Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai
|Made By||A-1 Pictures|
|# of Episodes||11|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
A group of childhood friends grows apart after the death of one of their own, until she reappears as an adorable poltergeist.
Five childhood friends grow apart after the death of Meiko Honma, close playmate of them all. Jinta Yadomi, leader of the group when they were kids, neglects high school and lives as a shut-in when he unexpectedly starts seeing the ghost of Meiko, who can only interact with him and no one else. She has returned to ask Jinta to fulfill the forgotten wish she made as a child.
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This one's something special. The creators display a true mastery of tone - everything from the pacing to the soundtrack strikes a deep chord of melancholy. With a central theme of how different people cope with a traumatic loss, everyone who watches this is going to take away something a little bit different... and quite likely cry like a bitch along the way.
The writing is a little sketchy, but the characters are believable and the story is moving. The music is fantastic with a very strong OP and ED. The animation is crisp and fairly detailed. Also, I'm gonna go ahead and admit that I cried. A lot.
For me I think that a lot of the resonance this show had with me had way more to do with the thoughts and memories it brought up in me rather than anything specifically to do with the characters and storyline, although those things are enjoyable on their own. Obviously the details are completely different but it really brought to my mind old friends who I've had falling outs with, or just grew apart from, or who died much too young, or have simply lost touch with due to time and distance. So, that plus being a decently executed story on its own really made for an emotional viewing experience.
Taken as a whole I pretty much love it, even with the missteps it occasionally makes. And yeah, the ED is the perfect end to each episode.
Let me say first that Menma is a terrible character and I'm glad she's dead. Otherwise this show really surprised me with how good it actually is. My only complaints are that some of the emotional stuff sometimes was a little cheesy and that it probably could've need a couple more episodes since some aspects of the story aren't really developed at all and are more or less left unfinished. But I'd still recommend this to everyone who wants to watch a good drama with a great ED.
Combine Redcrimson and PotU's reviews and you get essentially what I thought of the show. The ending was beautiful in much the same way as a Key story, and is one of the few moments in any story (even outside of anime) I've seen/read that has gotten a cold-hearted bastard like me to wipe tears from my eyes. Another couple things of note is the near perfect pacing and the individual ways the various members of the group dealt with the tragic loss of someone who was more than just a friend. Overall a great show, albeit with a few flaws.