Hello and welcome back to Otaku Thursday! After last week’s tour around the world to reflect upon Hetalia, we’re back to our regular programming and I’m coming at you with my first, First Impressions of the season! So, right up to bat we are starting with something that I personally was waiting for with baited breath: Horimiya.
So background first on my love of Horimiya: I first discovered this comic back in early 2013. There were only a few chapters of it at the time but it was just…so good. Like truly wonderfully everything that I wanted. At the time I was going through a shoujo manga phase and consuming them as fast as Deku breaks his limbs in a fight. I read and started so many GREAT shoujo manga during that time, and one of those titles was none other than Horimiya. It was cute, funny, deep when it wanted to be–but not overly dramatic like the other manga I read. It was refreshingly honest–refreshingly straightforward. I liked it a lot and I kept reading, and still am–to this day. A story about a boy who is quiet and ‘nerdy’ at school but a total edge babe with piercings and tattoos outside of school, and a girl who is the cute popular classmate who really looks like a mom when she gets home so she can care for her brother. Both brought together by coincidence, an adorable little brother (love Sota), and a shared secret. Legit could be any shoujo but this one makes its simple premise but it made it special. It was one of my favorites, but like many other shoujo manga I started during that time, it was one I was sure would never get an anime adaption.
Imagine my elation when it did. Honestly, I didn’t believe it at first but then low and behold it was real. Horimiya was getting an anime adaption thanks to CloverWorks. Halle-friggin-lujah! But as excited as I was, I was also hesitant–the manga worked well in its short chapter formula–would the anime as well? My newest concern leading up to winter 2021 was whether or not it’d be as good as I wanted it to be. And the verdict now that I’m three episodes in? It’s just as good as I wanted. In fact, I’m hella impressed with how they translated it onscreen.
First off, the characters are drawn absolutely beautifully. I’m used to the art being good, but Miyamura looks like a greek god. And Hori is absolutely gorgeous. The other characters are also drawn wonderfully–so far I can’t tell if they’ve taken any animation shortcuts but I don’t think they have. It’s been quiet impressive how well the animation can be one moment and then in a moment of humor how a character can just go blank faced and it be so adorable. Just like the manga. In fact, some of the comedic moments are done so wonderfully that I like them better animated. Example A: episode 2 of Horimiya when Ishikawa does his shoujo run away from Hori. The animation of the glinting tears, slight slow-mo as he turns–it was –* chef’s kiss *. I will say though that in terms of comedic moments–not all of them transferred over as wonderfully. In fact, some just were like subpar (Hori staring at the boy’s in the locker room could’ve been done better). Regardless, I think it overall works really well on a comedy level.
On the more emotional level…damn. Horimiya is a goat. The pacing of serious moments, the framing–the subtle changes in a character’s eyes as they study each other. It’s almost too good. Not only that but it did this interesting thing that was not in the manga, but translated BEAUTIFULLY for the anime. Occasionally, characters will like be cut out from the background and depicted against one that is only black and white. But in this blankness will be their shadow–but their shadow will be a splash of color. At first I thought it was just an artistic touch for the sake of it, but then I realized–the color of their shadow was like the color of their emotion. Pink for embarrassment(or love??), yellow for happy, dark blue when sad, regular blue for content, red for anger–each color seems to have a correlation with the emotion the character’s are feeling. This little detail they added to the anime was just like SO good. When we can’t be inside the character’s head, it gives us these moments to show us. GODDESS. I just–I really like this detail you guys. A LOT. I think it was brilliant.
I will also say that the opening and the music are both really good and feel really appropriate for the show. Star actually decided to watch this show with me and she’s really impressed with the opening–says it’s everything she wants in an opening. So overall, I’m pretty much impressed with the Horimiya anime adaption so far. I really do think it’s great. Naturally I can’t say it’s perfect–though it gets pretty damn close. I do find myself checking myself like–did they explain all this thing? Are they skipping stories/chapters? I care little and it has little impact on the story, I’m just curious. I don’t think they are–I think it’s just been like many many years since I read the beginning of Horimiya.
So long story short: watch Horimiya. I really like it and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a good shoujo comedy with a little bit of drama but not a ton–and the characters actually get along and nobody is necessarily bad or unlikeable. It’s just such a nice story. And it is but one of many great shows that CloverWorks has brought us this season. Also it’s really fun to watch more people thirst over Miyamura (join us in our simping). Anyway, that’s all for now! Til next time~!