This was a nice introduction to what is going to be a very sad anime. Hopefully I won’t need a tissue box to get through this!
This episode basically introduced Jinta and Menma without actually saying much. In a flashback, we find out that these two, plus a group of other children were all friends that used to play together. One day one of them asked Jinta if he liked Menma, he said something horrible and ran home, and, it turns out Menma died. This event led to all the friends going their separate ways and it seems like Jinta was traumatised by the event. I guess he feels responsible for her death somehow. He said something horrible to her and then ran out after all. This affected him pretty badly, so much so, that he’ s practically become a shut-in.
However, Menma is back. She’s clearly a ghost hence Jinta believes her to be a fabrication of his stress piling up. That his mind created her so that he can apologise to her for happened that day. It also seems like Jinta is the only one who can see her at this point. She said she wanted a promise fulfilled, probably one she made with Jinta in their childhood which has now been forgotten. So, I think it’s more that she wants this promise fulfilled than anything else hence she’s come back as a ghost.
This gives an excuse to introduce the other characters. Comparing them from flashback to present, it’s clear that everyone has changed and drifted apart. Menma’s death had a significant effect on them on them all. They may have grown up and matured but her death left them scarred. To what extent they have been effected will probably be revealed moving forward.
For a first episode, this did pretty well. Nothing was revealed but hints were dropped as to what happened and I am curious. We don’t know how Menma died or what the cause of it was or exactly what effect it had on her friends. It’ll be interesting to see all of this play out.