TSURUKO! F— YEAH! COMING IN TO SAVE THE MOTHERF—ING DAY YEAH! TSURUKO! F— YEAH! YUKIATSU YOUR DAY IS THROUGH, NOW YOU HAVE TO ANSWER TO TSURUKO! F— YEAH! What an episode. It turns out that the theories of many last week have been proven true. Yukiatsu was up to no good but in an exceptionally creepy way. The course of events has brought most of the old group closer together, with Tsuruko opening up a bit more and leading several scenes herself. Jinta and Naruko also have their moments, as do Menma and Poppo. But with the final reveal in this episode one has to wonder how things could possibly be patched up with Yukiatsu after he’s become the kind of person he is today.
Things pick up just where the left off with the creepy and snide remarks from Yukiatsu, and a suspicious look from Tsuruko after Jinta runs off to join the others. This is just the start of a great performance by Tsuruko, the kind of sharp sense and low tolerance for bs that led me to declare for Tsuruko as MAI WAIFU of the Season. Though her long, straight hair and glasses don’t hurt either. Back to the episode, there’s another short but significant moment between Jinta and Naruko as they look around the hillside for Menma, giving the two characters a moment for developing their relationship in the middle of an episode that focuses mostly on Tsuruko and Yukiatsu. She asks Jinta about whether he was trying to go to school the other day and seems content despite his denial that it was because of his promise to her. Then Naruko slips on the dirt slope and this triggers not one, but two memories of past events. First and most immediate is when Jinta grabs her hand to keep her from falling and then is quite upset due to his memories of Menma’s fall. He holds her tightly, too tightly, afterwards and when the they both realize what’s going on she asks the same question she did years ago, about whether he really loved Menma. Though dramatic timing ensures that he doesn’t have to answer and eventually everyone returns to the clubhouse where Yukiatsu tells them that Menma wants them not to make such a fuss. Despite Menma’s objections.
YES! More tsundere X tsundere!
I guess Jinta’s dad’s catchphrase has spread.
I have to wonder whether Jinta couldn’t reach Menma back then or if he just wishes that he was close enough to grab her hand like he did here.
There it is, again. Moving past this get close-ask about Menma-sulk away pattern seems to be coming up a lot. It’ll probably be one of the defining challenges of their story.
Massive, 100-gallon cast iron pot calling the kettle black.
Yukiatsu manages to kill the spirit of excitement and camaraderie that night and even with Menma backing Jinta up, things end on something of a downer. Jinta and Naruko are on their own and feeling down but fortunately for everyone Tsuruko is taking charge. She’s been questioning Yukiatsu’s description of Menma and putting pieces of information together and heads to Jinta’s house directly to try and find out more. She sets Jinta up to wait by a shrine, drawing Naruko’s attention as they pass by the McDonald’s knockoff. She seems to know exactly when Yukiatsu will come by, it seems more than coincidence, and Jinta is set waiting alone to question Yukiatsu about what Menma looks like. When he tells him that (the real) Menma says that Yukiatsu’s is a fake the latter gets really angry and starts belittling Jinta as well. But it’s further information for Tsuruko to analyze.
Frustrated with his old friend, rolling around on his bed hugging a pillow while thinking about him. Cue the fanfics and doujinshi (and paging comrade Chronolynx.)
Tsuruko’s drawing of Menma as she sits down to think about things. Perhaps she’s using drawing as an exercise to remember details, or maybe she has Menma on the brain like everyone else. Not bad for a quick sketch too. Artistic talent: one of the many wonderful sides of Tsuruko.
I think this reflection thing is becoming a visual theme for Naruko. Maybe because she’s become the most fashion/appearance conscious?
Looking over her drink, eyes narrowed in a piercing, analytical stare that shows the gears turning, hair parted over the shoulder. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!
That evening everyone except Yukiatsu meets up at the clubhouse again. Yukiatsu has been sufficiently provoked by the earlier meeting with Jinta and all is going according to keikaku for Tsuruko. Though the rest seem unaware of the depth of her plan. She seems to use a subtle touch with Naruko when she says that she didn’t have to come, allowing Naruko to retain her false indifference by saying that she had nothing to do anyway. One illusion at a time, Tsuruko. She bring everyone mugs, the ones seen in the OP, and when they share a drink Menma is so happy at Poppo’s words that she jumps on his back. It’s another example of her limited ability to affect the physical world but it also provides the pretext for Poppo to go outside to pee and then see ‘Menma.’ This Menma starts running away but when Poppo describes the ribbon Tsuruko decides to end the charade and calls Yukiatsu on his bs then and there. He runs away and only Jinta immediately picks up the trail when Menma spots Yukiatsu, and these two are the ones that find him after he falls and loses his wig.
Yeah, so the crossdressing is confirmed. Hello, viewers. Look at your AnoHana. Now back a season to Hourou Musuko. Now to AnoHana, now back to Hourou Musuko. AnoHana is a different show from Hourou Musuko. But if Yukiatsu starts wearing lady’s clothing AnoHana could look like Hourou Musuko. Look down, now up, you’re in a forest with the Hourou Musuko themes your AnoHana could develop. What’s on your screen? It’s a boy with brown hair wearing a dress. Look again. noitaminA is now on a three-series crossdressing streak (Kuragehime, Hourou Musuko, and AnoHana.) Anything is possible when you watch the programming block with the best anime series.
Tsuruko with her hair tied back is fine too.
Definitely her ‘just as planned’ moment but she has a sad look in her eyes too. I know it’s been hinted at before, but please Tsuruko, don’t pine over a loser creep like Yukiatsu.
THE SHAME, THE SHAME!!! But what is that x mark on his arm? Please tell me that’s some scratch from falling and not some emo cut mark.
Final Thoughts: – Timing has been a big thing in this series with Menma and Tsuruko. Menma has seemed to say something or spot something at just the right time, like when she saw Yukiatsu in the forest this episode. Her timing comes off as unintentional and in fitting with her more childish, less planned nature, but the way it plays out makes it seem like a plan or perhaps fate. Tsuruko on the other hand is all about the deliberate planning. This was summed up best when she visited Jinta’s and was talking about recipes. She had said that you can cook anything as long as you have a recipe and follow it…so long as you don’t trip up over something weird. These lines speak to her methodical nature but also acknowledges the emotional factors that can complicate things. I have to wonder if she planned out her course through to her elite school and perhaps beyond, and maybe getting together with Yukiatsu, until the emotional baggage from Menma’s death derailed part of her plan.
- I’ve been enjoying the consistent style that each character has in the way they dress. Jinta always in t-shirts with kanji such as his volcano one, Poppo always with a different Hawaiian patterned shirt, and Naruko’s varying but consistently modern fashion. It’s only a minor thing but varying the characters clothing is something too few series do, and keeping the clothing consistent with a certain style gives a greater sense of personality to the characters. It’s just one more thing that gives them real personality.
- I still wonder how things can be repaired between Yukiatsu and the others after all this. Unless he really breaks down and becomes humble about things, which would fly in the face of the arrogance that he’s showed up to this point. Perhaps he will be shamed and/or Tsuruko-slapped out of it but he seems to have the deepest running issues of the bunch. Jinta stopped going to school but I’d say it’s on another level when Yukiatsu feels a compulsive need to dress up as Menma to compete with Jinta.