Honey & Clover II


I’ve read a lot of the pertinent posts at AnimeSuki, and those made me realize that my ‘quasi-summary’ wasn’t even half as insightful as their posts. To make up for this, here’s an intensive disquisition of what ep4 of Honey and Clover II really was. I think it’s going to be somewhat long, so please bear with me. (more…)

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So many good things happened today for me. The most important good thing, however (make it excellent), was that I was able to download Honey and Clover II – 04 after a long wait. First of all, I’ve learned how to play Pugna (the Oblivion in DotA) more or less masterfully, and he’s arguably among the more difficult heroes to control. I was contented with myself back then. (more…)

I talked to somebody who loved Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu so much that he hasn’t watched anything else after watching ShnY. He said that everything else just loses its luster when compared to an anime like that. Of course, being your resident Haruhi Suzumiya devil’s advocate, I disagree with him. I do, however, know of the feeling and totally understand it. And of course, you know of the anime I’m talking about: Honey and Clover. (more…)

Compared to the animation and the plot, the music seems to be inconsequential in watching an anime. I realized, however, how big a ‘little thing’ music is when I viewed the final scene of the final episode of the first season of Honey and Clover with the subtle playing of Waltz compared with the exact same scene but without the music in the first episode of the second season. I was moved to tears for most of the time whenever I heard the love ballad of Waltz playing as Takemoto finally discovered himself and what he was looking for. Somehow, without that love ballad, it simply became just another scene. That’s what I noticed with most good shows. They have great music. Honey and Clover isn’t excellent simply because it has an excellent plot and good animation – it also has very wonderful music. The combination of music from Suga Shikao, Suneo Hair and SPITZ often works for the enhancement of a scene, or a cascade of scenes. How Mayama forcefully and desperately took Rika to a cup of coffee in the rain just to show how much he loves her was certainly made better with the fast pace of Yoru wo Kakeru. (It was very fitting, too – the lyrics were a perfect fit with the scene.) To add another, more recent scene, take for example the call scene between Nomiya and Yamada near the midpoint of the third episode of H&C’s second season. Without the melancholic yet positive tone of Suga Shikao‘s Koko no Iru Koto, I doubt it would have pulled that scene off. The music that plaintively plays in the background simply reflects the sheer loneliness of two characters reaching for unrequited loves. Even now, thinking about it, it was (and still is) extremely jarring. (more…)

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This is an cocktail of Honey and Clover II – 03 and my life. (more…)

If I can describe what genius is in only three words, I would say ‘Honey and Clover.’ It’s a very good thing I held myself from watching the raws, because watching it with subs was nothing short of extremely fulfilling. My eyes are teary, yet I am smiling. I’d probably never see stuff like this with live-action melodramas; neither will I probably see the bittersweet beauty of unrequited love. This reads like Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, only with even less queerness and melodrama and with more substance. I could not help but applaud the whole episode – again, suffering and pain is juxtaposed with joy, contentment, and willingness to move on. I still have post-viewing goosebumps.

Hiccups are seemingly trite and banal things that disrupt the normalcy of quotidian living, but they’re given a dimension here – in fact, this is where the story of the characters revolve around in this episode and this is also where character development can be seen and grasped: because of the hiccups we discover more about the characters in the show. I bow down to you, Umino Chika.

I’d only be reiterating what other blogs like Memento and Random Curiosity have summarized, so I’ll refrain from doing a summary. However, I’d like to say that I’m very happy that Rika has finally gotten over Harada, no matter how much she tries to deny it or keep it to herself. Shuuji has already captured what she’s feeling toward Mayama – the love that she dedicates when she really likes a person, although she’s still extremely cautious. I loved how she thought that well of Mayama while blushing as she thought of his similarities with Harada. (I know that she loves the guy; you’ll probably see that later.) I was, again, (as usual with Honey and Clover episodes) clapping my hands like some five-year old kid on sugar high.

On the other side of the story, I simply felt Ayu’s pain. After four years (extremely realistic) she still can’t get over Mayama, after all. I didn’t think it was kind of her not to speak of how Rika thinks about Mayama from Shuuji’s observations, but that’s really what you feel when you’re totally in love, and the one you love can’t love back. What’s better, however, was Morita. He again shows his wonderful dualistic side – though seemingly carefree and only fatuous, what he said to Ayu was a sage’s advice. I think Morita has the most dynamic characterization in this story, and I think he’s the one character that’s the most colorful.

Takemoto has indeed changed for the better. Clotheslining Morita because he teased Hagu (he couldn’t do this before, but now he has the balls), never regretting the past (that’s my boy!), and looking forward to the future as well as trying to be a friend to Hagu – I truly wish I had a friend like him. It would simply make life just a LOT more beautiful to live and look at. 🙂

Hagu’s pain was too believable. We have a bird’s eye view of humanity through the lives of six friends involved with art – and this is what makes Honey and Clover so beautiful: we see good characters full of human foibles and weaknesses, all struggling to live life as they also struggle with their relationships within the group. They’re not perfect, they’re not perennially good, but they’re totally human. And that, my friends, is what makes H&C II a true gem to look at.

(Oh, and I was listening to Waltz as I was typing this.)

 

I’ve already made a post on Summer vs. Spring Anime ‘O6; this is to expound on what I’m probably going to watch (or am already watching), though this is by no means a complete or exhaustive posting. I’m leaving that up to this site.

Series I’m totally watching and finishing:

Honey and Clover II – this is a series I’m definitely watching until the end. The first season was simply majestic, beautiful, wondrous, amazing, [insert positive adjective here]. From what I’ve seen of the second season, this doesn’t change, if ep2 was any indication. The same holistic balance between levity and gravity, between comedy and drama, is still very much present.

Series I’m willing to give a try:

Bokura ga Ita – I don’t know much about the story. Since it has Akitaroh Daichi as the director, it’s good enough for at least an episode.

Tsuyokiss – It’s a romance. I love watching romances, but after seeing the raw of the first episode I was let down. I’m trying again, this time with the subs. Some of the girls look hot, so I’m not giving up on this series so easily.

Zero no Tsukaima – I may download an episode. Mahou shoujos are quite common and cliched, so I’m not expecting much from this.

The Coyote Ragtime Show – I love action as well. Since some people compare this (albeit negatively) to Cowboy Bebop and Black Lagoon, that’s enough for me to at least give it a try.

FLAG – Well, I’ve been talking about this a lot (see here and here), so I’m definitely watching at least an episode whenever I’ll find one.

Series I’m probably not watching:

Binbou Shimai Monogatari – a lesser form of Grave of the Fireflies. No.

Zaizen Jotaro – even worse than Gundoh Musashi. Think about it.

 

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