Ano Hana 4 and 5: waiting and transformation

It may seem as if I stopped watching Ano Hana because I stopped updating. That’s not really the case: I really just don’t have much to say about it, even if I do like it a lot. I’ve already said as early as the third episode that I doubt Menma is just a hallucination of Jinta’s, especially because she affects physical reality by that much. She can eat, drink, and even cook muffins. Schizophrenics often have auditory hallucinations, and not visual ones, and these auditory hallucinations are often accompanied by god complexes, something that Jinta does not possess.

This series also has one of the best OP-ED combinations of this season.

The show isn’t exactly told solely from Jinta’s perspective to be considered as told by an unreliable narrator. The narrator is omniscient more than anything, and is a distant third-person observer, who simply shows their lives as they unfold. Having said that, I admired how they were able to transform Yukiatsu’s character as someone empathetic, who clearly had his own share of problems due to Menma’s passing, but despite that is still able to be a good human being to Anjou even after years of separation.

It was in this episode that the Honey and Clover vibes intensified for me, especially because of the complex web of relationships that surround the major characters. The two central men love a ghost; the girl who treasures Jinta can’t get past her feelings of regret, and the girl who treasures Yukiatsu can’t get past her cold appearance and aloofness. Both women have been waiting in their own ways for their respective guys to act, but both have been saddled with problems that they themselves have difficulty surpassing.

The series is essentially a story of friendship and the progression as well as rediscovery of that friendship. The series is not deep in the sense of the philosophical, but it does dig deep into one’s emotions and is a heartfelt series of moving on and living life. It’s shaping up to be one of the best of the year. I was touched with the fact that the extant ladies have been waiting all that time, in their own unique way, not only for their friends, but for their men to sweep them off their feet.

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3 Responses to “Ano Hana 4 and 5: waiting and transformation”

  1. Angelus Says:

    I’ve wept buckets over this series so far. For me, it’s everything that Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones should have been and wasn’t. OK, we still don’t know at this stage what really happened to Menma, so I suppose we can’t say for sure that her death didn’t involve foul play, but even so, to handle the setup with such a light touch and without a trace of mawkishness is something that probably only someone thoroughly imbued in Buddhism can do.

    Menma is a ghost, but still she maintains the connection with earthly (and earthy) things – she wears clothes, washes, cooks, eats, even excretes. There is only one thing that marks her existence out as different from anyone else’s – only Jintan is directly aware of her presence. And yet despite the varying degrees of skepticism of the other one-time Super Peace Busters, they all wish that they could see her too.

    I’ve no idea how this will end, but I hope everyone is able to find some resolution for their feelings in life and so give Menma the resolution she so fervently desires in her death.

  2. Michael Says:

    I haven’t wept over this series, but that’s probably because there are people around the house and the environment just doesn’t seem to be that conducive. But it’s a great show, and I love your reference to the Lovely Bones (which failed as a movie).

    Exactly – I hope everyone finds a resolution regarding their feelings, and give Menma that peace in death she doesn’t seem to have as yet.

  3. abscissa Says:

    I also enjoy how this series is so heartwarming and enticing. From the very start it already hinted viewers that it’s going to be emotional. Also, I appreciate that it stays true to it’s description because every episode offers a very captivating drama wherein each character does his or her part.

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