I admit there are a few anime series that bring me to tears, some are just quick tugs to the hearts as you watch your favorite character die in an episode or a slow build to something you know that’s coming due to foreshadowing. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day however is one of those rare series that does exactly what it wants you to do, cry. It’s honestly one of those unforgettable series you watch that you won’t ever forget after you watch it at least once and it’s absolutely amazing.
I can’t believe it’s already been five years since I first watched Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. Originally airing in Japan in 2011, Anohana was a series that I had never heard of until it was released by NIS America in 2012 and now it gets another chance to shine thanks to Aniplex of America, seeing as it has become quite expensive series to get in the West. It’s not just simply a re-release of the anime on Blu-Ray either. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day now includes English Dubs. When I first reviewed the series I gave it a really high score. The series is amazingly well written with powerful emotions, beautiful visuals with some great character designs from A-1 Pictures, an A+ voice cast that really brought each character to life and a soundtrack that just enhanced the tone of the series.
“Jintan? I have a wish I want you to grant for me!”
The series follows a former group of childhood friends who were struck by tragedy so many years ago which found them drifting apart. 10 years have passed since the incident and not a day goes by that each member doesn’t think about Meiko “Menma” Honma, as each one blames themselves for what happens including Jinta Yadomi who has become a shut-in who struggles with what happened all those years ago. One hot summer day however, he suddenly sees an older Menma in his living room wanting ramen as he simply puts it aside as his consciousness punishing him until he slowly starts realizing that it really is Menma.
Realizing that Menma has a wish that was never granted when she was alive, Jinta sets out to find out what it is that Menma wants. He can’t do it alone though as he finds out which slowly leads into the former friends starting to come together slowly as they have to come to terms with each other and the incident that cost them an important friend. The only thing is, Jinta is the only one who can see or hear Menma.
So just how good is the series 5 years later?
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is a series that is great to watch the fourth time, as it was the first time. While you may already know what’s coming it doesn’t hit you any less, actually it might hit you a little worse the more you watch it. This is a series that anyone can enjoy with beautiful vibrant visuals, great character design, a powerful well written story that delves into the mental states of each character who are struggling to live with the fact that they blame themselves for what happened. While the series has a more sombre tome, it has some amazing moments especially as each member starts slowly breaking free from the chains that have tortured them for so long. This is only highlighted by amazing voice acting from the original Japanese voice cast who did an exceptional job bringing each character to life.
One of the new additions to Aniplex’s release of Anohana is the inclusion of an English dub, as the original NIS America release only featured the original Japanese dub with English subtitles and it nailed it perfectly. A lot of series tend to have a bit of trouble when it comes to recreating and capture the full range of emotions of a series when its translated to English, this tends to happen for a variety of reasons so you might not get that exact same feeling when listening to it in English as you would in Japanese. The English voice actor’s however do an amazing job of perfectly recreating those full range of emotions from start to finish and, man, that finish.
There isn’t a lot in terms of extras in Anohana: The Flowers We Saw That Day. Both Disc 1 & 2 include previews for each episode however Disc 2 also includes English Bloopers for the series and English Commentary for the last episode. The 60-page deluxe booklet is a great piece for fans that includes various
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is one of those rare titles that don’t come around often. It’s a series that has a huge variety of emotions but you never forget from the start Menma had died 10 years ago and things won’t last forever. It’s a series everyone can enjoy because it captures your imagination and attention right from the first episode and leaves you with a cute but sad ending so get ready to have some tissues on hand.
If you’ve never seen the series this is a great pick up, as it is a series that will always be memorable and unforgettable. If you already own either of the previous releases from NIS America, the only real addition is the English Dub which I recommend watching at least once but something you may not need to spend another $100 or so on since it’s otherwise exactly the same.
Score: 10 out of 10 – A must watch for all Anime fans!