AnoHana Ep03

I had to wait so long for this to finish downloading - and since Pearz finished first, she watched it without me. Selfish~ Not wanting to bother Rho, sitting in the middle, with the same anime playing at the same time with a few minutes' worth of delay in between, I went off to pack/sleep/eat. Anyway, long story short, here we are~

Don't scare the cat with your crazy shouting!

This episode continued at the same pace that it always did, finally bringing together all 6 of the Super Peace Busters. It also introduced some more about the creepy side of Yukiatsu, who is getting creepier without fail every episode that he's in. This is around the time that some might choose to drop the anime (or maybe one more episode, to cement just how creepy Yukiatsu really is); Pearz had a lot of moaning, groaning, and laptop-closing during this one.

Does she have legs?!

Pearz informed me that one theory someone had since the first episode (I can't say I'm that intently into reading anime blogs) was that all of the friends would slowly be able to see Menma, at which point her wish would be fulfilled (or something of that sort) and she would disappear. On a personal level, that's pretty sappy and it would destroy a bit of the anime for me (what was I expecting with a title like that, anyway?), but I can absolutely see nonsense like that happening. *sigh*

Seriously, Menma looked like a ghost to begin with.

I don't know how to understand Poppo's sighting of Menma at the beginning of the episode; the conversation with Jinta later revealed that he did see Menma in Adult Form, but was Menma wandering the woods late at night like that? Although she didn't make mention of it, perhaps she didn't think it was important enough to mention; to be fair, Jinta asked her if she had gone to Poppo's place, which she answered "properly" enough in the negative. Of course, we also didn't see her in the room when Jinta's father said goodbye for the day, so it's possible she roams around at night due to some ghostly calling. I don't know; I don't have any ghosts I can ask for references. I'm working on that.

It's only dirty if you have a dirty mind.

Jinta's attempt at going to school was foiled by the evilness of (I assume) Japanese teenagers. On a different note (I won't talk about Anaru's friends being total bitches; to each his own and it's very obvious they wanted us to dislike those friends of hers, so I won't fall for this trap), I really liked the subtlety of Jinta's difficulty in coping with the outside world. His mantra while walking to school ("Cicadas. People.Cicadas. Sweat.") was in-line with the technique wherein you force yourself to focus on bits at a time to calm down. (Wow, I explained that horribly.) His agoraphobic tendencies are displayed and used well.

Menma never wore a scrunchie, idiot.

Yukiatsu's brand of creepy began pretty quickly this episode. Tsuruko made commentary that Yukiatsu was always taking her to places "like this" (by which I assume "shops for women's little things" - this is how Rho's aunt explained these stores to me, by the way, as if it made sense), and asked who he bought things for. Based on his lack of answer, I am now going to assume that he's making shrines for Menma in his closet (or, if his house is big enough, perhaps under the floorboards or in his dead sibling's bedroom - this is all speculation, try and stop me).

It's called "kheer". Do some damn research~

Whatever Poppo saw, it was not Jinta's Menma, based on the fact that he never once made any reference to her (or had contact with her) during the entire festivities. Based on his character, I doubt he wouldn't constantly be talking to her, only to explain his oddities to the friends who have yet to be enlightened. I'm genuinely curious what's going on. This entire scene, by the way, was pretty nice. When Yukiatsu isn't a part of the group, things do flow well. Despite Tsuruko's aloofness, she doesn't seem to intentionally want nothing to do with these people; she responded slowly to Anaru's advances.

Can't even let Poppo finish? Gawd, selfish...

Of course, the mood changed instantly when Yukiatsu showed up. Is he lying? Did he buy the scrunchie so that he could erect a fake Menma by the river to screw with these people? Is he flying off the deep end? Sadly (or, maybe, luckily), we have to wait for the next episode to see. It's not hard to understand Yukiatsu's character, for the time being. He's pretty driven by his "weakness" in the past, wherein he was, at best, second to Jinta. Even now, he harbours a constant competition with Jinta. If he's lying about seeing Menma, it would make sense; he doesn't want to take a backseat to Jinta anymore. He's either oblivious of Tsuruko's feelings or doesn't care, just like when they were children (although we haven't seen too much of those times). His obsession with Menma is what I don't understand yet, although he's teetering closer and closer to the edge of the cliff on that front.

There's something wrong with needing to compete on this matter...

I'm hoping this anime won't turn out to be "crazy for the sake of crazy" coupled with "no consequences for actions because the world is great" (like Shigofumi, which tried to be philosophical and failed so hard that I'll stop talking about it now). I would accept psychological; we even see some possibilities of that occurring based on the fact that Poppo and Yukiatsu (if he's not lying) only saw Menma (or some form) after being told that Jinta could. That's exactly what happened in Paranoia Agent (in which we even saw Shounen Bat running around terrorizing people when, in fact, there was no Shounen Bat to begin with), and it makes sense. Although it's really far-fetched, the music from when Poppo saw Menma (or her ghost) reminded me of Shiki. Based on that feeling, I wouldn't mind if there was some supernatural aspect to this (more than just, you know, the dead Menma wandering around).

I won't lie; this sausage crab fascinated me.

As a side note, I wonder what they want to accomplish with scenes where Menma, being cutesy, is inadvertently making Jinta sexually uncomfortable. To begin with, I don't think Menma's character, as a whole, is cute. I think her actions are cute - as in, as a child, these actions are cute (like Murasaki from Kurenai). I think that if she had actually grown up in real-time (as in, instead of dying) and still acted like this, it would be a little disturbing. I'm probably in the minority, since there's so many moe archetypes in anime featuring high school kids, but it's just my preference. When I see Menma, despite her Adult Form, I treat her as a child due to her state of mind. So I wonder what Jinta's sexual frustration is all about~

She's so casual! That's awesome.

As a whole, I really like the pace that this anime is going at. This is exactly the reason why I generally stay away from 26ep anime; they have a lot more time to build (re: go slowly), so I tend to get bored. Lightning fast story telling is where it's at! Yukiatsu's growing creepiness will, I hope, have some meaning, instead of just being brushed aside as a mental condition (if it turns out to be that, I hope they get him some real help other than the usual "power of friendship heals all" stuff). I look forward to seeing Yukiatsu's version of Menma next episode.


It was brought to my attention that such a theory is floating around:

Uncredited because I don't know the origins of this.

So, it seems that Yukiatsu may be cosplaying as Menma, based on that watch (which Menma does not have). It's true, he is getting creepier with every mention. My question, though, has to do with how Tsuruko says that Yukiatsu is "always" taking her to girly places, but she doesn't know who he's buying for (himself, apparently). Does that mean he's always been cosplaying, or he's actually into women's clothes and only recently began pretending to be Menma? I have nothing against crossdressing, but pretending to be a dead girl in order to fool others really does need some professional help.

That's all~