I really don't have any hard feelings for the character, I basically also liked her with Clay. But mostly she was there, for us to see how a stranger will analyse those people, and how those people would tell her things they didn't tell thier own.
So do you think that changing the plot and making it without Ani the whole time, like you know, separate groups? Maybe. Though she did have a major role so a lot of things would have to be taken from a different view, or like, changed with characters doing other things.