Collab Projects · Episode Reviews

Horimiya with IriMoya: Episode 8

Another great episode of Horimiya, but first, the obvious question: Irina, what would you do the day before the world ends? I know I sure agree with Remi on desserts…

Irina: I honestly thought about it and I would order pizzapizza funnel cake sticks and fried jalapeno poppers then spend the day drinking vodka while playing video games on the tv and watching anime on the computer next to me simultaneously. It actually sounded fun enough for me to go, maybe the end of the world would be o.k… My priorities may need some revisiting.

Pizza Pizza funnel cake sticks!? What the heck, I’ve never heard of it but now I want it in my life!! Your priorities are impeccable.

The dream conversation was something different. There’s been a pattern of switching to wider aspect ratios whenever something takes place in the past, but that didn’t apply to the dream. In addition, the dream itself takes place in a realistic school setting – a setting that greatly defines both past and present Miyamura. Present Miyamura has discovered happiness through newly forged bonds, but insecure Miyamura still dwells within him?

Irina: I feel like I just went to film school! And I love it.

Past Miyamura does seem to have had it rough but it also seems like it’s partially of his own doing. I appreciate that they are just peppering these little moments in rather than assaulting us with a full on dramatic episode. I also like the poetic aspect of current day Miya reassuring his younger self. It was extremely on the nose and hackneyed but hey, it was also sweet. 

As for the cinematic language. Although I do think it was up to a certain point a memory of Miya’s, I think they might be telling us that the gloomy and lonely little boy is still a part of current Miyamura. It’s gotten better and he doesn’t think that way anymore but he’s still him and he will carry that fragile boy with him forever.

Okay, I might be biased, but relationships that start with books can’t be wrong, romantic or otherwise! So beautiful… Also, Sengoku’s house is a frickin’ archive!

Dammit, why do all these cowardly not-looking-at-the-other-person confessions have to be so straightforward and sincere? I know I squealed audibly at this answer to a world’s end activity, but I’m very curious about what you think of it.

Irina: I was a bit disappointed at how small the library was. I think I was expecting a beauty and the beast type of room. Cause I’m a dork.

The confession was the cutest thing. In fact the entire first act of the episode was an epic love story unto itself and I really enjoyed it.

I really like the dynamics between Remi and Sengoku. One is direct and the other is more sensitive – they complement each other well. I do want to give Remi extra credit for being such a breath of fresh air, in a genre where hesitation and second-guessing often carry the plot. I appreciate how she isn’t just an airhead either, but is probably the shrewdest person in the entire series.

Remi is both keen to the signs sent by others and open with herself. She isn’t embarrassed about not knowing Goethe or liking bestselling tearjerkers, and both recognizes and accepts how her feelings for Sengoku evolve as she gets to know him. She first liked him for being aloof, then for his more delicate and sentimental side, and I think it’s cool that she acknowledges that there’s enough love in her to appreciate all of who Sengoku is. Anyway, I just really like Remi. And she has the most precious smile!

Irina: I love Remi. I love Remi and Sengoku together. Like you, I think their relationship is wonderfully supportive and has some pretty exemplary power dynamics. I also like both characters independently. They subvert their archetypes just enough to be interesting without being caricatures.

But I also really like what Remi is narratively. She started out as a very standard vulnerable cute character. She was even set up almost like an antagonist the first time we see her and she is really cute. I remember seeing that design and thinking, wow, cute girl. And the fact is, she could have remained just that and probably been a very well liked character. But instead she has a full personality and is allowed to go against type. She knows she’s pretty since guys hit on her all the time and she knows her strengths. That’s rather rare in characters in general, let along the cute girl archetype. I think it’s cool.

Meanwhile, our Hori is kind of still working on it. Is Miyamura acting like himself around her if he’s always so diffident? Is the side of Miyamura that she’s seeing not quite the real deal? It’s such a relatable thing to wonder as you’re getting to know someone who matters in your life. 

I want to say it’s mostly a silly worry, but I can also see how Hori is on the more dominant side of the relationship, and there’s a lot Miyamura doesn’t quite feel comfortable enough to share completely (like stuff about his past or his family life). Maybe they just need more time?

You know, I appreciate the astonishing progress in Hori and Miyamura’s relationship so much, but there might also be some merit in the traditional rom-com structure of leaving the kisses and hand-holding until the end, because I find myself looking forward to the side characters’ love lives more in recent episodes. I think it’s still an excellent balance though, featuring characters at different stages of crushing/dating at the same time. Yes…I dig the love quadrangle we’re now getting. What about you, Irina?

Irina: Hori is such a weirdo. I was all like, oh honey, nooooo. Bad boys are a trope not a desirable quality in a partner. But hey, I was in highschool once, I remember being that way.

I do enjoy the courtship phase of a relationship, as do most people. That’s why 99.9% of romances are just that. But that’s not actually love is it. If done right a mature long standing relationship can be extremely satisfying to explore. 

This said, I also want to see the side characters. Not because I don’t want to know more about Hori and Miya but because I want to know more about everyone else and I already know quite a bit about Hori and Miya. Know what I mean?

Who would have thought this series was full of true gentlemen. We haven’t gotten much of Yanagi, but I already think he’s too good! It was also nice getting to see Yuki have her moment with Toru. So far so good.

Irina: I actually tweeted out that Horimiya seems to be entirely populated by good boys and I am here for it. I have nothing against a bit of bite in my characters. I often chose trolls or somewhat despicable trouble makers as my favourite. But I am loving a cast full of just nice people acting normally and being kind to each other. It makes my heart happy.

Any last thoughts?

Irina: At this rate I might have to go find that manga again cause I’m having too much fun with the anime.

That would be a good idea! I don’t think that would be a high priority for me, but if you do get to it soon, I’d love to know how it compares! Until next time~

Bonus Remi appreciation image

4 thoughts on “Horimiya with IriMoya: Episode 8

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