Jun 19, 2012
moonstars (All reviews)
I first picked up Honey and Clover one school break during my college days, during the days when all I can think about is friendship/love/pressure to succeed/family woes, and then I found an image of myself in the story. This is how Honey and Clover succeeds to become a heart-warming slice of life series, I think it gave me a glimmer of hope despite the fleeting nature of youth, HnC assures me that you can make wonderful memories even when youth is long gone.

The pace of HnC is slow, but relaxing. It is animation in poetry form, the details and soft colours paint a character's mood or scenario and the feelings slowly flood your senses. Then there is the calming voice of Takemoto speaking in the background and his narration becomes the frame of the painting, piecing everything together. Beautiful and carefully hand-picked soundtracks by the mangaka herself are laced into the anime and I believe the songs were chosen for their lyrics which never fail to reflect the innermost emotions the featured characters are going through that moment in time. Just with these few elements, I'm constantly amazed and blown away by the anime.

But the story is what keeps you on your toes, despite the slower pacing, the twists and circumstances of every character captures you and sometimes what they experience is an incident I can relate to and I find myself cheering/crying for the character. Humour is often used to balance the mood, just the way we would in real life, and some the characters will send you in tears, while laughing. Because...

The characters in the story are so diverse and well-developed you will love them all, if not you'd love at least a few of them. There is the timid but talented Hagu-chan who conquers her lack of courage through her emotive paintings, nice guy Takemoto is a good friend to all but lonely at times when his willpower is shaken, Morita is a crazy blitz you can't help laughing at but his mysterious nature also pulls you in, Mayama the big brother torn between woes of loving and being loved, Yamada the naive girl who is crazy for Mayama and constantly has her heart broken, and of course Shu-chan the caretaker who watches over the group and sometimes nostalgia creeps up to him and he find himself missing his good friends from college. These are the primary characters, but revolving each of them are many more characters so different and colourful, you may just feel something familiar with any one of them too.

I'm not gonna lie, Honey and Clover remains one of my favourite series in print and motion form, and I've lost count of the number of times I re-watched the series so I may sound like one of those fans who will protect the series at all cost. However, while some may love the action-packed theme anime series out there, I believe some of us are also searching for that one anime that speaks to our inner emotions. When I re-watch HnC now, long past those youthful college days, whatever I have felt years ago while watching the series I can still feel them strongly if not even more strongly than before. It is a timeless art piece in the anime genre and as it sums up in one of my favourite quote from the series -

“As time passes, the day will come when everything will fade to memories. But those miraculous days, when you and I, along with everyone else, searched together for just that one thing, will continue revolving forever somewhere deep in my heart, as my bittersweet memory.”