Review: Honey and Clover

Hachimitsu to Kuroba

Mimi: I couldn’t have picked a better time to watch Honey and Clover; after all, I am planning to graduate from college this spring. Now it’s time for me to find a job in my field, live independently, and experience the world. This is the most exciting time of my life, but it is also the scariest. I’m still trying to ‘find’ myself and figure out what I really want to do with my life, and I worry about the future which is so unknown. As I watch Honey and Clover, I can see my own thoughts and feelings being expressed by the characters over the same matters, so this succeeds in feeling more personal to me than other slice-of-life shows.

Honey and Clover delves into the lives of five college students who live in the same apartment complex, and they each have an amazing talent for art. Right from the very beginning, you can tell that they are a crazy, loud group of kids who have trouble getting along, yet they share a very precious friendship. Much of this series is devoted to showing their highly exaggerated, humorous interactions, and after they expend all of their energy, they have these quiet, powerful moments of self-reflection. The mixture of comedy and drama is well-balanced so that you can take them seriously and enjoy them at the same time. I like that the show expresses hope and optimism even while the characters are experiencing painful setbacks, the main one being unrequited love.

Like most slice-of-life series, the pacing is really slow here, but it does skip over a couple of years. The characters develop remarkably during this time, yet they’re still the same loveable, charming kids they’ve always been. However, a couple of them do leave a bit more to be desired, namely Hagu and Morita. For the most part, they are shrouded in mystery because we never have the opportunity to get inside their heads. I have no idea what they’re thinking at the end, and they avoid this particular problem which never gets resolved. I will have to watch the second season to see if they ever get a proper closure.

In comparing all the Noitamina anime I’ve completed so far, Honey and Clover doesn’t actually fall in my top 5. While it is indeed an excellent slice-of-life series that is very easy to relate to, I tend to like heavy dramas and serious, plot-driven shows even more. The only exception to that is Kuragehime, though I think it’s a little stronger plot-wise, and the comedy is more refreshing. Anyway, here is how I would rank the Noitamina series so far, and I’ll keep updating the list as I complete more of them:

1. Kuragehime

2. Shiki

3. House of Five Leaves

4. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

5. Higashi no Eden

6. Nodame Cantabile

7. Honey and Clover II

8. Honey and Clover

9. The Tatami Galaxy

10. Paradise Kiss

11. Moyashimon

12. Antique Bakery

Mimi’s Score: 9 Meeps out of 10 (Great)

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2 thoughts on “Review: Honey and Clover

  1. The only Noitamina shows I’ve seen are Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Hourou Musuko, and Fractale. I’m enjoying the latter two so far.

    By the way, are you gonna review the Dog of Flanders movie? Just curious. I’d love to see your opinion of it. Hehehe.

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