Hello and welcome to a post of many firsts. First episode of Horimiya. First time I have been looking forward to a romance anime in recent memory. And most importantly, my first time doing episode reviews with Moya from the Moyatorium!

Welcome Moya, how have you been lately?

Pretty good, and yourself? I’m so excited to be here!

I’m good too and certainly excited to have you here!

So the deal is, Moya and I both read the Hori san to Miyamura kun manga and we are both quite sure that we enjoyed it despite the fact that neither one of us remembers much about it at all. That’s why we thought it would be fun to do this collab together.

Let’s get the ball rolling. I gotta admit the very first thing I thought was gwash I certainly don’t remember them having such a creepy teacher. Good character design but that’s no excuse! Thankfully it was just in the opening tag.

Yeah, what’s with him?? A minute into the show and he’s made two pervy “jokes” in two separate instances. Hope that’s not his entire personality. So much for being kind of an ikemen.

Honestly, the first thing aside from that that hit me was boy, this is a pretty show. And it kept on hitting me throughout the episode. I really love this art style and I think the colours add a lot to it. All radiant and full of subtle gradients. I thought it was a pretty show full of pretty characters and I’m not really tough to please. That’s already a pretty good start for me.

Did you enjoy the art Moya?

It’s just so pretttttty! My level of hype just kept going up as the episode went on. I like the thing where dramatic/reflective scenes are paused and colorful silhouettes are dragged out of characters…if you know what I mean. However, I do think it was used a little too much just for one episode, and hope the anime will explore other creative ways of expressing inner emotions as it progresses.

It took me a bit longer to get used to the performances. Horimiya actually has fantastic sound design. However, it relies much more on atmospheric sounds than background music and this type of sound design always makes line delivery sound a little harsher. 

On top of that the actors are opting for a very brisk and naturalistic sounding read. It sounded a bit too stiff to me in the first scenes but once I got used to it, I actually started to like it a lot. It really did sound like high school students talking to each other. 

Again, my thoughts are with you here. How natural everyone sounded was one of the things that stood out to me as I watched. I was kind of surprised that Miyamura had a deeper voice, considering the wimpy impression he gave me in the manga, but after getting used to it, I do think it fits him well!

As for the story, well turns out I remembered more than I thought. Kinda. Both Hori and Miyamura as characters came back to me while I was watching. Although I didn’t remember her being quite so forceful and I remembered him way gloomier and shier. I think I like them better this way.

I didn’t really remember any of the friends through. The other thing that threw me a bit off-balance is how quickly everything seems to be moving along. Did we just breeze through 4 volumes in the first episode? I could be wrong. Then again, I don’t really mind that much.

Mmm…my memories are slowly reviving. I’m surprised by the pacing too, but as long as they don’t run out of material to adapt (which they shouldn’t, because the manga is pretty long), I think it’s working in the anime’s favour.

I really like how the core friends are introduced as the episode opens – we see them even before we see Hori or Miya, I believe. It makes them feel like real characters with stories to them, rather than a supporting cast that the author added just so the story can keep running.

I also didn’t remember Miya being such an airhead. I remembered that he was terrible at school but not that he was just a ditz. I kept trying to remember the deep dark past that led him to get all those piercings and tattoos and I actually laughed when he blurted out that they were all spur of the moment decisions. I have a lot of piercings and yeah, I just sort of got them for no reason. So I relate to the complete airhead Miya… Wait, that’s not a good thing.

Ooh…piercing reveal at the end of this collab?

uhhmmmmm…. look pretty pictures:

I thought the first episode did a great job at establishing the characters for those that are new to the series. It was light-hearted and didn’t rely too much on exposition dumps. Maybe it’s the nostalgia speaking but I quite like all the characters we got to know…except for the teacher.

And I had completely forgotten the bit between Toru and Hori so that was actually all new to me and by far my favourite part of the episode. I don’t know why Miya doesn’t think he’d make a good couple with Toru, those two are great together!

I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT TORU’S CONFESSION TOO, how could I…!? He’s so cute and sincere. That kind of goes for everyone we’ve met so far in the first episode. Likable and believable characters are probably Horimiya’s greatest strength.

Finally, I would just like to say, I really liked both the OP and ED. A lot. I thought the OP was beautiful and I just have a thing for geometric shapes. Meanwhile, the ED was adorable and creative. I’m not sure I have seen claymation in anime before. And both fit the tone of the story very well. Which so far seems to be light, colourful and generally welcoming.

I don’t feel strongly about the OP song (yet), but the ED really is quite unique!

What did you think of this first episode Moya?

This is the cutest thing I’ve seen all year! Hmm…maybe that’s not saying much considering how early we are into 2021, but really! I liked the Horimiya manga for a reason, and it might just be one of the cutest romance in anime/manga I’ve been exposed to. And I don’t generally have the patience for romance, both the kind that is too snappy and repetitive and the kind that is too subtle and slow, so this is pretty significant. I remember you mentioning that you felt similarly, Irina?

Yup, I just get annoyed by the tropes but so far they are keeping it unsappy!

Finally, I just want to remind anyone who’s watching this show to watch past the ED credits, in case you’re an ED skipper! The little tidbit at the end of this one was a pleasant surprise. 🙂

18 thoughts

  1. I liked the premiere, too. I don’t remember the creepy teacher from the OVA a few years back, but then apparently that OVA was based on an earlier version and not the current manga. So now I hear he’s not in the manga, either, so why would they even add such a character?

    In any case, this a romcom where people actually address what’s on their mind. Even the side characters. Imagine that; a romcom that’s not based on drawn out misunderstandings because no-one talks. Also, the character designs work better in the show than the PVs led me to believe. That’s nice.

    I do think I prefer the OVA’s style. It’s been a while so I might misremember, though.

  2. I enjoyed it a lot too because this does feel like a romance where it’s not just “characters have to get in a relationship” drama, but actually characterized in a way? Plus the nice cast and a little bit of His and Her Circumstances feeling to it made me enjoy it a lot more. I just don’t have a lot of negative at all.

  3. Love your avatar cosplay it’s awesome. You’re pretty awesome, Moya’s awesome and Horimiya looks…awesome? Hope you two have fun reviewing it and maybe I got to check this one out. Might focus on Otherside Picnic first though

  4. Hi!! This post made my day!! I’m glad you’re watching this anime, I really fell in love with the manga and I’m excited about the anime. I just want to add to your post that Miyamura actually has an acute voice, this fact is mentioned in a chapter (I don’t remember exactly which of them) but you should search for it.

  5. Too… much… anime… No… time…for… anytthing… else.

    Seriously. The returning big guns of previous seasons haven’t even been rolled out yet and they are throwing all kinds of interesting stuff at us.

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