Tag: 2011

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl anime series cover art
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl

Electromagnetic Wave Woman and Adolescent Man

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko / 電波女と青春男) is a comedy anime. This review also covers the 13th episode bundled with the Blu-ray release.

Before I get into the series itself, I want to mention the title. The official English title is Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl. But, the Japanese title actually translates to Electromagnetic Wave Woman and Adolescent Man. Clearly, the English title is the superior one.

Hitoma Iruma, who also wrote Adachi and Shimamura, wrote the original story of this series. But, Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl and Adachi and Shimamura are very different.

So, what’s this series about? A high school student moves in with his single aunt when his parents go overseas to work. He then finds out his aunt has a daughter (his cousin) nobody in the family knew about. She’s a strange girl who believes aliens abducted her. And she spends all her time searching for signs of alien life.

Erio Towa wrapped up in a futon from the anime series Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Erio Towa wrapped up in a futon

At the start of the anime, I thought it was going to turn into a romance series about these cousins. But, it never actually gets to that point. And that’s because this isn’t a romance anime, despite how it may seem at times.

What the series is really about is not being afraid to believe. That could be believing you can win a low-stakes sports match. Or it could be believing in aliens. If you believe in something enough, it will come true — at least, that’s what the story is trying to say.

Something else I want to point out is that Shaft animated this series. Shaft is my favorite animation studio, and this anime came out during peak Shaft years. It aired only a few months after Madoka Magica back in 2011.

Main Characters

Makoto Niwa is the protagonist of the series. And as a male protagonist in a series with a lot of cute female characters, he’s not that interesting. The most important thing to know about him is that he’s obsessed with the idea of adolescence.

Erio Towa is Makoto’s mysterious cousin. A year ago, Erio disappeared for 6 months before turning up in the ocean. Ever since her return, she’s claimed that aliens abducted her. This led to everyone around her thinking she was crazy. She eventually stopped going to school and started wrapping herself in a futon.

Meme Towa is Makoto’s aunt and Erio’s mother. The best way to describe her is that she’s 40 going on 20. Despite being the adult of the household, she’s the one who acts the most like a child. And she’s also the best girl of the series.

Ryuko "Ryushi" Mifune wearing her helmet from the anime series Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Ryuko “Ryushi” Mifune wearing her helmet

Ryuko “Ryushi” Mifune is the first friend Makoto makes at his new school. She’s a very outgoing girl who plays basketball and has a crush on Makoto. If you were going to point to one girl as the primary love interest for Makoto, it would be Ryuko.

Maekawa is another female friend of Makoto’s from school. A running gag is that she’s so tall she frequently gets light-headed. But, at only 5’9″, she’s not that tall. Her defining characteristic is that she likes to walk around town in cosplay. But, her idea of cosplay usually involves a strange mascot outfit.

The final character of note is Yashiro Hoshimiya. Yashiro shows up later in the series. She’s a young girl with white hair who wears a space suit and claims to be an alien/esper. Her stated goal is to find her brethren and she believes Erio is one of them.

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Shared Universe

Have you seen both Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl and Adachi and Shimamura? If so, you may have noticed there are characters in both series who are very similar. The former has Yashiro Hoshimiya. And the latter has Yashiro Chikama. Both are young girls who wear the same space suit.

What’s unclear is if both these Yashiro are the same character. At first, you may think they’re different because their surnames are different. But, their surnames are actually just made up. For example, Hoshimiya refers to the meteor striking the shrine in Episode 13.

What this means is that it could be the same Yashiro present in both series using a different surname. But, these Yashiro could also be different characters who are looking for each other. As I already mentioned, Yashiro Hoshimiya claims she’s looking for her brethren. That could be Yashiro Chikama.

Meme Towa smiling from the anime series Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Meme Towa smiling

Now, let’s focus on the final episode of Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl. It’s a bit odd because the 13th episode came bundled with the Blu-ray and DVD releases. But, the series isn’t finished without it. Episode 12 leaves off without resolving anything or finishing the story.

The most important part of Episode 13 is that we find out Yashiro was telling the truth. She predicted the meteor strike that happened in this episode when she first met Makoto. Back then, she said he’d die when the midnight sun appeared. And if she’s telling the truth, it means Erio could have been, as well.

But, if the final episode is so important, why was it left off the end of the series? Did Shaft run out of time? It’s possible. But, I also noticed this was the only episode in which Erio’s dress is sheer. Fan service is a powerful marketing tool.

Conclusion

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl is an 8/10. If you’re a fan of Shaft’s other work, you’ll probably be a fan of this one, too. Also, both the OP and ED for this series are good, which is always a bonus.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting this blog at the Heika and Senpai tiers. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

The World God Only Knows: Four Girls and an Idol

The World God Only Knows: Four Girls and an Idol

Four Girls…

Since Crunchyroll never has OVAs, which is where I would normally watch The World God Only Knows, I had to resort to 9anime instead. But, for some reason, the Four Girls and an Idol OVA was only available in 480p and 3:2 aspect ratio instead of the 1080p and 16:9 of the main series.

Overall, the quality I watched the episode in didn’t really matter since this is just an OVA. I wouldn’t want to watch the main series like that. But for this one episode, I can deal with it. I just hope the Tenri Arc is available in better quality.

Anyway, this OVA is about Miyako, Ayumi, Chihiro, and Elsie forming a band. Sounds like a skippable episode, right? It probably is. But, I have seen that their band comes up in the third season of the series (Goddesses), so I figured I’d watch and review it.

Miyako, Ayumi, Chihiro, and Elsie from The World God Only Knows: Four Girls and an Idol anime OVA
Miyako, Ayumi, Chihiro, and Elsie

Those four girls I mentioned are the titular “four girls.” Who could have guessed? By this point, you should know who Elsie is. She’s a demon tasked with capturing lost souls and she formed a contract with Keima to help her in this goal.

Chihiro is a girl Keima conquered in the second season of the series. You may remember her as the girl without much of a personality whom Keima called a background character. And speaking of background characters, that’s basically what Miyako is — she’s not important.

Ayumi is another girl Keima conquered, but I didn’t really remember her. Apparently, Ayumi was the very first girl conquered by Keima in the series. Maybe you remember her as the star of the track team — I didn’t until I looked back at the episodes of the first season.

…and an Idol

The titular idol of the episode is none other than the only idol in the series, Kanon Nakagawa. Like Ayumi, Kanon was conquered by Keima back in the first season of the anime. I don’t really remember the specifics of her arc, but she’s a far more memorable character on account of her pink hair.

Kanon is a bit of an odd inclusion in this episode. To be fair, the whole episode in general wasn’t what I expected (more on that in the next section). But, it felt like Kanon was thrown into the episode without much reason.

Miyako, Ayumi, Chihiro, and Elsie are forming a band and Kanon is an idol, so they have music in common. But aside from that, Kanon really had nothing to do with them starting a band. It’s not even like Kanon joined their band as the vocalist.

A poster of Kanon from The World God Only Knows: Four Girls and an Idol anime OVA
A poster of Kanon

The only explanation I can come up with for Kanon’s inclusion is the comment Chihiro made about their band playing at the school festival. Kanon said she’s performing during it, and Chihiro responded by saying they’d perform too. So, I guess this just sets up the festival for later in the series.

And, going back to the fact that Kanon didn’t join the band as the vocalist, I’m expecting that to happen in the future. Something I noticed was that their band doesn’t have a vocalist. There’s an open spot for Kanon.

My guess is that Kanon and the band are going to perform individually at first, but are then going to perform together afterward. If something like that doesn’t happen, then there’s not much of a point in this episode. But, I guess that’s why it’s an OVA.

Not the Episode I Expected

Considering the episode is titled Four Girls and an Idol and the cover art featured the girls in a band, I expected it to have more to do with music than it did. Sure, we got the formation of the band and Kanon made an appearance. But the episode wasn’t really about music at all.

Instead, the episode was about the musicians needing help studying for their English exam. The four band members needed to get 100% on their exams if they wanted to create a band club at school. And Kanon just joined the study session because she felt like it.

Technically, the title of the episode alone isn’t misleading. It does, in fact, feature four girls and an idol. But, I can’t be the only one who was caught off guard by the actual content of the episode.

Kanon showing off the 100% she got on her English test from The World God Only Knows: Four Girls and an Idol anime OVA
Kanon showing off the 100% she got on her English test

Anyway, I liked how in the end, despite not all of the girls achieving a 100% on their exam, they were allowed to create their club. Mr. Kodama was in a good mood because Keima, his most hated student, didn’t get a perfect score on the exam. And as a result, he said yes to all of the students requesting things of him.

I don’t think this was a bad episode. There were aspects of it that I enjoyed. But, I still don’t really see the point of the episode. Even by OVA standards, this seemed pretty pointless. Most OVAs at least have some point, like fan service. This didn’t even have that.

Also, now that I think about it, The World God Only Knows doesn’t really include fan service despite being a harem anime. And I’m specifically referring to ecchi fan service. I know it’s not an ecchi anime, but considering it’s a harem, you’d think there’d be a small amount.

Conclusion

The World God Only Knows: Four Girls and an Idol is a 5/10. It’s a fine episode that exists, but I don’t have any strong feelings about it one way or another. It’s probably fine to skip. However, it’s not like it’s an awful episode to watch either.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

The World God Only Knows II

The World God Only Knows II

The World God Only Knows 2 anime series cover art
The World God Only Knows II

Conquering Kusunoki Kasuga

It’s been over 3 years since I reviewed the first season of The World God Only Knows. So, I figured it was about time I watched and reviewed The World God Only Knows II (Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II / 神のみぞ知るセカイ II).

The first 2 episodes of the season cover Keima’s conquering of Kusunoki Kasuga. Kusunoki is a third-year student and is the president (and sole remaining member) of the school’s martial arts club.

Despite the strong facade Kusunoki puts up around others, she secretly loves cute and weak things. This dual-personality has led her spirit to literally split in two, with the cute-loving side being inhabited by a runaway spirit.

Haqua Arrives!

Episodes 3 and 4 don’t introduce a new conquerable girl. Instead, Elsie’s former classmate and fellow runaway spirit-catcher Haqua du Lot Herminium arrives. Before watching this season, I knew of Haqua and assumed that she was Elsie’s sister.

In school, Haqua was the star student. She performed better than all of her peers on every sort of test and received awards during graduation. She was even made the section chief of whatever department of Hell she and Elsie work in.

Haqua and Elsie from the anime series The World God Only Knows 2
Haqua and Elsie

However, after graduation, Haqua hasn’t been quite as successful in her job as Elsie has been. Haqua has managed to capture a grand total of 0 runaway spirits since taking up her position. And the runaway spirit featured in this arc of the series is one that actually escaped from Haqua as she tried to capture it.

By comparison, Elsie has managed to capture 5 runaway spirits since the start of the series by this time.

Conquering Chihiro Kosaka

Chihiro Kosaka is the next conquerable girl of the series. Her arc covers episodes 5-7. Chihiro’s arc is a bit different from the other conquerable girl arcs of the series because she has a crush on another boy and Keima’s plan of action is to help her conquer the boy she likes.

But, as you may have guessed from the fact that I referred to Chihiro as a conquerable girl, she does end up being conquered by Keima. However, of all the girls Keima has had to conquer thus far, Chihiro is the one he’s least thrilled about conquering.

In Keima’s words, Chihiro is just a background character. She’s bland and doesn’t have much of a personality to call her own. And because of this, Keima has trouble seeing his path to victory. There are no obvious romance event flags when it comes to Chihiro.

Elsie’s Errand!

Episode 8 is all about Elsie, which I don’t mind that much since I think she’s an enjoyable character. But, while I’d like to say that I want more episodes focusing on Elsie, maybe she’s only enjoyable because we get Elsie content in moderation.

Anyway, this episode follows Elsie as she purchases a special edition of a game for Keima while he’s busy buying games from a different store. Honestly, that’s a lot of trust he’s putting in Elsie. If a firetruck happened to drive past, she would have completely forgotten about her errand.

To spoil how this episode ends, Elsie manages to purchase a DVD copy of the series Keima was interested in instead of one of the three different versions of the game. But, Keima anticipated that something like this might happen, so he also happened to pick up a copy himself.

Conquering Jun Nagase

Jun Nagase is the conquerable girl of episodes 9, 10, and 11. And, I have to say, she’s the best girl of the season. Why is Jun the best girl? Because she’s a student-teacher for Keima’s class for a few weeks. The forbidden fruit is the sweetest, as they say. Also, she’s cute.

Jun Nagase from the anime series The World God Only Knows 2
Jun Nagase

While Keima’s conquest of Chihiro was difficult because he wasn’t quite sure how to go about doing it, his conquest of Jun is difficult for a different reason. Simply put, conquering a teacher is far more difficult because of the student-teacher dynamic. There’s a hierarchy that needs to be overcome.

In the end, he resulted to completely breaking down Jun’s confidence as a teacher. He groomed an older woman. What a chad move. Oh, and she does kiss him at the end of the arc. I was kind of expecting that not to happen and for the runaway spirit to be expelled from her in a different way.

Yotsuba Sugimoto, the Ideal Heroine

The final episode of the season is by far the worst episode. I almost took a point off my rating of this season specifically because of episode 12. But, in the end, I left my rating intact and decided I’d rather just pretend that episode 12 doesn’t exist.

This episode’s girl isn’t real. Her name is Yotsuba Sugimoto, and she’s the heroine of a game Keima picked up while Elsie was running her errand in episode 8. I’m not really sure what Keima sees in Yotsuba, but she becomes his obsession.

So, here are the problems with this episode focusing on Yotsuba. First of all, Yotsuba isn’t cute. And without a cute main heroine to look at, the appeal of this series drops significantly. Second, the comedy just isn’t very good aside from Haqua making fun of Yotsuba’s appearance.

Conclusion

Even after 3 years, I rated The World God Only Knows II the same as I rated the first season, which is 7/10. Some series don’t hold up when I revisit them after years away. But this isn’t one of those. This series is built different.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the Four Girls and an Idol OVA is available now.

Is This a Zombie? OVA

Is This a Zombie? OVA

Not as Good as I Remember

Apparently, I’ve watched the Is This a Zombie? OVA in the past and just never marked it off on MyAnimeList. I’m guessing that means I watched it before I began using MyAnimeList and simply didn’t think I’d watched it when I was going through and adding anime.

But, since I didn’t realize I’d watched this OVA before until I got to the second of the two episodes, I rewatched it all anyway. I really didn’t remember a single thing from the first episode. However, I distinctly remembered certain parts of the second episode.

The big thing that stood out to me while watching this OVA, though, was that I didn’t find it nearly as entertaining as I remembered. Of course, this could simply be due to the fact that these were OVA episodes and not main series episodes.

Eu, Sera, and Ayumu stealing a recipe from Haruna from the Is This a Zombie? anime OVA
Eu, Sera, and Ayumu stealing a recipe from Haruna

Some of the scenes I still think are good. For example, the scene in which they’re playing Karuta with death flag lines is funny. The premise of the game itself is entertaining. But I also liked how Ayumu and Orito were only motivated to keep winning so that they could sit across from girls in skirts.

That’s a good example of how to merge comedy and ecchi.

However, I don’t feel like much of the other comedy/ecchi content within the OVA landed. I may have disagreed with that sentiment 5+ years ago when I watched the series. But at this point in time, I didn’t find most of it funny.

I also noticed that a lot of gags got repeated even within just these two episodes. Most notably, Ayamu getting “impaled” by bamboo was a very common occurrence.

The Hunt for Nessie

The part of the OVA that I definitely remembered watching before was the pool scene with Haruna hunting for Nessie. Almost right from the start of this part of the episode, I remembered how it ended with Ayumu being stuffed inside an inflatable Nessie.

I don’t really know why I would remember this scene and not the karuta scene, which I think is better. But the whole pool/Nessie scene is still pretty good. It’s not as funny as the karuta scene, in my opinion. However, it’s still funny and has a wholesome ending to it.

The funny part comes from all the distractions that get in Ayumu’s way as he’s trying to help Haruna. My favorite of these distractions is when Hiramatsu asks Ayamu to help her put lotion on.

Eu wearing a school swimsuit from the Is This a Zombie? anime OVA
Eu wearing a school swimsuit

So, let me defend why I think this part of the second episode was genuinely funny. First of all, there’s just the absurdity that Ayumu would ignore Haruna to put lotion on Hiramatsu. And second, Ayumu can’t go in the sunlight, but still does to his own detriment because he wants to put lotion on Hiramatsu so badly.

I don’t know what else to tell you. It’s funny.

But then, we get to the end of this part of the episode, and the tone changes. It’s revealed that Haruna and Eu want to be friends with each other, but are too shy to say as much. That’s when the episode turns from ecchi to wholesome, and I actually liked that.

Part of the problem I have with this OVA is that there are a lot of times when it feels like it’s trying too hard to be funny. And that tends to be combined with ecchi content in it. Rather than forcing comedy that isn’t actually funny, there’s nothing wrong with transitioning away from the comedy for a bit. It can actually be beneficial.

Eu’s Birthday

The end of the second episode focuses more on this wholesome content, though I still don’t think it’s particularly good. I do like Eu and seeing her get to celebrate her birthday with her friends is nice. But I’d say it’s just alright as far as content goes.

What I forgot until the very end, however, is why Eu doesn’t speak. As I said, it’s been years since I last watched this series. So when I was watching the OVA, I was just thinking that Eu didn’t speak for a non-disclosed reason.

But, no, that’s not the case. The reason Eu doesn’t speak is actually that her words cast powerful spells. We see this when she says “goodnight,” or whatever it was she said, and everyone in the room instantly falls asleep.

Eu holding one of her birthday presents from the Is This a Zombie? anime OVA
Eu holding one of her birthday presents

So, why doesn’t Eu speak? Because she’s afraid of the power of her words. If she got mad and told someone to go away, they would literally leave — and that’s not really what Eu wants even if that’s how she felt in the moment.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I felt that this was the only part of the OVA that reminded me that there was actually more going on in the main series than just gags. All the characters have their own problems and things they’re going through.

Yeah, sure, they’re generally not very deep because this is still an ecchi comedy at the end of the day. But, I do like that there’s more going on with these characters than them purely being used for gags.

Conclusion

I’ll probably review the OVA for the second season of Is This a Zombie? in the coming weeks (maybe next week?). I don’t know if I’ve already watched it. But I’ll review it independently either way.

Overall, I’d say the Is This a Zombie? OVA is a 5/10. I like some parts, but there are just as many parts that I didn’t like. So as a whole, I have no strong opinions about it. That’s also 2 points lower than I rated the series years ago.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Toma for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day anime series cover art
anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Series Overview

anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. / あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。) is a slice of life drama that originally aired back in 2011. It’s an extremely popular drama series and is known to make just about everyone who watches it cry (I didn’t).

But although this is a universally loved drama anime, I actually dropped it the first time I watched it. I don’t remember how far into the series I got back then (this was probably in 2016), but I think it was around episode 5 and I still didn’t care about what was happening.

I’m not sure if I’ll go back through all the series I’ve dropped, but this was one that I knew I’d probably enjoy now if I gave it another try. And as it turns out, I did like anohana this time around. The beginning of the series is still pretty slow, but the latter half definitely makes up for that.

If you don’t know what this series is about, the plot goes like this: There’s a group of childhood friends who drift apart after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, died while they were in elementary school. Now in high school, the survivors are brought together once again after one of them begins to see Menma’s ghost.

Together, the friends attempt to figure out why Menma has returned and what they need to do to fulfill her “wish” so that she can rest in peace. Along the way, they also rekindle their old friendships and learn how Menma’s death affected the other members of their friend group.

There will be major spoilers throughout the rest of this review.

Menma’s Wish

When Menma reappears before Jintan, she mentions something about a wish that was unable to be fulfilled before she died. Unfortunately, Menma doesn’t remember what this wish is, so Jintan brings it upon himself to figure it out. And as other members of his old friend group are brought into the loop, they each put forth ideas about what Menma’s wish could have been.

This aspect of the series is what I would consider one of the weaker ones. We’re led to believe that Menma’s wish is something important or meaningful to the group as a whole, but that simply wasn’t the case in the end.

At least the wish Menma wanted to fulfill was better than what her friends assumed her wish was. They tried things like catching a rare Pokémon and shooting off a firework. I think if either of those were Menma’s wish, I would be completely trashing this series right now.

Meiko 'Menma' Honma crying from the anime series anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Meiko “Menma” Honma crying

In the end, Menma’s wish was for Jintan to cry. If you ask me, that’s a pretty lame wish after all the build-up throughout the series. Sure, there was a meaning behind this wish — Menma promised Jintan’s dying mother that she would make Jintan cry — but it was meaningless for every other character besides Jintan.

I was really expecting Menma’s wish to have to do with bringing the group of friends back together. It definitely would have been cliché if her wish was as simple as that, but I still think it would have been a stronger message; something about not letting her death push them all apart.

Maybe you disagree, but I just don’t think the reveal of Menma’s wish lived up to all the hype. My response to it was basically just, “Oh, that’s it?”

The Accident

The accident that led to Menma’s death is never explicitly shown or stated. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a mystery. It might have been in the first episode, but I’m pretty sure that it was a scene in episode 2 that really gives you all the information you need to figure it out.

We see a slope leading down to the river and one of Menma’s shoes floating in the water along the bank (this is why Menma is always barefoot as a ghost). So how did Menma die? She fell into the river and drowned.

But there are actually a lot of other hints throughout the series that point to how exactly this accident happened. For example, we can assume that Menma’s initial fall down the slope towards the river occurred while she was bending down to look at or pick a flower. This is something we see her do multiple times as a ghost.

Then, one of the darker hints about Menma’s death comes when we learn that Tetsudo “Poppo” Hisakawa, actually saw the immediate aftermath of the accident. All the other children learned of Menma’s death later, but Poppo actually saw her body in the water.

So when this is revealed, he asks Menma’s ghost if she saw something. We don’t know what it is he was asking if she saw, but my guess is that he was asking if she saw him looking down at her.

Why is that important? Because it tells us that Menma’s body was face-up and that she was potentially still alive when Poppo stumbled upon her. I don’t believe we ever got a definitive answer from Menma though, so my guess is that she was already dead by that point. And if she was already dead, she probably didn’t drown but rather died after hitting her head during the fall.

Character Traumas

Probably the best and most realistic parts of this anime is how it depicts the trauma that the various characters go through after Menma’s death. And since I just mentioned how Poppo was the only one to actually see the aftermath of the accident, let’s start with him.

Poppo definitely got the worst dose of trauma despite arguably being the least at fault for the accident — I don’t think anyone was really at fault. He had to witness the body of his dead friend floating in the river and then had to live with the fact that he froze up rather than attempting to help. And all this led to him leaving Japan and traveling the world in an attempt to run away from his guilt.

Jinta “Jintan” Yadomi and Atsumu “Yukiatsu” Matsuyuki both blame themselves for the accident itself that led to Menma’s death. Jintan called Menma ugly and then ran off, which led to Menma chasing after him and eventually dying. Likewise, Yukiatsu confessed to and was rejected by Menma right before her death.

But although they both blame themselves for the accident, their traumas manifest in different ways. Jintan became a shut-in while Yukiatsu began cross-dressing as Menma in an attempt to feel like she was still alive.

Naruko 'Anaru' Anjou from the anime series anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Naruko “Anaru” Anjou

The final two characters are Naruko “Anaru” Anjou and Chiriko “Tsuruko” Tsurumi. They don’t blame themselves for Menma’s death or their inaction to save her. Instead, they feel guilty for being relieved once Menma was gone.

Anaru has a crush on Jintan and Tsuruko has a crush on Yukiatsu. But Jintan and Yukiatsu both liked Menma. So once Menma was out of the way, they felt like they finally had a chance. I mentioned that I don’t think anyone is at fault for what happened to Menma, but these two are the ones who should feel the worst about themselves.

Plot Convenience

Aside from Menma’s wish ending up being lame, there is one other issue I have with this series: plot convenience. There were a few times within the series where things just happened to work out because it was convenient for the plot at that particular time.

The most egregious of these plot convenience offenses was when Menma could suddenly write down messages that people other than Jintan could read. But, Menma’s writing actually isn’t the main problem here, it’s instead that Menma’s writing opened a Pandora’s Box of other plot inconsistencies.

Menma being able to write messages to her friends was actually somewhat explained within the context of the series. She was able to write in her own diary within the Super Peace Busters’ hideout, but not anywhere else. This explains why she wasn’t able to write messages down earlier on.

But what it doesn’t explain is that when Menma writes in her diary, her interactions with the mortal world can suddenly be used as a form of communication.

What do I mean by this? Well, throughout the series Menma was shown to be jumping and climbing on other characters — and they could feel her doing this. She’s also able to pick up and move objects. So why was this never used to prove her existence to the members of the group who doubted her ghost was real?

If Jinkan really wanted to prove to Yukiatsu that Menma was nearby, he could have told Menma to pick something up and wave it around. We saw her do this type of thing multiple times, but it was never used as a form of communication.

That alone would have bypassed the first eight or so episodes throughout which Jintan was trying to convince the others that Menma was really there. So when I say it was plot convenience, I mean that not having Menma able to communicate with the others was convenient for the first part of the series, while having her able to communicate was convenient for the latter part.

And there was no real reason given for why she couldn’t communicate initially. The in-world explanation was simply that Jintan and Menma were too stupid to think of it — that’s literally what was stated after Menma finally writes something down.

Conclusion

Despite the two glaring issues I have with this series, anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is a 9/10 from me. It’s still an exceptionally good drama. And I’m actually glad I dropped it back in 2016. I appreciate drama anime much more now, and if I had finished it back then I probably would have given it a low rating and never rewatched it.

The OP and ED of anohana are both very good, but I think I like the OP more than the ED, which I’m sure is something many people disagree with. Yes, the ED is good, but I don’t find it to be as emotional as most people do. As far as emotional EDs go, I think Michishirube by Minori Chihara from Violet Evergarden is a much better example.

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