Horimiya

Horimiya

Horimiya anime series cover art
Horimiya

Series Overview

Horimiya (ホリミヤ) is the anime adaptation of the manga by the same name. The Horimiya manga is one of the most popular manga ever, ranking at #11 overall on MyAnimeList. And despite that, I’d never heard of it until the anime was announced.

It’s not like I would have read the manga had I known about it earlier. But, I think it’s interesting that something can be so popular within the community I’m part of and yet I hadn’t heard of it. I even know people who read it, but they never mentioned it until the anime.

I guess that’s just what happens when a series doesn’t fall into the action genre. It feels like I only ever hear about shounen and seinen action manga before they receive anime adaptions. Every other manga I hear of is only after they get adapted.

Anyway, Horimiya is a slice of life romantic comedy — and no, it’s not a harem, which is refreshing. Yes, there are a lot of other non-harem rom-coms. But I feel like the harem subgenre is a bit oppressive. When I think of rom-coms, they generally tend to be harems.

Something else that sets Horimiya apart from most other anime in its same genres is that the titular protagonists, Hori and Miyamura, are actually in a relationship. It’s not one of those series that’s all about baiting the viewer into wondering what’s going to happen between the characters.

The season doesn’t build up to Miyamura confessing to Hori or anything overdone like that. We always know where their relationship stands, and that’s very nice. It’s really difficult for me to care about the wishy-washy relationships in most series like this.

Characters that Matter

Kyouko Hori is probably going to be my pick for “best girl of 2021” by the end of the year. I know there are still a lot of anime to air this year. But I really like Hori. She’s cute, she has good characterization, and she’s a bit kinky which is always a plus.

Izumi Miyamura is hot. I’ll say it. He’s a hot guy. The only male character I can think of who I’d put above him in terms of hotness is adult Eren Yeager (from the manga, specifically). Unfortunately, Miyamura does get a haircut partway through the anime and then he just looks generic and not hot.

Hori and Miyamura from the anime series Horimiya
Hori and Miyamura

Aside from those two, I’d say that there are really only two other characters who “matter.” These are Yuki Yoshikawa and Tohru Ishikawa. Yuki and Tohru are Hori and Miyamura’s friends who constantly have romantic tension between them.

I’ve heard that a lot of manga readers prefer Yuki and Tohru over Hori and Miyamura. But based on the anime, I have to say Hori and Miyamura are more interesting. Yuki and Tohru have that wishy-washy relationship I was just complaining about.

Now, just because I say that those are the only two other characters that matter doesn’t mean I like the rest of the cast less. There’s also Remi, Kakeru, Akane, Shuu, Sakura, Honoka, and Kyousuke (Hori’s dad), just to name a few of the other major recurring characters.

Aside from Hori and Miyamura, Kyousuke is definitely the best character in the series. Remi and Honoka are pretty cute too, but I find their characters to be fairly annoying. And, the issue of annoying characters is pretty major.

I just didn’t feel like most of the characters were all that likable. A lot of them have character quirks that are pretty infuriating.

Horimiya’s Biggest Problem

While annoying characters are definitely a problem with Horimiya, I think that’s actually the product of a bigger issue the anime has. My main complaint with the series is that the supporting cast just doesn’t matter all that much.

Hori and Miyamura get a lot of good characterization and development. The rest of the characters don’t. Yuki and Tohru get the most out of the supporting cast, but even they fall way short when compared to Hori and Miyamura.

Now, you might be thinking, “Obviously that’s the case. Hori and Miyamura are the main characters.” Yes, but every other character gets focused on for an episode or two and then effectively becomes part of the background.

Miyamura and Hori from the anime series Horimiya
Miyamura and Hori

What this means is that we get a bit of characterization for everyone, but then their storylines stop short of any real development being introduced. For example, we learn a bit about why Remi is useless, but she never gets to a point where she’s no longer useless. Her arc stops before she develops beyond what makes her annoying.

Honoka is the character who exemplifies what I mean when I say the supporting characters become part of the background. After the one episode that focused on her, she played no role in the anime. We would just sometimes see her briefly without her adding anything.

And then there’s Shuu, a character who oddly seems to have had his introduction skipped. I honestly don’t remember him ever being properly introduced. In one episode he was just suddenly there as a core member of the group. I even checked to see if I skipped an episode — I didn’t.

But, like the rest, after Shuu’s one or two episodes, he fades away and doesn’t do much. He’s just a presence in the background after that. If the anime was two cours instead of one, maybe this issue wouldn’t be as prominent. But also I think it would get very repetitive if it was that long.

Conclusion

You might think that I’m going to give Horimiya a bad rating because of all my complaints. However, I think it’s a 7/10 overall. It’s a good anime. I love the art style, I really like the main characters, and it has both a great OP and great ED.

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2 Replies to “Horimiya”

  1. I agree with Honoka just being a “prop” to see whether Hori & Miya(mura) can strengthen their relationship, not to mention an unlikeable character to me despite the sad backstory. If it’s a two cour, the script could’ve make foreshadowing on why she’s behaving this way and give us a clearer picture on WHEN SHE FALL FOR HORI.

    It doesn’t help that Honoka is being obnoxious to Miyamura and grabs Hori without asking consent from her. This has made Honoka be another negative stereotyped LGBT character along with that Sk8 the Infinity doing the “Gays Are Evil” (problematic) trope.

    1. I was surprised when Honoka never actually had a role in the anime again beyond when she was introduced. I think she was probably the first character who I realized simply wasn’t going to be developed.

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