AnoHana – 05 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 14 May 2011 – It’s one thing if you’re haunted by your dead friend, it’s quite another if even she doesn’t know why she’s there, and can’t talk to any of her other friends, who used to be yours too. Yukiatsu, it turns out, doesn’t understand why Jinta can see him and he can’t. While Jinta called her ugly the last time he saw her alive, Yukiatsu confessed his love for her (or like, at least). But as more of the gang wishes they could see her, Menma’s inability to grasp her “wish” or talk to others makes her despair, as Poppo tries to communicate right in front of her.

Yukiatsu at least has a catharsis of sorts, as he confronts Jinta – in drag, no less – and tells him what he didn’t know: he also blames himself for Menma’s demise. His obsession with Menma since her death took a different form, but was nonetheless a powerful force in his life, though it didn’t keep him from school. Tsuruko is glad this side of him is finally revealed, but less interested in helping him prop balance his self-esteem. If she wasn’t before, Tsuruko is the biggest enigma of the gang.

As for Anaru, she gets herself in a little trouble with her jailbait outfit and friends, and it’s only thanks to dumb luck and coincidence that save her from an unwanted liason with a buzzed salaryman. Yukiatsu gets her to confess that she can’t stop thinking about Jinta, though she isn’t sure whether this means she likes or loves him. What’s clear is that everyone seems to be held back by the past. Everyone save perhaps the always-gregarious Poppo: if he is unfulfilled or unhappy with his life, he hasn’t indicated it…yet.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Usagi Drop 2

Oh, it’s a great show, this. Rin may be a little quiet and reflective, but she’s no problem child. Even so, a single salaryman like Daikichi finds his first days of guardianship bordering on the toughest of his life. Not bad, mind you, just tough. He has to think of everything, remember everything. He still has to go to work. And lil’ Rin has to go to school.

The closest emergency temporary nursery school he can find is not close at all. His commuting time is doubled, and since he has no car, he has to make every train and run on foot just to make it barely in time. And since he isn’t done work until after dark, Rin is the last one at her school when he picks her up. I remember waiting when I was a kid…it wasn’t fun.

Still, both members of this new family do what they have to do. Rin puts on a brave face, and Daikichi gives up drinking with friends, smoking, and just about all of his non-asleep free time. But despite the hardships, the two seem happy. Rin is enriching him by the day, and he’s giving her something no one else would: a home and love. Rating: 4

AnoHana 5

It’s one thing if you’re haunted by your dead friend, it’s quite another if even she doesn’t know why she’s there, and can’t talk to any of her other friends, who used to be yours too. Yukiatsu, it turns out, doesn’t understand why Jinta can see him and he can’t. While Jinta called her ugly the last time he saw her alive, Yukiatsu confessed his love for her (or like, at least). But as more of the gang wishes they could see her, Menma’s inability to grasp her “wish” or talk to others makes her despair, as Poppo tries to communicate right in front of her.

Yukiatsu at least has a catharsis of sorts, as he confronts Jinta, in drag, and tells him what he didn’t know: he also blames himself for Menma’s demise. His obsession with Menma since her death took a different form, but was nonetheless a powerful force in his life, though it didn’t keep him from school. Tsuruko is glad this side of him is finally revealed, but less interested in helping him prop balance his self-esteem. If she wasn’t before, Tsuruko is the biggest enigma of the gang.

As for Anaru, she gets herself in a little trouble with her jailbait outfit and friends, and it’s only thanks to dumb luck and coincidence that save her from an unwanted liason with a buzzed salaryman. Yukiatsu gets her to confess that she can’t stop thinking about Jinta, though she isn’t sure whether this means she likes or loves him. What’s clear is that everyone seems to be held back by the past. Everyone save perhaps Poppo; though if he is unfulfilled of unhappy with his life, he hasn’t indicated it yet. Rating: 4