Friday, 10 June 2011

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai - Episode 9

After all of those weeks of Jinta's old friends thinking he was either a. nuts or b. attention-seeking, the climax to last week's Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai finally proved that he was neither and that Menma's "ghost" really does exist - "about bloody time too" was my response, and I know I wasn't the only one.

While the fact that Menma has now been revealed makes certain aspects of the relationship between the gang easier (even if seeing disembodied muffins floating around is creepier than you might imagine, it seems), deep down it only makes things worse if anything.  This is particularly true of Yukiatsu, who is even more enraged at the fact that Jinta is the only one who can see Menma to the point where he frequently loses his rag.  Anaru isn't really doing much better herself as she sees herself as unable to compete with Menma for Jinta's heart - a depressing fact that sees her seemingly edging a little closer in her relationship with Yukiatsu, which in turn puts Tsuruko's nose out of joint.  Even Poppo isn't immune to having regrets and worries about the fateful day when Menma died, even if he's better at hiding it beneath his jovial exterior than the rest.

Aside from these seemingly ever-worsening interactions between the gang, on the positive side some literal grovelling by Yukiatsu means that the "project" to create fireworks for Menma can finally go ahead at full tilt in the hope of fulfilling her final wish.  The trouble is, does Jinta even want this wish to be fulfilled any more?  At the moment it seems not, as he finds himself not wanting Menma to disappear, so accustomed has he become to her presence.

Having thrown my hands up in frustration as the conclusion to last week's instalment with a cry of "why didn't you do that weeks ago?!", this episode did at least try to answer that question even if it was only a ham-fisted effort at doing so - it's the thought that counts though, right?  Still, now everyone is on the same page and knows that Menma is real it finally feels as though we're actually getting somewhere, as we being to drill down to the core uncertainties and insecurities suffered by all of the characters, in turn allowing any resentment and worries to surface as a result.  What this means for the final couple of episodes is hard to read right now, but it feels like we're set up for something suitably dramatic regardless - let's just hope the series doesn't screw up any remaining pivotal moments it has up its sleeve this time.

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