After chasing the fake Menma down in episode 4, we see Yukiatsu sitting on the ground dressed up as Menma. Jintan goes to Yukiatsu and asks if he is all right. At this, Yukiatsu blows up and pins Jintan to the ground. Poppo tries to interfere, but Tsuruko stops him and says that this is a good chance for Yukiatsu to work out things from the past.
Yukiatsu blames himself for Menma’s death and believes that she ought to appear to haunt or curse him, not to Jintan. Jintan acts as a mouthpiece for Menma to speak to Yukiatsu. He tells Yukiatsu that Menma says thank you for the hairpin.
In a flashback to the day Menma died, Menma follows Jintan after he runs out. Yukiatsu runs after Menma and confesses to her and gives her a hairpin with a flower on it. She rejects him and Yukiatsu throws it into the woods in anger. We see Tsuruko taking out the same clip, but more worn out, from her desk. It is my guess that Tsuruko picked up the clip after Yukiatsu threw it aside, which may also suggest possible feelings for him.
At home, Menma asks Jintan once more to grant her wish.
After missing a train, Yukiatsu and Tsuruko spy Anaru exiting a train with some friends. Yukiatsu comments on her appearance. Tsuruko gives a wonderful analogy on how it is a costume, just like the one that Yukiatsu donned. She says that there are certain things one can’t do unless one change’s their appearance. Gotta love Tsuruko’s words of wisdom.
Anaru goes to karaoke with her friends and leaves with a guy, who attempts to take her to a love hotel. Yukiatsu saves her and they go home together. On the train, Anaru admits that she can’t stop thinking about Jintan. Yukiatsu comments that the two of them have been left behind. We learn that shortly after Menma’s death, Jintan’s mother died.
At night, ater Poppo changes the flowers at Menma’s death site, he goes to Jintan’s house to grab some food. Poppo shows sincere belief in Jintan’s story about Menma’s existence as a ghost. He believes that Menma’s sudden appearance may possibly be that she wasn’t successful in getting to heaven. Poppo pleads to Menma to rely on him and to let him see her. Menma breaks down crying and says that she wants to be, see, and talk with everyone, but doesn’t know anything about her wish or even about getting to heaven.
As Jintan watches Occult Gakuen, he thinks about Menma. He recalls how Menma’s always smiling, even at the worst of times. Now she is seen always crying. He wants to desperately apologize to Menma, which is strange because we haven’t seen him do so yet. He then recalls that Menma said one of her wishes could possibly be for Jintan to go to school and decides to go the next day.
At school, Jintan encourages himself to keep calm, knowing that people would be talking about him. However, instead he hears rumors about Naruko going to a love hotel with an older man. During class Jintan sees Naruko writing in her notebook and overhears classmates talking about her. When he sees what she has written (angry comments denying her guilt), he suddenly stand up and disrupts the class by drawing attention to himself and insisting on Naruko’s innocence.
The two leave the classroom and head to a park. Naruko laughs at Jintan, but thanks him for defending her. The comment that Naruko made on the train in episode 5 is true – Jintan is kind in surprising ways.
They go to the hideout and Anaru says that she’ll be staying there because she doesn’t want to go home. As she cleans the hideout, Poppo suggests to Jintan that they visit Menma’s house to get a hint about her wish. He invites Yukiatsu, but is turned down.
As the trio head to Menma’s house, Jintan has second thoughts about going. He is unsure about how Menma’s mom would feel when seeing them. They pay their respects at Menma’s shrine and leave with her diary. On the way home, Naruko feels a little guilty about her actions and heads off in a different direction instead of the base, possibly home.
Tsuruko is burdened with problems at school when female classmate accuses her of liking Yukiatsu. On the train home, Yukiatsu tells Tsuruko that the others went to visit Menma’s house. Yukiatsu says that none of them can let go and Tsuruko retorts back that he is included. We see that Yukiatsu is envious of Jintan, both in the past and present. He angrily says that if only Jintan didn’t call everyone to the base the day Mnema died. Tsuruko perks up and says that she thought it was Menma who called everyone because she had something to say. Yukiatsu thinks and recalls that Menma did have something to say that day.
Menma gets pissed at Jintan when he tells her that he went to her home. She cries and says that she doesn’t
want her mom to remember or be sad over her. Jintan gets angry and says that Menma is saying the opposite of what she said before, which was that she wanted everyone to remember her. He says that Menma should think about herself a little more. Then Jintan suddenly gets a nosebleed and Menma shows great care by sticking tissues into his nostril to stop the bleeding. Flustered, Jintan runs away to the base and finds Naruko staying over there.
Ano Hana is not extracting as much tears from my eyes as it did when first started the series, but it still is a wonderful story about friendship. The characters have a lot of depth and it won’t be long until we see the complete flashback about Menma’s death. It is my guess that each character plays a significant role leading up to Menma’s death. So far we have seen Anaru’s, Jintan’s and Yukiatsu’s. Seeing that this series is coming to an end, I am curious as to whether the group (Jintan excluded) will ever get to see Menma.