I gotta say, Miya’s reputation is taking quite the hit. He better make it work with Hori because I doubt anyone else is going to want to be with him if this keeps up. If he doesn’t end up in jail that is. He must really love that girl!
But before we get into all that, let’s take a second to greet everyone’s

favourite girl: Moya! How are you Moya, enjoying the almost spring? Here it got freezing cold as soon as March rolled in just to mock us, I suppose.

Oh, we all know Irina is the real best girl here! I do enjoy the almost-spring. Hope you get to see the same sunshine I do soon.

Episode 9 of Horimiya was a showcase of how weird Miya’s life has gotten. First of all, Hori is sort of a freak. And I really love that the show is allowing her to have some not-so-lovable traits. She’s always been jealous but it’s not portrayed as a cute sign of love. She seems unreasonable and pretty weak when she throws her fits. And I like that she’s not perfect in a very obvious way instead of a cute or inferred way.

I also wasn’t expecting my adorable high school romance show to be such an open-minded exploration of kink! 50 shade of Hori! I dig it! It’s not something you see every day in PG romance anime!

I feel more ambivalent about the show’s portrayal of her jealousy – no, it’s not particularly cute to me as an audience, but I don’t think the show is doing much to address it besides making it a sort of gag. I don’t think shows are obligated at all to condemn everything questionable, or that traits that might be problematic in real-life can’t be fun in anime, but I guess I’m not particularly amused by Hori’s jealousy. I like your more positive take though!

And 50 Shades of Hori is a shocker indeed. Blame her weird taste in movies?

The one downside of course is that Miyamura really loves his girlfriend and will do anything to make her happy. That’s going to make him look really bad to anyone who doesn’t know what’s going on.

Then again, all the new guys we met in this episode ended up becoming friends with Miyamura after his bad boyfriend act, so what do I know?

I find it super weird that Mizouchi and his friend’s main takeaway from witnessing Miyamura “bully” Hori is “wow, dude can stand up for himself now!” Like, what!? Let’s hope Miyamura doesn’t become a terrible example for everyone else.

I really love the ongoing relationship between Miya and Hori’s dad. It’s kinda sweet in a twisted way.

Haha, those two are always cool to watch. The bathroom is a great touch.

Another thing I wasn’t expecting out of a pg romance anime is a frank look at just how important and difficult friendships can be. This is the first episode of Horimiya where the colourful shadows visual cue served a direct narrative purpose. And it was a bit obvious but I really liked it.

Miya is really coming into his own. Not only did he manage to make a friend all by himself, and out of a rival nothing less! (I think Mizuchi dodged a bullet. He’s better off friends with Miyamura than Hori’s boyfriend. And I love Hori.) But he also managed to find the strength to forgive his old torturers and really let go of the past.

Mind you, Tanihara put in a lot of effort too. He had all that guilt and shame to get past so I’m proud of him. I hope we get a chance to see a bit of these two’s friendship in action!

Yes, I do love the episode’s title: “It’s Hard, but Not Impossible.” It’s also the first episode that isn’t subdivided into mini arcs. While I would have appreciated the interludes (more Yuki and Toru please, I don’t care if they’re together or not!), it’s nice to see the show go for a consecutive story.

Oh big yes, more Yuki and Toru. I’m so here for it.

I don’t know if you also have the same experience, but blaming somebody for the death of the school rabbits is a backstory that I’ve seen in anime/manga a couple of times. I suppose it is an extremely terrible form of bullying, and lends itself to some harrowing visuals and a disturbing narrative about guilt and victimization that you wouldn’t normally expect from the school experiences of a younger student.

Speaking of rabbits, Mizouchi’s dream of being trapped in a narrow locker with Miyamura is an interesting parallel to the light-hearted bathtub conversation scene. I think the dream itself is the most interesting metaphor in the series so far. The terms used for “inside” and “outside” in Japanese were “uchi” and “soto,” which are the same words used to describe an “in-group” and “out-group.” The dream not only subverts expectations of in vs. out, but emphasizes the changeability of such dynamics.

I don’t know that I remember that rabbit trope but I have a very sensitive spot for animals so I may have blanked it out. I also completely agree, Mizouchi’s nightmare visuals are very effective and somewhat haunting.

More importantly, though, Horimiya seems to be incapable of creating a character I won’t like. And I’m not going to lie, having all these very attractive character designs ain’t hurting either! Those are some really cute boys CloverWorks is putting out there. Or maybe I should be grateful to Mr. Hagiwara.

Oh, I didn’t know the manga was created by a duo, so thank you for giving me the right person to credit! It seems like we’re going to have a lot more side characters, even if not necessarily in this season (Season 2, maybe??), so I’m quite glad they’re colour-coded.

Previous posts

9 thoughts

  1. When Kyouko’s mother was first introduced, Kyouko called Izumi her dark villain. At the time, I was wondering what was up with that, and now it’s clear that it’s because she’s a masochist and likes to be treated somewhat roughly with Izumi’s tattoos and piercings fitting her idea of a bad boy. This is really not common in high school romcoms, so I’m interested in seeing how these things are addressed if there is an intent to address this in the last 4 episodes.

    1. I’m not sure they’ll get around to it. Although so far they are treating it as a peculiar eccentricity of Hori’s that’s a bit worrisome but generally harmless

    1. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it more than once, too; the one example I can think of is Sukitte Ii Na Yo, and it was actually a rabbit. (I remember this one because it aired concurrently with Tonari no Kaibutsu kun, where the female protagonist wasn’t blamed for the death but got her nickname for preferring to go home to study rather than cry with everyone else. Guess which show I preferred.)

  2. This is one of my favorite episodes, even if I’m not totally agree with the dynamic between Hori and Miya, I still love to see them together. Also I’ve enjoyed all the character development in this episode.

    1. I really liked it as well. And although I don’t really get Hori it’s a consensual and respectful relationship so I got no complaints.

Leave me a comment and make my day!