DVD Review: Anohana ~ The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Monday, September 9, 2013 1 comments

Anohana (full title: Anohana ~ The Flower We Saw That Day) is a supernatural coming of age story about a teenager named Jintan who one day wakes up to see the ghost of Menma, a friend who tragically passed away after an accident from when they were kids.  The reason why she is back from the grave (ooooOOOOhhh... that was me being a ghost) is so she can have her wish granted but is unable to remember what that wish was (go figure).   A lot of stuff has happened during the time in-between Menma's death and return as Jintan has grown apart from his friends from when he was a little boy.  They decide the best way to fulfill her unknown wish is to get the gang back together and he manages to pull it off a lot easier that what I'd expect but it's better than waiting nearly a whole season for something to happen (I'm looking at you Bleach and American television).  Getting the gang to believe that Menma is hang around them as a ghost is going to a harder thing to try to get his friends to believe in, especially since that Jintan doesn't believe that Menma is a ghost to begin with and thinks she is just something that his mind came up with. Oh how oh how will this all work out?  (Click "Read More" for full review)

Now I wasn't in love with the story at first as I thought it was going to turn out to be one of those crappy romantic comedy chick flicks about a boy and a ghost.  I would grow to regret that opening impression as it turned out to be a pretty good show about helping out your friends when you need them, this isn't the first supernatural anime that would mislead me due to the first episode (Shiki and Dusk Maiden of Amnesia for example).  Characters are okay although they are a little bit generic but they have enough charm and personality to keep you watching to the very end.  I do like how the characters are designed to be kids in that awkward stage of puberty (between thirteen and fourteen) and they did a good job at portraying it as it feels really genuine... minus the ability to see ghosts (unless I'm yet to go through that yet).  The flashback scenes are also really genuine feeling as all it is was kids playing Pokémon (although used under a different name in this show) on their Gameboys and it takes me back to my childhood of sitting around and playing Pokémon with my friends.

A problem I have with the show is that it tries to set itself up as an emotional tearfest but it's about as sad as a Disney movie so you can put the tissues away for this one (save them for Clannad instead).  One thing I found a little weird about this release is that the "on the next episode" segments aren't subtitled at all and while it isn't anything major it would've been nice to read what they were talking about during those parts.  A weird thing about this show itself is the product placement which you have places like McDonalds changed to WcDonalds which is fair enough, nothing weird about that but from out of nowhere you have a Pepsi placement that's pure Pepsi with no name change.  This may not seem that weird to some people but for me it's like spotting Wally/Waldo in a Where's Wally/Waldo book.  The show is also a tad bit predictable too and especially when they are trying to get you to decide if Menma is actually a ghost or just Jintan's imagination as you can quite clearly see without a doubt that Menma is a ghost right within the first fifteen minutes of the show.

Artwork is decent but it tries a bit too hard to look like a Disney film and much like the sugar in the story it will get to be a bit much.  Animation is pretty decent with nothing all that bad (or good) that deserves mentioning.  Japanese dub is was pretty good and uses a nice mixture of cute and cool with cute voices for the girls and cool voices for the guys (I know that's 75% of anime) which was very appropriate for this show.  Soundtrack was okay but it is quite forgettable with the music leaving your head as soon the scene is over.  While there isn't much in the special features section you do get some ads that aired on Japanese television and only one of the many text-less closing credit sequences.

Overall this was a pretty good show but it's nothing to go rush out to the stores to purchase it right away.  It's one of those shows where you see while you have finished one season of a show and waiting for the next season to come out so you watch this one to pass the time.  If you do see this one on sale for a decent price it would be best to get it before someone else does.  Good but not great.

Title: Anohana ~ The Flower We Saw That Day
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Animation/Anime, Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Running Time: 275 Minutes (11 Episodes)
Distributor: Hanabee Entertainment (http://www.hanabee.com.au/)
Rating: M15+ (Infrequent coarse language)
Price: $49.99
Recommended: Yes


Shintai said...

I pretty much agree with review. It's good, not great. I question people who put this show in their top 10 anime of all time, it just makes me think that people haven't seen enough anime. It's definitely a good show but nowhere near deserving such high praise. Good review buddy.

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