Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai)

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai) 2011

One day I’ll run out of shows I’ve seen and then I’ll have to focus more on new stuff – but until that moment, here’s another ‘older’ series. And for a change, I’ll try and keep this review succinct!

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is a definition tearjerker, so if that’s not your thing steer clear perhaps. Otherwise, if you’ve never seen this one get ready for a fairly full-on drama that follows young adults as they struggle to come to terms with the death of a childhood friend from their past, Menma. On the surface it sounds like a straight forward drama but there’s a few supernatural aspects, since Menma is kinda haunting the main character of Jinta in the present-day.

Of course, she generally does it in a cute way – except for in the first episode. I nearly gave the show a miss because for some reason she’s shown grinding on Jinta over breakfast? That bizarre attempt at fan-service(?) aside, the story is a good mix between mystery and character, with some truly antagonistic friends coming together to try and figure out the right thing to do. And yeah, as expected, super-bittersweet ending – even melodramatic, but still overall a good series.  

Clannad is mentioned a lot in terms of a general comparison to Anohana, so that might be another marker to help decide whether to watch. As I’ve said many times about most modern productions, visually everything is bright and clear and the character designs are distinctive enough, which is always welcome.

But the real highlight is probably the charactarisation for me.

4 Stars  

The Napping Princess (Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari)

This film was sweet and at times exciting, with great character design and some distinctive performances too (especially from Mitsuki Takahata) but overall the split storylines introduced a bit of murkiness for me.

The Napping Princess (Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari) 2017

At times the tone seemed to move in an out of ‘younger viewers’ territory and I’m certainly not claiming that films aimed at kids are bad, it’s just that this one maybe could have done a little more to show consequences of the big events so the older folks could also enjoy it as much as I imagine younger viewers might.

Still, it probably sounds like I didn’t enjoy this but that’s not so, it’s just that for me it was ‘good’ but not a ‘knock-out’.

3 Stars