The sequel and final installment to the highly popular series once again delves into the life stories and love lives of Takemoto Yuuta, Mayama Takumi and Morita Shinobu. The story continues where the first season left off, after Takemoto's self-discovery journey around Japan. Of course, the love triangles and tribulations they face will continue, and eventually decide the paths to their future.
Ah, Umino Chika's masterpiece, Honey and Clover. I first saw this more or less two years ago, initially thinking it was just some generic romance anime. Needless to say, I suddenly fell in love with it from the moment in season one, episode two, near the ending, when Takemoto was carrying Morita on his back. Cue. The piano stopped. And right after that, he said, "It hurts". From that point on, I knew I was watching a different kind of anime. I guess remembering that random scene from an episode proves that it had an impact.
Season one ended gracefully, you could accept it as "ending"
and it can have a sequel as well. Either way, we've got a lot of questions left, like what happened to Mayama, Rika and Yamada, or is Shinobu really that much of an idiot that he couldn't fight for Hagu, as well as what would be Hagu's answer after "I'm glad you're back". I was literally jumping with joy when they decided to make another season. Everything was concluded at Honey and Clover II.
These kinds of anime is the reason why I still love the medium animation.
Color pastel-type work at its finest. They're at an art school, after all, so the art should be top-notch. JC Staff is enough said; almost anything they make delivers, and delivers well. I love how they abused the blurry, almost-dreamy look of the show. Some may find it a bit "girly", but, well, it fits the opus. It stays loyal to the manga's designs too.
One of the BEST parts of watching Honey and Clover is listening to its wonderful, wonderful music. "Dramatic" and "Waltz" got us in season one, the piano renditions of the songs were especially amazing. Now we've got "Fugainaya" and "Split", which are really blessings to the human ear. I may be wrong, but almost every episode has a different insert song with it, which was brilliantly scored to match the scene it goes with. I especially liked the song at episode nine and the song playing on the last scene. Epic.
The factor that propels Honey and Clover to its fame is its characters, and the story that they individually have, interconnected with each other. It's a story about growing up, maturity, and coming-of-age (jobs, decisions, etc) after all. Maybe it's my age, but I find its story stunningly touching and awe-inspiring. Before Honey and Clover, I thought most modern works lost the magic of storytelling. Characters were easy enough to identify with. Themes of unrequited love, talents, ties, lifelong goals, finding oneself, hardships and trials; they're all there, wonderfully packaged.
Takemoto's still the unsure, melancholic character that he was at season one but you could see he's grown up a little and learned more about how life goes. He's the banner of H&C, he represents adolescence. Morita lost most of his eccentricity and we get to see the deeper side of him, as well as the people he's closest to. Yamada, well, is Yamada, still with her unrequited love, but of course, with a twist at season two. We get to see more of Rika, Professor Hanamoto, and Mayama. But, definitely, Hagu's part on the succeeding story is probably the biggest plot point of Honey and Clover II.
What really makes this a modern gem is the way it was presented; it was music, characters, and story weaving in and out of each other in perfect harmony. At times I really find myself asking why is aging this bittersweet. Honey and Clover II is the right way to end the nostalgic series, and if you want to watch something that isn't flooded with moe, giant breasts or extreme harem, and instead want to see something of a mature slice-of-life anime, see this.
12 episodes were not enough. I at least need 24 episodes of Honey and Clover goodness for my fill. Honey and Clover was just easy and fun to watch, and it was the same for the second season.
As for the drawing style, main plot and voice acting, not much has changed so I’ll only focus on the things that have changed.
The main plot hasn’t changed – it’s still a “coming of age” story for all of the characters, but for this season, the focus has shifted from Takemoto and Yamada’s individual stories to Hagu and Morita. Sure we still get to see the Takemoto’s struggles
with his youth and Yamada’s sad love story, but this time, we learn more about Hagu and her strong passion for what she does and what Morita has been doing up until now. Plus there have been some developments with Mayama’s relationship with Rika as well – and for a hardcore Rika hater/Yamada-Mayama fan like me, that’s kinda tough to watch.
Even though I’m glad at how it ended, I still can’t help but shed a few tears because of their parting. I wish that they could stay together and have fun forever (kind of like how I feel now since I’m graduating) but that’s how life goes – you meet new people and in the process you lose some people. I also found myself tearing up more during this season. There were just so many things that are kind of sad and bittersweet.
Generally there weren’t any changes as to drawing style, but Hagu definitely looks prettier. Back in the first season, I didn’t think she was cute or pretty until the last few episodes. Her look during the last few episodes was carried over to the new season and was made even better. CG was still used, most notable in the opening theme sequence, and was complimentary in some scenes as well.
They used some music from the first season, but I think that was only in the first 2 episodes. There was also a variety of insert songs for this season as well, which really complimented the scenes. The opening song and ending song for this season were similar to the opening and ending song of the first season, probably because they were performed by the same artists but I have to say, I like the first season’s themes better.
I’m so sad that I won’t have any more Honey and Clover now. I finally found the meaning to the line “Good things must come to an end”, and I found another favorite to add to my list.
Anime: Honey and Clover II was once again produced by JC Staff (famous for their work on Revolutionary Girl Utena and Excel Saga), and directed by Tatsuyuki Nagain (famous for his work on My-HiME and iDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA) this time around. It aired on Japanese TV from June 29th to September 14th, 2006. It has yet to be licensed Stateside.
Story: Honey and Clover II picks up where Honey and Clover left off, and finishes up the remaining manga material.
I like this follow-up. It answers questions it left unanswered last season, and resolves all the relationships that were left hanging
at the end of last season. And there are some absolutely heart-breaking scenes in here.
Something just seems to be missing here, though. I just can't really put my finger on it. I think it has something to do with the mood -- it seems less centered around the realism than it was last season. Not that it's not realistic, because it still is, but... I don't know how to explain it.
It's good and all, but it's just not the same as it was last season. Probably comes with the director change.
Art: Just as beautiful as it was last season, though it seems that they used brighter colors than they did last season than some of the more muted colors that they tended to use.
Music: There's another piano version of either the OP or ED that plays a lot and is really beautiful. Background music is about the same as last season.
The insert music is still done by the same artists, from what I can hear, and still appropriately fitting.
The OP is still done by the same wailing banshee lady, but the animation for it is pretty neat again. The ED's not all that remarkable, again, but I can live with it.
Seiyuu: All the same actors as last season, except for the twelfth and final episode, where Kenji Nojima replaces Hiroshi Kamiya as Takemoto's VA, due to an accident that the latter had that rendered him unable to record the episode; Nojima does a pretty good job of staying as close to Kamiya's performance as possible, but you can tell that it's not Kamiya. Good performances though, as always.
Length: Twelve episodes was the perfect length to take care of everything they left untouched last season, I think. Any longer, and it would've started to drag a bit.
Overall: A good follow-up to last season, but it's just not the same. If you want to find out how everything eventually resolves, then definitely watch it. Just be aware that it might not be quite the same impact as the first season made on you.
A sequel is often a lackadaisical attempt to cash in on its predecessor’s success. As such, most spin offs end up being mediocre or straight out terrible. There is however, a small handful that takes the foundation its progenitor has laid out and adds another, more polished layer on top. Honey and Clover II may be a sequel, but it is by no means inferior. In fact, with the characters firmly established, the show plays out the resolutions to much of the initial conflicts, creating a product that is actually superior to the original.
Production values are once again solid with beautiful animation, heartfelt music and
creative cinematography. However, these are merely the uppermost icing on this exquisite cake. The Honey and Clover franchise has always focused on its characters, shoving plot to the wayside, and directly making connections with the audience.
No words can truly do the complex feelings portrayed in this anime justice; the flood of raw emotions that is unleashed simply cannot be adequately expressed. The cast is so diverse, so dynamically human that it is hard not to like. I will personally testify that Honey and Clover II has some of the most believable and relatable characters I have ever seen. Anime, live action or otherwise, you will be hard pressed to find anything more authentic.
The conflicts the characters face ring with a sharp, down to earth tone that is hopeful yet poignant. The cast has already put down their cards in the original Honey and Clover so, in this sequel, the other players begin to respond. The characters absolutely blossom or silently whither depending on their loved ones’ acceptance or rejection. However, these individuals hold in their hearts the fact that tomorrow is another day full of harsh tribulations and renewed hope. You will laugh with these characters; you will cry with these characters; you will feel emotions you never thought possible through anime. Rarely have I seen an anime so viscerally portray life.
If Honey and Clover was the dramatic herald to first love, Honey and Clover II is surely the emotional fallout. The characters are dealt a cruel hand as they become hung up on a one sided love. None of the feelings the cast undergoes is shallow or facetious. They are confronted with the harsh reality of rejection and the harrowing continuation of life. If you want a genuinely heartfelt drama, Honey and Clover II more than fits the bill. It is, without a doubt, one of the best you can find.
Growing up is often rife with events that end up shaping who you become. Sure, most people's formative years aren't as exciting as how they're portrayed in these Coming-of-Age anime, but check these ones out and you might (momentarily) forget about how much you missed out on! Hooray for anime!
If you ask the general public to name anyone associated with anime, they’re almost certain to name a certain director – Miyazaki Hayao. But for anime fans themselves, the director is a crucial component of anime success that’s too often overlooked.