I actually tweeted right after this episode that Horimiya is in fact a traditional romance but only the cute parts. Apparently, that’s what I like! But before we get started, let’s catch up with the always very cute Moya.

How are you, Moya? Enjoying winter finally coming? I am. Moar sno plz!

No snow for us West Coasters…don’t rub it in my face! Still, I’m glad for you, and I hope you go out and build all the snowmen and make all the snow angels that I can’t.

Like I was saying, it’s not that Horimiya avoids the traditional romance tropes or clichés, but it doesn’t make the characters act insane or incomprehensible for the sake of those tropes.

For instance, Hori received a confession when she was pretending to be asleep and now doesn’t know how to act around Miya and is basically hiding. Well, that’s a situation that happens in fiction all the time and never in real life. On top of that, there’s a misunderstanding when Sota sees Miya going to school with a girl.  Shock Horror! Obviously, this is going to be a huge fight and Hori is still going to act all weird for another 6 episodes because she is keeping the secret that she heard the confession and all that.

OR she goes to school the next day and they talk it over. Miya even admits that he knew she was awake but was a bit too scared to just confess head on and wanted to give her the option to not answer. I apologize for calling you lame Miya. It’s still a bit lame but way better than I thought.

Yeah, the people in this show really just, you know…talk! They communicate so much, and sometimes they fail at making their points, but the attempts themselves always lead somewhere closer to understanding.

And she Hori does overreact ridiculously to learning about Chika but at least she knows she’s being completely unreasonable and they talk it out and resolve that the next evening. And in this context, I really like the tropes. They don’t bother me at all. It’s even kinda cute.

Still not exactly a fan of Hori getting hyper-jealous over nothing – not the jealousy itself, which is pretty in character and honestly not that unrealistic – but her apparently finding it justified enough to express as an accusation. Well, maybe that is pretty Hori too, and as you say, they do always talk over their conflicts and misunderstandings, almost always within 24 hrs.

Oddly enough, for all the characters I forgot or half-remembered in Horimiya, I clearly remembered Hori’s dad. Everything about him. And I like him cause I like troll characters. What did you think, Moya?

I love Hori’s entire family! Also, that tiny loveseat (?) in the living room is where all the tension is at this episode. Somehow, Hori’s dad sharing it with Miyamura was more intense than Hori-Miya sitting together. Wow, from wide and scary park benches and series finale confessions to tiny sofa and 4th episode hand-holding…are romance anime tropes evolving rapidly in front of my eyes, or is Horimiya just…different? I’m not exactly well-versed in shoujo (which Horimiya also isn’t necessarily), and Horimiya’s manga did start serializing a decade ago, so I don’t know if I can really say that. I do still want to agree with “traditional romance but the cute parts,” except the cute parts have undergone great escalation and are dialed up to 11/10. 

Another huge romance cliché is the interrupted confession. And it was once more immediately subverted by Hori being the amazing direct babe that she is. I rarely get why guys flock to romance heroines but with Hori, I can see it. Also, I loved that scene! And the walk home. Both made me coo and squee at my tv. I regressed back to whenever my hormones were most active cause boy that was adorable!

Wait, are you talking about the part where she casually goes “yeah, I was awake, by the way”? Because that was pretty great, after all the internal turmoil that she went through because of the confession. I like how they just started dating because they were assumed to be. Hand-holding on screen, in an anime that carries no content warnings…how obscene!

I was talking about the part where she tells her dad: Yeah he is, you got a problem with that! No waiting 4 episodes to confirm the relationship.

Now Miya may be a bit lame, and Hori a little bit of a coward but you know who is NOT at all lame: Toru. I’m not sure if he’s secretly auditioning for best boy ever but man, he’s doing a great job at it. And I liked that the show didn’t pretend his feelings just disappeared so that we can all be happy for the new couple. It gives his character a lot more depth to be hurt but also happy for his friends. It’s awesome.

*Nods repeatedly* (In fact, I’d like to say “nods like a garlic crusher,” but that’s a Chinese expression that I don’t think is used in English. Maybe you get the idea.) There are so many good boys in the show, but Toru might be the goodest. A true bro.

I have appreciated the emphasis Horimiya puts on friendships. Certainly, Toru and Miya have an epic bromance that might outshine anything else but Miya and Sota are also getting along super well. And now, we have Sakura and Remi. The sort of disconnect between their personalities creates a very interesting dynamic. And the fact that Remi was portrayed as the stronger and more reliable friend this week recontextualizes the character in a way cute extras rarely get a chance at. 

Great point. When Remi was first introduced, she was running in the halls because “Sakura might get mad” if she didn’t submit the paperwork in time. Recalling that scene makes me feel like there may be more between them that they still have to work through before they can fully trust and rely on one another, but I’m confident that they will have more of their moments throughout their series.

What I’m saying is that I really liked this episode. It may be my favourite so far and that’s saying something. We are almost halfway through the season, and Horimiya has yet to let me down. On the contrary,  enjoy each episode more and more. How are you feeling Moya? 

Oh, it’s certainly an adorable episode!

Sometimes I’m not sure what to think of the series’ inconsistent tone, how it goes from subtle and realistic emotional explorations to crass, reactive humour in a blink. I tend to think of our characters as the former, normally, so while the latter can be entertaining, I sometimes wonder whether these generally sweet and thoughtful characters would really jump to unreasonable conclusions or resort to accidental violence so easily. It’s one of those things that works excellently in manga form, where contrasting panels add to the fun, but is a little more difficult to be convinced by in animated form. 

I think the anime does a good job representing the two tones that define the Horimiya manga, but can probably do a bit better connecting them? That’s how I see it anyhow.

Looking forward to more living room family bonding and youthful friendships going forward!

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11 thoughts

  1. I actually didn’t remember Dad from the OVA, but he has a voice actor, so he must have been there. Loved him, he was fun. Actually, the entire family. is fun. I note that they probably named Kyouko after Kyousuke, though I’d need to compare kanji to be sure (and even then it could still be a sound-pun). I also note that we now the entire Hori nuclear family, but we haven’t, unless I forgot, seen a single member of the Miyamura family (except for the obvious main character). Will we, I wonder?

    It’s also nice how the show doesn’t forget to give Souta a friend. Seems like a fun minor character, too.

    1. If I remember correctly Miya’s family is pretty absentee. It was part of the reason Miya had some social hangups in the first place

      1. Well, we do know someone from his family runs a cake shop. Some of his classmates might wander in some day, without knowing. Might be a funs scene. I’ll wait and see.

  2. This episode was definitely the highlight so far for this series, and I think CloverWorks did a wonderful job with the hand holding scene.

    Hori’s jealous tendency is the one thing in Horimiya that really irks me, especially when you know she can be level-headed and think things through rationally…but she still had a tantrum and threw two books at Miyamura’s face. *sigh* I guess the plus side is that she almost always instantly regrets lashing out and this is an anime and it’s played for laughs, but repeated possessive behavior can get really tiresome (not to mention toxic) if this was a real-life relationship. Maybe it’s because I watch a lot of true crime TV shows, but relationships like that can end VERY badly for one or both people involved. The fact that the manga/anime chalks it up as humor makes me feel uncomfortable.

    1. It’s another classic trope. So far in this anime we’ve only seen it once in five episodes so we’ll see if it comes back or if they par it down

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