Watch or Drop? Rules
- The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
- At least 3 episodes have already aired.
- Episodes 1- 3 to be watched in a single sitting and a decision reached as to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Horimiya is a high-school romance slash slice-of-life anime with characters that are actually fairly well written and interesting (at least so far). Hori and Miyamura have some fairly good chemistry as these first few episodes take us through friendship and into somewhat stronger emotions and with the exception of the members of the student council, most of the supporting cast have so far been pretty delightful. The student council members may be taking a few clichés too much to heart. So far the pace has been pretty good and it never really feels like we’ve come to a halt and visually it is pretty pleasing.
Affiliate Link – Play Asia
Miyamura has been fantastic. When I first saw him in the classroom in the standard outcast otaku mode I had a moment where I was almost ready to just accept that this was going to be as standard as they come. However, from the moment he first makes Hori’s acquaintance in casual mode on he’s proven a fairly entertaining lead character. Hori has been a little less impressive so far because she’s currently stuck in the dense romantic lead trope, however there’s plenty of scope for her character to grow and I’m hoping the series utilises this as it continues.
The visuals in the first 3 episodes have been spot on. While this isn’t an animation marvel full of dynamic action, the use of colour and framing in this anime has so far been very nicely composed and it really adds to the overall impression of the characters and the story.
Finally, as I mentioned in the first impressions, the pace has been well used. We’re not rushing but we go from the characters meeting to a decent friendship within one episode as well as introducing the supporting characters and have Hori confessed to by one of the supporting characters. From there we just keep flowing forward and it feels very natural and is keeping me interested in where things are going.
Alright, it is a little generic. If you’ve seen boy and girl who both are a bit different at home to the way they appear at school who meet and become close before then this anime isn’t exactly treading new ground. Admittedly, it is doing its own version of this story and doing it well, but if originality is what you are looking for you probably won’t find it here.
The only other negative I have so far is Ayasaki who is apparently a member of the student council but is being shoved into some kind of role as a rival/antagonist even though there’s really not a lot of room or need for one in the story so far. Maybe she’ll grow as the series continues or maybe she’ll remain the low point, however first impressions of her aren’t great as she resorts to tears in one scene to avoid accepting responsibility for her actions and then pretty much declares she’s going to ‘take’ Miyamura like some kind of possession even though she’s had like 2 encounters with him. With some more thought and better writing she could be a half-decent character but as it stands she’s the weak link in an otherwise pretty solid opening 3 episodes.
Fine, if pushed I’ll also mention that there’s a joke in episode one that just lands completely flat due to the subject matter and the fact that it is a comment from a teacher to a student that just seems completely out of place. However, outside of that mis-fire most of the humour lands provided you don’t dislike the usual anime girl slaps or flicks boy in face when she’s embarrassed or annoyed.
This was probably a super easy one to start with given it charmed me right from episode one. I am actually disappointed it isn’t finished already because I’d have loved to just binge the whole lot in one sitting. So yes, I’ll be watching the rest of Horimiya once the season is over and I’m looking forward to reviewing the whole series.
- Episode 1 Review from Olive St Sauver
- Episode 1 Review from Kila Panaretou
- Episode 1 Review from Neru (with spoilers)
- Episode 1 Essay from The Otaku Exhibition
Images from: Horimiya. Dir. M. Ishihama. Cloverworks. 2021