Series Review

Anime Hajime Review: Anohana – The Flower We Saw That Day

Original Run: April 14, 2011 - June 23, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11
Genre: Drama, Supernatural

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Jinta “Jintan” Yaomi (voiced by Miyu Irino) has become a bit of a recluse. He has lost all interest in socializing and has preferred staying locked away in his room. Things didn’t have a hope of changing.

That was until she came back.

Meiko “Menma” Honma (voiced by Ai Kayano), an old and beloved friend, suddenly returns. The last time Jintan saw Menma was back when they were kids.

In fact, many things were different when the two were children.

Jintan and Menma spent every day playing with their four other close friends: Naruko “Anaru” Anjo, Atsumu “Yukiatsu” Matsuyuki, Chiriko “Tsuruko” Tsurumi, and Tetsudo “Poppo” Hisakawa (voiced by respectively by Haruka Tomatsu, Takahiro Sakurai, Saori Hayami, and Takayuki Kondo). These six were once inseparable, but now they hardly ever speak.

But there was one thing they all tried to do. They hoped to make Menma a distant memory. For you see, Menma died many years ago.

Yet here she is again, and Jintan is the only one who can see her. Menma tells Jintan she is unable to crossover, and that there are some wishes she wants to fulfill. Though Jintan agrees to help, he soon learns he can’t do it alone.

After all this time, Jintan must reunite with his old friends. Along the way, they will have to face a past they thought was too painful to remember.

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Series Positives

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Anohana) was brilliant; no point beating around that bush. This isn’t just one of the best anime I’ve reviewed – no, no. It’s one of the best anime I’ve seen.

This was phenomenal.

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To start, Anohana was breathtaking to look at. This was a visual story.

If something didn’t need saying, it wasn’t said. You could feel the emotions in every scene. When a character was happy, you were happy. When a character laughed, you laughed. When a character felt relief, you could see the weight lift from their shoulders.

When this series wants to hit you with feelings, it will drop you on your ass.

And that’s why you need to know this going in.

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Anohana is a heart-wrencher.

There are plenty of anime out there that have created lasting moments – powerful moments. However, Anohana didn’t just have a single moment. It had several, and each one was stronger than the last. In the final few episodes, I don’t know if my eyes were ever dry.

And keep in mind, this was the second time I sat through this series. I knew what was coming, and trust me when I say, “I tried. Boy did I try to prepare myself.”

But it wasn’t any good. Anohana told its story so perfectly that its effects don’t diminish with multiple viewings.

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The Characters

Before delving further, I have to say this:

All the voice actors in this series did an outstanding job.

When Menma died, that paused everything for our group. The tomorrow from that day didn’t come for many years. Those emotions remained, and instead of getting the chance to heal, they festered. Thus, this once tight-knit team shattered.

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Adding to that, each one of them felt like they were somehow responsible for what happened to Menma. Jintan, Anaru, Yukiatsu, Tsuruko, Poppo, they all believed they were at fault. Not only did they think they couldn’t heal, but they also didn’t think they deserved to heal.

Thus, when Menma appeared before Jintan, she brought those emotions back. The other characters turned justifiably hostile.

Think about it this way.

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Had Jintan been lying, he would’ve been an absolute piece of s@#$. How dare he bring up beloved Menma in such a fashion. What right would he have to impose that kind of burden on others? Yet since he was telling the truth, that caused a different – maybe even greater – problem.

Why the hell was Jintan the one who could interact with Menma? How was that fair?

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And these were only some of the issues going through these characters’ minds. They all loved Menma. Unfortunately, most of their actions were fueled by selfish reasons. I wouldn’t say any of those actions were unreasonable, but they were selfish, nonetheless.

Each of these points had to be addressed. Only then could they help Menma cross over. It was a glass ceiling they had to break. And when they figured that out – oh my god. I don’t know the right words to describe how good this series got.

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Series Negatives

There was one thing.

Granted, this one thing didn’t hurt the show in any way, shape or form. But it was still a negative because it was so blatant. However, because of that blatant-ness, I found the whole thing to be hilarious.

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The amount of product placement in this show was astonishing.

Again, this did not take away Anohana‘s power. It was still weird, though.

There was also something else. I only mention it because I kind of have to.

It shouldn’t have been that hard for Jintan to prove Menma’s existence.

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Menma could only communicate with people besides Jintan through the diary she had when she was alive. Well, there was that and the fact she could move physical objects. Menma could cook, clean, and play video games. There were ways to make her presence known.

But I don’t care enough. If this is the sort of thing I have to ignore to fully enjoy Anohana, there’s no issue.

In this case, the ends more than justified the means.

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Final Thoughts

The visuals were top notch. The story was powerful. The series’ pacing was perfect. The characters felt alive and relatable. You could feel every emotion everyone was going through. And it all came together to form one of the best anime I have ever seen.

Grab a box of tissues. You’re going to need it for this one. I’m telling this to everybody. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is an absolute must.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

And if you liked what you read, be sure to follow me on my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.

I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

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