Note: Due to a family emergency, I’ll be taking over Ano Hana from Sophy. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
To me, the whole Menma love triangle romance is misplaced, because if anyone should’ve been the center of a love triangle, it should’ve been the deliciously fluffy fujoshi Anaru. Jintan, you lucky dog, getting lap dances from ghost girls and the oh-excuse-me-I-tripped-and-landed-on-your-crotch from real life fluffy girls. Between Jin-Tan and the NHK’s Satou, I keep thinking the hikikomori life can’t be all that bad. Nobody bothers you, you get to play games all day, and the rare times you leave the house, there’s girls throwing themselves at you. I’ve been living the wrong life.
The search for Menma’s wish continues, with the best idea yet, courtesy of Menma’s rather plain diary – a resurrection of a childhood dream, the successful creation of a celebratory bottle rocket. Unfortunately, Jintan, Anaru and Poppo find out that building fireworks is not only illegal, but expensive as all hell. They get a break when Jintan’s dad introduces them to someone with the legal ability to build them the fireworks, given the necessary components. But unfortunately, those components aren’t coming cheap. 200,000 yen, or basically $2,500 dollars. The likes of which Poppo has never seen, which I highly question, considering he’s been traveling all over southeast Asia. Planes aint cheap these days. However, the gang decide to do what they can to raise money for the “build fireworks for a ghost” fundraiser.
As much as the story “revolves” around Menma, really the story is about the growth of Jintan. Bit by bit, he emerges from his shell, returning to the person he used to be. I’ve thought that looking at adults, they are basically who they were in high school. Oh sure, there might be some difference. People grow up. The delinquent who cleans up. The stoner who becomes a responsible adult. And so on. But watching Ano Hana, I started thinking, maybe it’s not just high school. Maybe people are who they were as kids. The core of people’s personalities don’t really change. They are who they are. And even when circumstances create change, the core elements of their being – their rambunctiousness, their curiosity, their mellowness, etc – these remain a part of people. And seeing Jintan rediscover himself, seeing the rest of the gang re-embrace the things about themselves – whether they loved or hated it – has been as rewarding as seeing the gang get back together and have some fun, even if it’s not quite like old times sake.
After finally making all the money they needed, Jintan and the gang find themselves stonewalled by the fireworks expert who initially promised to help them out. In a twist of fate, revealing that it’s Menma’s mother who belittles the gang’s efforts and puts a kibosh on it.