Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai is a part of the spring 2011 anime block that is becoming quite a topic among the otaku. The plot is that a group of friends who always hung out together drift apart after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, dies in an accident. Ten year later, one of those friends, Jinta Yadomi starts seeing Meiko, who desires to have a wish granted, which once again ties the group together, and the story starts from there. While the most of us might just say that this is just something like out of a telenovela, most otaku say that this anime is painfully, depressingly, beautiful. But why is that? Amidst the lots of sadfrogs from a certain website, let us find out why.
Because they never had a friend or believe that they will never have a childhood friend or a friend like Menma.
Really? I think so. Mostly, otaku had never ever had a female friend who stuck with them through thick and thin or appreciated the philosophical intricacies of EVA the way they did. Some otaku had never had a childhood female friend maybe because of that their childhood wasn’t the best time of their lives. You know, bullying, rejection and childhood stuff like that? It might have had a big impact on them. I think that most otaku never really succeeded in getting a constant female friend who could go along their otaku power levels and even if they have a female friend like that, they’re afraid of asking the girl out, out of fear of losing the friendship. As such, watching Menma is like having that childhood friend they never had.
Because they’ll never be able to get back the circle of friends that they once had when they were still young.
Some people have had those childhood circle of friends back then they were kids that were closely knit together like brotherhood and sisterhood and do all kinds of fun stufff… and time breaks them apart. While the lot of us forget that and move on, some just can’t forget all those happy childhood memories and cling to them wishing to recreate them only to be faced with the harsh truth that people change and that their childhood friends are not the same people who they once were and such reconnecting with childhood friends mostly end in failure for most otakus. As such, the premise of AnoHana is Jintan’s rekindling of old childhood friendships and that otakus hope that Jinta may succeed in his quest.
Because Jintan is very similar to most otakus everywhere.
Jinta is a portrait of a real-life hikikomori; plays games, given up on schooling and has almost no social life. While most otakus fail on the first two reasons that I stated, Jinta still has the chance to set things right. Some otakus might even wish that they be given to rekindle old childhood friendships just like Jinta and thus otakus cheer on for Jinta’s success on his quest to grant Menma’s wish.
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai is a strong contender for best anime (or at least, best tearjerker) this spring 2011. Hopefully by the end of this anime, it will inspire all otakus out there to rekindle old friendships and memories… and get out more.