Back for another episode of Horimiya with Irina. How are you doing, Irina?
I’m doing great! Thanks for asking! I hope you and the readers are doing just as great. Even better, in fact!
“Better”…I wouldn’t dare to hope so myself, but pretty fine, that’s for sure. Yup, hope everyone reading this is staying nice and cozy as well.
Okay, this episode sure has its ups and downs to me. It starts out with one of the things that Horimiya arguably does best – highlighting the evolution of natural friendships. Prez Sengoku is a welcome addition to the derpy dudes gang, I think!
Agreed, the bromances are really lovely in this show. I look forward to seeing the girls develop their own friendships as well. It’s a bit different since they already have previously established friend groups but I still enjoy seeing them stick up for each other.
I knew Hori’s friend group and the student council team were going to merge because I read the manga, but it was nice seeing it just…happen like that. I think “it just happened” can be used to describe all the friendships (and probably all the romantic crushings) in this anime, which is neat.
This episode is called “Everybody Loves Somebody.” I do like this concept of a complex romantic web, and of course that’s kind of obligatory in a romance show. At this point, it sounds more like foreshadowing than anything. I do not remember Sakura crushing on Toru, so I wonder where that’s going to go.
I didn’t remember it much but my first note on the episode itself was – awesome Toru gets to love again. I think one of the things that annoys me about love triangles as a trope is that the unchosen one usually ends up with some type of rushed offscreen romance that feels like some type of consolation prize so that the audience doesn’t feel bad. And that’s just a bummer as far as I’m concerned. Especially when the character is likeable. I want to see Toru fall in love just as much as anyone else in this story so it’s great if he gets a chance at it.
Totally true! I might not remember about Sakura’s story, but I do remember really liking her after her arc.
Much of this episode can be summarized by “classic misunderstanding comedy,” and to me, it makes this episode a weaker one than its predecessors. I also don’t think the subtitles translated many of the jokes effectively, although the gags themselves weren’t exactly the most original either. Toru thinking that Hori and Miyamura were making out, or Hori’s dramatic assumptions about Miyamura’s tendencies. Okay, the latter made sense and the random stripping was silly fun, but I still felt like this episode’s comedic moments felt more contrived.
Honestly, the soda scene felt like it was entirely lost in translation. I get what they were trying to do but it felt awkward and forced in the subtitles and just didn’t work. But I did enjoy the group dynamic so I don’t consider the scene a complete waste. There was decent character building for all.
Also, Hori assuming that Miyamura never gets mad was the funniest thing. Dude literally fights someone every episode!
I’m sorry, but Miyamura’s middle school friend is another supporting character that I completely forgot about! A pity, because he seems to be a cool guy. Any thoughts on him?
I forgot him as well. And I also think he seems pretty awesome. I particularly enjoy the idea that Miya gets more rude and mean the more he likes someone. It’s a very childish trait but it suits him. So in a way, I like Shindo as a character as much for himself as for what he brings out in Miya.
And onto my favourite part, the sick day. Very curious about what you thought of it, Irina! The event really reinforces how stubbornly independent Hori is, and made way for some heartfelt drama as she struggles to rely on somebody emotionally. Miyamura gets to say the cool boyfriend line: “Instead of ‘where are you going?,’ do you mean ‘please don’t go?’” and I liked how Hori never caves in for the latter phrase even when she’s conscious of her feelings.
Well this is where we go into more traditional romance tropes and generally it’s not really my thing. But I didn’t dislike this scene at all. And that’s saying a lot. Unlike you, I pretty much just enjoyed the episode from start to end. I felt the translation mishaps but it didn’t really taint the experience much.
Same thing for this scene. I thought Hori was a complete idiot for wanting to go to a crowded place with a clearly contagious condition. I hate when they use that trope to make characters seem sympathetic and brave or something. But it works because Hori is kind of impulsive and a tiny bit self-centered, so it’s totally in line with her character. And I really liked seeing them share a bit of quiet time together.
And Miyamura strikes again with the most romance drama move ever – confessing while the other person is presumably asleep! Ahh, that almost killed me. What made this good was undeniably Hori’s ensuing mental gymnastics (which I’m looking forward to seeing from Miyamura’s perspective next).
Miya was pretty lame there. But I liked how clear headed the speech was.
Maybe that was a coward move, but still… >///< Goodness, I’m weak.
The most commendable thing is that she doesn’t go tsundere on us and go on to lie to herself about having heard it, but asks herself whether things would be better if she pretended she never heard it. So far, Horimiya is unashamed of having fun with classic rom-com ideas and tropes, and the sincerity of its depictions has generally worked in its favour. Still, I think this series is at its strongest when it allows its characters one higher layer of awareness or reflectiveness toward their actions and relationships – it’s the aspect that makes this show so sincere.
Hori’s last line about pretending not to hear Miyamura to “stay like this for a little longer” reminds me of much of the plot of Toradora!, another classic romantic drama lauded for believable character dynamics. Both deal with romantic emotions blossoming here and there in a group of close friends, and present a compelling dilemma between pursuing the desire for intimacy and protecting a precious status quo. There are probably a lot of parallels to draw between the two series, and look forward to seeing how these two shows differ as Horimiya progresses.
Overall, this was an episode that started out wobbly to me, but managed to end with a bang.
Any last thoughts, Irina?
I think Hori’s reaction is what brought the episode up a notch for me. We know Hori likes Miya. She knows it as well. But it’s not always that easy. Feelings get confusing and complicated. And it can be quite frightening to risk a relationship you really like for a potential one that could be better or much worse. Shows rarely acknowledge that. The fact that Hori puts a lot of importance on her friendship with Miya is really sweet and I loved seeing it.
And the fact that she thought about the situation as rationally as she could is another reason why I like Hori as a romantic lead. Her even temper and rationality just makes the story so much more relatable for me!
Great episode, great Saturday show. Looking forward to next weekend 🙂
Can’t agree more with everything said here. Next Saturday better be good!