Beat the Heat, Soak in the Stream: Seven Shows to Marathon This Summer (Day Six)

You’ll have to forgive me if I over-hype a bit today, because we’ve come to the shortest series in the Seven Days and possibly my favorite of the bunch, a lovely little ghost story known as…

AnoHana

Note: The full title is “Ano no Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (We Still Don’t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day),” but seriously, nobody calls it that.

The Wind-Up…

Studio: A-1 Pictures
Original Series: Written by Okada Mari (True Tears, Hanasaku Iroha)
Available On: Crunchyroll, Hulu (listed as “AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day”) (subs only)
Episode Count: 11

In a Sentence: When the ghost of childhood friend Menma appears in Jinta’s living room, it sets into motion a series of events that reunites Jinta with his old friends as they attempt to put Menma’s spirit to rest and at last come to terms with their shared past.

Here There Be: Coming-of-age, magical realism, character-driven storytelling, and so many feelings.

…And the Pitch!

Unapologetically sincere, emotionally honest, heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal turns (and often at the same time), AnoHana begins as a cute ghost story, shifts into a character study, and builds to a finale that left me feeling every feeling I have ever felt, ever. It’s a tale of grief, of healing, of adolescence, but also of what it means to simply be alive, with all the joy and sorrow and complicated in-betweens that come with it.

…And really, that’s all I need to say about it.

Why This Summer?

AnoHana takes place over the course of a single summer, and every time summer rolls around it makes me watch to watch it again. Personal feels aside, though, a film adaptation (one-part sequel, one-part retelling) recently came out in Japan and is getting a subtitled DVD/Blu-ray release this July, so now’s a good time to expose your emotions to this lovely little series before we see just what the movie has to offer.

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