Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Review | Anime| Honey and Clover

HONEY AND CLOVER : Yuta Takemoto, Shinobu Morita and Takumi Mayama are three
college men who live in the same apartment complex within walking distance of
the art college they all attend. When their teacher, Shuji Hanamoto, returns
from out of town with his cousin's daughter Hagumi, the tiny college girl
'Hagu', through her cultivating artwork and exceptional kindness, begins to
change lives of the people around her.

I don't have to tell you this series has made a major dent in the anime industry. One of the most well-known romance animes in the anime community, Honey and Clover's simplicity and pace is sure not to disappoint.

Though the story is slowly paced at the beginning and plot is unclear around the same time, once we meet short kid Hagu-chan, things become more and more vivid. Hagu is constantly chased by the directors of art galleries looking to post her art in their festivals and galleries; it eventually gets to the point where Hagu's attempts to meet the constant demand for artwork results on becoming physically and emotionally weak. However, Mr. Hanamoto (Shuu-chan, as she refers to him) is always willing to dedicate his time and is never too busy for Hagu. This begins to bother Hagu, who feels he should spend more time on what makes him happy. Also willing to help Hagu is Takemoto, who has grown a great fondness for Hagu and her work.

While Takemoto is getting plenty of attention from the girl he likes, Mayama is starving. Mayama has fallen in love with his employer, Rika Harada, which could not be a more complicated catch; Not only is Rika many years older, but she has lost her husband in a car accident that severely crippled and scarred her. She is now somewhat detached, refusing to get close to anyone, which puts Mayama in a bigger pinch. His obsession with Rika goes so far, he begins to stalk her. Though his friends try to tell him it's stalking, he refuses to admit it. He has even set his ring tone to "Moon River" because he heard Rika humming it once day to herself. This reels in plenty of teasing from the eccentric Shinobu Morita, who is infamous for rolling into Takemoto's apartment seemingly half-dead, his pocket seams bursting from the wads of money in his pocket, which nobody has any clue where he got.

Also in a love pinch is Ayumi Yamada, who is popular in the ceramics department of the college, especially with the boys, who call her 'Iron Lady' because of her constant thrasing of her male friends, specifically Mayama, who she has fallen head-over-heels for. She is almost always seen crying over Mayama, because she feels s if he is too busy staring at Rika to notice her, and most of the time she's right.

From the middle of the series all into the second season, the characters begin to understand themselves better and reflect on their futures. Some even go on journeys of self-discovery. In the middle of this dreamy slice of life is Hagu-chan, who despite being confused about self-discovery herself, knows that she has good friends in these oddball college students, so she's never alone.

While there is nothing overly inappropriate for children in this show, it would probably not hold a young child's attention because of the complexity and pace of the episodes. If a child does express interest in seeing this anime, there are a few incidents where characters become drunk and characters smoke, there are a few references to a woman being naked (it's a joke made over the telephone and no women are actually seen naked), and two girls cry hysterically in an exaggerated manner when they see a woman's beautiful body parts and they complain theirs aren't as beautiful. A man stalking his love interest is also referenced and the characters in question are later seen in bed together.

Sick of fantasy anime? Honey and Clover is about as close to reality as you can come, the only difference? Unlike actual life, it's actually worth watching. A definite must-watch from us.

Overall Rating:
/ 5


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