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