Dec 23, 2009
Lorelei (All reviews)
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.

One thing's for sure. It did have meaning.