Anime Synopsis: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Shiranai

Thursday, 19 May 2011, 8:00 | Author : Ludovico
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English Title: We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day

(But really, just call it AnoHana)

As children, Jinta, Memna and their friends, the self-styled Super Peace Busters, were extremely close until tragedy tore their group apart.  When Memna died in an accident, the friends grew distant.  Now ten years later, Jinta lives a secluded life and has recently started being tormented by an apparent hallucination of his young dead friend.  Ghost Memna pesters Jinta relentlessly, insisting that he get the remaining five friends all back together again, but the relationships are too strained for Jinta to face them.  He tries to block out his memories of her, but when she finally does vanish, he returns to the Super Peace Buster’s old hangout to try to find her again and finally apologize for a mistake he made so many years back.

Anime as a whole has an undeniable fixation on teenagers.  There’s a somewhat delusional idealization of the coming-of-age years, built on hazy memories of the time spent halfway between children and adults, still largely unburdened by adult responsibilities, yet free of the stifling structures of childhood.  The typical anime teen, however, carries very little of the emotional baggage that real people bring from their childhood, instead often acting as blank slates to be shaped by future events.  Ano Hi Mita breaks that convention wide open, by focusing the attention on the difference between the carefree children and the emotionally-scarred teens they have grown into.  The characters feel like believable teens, with their own lives, issues and character flaws.  Where the story will take these five teens (and their ghost friend) is difficult to predict, but there’s promise in the character writing for a really solid character drama.

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