My take on Honey and Clover II – 05
I’ve written this entry on paper before I transferred it to OpenOffice, and I’ve also written it on different parts of the day, so forgive the disjointedness if ever reading the entry doesn’t seem natural to you.
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Exams pervade my entire week, as well as two four-hour laboratory classes that enervate a student efficiently and quickly. Yet I can never forgo of my weekly Honey and Clover fix. Seriously, can this series get any better? I’m not saying this akin to how I praised Ergo Proxy once: this series does not show glints of beauty episodically: it does not coruscate with brilliance in one episode only to die down in ashes the next with its vapid opprobrium. This show has maintained its high quality all throughout its 29 episodes, and even managed to up the ante every single time in its second season â€“ perennially shining like the diamond that is forever.
(And, although with a lot of lyrical waxing over this show, this is still a serious post. Praising a great show for its merits without denigrating oneself by using curse words and unintelligible quasi-words is NOT fanboying â€“ see #animenano @ irc.rizon.net for prime examples [most of the time coming from me when it comes to Honey and Clover].)
The fifth episode was no different from the three preceding it. (Note that the first episode was a recap episode and did not really forward the story in any way, except for Takemoto procuring his driver’s license.) Although I personally liked the Rika-Mayama story the most among the pairings (and threesomes) of the group, the development that occurred throughout the second season between Nomiya and Yamada still brought a few tears to my eyes, especially because Yamada’s reactions were human â€“ too human, in fact, that I see glimpses of her from time to time in people I know (although, of course, Yamada is much better).
The episode starts with Yamada discovering that something good happened between Rika and Mayama, and because of this, she becomes sad and easily brought to the brink of tears. She knows Mayama so well that even the change of his voice’s intonation â€“ it became more gentle and placid â€“ told her volumes about the state of his heart.
Miwako, sensing anxiety and a melancholy barely held in by Yamada, treats her to a health spa. (These are among the things that I love in Honey and Clover: at the very least, these people are good ones struggling with life.) This made me view Miwako in a new light after viewing season one and chapter F (part of the DVD-only episodes only tangential to the main plot). In Chapter F, she often tried to embarrass Yamazaki only to make him more and more fashionable. She may have been a miscreant and quite bossy at times, but she also was a great friend to her co-workers. Sensing that Yamada was troubled, she tried to cheer her up despite the fact that Yamada still cried at the end after a full course in the health spa. It did, however, tire Yamada and made her forget, if only for a time, the pain of having Rika reciprocate Mayama’s love and dedication for quite some time. Even while she slept, however, she still tore herself up by remembering the past Hamabi festivals (after encountering the smell of fragrant olives while in the health spa) with her watching and just observing Mayama as the flowers fell before a flashback.
After a while, Nomiya calls to greet Miwako only to discover a sad Yamada asleep with only her underwear. A simple line condenses the humanity that one sees in this series: Nomiya quips, ‘I want to see.’ It’s a totally masculine reaction especially for those in love with the beautiful lady in underwear, and shows the foibles and quirks of being a guy. Nomiya’s imperfect, but he is more than decent as a guy. Yamazaki, the eternal romantic, tells Nomiya that he must go to her, because for the most part, Nomiya wants to anyway. Instead, Nomiya smokes a cigarette in the balcony and tells Yamada (in an apostrophe) to wait a little more (this was after leaving Yamada to the care of Miwako).
Some days later, to the surprise of Yamada while waiting for Miwako, Nomiya arrives and then pats and rubs Leader’s back. Later on, he caresses Yamada’s head softly, and tells her that he’s back home. Yamada, surprised and embarrassed, roundhouse-kicks Nomiya holding Leader, which Nomiya avoids as Yamada runs away because she couldn’t bear the idea of liking Nomiya (although she wishes for him to listen to her, for him to be there for her â€“ in short, she really does) because she can’t bear the idea of throwing away her sole, ‘bittersweet’ treasure of loving Mayama. She thinks that it would desecrate her love, that it would simply morph into lies if she did care or love someone else, which seems to be what she is feeling towards Nomiya. By the way, she ran away from the office because she felt as if Nomiya saw through her. She then stops at a bridge, lets the tears fall, and then says, ‘I don’t care if I look pathetic or embarrassing in front of everyone […] my love for Mayama was my bittersweet treasure …’ It hurt her so much because of the feeling of betraying her feelings for Mayama, but she’s slowly moving on; yet, she’s also happy that she’s able to do so.1
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: this is a stunning visual masterpiece. Never have I seen in media other than books how the pain of love is so well-painted that it really is moving. To be honest, I have nothing more to add. I mean … I’m just … speechless.
Do you want pictures to be uploaded? I ask this because I’m not the only one blogging Honey and Clover, and it would seem somewhat repetitive if I posted pictures that a lot of other people already have.
1Of course, the Nomiya-Yamada story wasn’t the whole episode. There were also Morita-Kaoru moments, but most of their past is still covered in effluvium, perhaps expounded in the next episode. Takemoto emptied his money into getting a license, and we have Miwako viewing Mayama as a really nice guy, because he didn’t manipulate Yamada even if she was totally besotted with him and totally a stunner. ‘She was very precious to him,’ quoth her.