Episode 2 of Horimiya, reviewed by me and Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime! So happy to have her back here as a special guest~ Neither of us bothered to come up with a clever title for the collab’s first episode, but Irina messaged me earlier in the week with this brilliant pun, so this is going to be “Horimiya with Iri-Moya” from now.
I love that title so much. It’s super cheesy but ‘cmon, who doesn’t love a good cheese? I love a good cheese. Also hello everyone, I will be in bold this week.
Ep. 2 introduces Hori’s mom! Possibly one of those characters who powers up when they finally open their eyes? And speaking of her family, I must add that Souta is such a good boy! (And his perceptiveness is scary.) I enjoyed getting to know (or getting to remember, since we’ve both read the manga) Hori’s fun friends as well as the student council. President Sengoku sure went through a glow-up…
What did you think of that confrontation scene with the student council? I loved the head-butt resolution, but I did think the incident was blown up a little more than it was worth. Granted, this student council is already one of the least powerful anime student councils I’ve ever seen, haha.
I wasn’t expecting that but then again, it’s pretty much exactly what someone like airhead Miya would do. I was wondering why he asked to hold his glasses.
I was a bit worried that he had actually thrown out the documents like he was asked and it was going to be a whole big thing, but so far Horimiya has been doing a great job at not artificially stretching out conflicts or throwing in manufactured drama. It worked really well. And the prez’s girlfriend was really cute indeed. I like her chibi crying face.
Many great moments of comedy in this episode. The whole ordeal of Hori obsessing over Miyamura’s first name was greatly enjoyable. The chemistry between them is both amusing and natural, because while Hori’s brain goes into needless overdrive and Miyamura seems blissfully unaware of it all, Hori stills knows how to let things go easily, and Miyamura is surprisingly sensitive when it comes to Hori’s wants and needs.
I really like how a lot of the traditional tropes and clichés are genderswapped without taking away from the characters at all. Hori is the more aggressive and straightforward one of the two. She’s the better student but is kind of a doof sometimes. And she is the one who has realized her feelings first and is now subtly pursuing Miya. All characteristics more commonly associated with male romantic leads but it doesn’t take anything at all away from her femininity.
On the flipside you can say that Miya is the more timid one and the better listener. He puts more time into his appearance, he is more passive and although he certainly isn’t indifferent to Hori, for now he is the one being pursued. But I wouldn’t call him not masculine in any way. It’s interesting to see. We are getting much more diversity in characteristics and tropes in romance and I think it’s really reinvigorating the genre.
I absolutely adore the rapport between Toru and Miyamura – they’re both too precious! Toru is just wide open about his feelings, and the ping pong match between Miyamura and him showed that visually. At least, that’s how I’d like to interpret the random audience that gathered around them to watch their slow and conversational ping pong match. I said last episode that I’d love to see Horimiya explore more different visual representations for emotion. A ping pong fanclub that judges and potentially even emotes for the speaking characters? That’s where we’re at!
I did notice that they were still using those colourful shadows and thought, uh oh… I’m glad it didn’t bother you. I think the genuine friendship blooming between those two is just as important as any potential romantic relationship the show has to offer.
Although you know what I really like, the deep and try bromance between Miya and Souta. Those two are the adorbs. In the scene where Miya meets Hori’s mom, Souta comes bounding in and more or less pounces on Miya. And he just instinctively put his arm on Souta’s back. I dunno, I just thought that was the cutest thing.
Yup, it just works! And oh, I did like the colourful shadows! In moderation, like they are in this episode.
That birthday present! Honestly, music is one of the best and most underrated gifts you can give to someone while you’re getting to know each other, provided that you have a good sense of what may interest them. Thoughts, Irina?
I get it, and it was super sweet. But I thought he would have baked something for her. So much of their relationship is built around them shopping together and having dinner. Also his family owns a bakery and all that.
But Hori seemed to really like it and that’s what counts!
Yeah, one small disappointment I have is that there are not enough cakes. Seriously, how can you have a main character bring fancy cake every day, because his family actually owns a cake shop, and not have a single close-up shot of the cake? This might sound really petty, but we like our anime food shots…right, Irina?
Completely agree. I think a cake would have been just as significant and way more tasty!
This said, it was still a delightful episode. So far I am really digging the series. I just wonder how they are going to keep it going for 13 episodes. Then again, they could just go on as a leisurely romantic slice of life and I will be more than happy to keep on watching.
Given that romantic slice-of-life is pretty much what the manga was, I think it makes a lot of sense if the anime is also going in this direction. Another lovely episode to me, looking forward to more!