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This is an cocktail of Honey and Clover II – 03 and my life.

I’ll be damn straight: I think I failed an exam I was having difficulty studying because of the sheer amount of terms to master. I wasn’t depressed, however; I don’t know why, but it seems I’ve become terribly apathetic to everything coming from school except for those subjects I like (I didn’t choose my course, my parents did). I was enervated, however – your energy isn’t usually up whenever you come home expecting a failure.

Before having a tall glass of that fine Honey and Clover, I watched a badly subbed Detective Conan episode. No, I don’t like Detective Conan (in general, I don’t like anime that don’t end after 52 episodes, except for good ones like Hikaru no Go, and I watched the 443rd episode of DC). It was a random episode. I just watched it for no reason at all, simply on a whim. After that weak liqueur – it warmed me up to anime – I drank the heavyweight, the pure Honey and Clover.

If my eyes are made to well up in an episode in any series, I give that series credit. These anime are usually good. Cowboy Bebop and Elfen Lied are examples from the top of my head. However, when the anime either makes me stare in space for no less than an hour or make me cry (not teary-eyed, mind you) at least more than once, that anime would probably belong to among my top five – it’s my perception, but the anime that moves you the most should probably be your favorites. Shingetsutan Tsukihime made me stare, ponderingly, into space for no less than a two-hour spell; right now, however, it doesn’t beat Honey and Clover. If something can make you cry for five times – and the second season hasn’t even finished yet, it’s bound to be among the top IF not your top anime of all time.

Let me be honest: I think that every time I watch Honey and Clover, I lose my manliness yet develop my maturity. I throw a little manliness out the window every single episode every single time I watch a little bit of it, but I also develop a little more maturity. You could read the discussion about how anime genres sometimes hinder or stifle a holistic appreciation of anime here; it’s not that I’m whoring another blog post of mine, but I really value the comments of the different posters there. I throw a little bit of manliness out the window every time I watch Honey and Clover, because for the most part in dramatic episodes I can’t help but cry. It’s perhaps among one of the reasons why I’ve developed an apathy to all tedious school life, because I’ve learned to look and value life more within the mirror of Honey and Clover. From this anime I’ve also learned to value friendship, perhaps helping me to develop more control with it (although I’m still having a hard time) – and since I had and have been a romantic for quite some time, I love the realism in this anime, and it is shown again in this episode. I also can’t feel bad because my problem is only about school. It’s not about life or how I deal with it, but these people have real problems – problems of the heart, problems of the soul, problems of survival – everything bittersweet about humanity is mirrored by Honey and Clover. There isn’t anything platonic or bishounen-fare – it’s all about the beauty and sadness of reality.

Take for example the most recent episode of Honey and Clover II. Next to great literature, it was among the greatest (visual, moving) portraits of what love truly was. In just a snap, just a statement, Nomiya threw away the smugness he felt, the coldness, the pure metrosexuality he exuded. And what was it done for? It was done for an unrequited love (as of yet). It may be only an incident in different peoples’ daily lives, but seeing it as an isolated incident, one can really appreciate what life is all about: it’s about failing and standing up again. It’s about smiles and cries, about sanity and madness, but it’s all bittersweet. It’s all good.

And Nomiya’s struggle, albeit selfish, perhaps conceited, was so human and totally believable. I cried when Yamada cried, but it wasn’t the only reason. One may fault Mayama for viewing Rika’s Internet history as if a stalker, but really, if one loves someone that much – one would do anything just to know that beloved more. One may fault Rika for implying to want to die, to follow Harada – but tell that to someone who has known the pain of the loss of a loved one, and he’ll probably kick your ass.

Going back to Mayama, even I, here, in the real world, could feel the pain of loving someone that badly. To discover that the one you love has vague feelings, at best, towards you, and to look a picture of her hometown – a place that she yearns for but doesn’t go to because of her impending jobs, and you want to help so badly but you can’t, because she plods on; she plods on. In fact, the best thing about this series, I think, is that you feel so deeply for the characters because they’re really, really likable and at the least, decent people, but they contain so much humanity and struggle within them.

What Nomiya showed was a paragon of truly loving someone. What he did was a lot of hard work, and to throw all that manliness away – just to love again, was so heart-wrenching. I could ramble on and on, but the bottom line is, can this show get any better? Even the music that played to the heartaches Yamada and Nomiya felt was simply awesome.

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