Execution over Originality (Anohana Review)

Topic started by Elfenlied1012 on Aug. 16, 2012. Last post by Elfenlied1012 1 year, 11 months ago.
Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

Hello vice, after over 50 reviews since I started off on Anime vice, M’s is still here bring you reviews on whatever I damn well please. This time with something a little different; Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, a somewhat popular anime by A-1 Pictures most famous for the persona 3 anime. Originally aired back in 2011 I completely missed it during my hiatus and just happened to stumble upon while looking for something to test the PS3 app for Crunchy roll. Which as an aside is a fairly broken app, when it works it’s awesome…when it works.

As for what Anohana even is, it’s not too complex a plot. A group of six close childhood friends all separated and grew distant after one of them, Meiko "Menma" Honma, dies in an accident. Years later what use to be the group leader, highschooler Jinta Yodomi, has grown reclusive over the last year with no friends. That summer after ten years Menma appears again to him. Unsure of whether she is a horrific delusion, a ghost haunting him, or the real kind hearted Menma, either way Menma has returned only to him asking to have her wish granted. Only problem is she has no idea what the wish is; just that it will need all six of them to accomplish. The Series lasting only eleven episodes goes from there dealing with issues of greed, love, heartache, jealousy, happiness, friendship, but most importantly grief and whether one really can/should/must let go or not.

Almost anyone who has ever had to go through losing someone they love knows that desire of having that person back so much it hurts; as such it’s not a surprise that this sort of story isn’t that rare, in fact it’s a very common drama set up being such a universal wish. While that is true, Anohana is a perfect example of how fantastic execution and reinvention of even the most used story designs will beat an original idea without proper exection by a mile and then some. Instead of necessarily presenting a completely new story concept it presents it in a slightly new way and makes it meaningful and heartfelt in a way I didn’t think possible in eleven episodes. The Characters all act with a good blend of vices and virtues and show the weight of this emotional burden so well and so differently character to character. They all come alive in a way that I don’t find often and are, while not always likeable, relatable as hell. This is especially true with the main character who while hurting inside constantly and deeply it shows subtly never making a heavy dive into melodrama. The story is gifted with a charming feel, and very subtle progression is one of the best things in terms of pure execution. Anohana simply succeeds at everything it tries to be without ever falling on its face.

However, that might be helped simply by the fact that Anohana doesn’t try to be much. It’s not particularly funny, a good romance, twisty, dark or meta in any way but then again it’s not trying to be. It’s a simple charming, real and emotional experience, but there really isn’t anything else to it. So if you’re not watching it for the feels there is not a damn thing this show has for you. Other issues remain nitpicky. While never out of character a few of the cast come off as jerks more often than one would hope and, like any drama, it has a few moments where people say or do things more in the service of the plot then sense, but you’d be a hard pressed to find a piece of fiction that doesn’t do that. Other then damning it for not trying to be an anime for everyone or nit picking pointless inconsistency it lacks any big flaws. There isn’t a problem really to be had with what Anohana is. Really it comes down to if that is really something you’re going to enjoy or if it’s, and it could easily be, not for you.

This being said, if something like that, a short emotional piece with a lot of charm, is something you would enjoy Anohana is superb. By the end I was crying like a child, something anime hasn’t made me do in well ever. Because of relationships between a group of people I’ve known for less than five hours and thirty minutes I was crying for a good five to ten minutes. That is something pretty impressive to me, whom generally has a difficult time crying or showing emotion.

Anohana is in a sentence is a fantastic, subtle, charming, emotional, little anime. Something that I find is a rarity to seen done well. If you try to go in with the “I’m just going to stone face my way though it” or “There is no way this will be as sad as Clannad” attitude your really just going to rob yourself of the experience. If what I say interest you, give Anohana a casual shot like I did on a whim and try to just enjoy it for what it is. If you do, even if you don’t agree with me, I think you’ll understand why I give Anohana 4.5 Nokémon out of 5. Later vice.

M here, I'm going to go watch something else as soon as my face stops looking like this...they were manly tears...
M here, I'm going to go watch something else as soon as my face stops looking like this...they were manly tears...
Post by sickVisionz (4,234 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator

I always wanted to watch this series. I didn't read the whole review for fear of spoilers, but I'll probably check this out now that it's on CR. It got a decent amount of votes in last year's Top Anime poll.

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@sickVisionz: the review is spoilers free, Its on crunchy roll only problem is it requires a premium membership > .<

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@sickVisionz: Oh and one last thing, thanks for always commenting on my reviews sickvisionz it helps motivate me to keep working on them.

Post by sickVisionz (4,234 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator

@Elfenlied1012: No prob. I wanted to also mention that I totally agree with execution over originality. A well executed show is well executed (duh) no matter what other descriptors you throw around it and that's always a good thing. I love a unique (this is pretty rare in the grand scheme of global storytelling) and original idea that's well done but whenever I see people praising originality solely for originality's sake that I always think to myself that it's totally possible garbage and ass in your own wholly unique and original in way that the world has never seen before.

I think creators and fans often forget that.

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@sickVisionz: I very much agree, though I do think Anohana isn't original in premise, but in what the premise is for, this is more about all six of them, usually the dead person back thing is for romantic stuff exclusively.

Having both is best, but execution is more important. That was Deadmans fatal flaw, its concepts were all fairly original but not well executed.

Post by AURON570 (548 posts) See mini bio Level 15

Man.. makes me want to watch AnoHana all over again. :')

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@AURON570: Thanks for reading. Anohana has been a surprisingly hard anime to walk away from even after finishing it.

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