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Anime recommendation: HORIMIYA

Join James for another episode of Anime Recommendation! Today is all about Horimiya!

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Horimiya

It has been quite a while since I’ve done one of these. Last time we looked at Toradora!, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and RE:Zero. Well I’m back for another episode of “Anime Recommendation”. Now, I’ve watched a lot of anime since the last episode which was almost a year ago. If I were to write a piece on every show that I loved, I’d be here for quite some time. But when a show stands out, I like to try and get others to watch it. It’s only natural. You message your friends about the latest episode that you’ve just watched, then you watch as they gradually become addicted and boom! they’ve binged the entire series in 2 days.

Today is all about a show called Horimiya, or Hori-san to Miyamura-kun. Adapted from the manga written by Hiroki Adachi, Horimiya follows Kyoko Hori and Izumi Miyamura who attend the same high school. Hori is a bright and popular student while Miyamura is a quiet and gloomy pupil. However, that’s their “at-school” persona. As soon as that bell rings, Hori lets her hair down as she cleans the house and takes care of her little brother, while Miyamura becomes very laid back and dons his punk-like look. They do their absolute best to keep this side of them hidden, much like a secret identity, but on a fateful day, their worlds collide. They agree to help each other and they soon become great friends and then… Well, I’m sure you can join the dots.

I’m a sucker for sweet Slice of Life shows. While many tend to follow a very familiar recipe, there’s something about them that’s just simply wonderful. I think part of it boils down to this idea of improvement. Most of the time we’re presented with a flawed character who undergoes a transformation, sometimes a painful one, thanks to a love interest. That flawed character begins to improve when he/she realises that their crush can help them out of their dark place. Horimiya approaches this somewhat differently and it actually surprised me. The biggest hook in a lot of romantic comedies is finally seeing the unlikely couple get together. But what happens when that’s sooner rather than later?

I’d argue whether it’s a spoiler, but Hori and Miyamura do end up together very early on. Yet, it doesn’t take anything away from their journey for betterment. What’s lovely to see is that both Miyamura and Hori go through their own process. Hori seems to gradually accept her lifestyle without being embarrassed by it, while Miyamura confronts his past demons. The show definitely favors Miyamura’s story since it is significantly darker but it does make his transformation that much more heart warming with Hori being by his side. It’s lovely watching Hori and Miyamura navigate school-life as a couple while also tackling personal drama head on as a team.

Horimiya gets rid of that infuriating build up where you’re begging the main characters to get together. Instead, we get to see them expand their social circles and help others who are in very similar situations. Of course, there are moments of tension but the show is mostly lighthearted and fun. Hori and Miyamura are a pretty unorthodox couple. They struggle with intimacy, they worry constantly, and they’re easily embarrassed. All of which contribute towards some incredibly funny moments. On top of that, their friends are equally as strange and troublesome. The entire cast bounce off of each other constantly. From revolving around two characters who do their absolute best to avoid contact with other students, they soon form their own lovable group… a group that is full of teen drama and love triangles. But I’ll let you uncover all of that.

What got me interested instantly was the animation style. The character designs are fantastic. Each character is unique, slick, and quite stylish. The animation really pops despite it being a very tame show. It’s a slice of life series, nothing spectacular or epic happens because it’s mostly character driven and very grounded. But it still has a beautiful aesthetic that separates it not only from some of the big heavy hitters but also other shows from the same genre.

On a final note, Horimiya is a show that can be enjoyed in both sub and dub. I won’t tell you which one to watch. But all you need to know is that I loved both of them. If I were to pick a favourite, I’d go with the sub. Some of the gags land a lot better compared to the dub and the emotions displayed by the various characters are a lot more convincing. However, some of the dub actors are a lot more memorable. There are pros and cons to both of them so it’s entirely down to your preference.

Horimiya is a fun, sweet, and heart warming series that plays with some of the typical conventions seen in many rom-com shows. The characters are brilliantly designed and the entire show has such a lovely visual appeal. If you’re looking for an adorable love story full of laughs and heart, Horimiya is the anime for you.

All 13 episodes of Horimiya are available to watch on Funimation now.

Will you be checking out Horimiya? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to check out more anime related news here.


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