I’m not sure of what is the target audience for this anime. Even knowing that it’s a Josei and that it’s probably listed as a romance, it brings no comfort to those who like a good love story. Honey and Clover is serious, austere, and heartbreakingly honest. In fact, it caters to our sense of defeat and loss and might even succeed at showing us the beauty that can be found in failed attempts.
Honey and Clover‘s narrative is controlled by six main characters. First, we have three male college students who live together in a six-tatami apartment building. Yuta Takemoto, the youngest, is sensitive, insecure, and extremely good-natured. Takumi Mayama is the typical trench coat and glasses-wearing guy. He’s serious, reserved, and a closeted sentimentalist. Finally, there’s Shinobu Morita, an eccentric and elusive figure who disappears for weeks on end only to return with a roll of bills tucked in his pocket.
All three tenants are students at an art college in Tokyo. There, their group of friends is completed by Ayumi Yadama, a beautiful and fierce pottery student who is hopelessly in love with Mayama and Shuji Hanamoto, a young professor. During the first episode, we’re introduced to Hagumi Hanamoto, an artistic prodigy and Shuji’s niece.
Each member of the group receives separate screen time where we get to know them more intimately. What it creates is a truthful account of life’s ups and downs, offering us a backdoor into the group’s inner struggles and the strength it takes to get yourself back up.
Why You Should Watch It
Honey and Clover isn’t a feel-good show. Don’t watch it if you’re looking for a laugh. However, if you feel like meditating on life giving you the short end of the stick, go right ahead. Honey and Clover makes you feel better about yourself. It really does. Partly because everyone in the show is so miserable. And partly because it teaches you a lot can be gained from miserable times.
Also, the intro for the second season is pretty cool (there are 36 episodes in total):