AnoHana Ep10

This episode was so bland and yet angering at the same time that I couldn't bring myself to finish the post in one sitting. What are they doing with this anime...

That's a lot more powder than I'm used to in my fireworks...

The penultimate episode of AnoHana incorporated a good amount of sadness and crying, and very little resolution - everything that has come to define this series. There was a little bit of hinting at deeper stories - such as Poppo's remorse at having been left out once upon a time, and Menma's secret talks with Jinta's mother about reincarnation - but with only one episode left, I have no idea when these things can possible be properly deepened. After the long stretch to the fireworks at the end of the episode, Menma didn't disappear. Whatever the final episode will do, I hope it'll at the very least reveal her wish.

They just don't learn, do they.

The episode began with Jinta and Menma thinking about the upcoming fireworks, and Yukiatsu conversing with Anaru about the going-away party that Poppo had set up for Menma. In the meantime, Tsuruko was getting bullied by some classmates - though, I don't know if it could really even be called that, considering she deftly handled it by walking away. (She also revealed that Yukiatsu was into cross-dressing, although I doubt the girls had been really stunned into silence. Go, go, Tsuruko~)

It's almost like they're trying to give him some development. Too bad they're failing.

A mini-scene with Poppo, Jinta and Menma followed, where they were making decorations for the party to be held later that night. There was some hinting about some potential angst on Poppo's part, something about always been left out and then finally having friends but even then only being able to watch, but it wasn't expanded on and I wonder if the writers even thought so clearly into it. I'm fully willing to ignore this portion if it doesn't get developed in the next episode; I feel as though they might have wanted to give Poppo some character development but forgot until this episode, with only one left. Sigh.

I do feel for the younger brother. He's trying.

The scenes continued in rapid-succession to Menma's household, where her mother was in full yandere mode. She continued blaming the friends for various things, some voiced and others not, until she was "confronted" by her own son. Menma's brother announced that he would be attending the fireworks (an invitation was dropped at their house by Jinta) and Menma's mother freaked out (potentially over "losing" another child to "them"?). With some random words in between, the scene ended with Menma's mother crying and Menma's father comforting her, with the idea that perhaps they were better now. I would care more about this scene if it didn't piss me off so much. Usually, in times of mourning, even little gestures can cause big changes, and it's clear that Menma's mother probably just needed someone (ideally the father) to reach out to her. What I can't stand is the timing; it had to happen 10 years later and only after so much involvement from the friends. It's all too coincidental and neatly tied up, and I hate it.

That's such a pained expression...

I know I'm probably being biased, but I can't help it; I really like Tsuruko. It hurts to see her attempt to cut ties with Yukiatsu but remain unable to let go. She watched he and Anaru at the McDonalds-knockoff and couldn't help but goad him during her call, as if she wanted to worm her way into his thoughts by any means possible. It really sucks to suddenly have the one link to someone you love suddenly be taken away from you. I'm glad that she didn't cry at all in this episode; that would have been OOC and perhaps too destructive for me to accept.

He just gets creepier every time he shows up.

The party swung under way, with everyone showing up despite earlier discussions about whether or not to. After being goaded by Tsuruko earlier, for whatever reason, Yukiatsu had decided to attempt to re-enact the events of that day that Menma died, by having Anaru ask Jinta if he loved Menma. It had a really eerie feel to it, considering Poppo was randomly chanting, but Jinta made it through and announced that he loved her...and then attempted to run away. Menma just cried.

What the hell compelled him to randomly start a ceremony?

Anaru and Tsuruko walked home, and a typical sadface discussion took place. Anaru wouldn't stop crying since Jinta had announced that he loved Menma, as if she didn't know. I really tried to sympathize with this girl, but there's a limit to how mean you can be. She haughtily announced that Tsuruko would never know how it felt to be so dejected, to which point Tsuruko calmly told her that she loved Yukiatsu, who would never look away from Menma - and even if he ever did, apparently his back-up was Anaru. To this, Anaru's brilliant comforting words was to tell her that she would never date Yukiatsu. This entire scene only served to make me dislike Anaru's character more. She's really self-centred, not even seeing the obviousness of Tsuruko and Yukiatsu. Even if I didn't hold that against her, her harsh words against someone she considers a friend is pretty terrible.

Must be weird to say these things...

The last little bit before the Day of Fireworks arrived was Jinta and Menma walking home together, wherein the latter affirmed her feelings for the former. The scene was a little awkward, but mostly because Menma's mind was still a child. She used words like, "I would have liked to become Jinta's wife," which does mean the same thing but has a different impact at that age. It set the stage for Jinta to secretly wonder whether or not to let Menma go. Meanwhile, there was a small flashback to what looked to be one of many conversations between Menma and Jinta's mother, where the woman explained reincarnation. I wonder if Menma is actually being called back to the other side and is trying to fight it...or if she likes talking to dead people (or pretending to).

I don't like the style, but I support the symbolism~

Tsuruko showed up to the gathering the next day with a change of appearance. I hope it isn't some kind of throwback to the days when they were young and happy, and instead her attempting to make herself happy. Amongst other things, cutting one's hair is seen as a way of dealing with heartbreak, and I assume Tsuruko wants to move on. I can't explain the clothes too much, but I surmise that there's a chance she likes that type of clothing normally (she did insinuate she had a cute side to her in the last episode). I really hope that it has nothing to do with emo things like, "I want to go back to 10 years ago, when we were all happy." Now is not the time.

Too late in all the cliched ways.

The episode ended with the fireworks exploding brilliantly in the sky...and Menma remaining. So much for all the angst-ridden build-up to the lighting of the fireworks, with Yukiatsu chanting that he wouldn't let Jinta stop it and Jinta droning that there was still time to stop it. What was that all about? Are they going to explain that in the next episode? Because Yukiatsu doesn't seem to be getting better; he seems to be getting creepier, as though sending a spirit to heaven to deprive Jinta means his victory. Anyway, Menma's parents also came, although they stayed in the car, and it only reminded me of how screwed up this entire series has been. All the pieces were there, theoretically; the assembly was just sub-par.

They're going to reveal that the wig is made of Menma's hair. Seriously.

With the last episode occurring next week, they have a whole lot of mysteries left to solve, although I doubt they'll touch most of them with any satisfaction. If Tsuruko and Yukiatsu get together at this point, it'll be shallow and empty. If Anaru and Jinta get together at this point, it'll be forced and hurtful. If Menma doesn't disappear at the end of the anime, it'll be angering. If Poppo does anything, it'll be confusing. I really wish this series had taken its wealth of resources and not fucked with it. At this point, I just want it to end.