anime, review

Anime Review: Honey and Clover

NOTE: This is only a review on season 1, season 2 will be something different.

Introduction

On February 26 I said, “I’ll review Honey and Clover somewhere in early March….” Finished the anime yesterday. So sorry for being so late, won’t be watching my 4 shonen animes till 21st of April but again it’s hard to rely on me with that considering I’m this late to reviewing an anime I was suppose to finish in late February. So I heard about Honey and Clover somewhere in 2013 when I really wanted to find an unrequited love anime and I’ve heard so many good things about the anime too. Now I finally get to see it and how do I feel about it…

Story

So 3 college students, Yuuta Takemoto, Takumi Mayama and Shinobu Morita all live in a tiny apartment. This all boys lifestyle changes however after an extremely talented art student, Hagumi Hanamoto arrives.

I know that’s not the best way to summarize the story of the anime. The anime has a fantastic plot though. It’s dramatic and also is well balanced with the comedy, it is very relatable and mostly believable. However even though the drama is believable and it is well balanced with the comedy, I can’t ignore the fact that sometimes the drama did go a little over the top and a bit boring, the comedy seems like it’s saving grace because without the comedy the anime will just come off as very melodramatic and I guarantee it would make you sleep (thumbs up for comedies!). The anime is believable however their was this one thing in the anime which don’t get me wrong it was interesting and beautiful however also unrealistic. Also does this anime have a time skip because I’m so confused, like when did 2 years go by? (I don’t count that as a spoiler).

Score: B+

Characters

The main characters are all very well developed and all are very unique. Takemoto comes of as an average guy who is a bit naive, though he’s back story and considering the anime follows his perspective majority of the time, he has more color to him. Then there is Hagu who is a very unusual yet interesting character. Hagu is at first quiet and always clings on her uncle, though she does open up fast. She is enjoyable though, their is something about her that is just interesting and very unique. Mayama is Takemoto’s senpai and I’m pretty sure he’s the eldest. Mayama is very mature and caring to those around him. The best way to describe him is that he’s is the character that is more serious even in comedic moments, though he’s serious side comes off as humorous too. Ayumi Yamada (I got into the habit of calling her Ayu because Hagu calls her that) is the only female lead other then Hagu. I really like her character because she is someone I can relate to very much. She is the most well developed character of the show. However she probably the main focus when it comes to melodrama. Though as much as I related to Ayu, my favourite character is definitely Morita. He stood out the most and the main cause to the comedy. If I could make a top 10 best anime characters list again, he would be on it somewhere. Morita is the best comic relief character because the anime knows how to develop him and involve him in the drama without making him seem out of character. The rest of the cast however are all also well developed and I love how Honey and Clover kept it’s characters small, however because the anime spent so much time developing it’s main cast, the supporting cast couldn’t stand out as much.

Score: B+

Animation

The character designs although unique and nicely done, it is really weird and honestly I didn’t want to watch the anime because it didn’t look very interesting. But looks are deceiving because when you actually sit through the anime, you start to realize though images you saw of it are wrong. The animation done by J.C Staff (Azumanga Daioh, Toradora, Love Stage) is so beautiful and is so well done. The anime likes to use kind of a water-color look and enjoys being unique, best example is in both openings especially the first one.

Score: B

Sound

The OST doesn’t stand out all that much, except the ones with vocals playing in the background. Though for the most part the score is good and is nice to listen to. The opening is decent even though it has good animation with it. The first ending is really good and I really like it, however it gets replaced and that’s not so bad just not as suitable as the first ending.

I highly recommend you to watch the Japanese over the English. The Japanese starts off a bit weird however you get use to it very quickly and eventually it is enjoyable. The English however is very dead and just didn’t match the anime. Everyone sounded so bland and a bit mellow however I give credit to Shinobu’s voice, yes it was over the top and I’m not too fond of it honestly but it was the best one out of the cast and it actually sounded like it had a bit of life in it.

Score (Songs): B

Score (Voice Acting): C+

Conclusion

Overall Honey and Clover is a funny and entertaining anime with bittersweet drama. It is probably the best at slapping your face with the reality of unrequited love (even though I enjoyed other unrequited love animes more). The problem I had with Honey and Clover is at times it bored me especially without it’s comedy because honestly I am easily distracted so if an anime could have the same effect as School Rumble, Junjou Romantica or Doki Doki School Hours where I’ll never leave my seat until I finish the whole series then that anime definitely gets a good spot on my list. Though Honey and Clover is getting there since I haven’t seen seaspn 2. So I give this anime a B rating, go watch it, I promise you it’s worth your time.

If you like Honey and Clover then I recommend:

Nana

Both animes have bittersweet drama. Nana is one of my favorite animes and is the best adult drama existing (my personal opinion). Both animes aren’t you’re typical high school romance, it actually goes outside of the high school cliche. Nana likes to focus on issues most animes don’t usually talk about and it is so believable with it’s fantastic story and great character (except one character). If you like drama, comedy and romance with a bittersweet side to it then you’ll adore Nana. I highly recommend this to anime fans.

Anohana

Also a bittersweet drama except lighter. Though Anohana isn’t necessarily a comedy it is a cute anime and is actually really sad. The anime likes to bring up the issue of regret and like Honey and Clover, unrequited love. Sure Anohana doesn’t do this nearly as well as Honey and Clover but it is still nicely done and is more believable then most animes. Anohana is the reason many anime fans have to admit they have cried in the anime.

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