Ano Hana anime review

Ano Hana anime review
Five childhood friends grow apart after the death of Meiko Honma, close playmate of them all. Jinta Yadomi, leader of the group when they were kids, neglects high school and lives as a shut-in when he unexpectedly starts seeing the ghost of Meiko, who can only interact with him and no one else. She has returned to ask Jinta to fulfill the forgotten wish she made as a kid.

Despite all the bad things in this world,  or how the anime industry seems to sink lower than the bottom of the sea, there is always place for originally and quality content. Even though we seem to dig in a pile of charcoal, there’s always a diamond hiding underneath. All in all, the summer season hasn’t been particularly a bad one. We had a share of original productions that didn’t work the way it had to be, we had some disgusting shows such as a 10 years old succubus princess and some other shows that you still don’t know what it supposed to be about. In other words, it was one of those normal seasons.  However, there was one anime that truly went above standards with a solid point in every aspect, and that is AnoHana.

The reason why AnoHana is so solid is because of the direction it was given. For once, you actually know what it will be about during the first episode. No, it doesn’t offer a pointless 4 episodes introduction with a beach episode in between, nor does it wander around in circle thinking what cheap trick I can use to please the viewer. AnoHana is a simple story about the lost of a childhood friend and the repercussion it had on them years later. With a glimpse of a look, AnoHana might as well be just one of those cheap dramas, but it is in fact not cheap. What makes this series above the other drama is the fact that this anime has a mission, or should I say a purpose. Really, the whole charm of it resides in the simplicity and naivety of the story. This is to say that nothing in AnoHana is overcomplicated. Only, AnoHana is absolutely not a flawless show. It does feel like the series is dragging or simply not getting to point. This is mostly due to unnecessary side plot that doesn’t really develop into something concrete. In example, some sort of love triangle will develop, but this is merely as a form of emotional fan service. There are also some few scenes in the anime that aren’t really needed, but it is far from being distracting. While it doesn’t derivate the plot by much, the audience might find it irritating. Also, AnoHana’s story falls into the category of melodrama. There is a lot of crying in this anime, but unlike some other anime out there, the melodrama is justified and doesn’t feel embarrassing in any bit.  All in all, these small problems aren’t enough the flip over the quality of the storyline. AnoHana has a good story and this is entirely because of the cast. Which is not surprising, since this is a character’s driven show.

I’ll be direct on this, AnoHana really has a good cast. Now I am not talking about the flash backs where their children past was showcased with some childish moments. I am talking about the whole point of the anime, and that is dealing with the lost of someone who is dear to you. We all know that death in anime is often a plot element to create a mental breakdown for the main character, but it’s often too deep shit for me. Now of course, there is some sort of mental breakdown in AnoHana, but nothing that goes batshit insane. It is mostly due because the characters didn’t know how to adapt after the event. Thankfully, there is actually more to the characters than some mourning. Through the small 11 episodes of the show, the main cast is developed into a three dimensional way that is simply amazing. Basically, it is marvellous to see how the broken relation between them will rebuild once again. As for the side characters, they serve the purpose to show the consequences from another point of view, since there are more than friends in the life of someone. However, my main problem is with Menma’s mom. Whether she is a good character or not isn’t the question. It is actually her behaviour and reaction that I find a bit unbelievable.  To sum it up, a near perfect cast supported by a perfect main cast.

Production value doesn’t have anything that is notable, but it end it is pretty much solid all way through. The animation is fluid for the most and it is beautiful supported with its background. The character design for the most part is well done. My main issue is with Naruko’s bunches which looks rather silly at times. Thankfully, her hair style changes in the series so that she can actually look beautiful. As for the music, it does a perfect job at highlighting the dramatic moments. The opening song and ending song are also well fitting with the anime series. There’s also a great job that is done with the voice actors. Their performance feels for the most part believable and strong.

AnoHana is a good show and there is no doubt about it. Only, even though I only pointed few flaws that don’t really matter, it is not a show that is exceptional either. Mostly, this show is a melodrama that can often feel too dramatic for some viewers, so it all depends on the viewer’s taste. Don’t get me wrong though, in the drama aspect, it is a solid one because it is supported by a strong story and a great cast. It is truly one of the highlights of the spring season.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Ano Hana. Watch it now:
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