High school student Jinta is a hikikomori and lives in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. One summer day, when Jinta is absorbed in a video game, a girl suddenly appears in front of him. The girl is Jinta's childhood friend Meiko, but it seems impossible because Meiko died on a summer day. Meiko wears the same white dress when she died, but she looks a little taller. She tells Jinta that she has a wish and that's why she came back as a ghost, but Meiko can't remember what her wish was. To grant Meiko's wish, Jinta along with his friends Atsumu, Naruko, Chiriko, Tetsudo and Meiko gather together for the first time in 7 years. Jinta soon realizes that he is the only one able to see Meiko. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
I personally found Anohana as a live action to have met and well-exceeded my expectations of what i thought the drama would be like. Some fans may complain that the plot is not followed to the T, but that is exactly what i appreciated the most. An 11 episodes anime squeezed into 2 hours is quite an incredible feat by itself, and i am impressed the essence (friendship and portrayal of Menma) still remains. Kudos to the production team. The live action is well-executed and is as realistic as it can get given the supernatural-ness that surrounds the whole story. The only complaint is that the characters are not being developed enough to show us how different each of them are from one another and how Menma's death affected them, that It kind of became plot-driven. Still amazing nonetheless.
The cast is awesome. There is no other way to describe how great the cast work to portray the originality of the characters (i felt that they did their homework, and they aced it). However, it is a tad disturbing/uncomfortable when you see tears and more tears as the story progressed. I mean i am impressed how much the actors could cry and the whole point is to be tear-jerking. Yet especially in the second half of the movie, it felt as if the story could not continue without any tears. Like seriously? I do believe however that the young actors/actresses are quite new for i never heard/watched them before. They are definitely worth looking out for :)
For the whole duration of the movie, there is only one song playing from what i have heard -- ''secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~ (10 years after ver.)''. It was the ending song for the anime. This is my bias-ness speaking for this very song is one of my few favorite Japanese songs ever, but it does fits perfectly into the whole atmosphere of the live action. I love how both the original song and the instrumental version are played.
Beautiful friendship? Check.
Selfless Menma? Check.
What more can one ask for? But be forewarned: prepare a (or a few) box full of tissues before you start watching because you would need it (my tears flowed like a dam throughout the entire movie).
Definitely highly recommended! :)
I've already seen the original AnoHana anime series back when it came out in 2011 and I also watch this recap/after story movie as well and I have to say they both had absolutely fantastic story telling, however, I felt like generally the anime versions weren't nearly as emotional than what I felt while watching this live action adaption here. Sure, it had it's issues since the pacing felt a little off at times and they had to shorten some things in order to make everything important into the movie, but that was honestly a good thing. When I watched the anime version, the episodic format of that series had felt way too limiting as well for me, like since the story has been splitt up into mutiple episodes, some emotional events that took place didn't feel as serious since it has been"so long" since they last mentioned some important key plot development in an earlier episode if anyone knows what I mean.
Having this whole story as it's own movie that captivates it's viewers from the beginning til the very end is definitely the best format to tell this absolutely fantastic story about childhood and how children cope with their friend's dead over the years. People that have very strong opinions about the original anime may be displeased about some changes they had to do in order to make this story appear more realistically, but exactly the additional realism that this adaption provided is the very reason why I think it's the best version of AnoHana. Nothing is more emotional to see real people's sad faces full with tears as even though they are just acting there, I do believe this story speaks to you in an ever deeper emotional level out of pure instinct.
And speaking of the acting, I also have to say that the actors were absolutely fantastic as well! Probably one of the most disliked aspects of live action adaptions are the way the actors look, since either they try to make them look way too much like their anime counter parts and it looks absolutely horrible since... well, nobody normal in real life looks like an anime character, or they don't even try to make the characters look similar to how they looked like in the original and people feel no connection to the story that they already love. This time however, I genuinely believe that they couldn't have found better actors for each of their positions! Only one character looks drastically different than in the anime since her hair color used to be white and in this version brown, but that's definintely a good decision since white hair would simply look weird and not really relatable to someone in their person life for most of the audience.
So yeah, if you go into this movie open minded and don't compare everything to it's original all the time, trust me, you will definitely have an awesome time and an awesome experience to live through this fantastic story once again! Just don't be too elitistic about it :)