Our childhood days and memories affect us more than we think it does. This was what came to mind after I watched Anohana.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, is a Japanese animated series produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai. It follows the story of six childhood friends who drifted apart after the death of Menma. Ten years later, Jintan, the leader of the group, meets the ghost of Menma who is asking him to grant her wish. Jintan gathers all his friends and together, they try to figure out what Menma’s wish was. However, secrets and hidden feelings result in complications to rebuild their lost friendship.
Aside from Clannad and Rurouni Kenshin, Anohana is my favorite anime series. Though the plot is very simple, and what one might say a cliche, the different personalities and struggles of each character gave this anime color and life.
It’s packed with emotions, that even though it made me cry, there were still sweet and funny moments. It reflected how life was and there were some episodes that showed how kids find it easy to forgive. But as people grow older, they find it easier to resent people instead.
It also tackled problems of teenagers, from delinquency to first loves, low self-esteem and jealousy. All of the characters had problems of their own, selfish thoughts that would hinder them from granting Menma’s wish and at the same time, bring them closer again.
It reminded me that everyone needs someone to turn to once in a while, that its okay to cry. But it’s always better to smile. It also reminded me how children can find joy and beauty in simple things.
Anohana also showed the characters’ different perspective about love. Anaru and Tsuruko’s unrequited love for Jintan and Yukiatsu. Popo’s adoration for Jintan and Menma. Yukiatsu’s love that almost grew to obsession. And then there’s the kind of love that makes you want to hold on and not let go, like the case of Jintan.
It also showed how people wonder about the what ifs in their lives. What if Menma didn’t die? What if they didn’t force Jintan to confess his feelings for Menma? What if Jintan’s Mom never asked for a favor?Lastly, Anohana showed that no matter how much you love someone, you have to learn to let go. It will hurt and you’ll find yourself asking and wondering about what could have been. But holding on to people who’s already long gone will hurt those around you.