Living with imaginary girls

For some reason he was praying that he could meet her again – even if no one else could.

No, it is not about my imaginary gURLfriend from City of Heroes and Sims 2, but rather the anime Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, called AnoHana for short. (I appreciate that. I believe this means “that flower”, and the whole thing means something like “we still don’t know the name of the flower seen that day” or some such.) Spoiler for episode 1.

The main character is a boy who shuts himself in and does not go to high school. This seems to have happened at some time after his mother dies. But what really bothers him is the girl who died when they both were around 10 or so (from the looks of them). She was his best friend and when someone asked if he liked her, he got flustered and called her an ugly bitch or some such. She died that night, falling off a cliff, perhaps while looking for him. Anyway, he clearly feels that he is at fault.

And then she comes back to haunt him – sort of. One summer she appears at his home, looking as much older as he is, but still behaving as the child she was before she died. She is very clingy, which embarrasses him even though she is nor particularly attractive and is wearing decent clothes. She seems not to hold any grudge against him, but neither is she sure why she is there. She thinks one of them has to fulfill a wish, but it is not clear what.

While the main character can both see and hear and feel the ghost girl, nobody else can. When they are alone, she can move things freely, even to the point of cooking (which she does not do very well). If there are other people present, she only rarely moves anything in the room, and always in such a way that people think someone else did it or it just moved on its own.  Naturally the boy decides to not even try to convince others that she is real, and people look at him like he is crazy when he forgets himself and talks to her or make weird gestures seemingly to thin air.

A pretty original story, as far as I can see.  I know of only one other story based on this premise, and it is written by me and never published.


The actual story as it develops is different from mine, but the whole invisible girl thing is disturbingly similar.  Admittedly it took me some time to arrive at it: My first story of this sort was not about a girl but an adult “goddess” from a higher-dimensional reality, and due to the doubt of the man he could not touch her, although she could move things when no one else was looking. He was able to hear and see her though.  This was also the premise of one of my NaNoWriMo stories, although it ultimately failed. The story was written from the viewpoint of another young woman, so it is no wonder I had to give it up. I don’t really understand women at all. Or humans, really, when it comes to it.

The next iteration, however, had the “goddess” (now a completely alien being from a six-dimensional world where our universe is just one of many bubbles) take on the exact body of a girl who died in a traffic accident around the age of 10. In so doing it gains her memories exactly as they were at the moment before her death. The main character is a young man in his first year at college. The girl used to live next door and they were very close. When his parents also died, the people in his small town decided that he was cursed with bad luck and he became isolated from everyone. Oh, and the resurrected girl has the power to make herself age up and age down as she sees fit, to his worry.  In any form, however, nobody else can sense her at all, even when she does things right before their nose. They just attribute it to some natural cause.

I won’t exclude the possibility that I have copied the idea from somewhere, but I doubt it, since I arrived at it gradually and still have the writings from the earlier incarnations. There is  a whole series of these on my hard disk, bringing the concept of the female character ever closer to that in AnoHana – which was not even published at the time. This seems to be a direct to anime production, so presumably no one has published anything about it, certainly not in any language I can read.

Regular readers will notice that this is something I am more or less used to already. I still have the original manuscript of two or three stories about a boy who attends a magic school in an old stone castle and his relationship to girls, his learning magic and his repeated fights against evil, for instance.  There is no way I could publish that now; not that it was ever good enough for that. I also invented online persistent role playing games before they existed, and in my childhood invented the entire genre of roleplaying games before they were invented again in Sweden a few year later.  In all fairness I was just a kid then, so there was nothing I could have done. But you see the point here. Good ideas come to me; I fail them; they go elsewhere, to someone who can get them right.

That’s just the kind of guy I am. It is kind of halfway cool and halfway pathetic. I guess on average I am kind of human, after all.