so many people cried watching the finale?? I cried really hard. The part when they were calling menma’s name was a little ridiculous though, but I still have tears on my eyes.
    Glad to see they ended up confessing everything and even more perfect when they were finally able to see Menma. God I love the secret base song, I get really teary eyed hearing it. Wasn’t perfect but truly moving,
    A solid 7/10. Definitely best anime this season, dare I say this year (until now).

  25. I did not ALMOST cry on the other hand, I cried as hell. This episode was just too moving… But in the end we still don’t know how she actually died, that’s the only thing a take issue with

    1. Presumably, she tripped and drowned in a lake/river (where exactly, I’m not entirely sure), probably due to the inability to swim. Jinta stops her from getting closer to the water under the bridge a few episodes back out of fear of what happened before while Poppo confesses to witnessing her death, but being unable to do anything. (Had one sub translate it to “she drifted further and further away,” which I assume meant she fell deeper into the water, since there didn’t seem like a strong river in the area)

  26. A good coming-of-age series given its length. I mean, come on, if I were their age and experienced the same things, I would’ve done the same things. Reminds me of how I was such a crybaby when I was younger. C, on the other hand, is something I could relate to at present (maturity- and philosophy-wise).

  27. When they finally all saw Menma, i was like “finally!”. And the ‘you found me’ :'( I was crying a lot. Definitely in my top animes!
    As for the ending…
    Show Spoiler ▼

  28. This was the first time i cried in this series. I mean i guess i “cried” every episode, but i was like BAWLING this one. When i read menma’s note, i just couldn’t hold em back. I thought the ending was done the best way they could do it without it being corny.

  29. T>T why do good shows always end so soon…..
    Overall Anohana was a great show, it successfully drew out emotions from its viewers and I have to say I havent seen anything this good since Angel Beats or Clannad. In terms of drama this show was superb and the ending scene was not for the faint of heart… I was already teary when she started to dissapear but the conclusion was just awesome…


  30. Anohana is certainly not without plot holes, but what I really like about this show is how every character is flawed in their own ways, coupled with its brilliant soundtrack and excellent story flow, it’s definitely an anime I would strongly recommend and a big step up from Fractale.

    Nevertheless, I think the plot would be better suited for J-Drama. It’s a show that really grips your emotions and human actors can convey the messages more thoroughly. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get an adaptation soon. I already have a couple of actresses in mind to play Tsuruko and Anjou 😀

    Seishun Otoko
  31. The ending was predictable but nonetheless splendidly made. Totally teared up when they read the letters especially when the ending theme came to sound. The epilogue also made a nice touch as to how their lives will move one. Would have wanted this kind of epilogue where Anaru is going to school then was being hit on by many guys asking her out or forcing her to hook up with them. Then Jintan comes to her rescue once again. Anaru cries after that to which Jintan will give her handkerchief back to her. Then comes Anaru’s friends protecting her from Jintan thinking that he made her cry. Well, but still, the epilogue was nicely made. No comment on the epilogue regarding Tsuruko and Yukiatsu since it is perfectly made as it is.

    マーラ モー
    1. That bugged me too, for a moment.
      Especially when he was holding her in his house, he should have just … done it, argh.
      But nevermind, the love they both have for each other was presented really well.
      I finally lost it and cried really hard when I read the part about “wanting to become your bride” on Jinta’s letter.

  32. I man teared like no other. I liked the series overall and for me it’s all due to the situation of failing to do something you could have done specifically for a childhood friend/loved one before they passed away. deafvader called it with poppo and when he admitted it i immediately thought of their comment. the fact that poppo witnessed her drift away and “all he could ever do was watch,” seriously that is just haunting and depressing thinking about the weight of guilt he’s been carrying on his shoulders (btw noticed he was studying for the TOEFL, so he’s gonna come to america?).

    I mean living with regret and missed opportunities is just something you have to deal with in reality, so it definitely was fan service for me to see them be able to communicate with their friend and express their feelings and have their friend receive them. I guess it had to be given that they’d all finally see her in the end, but I teared in a self-gratifying way when it actually happened. “I wish I could see my friend one last time.” I mean I usually remember that it’s been 7 years since he passed away, but when I think about it now it’s been nearly double that time since I have actually spoken to him. Needless to say, the fact that his mother requested me to write to him 6 months before he passed away and me failing to do so has me feeling a little bit like jintan, menma, and poppo all at once.

    i’m glad i watched C before this, C left me sorely disappointed and at least this felt concluded. i mean i have my bias, but i was satisfied with the series overall. i love how everyone was thinking: why the hell didn’t she just move something in front of everyone before?!?! then poppo says the exact same thing the very next episode. they totally knew how we’d all react. i’ll be watching again, i really can’t get enough anaru!!!! yes i said it.

  33. Well, Kiiragi and I see eye to eye on this one. There were many a plot hole to this show, but not big enough to let the main points slip through. I have to give it to the writers, the end was just as good as I hoped it would be, especially since I tend to lower my expectations.

    I think they could’ve shortened the Hide-and-Seek scene and extended the epilogue and it would’ve made for a better ending. Maybe show how Menma’s family is doing now that her mother has moved on, too.

    But overall, it was a decent end to a great show.

    1. I think if they just had one more episode it would of been a better wrap up. Show like a year later ordeal with a recap on what has happen, how others are doing in the aftermath, and then gathering at the base sharing each others company.

  34. Beautiful series. Simple yet very powerful. Even though I ended up watching the last episode in snippets (stupid internet), Anohana brought tears to my eyes nevertheless.
    Whether or not there were some loopholes and questionable parts *cough cough hide-and-seek cough cough* this one definitely made it to my favorite this season.

  35. Great finale to a great series, though like many people have already said, too much forced drama.

    And did anyone notice how all the characters were shouting throughout pretty much the whole episode? Though I guess that probably ties into the ‘forced drama’ category. I would’ve liked more variety in the character’s ‘outbursts’ instead of them just screaming one after the other. But I suppose they might’ve just been caught up in the emotion of it all.

  36. Poppo had it the hardest. Seeing her die and watching the lifeless body of a dear friend float down the river to whoknowswhere!? C’mon, at that age, that’s gotta leave some serious mental scars. (Unlike the other few who were simply obsessed with one or the other.)

  37. This episode’s finale was awesome and truly be fitting of the show. HOWEVER, I could not cry or shed a single tear at all this episode and it’s impact was a LOT LESS than what I had thought. The impact was lessened because what happened with Steins;Gate episode which subs was released just the day before this show, so when I watched this all my tears had dried up and most emotions invoked in that episode, so I regretted watching this show’s finale right away. Dammit oh well, it was still a great ending to a great series nonetheless, although I felt it was a bit rush in the end, like they all just let it out their feelings and all of a sudden they just made up so fast. Though thats just what I think, since I would have preferred that they slowly do so.

  38. I’ll admit I was disappointed with the entire series UNTIL this hard hitting ending. All the people saying they cry on nearly ever episode made no sense to me since the characters were so thin. But as soon as Poppo broke down and revealed that his act was all PTSD, I totally lost it. The tears didn’t really stop until the very end. It wasn’t Clannad level train of infinite tears or anything, but had me crying harder than the any of the last 12 episodes of after story did. This series really saved a trip to the shit bin and more.

  39. “Two weeks ago, I dreamt up Anohana’s finale. It was completely random and unexpected. Sadly, I also completely forgot about it, and I wish I hadn’t.”

    I have one: After the “failed” fireworks I asked Yukiatsu: what are you gonna do about Menma now? and he answered: Menma? she disappeared in episode 10. Ah? really? maybe I missed something, going to “watch” it again.

    Poppo had the biggest scar yet. I knew he had some issues but not this big.

    Left a sentimental void? want more after the end? were you watching how much there is left for the episode not wanting it to end? Those are my “good show filters”. Feels bad for Menma :sadfrog:. Where are my Amagami OVAS?

    Lectro Volpi
  40. Honestly, the first half of this episode came out as a little… melodramatic. Especially with everybody bursting into tears and confessing their problems. I feel that if they had 2 or 3 more episodes, they could have done away with that and could have fleshed out Poppo and Tsuruko more. Still though, the latter half of the episode was fantastic. This series was probably one of the best so far this year (behind Madoka of course), and I thought it was a wonderful ride all throughout.

  41. Kiiragi, I can’t help but think that you have overanalysed the series itself.

    It’s about the death of a loved one. The Super Peace Busters were like 10 years old back when it happened and of course that would leave a huge scar on each of them. I myself lost my father suddenly when I was 21, and a few old friends from traffic accidents recently. Such events are hard to cope in our usually peaceful world, let alone having children bear it.

    Well of course we all prefer anime with good storytelling, but when someone dies, you know we tend to do something really lame. Wow how crazy (and teary) would I be if I see my dead friends running around! Of course I would do some stupid things (and others would give me weird “WTF are you doing” looks) I think the importance is the longing one feels for the loved one and the scars everyone bears. I think it’s about human emotion and how we have problem letting go. And Ano Hana did it perfectly.

    When I see everyone spilled all their emotions out, said a proper goodbye, and moved on well with their lives, it’s already a great, proper ending to a highly captivating story. That air head smile “You found me -w-‘” was perfect fit to the kids’ play setting of the story..

    Oh well we actually came up to the same conclusion, didn’t we 🙂

    Anyway thanks for covering this fantastic series. It’s good to see there are many people who appreciate it.

    1. I agree with you Vinchester. Kiiragi I feel your that your blog is very technical. you talked about what you think about Poppo believes he saw menma’s sandal float away. REALLY Kiiragi, REALLY? I mean come on he is crying and I am sure it is not because of the sandals. This showed got me. maybe cheese and drama is not for you.
      I preferred your blogs in GOSICK and Steins;Gate, where technical stuff really matters. this anime feels like a story from your childhood where it does not matter why animals talk or the chaos thingy you did(applauses for you man). I still look forward for your blogs, please stay away from cheesy things.

      Jack Vojack
      1. yeah it’s clear as day to me that the sandal scene implies that Poppo saw Menma’s dead body. (well no one would want to see her gruesome dead!) And that traumatized him.

  42. Now I have no shows to look forward to on Thursday nights. I thought it was a good show overall. Some episodes were a little boreing to me but the last episode was alright, even if it didnt make me cry like I was hoping. It was a fun ride but like Kii said I wont be rewatching any time soon.

  43. ” I don’t know why I do that, maybe it’s because the first episode simply blew me away, but I like to be optimistic, which is funny, because I also like to be cynical.”
    o3o Which basically means; you like to be a hypocrite.
    HEY WAIT DON’T DELETE THIS YET!! If your gonna delete it fine, but like read to the end~

    Oh well, Im not gonna bitch about you more than that ‘cuz:
    A) Gonna get deleted anyway.
    B) Im actually pretty PROUD of you for being one of the few people not to get with the hype of it’s popularity stuck in thier heads and was able to look at the whole picture and judge Ano Hana for what it truly was; just another run of the mill drama. I think you’ve truly grown up a bit as a blogger. This “expirience” I often complain about you guys in RC lack, you’ve gained a nice part of it.

    That said I kinda have to disagree with you on a few things:
    “Because past the line, if you were to say, “why couldn’t the characters just talk to each other and tell the truth earlier? Stupid idiots, blah blah forced drama”, then you would be ignorant.”
    Calling someone ignorant for one train-of-thought or another basically makes you ignorant as well. You have a habit of making assumptions like these too quickly, 😉 a pro-tip for life is; don’t take everything for granted and obvious. After all, you (like many) quickly assumed this was amazing and it turned up to be a disappointment.
    I for one think the characters problems were both stupid and melodramatic at times and as deep as they should’ve been at times. both things kind of ironically go hand in hand from my point of view ‘cuz if it’s melodramatic problems and the subject is this series then naturally you can end up with the drama not being as deep as it would IRL. To each is own I guess, but both good and bad criticism shouldn’t be easily ignored ‘cuz the series like many did screw up and viewers have the right to criticize it for what it is.
    :O Also your thoughts about human problems not seeming this easy from the inside is nice and all but I have to disagree, and if I may be a little impolite, a little naive. I believe that serious problems especially ones like this shows, arn’t the kind of thing people would be able to look away and say objectively that it’s stupid. I can’t quite explain it but I’ll just say that when I was in a similar situation that I mentioned some eps ago, in a funeral, I could feel the family and friend’s great sorrow, the harshness of thier life and how important the departed was for them despite bearly knowing his face and name. Simply put, although “someone else’s stupid problems” might be an attitude many of us hold in our normal lives, in abnormal hard occassions like these the great saddness emnating from those who suffer the hardship would be too shocking and heart-renching for you to ignore even as a bystander who dosen’t even have the courage to confront them.

    And again, GREAT job, may you continue to grow like this~

    See Key
    1. Here’s a pro tip for you:

      Stop trying to pick a fight by playing devil’s advocate because no one’s going to entertain you. I couldn’t be bothered to read what you had to say past the the first few lines, especially with all the spelling and grammatical mistakes.

      Here’s to hoping that you grow a bit… with some maturity.

      1. “Here’s a pro tip for you:

        Stop trying to pick a fight by playing devil’s advocate because no one’s going to entertain you. I couldn’t be bothered to read what you had to say past the the first few lines, especially with all the spelling and grammatical mistakes.

        Here’s to hoping that you grow a bit… with some maturity.”
        This is actually kinda hillarious ‘cuz your telling me to act mature despite admitting to childlishly not read my post yourself and calling me out on SPELLING & GRAMMAR? I mean, as an owner of a supposedly popular site I’d expect you’d at least realize not everyone was born in an english-speaking country, and have perfect grammar, and how redundant that is to call someone on that, but apperently you’ve been over-estimated yet again~
        BTW, if you would have read it you’d find I actually PRAISED Kiiragi… Well except Im a jerk and still kinda pissed at getting SEVEN messages DELETED in a row in the past week so I still took a few tiny jabs at the start.
        Unlike you sad folks though, I try not to keep hatered in my heart as much as possible and don’t let things get to me (and this BTW is despite the boorish way in which you deal with me, I mean seriously, you can’t handle criticism, can’t handle talking to a guy so you go on silencing via deleting posts and destroying freedom of speech?), so I can actually praise you guys when I feel you deserve it, it just so happens you usually don’t~

        As for “devil’s advocate” or whatever; I really wonder Divine, do you really not know what’s going on on your own site? Or are you really that much of a smug snake that your playing dumb? Whatever it is it’s sad either way. Fact is, my posts DO get deleted and while not many there are people who’ve witnessed it here. If you want me to bring a concrete proof just say so.

        See Key
      2. You clearly don’t know how your comments come off to everyone else. They can hardly be considered criticism that anyone should take to heart.

        Also, we don’t arbitrarily delete comments. We delete annoying/obnoxious ones that ruin the experience for other readers. You should probably take a hint about how crying out and bashing the writers isn’t going to make any of us more receptive to what you think.

        You’ve outstayed your welcome. I’m going to leave it at that.

  44. Yeah it was a tad melodramatic at the shrine scene but the ending completely made up for it. Although I wasn’t crying to the extent of Clannad After Story (which should be classified as an emotional weapon) but the tears came when the ending song started playing in the background.

    The epilogue scene, I feel, left quite a satisfying end with the hints that everyone has
    managed to move on and the girls are finally getting their guys.

    All in all I think the emotions were a little forced (the bawling and screaming??) but the anime was still a great one and is on my top 3 for this season

  45. I watched this on streaming and it was pretty lulzy, specially the last part. Note to self: avoid stream sites, random 4chan comments can make anything funny. I shed a few tears when watching it subbed but still, the shouting scene was a little forced for me. And seriously, poor Poppo, watching his friend drown just like that must have been traumatic for him. This ending was good enough unlike the WTF mess that happened in C.

  46. Looks like the story ended in a very expected way which isn’t all bad. I would have loved to see a bit more clips at the end of the story showing what was to become of Jintan and the rest in their lives to come, but I guess the bit they did give was okay.

  47. Hi Divine, with the current season ending, does that mean that we’ll be seeing regular contributions from you again?

    Also, the official single of Aoi Shiori from Galileo Galilei (Anohana’s opening) is out and I’m having a blast with it!

    Seishun Otoko
  48. Absolutely brilliant ending – sometimes the show irritated me with slow buildup, but it has repaid its debts tenfold… Menma got her wish, passed on and everyone else can now start anew. I hope life turns out well for them.

  49. I didn’t cry at all until Secret Base played. I thought the lot of them yelling was a little bit over the top, but otherwise the finale was splendid. Definitely didn’t think Menma’s wish was to make Jinta cry. Oh and glad they played the full versions of the song.

    1. The thing that held them all together was Menma. I really can’t see a 2nd season now that Menma went to Heaven. Unless they go off in another Direction and that would cheapen what we saw in this season.

      This is the BEST show this season (that is a 1 cor series). Hanasaku Iroha is a 2 cor series and the only other “quality” series to rival Ano Hana.

  50. Forced drama, perhaps. But over dramatic, not quite. At least to me. I am usually a cynical person, but having experienced the loss of family members, I now find it hard to see these things as melodramatic and cheesy. Because there are people who lose total self control and let their emotions just POUR out.

    Just letting yourself go and cry without being inhibited, is one of the most emotionally gratifying and yet heart wrenching experiences ever. Like literally, it does hurt. Its just an insane feeling.

    So I definitely had more of an “acceptance” for the characters’ sob fest. Regarding death tho. I don’t know if its the same feeling if your boyfriend dumps you. lol.

  51. I know some people refer to this finale as being unrealistic due to the unabashed airing of emotions, and the duration that these emotions have lasted for, but given all that’s happened, I really don’t see that as the case.

    These characters lost someone very close to them (Menma), and it drastically effected them. Even a normally unrealistic concept such as “unrequited elementary-school love” can be perfectly acceptable here. The loss of Menma caused the group to split, this sudden separation from those close to you, along with trauma, can easily cause any emotions felt during that time to stay locked in a person’s heart for who knows how long.

    It’s the same thing with all their emotional venting and crying. All of this is based around the fact that, after all that work, it seemed like their effort was for nothing, which caused each of them to blame themselves (something they were doing throughout the series, I would imagine) until the exploded. After that, their overflowing feelings were caused by the fact that, after all this time, they were finally able to see Menma again (that, and the fact that they knew she was about to leave).

    1. If you have ever been with a group of people and a close loved one dies at first no one wants to cry (they all want to appear to be cool and mature or “real men don’t cry” attitude comes into play). All it takes is 1 person in the group to start crying and it sets off a chain reaction of many others that are there to also start crying.

      Years ago my sister’s baby died a few hours after it was born and when the doctor came to tell all of us in the waiting room (was like 10-12 family and friends there) thats exactly what happened. At first no one cried and after a few moments one person started crying and then everyone lost it.

  52. all the silly antics aside, never before i cried so much from a show. usually managed to hold the tears back no matter how much it was but for this show, coupled w the song was just too much

  53. I really agree with your post, Kiiragi. The execution of AnoHana and many of it’s plot devices made the series drag in the middle and made me feel like we were going in circles, but as the story concluded, I was very satisfied to see the characters open up and reveal what this show was about in the first place.
    I found it interesting how Menma’s original goal was related to Jintan, but then became about the whole group as well. It was nice to see Menma challenged by this and Jintan going the extra mile to include the others in Menma’s departure, thus clearing their consciences by revealing what had always been either unsaid or unknown between them.
    For that reason, I cried really hard when Menma left them the letters. It really reminded me of something I did with my friends before my recent high school graduation. We sat in a circle and in turn got up to thank one person in front of the group. Many of us had been together since childhood and so saying everything, even if it had been something everyone knew already, was immensely emotional. I’ll never forget how hard it was to speak through tears like that when I talked to my best friend and said what it was I loved about her, and this show brought that back for me.
    Sure, there are things that I would have wished for, but the overall effect of AnoHana was great and I really enjoyed it.
    A very satisfying ending. Highly recommended.

    1. Oh, and I would assume that Poppo saw Menma’s body in the river, not her shoe. The flashback showed him scared and appalled by whatever he was seeing, and his tears were so intense I doubt it could be anything else.

  54. lost soul shackled in the world
    bound from what’s left behind

    a field of hope?

    fulfillment of the forgotten vow
    guided by sincere act,

    gentle memories are kept
    an oath carved deep in our hearts

    now… she left with a smile

  55. I didn’t like the whole crying and screaming too much either, especially the way Poppo and Anaru acted it out. Quite a few scenes made me flinch.

    But in the end the show almost made me tear up. Which is saying a lot, because few shows have ever been able to make me cry. So forced drama or not, the depth of the characters’ emotions still hit hard enough for me to have a positive impression of the show.

  56. The crying did feel rather unnatural at times… I mean when Poppo revealed his guilt, people started to cry uncontrollably… (-_-)”. But other than that it was an amazing way to to end a series. I really appreciate the way the music plays out during the episode and how it ended with the sorta upbeat opening song as a conclusive end. The reference to the hide and seek was moving and how Menma whispered “you found me” in the end before disappearing. It wasnt the most complex series out there but the simplicity was part of the charm of the show.

    Kinda teared up a little when the “Secret Base” started playing when they were reading the letter that Menma left and how simple and innocent her messages to the group were. Just a random note, if you were to type “secret base” in youtube search, make sure to listen to the original ZONE version and the SCANDAL cover version. Might be a treat to the ears.

    This year is looking pretty strong for paticularly amazing anime.

  57. Already commented but I need to say something else. I agree with the over dramatic part, but also think of the culture. My neighbor has work in japan every few months and tells us about it. She says that they are hardworking and determined. She also said they get very emotional easily. Now please don’t take this like I am insulting anyone, but if you were a Japanese person watching this, you might feel it portrayed everyone correctly and was very realistic! I loved the ending but thought the over crying was a bit much, but then I put myself in their shoes.

  58. I thought Kiiragi watch this in raw version (well I initially thought all writers here in RC must be raw-watching people :D) but just a note, Poppo said he saw Menma’s body drifting away and he couldn’t get it out of his mind all this time. Well definitely since these would bring trauma to most of his age. So, the confession award goes to Poppo! Really, it’s the confession that’s most surprising and tear-jerking for me.

  59. I see where you’re coming from Kiiragi. It could’ve been better, but it’s hard to argue with something that was (still) so amazingly good and enjoyable. If every season had a show as good as this I’d be happy for the rest of my life!

  60. Even though the series did kind of drag towards the end, with some characters totally being shafted on character development (Tsuruko was incredibly interesting yet completely downplayed, and it would have been nice to see more of Menma’s relationship with her family) the show was still a thoroughly, riveting piece of animation. The thing which I appreciated the most was the realism of how these teenagers could just not move on with their lives with so many bottled up feelings. That made the scene when they all finally began yelling at each other about what truly happened that day exciting because it showed that the characters could now be able to move on. Also, while I did find some of Menma’s and the groups rather coy ways of figuring out their problems I had to remind myself that 1: Menma is still only a little kid stuck in a teenage body, and 2: The rest of the characters were teenagers with parents who weren’t necessarily giving them much guidance, and their hormones were completely out of whack! In the end I’d rate it at 9/10, just for being more realistic than the typical series where everyone is a completely different character at the end, instead their the same people with a slightly new understanding of their emotions.

    Censored 1
  61. I cried. I was trying not to, but I did especially once the OP song started playing. I really enjoyed the series as a whole, and am a strange mix of sad and relieved that it is finally over.

  62. Am I the only one who wanted to see more of the characters’ romantic developments after Menma disappears?
    It seems like Tsuruko’s wearing Yukiatsu’s(?) Menma hair clip? (looks too new to be the one she picked up)
    I wonder what Menma would reincarnate into… Hopefully not a flower… That’d be kind of sad…

  63. i just want to say that the 3rd and 4th paragraphs in the final thoughts are pure words of wisdoms. I applaud you for coming to that conclusion regarding the way that humans view other people’s problems. Your words have given me the missing piece of the puzzle that i have long been looking for. I just never understood how to connect everything as well as you did.

    So I would like to say: Thank You KIRAGI. 😀

    (This is not a sarcastic comment)

    Akai Ito
  64. While I would’ve loved for the girls to get more of a development in their relationships, especially Tsuruko – her crushingly low self-esteem reveal just broke my heart – and I agree w/ you about some of the ways Menma’s character and abilities were handled. But overall I still love this show an awful lot, and hope it gets licensed so I can own it and share its feelings with others.

    It broke and stirred my heart. It touchded upon things that struck so close to home for me. I’ll absolutely want to watch this again, though at a later date, since it took a lot out of me. *sniffle*

    We need more series like this, even flawed, Anohana tackled something that was unique and at once complex and simple.

  65. I might be a stranger here, I might be a hikkikomori, but this anime I could say would be the best in the season. I’ve watched most of the anime, and this one is indeed what I could say, superb. Normally I could hold back some tears from my eyes, but when it comes to an anime like CLANNAD or Angel Beats! I can’t hold it well. This Ano Hana, is definitely extraordinary, I’ve been waiting this kind of anime, the ending is quite bitter though, for me.

    I wish there would be another season of this, but that would be impossible (I quite love happy ending and want to see how things would happen if Meiko got reincarnated and stuffs…)
    But if I can really have a wish, let me have second season of this anime, with a quite storyline and is an continuation of this.

    Shrfft.. I cried quite much I guess. This series is just sad, touching and too much complex feelings there, especially on Jin-tan, I really cried, it’s like I’m in his position.

    My overall rating for this, would be 9.95/10, yes, I really would bookmark, safe and keep this series forever. I wish they would have a figure or such for this anime, but who knows.

    Now, let me, as a random hikkikomori, say this…

  66. finally watched this. As soon as I saw this last seaso, I knew it was amazing, and the things I was hearing about was indeed amazing. Never got to watch it though (busy with hanasaku and some other shit I shouldn’t have wasted time on…) I wanna kill myself for not watching this then. dammit.

    very very good. A lil rewatch value, but still excellent. Really on par with hanasaku (altho it’s still continuing), and definitely the best/2ndbest anime of the season/year.

    1. I’d have to agree with you mate. I found this be a very strong series despite the supernatural twist, the series illustrated its morals perfectly and that’s all that it really comes down to.


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