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.
okay i finished H&C2, half-forced by my friend who says it's incredible.. honestly, i had been holding it off for a while coz i kinda knew it would disappoint me coz the genre seemed so inclined towards romance(not my pref)
the art design just doesn't appeal to me. my friend says it's the most unique art design and stuff, but it looks hideous, especially when their eyes go O.O the character design isn't too bad in a way.. lots of diversity, but i honestly thought Hagu chan was the prof's daughter in the beginning.. lol.. in fact i thought so until the love square actually developed..
and i was like "u gotta be kidding me".. the only character i liked was Yamada. The backgrounds are honestly pretty excellent, but i can recommend so many other animes with mind-blowing backgrounds.
H&C tries to depict life, but keeps on focusing on the love triangles and squares, in which they try to make you tear up at every scene. it's also ridiculous that there are only 2 main girls(with super complicated relationships), and a ton of guys. I mean, most of u should know how many hotties u can find in the art departments. and yet, 2 students and 1 professor are fighting over a kid. #$%#$@&#$$@!!! the story about Morita was quite fresh, but it wasn't a very prominent plot in the story. i related so much to Kaoru and i liked the way they depicted the forked road. I think H&C wastes too much time depicting the love drama and never really tells u wat happened, their past and their goals. The only plot which was beautifully depicted was Morita and Kaoru's, but it was probably thought of by the author as a side-story or something.. The ending didn't feel much like an ending.. it felt like a cut in the middle.. it also didnt feel like a new beginning, which would have given room for a sequel. it's like, the couplings are decided, so we end the story here. sheesh.. I thought H&C2 would imply a real sequel, but it's the same thing all over again. but after seeing the ending, i understand why it isn't a sequel. there's just no sequel to make.
Hagu-chan is probably the worst character i've seen in a very very long time.. I just don't understand why a kid has to be the center of the biggest love confusion. what the heck is this anime trying to imply? she doesn't look 18 at all. fine, some girls really have little bodies because of some defections, but it was never mentioned in the anime, and those guys who like her just seem like lolicons and arseholes to me. the other characters are also very boring and i can't relate much to them because they seem like they dont have a past at all..
I didn't enjoy this much in part because i knew i would be disappointed, but i've watched animes which i thought at first that it would turn out bad, but actually loving them in the end. TBRH, there's just nothing much to like about H&C. It seems like one of the most overrated anime of all time to me rather than the best anime of all time as some ppl would say. i just dont see how anyone can really love H&C if they have watched other animes with similar genre. it's just not as realistic or romantic as it seems. I would probably only recommend this to ppl who would be satisfied with only great art, and very shallow plots. for example, my friend who loves this anime but can't even finish Higurashi n Monster.
I think it's essential to compare it with other romance/slice of life animes to see how H&C doesn't live up to it's ratings. First of all is ef. There's no need to say anything about the art style. it just blows ur mind away. the storyline might seem very fantasy-like compared to H&C, but it's so much more realistic, with lots of side-characters and even a few neutral characters. in addition, the characters are so much more diverse and unique. i also personally like how they depict the monologues in ef. H&C tries to depict it in a romantic way, but it's just too boring and doesn't really show how intense the self-debate is. ef, in contrast depicts exactly how ppl spend so much time in limbo during those stages in life.
then, for the more popular genre, we have toradora. ok, it has a chibi too, but at least she doesn't look like a 10 year old. the art is obviously more popular too, and i haven't seen ppl complaining about the plot yet, just debate about couplings.
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.