Never let it be said I don’t enjoy a good ONE OF US moment where I decide to also cast my line in on the internet reaction to the re-airing of AnoHana during this summer’s noitaminA block, in a bid to promote its new movie and BD box.
I added AnoHana late to my 2011 lineup that season, replacing Sket Dance, which I just plain got bored of, and mayhaps I was feeding on a little bit of the hype then when I gave it a mostly positive review, but after the goggles came off and I really inspected what it was, it wasn’t what it appeared to be. I wonder why?
While we’re on the bandwagon, let me start with my short bit from my 2011 review:
Overall this show was exactly what I expected it to be, and it was very enjoyable to watch. There was a couple episodes in the middle that didn’t really do much to substantiate the rest of the plot, and I felt that they could have spent somemore time on Poppo’s backstory before telling us why he did, or at least as much time as they spent on Asshole and Jealous Glasses.
I’ll admit that when I watch anime, I don’t tend to retrospect too deeply into what it should do or could do. There are known exceptions, especially with titles I really, really liked, but with AnoHana, coming into it late, I did not really experience what others experienced. Sure, there were sad points in the story, I might’ve lost a couple tears, but when I step back and look at the overall story, it just doesn’t do the damn thing the justice it might’ve deserved, if it deserved any at all.
The major problem was with the characters. Here you’re given a story that is probably familiar to a lot of people, losing a friend at a young age, and blaming yourself for what could have been or should have been. I guess not having been put in this situation places me out of touch with those who might have, but you have one guy who pretty much tries to absorb all of the responsibility and shoulder the burden, and treats everyone like garbage for it, another who runs off to travel the world because he can’t face reality, another who pined for the dead girl and crossdresses to prove the point, and the last who pines for the crossdresser who pines for the dead girl making for a twisted ménage à trois. It very much was more of a cross-love story between characters and less about finding a dead girl, something the story flopped around with constantly, which annoyed me during the middle episodes.
The idea that anyone under the age of ten would remember any kind of romantic connection a decade later is kind of absurd. I won’t call it impossible, because lord knows someone out there will tell me they’ve known their wife/girlfriend/lover/pet/inanimateobject/2DWAIFU since they were still in diapers, but in my opinion, when you’re six, the most you have to worry about is not eating glue paste, showing your dick to your classmates in the bathroom, rubbing yourself over a table, or whatever else first-graders try to avoid while acting like normal human children. I don’t think I had a real genuine semi-romantic thought about a girl until I was in fifth or sixth grade, and even then, I was an unpopular nerd, so I knew my role within society pretty quickly by the time I got to middle and high school. Now, I don’t discount the idea of these characters re-uniting after a long time and thinking “Man, he/she looks hot, wonder if I can curry me some favor” and get in on that, but we would need more episodes and some better writing to really develop that out to a point where it’s not rushed or forced. Instead they gave us characters that already knew each other without explicitly seeing one another for a long time. Add the fact that all of them feel guilty for one girl’s death long ago, and they become miserable balls of emo reliving their past over and over again.
I guess what I am really trying to say is I don’t understand why they would re-broadcast the show. Gundam SEED and SEED Destiny made since because they were going from SD to HD, but for a two year old that anyone who cared about has either watched or bought the BDs, I doubt that many people are going to care to re-watch it ahead of the movie. What is the movie even going to be about?
I know what it should be about.