Friday, June 8, 2007

Honey and Clover II - It's serious business

(Originally 31 December 2006)

I suppose if you were into the first season of Honey and Clover for teh funny then this concluding arc (it picks up right where the first season left off) might be rather disappointing. I liked it much better overall. I can't recall any chuckle-worthy moments on the order of the first season, but that hasn't dampened my appreciation of it in the least. At twelve episodes, the story-telling proceeds at a brisker pace, and makes for a tighter, more compact form.

Ayumi continues to be noose around neck irritating, but a lot more screen time is given to Shinobu Morita and his brother Kaoru. While it's never spelled out, it seems Shinobu does mostly CG work, and he's his brother's bitch as Kaoru is running a lot of the administrative work for a revenge takeover that Shinobu is only going along with because he feels obligated to.

In terms of mini-arcs, Shinobu's story was the most compelling, followed by Yamada's which ended early on and his relationship with everyone has been pretty reasonable since. Last up is Hagu's arc. Initially I wrote her off as being like, loli, but her character design has since dropped the Princess Leia hair buns and goes into more of her fears about the future. What happened at the end was just kind of awkward, wherein Shuuji (her uncle) says that he loves her. It was pretty evident throughout the first season that he was protective of her, as an older family member ought to be, but this just tosses a wrench into the gear works, doesn't it? In the final discussion on the topic, it's not really spelled out what he feels (i.e. is the wedding in six months or what?), maybe he was just doing it to piss off Shinobu, or not. It's not brought up ever again, either.

Takemoto's story wrapped up in the first season, and is pretty much a side character. He's a solid character and deals with issues, and Shinobu pretty well. No one else dares confront Shinobu's antics, much less clothesline him in the second episode.

The ending is they all part ways and life goes on. There's no finality which is dissatisfying in some ways, but very realistic and peaceful in others. I personally prefer strong finishes, but Honey and Clover's story is about life, and life can close chapters with a bang, or with the quiet sliding of a train door.


Accept that you love someone, loved someone, and that others love or do not love you. At the end of the day, you can (and should) confront your peers, everyone can still respect each other, even though it's human nature to part ways. I think that's one of the main messages. I was skeptical throughout the first season, but the second concluded on a realistic note if the time gap is conveniently neglected.