Friday, 17 June 2011

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai - Episode 10

With the mission to create some impressive fireworks for Menma now reaching their close, it seems as if it's finally time for the living Super Peace Busters to say goodbye to their ghostly friend.

Thus, the night before the fireworks launch gives the group a chance to get together, say goodbye and generally celebrate.  At least, that's the plan, but as has been the case for much of this series other issues get in the way of anyone threatening to have a good time.  In this case, Yukiatsu is the mastermind of melodrama (yes, again), forcing everyone to recreate that fateful day that is credited as eventually leading to Menma's death.  This time however, Jinta doesn't dodge the question of whether he likes Menma and truthfully answers that he does, while Poppo prevents him from running away from his actions to boot.  So, we're left with one happy Menma, and an outpouring of misery from, primarily, Anaru, together with Tsurumi as she pours out her feelings for Yukiatsu to her fellow sufferer.

Having confessed his feelings however, Jinta's over-riding problem is that he no longer wants Menma to go to heaven - even if nobody else can see her, he wants to stick by her side, and seems at a loss to understand why she still wants to "pass on" despite his professing his love.  As the day of the firework launch arrives, we find a group not banding together for the good of Menma, but rather five individuals each with their own agendas - Jinta wants to stop Menma from disappearing, Yukiatsu wants to see Menma taken from him, while Anaru and Tsurumi both see her departure as the only way of getting what they want.  It's arguably only Poppo who has any genuinely good motive in his heart - but is this event really goodbye for Menma?

As penultimate episodes go, this was a polished, well timed and slickly delivered instalment that had a fair amount to cover and managed it all decently, right the way through to the "will she, won't she" question of Menma's disappearance at the end of it all.  Leading into the final episode, there's only one thing I can say for sure - I no longer like any of the characters in this show.  I'm sure it's kind of the point, but this episode proved without any doubt that here we have a bunch of teenagers who care only for their own feelings and desires without giving a second thought to how those around them feel.  As social commentary, it's really pretty depressing, and even Poppo (the arguable saint of the piece) succumbs to peer pressure at one point in ratcheting up the pressure on Jinta.  Still, I can't help but respect the series as being a visually impressive and suitably dramatic affair, and that has to be worth something regardless of my personal feelings for those embroiled within it.

No comments: