23.1.15

Anohana: Episode 1 (Part 2)


[Spongebob Time Skip Card: 5 days later...]

Once again, I've procrastinated until the very last second to do something I should have done much earlier. As midterm exam week (which I feared, but turned out to be Winter Break: The Sequel) draws to a close tomorrow, I have found myself in the hands of extra time, so I've decided to finish this review. 


So far in Anohana...We've met Jintan and his lady friend Mima Mena? Menma, who might or might not exist. Anyway, she's "returned" to have her wish granted by Jintan and the gang (who've we had yet to meet, save one girl).



Recap/Review

Okay, starting again where we last left off, I have no idea how to explain this scene; Jintan is busying having an inner monologue with himself about what I do not remember. Menma call for Jintan to pay attention to her walking along a fence (which he says is dangerous, but really? She's a "hallucination") and she slips along one of the posts, triggering a flashback from Jintan. He's a child now, sitting in his room alone with a DS, when his father in stumbling over his words about "Menma-chan". Jintan reacts with a shocked/terrified expression.

So she is real. And based off of this flashback and past gathered evidence, I assume, instead of a figment of his sole imagination, she's dead. Nice. Spoiler Alert.

Jintan has rushed to save her, diving to the ground with an outstretched arm in the attempt, but he's the one who ends up fallen to the ground. Menma stands perfectly unharmed beside him. She's a hallucination. Menma asks if he's alright, and he assures her that he is. As he's preparing to put his (surprisingly well-intact) glasses back on, he hears a voice behind him. No, okay, so apparently Unknown female #2 was the one reaching for the glasses (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm honestly confused). Anyway, up arrives two people, a boy and a girl, who look a lot like a couple of the kids from previous flashbacks. Menma seems to recognize them, too.

[Episode 1: Super Peace Busters]
[11 minutes into the show??]
[Commercial break. Frosted Flakes & Geico]
-

We are now at Anaru/Naruko's girly and messy room, where she is teen-angsting into her pillow. In walks her mother, who asks if she's visited Jintan. Naruko confirms--somewhat rudely--that yes, she has gone to visit him, though her mother would never care. The mother disputes this, saying she did and wanted her to take over some steamed buns.

I had to google this. These are steamed buns:

They kind of like potstickers, but I am sure they are not, and this shows exactly what I know about Chinese foods. Well, Jintan missed out and it's all Naruko's fault. 

And another side not, and this might just be me, but Naruko's pigtails are annoying the heck out of me. I'm sure she'd look a lot better with her hair down, and I hope this is something I get to see before the series ends.

Moving on, we are back to Jintan, Menma, and the mysterious friend-strangers. Apparently, they are just coming back this way from summer school, since they are a college prep school, after all. Pretty irrelevant information and nobody asked you, jerk. Jintan mentally scolds himself for not being in the same uniform, at the same school, as he should have been, while Rude Brunette drones on in the background. I've also noticed that he calls Jintan by his last name, and if I know anything about Japan, it's that this usually is not a sign of "closeness". This shows how much they've grown apart in the years they were separated (by some degree, so far, they still live pretty close to one another). Now, I've also seen some of the best-est friends in anime refer to each other by last name, so this is still under debate with me.

Rude Brunette calls Jintan's attention away from his ninth inner monologue this episode, and he turns to tell them he's leaving. Behind him is an overly excited, sparkle infested Menma, who joyously refers to our two friend-strangers by name: Yukiastu (the boy; Rudekiatsu) and Tsuruko (the girl). Jintan let's out an irritated sigh, before commanding Menma to follow as he leaves. "Let's go." Before realizing his mistake, that nobody but him can see Menma, he hurries to explain himself instead of just leaving. It's better to have them think you're just slightly losing it than full out imagining dead people, right? He makes the even worse mistake of mentioning Menma by name, gaining an appropriate reaction from Rudekiatsu and Tsuruko.

"What do you mean, 'Menma'?" [...] "Are you still dwelling on that stuff?"

That stuff.

Jintan and Menma look rather confused, and the latter looks exceptionally hurt. Rudekiatsu asks if Jintan knows the "word on the street", and Tsuruko looks away in embarrassment. Apparently, Jintan failed the entrance exams to their school and enrolled in one of the worst ones in the area, causing him to stop attending. Now, because he's begun to talk about Menma (who's real name is Meiko, which is cuter, and what I shall call her from now on), he asks if there "something loose" in Jintan's head. I swear, just looking at this guy fills me with an indescribable feeling of discomfort and anger. Jintan reacts in surprise to his words, before running away.

"Yukiatsu, you jerk!" Tell him, Meiko.

Tsuruko finally looks up after the duo has left, asking why on earth Rudekiatsu got so worked up about Jintan mentioning Menma Meiko, also indicating that he hasn't stopped thinking about her, as well.

Meanwhile, Jintan is still running away, and Meiko doing the same. Only she's chasing after him. After he finally stops, and she catches up, he asks if she understands what he meant earlier about everyone changing since the last time they were together as a whole. He then asks her to leave, with reasoning that her being around triggers memories best kept deep and it's "annoying".
-

Back then...

The summers back then...were not like this.

Jintan sits at home, reminincing on his time spent as a child with his friends. Younger Jintan is running up to a shed-like shelter to bring some great news: They will now be known as the Super Peace Busters! This is met by varying reactions, the best of which coming from tiny bald kid. Younger Meiko runs up and says that Jintan has to be the leader, which he agrees to.

I can relate to this a lot, the whole having a "named group" thing. Back in 5th grade, a bunch of friends and I called ourselves the "Warrior Cats" (yes, it is exactly what you think). I can see now why Jintan would not like this stuff brought up again, because looking back, we were extremely lame.

Back to the Super Peace Busters lounging around in their clubhouse, when brunette child, who I'm assuming is Naruko, asks if Jintan likes Meiko. This is unspoken, but you and I both know she means like like. In front of the entire group. Oh, kids. Jintan and Meiko exchange a (rather awkward) look at each other. Jintan asks, surprised at Naruko's sudden inquiry, what she's talking about. The other members urge him to just admit it ("There are no secrets in the Super Peace Busters!"), and in a mixture of rage and complete embarrassment, Jintan angrily denies liking Meiko, all while insulting her in the process. Smooth, really smooth.

They all turn to Meiko, expecting her to start crying, but she instead gives the group a sad smile. Instead, Jintan is the one who runs away, all the way home, where he eats his dinner with a misplaced, pathetic look on his face. Older Jintan explains that he thought he could just go to Meiko the next day and apologize for his outburst, but sadly, he never got the chance. 1.5 second cut to a small sandal floating in a pond. Hold on.

Present day, Meiko is standing outside the front gate to what is later revealed to be her own house. She's gathering the courage, or simply making up her mind as to whether she should go in or not. Which she ultimately decides to do. Inside, a graying man (her father) sits on the couch reading the paper while a younger, possibly pre-teen male eating and messing around with his phone. The father tells the boy to close the door, which has just opened mysteriously, and it's not like its a push door or anything, nor is it particularly windy outside, but this seems to not be much of a problem. The boy coldly tells the father to do it himself. Meiko then watches her mother place food on her household memorial stand. The boy, "Sa-kun" or Satoshi, judging on the outdoor name plaque, states that it's annoying to see her place curry on her stand whenever she makes it. The mother says that curry was her favourite food, but Rudetoshi interjects that "Dead people can't eat", as if this is something anyone who has ever come to understand the concept of death doesn't already know. The mother kind of brushes this comment off, stating that Meiko had always been absentminded and probably has no clue that she's dead.

[Commercial break. Daily Burn & some TV show]

I am taking the 60 second break to say how sad and unfair it is for Meiko to have to watch all of this happening, watch her (in my opinion) growingly dysfunctional family struggle to interact, without so much as speaking a word to them. She can't. I do, however, hope that she gets a moment to speak or in some way have contact with her mother...I imagine them to have been quite close in life.

Show's back on.

After Meiko's death, the Super Peace Busters naturally "drifted apart", and here they are now. Distant and unrecognizable to each other. Jintan thinks about Meiko while preparing to put an egg in his ramen, about how she wanted a scrambled egg with hers. Cut to him running out of the house, and towards where he believes Meiko to be. In what marks his 20th inner monologue, he voices his desire on wanting the day to finally apologize to Meiko.

He goes to the clubhouse and thinks that if she's in there, and if he apologizes, he would have fulfilled what his mind "created" her for. But alas, she is not inside the clubhouse. I knew it couldn't have been that simple; it's only episode 1. However, some has moved into the shelter, as witnessed by the furniture and--er--magazines on the ottoman. As Jintan picks up one to examine, he is startled by a voice. They seem to recognize each other, and they do, for this new stranger (Poppo) is tiny bald kid. Who is now huge. With lots of hair.

Hey, we're getting the band back together!
-

And we're done! Jesus, I started this at 11:30PM and it's currently 1AM...I know, this post was long and boring with absolutely no light in the tunnel, but I feel like I got a lot done. I can tell that this is either going to be a cute series, or a depressing one.

(I also took the time to listen to the ending theme[?], and it's not half bad. Check it out here!)

I will try to get Part 1 of the next episode done by tomorrow evening, since it's a weekend, but I also have to prepare for a few upcoming "post-exam" tests and such. But I will try! I promise!

If you have any requests, questions, or comments (good and bad), please contact me through Twitter or on my ask!

Until next time!

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