AnoHana Episode Nine: The Past They Cannot Leave Behind

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One thing that I have talked about endlessly during this re-watch is the idea that, in the aftermath of tragedy, it can become extremely difficult to move on, at least emotionally. I do not think I need to cite a Harvard, peer reviewed study for this one, cause its something that, statistically, a lot of us have probably gone through. The way it feels like our hearts are contracting in on themselves, the unwanted lubrication of our eyes, the way it feels like we just gained 200 pounds, all of which is conveniently located on our shoulders. Episode Nine serves as a reminder of that very feelings, but also seems to imply a sort of destiny that cannot be avoided between Yadomi and Menma. So, let’s talk about it.

The Realization

It has now become obvious to the others, after seeing a notebook and a bowl of food floating around them, that the “cruel joke” Yadomi has been playing is definitely not a joke. The six of them meet at Yadomi’s house, only for everyone to still be freaked out, even after seeing the truth. Anjo and Tsurumi are visibly frightened, and Yukiatsu and Poppo are nervous. The four of them leave Yadomi’s house in disbelief.

“C’mon, Yukiatsu, don’t be such a negative nelly” he says, knowing full well that he is talking to a fictional character. Sadly, though, it is kind of justified. As I talked about last week, it feels like one of those situations that could have been very easily resolved through Yadomi just revealing to everyone else that she is real way earlier, something that Poppo points out immediately after the group leaves.

Again, however, I will make the argument that its not really the point. In fact, as this episode goes on to imply, the reunification of Yadomi and Menma appears to be some act of fate.

Unite and Self-Conquer

After Yukiatsu literally gets on his hands and knees, begging Menma’s father to let them build the fireworks, their plan to send Menma to heaven is able to move forward. Of course, its not hard to see that all of this has not quite settled in for them yet. In particular, Anjo seems to have come to the conclusion that Yadomi’s motivation to save Menma means that her feelings towards him will never get through.

Much like everyone else, the realization of Menma being with them for real has taken a silent toll, one that brings her to tears while working on the fireworks. Yukiatsu, understanding that pain, goes to help her. A wandering Tsurumi find the two discussing plans of dating, while she bends and breaks in the background.

Yadomi, meanwhile, is oblivious. He singlemindedness has caused him to only focus on Menma, and his admittedly justified anger at his friends has locked his emotions on the

The Girl Who Will Soon Disappear

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The series very purposefully leads with the idea that once Menma’s wish has been granted, it is likely that she will disappear for good. This invokes the idea that the group will both literally and figuratively be laying her to rest, and thus allowing her to move on. It has already been shown how this is affecting the others, but Yadomi in particular does not seem to be able to let her go.

After getting home from work and seeing Menma is not there, he goes running, running so much he does not even know why. He eventually reaches the bridge, only to see her down by the river, a sight that immediately triggers his memories from long ago. Yadomi tries to catch a fish, tries to protect Menma, to keep her from leaving. Menma just seems angry…


Listen, I know this wasn’t a good idea, but there’s only two more episodes left, so might as well finish it out, right? If you’ve been following along with me, what has your experience been revisiting the series? Let me know in the comments below.

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friendos!

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