Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

7 October 2006: Hachimitsu to Clover

As much as I complain about anime lacking realistic couples, and how frustrating it is that said couples are so adamantly platonic, I sure got tired of Bokura Ga Ita really fast. I blame a cast of unlikeable characters and an unsettlingly pastel color palette.

Actually, that's not true. I did like one character, but she didn't get much screentime, being dead and all.

And I can't really blame Bokura Ga Ita's pastel color palette, either, because Honey and Clover also has a pastel color palette (and an almost watercolor feel to almost every scene), and I can't get enough of Honey and Clover. I really should have started watching it earlier, because Honey and Clover is excellent.

Takemoto, Mayama, and Yamada
Yamada really isn't like Naru. Honest.

Now here's a show with realistic couples, and often painful themes of envy, despair, and the pangs of unrequited love. Not everyone in the cast is always likeable, but like real people, the characters in Honey and Clover have their good moments and their bad ones. For a show with such an idyllic title and such serene art (accompanied by beautiful music) there's an unexpected amount of pain in Honey and Clover.

I do mean that in the best of ways, because part of what makes Honey and Clover so good is its frankness in acknowledging that love and pain often go hand-in-hand—or perhaps it's more accurate to say that the show suggests that love and pain should go hand-in-hand. Yamada is the show's most sympathetic character because sometimes her love for Mayama is pathetic.

Mayama and Yamada
Mayama and Yamada.

Honey and Clover balances Yamada's character perfectly to generate sympathy from the viewer without inspiring contempt. This is just one of many successful balancing acts Honey and Clover artfully manages. The show also swings between comedy and drama skillfully, and juggles a number of different plot lines over the course of nearly 40 episodes. Actually, "nearly 40" is an inapt choice of words. Honey and Clover is consistently excellent, and could easily stand to run another 40 episodes if I had my say in the matter. Even then I suspect it wouldn't be enough.

«« RSS and Blosxom
Innocent Venus »»