The TV series is retold through the different main characters' points of view with new additional material from their childhood, during the original series, and one year after the conclusion of the series.
I'm a big fan of the Ano Hana series, and rate it in my top 2 most tear jerking anime. When I heard that a movie was coming out, which was a gonna be a recap from a different perspective, I was a little apprehensive to say the least, whether or not they would be able to come anywhere close to how good the series was. Let me tell you I wasn't disappointed. Without further adieu let me start the review.
Now this movie isn't flawless, but none the less very enjoyable. To give you a summary, it basically revisits the major events of the
first series while adding to it bits and pieces of additional story, giving it a refreshing new feel. Half way through the movie, I was like this is pretty good, but no way is it going to make me cry like the series did. Boy was I wrong! The ending really lets loose those tears even though you know exactly whats going to happen. That just goes to show how well they executed it. The one thing which I didn't really enjoy was the fact that they kept jumping to and fro in the story line, which although has its own charm, still felt a little confusing.
From the new parts added giving us a behind the scenes look at what each person felt as they were writing their letters to Menma, it really managed to achieve a level of character development not seen in other recap movies. What most of us would like to see if the original series had continued was probably how the relationships between the characters would change after Menma moved on. Though not much, the movie does touch upon this, and I'm glad it did.
Wow! Not a lot of series can boast a bright and colorful animation style quite like this series had, and the movies does just as good a job, if not better. The character designs are still flawless, and the kids still just as cute. Nothing to complain about here.
Although I did miss the opening and closing music that I loved from the parent series, the background music and voice acting in the movie are impeccable, with not much left to improve on. Moving on...
What can I say?I'm not gonna beat around the bush here, I came here looking to board the feels train, and I got a first class ticket.
A great new take on a classic. Has its ups and downs but still worth the ride. If your a fan of the series, give it a watch. And just to let you know there's a little bit left after the credits, so be sure to catch that too.
P.S. How'd you like the review? I'd love to hear your feedback both good and bad, or just your thoughts on the movie. Be sure to drop me a message. Thanks
I watched this movie when it premiered in downtown LA and I didn't really know what to expect. I had just finished the series which was great timing and the quality of the series gave me high expectations for the movie. However the movie basically just retold the story of the series and added in a few extra scenes. The most entertaining part of the movie was the actual "letters to Menma" scenes. Where all the characters are thinking of what to write. These scenes really reveal the feelings that they didn't communicate in the series, and tells what and how much they've changed since
Menma appeared to Yadomi. Even though the story was simply being retold, I guess the essence of it is to see how the characters truly felt at that time through them writing their letters and then letting it change your perspective while rewatching the same story from the anime series. All in all, for me, the movie just gave me another perspective to think about the original story with, and made the story that much more meaningful and enjoyable.
AnoHana: Letters to Menma follows in the tradition of countless other anime movies before it - that is, it functions mostly as a recap of the original series with some new scenes sprinkled throughout.
If you've seen the original anime (and if you haven't go watch it right now before you read this review), then you're familiar with the story and it's resolution, so I'll spare the summary. The actual movie itself takes place roughly a year after Menma's wish has been granted, and catches up with the rest of the Super Peace Busters as they gather together to write their own letters to Menma, sharing
their thoughts and feelings about what she meant to them and how they're doing now that she's gone.
Using this premise, the show switches back and forth between three different perspectives. The first of these are scenes from when the Super Peace Busters were children, and how they welcomed Menma to their group and played around. From there, we follow the characters writing their letters in the present, preparing for a celebration of sorts for their departed friend. And using that as a springboard, we see flashbacks to events from the actual show, as the process of writing the letters brings them back to the surface.
The problem with the movie is not so much anything to do with it's characters, story, poor writing, or what have you. Simply put, it suffers from a lack of new content - while maybe half the movie features new scenes (both in the show's present and past), the greater part of it consists of flashbacks and scenes from the original anime. Put together with how often the perspective changes, the result often feels disjointed and slightly unfocused.
What AnoHana: Letters to Menma does well, however, is provide a little more closure for fans of the anime. Getting to see the Super Peace Busters playing around as children was priceless, and certain scenes even add even more emotional gravitas to the show's powerful ending. That's a tricky feat for something as well written and self-contained as AnoHana - one wrong move and you risk looking revisionist or retroactively harming the story's original impact. And while there wasn't much development during the scenes set in the present, getting to catch up with the characters a year later felt a little like revisiting old friends and was rewarding in it's own way.
When all is said and done, this is a good movie. It's not without it's problems, and it's not one you should watch without seeing the show first, but it serves nicely as a sort of 'where are they now' and does a fine job of adding additional back story without damaging the integrity of the original show. If you're already a fan of the show, there's nothing you can lose from watching this movie.
As I have completed the Anohana series, this movie is more or less like a retelling of the story and the chronological order of the developments of each character. Very well structured for a recap but this does not have what it takes to become a movie as you would expect something more or extra from it.
The movie takes place right after the events of the series in which the characters carry on with their lives but are reunited and their bonds slowly but surely repairing to become a lifelong friendship. This movie serves as a sort of clarification of what the characters used
to think, are thinking and what they strive for moving forward.
All in all, in my opinion this movie was just a review and an epilogue to this lovable series. Its nice to see how well this story actually flowed and finally how the final chapter of this story was completed. This is actually one of the few series that actually bears a rather glaring resemblance of life in its own and the possible future of attempting something not thought possible, in this case moving on. This movie is certainly worth your while if you have completed the series first at least and it certainly welcomes newcomers to the series as well.