Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
Throughout the course of the the series thus far, Yadomi has continually defined himself as someone puts others above himself, even sometimes to his own detriment. He seems to greatly share this characteristic with Menma, which is why it made so much sense that he was angry at her in the last episode. Today, I’ll be talking about how that sense of selflessness and righteousness are leading him to go even farther.
After looking through the journal they got from Menma’s mother, the group remembers an important mission they had when they were kids: To send a letter to god wishing for Yadomi’s mom to get better. The plan, at least from their perspective was simple: Launch a firework into the sky with the letter. However, it was not so. The group then decides to move forward with getting together the firework, only for them to find out that the cheapest firework would cost about 200000 Yen (about 2,000 U.S.).
Yadomi, in his endless determination, decides to get a part time job, which serves both as a way to earn money for the fireworks, and as an excuse for avoiding Menma, since he does not want her finding out for fear that she will get mad. For everyone else, however, there is less enthusiasm. While Menma is all too real to Yadomi, the inability to see her casts a large cloud of doubt on the rest.
Despite Yukiatsu and Tsurumi remembering some important information about Menma’s wish, they choose to keep it secret, because Menma did not want Yadomi to know when they were going to meet up. What impact the absense of this information will have is hard to say, but it does speak to Yukiatsu’s somewhat jealous nature, whether or not it is actually a good idea.
In his quest to help realize what seems to be Menma’s true wish, Yadomi works day and night, picking up not only one but two part time jobs to quickly realize his goal, working both at the game store where Anjo works and on a construction site with Poppo.
While I could address the romantic dynamic between Yadomi and Anjo, I honestly don’t know if its worth going over in detail. After all, it is clear the two have feelings for each other, but it does not appear likely that anything between them will happen, at within the events of the anime. Their dynamic is cute, however, and does add some needed moments of levity in-between the massive moments of tension brought on by the rest of the group’s disconnection.
It is also interesting to note how willing Anjo was to voice her opinion on Menma while they were alone, which implies both a level of comfort between the two but also a very obvious distance from his problems, a contrast which only further serves to layer the feeling of uncomfortability that blankets most of the series.
Poppo, on the other hand, seems more genuinely concerned for his well-being and more understanding of his visions of Menma than most of the group. This likely comes from his outsider status which is cemented early on, when he is first introduced literally living on the outskirts of town.
Menma and Yadomi’s Mother
One last thing I want to talk about this week is just how much I absolutely love the use of foreshadowing in “AnoHana.” From very early on, the show establishes a connection between Menma and Yadomi’s mom. The first point of connection, most apparently, is their deaths. The two are the only characters in the show that are dead, and are both remembered fondly by their respectively family.
However, after Menma sees how her mother prays for her, she begins to do the same for Yadomi’s mom, talking with her while Yadomi is not home. Whether or not this felt obvious, connections like these help strengthen reveals later on by giving them some level of sense, even for a show as strange as “AnoHana.”
There is still so much drama left ahead, even within the last four episodes. Still, there was a lot revealed in just this episode, including how willing Yadomi is to go the distance for this “hallucination.” Whether or not Menma is real is not the point, but rather the willingness to resolve these feeling that were likely weighing him, and everyone else down. Next week will continue on with episode eight, so be sure to tune in!