Friday, 29 April 2011

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai - Episode 3

Having spent time with Anaru catching Pokemon last episode, is Jinta going to keep the promise she asked him to make and start attending school again?  It seems as though the answer is no, until Menma's ghost gets involved and manages to persuade him to go under the auspices of it possibly being her wish.

However, Jinta's attempt to make it to school doesn't last long, as he bumps into first Anaru and then her friends, the latter of whom's biting comments make him change his mind and decide that it's a waste of time after all, returning home to find Menma attempting to make muffins which trigger past memories of his deceased mother and happier times.  Meanwhile, it seems that Jinta isn't the only one who can see Menma after all, as Poppo also seems to have glimpsed her - an event which causes him to redouble his efforts in trying to help fulfil her all-important wish.

His first gambit along these lines is to arrange a barbecue, inviting all of the old gang to come along and bring some food.  Perhaps surprisingly they all decide to show up, albeit with a distinct lack of any food to speak of until Yukiatsu shows up late and causes a commotion as he suggests that he just that second saw Menma wandering around nearby - a comment designed to "test the faith" of his former friends above all else, I would wager.

At last though, we have the main cast reunited, even if it's only uneasily - this could well be a key turning point in the series, and boy is it started to need it.  As it stands, it's becoming increasingly hard to really invest anything in the show's characters - they're either dead and annoying, or some combination of moody, cowardly and bitchy, making for a rather tough bunch to like in the process.  In fairness, the whole key tenet of the series might be for these former friends to ponder where they've gone wrong in their relationships with one another and the wider world (but without reverting to the child-like wonder I fretted about last week), but they need to do something more than simply milling around and brushing against one another like so many limp handshakes to prevent Ano Hana from being filed in the "pretty yet uninteresting" category.

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