Horimiya started airing in the Winter 2021 anime season. The anime is animated by CloverWorks, also known for their work in Spy x Family, The Promised Neverland and My Dress-Up Darling. Here is our full Horimiya Review.
Horimiya, shortened from Hori-San to Miyamura-Kun. This romantic comedy revolves around two main characters, Hori and Miyamura which is in the backdrop of high school life. The one line that sounds the best to describe this anime is:
“Nobody is perfect off the bat“
This shows that things need to evolve on their own, but without the first steps nothing can start, this is illustrated perfectly in the first episode of the series. If Miyamura hadn’t been the person to help Hori’s brother then the events would probably have unfolded differently, as highlighted in Episode 13.
Starting this series you would never guess the twists and turns that are packed in. Right from the beginning the characters are introduced and everything seems very grounded. Nothing seems too out of the ordinary for a school romance-based anime. That is until both main characters leave the classroom, following Hori, the popular girl. Within the first few minutes, her transformation from this schoolgirl into a mature and almost motherly character is really shocking, however, the best is still to come. Moments later you meet this young guy who has a resemblance to someone you met in the class but Hori does recognise him. Soon after he introduces himself as Miyamura, and the shock is priceless.
One of the funniest moments in the first Episode is when Hori sends Miyamura on a mission to get eggs from the store, on his way he jumps a fence landing in front of a classmate saying:
This is added to by the classmate in question not recognizing him and his cartoony run to escape.
Midway through the first Episode Hori acts either selfishly or out of her emotions for Miyamura saying that she doesn’t want anyone else to see him in the way he is out of class. She continues with an interesting statement:
“Everyone has a side they prefer to keep to themselves“
It really shows that everyone has secrets that they would prefer not to let others know about. It is a strange thing to be hinted at in a romance-based anime, but it is only the first of the 13 episodes. If you think that’s all Miyamura has got to hide then you’d be mistaken, because as Hori finds out he has something else to share.
By the end of the Episode, things start to really pick up when Hori is more furious with Miyamura than one could think possible.
Starting Episode 2 Hori’s mother is introduced, whereas before in Episode 1, she was only a voice on the phone. This introduction is a nice and interesting dynamic of Hori and her mother’s relationship which is quickly made into a joke by Hori not knowing Miyamura’s name. This starts a sequence of her attempting to find out without asking him, ending in failure and resorting to asking him once her mother has found out.
Although the series is quite light-hearted and comical for any number of reasons, sometimes it takes a darker and more serious mood shift. The later part of Episode 2 highlights this fact sadly when Hori has the student council’s work pushed on her, and after completing it, subsequently being blamed for it going missing. Almost ready to break down in tears, Miyamura comes to the rescue having already obtained the missing papers. Before handing them over however he has to take out some of his frustration at Hori being blamed, so he headbutts the student council president, Sengoku. This act highlights 2 things, the first is his need to protect Hori for the mistake the council made, and the second is because the president was really irritating Miyamura. Although the first point is not said it’s the events that are presented by the build-up.
Coming to the end of the second episode Hori starts to reach the realisation that Miyamura will at some point stop visiting, this act triggers her to know that she will be sad. Episode 3 throws in another twist starting with a memory sequence from Miyamura. This can be a little confusing as there isn’t a real distinction between what is happening in the development of the story in sequence and what has happened in the past. The following events also highlight Hori’s feelings for Miyamura, but it’s nothing compared to what Miyamura does.
Over the next few Episodes, the developments shown are fantastic, from seeing Hori getting flustered and trying to find out what irritates and flutters Miyamura all the way to Miyamura’s darker side. Episode 5 introduces a new character, who is probably the best one yet, this is mainly because of how he was introduced to Miyamura.
Overall the story is a fun and touching story following the two main characters Hori and Miyamura. There are slight deviations where other characters take centre stage but it is just for sections of episodes. The story isn’t difficult to follow, and even when it feels like it could be, it is pulled back into perspective.
Beyond this, there are characters who take the spotlight from time to time. This isn’t the same as other series, the reason is because the focus doesn’t shift from Hori and Miyamura. Although the two of them are the focus of the series, there are multiple other romances that play out between the sub-characters, and the “Inner Thoughts” conversation sequence plays.
Finally adding to this is the first time this event actually takes place for Hori, because of how it works it seems relevant to add it into the little part. In terms of the romance that is evolving this could be called a Critical Hit, and could be classified as the point that both characters start developing together.
One of the protagonists of the story, and is introduced in the first Episode along with Miyamura. Within the first few minutes, she is shown with two personalities, her school one and her personal one. Her personal one, as highlighted above, is more akin to a mother in the way she cares for her younger brother. Where this is a constant throughout the series, it is safe to say it evolves to encompass Miyamura. After a few Episodes, things start to change, however, the biggest change for Hori comes after Episode 4 when Miyamura tells her that he loves her. Although she knows this information, it isn’t until Episode 5 that the two of them get together and her developments start to shine.
Once the two of them are together, she gets flustered and embarrassed more easily. Additionally to this, she has jealous tendencies, and not just aimed at her female classmates, some of the male characters find out just what it means to have her irritated with them. The development shown in Episodes 7 – 9 is more interesting as she develops a need for Miyamura to be more assertive with her, which pushes him out of his comfort zone and leads Kyosuke to get involved. However good these are her crowning change in Episode 12 when she responds to Miyamura’s proposal.
Overall her changes are more to do with how she reacts around Miyamura rather than anything else, the biggest thing about her is you don’t expect her to be an overly violent character when you first meet her. By the end of the first episode, it’s proved that she can be violent but caring at the same time, unlike later when she is actually pretty scary when she takes her anger out on 2 guys picking on Miyamura.
This is the second protagonist and is introduced early in Episode 1. Like Hori he too has two personalities, however, his are a little more extreme than Hori’s. In class, he is a loner type character who always seems to keep to himself in the early Episodes, whereas, in his free time, he seems more of the street punk type with piercings and tattoos. Honestly, at first glance, he does not seem like the “hero” type, but by the end of the series, his development has been the most drastic.
Although Hori states in the first Episode that she doesn’t want anyone else to see Miyamura like he is out of class, he changes to show his classmates that side of him. This is a big step for Miyamura going from this loner who didn’t talk to his classmates much to someone who stands out. The main thing that influences this change is people talking about him and Hori being together, although Hori isn’t bothered by it, Miyamura really is. This leads him to get his hair cut and lose the piercings.
Although it is only shown in a few of the sequences in Episode 6 onwards Miyamura has a jealous streak which shows. This is more defined when protecting Hori from being taken by Honoka rather than Shindo, as Miyamura doesn’t recognise Shindo as a threat. This is highlighted in Shindo’s introduction to Toru and Hori during Episode 5.
By the end of the series, Miyamura changes into a more confident character who is surrounded by friends. This is only reaffirmed, by his proposal to Hori in Episode 12, showing his confidence and change from his personality in Episode 1 where he felt boring, depressing and wouldn’t match well with Hori.
As stated, there are a bunch of supporting characters who both support and push the heroes. Most of these are class members, however, a few of these are people who are outside of school. Most of these don’t show as much development as Hori and Miyamura. These characters are:
The above are the ones who appear most often and obvious changes and developments are made. Other characters who appear, do make development changes but are not shown in enough detail to be able to make a clear distinction between their origin and goal points.
Although the review has been split up into the best way to explain things there are sometimes things that fall outside of the criteria, Horimiya has some of these things. There are a few things that should be expanded on which don’t fall into Story and Characters. The first of these is the opening and ending credits, the second is the animation and quality of the series, and finally is not something that can be explained easily. This is because it is the feeling and emotional bond that is made throughout the story, because of this it’s not something that can be described.
Although something that should go without being said, both the opening and ending credits give off different feelings. The opening credits give off a cheery feel while the end credits, as one might imagine give off an ending to the series feeling. This isn’t just the music that is picked it’s to do what is shown.
The opening credits have a slow upbeat and rhythmic chime with interesting visuals almost like a comic book panel. The early episodes seem to highlight the loneliness in the heart and the solitude of the characters, this is until a change in characters is seen in the episodes. From Episode 6 or 7 the opening credits change to show the love shared between the heroes and the adventure they share.
The ending credits have a more calming flow compared to the series and opening. The music almost perfectly complements the 3d animation that’s playing. There are few anime which could pull this off so well, and thankfully it only adds to the quality of the series, instead of ruining it. The visuals follow Hori’s day, from waking up, going to school and spending time with Miyamura and ending with her falling asleep.
The quality of the animation was something that caught my attention, there isn’t much that is bad per se, it was just really good. The only, and I mean only bad thing, is some of the sequences make the characters too cartoonish. Although under normal situations this wouldn’t be a problem, in Horimiya however this kind of felt like it was breaking the formula of the series.
Overall the series is a fantastic love story set between two incredible characters. There really isn’t that much to say against the series, however, the biggest thing that I have against the series is how short it feels while watching it. Even though the 13 episodes are 23 minutes long it feels like it passes way too fast to be 20 minutes. This isn’t the issue that is being highlighted, what I would like to highlight is the fact that there feels like there should be more to the events. An example of this is Episodes 12 to 13. Episode 12 is set at Christmas, whereas Episode 13 is set at Graduation. This leaves 4 months unaccounted for, and it feels like there should be things set in this timeframe.
Honestly, the entire series is amazing, the flow of events is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, the characters develop in interesting ways and the twists and turns of the romantic entanglement between each character make the series a worthwhile watch.