Honey & Clover
Type: TV Series (24 Episodes)
Genre: Love Drama, Comedy
Version: Region 1 DVD
Reviewed: 11/22/05


Takemoto was just a regular boy until he was given a magical sword. From there on, he was charged with the destiny of an enchanted kingdom, and the destruction of a foul overlord…

Juuuuust kidding. Takemoto is actually a regular boy, who goes to a regular art college, and falls in regular love with a midget. Sadly, the midget, Hagumi, and Takemoto are much too shy to say anything, and so they spend the duration of the show looking pensively off into the distance. However, Morita, Takemoto’s “wacky” friend, isn’t shy, and showers all sorts of attention onto Hagumi that fall nicely into the “yee God he’s stalking her” category. In fact, he turns out to be just a little too wacky, going on mysterious missions, failing school till he ends up in his sixth year, and sleeping with his dorm mates. Throw into the mix another lovey-dovey triangle of unfulfilled love, and you’ve got serious emotional angst.

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Or do you? Despite a summed up premise of love that remains unfulfilled all the way up to the finale, Honey & Clover manages to be funny and sweet too. The balance is a perfect mix, which means that the viewer can look forward to laugh out loud moments and serious tearjerkers all in the same episode. And did I mention the clay animation opening? I haven’t? You owe it to yourself to watch the show just for that. Trust me.

The animation is crisp and light, with a delicious aftertaste. Your palette will enjoy soft pastels and succulent backdrops. Musically, Honey & Clover has a soft j-pop rock feel to it, and employs new tracks in many episodes. Sorta like in the old Scooby Doo chase scenes, except you won’t want to turn off the show in embarrassment this time.

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Dad’s home!

Is there anything not to enjoy? Well, if you’re looking for fulfilling conclusions to any of the multiple romance plots, forget about it. Honey & Clover has an ongoing manga that continues after the anime ends, but if you’re anything like me, that’s simply not good enough. What is good enough is that the emotional break-throughs and tiny victories of love sprinkled throughout the series are thoughtful and satisfying. At times, the various subplots can begin to drag, especially towards the end of the series as new characters are rapidly introduced that serve little purpose besides comedic relief.

In the end, Honey & Clover has a lot to offer its audience. It’s sweet, funny, and emotionally charged. If you don’t mind ambiguity and can just enjoy the ride, then you’ve found yourself a great anime.

-Andrew Duff