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February 4, 2012

Anime Review: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

A sad, memorable anime about a group of friends drifted apart because of a loved one's death. It is one of the more serious sad animes to be produced. It is well worth the watch to understand how a death of a loved one impacts us all.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada ShiranaiSynopsis:
A group of childhood friends drifts apart after one of them, Meiko "Menma" Honma, dies in an accident. Years later, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, has become withdrawn and lives as a recluse. An older Meiko appears to him, and says that she must have a wish granted, though she does not know what it is.

Review:
Not much can be said about this anime that I have not already described in the introduction. Even though the story is relatively simple and straightforward, the impact really affected me emotionally. It is one of those tragic real-life events that can happen at anywhere or at any time. Whether you are young or old, a death of a close friend will always impact everyone's life for better or for worse. It can encourage you to never give up or to tear you down in desperation. This story described a strong moral to the audience in making decisions in life after a death of a friend.

The art was beautifully illustrated. The vivid backgrounds and locations were appropriately coloured. There  were not many locations presented throughout this short anime but the reuse of different design angles really showed. One location could contain many different angle shots. The characters all were differently presented and well established.

Sound was clear and direct. The opening and closing themes were really appropriate to the overall them of the anime. It gives a sense of calm and sadness whilst also happiness and friendship. The soundtracks were really well composed and edited. Voice acting were spot on as well. Characters were well brought out and even the crying scenes were realistic sounding.

The characters were memorable in many ways. You can distinctly tell the characters apart from when they were little to when they are teens. The attitudes and personality were all different yet similar. However, you can easily guess that the characters never did change in the end. Also, [SPOILER!] you will not know that Menma is actually a ghost until the second or third episode.

Overall, I enjoyed this anime for its well-told story, its sense of friendship, hardships and forgiveness. It really tells a lesson in life about how painful it is for a loved one to die and how everyone regrets decisions they made because of that event. You must watch every second of this anime to fully appreciate the message being broadcasted. If you are willing to cry at the end or you just like these type of anime, then this is one you must watch.

STORY: 8
It is a really good story. Even though it is only 11 episodes, it does not drag on or contain useless time wasting fillers. Short but effective. It will make you cry at the end so be prepared for that.

ART: 9
Really well drawn art. Although it centralizes on a few locations only, it is still well presenbted. Best use of day/night cycle textures and shadowing. Character art was good and lighting effects well placed.

SOUND: 8
Emotionally touching soundtrack for the opening and closing themes. Voice acting was superb and the audience was really captivated by the character's attitudes and personalities.

CHARACTER: 7
Memorable yet forgiving. The characters were not given enough screen time to fully develop the background for each character in the anime. Given the short length, much information has been left out. However, this does not impact the overall presentation.

ENJOYMENT: 7
Its a sad story. No further comment.

OVERALL: 8
If you want to cry or become depressed for a couple of hours then this anime is good for you. The anime is more realistic than fantasy, so many real-life events are presented here.