Ano Hana is an eleven episode anime series about a group of six children in some small town of Japan. Three girls and boys formed a group called the super peace buster (TSPB) and had a secret hideout on a mountain top that they built by themselves. The series is a very simple and even a little clichéd with both the narrative and plot. But the twelve episodes manage to engage viewers and leave you in tears and it’s moving enough to not worry about being called a sissy.
The lead is a gamer boy who stopped going to school after the first week, Jinta. He starts to hallucinate and sees a childhood friend Menma who’s dead. The eleven episodes are around TSPB and the various complications their relationships had which only made them grow further apart. They do manage to reach out to each other and the unresolved conflicts raise and manages to hurt everyone. In the second episode they play a fake Pokémon fame on Gameboys and the game is called Nokemon.
The love triangle turned into a rectangle and then a hexagon and finally octagon before it unravelled into the mess it was, for the world to see. The dead Menma was a sweet heart who was loved by Jinta and Yukiatsu the boy who is equivalent to the lead but never good enough. The other two girls liked these two boys, while Anjou was jealous of Menma and popularity while Tsuruko was aware of the complication and was better balnced of the emotions she exhibited.
The characters are simple, relatable and in eleven episodes the series manages to get the viewer to cry as it ends. The simplicity and delightful background score is engaging and form fitting while keeping the viewer interested and curious. The series feels slow but the end of each episode increases the craving for the next. The ending provides closure which seems like a rare and arbitrary in an era where continuing or closure isn’t a free choice or anyway to end something. Even if they say it’s closure, sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.