Horimiya (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

Everyone, it did not take long to find the first droppable series of this year’s festivities. Only being able to sit through about two and a half episodes of Horimiya, this post will not be especially long (I promise).

Initial Expectations

I knew of the Horimiya name since long before I watched the anime adaptation. Its parent manga has been “the talk of the town” since its debut back in 2011. As of writing, it’s the 14th most interacted with manga on MyAnimeList’s database, appearing on over 276,000 users’ lists. Its 8.46 average score is also nothing short of commendable. There was considerable hype surrounding its anime adaptation almost by default.

However, the anime stopped airing in April and yet I never indulged. What ended up influencing me now was a single comment by one person, which, humorously, was not even directed at me. Someone referred to the Horimiya anime adaptation as “the best romance anime.” The best? Now that is quite the high bar. I’m quite fond of cute romance on its own, so this was just enough to allow me to try it out. Plus, I just like seeing how much my opinion differs from others’.

It tends to differ greatly.

Never!

Actual Review

Let me make something completely clear without any filibuster: I think this series is really boring. At least it was in the first two and a half episodes (I only made it nine minutes into the third episode). There’s no real “hook” to this series that makes it stand out, no interesting characters to alleviate anything of no substance. Try as it might, nothing about what I viewed seemed to have mattered at all.

This sounds pretty harsh, I realize. But bear with me as I explain. How does one describe this series? Well, there’s a “secret” that the two protagonists keep for one another. Okay, that’s something. What are their secrets? Well, Miyamura has… piercings… and tattoos… and is normal despite appearing gloomy? Then Hori… uh… doesn’t care about how proper she appears while in class? Is this really all there is to it? It’s bizarrely superficial.

Then I hear a lot of praise directed to Hori, specifically, for not being a meek, shy, submissive female lead. So, cool, she’s more than what the genre tends to do for female characters like her… except she’s still not great. While there’s some spectacle to the spunkiness that she has, the writing doesn’t lend itself to… any character, really. Contrived and horribly straightforward, no character ends up particularly memorable or likable to reasonable extents.

I didn’t think the comment was that cringey…

Particularly, the first episode seems to move at lightning speeds. Hori and Miyamura end up meeting by chance outside of school, and then they just kind of stick together for whatever reason. By the end, it’s already completely apparent that they have intense romantic feelings towards one another. All this through the power of… knowing that they’re different outside of the school setting? Y’know, like literally every person in existence? Changing personalities to suit the mood or environment is not special.

Probably more than anything, the haphazard execution is what soured the series for me. It wants to make itself up to be this monumental story about coming of age and juicy romance and an introspective drama. Only it comes across more as tryhard, wanting to do so much in so little amount of time. Vomiting exposition and doing a lot of “telling, not showing” (like a lot of anime do), the content comes off as cheesy. Maybe it if veered more towards comedy it wouldn’t be such an issue.

Based on reviews I skimmed past the point of dropping it, it appears that the characters ended up becoming rather toxic for no reason? Of course, this is just based on word of mouth—should this be true, though, I’m glad I got out when I did. There was already next to nothing for me to hang onto as “good,” so toxicity on top of generally boring and occasionally edgy writing seems like a death sentence.

What a QT.

Conclusion

Blah. I can’t say it’s terrible given I likely never gave it a chance to really build on its themes, but the opening impressions are pretty mediocre. No characters grabbed me and the story beats seemed vastly non-important. Maybe I’ll read the manga and see if it fares any better. The anime, though, will be left in purgatory.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

For more anime reviews, check out the associated archive.

Thank you for your time. Have a great timezone.

2 thoughts on “Horimiya (Merry Days of Anime 2021)

  1. Ah, I can’t help but feel a bit bummed that you didn’t like this series as much as I did. I don’t think I was the commenter who said this is the ‘best’ but I certainly liked it a lot. I really do appreciate your viewpoint though, because after a second watch-through after it originally airing I can see where you’re coming though. Horimiya’s pacing is kinda everywhere and pretty hard to follow if you don’t just give it a pass for that.

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