AnoHana (Episode 2): Menma the Hero

Another episode of Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai and I don’t think I’ll ever memorize the title. The episode continues where the previous left off. Jinta reunites with one of his childhood friend, Poppo. He seems to be of a different kind since he almost instantly gets along well with Jinta and completely believes what he says. It is revealed that Poppo has dropped-out of high school but instead travels the world and uses their secret base when he’s in Japan. Poppo is also completely cooperative and very much willing to grant Menma’s wish, he then suggested that her wish could be finding a rare Nokemon, obviously a pun on Pokemon, which can only be obtained when trading with another player.

Anaru blushing

Then we see Anaru hanging out with her friends and teasing and discussing about her having to deal with the hikikomori Jinta. Then an Oodai student (it’s hinted that it’s a high-class school) gets irritated by the girls. Anaru recognize the girl as Tsuruko, another member of the the Super Peace Busters. Tsuruko left her notebook on the table and Anaru tries to chase her down the street to return it to her. But Tsuruko, so full of herself simply shoves off Anaru’s effort of kindness to her and boldly states that she’d be embarassed if anyone saw her talking to a girl from Mido High, and that’s referring to her. Menma arrives just in time to stop the girls from fighting, but of course she can’t, they can’t see her.  The scene starts to heat up when Tsuruko starts throwing insults at Anaru, and ends up revealing how Anaru wants to be like Menma. We see here that she blames herself for everything that happened. If she didn’t spur them before and ask if Jinta likes Menma, perhaps that terrible thing wouldn’t happen. Then her cellphone rings or alarmed then she ran off. It is then revealed that she works for a video game store. And on the store, she found Jinta lurking, searching for the elusive Nokemon Gold game. She seemed dumbfounded knowing that he’s searching for a game created 5 years ago. After wandering for so long, Menma decided to go home to Jinta’s place. There she found him asleep whilst playing Nokemon and felt relieved and reassured.

The next day, Poppo bumped in with Yukiatsu, another childhood friend who’s creepy enough to smell Menma’s clothes. He’s interested with what Poppo knows about Menma. Then, on Jinta’s house, Jinta woke up with seeing Menma fresh from a bath, covered by only a piece of towel, another great fanservice! Poppo comes visiting and informs Jinta that the Nokemon he’s looking for can only be acquired by trading with a friend by connecting their consoles with a cable. Which means they have to find another person with the same game. So they set out and visit Anaru’s house and explains vaguely what everything’s about. Anaru dug up her collection of video games and found the said game. After a bit of hacking and slashing through the game, they eventually got what they were looking for. It is revealed but not explicitly said that Anaru has secret feelings for Jinta up until now. In the end, the Nokemon wasn’t Menma’s wish after all. But the good part is, Jinta became friends again with two of his childhood friends, Poppo and Anjou.

I really love tsundere characters! The way they blush and shyly reveal their soft side yet denies it strongly and firmly. Anaru is a perfect example of a tsundere character, well aside from Eri of School Rumble and Rin of Fate/Stay Night. Well, this episode seem to highlight Anaru, her emotions, her secrets and her changes. Although I’m seeing a trend in the series that deals with the characters changes, or the lack of. They always say, “You haven’t changed.” The plot still is intriguing but seems a bit shallow just for a quest of a rare Nokemon, but since it’s Anaru, I guess it’s okay. Well, there’s nothing quite noting in this episode except the magic sleep mask that Jinta’s father is wearing. Take a look below on how the sleep mask blinks, or is it dependent on the mood of the wearer?

Sleep Mask closed eyes
Sleep Mask open eyes

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai (Episode 1)

Another new anime with an absurdly long title. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai (あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない, lit. “We still don’t know the name of the flower we saw that day”) or Anohana for short, is an anime series airing at Fuji TV on its noitaminA block at around 1:15 in the morning. The series is directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, the person who also directed the second season of Honey and Clover and Toradora.

Episode 1 entitled, “Super Peace Busters,” opens with our protagonist Jinta playing videogames at home while being distracted by a girl with a silver hair in a way that I’m sure every boy out there would totally nosebleed. This scene depicts how the girl is attached to Jinta she even calls him with a pet name Jintan, which also shows how Jinta is pestered with her around but seems to ignore it. There was a point where he considers her as an embodiment of his stress, proving how debilitating it is just to be with her, plus the sexual urges the comes with it. The girl’s name isn’t revealed until a flashback from years ago in which she was called Menma. Menma is portrayed as a typical “airhead” girl with cute mannerisms and speech, while Jinta is portrayed as a typical “pessimistic-protagonist-who-detached-himself-to-the-world-due-to-a-tragic-circumstance-that-happened-in-the-past” kind of character. It was revealed that both of them are childhood friends, along with four others, they called themselves the “Super Peace Busters.” Jinta was the de-facto leader of the group, an optimistic kid with a bright outlook in life, which contrasts his current attitude. And as the time went by, triggered by a certain event, the group broke up and went on their separate ways. It was implied that the “event” was Menma’s death which dealed a terrible loss for everyone. Jinta’s relationship with his friends changed. He secluded himself away from everybody and interacts with them only when necessary, a hikikomori. With the spirit of Menma (he’s the only one who can see her) accompanying and pestering him, he aims to help her make her wish come true which she doesn’t remember, the possible twist for the series. The only thing that she remembers is that everyone must be present for it to come true.

As a pilot episode, we are given the general feel of the series, with each of the characters being introduced one by one highlighting their relationship with the protagonist. A slow-paced melancholic drama mixed with a sprinkle of fantasy, this series is promising and should be watched out for. But I doubt that it would hit big-time like the other animes in its genre like Kanon and Clannad. The background art is very good, which sets the mood for the scenes, though the character animation would be considered sub-par in comparison to other titles. The plot seems very typical, though it may keep you hooked in some ways or another. There’s a bit of fanservice (Anaru!), but it’s not ecchi or anything even for its late-night telecast. If this continues on, I think it can be a quite good watch this season, I better keep an eye on this series.

jQuery Mobile: The Next Big Thing Comes in Minified Package


For the seasoned web developer, there’s no denying it, jQuery is one of the best and widely used JavaScript framework aside from ExtJS, Dojo, MooTools and Google Web Toolkit to name a few. According to, at the time of this writing, jQuery is the top JavaScript framework used with 44.01% of websites using it. With the Top 1 Million Websites indexed by, it is used by approximately 44.82% of internet websites, solidifying its stature as the best JS Framework in the world. And if you are curious, the 2nd most used JavaScript Library used is Facebook for Websites with a usage of 15.11%. Such a huge difference in numbers, it’s a landslide victory for jQuery. Combined with its ease of use, small memory footprint, cross-browser compatibility and its popularity, it’s no surprise that it is the ideal JS library for noobs and pros alike.

With the popularity of mobile computing, suddenly mobile browser shares skyrocketed from a small minority to an indispensable business consideration for major companies. Back then, mobile browsers were just a simple browser, very limited compared to mainstream desktop browsers. All they’re capable of doing is display WAP sites and simple HTML websites. Mobile browsers which can run WMLScripts were considered advanced then. As the mobile devices level-up, so are their capabilities. Smartphones in general, gained mainstream popularity, arguably because of the iPhone in 2007. As the devices gain more processing power, so are the possibilities that it can achieve. These phones are capable of displaying full websites instead of the usual stripped-down version of the page. They behave more of a mini-netbook with phone features.

jQuery Mobile

Enter JavaScript. Web developers wanted to incorporate JavaScript into their mobile websites since smartphones are now capable to do so. From simple client-side form validation to some jaw-dropping transition animations, the more interactive a site is, the more visitors it is likely to attract. With this in mind, it’s inevitable that JS is sure to stay in the mobile market. Like the desktop browser, it needs a JavaScript library to make development easier and more feature-rich. Here comes jQuery Mobile, a framework built on top of the already stable jQuery library. According to the jQuery Mobile overview, it can be described as:

Delivering top-of-the-line JavaScript in a unified User Interface that works across the most-used smartphone web browsers and tablet form factors.

Although the said framework only targets only smartphone and tablet web browsers, as long as the HTML mark-up is semantically correct, it will silently and discretely fallback to a plain HTML page. Probably the best feature of the library is transforming the differently-rendered pages from different mobile web browsers into a uniform, familiar touch-friendly user-interface.

Plain mobile webpage
Plain mobile webpage.
Mobile webpage with jQuery Mobile
Mobile webpage with jQuery Mobile

The images above shows the difference in terms of rendering of a single webpage using an old mobile browser and a smartphone. We can notice a large difference in terms of style when viewing a website when jQuery Mobile is capable of running. And by simple analogy, we can say that customers and visitors alike are more likely to visit a mobile website that has better visual eye-candy, and therefore the website will get more traffic. We can also notice that the one with the framework is ergonomically-designed for touch-enabled phones. Notice the iPhonesque  design of the page? It almost blends seamlessly with the designs of the iPhone and Android interface, so users are almost familiar with it.

But why?

So what’s the point of using the framework when not all mobile phone is supported? Well for one thing, you aren’t given any kind of disadvantage if you use the framework. Let’s assume that most of your visitors who visit your site through mobile web browsers uses smartphones. When they see your site, they will be shown a clean, touch-optimized page designed especially for their devices’ capabilities. But when a visitor visits your site using a non-compatible mobile web browser, they would simply be shown a plain mobile webpage with almost no difference in content with your touch-friendly page. The good thing in here is that you won’t need to change any of your HTML code to suit these browsers. As I’ve said before, it falls back discretely to plain HTML when the browser used cannot run JavaScript. It’s a win-win situation for you!

I therefore conclude

jQuery Mobile is still in its alpha stage, meaning it shouldn’t be used for production websites, but rather for testing purposes only. As of this writing, the current version is 1.0 alpha 4.1. It’s still a bit far for a stable release, heck it’s not even on beta yet. But based on user responses, feedback is quite good. A few bugs are found and sprout everyday, but results are promising. Since it was built on top of the full jQuery framework, in my personal opinion, I think it is safe to use it for production on desktop websites. Yes, it runs perfectly on desktop browsers too! Your desktop websites inherits a few touch capabilities such as dragging the page to scroll down, cool huh? But as of now, we have to keep an eye on its development, and I’m sure we’ll still be surprised in what it can do. Next time, I’ll probably make a simple tutorial on how to incorporate jQuery Mobile in your pages, as if it wasn’t on the official documentation yet.

“Charina”: A PS Bank TVC

I’m really enthralled by this commercial of PS Bank Home Loan, which has been airing for about a month now. I’m not sure about the title of this TVC, so far I have found only one video on the net, and I haven’t found any info about this commercial. The only video on YouTube is titled “Charina”, so I guess I’ll go with it. I’m really interested on the TVCs made by the advertising agency of PS Bank. They break the fourth wall and deviate from the traditional flowery words and marketing that other banks have made and are still making. I like how they emphasize Simplicity from their TVCs. But this time, it doesn’t just dwell there, it also shown, at least to me, innocence which is kinda cute. Here is the TV Commercial that I’m talking about: