AnoHana 10: Hanabi

Ever since it was revealed that Menma’s only form of communication was through her personal diary and pen, the gang of friends have been (more or less) doing their best to see her off to heaven. By shooting off fireworks together, Memna’s wish would be fulfilled and she would supposedly move on.

Well, suffice to say that the fireworks indeed went off without a hitch, but Memna still doesn’t disappear. Oh no! I guess all that hard work was for naught. Hopefully, Tsurumi doesn’t regret cutting her hair after that. But what now? If Memna’s true wish wasn’t for everyone to collaborate of the fireworks, then what was it?

We got a lot of hints this week that had to do with reincarnation and just what exactly it was that Memna wanted to “do for Jintan” on the day she died. If I had to guess (what would probably be the safest end-route for the story), Menma is supposed to relay a sentimental message for Jintan’s mom to the group of friends that may have to do with being able to forgive the past while continuing to remember and appreciate one’s life in the present. Menma’s existence in Jintan’s consciousness is an example of a tie that needs to be severed (graciously, I hope) in order for his and the rest of his friends’ lives to move on in peace. And Jintan being the prime foundation of the group, he likely brought everyone down with him shortly after his mother passed away, followed by Menma’s untimely passing.

I realize that it wouldn’t be an ending with such flare and effect, especially knowing how the writers decided to spin off the idea that Menma could even communicate at all to the living, but it personally would fit right into the sentimental and emotional level the show has been on a roll with up to this point.

Aside from the fireworks not doing its job, I was pleasantly surprised to see more of Tsurumi’s inner thoughts being revealed. It definitely wasn’t surprising to hear that she’s liked Yukiatsu this whole time, but it was definitely painful to be reminded of just how similar her’s and Anjou’s situations are when it comes to the people they like and never being looked at by them. It makes me most curious about how their respective relationships will turn out when Memna eventually does pass through the pearly gates and whether Yukiatsu and Jintan will truly be able to move on – especially if either are leaning in the direction of their waning crushes.

During the pre-launch party back at the secret base, Anjou and crew are forced to reenact the day she egged Jintan on about whether he liked Memna or not when they were younger. It was pretty gut-wrenching to watch Anjou struggle so much to utter her same words, but I think Yukiatsu’s plan for her to say them was correct in that it would eventually help her move on and possibly away from Jintan if need be. After all, she feels like she’s been inferior to Memna this whole time, so I’m sure this would have been good (if not the best) therapy for her.

The little details in this episode gave a lot of clues away, so I’m excited to see if any of the possible ending theories I have in mind will come true in these next few weeks. Things like Memna slowly fading away to a single moth of a group of six dropping dead near a street lamp during an evening stroll with Jintan and Menma were nice touches to show us that the end is definitely near and that the characters are definitely going to have to come to a point of acceptance really soon regarding their fallen friend. And Menma’s mom’s weeping was probably the most dramatic I’ve heard all season. Her voice actress sure knows how to depict sheer agony.

Hoozah! More of Tsurumi’s walls come down. And it also looks like more contemplation about what Menma’s true wish is will ensue. For nearly seven-hundred words, I seriously like this episode. I thought it was a good anticlimactic turn of events that conveniently bought time for the writers to push out an episode or two more until the finale while adding some more melancholy and angst between the group of friends. I also liked how Jintan was turning into more of a character to truly despise for being selfish and wanting Menma to himself. His close call in stopping the fireworks would have been a jerk move in my opinion, and the idea of wanting her to stay also seemed a bit creepy. Then again, we have crossdressers, yanderes, and tsunderes that make up the group of friends, so Jintan’s motives shouldn’t sway too far from the norm.

 

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