Ano Hana 09 — Down by the Riverside

Now that Menma has revealed herself. the focus shifts away from questioning the authenticity of Jinta’s account to the characters’ relationships with Menma and one another.

My favorite part of this episode was watching Matsuyuki’s feelings towards Jinta, a mix of jealousy, loathing and admiration. Matsuyuki has an interesting interpretation of why Jinta didn’t try to prove Menma’s existence earlier: he wants to keep her all to himself. I personally think it’s more that he wasn’t entirely sure if she existed himself, and was afraid to put her to the test and discover that she was only a figment of his imagination. But it’s details like Matsuyuki’s interpretation which best serve to cement his relationship with Jinta.

The love polygon in this show is turning out quite well too. It’s not over the top or the focus of the show by any means, and is more of an undercurrent. The relationships with Matsuyuki are particularly interesting: asking Anjou out while he still clearly hasn’t gotten over Menma.

I think that for the finish Ano Hana is going to need to bring both Poppo and Mysterious Girl Tsurumi into the spotlight. Tsurumi has mostly stayed in the background behind Matsuyuki up until this point, and we know very little about her or what she actually thinks. It seems that she likes Matsuyuki, but she hasn’t interacted much with anyone else. Poppo has been more talkative, but I feel like there ought to be more to him than there appears (but then again, maybe not).

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