It’s safe to say it left a pretty good impression on me because I decided to binge four episodes in one day, it had me hooked! Horimiya was an anime I’ve been fairly interested in before it started airing. I always try to look for anime that feel like it could contain some genuine romance. Why you might ask? Simply because I love the genre as a whole, I want to feel them butterflies, I want to have my heartstrings pulled. Being that Horimiya covers the following genres; Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance, School, and Shounen. I decided to keep a close eye on it. I however, didn’t decide to start watching it until I saw the rating on MAL, which had it around 8.50 -/+.
I like our two characters, Izumi Miyamura and Kyouko Hori. I especially like the fact that they’re both living a ‘double life’ if you will, with their school personalities being different from the ones they display in the real world. Izumi Miyamura‘s in school personality is similar to that of Yuu Ishigami from Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai. With regards to them always being the ‘odd’ man out, they both experienced some form of bullying, they both also found refuge in one person who made them feel appreciated and wanted to be their friend. The only differences are Izumi‘s past isn’t as traumatic as Yuu‘s, and Izumi seems more capable and I think is more aware of who he is as a person.
While Kyouko Hori reminded me a bit of Misaki Ayuzawa from Kaichou wa Maid-sama!. In that they’re both extremely hard workers and both are very studious. Another comparison between the two is that they’re both colour individuals, who do not like expressing their feelings out in public and tend to keep it to themselves.
Out of the main and supporting cast, my favourite character thus far has been Izumi. Despite not knowing much about him, or what he had experienced in his younger years. The thoughts he has, constantly feeling out of place, whether the people he hangs with are actually his ‘friends’. The insecurities he experiences, to the point where he thought changing the way he looked would make it easier for him to deal with or accept. He’s someone I think the anime should explore, I want to know more about him.
Moving away from the characters, there were other things about the anime that left lasting impressions on me, the OP and the art design. “Iro Kousui (色香水)” by You Kamiyama is definitely a bop, without a doubt. It’s a great song, it’s one of those songs you can listen to on repeat and still enjoy. It shares a similar vibe like “Lemon” by Kenshi Yonezu or to Yasashisa no Riyuu (優しさの理由)” by ChouCho. Two songs I love. I also like the art of the anime. Each character has a distinct colour associated to them, which you can tell by their hair colour as well as eye colour. I also love how the characters look. They look like well drawn sketches, rough, yet defined is how I’d describe it. It’s a style I like quite.
I’ll end on what I didn’t like about the anime so far, it’s something I think a lot of anime nowadays struggle with if they’re restricted to 12 or 13 episodes, pacing and how stitched everything felt. Episodes four and five felt a little too choppy for me, it felt like I was watching a purely slice of life anime. We had a bunch of different scenes, with different characters, experiencing different moods or themes, all within a span of 20 minutes. Normally this would be fine in a slice of life because the episodes are episodic, there typically isn’t a story being told. However, since Horimiya is trying to tell a story, which involves our two protagonists, Izumi and Kyouko. I would have much preferred it if each scene flowed into one another seamlessly, without the feeling of it being different parts being stitched together. There were times while I watched episodes four and five where I didn’t understand what was happening because we had so many different scenes.
In episode one, we go from Izumi and Kyouko not knowing a thing about each other, to episode five where they’re dating now? I don’t know how much time was skipped within Horimiya‘s reality, but it was significant. The time skipping was like something taken out of the first season of SAO. Where Asuna and Kirito were running through floors in a matter of minutes. One minute they’re on floor 19 the next they’re on floor 99 or something crazy. In that respect it also felt like the friendship between Izumi and Kyouko felt insignificant because we didn’t get to see their relationship and feelings for one another grow naturally. Character development is one of those things I find to be always entertaining and to be deprived of that, wasn’t something I liked. I hope once the latter half of the anime starts to air, that character development takes hold of Horimiya since we’ve gotten to and past the beginning of the relationship between Izumi and Kyouko.
To summarize, Horimiya does have it flaws but it has been a very entertaining anime. So much so that I had to binge the episodes to catch up, something I am happy I did. I hope the latter stages of the anime is one that will pull me into the anime further, leaving me no choice but to love this anime. Great first impression!