anohana THE MOVIE: The Flower We Saw That Day

3 stars (out of 4)

Released 2013 (in Japan)

Taking place a year after the events of the 2011 TV series, the anohana movie expands on the group’s past through the eyes of each surviving member as they compose letters to their lost friend, Menma.

This film is comprised of a significant amount of reused footage interspersed with new material. In spite of this, it is recommended to watch the series first, as it can be difficult to tell which scenes are from the past and which are in the present if you are not already familiar with the story. And, there’s no straightforward recap about Menma’s death or how her return as a ghost brought the Super Peace Busters back together, either.

All in all, I found the film to be a satisfying continuation of the series. It was a nice way to revisit these old friends. While I personally had no trouble remaining dry-eyed throughout, be aware that this movie can be quite the tearjerker for more sensitive viewers.


3.5 stars (out of 4)

Released 2013

Even though it’s not likely I’ll feel compelled to re-watch this film, I’m going to be generous and bump it up to 3.5 stars for its well-written script. While addressing issues related to being involved in an unconventional romance, the movie successfully painted a complex picture of the evolution of a relationship over time.

Human beings are ever-growing, ever-changing creatures. And the impact that has on interpersonal relationships is pretty universal. Members of any partnership ultimately face the same ups and downs, the same challenges of trying to understand one another. “her” aptly demonstrated these aspects while following a natural flow.

I also liked how small changes in thought processes were shown to have significant effects on mood and psychological wellbeing.