Daydream Sanctuary Features

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover
aka Hachimitsu to Clover

of J.C. Staff

I wish there will be more anime love stories that are as impressive, sweet, entertaining, and refreshing as this!

Rating: A EPIC AWESOME! So addicting I cannot get enough!
Favoritism: 4 out of 5 hearts = ADORATION
Takemoto Yuuta, Mayama Takumi, and Morita Shinobu are college students who share the small apartment. Even though they live in poverty, the three of them are able to obtain pleasure through small things in life. The story follows these characters' life stories as poor college students, as well as their love lives when a short but talented 18 year old girl called Hanamoto Hagumi appears. (Anime News Network)

At first glance it was honestly not my type. Well, since when had a slice of life series had caught my attention at first look?! Haha! But, many people have been saying how good it is. As I stared at the promo pictures, I still couldn't figure out what's in it that made people think of it as something awesome. But good reviews really arouse my curiosity, so I gave the first episode a try, until all of a sudden I'm already at episode five without me realizing it! I finally began to understand why the series was so lovable during that time! However, during that time as well I think I've been busy with exams and projects, so I put it on-hold until I forgot about watching it.

Then recently, the character designer of a recent anime, called Eden of the East, is the same as with Honey and Clover's. That reminded me that I'm not done with the series yet. I thought of continuing where I left, but I could no longer remember most of the story, so I had to start from the beginning again. I marathoned it for two days, the two seasons and the specials. Seriously, it was addicting.

I'm very impressed with its love story. It's not your typical cheesy or angsty romance with overused plotlines. The romance here had been happy and sad at the same time. Surprisingly, the relationships here hadn't been the types that annoyed the hell out of me. And it sure emphasized that . . . "Love is complicated. There are hard times but joyful times as well." I think many true loves in real life are like that. Love stories with instant happy endings in fiction don't always happen in real life after all.

But of course, this series is not only centered on romantic love, but even friendship and family love.

The bond of friendship between the main characters had been really great. I'm glad that all of them, even their teacher and other supporting characters, get to have very good character development and a chance to shine. I also love seeing their imperfectness. Even the extremely talented Shinobu has his own faults and weaknesses too.

Among family relationships, I adore the Morita brothers the most. I admit that in a way it has something to do with my adoration to brotherly love, but those two were really sweet. I love Shinobu and Kaoru a lot. Perhaps, these two had also reminded me of the relationship of my brother and I. I'm the elder sibling, but I'm somewhat like Shinobu, because I'm the child with the most talents in the family: in arts, studies, and so on. Though I am in many ways better than my brother, he was the one who is loved most by people. Apparently, he's better in socializing than I am. Like Kaoru, I had been jealous of my little brother.

Events in Honey and Clover sure remind me of my personal life. It's so real, I can relate in many of the events. It also made me think about and realize a lot of things. It's not just some love story, it contains lessons about life as well. It makes you analyze and reflect. It suggests to you not to lose hope despite all those hard times. It has a very deep and rich story, so wonderful I'm very amazed.

Of course, it's not just focused on the serious things and the romance stuff. What made this series so freakin' entertaining is the COMEDY! It's so damn hilarious that I could no longer count the number of times I cried from so much laughter. My stomach had also hurt from too much laughing as well. Blame all characters for being so funny! Haha! Especially Morita Shinobu, he's so wacky and silly! He's so crazy that it makes him such a fun person! Haha!

I also find the art in this series really AMAZING! Well, yes, I admit that I find the character designs a little plain, but later they grew on me. But anyway, just focus more on the art pieces. The series is set in an art college, so of course there are different art pieces that are featured here. I am most amazed with Hagu's works. Her drawings are really beautiful.

This series is not only entertaining and amazing, but also very AWESOME! Just check out the OP and ED themes! They are so creatively done! Though I have to admit the voice of the artist of the OP themes irritate my ears, but overall they're still good. I also really love all the insert songs in the episodes. I like this series' choice of music. They have been really good. I wish I could have them part of my collection soon! Haha!

I love so many things in this series, but of course I have my favorites. I guess from what I've typed so far, my favorite guy is Shinobu, then followed by Kaoru. Among the females I really like Miwako, followed by Yamada. I used to dislike Hagu, for girls that are incredibly fragile and helpless yet other people dote on her really annoy me, but later she grew on me. So from then on, I don't dislike any character in this series at all. I like a series wherein all characters are lovable. As for pairings, I guess my top favorite is Nomiya x Yamada. That's the only pairing that actually made me go: "OH MY GOD THAT WAS SO ROMANTIC!". Haha :-) Though I don't particulary despise any pairing, I have to admit there's one that bothers me and another that displeases me. The former I'm refering to the Shuu x Hagu pairing. I really highly prefered them as having something like a father and daughter relationship, not a romantic one! And what displeases me is any romantic pairing with Shinobu in it. Truth be told, it has nothing to do with my favoritism towards him. I just can't imagine him in a romantic relationship, like he's really not suited for romance. Honest! But well, preferences and tastes of each person really differ.

Anyway, this series had been a very enjoyable watch. I highly recommend it to people who like meaningful and wonderful stories! Also those who enjoy shows that know how to balance seriousness and silliness! Hehe! It's sad that there doesn't seem to be another season of it. I don't know if the manga had ended already. But there's actually a live action version of this. I look forward to watching it soon!