AnoHana Episode Eight: Refraction

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Oh, how interesting it can get. The curtains have been drawn, and the stage has been set. Each actor has been put into position. I honestly kind of forgot how dramatic the reveal of Menma to the rest of the group actually was, and what is crazy is that during this very episode I began to wonder why Menma does not just reveal herself to the rest of the group, but, over the course of this episode, it became pretty clear. With that being said, lets look at AnoHana episode eight.

Last-Ditch Efforts

In a final attempt to get the permission they need for the fireworks, the group goes to Menma’s house once more, to try and convince her mother. However, the sight of all of Menma’s friends together without her causes a mental breakdown, at which point they leave. While hanging out at the nearby temple, everyone else tries to convince Yadomi to give up on Menma’s wish. Yadomi, clearly frustrated with everyone’s dismissive attitudes, commits to getting the money on his own.

Yukiatsu has quite often been the closest thing this show has to a protagonist, with Tsurumi acting as his sidekick, and that seems to be no less true here. Still himself bothered by Menma’s loss to a great extent, he criticizes Yadomi for focusing on the past too much, projecting his own feelings a great deal. While Anjo is afraid to say it most of the time, even she seems more willing to try and stop Yadomi, especially in

The Breakroom.

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What is so interesting about “AnoHana” from a character and drama standpoint is just how much the motivations of each person shine through in their actions. Yukiatsu, for example, is clearly much more motivated by a desire to not think about Menma’s passing, whereas Anjo seemingly acts more out of conern for her friend. However, it is clearer still that both motivations are present in the rest of the group. There is part of Yukiatsu that cares for Yadomi, and there is part of Anjo that would rather just be done with the whole thing.

After collapsing from exhaustion at the game store, Anjo finally confronts Yadomi herself about Menma’s wish, telling him that it is time to stop. She also reveals to him that she was happy the day that Menma died because it was obvious just how much Yadomi likes Menma.

There is, to some extent, an argument here about the selfishness of Yadomi’s behavior, but I would argue that, at least before Menma reappeared, Yadomi was the least affected by Menma. That is not to say that he was not affected, only that his feelings of guilt and sadness were weaker than the others. The part of the scene that strikes the hardest is when the two finish arguing, at which point Anjo says “you’re really gonna leave like this?” to which Yadomi simply walks out and greets the next customer.

Revelation

It is near the end of the episode where Yadomi is once again confronted by the rest of the group at the hideout. Yukiatsu, tired of it all, almost beats him up for continuing to bring up Menma. However, just before he follows through, Menma shows up, proving her own existence by writing in her journal and pushing it to the ground.

Why things escalated to this point when Menma could have just proved herself like that before is certainly a worthwhile question here, but it is also one with a relatively simple answer: She didn’t know. As far as Menma was concerned up until this point, They were all getting along and genuinely wanted to help her with her wish, but since that clearly was not the case, she had to make herself known.

Conclusion

I picked a really bad time to start rewatching this show, like a really bad time. Emotions are riding high right now with almost everything, and being locked inside my house most of the time has certainly not helped my mental health. But, I intend to see this through to the end, if for no other reason than to maybe feel something again. Anyways, thanks for joining me this week.


How did you all feel about this episode? Let me know in the comments.

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