Throwback Thursdays: Anohana

A few years back, I was hearing a lot of good comments about a few different anime: Steins Gate, Anohana, and Madoka Magica. Now of these my favorite is Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day.

This series follows a group of childhood friends who are now high schoolers who have not gotten along since their friend Menma passed away. Then one super hot summer day, the main character starts conversing with an older Menma that has arrived in his house, but only he can see her. Already withdrawn, he decides to let his delusions blow over. Menma, however, will not let him settle for that and forces him to reunite the friends in order to help her pass on. This becomes really difficult though, as each one of the childhood friends has been coping with the loss in different ways. And each one feels responsible for what happened. The show mainly focuses on how they try to over come their own loss together.

menma sad
art by さとみ | reprinted w/permission

I tend to review a lot of different highly emotional anime. This is, for me, the most emotional anime I have ever seen. It also ranks as one of my favorite and most recommended shows. The anime portrays grief so well. I really appreciate the depth of character that each character portrays and the effects of grief that are illustrated. You will cry. Honestly, you will cry if you take this show seriously. Especially if you have experienced the pain of losing someone close to you. The show doesn’t stop there. For me, watching this show actually brought up a lot of pain from when a relative of mine passed away. It helped me deal with some emotions I hadn’t addressed. It was in a way, healing.

There is a bit of weirdness in the show, but most of it fits with the brokenness of the characters. Also, the first episode is slow, but the series quickly builds. I think that the strength of story and character vastly out ways any issues I had watching it. I also recommend watching this by yourself first, unless you like crying with other people, than by all means どうぞ.

Please watch this show.


7 thoughts on “Throwback Thursdays: Anohana

  1. Great show. This and clannad afterstory were the only anime to ever make me honestly cry ;-;

  2. This was the first anime to ever make me cry. Such a great show. The exploration of the grief and the unresolved problems between the characters was spot-on. It’s one of those anime I recommend to newcomers after they’ve seen a couple shows; an emotional ride like this is a must-have sometimes.

  3. I think I’ve mentioned on Beneath the Tangles before that I have for some time been trying to portray this story of two friends who come to drift apart and hate one another. Which often feels as though it…isn’t actually my story (Because I’ve never experienced it o.O;) but that someone or something really wants me to explain it.

    Anohana’s gut-wrenching exploration of the different ways of dealing with grief, and what it feels like to have nostalgic memories that have turned twisted and rotten inside over self-loathing and guilt…Is what finally allowed me to do it, and do it right.

    It also shows that if we are open and honest with one another, sometimes there’s a way for us to reconcile with our grief….and with the people it caused us to hurt.

  4. Hmmm you do realize that you really have thrown down a gauntlet here right? First off you’re claiming that this show is superior to Steins;Gate by name. Steins;Gate is my favorite show of all time. Then you say it’s the most emotional you’ve ever seen thus my number 2 clannad/clannad after story is being given a run for it’s money. I’ve heard good things, but now I really have to watch this show… gah too much to watch not enough time to watch it in.

    1. Don’t let the Organization get to you, friend. Keep a strong will, and a strong heart.

      Especially as you get to episode 8. I was a living waterfall by the end of that one.

  5. It still is one of my favorites, even though I thought I wouldn’t like it. But every character grew on me; they were works of genius (my favorite, and one of my favorite characters of any fictional work is Anaru). It’s one of the best works out there.

    1. Anaru is a character that’s incredibly easy to relate to – I think many young ladies, especially, would probably relate to the struggles she’s going through.

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