Ano Hi Mita Hana No Namae O Bokutachi Wa Mada Shiranai
is one of the most beautiful anime I've seen in recent memory. The story is realistic and poignant, the animation style beautiful and fluid (though I can't help but feel the characters clash somewhat with the line-less backgrounds) and characters the high point of the show: realistic, powerful and captivating. The character development is fascinating and never seems forced, the interplay between characters riveting.
It may sound like I'm blatantly praising this work without any regard for balance but by nature this sort of show isn't the type to have massive flaws and this is very
well done. I will say that there were a few moments that slightly disturbed the mood, such as halfway into episode 11 when everyone burst out crying at once
but these were few and far between.
The OP and ED are commendable. I didn't even like Aoi Shiori
until I'd watched the OP a few times, and then mainly by association. And the animation itself of the OP is just brilliant. Watching on its own after the series, you smile at every neat touch... The ED is utterly gorgeous in pretty much every detail. Now music is more subjective, so feel free to disregard my opinion here but the voice actresses of the three female characters singing such a beautiful song makes the ED itself far more resonant. And again, the animation to it is amazing. When the screen erupts in showers of forget-me-nots you feel utterly at peace.
The series is emotionally resonant; this is perhaps its most powerful feature. I'm the sort who never cries at movies or TV shows - apart from, inexplicably, the end to Azumanga Daioh
- but I did during the last episode of Ano Hana
. The subject matter isn't the
saddest thing ever - take Grave Of The Fireflies
, for example - but the characters are so powerfully resonant they bring tears to the eyes of, as far as I can gather, most people who watch it.
A simply gorgeous show that truly tugs at the heartstrings. 9.8/10.