Why Anohana Is OVERRATED | https://animemotivation.com/why-anohana-is-overrated/
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Why Anohana Is OVERRATED

Anohana is overrated. I’ve thought about this for a long time.

I first watched Anohana before I had reached 100+ anime under my belt, along with shows like:

  • Maid Sama.
  • Special A.
  • Shakugan No Shana.
  • Attack On Titan.
  • Clannad.

And so many more anime, both modern and old school.

I watched Anohana with high expectations because of the GAS my head was filled with from fans who:

  • Swear by the series.
  • Are 100% positive it’s a masterpiece.
  • Is one of the saddest anime of all time.

And so on. The whole lot.

But it didn’t do anything for me once I reached the end, and it only felt underwhelming.

Let’s talk about it.


Why Anohana is overrated?


1. The ending is oversold

anohana ending | https://animemotivation.com/why-anohana-is-overrated/

I remember the ending like it was yesterday. Where everyone is gathered, crying, emotional, wearing, sobbing, and all that jazz over Menma, who’s treated like a ghost somewhat (throughout the series I mean).

Apart from the emotions running high at the end, I didn’t feel too much for it because of how it was done and how it was written.

To me, it felt childish and forced. It didn’t feel natural compared to other emotional anime series like Clannad, or even Toradora which is more toned down but still well done.

The ending of Anohana just wasn’t as good as it could have been.


2. The build up is weak

anohana series | https://animemotivation.com/why-anohana-is-overrated/

The build-up is only weak in hindsight, rather than in practice. Meaning when you watch the anime series and you’re new to what’s going on, everything feels like it’s building up to something big and eventful.

Not to mention emotionally important and significant.

In hindsight because of how the anime ends and more importantly, how the anime is written and portrayed at the end, it makes the build-up seem weaker than it should have been or seemed.

The build-up in any anime like Anohana is a big deal, but the delivery is even more important though that’s all up for interpretation.


3. Menma overshadowed everyone else to an extreme

menma anohana cute | https://animemotivation.com/why-anohana-is-overrated/

Menma after all these years (after watching it) is the only character I remember from the Anohana series. All the other characters, including the main male protagonist who was close to Menma, are irrelevant.

Everything centred around Menma and that’s obvious and normal. She’s the one who died after all, and the tragedy of her death affected everyone to a strong degree.

More so the main male character, and Menma’s mother who I remember a lot (but not her name either).

Getting this right when you write an anime series, a story, a book, or any creative project is complex and more important than you can put into words.

But when a character overshadows others to an extreme, they become less relevant, not as memorable, and end up lacking in potential compared to how they could have ended up.


4. The characters aren’t too memorable

anohana characters | https://animemotivation.com/why-anohana-is-overrated/

This is a follow-up to the last point. All I remember is:

  • Menma’s mother (who was a good addition).
  • The girl with glasses who I liked.
  • The fat guy.
  • The main guy.
  • And the attractive girl with orange hair.

If there were more characters than that, I’d forgotten about them. I rate anime shows I watch not based on how good they are, but also how much I remember them afterwards.

Whether it’s months or years after isn’t important.

Anohana’s visuals for the characters, especially the orange-haired girl, and especially for the anime’s time, are gorgeous and stunning. But the substance and being memorable is equally as important.


5. The setup was good, but the ending was bad

YouTube video

I’ve already talked about the ending with Menma and everyone crying, giving their emotional speech, etc. But the setup of the anime as far as Menma, her role, the “ghost”, some people not being able to see her, etc, was good.

The setup had promise, like a lot of anime that have good beginnings but some of the worst endings.

The setup wasn’t enough for me to rate this anime as one of the best romances of all time, one of the best emotional anime series, or an anime I’d call a masterpiece (it’s not).

The premise had promise, but then when all is said and done, the build-up of that because of where it led was lacking.


6. Cliche to a fault

anohana cliche character | https://animemotivation.com/why-anohana-is-overrated/

Every anime series has cliches you can expect to see. This is even true for shows considered masterpieces like FMA or shows that are popular, successful, and sell well in general.

Or are just well received like Summertime Rendering.

But Anohana’s cliches are strongest when the anime comes to an end and everyone’s crying, mourning, talking, speaking, and pleading to Menma somewhat.

When I said the ending felt childish in the way it was written and what led to it, the cliches are what I’m talking about.

Not that the anime is the epitome of realism, but the lack of realism dampened the ability to put yourself in the characters’ shoes and take it seriously.

And so – it was a negative rather than a positive.


Aspects I did like about Anohana:

  • The family aspects.
  • Menma’s mother and how the trauma was expressed.
  • Friends coming together.
  • The drama between certain characters (girl with glasses).

But somewhere along the way, the anime fell apart and didn’t deliver in the way I was hoping it would.

When you look at it from a bird’s eye point of view without getting caught up in the emotional aspects of the series, you realize that’s all it ever had. And it was oversold and relied on it too much.


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