The final chapter of Honey and Clover

I moved to this new blog to avoid fanboying Honey and Clover, or to do so with at least intelligible, coherent statements. As much as I try to avoid giving praise to this series (even though it really deserves it), Umino Chika has simply given me another reason to do so. As you may know, the final chapter of the Honey and Clover manga was released just recently. I didn’t expect much: most manga endings are weak and mediocre, and are often the problem of mangakas. Yet again, however, Honey and Clover delivered. This is the first time I’ve sniffled over only a cascade of related pictures (and that without even understanding the content!). I may have really cried if I understood how it read, but that’s simply the effect of Honey and Clover to me: even static pictures seem to have lives of their own and evoke strong emotions.

* * *

ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE: (For those who don’t want to be spoiled by the manga, read no further. For those who don’t give a damn, or are just rabidly curious, as I was, read on.)

Contrary to popular belief that Takemoto has his story over, Umino Chika again popped a surprise in this issue: the brunt of the final chapter deals a lot about the relationship between Hagu and Takemoto (and an extremely moving one at that, bringing me to tears). Although Yamada still can’t get over Mayama, despite how much she’d like to, she has become more open to Nomiya, in which Umino-sensei delivers a stunner: she doesn’t complain now when he holds hands with her, although she still cries and sniffles. There’s stuff about watching a computer screen that I don’t understand (at all), but before that, Takemoto and Morita have a talk before Morita disappears once more (off to a job, I guess). The group (excluding Morita) marvel over what is contained in that computer screen. The best part of the story, however, starts at page 12 – of the scan, anyway.

Happenstances occur which allow Hagu to ride on the back of Takemoto’s bike. They talk about a LOT of stuff, and Shuu appears in the distance. Hagu hugs Takemoto’s back: I don’t know if she’s afraid, or if there’s something bothering her about Takemoto. It seems to be the latter (as would be seen in the final chapter’s following pages). It seems that Takemoto is leaving for somewhere: I assume it’s to work with the temple restorers, the group of guys where he discovered inner peace and inner joy (aside from the joy he discovered while being with his friends). Before the train leaves, however, Hagu appears and tries to give something to Takemoto in the last minute. It’s a food package. Before he leaves, both of them hug tightly as Hagu waves to Takemoto disappearing in the distance. Takemoto cries for a while, but he checks out the food. (He even thinks [I think] that the food is among Hagu’s weird concoctions, and laughs at the thought.) He saw, however, that it was a simple, multi-layered sandwich. When checking out the fillings of the sandwich, embedded in the jam-like substance (I assume it was honey), was a four-leaf clover, the clover that they searched for in a field of grass some time ago – the clover that was the bind of the friendship and love between Hagu and Takemoto’s, but was also the bind of the group’s love for one another, (By this time, I was teary-eyed. I won’t ever doubt the genius of Umino Chika. Ever.) a symbol of what they all meant to one another, epitomized that one fine day, looking over the grass fields, watching the merry-go-round turning: it was their lives on a spin. (I can imagine Split playing at this final scene with me crying freely. I can just really see it.)

IMPRESSIONS:

What else can I say? Honey and Clover, which seemed a title so ambiguous for a slice-of-life mix of comedy and romance, just showed itself why it was called like that – these were symbols that meant a whole lot to these group of people: the unguent honey symbolized them sticking through one another amidst thick or thin, amidst pain and sadness, but also amidst happiness, and the clover was a symbol of their friendship, a Western symbol of luck, but for these people – it was a glue of their friendship shown well; at a time where despite each of them had problems of their own, all of them still managed to share a day with one another seeking luck – and seeking themselves. This was a delightful end to a delightful manga, and I expect to see this lavishly and very beautifully animated.

(Anticlimactic postscript: I did want to see somebody end happily with one another, but life takes time – and despite quite an amount of it having past, it still needs more. I’m pretty happy for the resolution between Hagu and Takemoto [and will probably be more delighted when I’ll understand what they’re talking about], but most importantly, H&C has nailed itself tightly in place as my favorite anime and now, probably manga, of all time.)

Those interested in seeing all the pretty pictures, I uploaded scans by Mippa (Thanks!) courtesy of TurboUpload. They can be found here.

20 Responses to “The final chapter of Honey and Clover”

  1. helspectre Says:

    fanboyism back. you fail =P

  2. txivqabzib Says:

    The final chapter of Honey and Clover…

    nice…..

  3. boulayman Says:

    What a way to end a manga…

    Pure genius

  4. Haesslich Says:

    Yeah, I could also hear that music ramping up in the background – or at least something by Spitz or Suga Shikao; the ending’s sweet and sad, and in some ways more true to life than others. They all go their own ways, but they still have their memories of their friendships and time together to sustain them as they move onto whatever life takes them onto.

    Damn.

  5. Danchik Says:

    Yo man! that’s intriguing how they will animate it 😉
    still you are a dirty player you know -) ! No offence but, before , correct me if i am wrong
    you were blogging only the anime of HC and we lived peacefully watching and then disputing on your blog page your’s and sometimes ours feeling. But now you’ve read how the story is ending and blogged it! What a crime! i even was not aware that there is any HC manga and now i’ll be deadly sick if will not find and read it. Instead of peacfully waitng for the next anime episode -))

    Yet i am really glad – maybe it is alwasys like this – the best stories have an ending which
    fills your heart with deep sweetness , spiced with a calm sadness. that feel like a wind in autumn – the life and the world around get sharpen, more real i’d say. The strongest possible understanding of yourself being alive floods each of your senses . Total catarsis.
    That’s are moments of life that make this life worthy living it as much as possible and a litle bit more – ) ..

  6. golthin Says:

    thanks for the final chapter. I cried with Takemoto, Even though the mangaka left a lot of things open ended, it was a good end.

  7. Michael Says:

    Yes, yes – most definitely. 🙂

  8. kuromitsu Says:

    Wait wait, was this chapter 64? Because then it’s a rather abrupt stop. I’m not saying anything until I read it myself, but the previous two chapters introduced some rather disappointing elements (Hanamoto in love with Hagu?! kicking Morita out of the picture like that??!), and if it all continues with this chapter then I don’t know if I’ll like the manga ending at this point, like this.

  9. nana Says:

    no !!!!!!!!!! i can’t believe its over……no no no……don’t do this to us Umino Chika….. **went to a corner to cry**

  10. Haesslich Says:

    Actually, I thought it was more ‘Hagu in love with Hanemoto-sensei, which is why she chose neither Morita or Takemoto – because he could support her art better than the other two, even if she did apparently have feelings for Morita’. What it came down to was Hagu taking the ‘safe’ way out; Hanemoto-sensei was always there to support her, and wouldn’t be demanding anything romantic from her from what I could tell… and while she didn’t like Takemoto the way he liked her, she did care for him as witnessed by the ending. Morita, while more ‘compatible’ with her talent-wise (a flashback to Rika/Harada), wasn’t exactly the safest of choices due to his mystery and the way he didn’t seem to understand her beyond her artistic talents, at least not earlier on in the series.

    There may yet be hope for those two… but at the moment, she’s retreated from the romantic stage and gone the safer route.

  11. Michael Says:

    What I\’d really hope to see is a resolution between Rika-Mayama. Arguably, that\’s the relationship that\’s gone the farthest, and although H&C deals with life, it isn\’t unrealistic seeing some people end up happy, is it? I know, seeing the screenshots of the sixth episode from Omni and Garten\’s blogs that Rika is pretty much, at the least, interested in Mayama. She didn\’t even mind the advances of that Spanish guy, and had expressed a desire to be helped, which is really cool – because the Rika-Mayama relationship is my favorite in the series. A happy ending amidst lives of different choices made and divaricating courses doesn\’t seem all that unrealistic, does it? Some people do end up happy in life, even if coming from a tough ordeal.

  12. Mippa Says:

    Yes, I think HachiKuro has now jumped to one of my all-favorite anime/manga of all time, up there with Black Jack. @.@ I really hope that the spin-off doesn’t disappoint…but again, we shouldn’t doubt Umino Chika’s genius, right? ^^

  13. Horrigan Says:

    Geez… Why.. I mean Why… This ending looks so damn depressing. It’s a bad thing playing with people’s emotions… I’m kinda sure that I’ll get a dust in the eye when I’ll see the real thing.

    But a question remains: Do Mangakas have fun making us down like that?

  14. Danchik Says:

    In reality the most endings are good or somth like this and only few of them and showing something different. Of course if everything will have a bad ending that’s will be not really nice. but having a no good no bad which still have a place for hopes and a certain sadness is quite rare and well – in little doses this is really great!@

  15. Ayuya Says:

    Oh nO! wait, wait a minute, then..then, what happens to yamada then? are u saying, mayama really refused her love to him, and i thought… they could be together, hey, no offense to rika/mayama relationship, but, i like ayumi to get attached to mayama, but it seems impossible now, now that u’ve mention that rika’s finally liking mayama, well, it can’t be helped though… but u know what, i can relate to yamada… it’s hard to fall in love when the person u want the most can’t even love you… it’s really hard y’know… and as i recall, i was really touched when yamada confessed to mayama, and mayama already knows, man, i hope all men are like that, mayama’s not insensitive, but… i can’t blame him if he can’t force himself to love yamada, i guess, he’s really in love with rika, anyway, whatever the outcome may be, i guess, i’m happy for mayama… yamada is a reflection in me when it comes to love… but! I won’t allow that Takemoto and Hagu will be together!!! well, I like morita alot! you can say I’m weird but I do! i like him alot, his weirdness makes me laugh, but, deep inside, he’s lonely… and he truly does love hagu, yet, he’s really weird!!!!!! though i like morita-hagu relationship rather than takemoto-hagu! no offense to those who like takemoto, takemoto’s okey, he likes hagu, and supports her, but, I like morita so much, i like his personality and the way he thinks about money, well, if hagu doesn’t want morita, then i’ll have morita to myself, nyahahahahahaha… just kidding! well, thanks for the spoilers about the final chapter of the manga of the hachimitsu to clover, anyway, there’s been a hachimitsu to clover live-action movie, better watch it okey when it’s released. And so thumbs up to Umino-sensei!

  16. Han Chan Says:

    I’m quite disappointed in the ending since I supported the Hagu/Takemoto relationship from the start and thought something was there…(no offense to Hagu/Morita relationship fans since I prefer Morita to be left alone with his funny/weird antics eventhough I like him, hehehe) …and Hagu ends up dumping them both in the end…I was hoping she would have at least chose one of them, (always hoped it should be Takemoto) but…*sigh* 🙁

  17. Kelly Says:

    OMG! I know that I really am late to post a message here..but I wanna know what happens to YamadaxNorima relationship. Has Yamada finally realized that she is falling with Norima? Geez, Norima is so cute and manly. I’m really touch when he drove all the way back to Tokyo from Totori just to see Yamada and drove again to Totori to catch up with her. That’s so romantic!! 🙂

  18. JJ Says:

    i think that the ending to HC is fantastic. I couln’t really understand why it was called Honey and Clover in the first place, but now i do. It’s realistic. I mean, life can’t be smooth sailing all the time, can it? about hanamoto-sensei and hagu? i think it makes perfect sense. pretty much explains why sensei got so crazy every time morita or takemoto tried to get close to hagu. but to an extent of being in love? i don’t think so. if it were in real life, i honestly don’t think it would be categorized as true love. more like a father’s love for his daughter, hm? i really wish Chika-sensei would have given the whole story a clearer ending. especially about their relationships. i admire takemoto for his spirit. he’s the embodiment of what we young people feel like sometimes. unsure and insecure. he’s the character i like best. the character i don’t like? none, but hagu comes close.

  19. Yuhim Says:

    Oooo! This is a point mentioned. I like when everything in place while it is understandable to mere mortals.

  20. kosze upominkowe Says:

    Hey, nice art i add your blog to my rss!

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