Like last summer, I have been up in Chichibu for the Fudasho temple pilgrimage, but on my own this time, and on a slow note, taking it all in. There are 34 temples, and by the time I got to number 17, something surreal happened.
From April, 2011 a very well done anime was aired on Fuji TV, called あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない (We still don't know the name of the flower we saw that day).
Wikipedia: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai
"Ano Hana" (That Flower) as it is called for short is a story about friendship and a mystery character that died when they were all very young. It is sad and wonderful. Perhaps, recent events this year, somehow made this powerful story even more relevant.
All set in Chichibu, western Saitama, with attention to detail and a great care for catching the way it feels up there in the "hills" about an hour or so from Tokyo. A city that may have been much more lively in the bubble economy days 20 years ago. Yet, why did it have to "develop" so much beyond its capacity, the huge concrete factories, chemicals, Chichibu Cement, Mitsubishi Materials, Canon... why not what we call "sustainable development" and not get so torn apart? Since I live near there, this anime makes it all the more special. I like how this video shows the real places, that appear in the anime, including the Harp Bridge over Arakawa River:
So, this is what happened: When I reached Juurinji, temple 17 on the ancient Fudasho route, I was surprised to find a group of cos-play kids dressed up in the "Ano Hana" costumes (most likely home-made). They had the permission of the temple, and leasurly enacted the scene in the anime, exactly as it is, while they took photos and enjoyed the moment. Later, I learnt that many other location spots seen in the films also attract youngsters with this hobby.
I got my stamp, and the beautiful calligraphy that each temple will provide along the pilgrimage route. I walked away, then returned, and asked the kids if I could take their picture. "Sure!"
Some good comments on the many YouTube videos:
Thank god for the "slice of life" genre....the only thing keeping the sci-fi/ecchi hybrids from taking over.
I'm going to type a non-dramatic comment. It was a good anime, and barely made me tear up as much as Clannad. I'm pretty sure anyone who has lost someone important will love this show. Anyhow my personal rating overall is 9.0 out of 10.
most sad animes can give me a sob kind of cry. This one made me cry for real. Such a great anime. Definitely one of my favourites.
Great anime and a wicked opening melody. It is nice when the intro kind of reflects the story and gives an impression of each character's role. Simple, yet quite aesthetic.
Music by Galileo Galilei: Aoi Shiori (the location for the music video is of course the Seibu Line and the JR Chichibu Line train tracks)