Friday, April 6, 2012

Anime: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)

Remember how I kept going on and on about the animes I've watched lately instead of the books I've read so far? Well, this post won't be different so please bear with me. :3 I just want to share a very wonderful show that has touched me deeply when I saw it. It's called "Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai" litt. "We Still Don't Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day". Yep, I know... the title's much too long to memorize so they (I don't know who) figured out a way to somehow shorten it - AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day. It was an 11-episode Japanese Anime series that was aired last 2011, and is directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai.

This is not a review, for I know that by the time I stopped typing and publish this post, this would just contain the feelings I had while watching the whole series, and still have after weeks of finishing it. So without further ado, here goes:

Source
Without going all plot-wise, or story-wise, or even emotional-wise (or whatever), I just want to point out one thing I think about the title. The first time I saw it in the translated cap of the first episode, I thought it was some kind of a lyric of a song, but then I realized it was the translated title of the series. And you know what, this might sound weird, but the moment I read that line, I felt really nostalgic for reasons I don't quite understand. "We still don't know the name of the flower we saw that day."  - for some strange reason I can't specifically point out, this alone implies the whole tone of the story. Something trivial, but in the point of view of a child, it was something significant. It's like some little memory seeping into your consciousness that was part blissful and part painful to remember. The moment I read it, I know that it would be an emotional ride - and I'm not wrong. It really is.

Source
The main characters of the series: (L to R)
Poppo, Anaru, Menma, Jintan, Tsuruko, Yukiatsu
Plot:
A group of six childhood friends drift apart after one of them, Meiko "Menma" Honma, dies in an accident. Ten years after the incident, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, has withdrawn from society and lives as a recluse. One summer day, the ghost of an older looking Menma appears before him and asks to have a wish granted, reasoning that she cannot pass on into the afterlife until it is fulfilled. Since Menma does not remember what her wish is, Jinta gathers his estranged friends together once again, believing that they are the key to resolving this problem. However, hidden feelings, internal conflicts, and lingering feelings of bitterness from Menma's parents result in complications for the group as they struggle to help not only Menma move on, but themselves as well. (Wikipedia)
The death of the their friend led them to lives so far from each other, but when the spirit of Menma suddenly appeared in Jintan's house... everything came back. As they struggled to help Menma fulfill her final wish, the feelings that are long been sealed away became clearer and each step became harder because of the bitterness that the death of Menma left them and are still lingering even after all those years.

This really has an excellent plot. From the execution, to the delivery. Everything was perfect. From the start of the last episode, until the very end. I was literally bawling my eyes out. I don't know what's with me, but it seem to affect me. Not that I have the same experience as these 6, but something in the story feels a little nostalgic, and the sadness that is lingering from every angle of the series was unmistakably painful. The lingering feelings left by their friends death, the whole time they have to carry it in their hearts, by themselves alone...and how each of them tried to cope with everything - that was kinda sad. I mean, I've been crying in the wrong places, even when everyone was smiling, just because some strange feeling of sadness crept over me. This was a roller coaster ride of emotion for me, but in the end, though it was really emotional and depressing, the sense of fulfillment, and the warmth of the friendship shared by the 6 lead characters was something so precious I'll re-watch it even though I'll cry over and over. (I even put that last episode in my phone for me to watch whenever I feel like it)


It goes to show that even though many years have passed, the bond shared by people, even though long forgotten, cannot really disappear no matter what we do. That no matter how hard we forget, there are certain times in life that we have no choice but to remember. And most of the time, it would be something good.


Their friendship was something special that I wanted to keep though I was just an observer waiting as the story of their lives unfold in this series. The anime was short-lived (spanning only 11 episode), but the impression it made on me was definitely priceless.This was a truly memorable anime, without all the antics, and without trying too hard. It conveyed human emotions in a way that was sad, yet warm to remember. That last scene in the woods with everybody, exactly when the ending theme started playing, I was literally crying. Whenever I think of the ending, though it nearly put me to tears, it always makes me smile. This was definitely one of the most sad, yet tender story I've ever encountered (including what I've read in books). :))

Bonus:
This is a special song for me. I loved it in the anime. And how it played in all the perfect places. This is "Secret Base (10 years after)" performed by Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, and Saori Hayami. This served as the ending theme for the whole series.




1 comment:

  1. i also love this story i wish i had a chance to make a short story of this. that last episode makes me really cried and make me feel sad cause its only 11 episodes :(

    ReplyDelete

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