Ano Hana, episode 9: Jin-tan says the ghost is hawt in a loli way

It’s full blown spectacle time as Menma the friendly ghost goes into “let’s be friendly” mode with all her previously reality-bound friends.

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I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels Menma’s sudden pseudo-corporeal status feels a bit odd. I harped on this last week, so I’m not going to do fall on the sword about it again this week, but Menma’s “reveal” to everyone in their group really throws a wrench into the tone of the story. It’s a credit to the quality of the other characters, Yukiatsu and Anaru particularly, that the story hasn’t been completely overshadowed by Menma’s in-your-face radness.

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It took me a long time to get over Takahiro Sakurai voicing Spinzaku, but in between listening to him as Kusuriuri, Masakaki and Yukiatsu, I think he’s my new favorite male seiyuu. He does such a fantastic job conveying Yukiatsu’s internal battle between wanting to move and and being unable to, even at the cost of doing outrageous things – like crossdressing as a dead girl. His struggles continue this week as he spills his heart out to Menma’s father, and convinces him to allow the group to build the fireworks for Menma. Is it for Menma’s sake? To help her move on? Is it for his sake, so he can finally convey his feelings to Menma and be able to move on? Or is it for the anti-Jin-tan crusade, as Bass says “if he can’t have her, no one can”? Yukiatsu’s a complex character, clearly there’s a mix of all this involved.

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On the other hand, is Yukiatsu’s suggestions towards Anaru a way to get back at Jin-tan? Or is it a coupling that makes sense, given their similar situations, like two widows who lose their significant others in the same accident and then find solace with each other? Or is it just one possible way Yukiatsu believes can help him move on from Menma? Sadly for him (and the show), he seems to be missing out on the unrequited love of Tsurumi, who now has more reason to hate on Anaru, even though the two have gotten along reasonably well after that first ill-fated meeting. And while they’ve been hinting at Tsurumi’s feelings for Yukiatsu right now, I really think adding another leg to this love square- pentagon- thingy, at this point of the season was pretty foolhardly. Look? Can’t friends just be friends some time? Can’t they just get along and have fun with each other? … Like Poppo?

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Speaking of Poppo. We haven’t gotten much backstory on him. And we haven’t seen too many sides of him, besides the fun-loving, ganbarre part. So seeing him turn serious just for a moment was a really nice change of pace. We still don’t know how exactly Menma died. She fell into the river. Possibly fell off the bridge. But people don’t just fall off bridges, some circumstance has to create that event. Being that Poppo is the one out of the love triangle, I hope that a.) he stays out and b.) is the one who gets to the bottom of Menma’s death and is the spark that helps everyone move on.

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Shagging a ghost isn't going to help your hikikomori tendencies
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Funniest screenshot of the year. ANARU Y U SO CUTE!!!