May 16, 2011

Ano Hana Ep5: The Blame Game

Posted in AnoHana tagged , , , at 6:56 pm by meotwister5

Place the blame or share the blame?  There are people who defend themselves by placing blame on others in a rapid attempt to absolve themselves of guilt and shame.  There are also those who are willing to accept their faults and their blame, admitting not only to themselves but to the world their faults and feelings and realizing what they have done or have contributed to.  While it’s easy to blame Yukiatsu for his hypocrisy and arrogance towards his old friends, it’s another thing to realize how much he’s done it because of his own shame.  A fact that, again, shows how different each person’s self defense is.

The jig is up for Yukiatsu.  With his wig gone and his secret out, his cross dressing desire has been made visible to the ones who share the same experiences of guilt with his.  Rather than snap or run away, he does something you’d expect more to happen in a therapist’s office than in a small forest clearing:  he discloses everything to Jinta.  He unloads his feelings and his guilt at Jinta who takes it upon himself to listen as Yukiatsu pins him down, telling him the reasons as to why he did and does what he does.  A part of each person is surprised at what he has to say, yet the other part seems understanding of him, because of one of them shares a very similar emotion with him.

Later in the episode we also see just how much recent events have affected everyone else.  Anaru almost gets date raped until she is saved by Yukiatsu and Poppo desperately calles out for Menma in Jinta’s house.  The minds of each person are being unraveled for us to see.

You can call Yukiatsu and arrogant ass for his treatment of Jinta which may as well be inexcusable, but you can’t deny the extreme levels of guilt and self loathing he possesses.  Some people would say that those who are at their lowest are the same people who would artificially prop themselves high, and Yukiatsu in a way personifies this.  We can see that he has so much guilt and anger that he not only believes but demands that Menma punish him.  He believes in the singularity of his guilt and that the fault be with him and him alone, that he feels jealousy on Jinta for being the one “haunted” by Menma.  While Jinta is being less than haunted by her, Yukiatsu wants to see Menma not as a friendly presence but as a form of punishment, that Menma’s appearance before her and haunting him he would be able to live out his penance of suffering for his sins and thus receive the punishment he believes he must receive.  Unable to do so, to receive Menma’s presence, Yukiatsu then does the next best thing and remake Menma for himself.  It is his form of self punishment.  While Jinta perhaps would see it as a way to apologize for his actions, Yukiatsu sees it as a way to suffer for his perceived sins, sins that have haunted him so much that he’d go to the extremes to find a figure he deems worthy enough to exact punishment on him.

And by having his secret revealed, he unloads all his feelings towards everyone like a emotionally purgative event.  He teceives some sort of catharsis as he admits all his feelings in front of a Menma he cannot see, yet she hears, and forgives him for what it’s worth.  By sheer virtue of his admission he finally manages to release emotions he has trapped all these years, and also somehow and someway, receive the forgiveness of a girl who has never blamed him for anything.

It’s been pretty clear just how Anaru has been having difficulty adjusting to life after Menma and after Jinta, more or less, but it becomes so apparent just how emotionally blunted and even unstable she’s become when she almost gets forced into date rape.  Yukiatsu to the rescue in this event, but we also get an excellent expansion of how much of everything that she’s been deciding for herself these days has been in reaction to Menma.  Only now of course we get to see just how dire the effects of her lifestyle may be getting herself into.  Even though it’s not her fault that some scumbag almost managed to violate her, it also makes me ask how much such a lifestyle that has deviated from her own personality has been pushing her away from her own self as well as from the friends of her childhood.

Perhaps one of the bigger surprises in this episode was Poppo actions in Jinta’s house.  His happy go lucky approach to life has made him a very different person to the usual sullen affects of his friends, but his almost desperate search for Menma and just as desperate desire to stick with Menma’s wish and to achieve it speaks volumes about his personality.  So far much of what we’ve seen of him has been attempts to busy himself with other things and his use of humor when dealing with issues regarding Menma.  At the end he seems to become a desperate man in search of something he has left behind in an entity he can;t even see, but still he attempts to force himself to believe in it.  At this point it makes me believe that under that big funny mask lies someone who is still very much a kid at heart, and a very confused and direction-less kid at that.  He comes off now as someone who has been rather listless and drifting without the guidance of his friends and especially Jinta and Menma.  With both of these people barging back into his life he sees it both as a way to reconnect with his past, and to also reconnect with a friend who has passed on.  Out of everyone perhaps he is the loneliest of them all, seeking Jinta and Menma and forcing himself to believe that she is there, just to eb able to be with his friends one more time.

The episode ends as Jinta tries to quiet down Poppo’s outbursts.  Here Menma finds new strength to search for the wish she has forgotten but wants to achieve with everyone’s help.  It looks as though with everyone now getting together, it’s time for the main plot to kick in, as well as the redemption of those involved.

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