Category Archives: Episode Reactions

Attack on Titan Final Season: Episodes 64-67

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It is once again time to talk about everyone’s favorite dumpster fire: Attack on Titan. The first part is a joke, obviously, because the series has been amazing. These next four episodes have continued to impress as well, highlighting the chaos that has come from the Marleyian government and its focus from the rest of the world.

As it worked out, these next four episodes covered what ended up being a pretty big reveal, not that it was not obvious anyway. As it turns out, the older man that Falco was helping deliver letters outside of the camp was Eren, who managed to sneak in through the military. Eren and the others use the power of the titans to launch a surprise attack inside the camp, on the night that the head of the Tyburs made his big speech.

Again, what surprised me about these episodes is not necessarily the reveal itself or what happened after, but how it happened. While it certainly makes sense after the fact, Eren confronting Reiner directly was not something that I was anticipating. It felt like something that would have happened near the end of the season, rather than it its first quarter. Still, it was a surprisingly powerful moment, one in which neither character came out looking morally good but certainly the emotion behind it was there.

As for the fighting that happened after…look, if there is one thing that I can count on AOT for its some damn good looking fight scenes. Seeing two giant monster swing at each other is always going to be fun as long as there is some reasonable context behind it. On top of that, the lighting in most of these scenes gives off the feeling of war movies set in enemy territory at night, and it absolutely nails the tense atmosphere that comes with those settings. People and titans are moving quickly and often the only light comes from gunshots and the fires burning just a few hundred feet away.

Another element of warfare that Attack on Titan does fairly well is the strategy. A good battle scene not only gets the audience invested in what is happening immediately but subtely draws their attention away from things that they might have lingered on otherwise. A good example of this comes in the middle of the fight between the Eldian titans and Eren, when unbeknowst to everyone else, Armin was getting ready to set of the Fat Guy level bomb that is the Colossal Titan, destroying an entire bay of ships.

The only thing that feels somewhat protest worthy is the character development of Gabi. Whereas Falco has fairly clear motivations for his actions at this point in the series, Gabi, who is important enough to be considered the next Armored Titan, does not give me that same feeling. The episodes this week helped with that a fair amount, which is why I would not consider it a big deal, but I do hope she gets a little bit more development before they inevitably kill her off.

At least, those are the vibes I get from the season thus far. On top of Gabi and Falco’s suicide mission into the blimp and procedeing murder of Sasha, there is also the reveal of Zeke working for Eren and the others. I would be lying if I said that this made total sense to me, but it did happen in the last five minutes of the last episode I happened to watch, so judgement will be reserved for next week’s episodes.


Have you finished season four already? Have you yet to even watch Attack on Titan? Are you a clearly superior manga reader who already knows what’s going to happen? Let me know down in the comments, but please avoid spoilers, for my sake and others.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Jenn for cotinuing to support us on Patreon.

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

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Attack on Titan Final Season: Episodes 60-63

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The time, my friends, has come. It has been a long and perilous journey, with many hardships, including having to swap ps4 controllers while watching. Hours and hours of catching up on all of the previous seasons, along with the surprisingly impressive OADs, have brought me to this point. It is with great pleasure that I announce the weekly Attack on Titan final season coverage.

In order to fully immerse myself in Attack on Titan over the next couple of months, I will be covering three or four episodes until I finish what has been released. Then, once the last of the final season begins airing, I’ll be doing a final post wrapping up the series along with another post of some kind to finish my coverage.

Rediscovering Attack on Titan this year has been some of the most fun I have had with anime in a while. Not to say that I have been particularly bored with anime, far from it in fact. However, AOT in particular has been one of my main points of enjoyment. With that being said, let’s talk about the final season.

The opening episodes place us sometime in the future, where Reiner has successfully returned home and is helping the Marleyians fight against a nearby middle-eastern nation. In order to accomplish this feat, the country continues to rely on the power of the titans held by the Eldians and their descendants. He has started looking after the next candidates to host the armored titan, of which a young girl named Gabi seems to be the most promising.

However, these opening episodes are, for the most part, viewed from the perspective of Falco, another of the armored titan candidates and the younger brother of Colt, the successor to the beast titan legacy. Falco, in a lot of ways, seems to be a mirror to Eren Jeager: a young upstart who wants to help his family, blood-related or not, by putting himself through immense self-sacrifice. In his case, his most immediate motivation seems to be protecting Gabi, who he has a crush on.

Zeke has also resurfaced as a relevant character. His standing within the Marleyian army has given him enough power to engage on a mission to secure the founding titan. His reasoning for this, which the other top brass seem to agree with, is that the rest of the world has caught up to Marley in terms of military strength and that the founding titan will be needed in order to reassert dominance.

What I like about this series so far is not necessarily the characters, however, although they certainly are good. Rather, what makes this season so intriguing is how the scale of its politics has jumped from the island outside of Marley to basically the entire world. The perspective has shifted from those trapped inside the wall to the ones who banished them, to begin with.

The parallel between the two groups of Eldians still exists, though. One group is trapped behind the wall due to the titans, and the other is trapped behind the walls of internment. Both are suffering at the hands of Marley, just in different ways.

The change in animation styles has definitely thrown me for a loop. Character designs among the Eldians look pretty similar to the point it was hard to tell characters apart at times during the first two episodes or so. Still, despite being lukewarm on the change initially, I have come to appreciate it. In the context of the story being told, the change in style certainly makes some sense. Although, I do maintain that the series would have looked fine even in its previous look.

Overall, the direction Attack on Titan has taken is an exciting one. So many questions are yet to be answered, and it is clear that many unnamed forces are still at play, driving the series’ world in ways that maybe do not make any immediate sense. Will the oppression of the Eldians finally come to an end? probably not yet at least since we are not even a quarter of the way through, but whatever happens is sure to be a good time.


Have you started the final season of Attack on Titan yet? Are you still behind? Let me know in the comments, but please leave out any spoilers.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, thanks to our patron Jenn for the support.

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

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SPY x FAMILY Episode 1 Reaction

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The spring season is officially upon us, and with it a plethora of exciting new offerings. However, the series I am focusing on today has received the bulk of the hype from manga readers and new comers alike. Yes, my dear readers, I am talking about SPY x FAMILY.

The series takes place in a slightly alternate universe from our own, one in which the war of information between the west and the east is well on its way. The most trusted by spy on the side of west, Twilight, has been tasked taking out an influential party leader. His mission is one which could potentially alter the course of history, but in order to accomplish it he’ll need… a family?

In my recent binge of romance anime, I think it fair to say that what I was really looking for was some emotional levity. I went looking for solace in stories which were primarily focused on romantic relationships, and while I got some, there is also plenty of that to be found in anime like SPY x FAMILY.

If the series were taking itself super seriously, there might be a problem. Names like Westali and Ostania feel a bit on the nose, especially considering the period they are trying to invoke (At that point you might as well call them Americaville and Russialand). On top of that, Twilight as a character takes himself way to seriously to be enjoyable on his own.

However, the moments in the first episodes which are most enjoyable come from when the veil is lifted, and we seen the humanity in both Twilight and Anya. As much as the life of spy is one of deceit, retaining a sense of humanity is important too. It also helps that those moments also happen to be pretty hilarious.

There honestly is not much else to say beyond that. Both characters seem to have a solid foundation, and for as much as the show does not take itself super seriously, the action sequences still look fantastic. It feels like an adaptation worthy of its source material. The big question is whether or not the rest of the series will stick the landing, and given that SPY x FAMILY has been confirmed for 25 episodes, it is a big landing to stick.


How do you all feel about SPY x FAMILY so far? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special shoutout to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon.

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

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Dr. Stone Season Two Episode One Reaction

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It certainly has been a long time coming, huh?

Definitely not as long as, say, “Made in Abyss,” but, ya know, still pretty long. After all, in a year that felt like an eternity, its exciting to have a season with so many highly anticipated sequels, many of which I was excited for myself. Some for different reasons *cough cough* I can’t wait to make fun of “Beastars” *cough cough.* “Doctor Stone” was one of those series, without question. Though the first season was a bit goofy, there was enough in terms of the overall plot and thematic messaging that kept me engaged.

For those uninitiated, Dr. Stone is set in a world 3000 years past the modern day, where everyone has been turned to stone after being hit by a strange ray of light. Senku, a teenage science wiz, has managed to survive into this new world along with a few of his friends. Now, he must try and restore humanity to its former glory while simultaneously beating Tsukasa, a man who wishes to end the life of the adults of the past, and build a new world with only young people.

It can feel hard at times to judge a second season’s opening episode, because, a lot of the time, its just continuing the plot. While I certainly give credit to “The Promised Neverland’s” opening episode this season for having a great presentation, I can’t really fault “Dr. Stone” for just playing it safe. Of course, most of the material is going to be predetermined by whatever is in the manga, but sometimes its ok to go for what people in the Fighting Game Community would call the no mix-up mix-up.

The series picks up pretty much right where it leaves off at the end of season one, with Senku and the rest of the village making their final preparations for the battle with Tsukasa. The Kingdom of Science is almost ready, but just needs one more thing: space food. Senku wants to end the battle quickly, and so decides to launch a surprise attack in the middle of winter, and so invents freeze dried foods so that their army can eat while making their attack.

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As far as shounen anime go, having the first episode of a new season be a sort of preparation episode can feel kind of lame, but, as I mentioned before, it works here. Senku and Gen manage to devise a secret plan that will not only end the battle quickly, but turn Tsukasa’s army against him in the process. Chrome overhears their plan and, of course, has to get involved. The group joke about how they are going to have to lie to Tsukasa’s army and how they’re probably going to hell as a result, which ends up being a pretty funny scene, all things considered.

One thing that has not been touched on in a while in the series, and I kind of doubt that it will be touched on much of all, is Tsukasa’s ideology and his reason for raising his own army. While it wouldn’t fit to well into shounen manga generally, it would be nice to have Tsukasa’s worldview expanded upon, outside of just science vs anti-science.

Still, I am generally excited to see what this upcoming season has to offer.


How do you feel about “Dr. Stone’s” second season? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

Horimiya Episode One Reaction

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I don’t know if I’ve ever made it super clear, but I love romance anime. Like, love love romance anime, probably to an unhealthy degree. That is, when its done right. There are plenty of romance anime that have left a sour taste in my mouth, either because they are built on a really strange premise like “My Little Monster,” or because their is zero actually chemistry between the characters themselves, like in “Say I love You.”

At least as far as the first episode, however, Horimiya seems to be free of these problems, save for a few minor concerns I have.

The series revolves around the idea that people can live vastly different lives outside of the environments they are normally seen in. The two main characters, Izumi Miyamura and Kyouko Hori, embody this idea most prominently. Miyamura is a quiet, gloomy nerd who turns out to be a typical bad boy with piercing’s and tattoos he is not supposed to have. Hori, meanwhile, is the popular girl in school who just so happens to be the perfect housewife when she gets home. After Miyamura helps Hori’s brother and brings him home, the two begin to hang out, slowly getting to know the other side of each other.

“Horimiya” is definitely riding a really fine line when it comes to its premise. Don’t get me wrong, I do think its interesting the way it plays with the idea of having multiple identities, or faces that we put on in different social environments. However, that is one of those things that just feels kind of obvious, like, is there really a need to explore a concept that simple?

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Still, it is hard to deny that, at least so far, it is doing it really well. Miyamura in particular seems like he could grow into a pretty unique character, even by the standards of romance anime. Hori, though good in this episode, doesn’t inspire the same confidence. She gives the impression that she might end up as just a typical tsundere love interest.

One of the things I am most curious about though is how the side characters will play into their relationship and the story as a whole, as one of the them, Tooru, has already started an arc of his own, confessing his feelings to Hori and getting rejected. Seeing the promotional art for the show gives me major “Tsurezure Children” vibes, and while I liked that show quite a bit, I have yet to determine whether its actually a good or bad thing.

Now that I think about it, pacing might be another issue with the series, depending on how its handled. Maybe it does not feel as rushed in the manga, but so far quite a bit has already happened, at least as far as character development is concerned. After all, Hori felt close enough to Miyamura to ask him to go buy her eggs while barely giving him any notice whatsoever.

Ok, maybe I’m still giving this show too much of a hard time for how much I actually enjoyed it. For as potentially flawed as the show COULD be, its first episode showed a lot of promise, and its main characters definitely seem to have great chemistry anyway, so we’ll just have to see how it ends up.


How do you all feel about “Horimiya’s” first episode? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

The Promised Neverland Season Two Episode One Reaction

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Just when I thought the series could not get any better, “The Promised Neverland” manages to up the stakes in an unmistakably original way. The show already had a definingly good first episode in its first season, but man did Cloverworks put in the effort again.

For those unacquainted with the show, “The Promised Neverland” follows a group of kids living it what at first appears to be a normal orphanage, but is revealed to be a human farm, operating to create food for the demons that rule the earth. After finding out this information, the three oldest kids, Emma, Norman, and Ray, attempt to make an escape, despite the obstacles that lay before them. Now, having done so, Emma and Ray must lead the kids to some form of safety while avoiding their demon pursuers.

The first episode of a series is, at least most of the time, going to be the main entry point of a series. Sure, you might watch a clip on Facebook or Twitter occasionally, but the first episode is what makes it to where one wants to get to the clip. As I alluded to before, the first season of “The Promised Neverland” had an amazing first episode, possibly one of the best of all time. This made me wonder just how the series would manage to follow it up.

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“By diving head first into the action,” is apparently how. Opening on a scene from the middle of the episode is not a particularly original way to start a series, but it does make a lot of sense for “The Promised Neverland.” Given how the first season ended, it would make sense that characters would still be in the midst of action, not just running away from their captors but from the forces of the unknown that are the outside world.

The significant increase in the amount of action scenes in the first episode might lead one to believe that the overall quality of the animation has gone down. Luckily, though, this is not the case at all. In fact, all of the elements that made the first episode of the last season so good are here as well. The animation has never looked better, with the expressive faces and character movement that made the best scenes of the last season stand out.

On top of that, the same type of beautifully arranged pieces that made the soundtrack scary as hell are present in the first episode, adding even more suspense to an already thrilling episode. As cliché as it sounds, it is legitimately difficult to find anything bad about the series thus far.

While it is pretty much impossible to speak to the exact quality of the series at its end, it is not that surprising to see its second season have such a strong start .


How do you folks feel about “The Promised Neverland” season two’s start? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

AnoHana Episode 11: In the End, They Found Her

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In the moments when I really did not need to be sad, I ended a series known for being one of the saddest. Absolutely brilliant. I started my re-watch of “AnoHana” just a few short months ago, and now it has finally come to a close. What began as a poll on Twitter has ended with me reflecting and reconsidering a lot of my feelings in the past few months. With that being said, let’s close the book on “AnoHana” by talking about episode 11.

True Feelings Revealed

The episode begins with the group having a late night meeting after the fireworks failed to send Menma to heaven. Both Tsuruko and Yadomi suggest that maybe the rocket was not Menma’s real wish afterall. However, it is Anjo that tells them their feelings are the ones blocking her path to heaven, and all of them begin talking about how they really feel.

Anjo only wanted Menma to go to Heaven so she could be with Yadomi. Yukiatsu did not actually want Menma to go to Heaven because, as he admits, he is still very much in love with her. Tsuruko admits that she is jealous of Anjo and knows that Yukiatsu would simply use her as a replacement after Menma is gone, and Poppo feels guilty because he saw what happened to Menma on the day. Yadomi, meanwhile, reveals that he was happy to be the only one who could see Menma, but that it is time to do the right thing, and say goodbye to her properly.

A lot of the elements of the story seem to match up with a lot of people’s actually grieving process, as well as the five stages of grief described by psychologists: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. All of the characters start at denial in the beginning, but then slowly transition through the process at different rates as the series. Additionally, everyone outside of Yadomi seems to spend a much longer time in denial because they cannot see her, which makes sense. Most people would rather forget than deal with their emotions.

The Mission

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After they finish dumping out their hearts to each other, they agree it is not fair to keep Menma their because of their own selfishness. Yadomi then rushes home to get Menma, only to find her lying on the floor, slowly becoming transparent. Once regaining a bit of her strength, Menma tells Yadomi about her promise to her mom, that she would find a way to make him cry, which is why she had everyone gather at the club house that day, and why Yukiatsu asked Yadomi about his feelings for her. Not having much time left, Yadomi rushes her to clubroom, only for her to disappear as they arrive.

This kind of build up to the final moment in the series is honestly some best I have seen in any slice of life or drama. Because the others still cannot see her, it mirrors the moments in the series before, where Yadomi is looking for Menma but cannot find her. Despite the fact that his friends now know about and believe in Menma’s ghost, he still feels alone in those few minutes. Now though, even he has lost sight of Menma, which is probably even scarier, because he has yet to say a proper goodbye.

The Final Goodbye

After running through the forest looking for Menma, they come across a tree with notes addressed to each of them from Menma, with each saying something Menma liked about them, and Yadomi’s saying I love you. They scream out to her, saying “Are you ready?” signaling her goodbye. Before she goes, she reveals herself to all of them, saying “You…found me.”

The framing of the whole scene as a final game of hide and seek is a really good writing technique, as it highlights not only the events of the story as they happened, but the past that each of them was stuck in and unwilling to let go off until this moment. Of course, I don’t think I need to say it, but I will regardless: The final scene of AnoHana was so incredibly powerful. For as sappy and heartfelt as the show can feel at some points, it remains one of the hardest hitting dramas in all of anime, and it is not an exaggeration to say that I was on the brink of tears multiple times while watching it.

Conclusion

If you did watch the series along with me, I hope it sparked something in you as well. It was a nice trip down memory lane despite the fact that I did not actually remember most of the series. It still was probably a bad idea given just how much my mental health is suffering right now, but hey, what can you do?


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

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

AnoHana Episode 10: The End is Not the End

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It is hard to see those you love the most leave, or do you even half to? What makes this episode so much more interesting is the realization from the group that Menma is leaving, and that fulfilling her wish means giving up there chance to be with her again, even for all of the emotional damage it has caused thus far. Lets talk about AnoHana episode 10.

Preparation

As the day of the Fireworks launch approaches, everyone seems to be preparing, physically, mentally, emotionally. At the beginning of the episode, Yadomi and Menma both says “its tomorrow,” with Yadomi holding a piece of mail, and Menma praying to Yadomi’s mother’s shrine. Meanwhile, Yukiatsu realizes there is so bitterness between himself and Tsurumi after she tells his crossdressing secret to a couple of girls at there school. Anjo is still sulking because, as she mentions to Tsurumi near the end of the episode, it feels like the gap between herself and Jintan will never be together, and are only as close as they are now because of Menma’s return. Poppo is, well, sad and confused, as he confesses to Yadomi while making decorations that he felt as though back then that all he ever did was watch the others.

The whole situation is clearly a high stress one, and for good reason. As most of them realized just a couple episode ago, Menma is very much real, and now just as soon as her presence has been made known, they will have to all say goodbye.

The Gang is All Here

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In an attempt to celebrate one final time before Menma’s sendoff to Heaven, the group throw’s a party for her at their secret base, with Menma even helping prepare for her own party. Poppo in particular wants to make sure that her last memory of the group before they leave is a happy one. Everyone arrives, Tsurumi with snacks and Anjo and Yukiatsu with drinks. The past will soon be in the past.

Except, not. Yukiatsu, in an attempt to bring some “entertainment,” suggest reenacting what happened the day Menma died. Anjo, immediately afterwards, asks Yadomi if he likes Menma. In a show of hesitant honesty, Yadomi says yes, but then attempts to run away, at which point they tell him not to. The whole ordeal leaves him flustered, and Menma crying.

The whole thing is undoubtedly an act of cruetly on Yukiatsu’s part, but it does reveal that not much has changed in the years since Menma’s death. Yadomi is still unwilling to admit his feelings confidently, Anjo is still hopelessly in love with him, and the girl who drowned in a river is still needlessly caught in the crossfire. Instead of a resolution, time is needless repeating itself, and the inevitability of it all there is a sort of cruel tension between everyone.

Love is like…Fireworks

Night shifted to day, and soon the end was upon them, at least that is what they assumed. The group met in the evening, as the sun was setting and day shifted to night once more. None of them were really ready to send Menma to heaven, and yet, they still put on the decoration, still set up the rocket. One of them was not ready at all. As the Rocket was finally set up and ready to launch, Poppo offered to let Yadomi say the final words, and yet, nothing. The fuse was lit, the fireworks flew into the sky. Menma was still there.

They say that reincarnation can only happen after all earthly attachments have been let go of. However, Menma was still there after the rocket launched. Who or what specifically she is still attached to seems pretty obvious, but there is still a lot of room for interpretation. Regardless, We will end the series next time.


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

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

AnoHana Episode Nine: The Past They Cannot Leave Behind

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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

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.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

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