Thoughts on Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.

From the looks of the general reaction of the blogosphere towards this anime with the incredibly long name that is so hard to remember and forget, it is quite obvious that it is well-received, and for a justifiable reason. It’s not very often that you get anime like this, with the drama and all that. However, I have one major problem about everything in this show: I am not moved even by a single bit.

I know, this is very strange coming from me, with my favorite show of all time being the drama-laden Clannad: After Story and being moved to tears by Lotte no Omocha’s 5th episode. Even my anime-watching RL friends were very shocked to find out that I haven’t shed a single tear watching this. I am THE ONLY ONE in our group who is not head over heels in love with the show.

I think my problem lies in how they just throw the drama right at you from the get-go, and crying starts as early as episode 1, without really giving much time for us (or me at least) to know the characters more, but that’s just the first two episodes. They try to build up the characters in the next 2 episodes or so and they somehow pull it off without relying too much on attempts to make you cry.

From there, things really start to get annoying for me. After going in and establishing the personalities and inner conflicts of the characters, it reverts to annoying melodrama and people getting stuck up on the past. I really can’t believe how sentimental these people are. And that’s not all; Naruko starts to cry for no good reason every day, Meiko starts to get on my nerves, Jinta is another generic guy, and the cross-dressing SOB is still as annoying as ever. And don’t even get me started on Meiko’s mother. The way all of them act when Meiko is involved is not realistic in my opinion, and looks like an excuse to churn out scenes where they can make the characters cry.

And there’s also the repeated use of THAT scene when they were kids. You know, the one where Jinta calls Meiko ugly and ends up with Meiko dying by drowning or hitting her head on a sharp rock or losing one of her sandals; you choose . It’s honestly getting weaker and weaker as they repeat it, and the added bits don’t really help much except to annoy me more than I already am.

But you know, for all it’s worth, I still think Ano Hana is a good anime that appeals to a wide range of audiences. But somehow, I cannot enjoy it as much as others, maybe because of my experience with anime like Clannad, Kanon, Air and Angel Beats!, my failure to relate to the characters, or as a friend said, I prefer “drama bomb” types to constant drama like the ones that saturate the Philippine entertainment industry, as is evident with anime and visual novels that have made me cry before.

So, how does this anime fare in terms of how much I enjoy it compared to the other ones that I watch this season? Look at this:

Steins;Gate= [C] = Nichijou > A Channel = Hyouge Mono > Hanasaku Iroha = Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai 2 = Ano Hana = Lotte no Omocha! > Denpa Onna

I already dropped Dog Days, Deadman Wonderland, Hidan no Aria, Gosick and Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai. Me still watching Ano Hana says something, right?

Edit: I forgot to add Kaminomi 2 and Hyouge Mono, so there.

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About Lucas Magnus

Trying to change for the better.
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25 Responses to Thoughts on Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.

  1. anaaga says:

    oh god, you dropped ore-tachi? I didn’t drop it yet xD it gets really interesting after 5 freakin eps, and there’s actually a plot! 😮

  2. misaki says:

    I’ve found AnoHana a better show than the more blatant tear-jerkers like After Story, Kanon, Air, possibly Angel Beats, and ef. I don’t believe it’s a show that’s meant to make the audience cry. I mean, what’s there to feel sad about? Nobody’s dying or anything.

    If you watch AnoHana expecting a tragic romance, you probably won’t enjoy it at all. That’s because the show is more uplifting than depressing. Menma is both a reminder of the tragic event that caused the characters to drift apart as well as a tool that can bring them back together. The characters have dwelled upon the death of their close friend/love interest for years, and it’s time for them to move on.

    tl;dr I really don’t understand why people would cry watching AnoHana. It seems like a really dumb thing to do.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I’m not expecting a tragic romance here (who would?). I just wish that they just don’t make the characters cry every episode without a good buildup. I don’t know… it’s bad character design, IMO.

      It has a good premise, but the characters are just unrealistic and annoying, except maybe Poppo and Tsurumi. And there’s that melodrama. I think I just developed a pet peeve.

  3. moichispa says:

    The problem of character development may be that you are too used to Visual novels speed one. Visual novels have more time to develop characters than anime. Speaking in VN standars (that field has way more sad stories related titles, so it is better to understand) works like Air or Clannad are under the Nakige tag (crying game) while Anohana can be compared mostly with the Utsuge tag (Depressing game).

    Both are different genres so it is people to have different tastes about it. It is not so weird to be a fan of just one of them.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Maybe I am, considering that my favorite visual novels include: CLANNAD, Sharin no Kuni, G-Senjou no Maou and Ever17, which all give time to slowly develop the characters before delivering coup de grace of raw emotion. I guess that is what sets apart most great visual novels from the rest, and it’s more fitting for my taste.

  4. Azure says:

    “Steins;Gate= [C] = Nichijou” I second. I’m actually still watching Dog days and Gosick for the heck of it though.

    I only watched this show because everyone was telling me how good it was. I don’t even know why I’m still watching this show. Menma annoys the heck out of me, I don’t see jintan eye to eye, Anaru cries too much but otherwise I’m okay with her, Popo is like an adult child and Yukiatsu creeps me out. The only characters inside the show that hasn’t annoyed me yet are Tsuruko and Jintan’s dad.
    And how the hell are they even considered friends? Menma is just Menma and so is Popo. Jintan seems to be dragged along by menma. The rest? Yukiatsu just wants Jintan to lose Menma because yukiatsu himself can’t get menma too. tsuruko just wants to get things over and done with for Yukiatsu’s sake and Anjou just keeps crying over Jintan and menma then keeps getting used by Yukiatsu.
    I don’t get this show anymore.

    By the way things are going Menma will reincarnate into flowers and they will name the flowers after her or something. Then either Yukiatsu or Jintan will become a monk and everyone else will live not-very-happily ever after.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Yeah. I don’t see the point in all of this. So far, they are still not close enough to be called friends. I wonder how they will solve this mess that everybody seems to call a “great anime.”

      “By the way things are going Menma will reincarnate into flowers and they will name the flowers after her or something. Then either Yukiatsu or Jintan will become a monk and everyone else will live not-very-happily ever after.”

      While this would be a really crappy ending, I sort of want to see it for the lulz.

      • Azure says:

        I’m half tempted to go shout “noitaminA, Y U no Awesome anymore?” but never mind… I have no idea how they would be able to pull off a redeeming heartwarming ending, not exactly keeping my hopes up either.

        I know right. just seems like the sort of stupid thing both Jintan and Yukiatsu would do.

  5. Nopy says:

    You’re heartless 😛

    I actually like all of the drama, but I can see why you wouldn’t if you’ve been exposed to asian dramas for most of your life. Except for maybe Menma’s mother, I don’t think the characters aren’t believable. From what I can tell, while Jinta was the core of the group from the outside, the true core was Menma. Everyone else is usually very closely attached to that person, and to lose her at such a young age, it’s surely bound to leave some emotional scars.

    I’m saddened that you dropped Ore Tsubasa. At the current stage, they’re showing that beneath all of that fanservice was the complex mental strife I was expecting after the second episode.

    • Valence says:

      Asian Drama ruins drama in general, if you ask me. It’s all too melodramatic and overplayed.

      Heck, I dropped Tsubasa too based on the whole ‘insert your monster into my kitten’ sequence, and the fact that the animation makes it look like something SubDESU would be subbing.

      • @fkeroge says:

        “Asian Drama ruins drama in general, if you ask me. It’s all too melodramatic and overplayed.”

        True that.

        “Heck, I dropped Tsubasa too based on the whole ‘insert your monster into my kitten’ sequence…”

        Oh, God, why did you have to remind me of that?

    • @fkeroge says:

      I dislike most Filipino drama shows because of how they overplay or underplay the emotions and make the drama seem like a comedy routine. That’s the same with Korean and J-Doramas, and my most powerful reason for preferring anime drama.

      I also had a gang of five back in elementary, though the gang consisted of me an four girls (I’m not joking, I swear!), and we had our share of kid drama and silly fights, so I thought I would be able to relate more. Though we haven’t lost anyone in our group, I have thought about the scenario if one of my friends who died back then was part of the group. To be honest, I won’t really think much of it, and I don’t think anyone should be that hung up on it.

      Like I said earlier, I might pick OreTsuba again, seeing that the visual novel was done by Navel (one of the VN studios that I respect).

      And yes, I’m heartless. 😀

  6. Sebz Dima says:

    I had a TV where I could watch telenovela anytime I could. I choose not to because of recurrent themes and/or bad acting =_=

    • @fkeroge says:

      I think the last time I watched a telenovela was 8 years ago. I would see glimpses of the newer shows, but then I would start to harshly criticize it, so I gave up altogether.

  7. San says:

    I dare to say that even Digimon is more dramatic than this. Wormmons death was sadder as Ano Hana ever could. This show forces you too hard to cry but for me it fails hard in this aspect. Really, every episodes ends with the little drama about Menma but I don’t a fuck and if Ano Hana even fails at being a tearjerker.. well.
    Otherwise I agree with your ranking except that I would place Kaiji S2 before S;G, [C] and Nichijou and equate Denpa Onna with Ano Hana.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I don’t know what this series is trying to be. If it’s about friendship, there’s a lot of better ones out there, particularly shounen titles. If it’s trying to be a drama, well, it fails for me.

  8. Tsuki says:

    phew, and here I thought I was the only one who didn’t cry at this anime. I do like this series quite a bit, and it has some exceptionally well played character development (especially for an 11 episode series), but cry? I never even came close to it during the entirety of this series so far.

    It has a well-built story and works great as a character study, sure, but I don’t quite see anything with such raw emotion to elicit such a reaction (the revelation of Menma via the diary was the closest it ever got). I guess you can say that the creators are trying to force a “cry reaction” from viewers, but forcing it has always turned me off from the idea.

    Maybe I’m just being too picky…? ヽ(´ー`)┌

    • @fkeroge says:

      I guess you see my point, though I have to disagree on them being good subjects for character study. They don’t act like humans, IMO. I think they act more like crying machines or machines made to annoy the hell out of you. No offense.

  9. ~xxx says:

    Gosick was pretty good this past episodes, I think it;s a bit late for them to improve.
    I was continuing C, ano hana, Hanasaku iroha and I will continue steins gate after the show finishes.

    Ore tachi tsubasa wa nai, hidan no aria are both dropped.

    I waas kinda waiting the end for ano hana and c in thursday. (hopefully, our internet line comes back)

  10. Mira says:

    To me, an effective drama should be handled with a careful hand. There needs to be subtlety, sensitivity, a great script and an atmosphere. And AnoHana fails in all those categories. They’ve consistently sledge hammered the audience with OMG SAD moments. Sometimes, less is more. There’s also the issue with Menma dying young, because of this and her lack of a personality, there’s not much about her that can help her friends now.

    If Menma died a little older, a little wiser or if Menma herself weren’t such a bumbling idiot– AnoHana would’ve gone greater lengths IMHO. I don’t see a lot of great drama in anime, I’ve tried getting into shows like Angel Beats, Clannad and Air but more often than not, they leave a bad taste in my mouth. The one show I saw that exercised the four requirements I had was Koi Kaze, an anime about an incestuous relationship that went way beyond my expectations.

    This is probably why I prefer drama in books by certain authors and sometimes, Japanese dramas. Compared to books like Socrates in Love and Be With You, heck– compare it to Norwegian Wood and AnoHana becomes child’s play. I won’t pass judgement that easily though, I’m waiting for the last episode before I can form a solid opinion of AnoHana. It started off pretty well, but now it’s just like a bad soap opera.

  11. JungleDog says:

    TOTALLLY AGREEEEEEE

  12. fork says:

    I feel like you walked into this anime with too many expectations. Everyone seems to be comparing it too heavily to other animes/dramas. Things like this should be approached with an open heart.

    The reason why they start the drama off incredibly fast in this anime is because it’s only 11 episodes long. Short series generally don’t much leisure time to focus on a lot of character development. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but sometimes it’s effective, everyone has a different preference in the speed at which the drama unfolds.

    Clannad After Story was amazing (imo), but I feel like it’s also because we had the entire first season for us to get to know the characters more, allowing After Story to really impact us. What if Ano hi mita blah blah blah was 24 episodes long? And it spent the first half developing more on the characters and their backgrounds (especially Poppo and Tsuruko, they didn’t get much..)? Some people might have felt more involved with the later drama, and some might’ve not liked the slower pace. It’s just preference. I wanted to show a friend Clannad After Story, but that never happened because they didn’t have the patience to go through Clannad first (in fact they got bored of it..).

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