Honey and Clover started out
as an award-winning manga which
was made into an anime series and even a live action film.
The buzz for the anime show was very
positive, so I was looking forward to this slice-of-life romantic
comedy. Unfortunately the show didn't live
up to my
expectations. I had a hard time relating
to any of the characters and the situations they found themselves in. Because of that I found the show rather
emotionless and dull.
Yūta Takemoto is a poor college student going to art
school. He's in his second year and
lives in a cheap apartment building with several other art students. These include his one of his best friends,
Mayama, a handsome fourth year student who has an internship at an
firm and Shinobu Morita, a mysterious, unkept youth.
Shinobu has been going to college for six
years, mainly because he's perpetually missing class.
He also disappears for up to weeks at a time,
only to return in a ragged state, very tired, with his back pocket full
and bearing odd gifts for the rest of the building.
Things change significantly when one of the teachers at the
school introduces a new student, his cousin's daughter, Hanamoto Hagumi. Hanamoto is 18 years old, but she looks like
she's about 10. She's short and small,
likes to play with dolls, and is fairly quite and doesn't talk that
much. She's also a very talented sculptor,
and Shinobu instantly fall in love with her.
The former just acts awkward when she's around, but Shinobu
by taking pictures of her after he dresses her like a leprechaun.
The love triangles don't stop there however. Takumi
is in love with an older woman who is
disabled, while an attractive student named Ayumi Yamada really loves
him. She's so into the attractive student
whenever she hears his name she gets distracted and accidently ruins
project that she happens to be working on.
This is a slice-of-life show that examines the loves and losses
of these diverse college students. While
I normally enjoy this sort of show, (I liked Nana and Welcome to the NHK
quite a lot) there were a few aspect of this anime that kept me from
it. First and foremost was the fact that
I couldn't stand the main character.
Yuta was constantly whining and the smallest problem seemed like
insurmountable tragedy to him. Asked to
wake up a friend in the morning, he panics before he goes to sleep,
if he's up to the task and is ready for the responsibility. When his friend doesn't wake up, he panics
and screams. Geeze dude, take a chill
pill. He really, really got on my
Another problem I had with the show was that I couldn't see
why Yuta and Shinobu would fall in love with Hanamoto.
Yeah, they mention that they both have
feelings for her, but they never show why.
I can understand that the two artists respect her talent and
but she looks like a pre-pubescent child and worse she acts like one. Does either of these guys really want to hang
out and play dolls with her?
Honestly? What would they have to
talk about, especially since the girl doesn't carry on conversations?
Oddly enough the only person who was nearly as irritating as
Yuta was Ayumi. Throughout this first
half of the first season a fair amount of time passes, but Ayumi just
over the fact that Takumi doesn't love him.
She has a lot of inner conversations about how she's the right
him and how the woman he loves is all wrong, but she never grows up. Though she's a talented artist she comes
across as a woman who needs a man to be complete, an idea that's pretty
Being the type of program it is, not a lot happens.
That's not necessarily a bad thing if you
like the characters. If you can't
connect with the people in the show on some level however, then the
pretty boring. That's how I found
The first 12 episodes along with the first special "L" are
presented on three DVDs that come in a custom book that's about the
as a regular DVD case.
Viewers have the
choice of the original Japanese soundtrack or an English dub, both in
stereo. I screened a couple of episodes
in English before settling on the Japanese track for most of the
series. The English cast does a good job
roles, nothing exceptional but it's a solid dub track.
The only real complaint I had was with
Hanamoto's voice which was a bit too high pitched for my tastes. Both tracks were free from distortion and
dropouts. There are optional English
subtitles but translations for the signs are burned in.
(That takes the audio rating down half a
The 1.78:1 widescreen image looks very good. The
colors that were used are more realistic
and not exceptionally vivid or bright and this was reproduced
accurately on the
discs. The blacks where nice and solid
and the lines were tight. There was a
bit of banding in some scenes and some occasional aliasing, but nothing
The set includes a short featurette on the making of the
opening credits, which is great. Though
I wasn't a huge fan of the show itself, this is one of the best
I've seen. It consists of a series of
images of very artistic food on plates and concludes with a nice twist.
There's also a text piece on every disc explaining some of
the cultural references in the series, a production art gallery, and
opening and closing animations.
This isn't a bad show.
A lot of time and effort went into both the story and the
I'm sure I would have enjoyed it if I could have related to the
some level. Unfortunately I didn't. I found the main character to be whiny and
spineless and I couldn't relate to the main love triangle.
Viewers who enjoy slice-of-life romantic
comedies should rent this set. They
may find that it's just what they're