Review: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai


Anime: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai [Ano Hana]
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Number of Episodes: 11
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes

First review for the Spring season! It’d probably be more exciting if this came out earlier like it was supposed to. …But I fell asleep on the couch. Oh well, better late than never, right?

Also, I’m shifting around the way I do reviews a bit. This is because (as long as I don’t majorly screw something up) I basically have a job now. It doesn’t start until a bit over two weeks, but I need to get used to writing quicker/shorter posts for when I don’t have as much time. The two changes are as follows:

1) No plot review and skip straight to personal thoughts. I normally did this for people waiting on reviews to watch shows, but my Preview posts serve that purpose essentially.
2) No pictures in the actual review unless absolutely necessary. I’ll still have a slideshow, but they may have fewer pictures than usual. Believe it or not, it takes me about 5x longer to get pictures for reviews than to actually type them.

Anyways, lets get started.

For the duration of Ano Hana, there was something bugging me about the show. Something nagging at the back of my mind but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Then again, this is pretty much the natural response I have for when shows get popular or hyped up. It wasn’t until just a few days ago, when I rewatched ToraDora!, that I figured out what it was about the show I didn’t like.

The show is hardly ever happy.

Allow me to explain. The reason ToraDora! was so good was that it’s story and drama and such were written well and spaced out at good times. For the most part, the show is funny or happy and there’s not much going wrong. When the drama does happen, it’s sad that the happy time they’ve had up until then could come to end, or change the way they live their lives from the fun atmosphere we as viewers got to see.

Ano Hana, on the other hand, almost never has this. Except for the first 8 minutes or so of the first episode, the atmosphere is always dreary or sad. These characters are upset with their lives or something that happened that’s holding them back. The characters always come off as being miserable. So when you throw in drama to an already dreary, sad, or miserable atmosphere, what do you get?

Ano Hana isn’t sad, it’s just plain depressing.

Oh, and I don’t get why people like Anal so much. I mean she’s a good character and all, but the level of popularity she has attained is crazy. I don’t understand people sometimes.

W-wait! Don’t start getting your pitchforks already!

Ano Hana is by no means a bad show. It was never really boring, it did character interactions pretty well, and hey, some people like drama to be handled in that depressing fashion. That method just doesn’t work for me. I never felt sad for the characters, nor was I ever on the verge of tearing up in the slightest. Then again, I am pretty desensitized to this kind of thing. The only thing that ever manages to really get me going is that scene from the first Pokémon movie (every last one of you should know which one I’m talking about). That is how you handle sad scenes.

Huh, it’s strange that for a show I’m giving a good rating to that I spent more time bashing it than praising it. I guess I just felt my complaints needed more justification than for the reasons I liked the show. Well, I can’t help but admit that due to the way it handles it’s drama it isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure.

RATING: 8 out of 10.

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10 Comments on “Review: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai”

  1. Hogart says:

    > Oh, and I don’t get why people like Anal so much.

    Neither do I. I guess because she is the cute girl? She’s just as aggravating, selfish and annoying as the rest of them. But I guess everyone chose to hate on Jintan and Menma because they were the most obviously weird.

    > The reason ToraDora! was so good was that it’s story and drama and such were written well and spaced out at good times.

    AnoHana’s a healing anime about traumatized people, while ToraDora’s a romance anime about learning what love really is. It’s no better than TodaDora, just different. The biggest differences can be chalked up to ToraDora being twice as long, I think.. it had more time to screw around, for better or worse.. I personally felt ToraDora needed more focus and screwed up way too much. It was too subtle with the important stuff, and a lot of people had a tough time following what was going on because they weren’t expecting such concentrated dramabombs.

    While both were hugely depressing where it counts, AnoHana never felt like it was wasting time. Both felt like they went overboard in places, trying to stuff more drama in than necessary. Both also had solid endings that relieved the tension and stress and resolved what the viewer wanted to have resolved. AnoHana was the “short and sweet” show that tried a bit too much.

    > I never felt sad for the characters, nor was I ever on the verge of tearing up in the slightest.

    I honestly don’t think you’re supposed to feel “sad” for them.. just empathize with them. They’re hurt individuals, but still imperfect and at times entirely unlikable because of their traumas. I didn’t “like” any of the characters but I sure wanted to see them resolve their issues.. it’s the same approach and result used for ToraDora. By the end, you are happy they figured it out, but unless you force yourself to identify with one of them, you’ll have a tough time genuinely feeling sad for any of them.

    • Riyoga says:

      Yeah, they are different. But nonetheless I liked one more than the other. Guess I just don’t like watching traumatized people cry all the time. Plus, I actually liked ToraDora’s subtlety, in contrast to Ano Hana’s bluntness.

      Ano Hana was sort of like a reverse drama in a way. It started off sad and then by the finale it was happy. It was interesting in that aspect, but I felt like the transition wasn’t handled as well as it could have been. It seemed too sudden for me.

      The reason I mentioned the crying was because a fair amount of bloggers/fans in general kept commenting on how the show made them cry. One of my personal friends said himself that pretty much every episode made him cry. That’s why I felt like I was missing out on something. Maybe you’re right, though.
      But I actually did feel sad for a good portion of the characters in ToraDora. Especially with Taiga during the arc with her father. It wasn’t like I could personally relate, but I still felt terrible for her.

      Oh, and I’d actually like to take a second to thank you, Hogart. Your comments are always well thought out and insightful. The whole reason I started blogging was because it helped me sort out my thoughts on shows, and your comments always help me sort out my thoughts even further.I remember you commenting somewhere that you felt like you didn’t need your own blog, but just know that if you did have one, I’d definitely be a dedicated reader. (Alright that came off a lot cornier than I wanted it to.)

  2. TRazor says:

    You are Archaeon get on my nerves. I finally plan on coming out of hiatus and had named an AnoHana review as my comeback post, but you two just said everything there is that needs to be said about this show.

    While he was giving an in-depth analysis, you pretty much plucked the words right out of my mouth as far as Anaru, the show’s atmosphere, the bashing-still-a-8-rating and the hype goes.

    Damn it all. That’s it – I’m returning only next month.

    • Riyoga says:

      Noooo! You can still do your Ano Hana review! You can just do what other bloggers do sometimes and link to our posts in your review or something!

      Besides, I can pretty much guarantee you get more readers than I do, so even if your review has overlapping content with whatever I have, your readers probably haven’t read my review anyways. Everybody wins!

      • TRazor says:

        Hmm…I’ll just make some sort of editorial-review-thing-a-ming then.

        I’ll link this review to it if/when I do it.

        I’d probably end up criticizing it more than appreciating it…like what I do for all my editorials. My oh my, I have become cynical haven’t I?

        • Riyoga says:

          I feel like people enjoy reading posts where you hate on something rather praise it. Shit, after I wrote that post about UTW’s fanbase, I gained like four followers.

  3. 噬謊者 says:

    I’m more than happy to find this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new stuff on your blog.

  4. RoeDeer says:

    Whilst I loved Clannad After Story, I have to say that I was very disappointed with Anohana. Like you questioned why Clannad is so popular (you’ve only seen the first season) I’m wondering that with Anohana. It did have some very good moments but it just lacked depth within character interaction and the story was flawed. I also didn’t like the drama in Anohana. It was so forced it couldn’t bring me to tears, even though I knew it was meant to be sad. To each of their own but I just didn’t enjoy this anime as much as other people did. I think it would have done better as 24 episodes to develop more but they decided to skip the opportunity and go for 11 instead which is too short for too much detail. This may sound a bit hypocritical but I highly enjoyed Angel Beats and that was only 13 episodes, but that was mainly because of Angel Beats’s great cast whilst Anohana’s was bland in comparison. I think this anime’s kind of overrated but it does mean well.

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