Liveblog: Anohana, Episode 1

Another day, another series to liveblog (Is that a verb? It is now). First things first, let’s overview what little I know about this series: It’s a supernatural story about ghosts, it has a really long title (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai), and it’s super sad. We’ll see about that last part.

So, basically, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. Regardless, let’s get on with the episode.

Super Peace Busters

The first thing we see looks like a dirty bowl. It’s a nice day here in… Japan? Wherever this is, there is a guy playing videogames.

Outside the house, a guy and girl are walking down the street and talking about random things.

Huh, he’s talking about her boobs. That was unexpected.

The guy with a man-bun is really getting into the game going so far as to tell the aliens to stop reproducing on his planet.

And a random girl shows up near the guy. She has blue eyes and white hair so I bet she’ll be important.

They talk about what a Lipolippy is (some sort of Pokémon?) and apparently these things have fat lips, hence their name.

The guy is surprised by something and drops everything to go somewhere else. The girl tries to ask him what’s going on and calls him Jin-tan. I don’t know if that’s his actual name or it’s just how she addresses him (the Japaneses language is weird) so I’m gonna call him Jin for now.

I didn’t want to comment on this but the guy seems to have an issue with people screwing in this time of the year. Come on, even if you feel lonely there’s no need to be bitter about it.

The girl talks in the third person and reveals her name: Menma. She also wants some ramen.

Also also, she’s kind of pushy and wants her eggs done perfectly right. Are discussions about eggs in the first episode of a series going to be a running theme here?

Oh wow, there is another guy living here. And he has a funny hat.

Well, I had the slight suspicion that this girl was a ghost given her appearance and what little I heard of the plot but now it’s apparently confirmed because the guy in a funny hat can’t see or hear her.

Jin makes some eggs for the hat guy and ignores Menma. I’m assuming she can’t eat and we are working on The Sixth Sense logic here, where the ghosts don’t know they are dead.

Yup, the reflection confirms it. Menma is a ghost. Now it’s theory time. Is it because she’s an old friend of his that died in an accident and can’t move on or is it a power he has?

Ok, so the guy with the funny hat is Jin’s father and also Jin’s actual name is Jinta. While they are having a meal, Menma is being an annoying shit by sitting over him and not letting Jinta eat.

I think Menma just made Jin cum by rubbing her butt on his groin. What the fuck, man?

Well, looks like the story will actually move on now. We cut back to “the Summers back then” whatever that means. Say, five years ago?

So, Jin and a bunch of friends are playing around, climbing trees, catching beetles. You know, the usual.

Obviously these guys are important. I mean, look at their designs. Blue hair, aloof attitude, bald, and bob cut and glasses? They are gonna show up later for sure.

Menma was there, too. And she wants some help with her flowers.

“I want you to grant me a wish”. Not this shit again. Seriously, Menma, wishes won’t solve anything. Do you really want to become a despair-inducing abomination?

I have to say the opening song is not so bad. I’m not a fan of it but it’s certainly different than what I expected.

Okay, theory time: These guys had a good life until Menma died in an accident (maybe inadvertently caused by them) and they drifted apart because it was really awkward and sad.

Jin wakes up from his, shall we say, “accident”. He really should drink more water if that’s all it takes to make him pass out.

So Jin starts arguing that he’s going crazy and that Menma is a vision. That’s odd considering he seemed fine with her being around until now.

He starts asking the real questions. Namely: Why did she show up now and why does she look older? I’m assuming she died when she was young or else that question makes no sense.

She has no idea. Twenty bucks say it’s an ugly truth.

Anyway, Menma wants her fucking wish and Jin is going to grant it to her even if it’s the last thing she achieve. The only problem is that she has no idea what her wish is. For starters, how about coming back to life?

There is another thing about granting the wish that Menma overlooked. Everyone needs to be together for it to become true. That’s quickly dropped when someone calls at the door and she runs to answer. Jin stops her but I’m not sure why because she doesn’t seem to be capable of interacting with objects.

And we get our first look at a new character. She was the brown-haired girl with glasses. Her name is Anjou apparently (or maybe that’s a nickname) and much like Jin’s dad, she can’t sense Menma.

Okay scratch that, she can sort of feel when Menma touches her shoulders but nothing else.

Oh, Anjou has a package. I mean, an actual package. You never know with Japan. It’s Jin’s homework and he only has two days to complete it. Dick move, Anjou.

He doesn’t feel like going to school anyway but she retorts that he should feel ashamed for saying that.

Menma tells Jin how much of an idiot he is for not asking Anjou for help but she calls her “Anaru”. Jin isn’t cool with that because she’s not the Anaru of his past. From the looks of it, she used to be a nerdy kid and now that she’s popular she denies her past or, as he puts it a she’s a “rotten bitch”. Man, I really hope that’s not the main plot.

Jin and her leave the house to look for Anjou and ask her to help them grant Menma’s wish. On the way out, Jin acts like a weirdo because he keeps talking to the ghost-girl while no one else can see her.

On the way there, they spot a WcDonald. I love that place. And who could forget their famous slogan? “I’m likin’ it!”

So, basically, Jin became the typical misanthrope and Anjou grew up to be a shallow bitch after… whatever the hell happened. I’m not particularly intrigued by this plot but it’s too early to judge it.

Jin does some introspection, wondering what his subconscious is trying to tell him by creating a vision of Menma. While she’s playing, she slips and starts falling and we get a flashback to when I think Jin learned she had died.

rubber man jin.png
Hold on a minute, isn’t this the guy from that One Piece show?

Oh boy, more characters. We’ve got light-brown haired guy and brunette with red-rimmed glasses (the latter seems familiar for some reason). These are obviously Jin’s childhood friends.

And would you look at that! We get the title card in the middle of the episode. I understand putting it at the beginning (or near it) or at the end but, the middle? Okay, that’s unique, I’ll grant you that much.

Cut back to Anjou in her house. Her mother wanted her to give Jin some beans but she tells her to piss off. Even then, she stills feels ashamed.

Looks like Jin had more unresolved emotional problems than I thought. He’s jealous because he should be in the fancy school his former friends are going to and at this point I couldn’t care less. I’m not saying I don’t understand his attitude but they are not giving me anything to enjoy here. Jin isn’t funny or witty, he’s not the normal guy thrown into a strange world and his curiosity is way too low. I mean, really, you get a vision of your dead friend and you are like, “Huh, that’s kinda weird”?

Menma explains that the guys are Yukiatsu and Tsuruko. Man, it’s gonna take me a while to remember those names. Specially since the male sounding one is female.

So, turns out Yukiatsu is an asshole and asks if Jin has got a prion infection because he failed at school and keeps calling Menma by her actual name, Honma Meiko. Man, I’m loving all these likable characters, I hope they keep being assholes to each other.

Tsuruko wonders if the mention of Mema made Yukiatsu act like an idiot and calls him Matsuiku-kun. Aw come on, just stick to one name! I can’t learn all of them at once. At least pick one that follows the nice consonant-vowel-consonant format.

“You are such a wimp despite your look”. I wonder what she thinks a wimp looks like, then.

Jin, after having run like a baby for a while, stops and laments that everyone changed. Okay, I get it but I think they could have shown this without hammering it in. Also, he leaves Menma.

Well, looks like we’re gonna get some explanations. We see the gang back when they were together. And there is an extra kid we didn’t get to see in the present yet.

“We’re the Super Peace Busters”. Who came up with that name? A ten-year old? Oh, wait…

“What are busters?”. Oh, you know, they catch ghosts and stuff.

These character designs are making me think of Digimon for some reason. Anyway, the point is Jin was a charismatic leader and now he’s a depressed fuck.

”that day” as Jin calls it, Ajoru asked him if he liked Menma. Come on, I’m not in the mood for a love triangle or even a straight up hook-up. You’ve barely established the characters, come back with that shit in at least five episodes time.

Ok, I’ll grant you this, they actually played with my expectations. Jin tried to save face by saying that Menma was boring and she took it for what it was: A lame attempt at hiding his feelings. At least, I hope she noticed.

…and they throw the “tomorrow never came” shit. Well, you had me.

Okay, now this is interesting. Menma goes back to her house and meets her family. Well, “meets” is a figure of speech because they can’t see her. Also, there’s a weird detail here. Menma can’t phase through walls like most ghosts, she actually physically interacts with objects. That’s cool, I guess.

Everyone is older than she remembers, obviously, and her mom is offering her shrine some curry because it was her favorite food. Her brother doesn’t see the point in offering people to the dead, though.

“Your sister was a little slow, so she might not even know she’s dead”. Ouch, right in the liver. Well, Menma takes it rather well so, I guess I might be exaggerating. Then again, why is she here now? I don’t know how this afterlife is supposed to work and I really want to know.

Back to the flashbacks of the gang, they fell apart after a while. Yeah, just like that. Did you want an actual explanation? Fuck that.

Jin has a change of heart while cooking and goes after Menma, saying that he wants to apologize. We also get a little song with lyrics probably spoil he entire series from the looks of it. I’m not a fan is all I’m saying.

Huh, that’s weird. Jin goes to the old gang’s HQ and finds someone has been living there for a while. Is that the sixth guy we haven’t seen yet?

I’ve seen enough hentai to… wait, this is hentai!

The guy’s called Poppo. Man, your parents must hate you.

This episode… didn’t sit well with me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are gonna be broken hearts, ugly truths and surprising twists but as of now it’s basically a guy not being able to let go of his past and we don’t even know what exactly happened. Yes, Menma died but the circunstancies could range from “freak accident” to “we accidentally caused her death” which would tell me how I should react. It’s not a strong beginning is all I’m saying. Then again, a strong beginning can sometimes mean the subsequent episodes are not as good so at least that’s not happening here.


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