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.