— Temporal Vortex

AnoHana 01-02 – Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be

Ooops. I actually said I’m making an episodic post but I don’t know how to make one! Oh well, whatever. Also, I rarely post screenshots so please do not expect a barrage similar to what RandomC does.

When I first watched the trailer of AnoHana, I wasn’t able to derive any of the drama it is currently delivering. Instead, I got lots of angst from it. Yes, pure angst. Thank God it didn’t turn out to be a very depressing show.

What probably made this show close to my heart is the way it’s trying to portray the truth about childhood, unlike some of the shows which portrays childhood friends unbelievably intimate and devoted to each other after the many years that have passed (eg. Manami and Kyosuke (OreImo)). Of course, I might just be biased but I honestly think shows like 5cm, Love Hina, and Sora no Manimani offers some of the truth behind the growth and changes from childhood to adulthood (or at least adolescence).

5cm is a perfect example of how physical distance plays its role in emotional distance. Love Hina shows the extent of how memories could preserve the relationship of two childhood friends. Sora no Manimani shows how childhood memories could end up as nightmares. Lastly, AnoHana shows how childhood friends could slowly grow apart from each other. It should be noted that the latter three all involve physical separation unlike AnoHana, which makes it more interesting to watch compared to the obvious aftermath of physical distance the three series present.

Apart from this, the transformation of each character through the years lead me to unbearably love the show, especially Jintan’s transformation from hero to zero. Every inch of it is itching to be explored. It makes me wonder on what’s the motive behind everyone’s fake facade.

I like coming of age shows in general but this one just hits the right spots. All of them suddenly grew apart from each other trying to look for their own place in society while carrying the same burden over Menma’s death. They’re all undoubtedly associated with each other but all of them are trying to detach their selves from the past hoping it would make them forget what was the root cause of all the changes.

I guess it was just too much for every one in their tender age to experience death right at their proximity. Of course, if it’s about the death of a childhood friend, I can never forget about Cross Game’s first episode/chapters but we can see there how Kou-chan handled Wakaba’s death. At first, he didn’t know what to do but he realized it himself that all he has to do was to cry it out. Maybe everyone has noticed it as well, but I never saw anyone from them cry when Menma died which is rather odd (if not implied). From this I could only deduce they were never really taught by their parents or by anyone how to handle death of someone, which caused it to snowball up until their adolescence resulting to each and everyone’s diverse way of handling the “trauma” (except for Poppo probably). For Jintan’s case, it’s recluse way of living.

Episode two not only tugged my heartstrings but also triggered me nostalgia. I don’t really remember my childhood that much already but we are all aware how children are fickle on how they handle the concept of friendship. Friends today, enemies tomorrow, and probably friends again the next day. It’s a never-ending cycle and Anaru’s recollection of the past about the sticker made me tear up a bit as well. In the end, it made me envy the days we are innocent of how the concept of hate works. Anaru vaguely mentions how she should be the one ashamed of herself. If they were still kids, all of them could simply walk away and forget all that happened that day. The thing is, they were made aware that day by a concept that could make things irreversible.

N(P)okemon, as much as I could relate is probably the epitome of my generation’s portable gaming during its early years which is why I pretty much can relate. Me and my friends back then could freaking spend a whole day solely discussing about Pokemon (pick whatever version until Gold). Witnessing that sleepover (well technically it’s not) simply for the love of Pokemon reminded me again of my childhood.

It’s quite fun to witness distant friends reconnected with each other again thru a hobby both of them enjoyed when they were still kids. I don’t know if it was bound to be symbolic but the link cable probably represents the renewed connection between Anaru and Jintan. It’s also quite amusing how something like Nokemon could bridge the distance between Jintan and the others. I interpret this as some sort of middle ground for all of them, which is the longing to bring back what their relationship with each other during childhood used to be.

For now, I’m extremely enjoying myself when I’m watching this. I don’t see yet the possibility of Menma’s wish being disclosed but I have this feeling it will probably be revealed on the last minute and it will be some dramafest on the latter episodes, but that would be cliche and insipid so I would prefer for that prediction to go wrong. Also, those OP and ED are damn addictive XD.

PS. I don’t want to give a comment about Yukiatsu’s weird hobby for now. I still want to give him the benefit of a doubt. But yes. He’s creepy as of the moment.
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image credits: pixiv users じじいん, ななつまか

10 comments
  1. paperNo Gravatar says: May 3, 201112:21 pm

    This series was a lot better than I expected it to be. I’m curious to see if they could restore their friendship even a fraction of it would be nice. Menma is the reason that’s bringing them together but I wonder what would happen once they fulfill her wish. It’s so adorable~~ especially the flashbacks of when they were kids.

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: May 4, 20118:41 am

      I am hoping for that too. I'd like to believe that their relationship back then would be restored through Menma's efforts. I agree! Their younger versions are adorable!

  2. Eri UriNo Gravatar says: May 3, 20117:45 pm

    I don't think I'll ever be able to judge how everyone handled Menma's death until it is shown exactly how Menma came to die. We still don't know if there's any hidden story behind their childhood and her death.

    I was never into Pokemon and I don't think I'll ever come to like it, sadly. Now I'm unable to relate to anything Pokemon-revolved in the series ;A;
    My recent post Spring 2011 – OPs

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: May 4, 20118:49 am

      I think a flashback episode is necessary too but all of what I typed were just inferences and the impression I got from everyone whenever they speak of Menma. I'm not entirely sure why I came to like that game when I was a kid but I guess it has something to do with the adventure-esque sense it gives to the player. Maybe. It's not too late yet! haha

  3. baka_girlNo Gravatar says: May 4, 20112:14 am

    Nice post 😀
    I'm still hoping that Yukiatsu isn't as creepy as we think…
    My recent post Manga that should be adapted into anime

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: May 4, 20118:54 am

      Thank you! 🙂 I'm actually not sure if it ended up as an "episodic" entry ahaha. I don't like him that much but he's relatively "brainier" so I'm hoping he's not resorting to that sort of hobby.

  4. KyokaiNo Gravatar says: May 22, 20114:51 am

    I missed this on RSS but anyways, AnoHana is seriously making me feel lots of emotions I have forgotten. The problem is that you grow up and you forget most of the childhood joys that you felt by eating a particular candy or simply hanging out with friends. Fighting and laughing were directly proportional to each other and you never buried any feelings rather let it all out.

    AnoHana packs all of this into a punch and lays it on you from the start. It's so bittersweet yet so addictive; not to mention the OP/ED just play at your heart strings. Good comparison there with 5Cm, Love Hina & SnM; I think AnoHana is treating all of that and much more quite brilliantly.

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: May 24, 20118:26 pm

      what can I say… the OP was perfect for the series. It's not just the music. Even the flashbacks that they saw was bittersweet. The lingering childhood memories of each place really tugged my heart strings. I just love the character developments and the way the characters handle the situations. very much the series i look forward to every week.

  5. LarnuNo Gravatar says: June 11, 20114:41 am

    this is soemthing i've been enjoying as well. Although some simple things have frustrated me, such as that Menma has the ability to interact with objects, yet won't do it in front of anyone apart from Jinta is one of them. If she really did want to prove she was real, do something about it >_<

    I can see what you mean about how 5cm and Love Hina take different aspects of how friendship can change over the years. 5cm wasn't something I enjoyed so much, I'd suggest watching it to someone, but I've got the DVD, and I doudt i'd rewatch it. Love Hina is something I enjoyed more, especailly the manga. I feel that MCM ruined it when they imported it and dubbed it as well, so I'm so pleased that the Jap is on there. Some of the extras in the anime weren't needed though and it kinda bugs me that they can take a great manga, and almost ruin it at times.

    The last episode of this I watched was 08. with 09 just being aired I'm just waiting on a certain sub group to finish it off (and as I type the launch appears). I have also loved the Nokemon stuff, although I wonder if it should be Nokémon, which I haven't seen a single subgroup type it as yet ^_^ Maybe that would be far too similar to Pokémon. I remember the days of Gold and Silver as well, and I did spend many hours with my close mates playing till what iIthought was the dead of night. Good memories 🙂
    My recent post Going to post- and then not

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