AnoHana: Pick of the season? Or just melodramatic?

AnoHana. Possibly the biggest Noitamina series ever (we really don’t know how much Nodame has sold in total, after all), and one of the biggest series from last year. But quite possibly the most difficult to write about, at least for me…how in the world did they compress the level of drama of, say, the CLANNAD series into just 11 episodes?

What is the name of the flower we saw that day…

A group of childhood friends, broken apart after a haunting summer, each unable to move forward. Can their time ever start flowing again?

AnoHana is a series I feel somewhat ambivalent about now. It started off with a very strong first episode, one that revealed the nature of the event that broke the group apart: an accident that took one of them away. But 5 years later, she appears again to one of them, for some unknown reason. Does she have some ‘unfinished business’? Or are they meant to put her ghost to rest? But one thing’s for certain – her appearance draws them all together again, and forces them to confront all the feelings they had buried away.

A group of childhood friends…

Other than a certain unfortunate nickname, to most people, the most memorable thing about AnoHana seems to have been the crying. There were complaints about the tears, which appeared just about every episode, by the halfway mark. And ‘melodramatic’ was probably the first word out of most mouths when that last episode came around.

Each with their own…issues…

But what do we know about their feelings? What does a child go through when a friend passes away? Especially in a preventable accident? Are there things they wish they’d done differently? Are there things they wish they’d said? Do they withdraw because of the trauma? Do they try to act as if nothing is wrong? And most importantly, what does it take for them to overcome the grief?

I remember when some of my students lost a friend in an accident. I didn’t have that boy’s homeroom in class that year, but some of the other teachers mentioned that they were uncharacteristically talkative for some time after that. But some of his closest friends, those who were there when it happened, took it pretty hard… These were high school kids. 16 or 17. I can’t imagine what a 10 year old would go through.

So is the crying in AnoHana really that unrealistic? Perhaps…or perhaps not. To be honest, I’m not sure I want to find out. But I’m glad the characters of AnoHana overcame their grief…and I hope any child who goes through something similar can too.

Best friends forever

Different viewers will probably take different things from AnoHana, though to be honest, I’m not entirely sure I want to know why it has sold over 20,000 copies. Personally, the one message I’ll take from AnoHana is that grief is something you need to work through, and friendship, tears and laughter will help you do that.


This was probably my fav scene…kids are scary!

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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