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Old 2011-04-30, 11:56   Link #601
Kanon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten320 View Post
Ok, Menma being able to cook is probably slightly too much for a ghost but whatever...
I'm far more puzzled by the fact she can apparently eat food. She's a very peculiar kind of ghost. I'm a little annoyed no one either notices her. IIRC, she ate in front of Poppo, but he was conveniently looking elsewhere. Even if they can't see her, she could easily make her presence known if she wanted to. I hope she will later on, if only to make clear to the others that she isn't Jinta's hallucination.
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Old 2011-04-30, 12:20   Link #602
physics223
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I ported this over from my blog. For pictures and a better formatting, go here.

Because there are no interlocking plots or nuanced allusions to literary works, I have difficulty talking about the series itself. I don't think it's bad; on the contrary, it's been great so far. I'll try to talk about the series anyway, and the few curious points regarding the third episode.

The existence of Menma

This is one of the central questions of the series that will probably only be resolved much later on. For the time being, as I see it, there are three main probabilities regarding Menma's return.

  • Menma is a projective hallucination of Jinta's which symbolizes the things that he's missed over the years.
  • Menma truly appears differently to each and every Super Peace Buster.
  • Menma is a ghost.

Menma is a projective hallucination of Jinta's which symbolizes the things that he's missed over the years

I'm no psychologist, but I've read enough on and about psychology due to requirements in the university, and schizophrenics can very well have these powerful hallucinations that plague their lives and drive them to further madness. The thing with these hallucinations of heavily deluded people, as far as I can remember, is that they are truly vivid and iridescent, seemingly simulating reality. This blur is one of the triggers to further madness.

The thing I find with Jinta and his actions do not present any signs of obvious mental disorder. He is reclusive perhaps due to his past, but is in no way mentally debilitated. As a hikikomori, his personality reflects part of schizoid personality disorder, as well as part of avoidant personality disorder. Both disorders are deficiencies in the molding of personality, and hallucinations are quite unlikely with these disorders.

I have some knowledge regarding the schizoid personality disorder, since one of the psychology tests I've taken reflected my tendency to this disorder: I am quite introverted, and prefer solitary activities most of the time, although I can tolerate fitting in with parties or excursions, for example. I guess that's partly contributory to my solitude, but that's for another time and another write-up. I believe Jinta's more of the avoidant type, however, and the incidents in his past seem to reflect this. He desires to reach out to others, but was so hurt by the chain of traumatic catastrophes that occurred in his childhood that he was transmogrified into someone afraid of opening oneself and going out towards life.

He may suffer from this disorder, although I don't think it's severe as he could still manage to go out of his house with Menma's prodding. Severe hikikomoris do not go out of their own rooms, and practically, like Watashi in the Tatami Galaxy, live their lives in total solitude. As he could still be convinced to go out and still has the ability to attach himself emotionally to Anjou and Poppo, I feel quite positively as regards his recovery. I think it's more about moving on for him than really having a true disorder.

Menma truly appears differently to each and every Super Peace Buster.

This is highly dubitable, as I believe (and this concurs with the animation) that only Jin sees Menma. The one who walked the forest near their meeting place was clearly human. That utterance of Yukiatsu seemed to be more of envy than of anything substantial.

Menma is a ghost

I shouldn't believe in ghosts. I'm going to be a doctor soon and spirits should just pale in comparison to the scalpel of science.

But I do, and that's because I've personally experienced something physically possible, but very improbable in its coincidence: our electric fan had a light that had burnt out for years. No matter how much I tried to turn it on, it never did. One day, however, without any of my family touching it, it just buzzed on. And it was on only for that day, when a grandfather in my mother's side died. It may be explained by circuitry that worked only on that day, but I'd like to believe there was something more.

It is also frankly the simplest explanation. Rather than creating a disorder for Jinta, it seems improbable for a schizophrenic hallucination to bake some cake and walk around like an airhead. Hallucinations are often violent auditory disturbances for schizophrenics, not some cute, peaceful girls exhorting nice guys to live their lives once again. But there may be instances of those, so I can't truly say for certain.

Going by Occam's razor, however, this seems to be very suitable. It's only the reason why she came back that remains to be the questions if we go by this thinking, and I frankly don't think this series is of the cerebral caliber of David Mamet's <em>House of Games</em> or Christopher Nolan's <em>Inception</em>. Were it perhaps by Masaaki Yuasa or Satoshi Kon, I would have strongly doubted the sanity that Jinta seems to present, but because this anime seems to deal with emotions rather than dissimulation or illusion I think it's safe to say that this is the most plausible option. (I highly recommend both films, by the way.)

* * *

The crossdresser

So who was the crossdresser? We again have three viable options, but the answers I feel don't seem to be as clear as the former question.

We have:

  • Tsuruko
  • Yukiatsu
  • Menma's ghost

The ghost Menma doesn't wear a watch, so it has got to be between Tsuruko and Yukiatsu. Tsuruko may have held a light for Yukiatsu, and it may be her quirky way of luring him back to reality as a friend, or as a desiring, unrequited lover. Worse, it may be Yukiatsu, who remains to be faithful to Menma to the present time, and was twisted and turned inside by her death. He was shopping for girl's accessories, and has a dress of her in his home. He may never have gotten over her. I think it's Yukiatsu, but we'll probably know on as the series progresses.

P.S. I love the OP and the ED.
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Old 2011-04-30, 12:28   Link #603
Haak
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^ I can't get enough of the ending theme. It's so brilliant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
I'm far more puzzled by the fact she can apparently eat food. She's a very peculiar kind of ghost. I'm a little annoyed no one either notices her. IIRC, she ate in front of Poppo, but he was conveniently looking elsewhere. Even if they can't see her, she could easily make her presence known if she wanted to. I hope she will later on, if only to make clear to the others that she isn't Jinta's hallucination.
The funny thing is that when Naruko and Chiriko were fighting, Menma was pulling them away but to no avail. It's definitely odd that's she's able to interact with the physical world to such an inconsistent degree. I too hope they clear this up.
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Old 2011-04-30, 12:33   Link #604
Proto
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Quote:
But I do, and that's because I've personally experienced something physically possible, but very improbable in its coincidence: our electric fan had a light that had burnt out for years. No matter how much I tried to turn it on, it never did. One day, however, without any of my family touching it, it just buzzed on. And it was on only for that day, when a grandfather in my mother's side died. It may be explained by circuitry that worked only on that day, but I'd like to believe there was something more.

It is also frankly the simplest explanation. Rather than creating a disorder for Jinta, it seems improbable for a schizophrenic hallucination to bake some cake and walk around like an airhead. Hallucinations are often violent auditory disturbances for schizophrenics, not some cute, peaceful girls exhorting nice guys to live their lives once again. But there may be instances of those, so I can't truly say for certain.
Ok where do we start....

For your first point: Use your own logic to your suddendly working fan. For example, we could use statistics. How many people around the world die everyday. How many of those people have relatives which possess a non working appliance in their room. Statistically speaking, the odds you described aren't too bad. Yes, they are low, but there is a reason they are not zero.

For your second point: Occam's razor is nice and all, but trying to apply it to works of literature is kind of iffy at best, given that this is a created world. It doesn't have to follow any real world convention, really. True, we can expect the author not to try curveballs at us, but that's a completely different thing.
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Old 2011-04-30, 12:36   Link #605
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Believing in the supernatural as the answer isn't an actual application of Ockam's Razor, since the existence of the supernatural would raise further questions. Just wanted to point that out.
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Old 2011-04-30, 12:45   Link #606
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
The third episode leads me to believe that maybe the show isn't entirely based solely on the premise of Jinta getting everyone together again for the finale. Considering the relative ease that most of them got together for this episode, it's seems more likely that simple broken bonds aren't the focus of the show, and neither is it Menma's wish. The third episode in fact seems to delve more deeply into each individual with Jinta as the starting point, but it's clear as day that each character has their own demons to deal with regarding Menma.

In a way it becomes something like an individualized study on how each person deals with the issue of death, and the aftereffects of such an event. From that, it seems to me that Menma's wish isn't simply getting her friends to reconnect, but finding a way to heal the wounds that have refused to close all these years.

Hmmm... Tomorrow's labor day so I should be able to expound on this.
I'm inclined to agree.

My initial thought after Episode 1 was that Menma's wish was simply to get the old gang back together. However, this has technically already been achieved with how Episode 3 ended.

As such, I think that Menma's wish is probably something different, and possibly more complex, than simply getting the old gang back together.


I also want to say that I feel that Episode 3 was the ideal follow-up to the first two episodes. As I wrote earlier on the thread, the first two episodes were just very solid, heartwarming, slice of life drama. A great narrative foundation to build on.

As such, I felt that the best way for Episode 3 to play out would be for it to perk things up just a little bit, and to be a little bit surprising, to make sure that the viewer didn't get too comfortable.

And having Poppo see "Menma", having Jinta attempt (but fail) to go back to school, and having the gang all get back together for a "Find Menma!" BBQ party was a great way to achieve this I think.


Now there's more to work off of when it comes to speculation and debate, particularly as it pertains to what exactly Menma's wish might be, as well as how exactly these characters feel about one another.

Episode 3 gives us a lot of characterization meat to dig into, and that's great to see.
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Old 2011-04-30, 12:59   Link #607
physics223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proto View Post
Ok where do we start....

For your first point: Use your own logic to your suddendly working fan. For example, we could use statistics. How many people around the world die everyday. How many of those people have relatives which possess a non working appliance in their room. Statistically speaking, the odds you described aren't too bad. Yes, they are low, but there is a reason they are not zero.

For your second point: Occam's razor is nice and all, but trying to apply it to works of literature is kind of iffy at best, given that this is a created world. It doesn't have to follow any real world convention, really. True, we can expect the author not to try curveballs at us, but that's a completely different thing.
I would take that most infinitesimal possibility and say that there's something else going on. It's not only low; it flirts with zero. I'd say not too bad is an understatement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
Believing in the supernatural as the answer isn't an actual application of Ockam's Razor, since the existence of the supernatural would raise further questions. Just wanted to point that out.
From my interpretation of Occam's razor, it's the simplest explanation to fit the phenomena that the series presents because for me it merely assumes that there is an other world, but little else.

The incongruence with which Jinta's symptoms are with schizophrenia, and the fact that the 'hallucination' actually makes food disappear forces us to assume more than merely believing Menma's a ghost - and it will force us to assume to possibility of an other world as well, eventually.
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Old 2011-04-30, 13:01   Link #608
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Must admit that I really like the OP and the EP of the series.
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Old 2011-04-30, 13:09   Link #609
guuchan
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Originally Posted by physics223 View Post
The ghost Menma doesn't wear a watch, so it has got to be between Tsuruko and Yukiatsu. Tsuruko may have held a light for Yukiatsu, and it may be her quirky way of luring him back to reality as a friend, or as a desiring, unrequited lover. Worse, it may be Yukiatsu, who remains to be faithful to Menma to the present time, and was twisted and turned inside by her death. He was shopping for girl's accessories, and has a dress of her in his home. He may never have gotten over her. I think it's Yukiatsu, but we'll probably know on as the series progresses.

P.S. I love the OP and the ED.
I think I'm one of the very few here who lean heavily towards the speculation that it's Tsuruko.

As for the ED, it's nice, but somehow the full version is a little disappointing. Something is missing there. I'm not completely sure what it is, but it's probably passion, or a lighter word, emotion, seeing this song is a lighthearted one. Yes, I mean the singers. How to describe it... it's as if they haven't read the whole script yet, or the ending of the story really sucks (I surely hope not), otherwise the way they sing it is just a bit too flat. Or maybe it's just simply the chemistry of the combination isn't working.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I'm inclined to agree.

My initial thought after Episode 1 was that Menma's wish was simply to get the old gang back together. However, this has technically already been achieved with how Episode 3 ended.

As such, I think that Menma's wish is probably something different, and possibly more complex, than simply getting the old gang back together.
Actually that can't be the wish to begin with. She had that wish before she died, and at that time the friends were close together alright, so it couldn't be the wish.
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Old 2011-04-30, 13:47   Link #610
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The full ED has a bit too many random synths for my liking. Would have been better with a minimalistic acoustic/piano approach. Nothing wrong with the vocals in my opinion.

As for Menma physically interacting with the world, I think its purpose is to make her more endearing as a character to us viewers, even though it makes little sense in context. Without such a plot hole, she'd be more or less a character unable to interact with Jinta beyond verbal communication. Have you guys seen Ghost the movie? That stuff is beyond sad. Also, I believe I've been told that the series is only running 11 episodes. In that case, any way to enhance the character development is okay in my book.

Just don't try to science it up. ;p
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Old 2011-04-30, 13:53   Link #611
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Originally Posted by guuchan View Post
I think I'm one of the very few here who lean heavily towards the speculation that it's Tsuruko.

As for the ED, it's nice, but somehow the full version is a little disappointing. Something is missing there. I'm not completely sure what it is, but it's probably passion, or a lighter word, emotion, seeing this song is a lighthearted one. Yes, I mean the singers. How to describe it... it's as if they haven't read the whole script yet, or the ending of the story really sucks (I surely hope not), otherwise the way they sing it is just a bit too flat. Or maybe it's just simply the chemistry of the combination isn't working.



Actually that can't be the wish to begin with. She had that wish before she died, and at that time the friends were close together alright, so it couldn't be the wish.
About Menma's wish, I think it may related to the series title. That would be surprisingly simple, though ^^. Also, her action in the last 2 episodes may just be her attempts to "fix" Jinta and doesn't really involve her wish in any way.

As for the ED song, it seems it is a cover for an original song dated back a few years ago so the emotion may not fit together well enough. Although I enjoyed the song a lot, it went straight into my favorites the first time I heard it.

EDIT: just surfed through youtube for the original one, glad someone had posted it recently so enjoy ^^

edit by mod: link removed

Last edited by Pellissier; 2011-05-01 at 03:23. Reason: please don't post youtube videos containing full songs, as they consist in licensed material.
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Old 2011-04-30, 17:02   Link #612
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Another excellent episode. My favorite scene was the flashback to Jinta visiting his mother in the hospital. The regret he feels for slapping her hand away -- wow. Very powerful. Really hit home for me, when my father died after a long illness, I had regrets over things I had done or said (or not said) for years afterward. And that happened when I was an adult, so the impact on a small child would be huge. It's the touches like this that make me love the show.

Yukiatsu cross-dressing as Menma -- man, I hope this show doesn't go there. I suspect it's someone other than Yukiatsu doing it.

The "Bentora, bentora, space people" call that Poppo was doing: does anyone know the origin of that? Is that a shout out to Urusei Yatsura, or is that from something even earlier?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...ace-people.jpg

One last question: high school is not compulsory in Japan, right? So Poppo just started working after finishing school?
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Old 2011-04-30, 17:32   Link #613
guuchan
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Originally Posted by Shakiga View Post
About Menma's wish, I think it may related to the series title. That would be surprisingly simple, though ^^. Also, her action in the last 2 episodes may just be her attempts to "fix" Jinta and doesn't really involve her wish in any way.
That's possible, even though that wouldn't require everyone to be involved to figure out. It would be bleh if her wish was to have everyone to know the name. Agreed on her action in the past episodes.

Quote:
As for the ED song, it seems it is a cover for an original song dated back a few years ago so the emotion may not fit together well enough. Although I enjoyed the song a lot, it went straight into my favorites the first time I heard it.

EDIT: just surfed through youtube for the original one, glad someone had posted it recently so enjoy ^^

edit by mod: link removed
Thanks for sharing. The original one is much better.

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Originally Posted by TurkeyPotPie View Post
One last question: high school is not compulsory in Japan, right? So Poppo just started working after finishing school?
Yep, it's only till junior high.
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Old 2011-04-30, 17:45   Link #614
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Something else I was thinking about, so far a lot of the characters have accused Anaru of just following everyone else and not really doing anything on her own. However, she brought fireworks to the party since (and she was the one who said it) that she didn't want to copy everyone else, I thought that was pretty telling. Also, I wonder if Yukiatsu mentioned seeing Menma (regardless of whether or not he was lying, telling the truth, crossdressing, someone else was dressing up as Menma or whatever other crazy theories I missed) to try and one up Jintan. Right now Yukiatsu is being portrayed as everything Jintan isn't, he got into the best high school (which Jintan wanted to do), he still has friends and he was the one who brought everything needed for a bbq, again unlike Jintan. Hope one of the future episodes focuses on him since he's an interesting characters (at the very least) right now.
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Old 2011-04-30, 19:00   Link #615
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Also, I wonder if Yukiatsu mentioned seeing Menma (regardless of whether or not he was lying, telling the truth, crossdressing, someone else was dressing up as Menma or whatever other crazy theories I missed) to try and one up Jintan. Right now Yukiatsu is being portrayed as everything Jintan isn't, he got into the best high school (which Jintan wanted to do), he still has friends and he was the one who brought everything needed for a bbq, again unlike Jintan. Hope one of the future episodes focuses on him since he's an interesting characters (at the very least) right now.
This is the main reason why I felt he was pitiful in this episode (as I described earlier in the thread) - he still felt the need to one-up a former rival (who, at this moment in time, probably doesn't see Yukiatsu the same way) and rub it in a bit. That smug-looking smile and condescending proclaimation wasn't a nice way to treat an old friend, especially with what they've all been through...

And I think everyone will get their one or two episodes in the spotlight, as they not only need to realise that they've got issues to sort out, but they have to resolve them too before the end of the series...

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Old 2011-04-30, 19:27   Link #616
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menma certainly exists, and jintan is the only one that sees her. anaru was by herself (technically) cutting weiners into crab shapes and jintan clearly reacted to menma's ghost talking about it. he just kind of ignored it though even though it's a clear indication menma is her own entity and not part a hallucination.
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Old 2011-04-30, 20:29   Link #617
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Originally Posted by CWW View Post
As for Menma physically interacting with the world, I think its purpose is to make her more endearing as a character to us viewers, even though it makes little sense in context. Without such a plot hole, she'd be more or less a character unable to interact with Jinta beyond verbal communication. Have you guys seen Ghost the movie? That stuff is beyond sad. Also, I believe I've been told that the series is only running 11 episodes. In that case, any way to enhance the character development is okay in my book.

Just don't try to science it up. ;p
Agreed. In addition, you can apply science with Menma as a ghost. There are some theories that hypothesizes that indeed ghost exist and one of them is Ghost as Energy Theory. Also, I believe that if that if somebody is doing the doubting, then that doubting exists. Cogito ergo sum
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Old 2011-04-30, 20:32   Link #618
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@Shakiga: I just got hold of ZONE's first album which has the longer version of "secret base -Kimi ga Kureta Mono-", and also a piano solo version of it. I will be sharing it somewhere in return.
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Old 2011-04-30, 21:11   Link #619
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I'm not sure I want to believe into these theories of crossdressing either. In a way, of course I've been finding Menma's 'ghost' weird ever since the show started, but I'd rather have some sort of ghost explanation for whatever Poppo saw than... people crossdressing as Menma for whatever reason. Because if that's actually the case, they'd have to come up with a mighty fine reason for it, not to mention the perfect execution to make a scene so outrageous like that work properly.

On to the actual episode, that was pretty entertaining. There wasn't any moment as cool as Nokemon for me, but overall the development for each character was pretty significant. Most of them don't have a lot of screentime, but the writers here have been making good use of each one's individual time to shine. Every piece of dialogue, be it Anaru's argument with Jinta/other friends at school or the mum flashback, is quite straightforward and does't beat around the bush, so it helps ease out that feeling which a lot of shows seem to ride on nowadays, that insists on the same thing over and over, trying to make you feel like "hey, this is a moment where you should feel this for character x". In other words, I guess I can actually relate to these characters and (most) of their actions, they feel... natural.

Last, I gotta agree, the ED is pretty cool and usually kicks in really well into the actual episodes. I just wish they used the original ZONE one instead of the seiyuu singing, but heh, 10 years after ver. is also pretty good!
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Old 2011-04-30, 21:23   Link #620
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^ This part of the ED seriously gives me chills every time. Incredible.
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