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View Poll Results: AnoHana - Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 46 37.70%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 40 32.79%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 26 21.31%
7 out of 10 : Good 5 4.10%
6 out of 10 : Average 3 2.46%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 1 0.82%
4 out of 10 : Poor 1 0.82%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-07-03, 02:31   Link #21
deadite
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I also found the part in the end where they were all looking for Menma despite not being able to see her. Some people called it illogical that they were looking for something they couldn't see or hear but that doesn't matter. What matters is that they genuinely wanted to move forward and find her.

It seems after the last episode a lot of negative reviews come out which always involves "forced drama" and "rushed ending" and "why didn't Menma do anything earlier?"

Last edited by james0246; 2011-07-10 at 00:44. Reason: double post...
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Old 2011-07-04, 13:24   Link #22
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And?

Actually I should really ask what are you thoughts on the matter.
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Old 2011-07-04, 13:49   Link #23
deadite
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I dunno it all seems to be parroting the same complaints that could have been rectified if people payed more attention to the show?
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Old 2011-07-04, 19:23   Link #24
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I wonder what is the ideal ending everyone expected?

Personally I thought the show was perfect, I just wish there would be some OVA to explore the possibilities of everyone's future.
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Old 2011-07-04, 20:32   Link #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadite View Post
I dunno it all seems to be parroting the same complaints that could have been rectified if people payed more attention to the show?
"Forced drama" and "rushed ending" are most certainly valid complaints for the series. It's up to one to provide justification for the series, if one wants some kind of reconciliation of opinions with others.

I mean, I'm sure people write all kinds of unjustified opinions and outright bashing, but those kinds can be safely ignored anyways and aren't worth the time to discuss.

Edit: Though I guess it's a bit hard to see without some actual reviews.
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Old 2011-07-04, 22:07   Link #26
Arabesque
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I was debating with myself for the longest time on whether I should do an indepth review of this little series, since that would involve me thinking and analyzing its story, characters and the like. And the problem with that is that I feel it would make me lose the pivotal point of the series.

AnoHana is a show best watched with your heart, not you head. With your past memories, not your current expectations. Your unhealed emotions, not detached logic. The shows fee of entry is that you allow yourself to be submerged under all of the melancholic tones, to be carried away by the emotional flow without every resisting. It's a show that is asking the viewer to not think, but feel.

There is a lot of things I didn't like in this show. Menma to me was nothing more than a dressed up plot device that was poorly handled. The melodrama was ludicrous if not chessy many times, to the point where the finale made me laugh out load from all the crying, which was a damn shame since I actually cried back at episode 8, and had been chocking up many times since then whenever I watched this show. I was even ''in the mood'' to watch the episode, same as every past one, and I couldn't stand how overly dramatic it ended up being. I liked very few of the cast as characters, since not one of them really came across as likable. I could sympathize with all of them, but I loved no one. The writing was pretty tight, but I kept on wondering whether they ended up biting more than they could handle by having everything conclude in the last episode, rather than pace it so each issue was closed in the last two episodes separately rather than have everything warped in the final.

And perhaps my biggest issue with the series, it appealed far too many times to my own sentimentality. Sometimes it worked well enough, but I honestly felt like the show had been trying to wriggle additional tears from me or try to make me nostalgic even more so than I was. I would've threw this as being something that might have to do with me, but I noticed a lot of posters here and elsewhere where always bringing up their personal experiences that were similar to the show. It ended up lowering the show in eyes since it was a trick it didn't need to move me.

But ultimately, with all the faults, there is some powerful pros to offsets them far away. The characters themselves were an unlikable bunch, but I felt their pain, and understood their actions well enough and where each of their problems came from (even if I thought some were being idiotic, but that's beside the point). The story for the most part was well crafted and kept to a single tone without veering away from the central theme of the show, and each episode managed to bring more to the table, without a single one feeling like they had wasted time on it.

But most importantly, the show fulfilled the conditions it's given. If I allowed myself to not think about it too much, and simply allow myself to go with the flow of each episode, it did move me. So for all the problems I had, that point at least makes me able to put them aside to enjoy the show more.

AnoHana is a drama. That much is clear. It's a very good drama. That's even more apparent. Other than that though, I wouldn't be able to recommend it to anyone unless they are going through some emotional problems and/or love dramas.

Other aspects to note: I hold no love for Mari Okada, but I did gain a ton load of respect for Nagai Tatsuyuki for being able to handle her haphazard writing and manage to bring this story to life. The animation was competent for the most part, with some hiccups that I'm sure will be fixed in the BD release. The Voice Acting was great, and the score was pretty decent, fulfilling it's job on every scene.

Finale Rating: 8/10, since that's what I feel the series deserves.
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Old 2011-07-07, 12:42   Link #27
Deconstructor
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What is the reason why over 95% of my watched anime get less than an overall rating of 9/10, yet over 80% of those very same shows get an overall rating 8/10 or higher? I can explain by pointing to my little handy spreadsheet log, which I update after each new episode. In my opinion, most anime is passable - as long as I harbor no active dislike for an episode, a passing grade is assured. By extension, most series are satisfactory. Yet when I start talking about the anime I enjoy... the curve gets very, extremely steep. For each strong episode there are likely 4 or 5 weaker, less enjoyable ones. Therefore, when the cumulative average is calculated, the ratings indicate mediocrity.

Now... why exactly did I write the above paragraph? This show makes the viewer sad, and tries doing so in every episode. You can't watch five of an episode without Menma leaking blue whale tears. For some viewers, the effect wears off over time. Just like a baby crying gets less annoying after the first 10 wails; one gets used to their ear bleeding. Likewise, most people cry after watching the first episodes, but then adapt and are no longer phased by overwhelming grief.

Luckily, I didn't have the above experience. I was unable to cry until the finale; after viewing said finale, I could have filled a swimming pool with only my tears. But, don't get me wrong. I could have broken down in any one of Anohana's dramatic episodes. I held back because I believed the next episode would build off and surpass the emotional weight of the one I was currently watching. Heh, going back to the baby example... I held my anger in until I couldn't take the wailing any more and yelled furiously. With Menma, I felt not anger, but a rush of deep sadness. With many of the show's scenes, that sadness was replaced by a deeper sadness. Naturally, as Anohana came to a close, the finale was an entire season's accumulation of grief, emotion, despair, and hope.

Definitely, there were a few episodes when the characters came up short in invoking deep emotions. Tsuruko never made me angry, despite the writer's intention to make her seem like a total bitch to Anaru. Of the contrary! I enjoyed Tsuruko being the only rational character who seemingly was unaffected by past circumstances. Of course, the ending is a clear exception, where Tsuruko is revealed to have love problems of her own - she's just like everyone else. In the same train, Poppo is riding. The fat dude never seems to be sad... in a show where everyone is supposed to be sad, he's quite strange (although the ending, once again, solves all problems). His pressing desire to see Menma again seems to be far less justified than anyone else in the group. I mean, I would understand why Poppo would be overjoyed to see Jinta - Poppo admired him as a leader. But, from what I gather and remember, Menma and Poppo were not really that close. An exclusion from the love-polygon, Poppo also has no visible romantic feelings for Menma. Everyone else either loves Menma or is jealous of her. So, I didn't like Poppo. Seems Poppo is an expendable character.

I used to believe I had to watch every anime episode to the fullest. Cry hard every episode, adrenaline rush full blast, unless I'm watching a fanservice anime (in which case, something else also rises full blast). Yet, before I started watching Anohana, I started to realize what makes an anime great. Not individual, singular episodes of greatness; it's one connected, continuous stream of stories. A lot of people (including myself) have the habit of breaking down something into smaller discrete pieces, because it helps one focus on each section. To enjoy Anohana, one should look at the entire season as one long episode. You might be asking: Why this show in particular? Each character starts out with little background about their past: With each episode, more of their thoughts and feelings become clear. And as one sees different points of view of the same depressing event, the show increases in emotional intensity. It's a good story-telling method, putting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. Yet, as noted above with Poppo and Tsuruko, some pieces come out of nowhere. Even a little more foreshadowing would have been appreciated; a lot more character depth would have been applauded.

Hey, this isn't a perfect show. I'll conclude by stating one statistic: No anime has received an A (9.3/10) from me. Seriously... no 12 episode anime has been able to survive my constantly shifting moods. If I feel bad one day, consider the anime doomed. But, those able to withstand my tripolar disorder are the ones I cherish for quite some time. Huh? Hold on just a second here. Doesn't this mean Menma crying on one of your bad days mean death by low ratings for Anohana? Normally, yes. The only reason Anohana survives is because I know what to expect next episode... as if the story flows naturally from every point. I know what I'm getting is undiluted tears, over and over again. All the show has to do is bring the same effect each episode, only more compelling and moving than previously seen. Has Anohana surpassed itself with each new iteration? No. However, every time an episode fell short, the writing simply picked itself back up and went back to the tradition of making me feel like a crying baby. No show can be completely consistent... however, some writers realize their faults and put forth an effort to redeem themselves with the next scene. This show just keeps trying to make me sad, and eventually I gave in. What can I say; part of me actually wanted to believe in the storyline.

It is with great pleasure (and a little sadness) for me to review Anohana as my favorite anime of Spring 2011, and as the one I will be forgetting last. I hope the ratings on ANN are indicative of the general opinion, because I certainly enjoyed this show. I hope this review has also helped others understand why the show has such popular acclaim. If not, then my final hope is someone else also tries to justify their feelings about the show. Sometimes, I just suck at putting things into words.

Cumulative Average Rating: 8.95/10
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Old 2011-07-09, 18:34   Link #28
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Animation Quality/Design: 8
Beautiful colours abound throughout the series, and the OP and ED look fantastic. Additionally, I really liked the character designs and loved the many different outfits each character had (Poppo’s clothes were particularly fun ). Still, I hated that Tsuruko’s glasses disappeared into her hair (often making her glasses look like they are floating on her face), and I despised Anaru’s twintails.

Additionally, the architecture and design of the cityscape was very realistic and had a nice “lived-in” feel. But, I disliked that so little of the individual character’s houses were ever explored (I’m not saying I wanted to see their bathrooms…but you can learn a lot about a character from seeing their medicine cabinet ), but I did like how individual and defining their personal spaces were (from Anaru’s clutter, to Tsuruko’s flower patterned carpeting, to Yukiatsu bland room) .

Voice Actors: 9
Due to the emotional nature of the series, a single false note from any of the Vas could have spelled doom for the story being told. Thankfully, the cast was chosen wisely, and there was nary a hint of false emotion (I especially liked Ai Kayano (as Menma), who bore much of the emotional burden from episode to episode, but handled herself quite well.)

That being said, while the lead cast was all quite good, I was very surprised by how good the secondary characters voices were, particularly Kaoru Mizuhara as Menma’s younger brother Honma (who, while only shown a few times in the series, has some surprisingly emotional moments) and Mitsuru Ogata as Jintan’s father. Fuyuka Oura as Menma’s mother was also very good, sadly she, and the others I listed, was never given enough time to really explore the characters…but that is a minor complaint considering the story being told.

Script: 8
Unlike many others, I felt the series started strong, muddled its way through the middle episodes (many of which were badly paced and overwrought), before ending on a high, if somewhat ridiculous, note. I always loved the dialogue between the characters, but felt many of the introspective moments were a little forced. As for the story, while very simplistic, there was much depth to the story and Mari Okada managed to plumb much of that depth in a realistic, if somewhat kid-friendly, way. And, while the emotional realism began to subsume the actual realism of the earlier episodes, I was still hooked.

Soundtrack: 7
The OP/ED were both fantastic (especially the ED), with great visuals and great sound (I loved listening to them through my television’s speakers, and I can’t wait to rewatch the series on an actual Blu-Ray with 5.1). Additionally, the incidental music was quite nice and greatly added to many of the more emotional scenes. Still, there was nothing monumental about the score, and ultimately the OP/ED is the main highlights (though they are amazing highlights).

Editing: 7
The series was badly paced (either moving too quickly, or far too slowly), especially the middle episodes which feel downright lackluster compared to the beginning and ending of the series. It certainly doesn’t help that there were transition problems throughout the series. Still, this was more of a minor annoyance rather than actually detrimental.

Enjoyment: 8
Again, the middle episodes dragged on needlessly, and the simplicity of the story was somewhat distracting. It certainly didn’t help that several of the characters, while still feeling “authentic”, were somewhat annoying or had strange changes in character (this is most obvious with Anaru and Yukiatsu, who have whiplash inducing story moments). Still, the gentle boil of the series was quite enjoyable, and the eventual catharsis was well earned for all the characters.

Emotional Involvement: 8
Despite some missteps, I was heavily involved with these characters, and genuinely wished to see them find a way to positively express themselves. The ending was a pitch-perfect, if a little stagy, example of just how in-tune the writing and acting had allowed me to become with the characters.

Overall: 8
Cumulative Episode Score: 7.6
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Old 2011-07-28, 00:05   Link #29
ifpikachucouldtalk
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Man, not going to review the series in detail.

I think the series is a perfect 10 in my eyes. It just fufilled me, satisfied me, made me content. I feel like my life is complete. I don't know why, but the series taught me so much and it pulled on my heartstrings.
It got to me. One of the few animes, if not the only anime, that touched me this way before.
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Old 2011-08-02, 04:51   Link #30
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...I cried like a baby when I watched the ending, like literally. I've heard that marathoning watching anime will have a different feel than when watching it 1 episode per week...and oh boy, how right he was.

I don't feel that it was rushed or forced. In contrast, I feel that all the plot flows naturally and there were many instance that I think, "ah I know this will happen sooner or later and how good their presentation is!", that kind of thing
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Old 2011-08-08, 08:42   Link #31
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Once again somehow I'm late to the party.

For me, AnoHana is currently the best anime that I've encountered so far. I know there's some other tearjerking-comedylike anime, such as Angel Beats! or CLANNAD, and yes, I used to be a CLANNAD fans even till now, but this one really snatched me away from CLANNAD which I've been keep liking for whole 4 years.

The storyline is something I really like, the episode 11... might be a bit rushed, but it's the episode with heaps of pain. When I watch anime, I put myself, my feelings in the anime, and it was painful enough to make me even cried suddenly when I tried to remember it, even in middle of my class.

Personally, AnoHana is probably the only anime that I really want to make it keep alive, until the end of everything, or at least.. I felt that the series ended too fast. There's still a lot of thing I wanted to know, a lot of things I expect to be shown officially, such as 'the future that will happens to Menma and Jinta', or something really touching? The series... what made me keep watching them over and over is Jinta, and Menma of course. The others weren't that bad but two of them are the reason why I keep watching AnoHana , until today.

If I had.... a chance to contact the story maker of this, I would really beg down to the foot for another season release.... cost wise never matter for me, I don't even mind if I had to pay for the whole production, although I know it cost really lot... I know it's the selfish part of me, but thats what I wished for now

The episode 11, it was a fast separation. All left is memories and promises. The moment I see episode 1 and 2, I expected that this kind of ending would happen, except for the 'tag play' but I myself still not satisfied with the ending. I felt there's something really missing and I want that to be filled once again.

Personally, again... I wish for an impossible season two, no matter how hard it could be. I don't want AnoHana become a 'dead' or 'retired' anime. I want AnoHana keep alive. I know it's impossible, but there's none said it would be 0%...

Their art probably not the best around there, and there's an anime with far better art, yet.. The character arts itself make the stories feels real.


My commentary might sounds too realistic? or maybe I guess it's too childish, but that what make me myself. I take every single account in anime as part of my life, so my commentary might sound biased. Sorry, but I really want to say this loud

ANO HANA IS THE BEST SEASON FOR THIS YEAR... FOR ME... and FOREVER
and of course I'm serious for this.

That is something called 'devotion' .. I guess?
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Old 2011-08-16, 03:49   Link #32
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Animation/Character Design - 7

The character designs are pretty eye catching and each character has a distinct style that reflects their personality. There are times when the characters movement looked like its missing a frame but I guess its minor issue. The backgrounds are gorgeous.

VA - 10

I have no complaints whatsoever. Every one of them are perfect for their roles.

Sound/Music - 8

The opening theme song is one of my fave this year. Its pretty catchy and for some reason gives me a light hearted/uplifting feeling. The ending song is ok I guess. The BG musics really did its job pretty well. I mean it actually enhances the mood of some scenes.

Story - 10

For an original anime, the story is pretty well developed. The plot maybe simple compared to some anime drama but the way the characters interact with each other is enough to build up tension to the important scenes. But what I really like about AnoHana is its straight to the point storytelling. Unlike Clannad(no offense to its fans), AnoHana doesn't have unnecessary scenes that ruin the tension or filler subplots. Less moe/jokes, more drama. It just builds up to a certain part and then you either cry or feel sorry for the character. Well I guess I'm biased because I watched this show, all 11 episodes, in one go. I mean its obvious that when you watch this once a week, you will forget some details or the tension that was build up from the last episode.

Characters - 10

I think the characters are somewhat one dimensional. I mean each of them have a certain purpose(Yukiatsu creates tension, Menma does her cute stuff and cry, Jin-tan tries his best to fulfill Menma's wish, etc) and they don't go beyond what they are meant to do. But the story still worked. Well I guess it can't be helped. The show has 11 episodes and 6 main characters. There is no point giving multi-dimensionality to their characters if it will only serve to distract the audience from the main plot. For that reason, I'll still give them a 10.

Emotional Involvement - 10

I'm not really a drama fanatic but I do occasionally watch movies or anime drama like Clannad. But this is really the first show that made me cry. I guess the story hit the right spot and probably because I was able to relate to the characters. Well I'm impressed...Kudos to the writer.

Total Score - 9

AnoHana the best Anime of 2011
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Old 2011-09-11, 16:59   Link #33
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Just finished seeing it a few hours ago.

Very touching and emotional anime. On the exact contrary of many people, I actually felt that one of its main strength was how it was NOT trying to "overdramatize". It managed to bring a lot of emotion through very modest, simple situations (really, I could never imagine that seeing someone playing Pokemon would draw tears from me 0_o) and handled them mostly with a light touch.

As someone said earlier, it's a serie best felt, that puts its emphasis on ambiance, overall tone and diffuse feelings.
I also appreciated a lot how the characters were very human, very flawed, not (save for Menma, but that was the point) all-white and above reproach. It made them all the more endearing and sympathetic to me, and their pain even more touching.

A great serie about human feelings that managed to be both sad and positive, teary and yet not depressed. Easily the best I've seen so far this season, and deserving of a solid 8, perhaps even a 9.
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Old 2011-09-13, 01:32   Link #34
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Haha, glad all you folks enjoyed it. Ano Hana's strength is in its simplicity and I guess it really hits strings in a broad fashion with people.
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Old 2011-10-14, 09:46   Link #35
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Writer: AnoHana Originally Had Slapstick Erotic Elements via ANN

I noticed it in the first episode a lot, from the fist minute the erotic elements were present. After that, are only centered in Anaru.
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Old 2011-10-17, 22:40   Link #36
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This series was a 8-9 for me. Yes it was great an enjoyable but I felt that this series forced sadness a bit, at least in my opinion.
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Old 2012-04-27, 22:46   Link #37
SRanger
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I have heard so much about this series before coming in, and how I would bawl my eyes out and how great it is.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad series, it's actually very good, but I seriously think it's overrated.

One, I keep hearing people saying how flawless the plot is...really? Due to 'anime reasons', the entire group never even tried to prove Menma actually existed (via writing/moving objects) until very late onto the series. I mean..it just didn't feel natural, because when they did acknowledge this, the explanation was "I guess Menma and Jintan aren't very smart!"

Secondly, this is just my opinion, but I can't stand the whole little girl act in anime series. I find it very annoying, and I don't approve of lolis. So I didn't feel sympathetic for Menma one bit during the entire series, especially when I realized everyone's troubles all stem from her. The whole baby attitude that Menma had really irritated me.

The only character I enjoyed was Tsuriko, mainly because she was the only character to actually show some composure. Jesu, Jintan has no spine whatsoever. He makes Shinji from EVA look like a badass. You won't attend school because of a crush in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?! And going through all the troubles with the fireworks..you can't man-up at the end?! JESUS. He really pissed me off, especially how he handled Anoru's confession.

While the ending was heartwarming, it was incredibily corny and cheesy with the yelling and the mass crying. I did get somewhat teary for the last episode, but nothing more than from watching any good anime with a solid ending (steins;gate, FMA:B, etc.)

I did enjoy the epilogue though. Nice little closure.


Overall, the series is good, but its vastly overrated which tainted my thoughts on the show. It really just felt like a sadder, crappier romance version of Toradora.

8/10 in the end.
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Old 2012-07-05, 13:32   Link #38
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Everything Nagai touches is like gold to me. Had to watch this after ToraDora and Ano Natsu and am so glad I did.

Can't say I was thrilled with the melodramatic ending, it just felt forced to me. Doesn't mean I didn't cry... but yeah you know how that is.

8/10 would ban-... er watch again.
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Old 2012-07-07, 11:18   Link #39
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Am I the only one who was completely unwhelmed by this series? I'm up to the second to last episode and it just seems quite dull? I heard that the writer originally intended it to be a raunchy romcom but then the director forced her to change it to some ghost story. Can't help but feel like that destroyed the show for me?
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Old 2012-07-10, 10:12   Link #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaoruAoiShiho View Post
Am I the only one who was completely unwhelmed by this series? I'm up to the second to last episode and it just seems quite dull? I heard that the writer originally intended it to be a raunchy romcom but then the director forced her to change it to some ghost story. Can't help but feel like that destroyed the show for me?
You'll find mixed feelings on that. Personally I can't picture the story as a raunchy romcom, even though I do enjoy such stories. I think people who enjoy AnoHana are more likely to be attracted to sentimental elements of coming of age stories. In this case, it's honestly rather irrelevant that Menma is a ghost. It's just a plot device which serves to pull the rest of the cast together. This isn't a story that appeals to logic, just emotions, and for many people it hit the right ones.

Other people, such as yourself, were underwhelmed, and that's fine. Different things for different people, and all that.

And yeah, I thought the drama often felt forced and overly melodramatic. I still bawled like a baby at the end. I didn't want Menma to go! But I really wanted those kids to stop screaming her name! Ahh, youth.
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