I’m a sucker for romantic Anime, but I’m also picky about the ones I watch.
Some Anime can give me an uplifting feeling, that’s comforting, soothing, and familiar.
It’s this escapism I enjoy out of Anime.
Anime is my guilty pleasure that I should no longer feel guilty about.
It makes me feel good and lets me embrace the deepest parts of myself.
Horimiya is an Anime that lets me achieve this. For all the countless high school romance Anime in existence, this one is at the top of my list. It’s genuine, mature, hilarious, and taught me a few things.
It follows the characters of Izumi Miyamura and Kyouko Hori.
Izumi is gloomy and secluded, while Hori is popular and outgoing; opposite personalities, chance encounters, the series at a glance is pretty cliche but how their relationship evolves and Izumi’s struggles seem genuine. With well-developed characters that are easy to relate to, this series proves that cliche high school romance Anime can have some surprising depth.
The interesting thing about slice-of-life or romantic Anime is that the quality of the animation is not very important to me.
As long as the story and characters are compelling enough, the animation can slide somewhat;
looking at art with no soul isn’t all that interesting.
However, this is not the case with Horimiya; animated by CloverWorks, the animation is beautiful.
One thing you can count on to get me hooked on a show or draw me in is the theme songs.
The opening “Iro Kousui (色香水)” by You Kamiyama is still stuck in my head.
It’s hard to pin-point exactly why I like it so much, but it’s catchy and soothing. It melts away anxiety and lets you relax to enjoy.
The ending “Yakusoku (約束)” by Friends (フレンズ) was nice but didn’t have the same effect for me and skipped it more than the opening. Overall, the themes and original music suited the show perfectly, but I would also say that music is another element that doesn’t need to be perfect.
Hori and Miyamura’s relationship develops slowly and at first are not honest with one another and watching them work this out is part of the fun. Cliche and cringy as it can be, it felt real. Their relationship is messy, funny, and emotional like real love is.
But it’s Miyamura’s struggles with childhood trauma and rejection that are the main driving point for the narrative. Miyamura’s friction with others leads to the deeper message of no matter how hard it may be, it’s not impossible to befriend someone, even someone who’s wronged you or you’ve wronged.
I relate to the character of Miyamura. Miyamura lashes out in violence and is deeply hurt.
My junior high and high school life was very similar to his. I was alone a lot, a bit of an outcast; awkward, and it wasn’t until high school where I found friends that saw the great qualities I always doubted.
The high school setting many Anime use can be a lonely and challenging time for many people.
Horimiya does a good job of illustrating this.
“I’m so ugly.” – Yuki
The human condition is scary, and trying to be loved and understood seems almost impossible. But our friends love us. Even if you think you’re alone, there will be those that will love you for who you are.
Hori is the friend I did not have in high school. I dated sure, but it wasn’t until I met my wife that I have what Hori is to Miyamura. Someone who is really on my side looking out for me, someone who will defend me and comfort me at my worst.
Hoyrimiya mostly, is a cliche romance Anime. It still has cliche moments that all couples go through. But what can make an Anime like this great is how the cast of characters handle these moments.
The relationships and chemistry of the characters was well done.
I found them to be more realistic than other shows I’ve seen; they were both believable and relatable.
I throughly enjoyed Hoyrimiya. I loved the balance of humor and drama. But it’s themes of childhood struggles and loneliness struck a cord with me. It’s romantic Anime like this that keeps the genre refreshing and doesn’t make you cringe in the ways you would usually come to expect.
If romance isn’t your thing, I totally get it. But if you like the genre, check it out.
It’s become one of my favorites.