Izumi Miyamura is soft-spoken and polite; in fact, he's SO reserved that his classmates think he's weird, and shun him. But after he escorts Kyoko Hori's injured kid brother home, she starts developing a fascination with him- which may be part of the reason that she rejects another classmate's confession. (The rejectee's name is Toru Ishikawa, and there will nevertheless be a bit more to his story as well.) Miyamura becomes nearly a fixture in Hori's home, and their relationship just keeps getting deeper...
Whatever anyone says, the creepiest thing in this show is not Miyamura's behavior (or even what he's done to his own body), but rather an unhealthy fantasy of Hori's. She WANTS Miyamura to step out of character, and treat her with contempt, IN PUBLIC, from time to time. It's a turn-on for her. I saw all kinds of downsides to this, starting with what would happen if some Good Samaritan, not realizing this is all consensual, felt obliged to "rescue" her from her "abusive" boyfriend.
Really, I thought Miyamura had proven himself "manly" enough (if that's the issue with her) when he stood up for her against bullying by the President and his peers on the Student Council. They were trying to force her to apologize for losing some important documents, when she hadn't been the person who lost them at all. (The person who DID lose them- who is present during this dressing-down, and who must have known they were at fault- indeed, they're ACTING guilty- nevertheless was willing to let Hori take the rap rather than own up to their own mistake. I'll just say that I never warmed up to the guilty party, at all.)
My other main complaint with the show is something that Hori herself noted- that we don't know that much about Miyamura even by the end of the show. Yes, we know that he was one of those kids, in the words of the Janis Ian song, "whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball." Maybe if we saw his home life we'd know how he got to be such a loner, but all we know is that his family owns a bakery. When we see him in the show, it's almost always either at school or at Hori's place. (Like so many boys, his first sexual experience is apparently at his girlfriend (Hori's) house. You'll know when it's coming, but the show is too tasteful to show much more than that; there's nothing exploitative here.)
There is in fact much goodness in the show, whatever reservations I have about Hori's kink, or some missing details about Miyamura's past. Hori may be a (mild) tsundere with an obsession with horror movies, but despite that (AND her kink), she's really a very sympathetic character, despite her less-than-ideal home life. Oh, her kid brother and her mom are fine, but her father is one of those ne'er-do-well sorts (I gather he and her mom have split, though he still occasionally comes to their place to crash), and he gets by through ingratiating himself with others. He can't fool his ex(?)-wife and daughter anymore, so he tries being a "pal" to Miyamura. If this was intended to improve his standing with Hori, I don't think it worked. Hori's taste for horror movies has a paternal connection, by the way, and the revelation of THAT provoked me to a fit of laughter. (As old folks like me always say, "Kids these days.")
I also found Ishikawa, the spurned suitor, pretty interesting. Despite the fact that Miyamura stole Hori's heart, Ishikawa eventually becomes a close friend and supporter of Miyamura (well, after SOME initial rough spots), and since Ishikawa's so gracious here, one feels he deserves at least a Consolation Girl, and the show gives him his choice from two: either Sakura Kono, a Student Council member who's been nurturing a quiet longing for him, OR Yuki Yoshikawa, a petite, long-term friend of his, whose sleeves are always too long. Since Miyamura and Hori are basically a given from early on, I was interested in seeing how Ishikawa's triangle would play out. (And yes, he DOES make a choice.) One thing that DOES seem just right in the show is the awkwardness everyone here feels (even Miyamura and Hori) in their first romances.
I loved the "Chibi CGI" show closer, which depicts Hori's day.
Oh, one other complaint, but a minor one: we have a scene or two with Ishikawa and his chosen girlfriend after the choice was made, but these scenes somehow lack a real payoff. I wondered if there might have been more in the manga, which got truncated for time reasons. (The show ends with graduation, and many anime series seem to act like their characters' lives ALSO end with graduation. The moral is: if you want to live forever, NEVER GRADUATE!)
I kind of thought that Hori's weird "alpha male" fetish rated a subtraction of stars, but in the end I felt that even with THAT the show was still much better than the average rom-com. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: There's one fistfight. There's a scene that's erotic, but it's much more about desire than implementation, if you get my drift. Right Stuf rates the Blu-Ray/DVD 14+.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll video stream
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Horimiya © 2021 CloverWorks, Hero, Daisuke Hagiwara/Square Enix, "Horimiya" Project
|© 1996-2015 THEM Anime Reviews. All rights reserved.|