- Release Date
- Winter 2021
- No. of Episodes
Horimiya is a 2021 Slice of Life Romantic anime series from Japanese animation studio CloverWorks, which quickly risen as a fan favorite. For newcomers looking at any anime studio, the older studios who’ve created massive series can easily be seen as better. Since they’ve made more, there’s plenty to choose from if they like one series. But having a studio that has only been around for a couple of years doesn’t stop anything from being fantastic. When it comes to romantic comedy anime series, one thing must happen, they must make a viewer care for the couple and the outcome of the relationship.
On the surface, the thought of Kyouko Hori and Izumi Miyamura getting along would be the last thing in people’s minds. After all, Hori has the perfect combination of beauty and brains, while Miyamura appears meek and distant to his classmates. However, a fateful meeting between the two lays both their hidden selves bare. Even though she is popular at school, Hori has little time to socialize with her friends due to housework. On the other hand, Miyamura lives under the noses of his peers, his body bearing secret tattoos and piercings that make him look like a gentle delinquent.
Having someone with an opposite personality and yet sharing weirdly odd similarities, the two quickly become friends and often spend time together in Hori’s home. As they both emerge from their shells, they begin to share a side of themselves concealed from the outside world. But not everything is all sunshine and rainbows; as the two grow, so do their insecurities. Sometimes the more complicated a person fights to change their past actions, the harder they remain present. Watch as these two not only grow together but shed their shells of growing up in a crazy world we call life.
When it comes to slice-of-life anime series with romance, it is sometimes hard to get the right amount to balance everything off. However, this series surpassed that expectation, they have created a series that was paced adequately well and realistic, and the romance portions weren’t overly cheesy. Having a series nail the slice of life and the romance moments throughout the series is excellent because it makes the relationship more realistic and continuously builds on itself until it reaches that pivotal point. Anime series that has achieved this is not only better for the first-time experience but can enjoy the series no matter what number of re-watches they’re on.
Another positive aspect of this story is that even though the story isn’t original, the girl meets a boy with a different personality than then; the story added to parts that others have not. Horimiya has added multiple relationships into this series outside of standard two. This adds to the series’s maturity level and makes the viewers potentially care more for the characters, especially when it comes to the standard romantic-comedy where the series tends to follow a cut-and-paste formula that is often followed by terrible and predictable tropes, which this series thankfully avoided altogether.
Now the negatives within this series are apparent and sometimes unavoidable. However, the biggest problem with this series story is that it is highly predictable. This is usually unavoidable when dealing with romance series since the viewers more than likely will know the two main characters will end up together. Another problem within this story is that the story walks a fine line between being a light-hearted romantic comedy and an over-the-top romance drama, potentially turning people away if they aren’t interested in the two. It is important to note that it never overdoes itself on anything. It somehow balances itself on all ends, making it a simplistic story that seems like it’ll tear out one’s own heart but doesn’t.
The art style within this series is outstanding, and it is sleek and stylish while also not being too flashy. The character designs are a mix between being remarkable and slightly generic but in a good way. Having a series focus more on the story instead of the art is a beautiful aspect and gives the series a little more credibility, at least in its art style. The bright and cheery colors for the characters, mixed with the dark and dull colors. For either the sad moments or when the characters are dealing with their internal problems. The art style was spot on with this series, and there weren’t any negatives one could find, which is excellent.
The animation production of Horimiya was something else, but luckily that was a good thing. The opening was very catchy but not too catchy, where it could potentially degrade its series for being too poppy. However, the opening theme song “Iro Kousui,” performed by You Kamiyama, was an excellent choice, especially when paired with the opening animation. The ending theme was just as pleasing, though the former was the better choice out of the two. The way this series showed talking to one’s inner demons and dealing with the characters’ problems without deliberately telling the viewer was also well written. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, so if someone is looking for a heartfelt series about emotional conflict, this series would be an excellent choice for them.
One thing about Horimiya is that the characters within this series are very expansive, and having said that, I’ll only talk about the main characters that the show has. Kyoko Hori is the main female character within this series, and if grades chose the role, she’d win. She’s a beautiful, bright, popular high school girl, but she takes a different appearance at home. She dresses down and wears no makeup, usually tying her hair backward and doing housework while taking care of her little brother. She doesn’t want her friends to see her in this state due to her ruined image. Through some strange circumstances, she finds a person she doesn’t care if he sees her this way.
Izumi Miyamura is the series leading male and is one fine example of not judging a book based on its cover. At school, Izumi appears to be a gloomy otaku with glasses and often tends to keep to himself. However, outside of school, he is a rather good-looking and laid-back, punk-styled boy with nine piercings and tattoos. Despite his school appearance, he has only a casual interest in manga and the like, and he only has mediocre grades. However, while he has accepted his lonely existence, he has learned that Kyoko does not mind how he looks. As a result, he slowly gains confidence and friends among his classmates.
Souta Hori is Kyoko’s little brother, and after meeting Izumi, he brings him back to his home, where Souta constantly asks his sister to invite his new friend to come back. This gives her the overall excuse to hang out with Izumi after class. Souta and Izumi grow on each other and care deeply for one another, as much as they’re family. Toru Ishikawa is the rejected love interest character of the series. He confessed to Kyoko, and after some time, he gets to know Izumi and becomes friends with him.
Yuki Yoshikawa is Kyoko’s best friend; she was interested in Izumi when she accidentally saw him without glasses and didn’t recognize him. When she saw him again with Kyoko, Kyoko attempted to hide his secret between them by saying Izumi was her cousin. There are plenty of other characters, but given the expansiveness of this series, I felt these characters had the best impact on the series.
During the original viewing of Horimiya, the viewer will hopefully get a taste of the emotional impact of this magnificent series. While one viewing isn’t enough to get the proper emotional impact, the more it’s watched, the more one will be fighting with so many emotions. With the pure story and the fantastic artwork, it’s a no-brainer that people will love this series, and rightfully so! If there was only one series anyone watches from 2021, this should be the one! With 13 episodes, the viewer got a treasure-trove of emotion and love from a series that stood proud of its potential and earned all the praise it receives.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.