Posted by psgels on 11 November 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




It’s interesting how I decided to watch this right after Aria The Origination: in essence they are very similar series in the way that they both are meant to wrap up and conclude their respective prequels. The big difference is that while Origination had a positive outlook, Honey and Clover II is bleak. Where the first season’s main focus was slice of life and describing its characters, the second season is all about its drama.

And what a great drama it is! It retains the excellent dialogue that flowed through Honey and Clover’s first season and uses that to conclude all of the major plotlines that the first season left hanging. There isn’t really a main character in this season: there are about ten characters who get equal screentime to close off their characters. It’s a bit more rigid than the dynamic first season, but it leaves hardly a moment wasted and even though it only has half of the airtime as its prequel, it still closes off each character satisfyingly.

A lot of people predicted that I’d rate the second season even higher than the first, but in my opinion, I consider the first series to be better. The second season had a lot more drama which really made for strings of powerful episodes (especially the ending), but the first season was also wonderful in how easy it was to relate to it as a slice of life series, along with the way it described its characters.

In the second season, the characters do lose a tad of those charms, mostly because it spends so much time on developing them, rather than fleshing them out. On top of that, I also feel like the second season could have been a bit more dynamic: to me it felt like the creators were running down a bit of a checklist, especially with the big “Hagu twist”. They’re minor details, I know; but for me the way in which the first season both developed and fleshed out its cast at the same time is something for which I just can’t give its sequel the same rating. It remains a brilliant character-study, though.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Trades in the dynamics of the first season to a focused character-study that leaves hardly any scene wasted.
Characters: 9/10 – All of the characters develop here wonderfully, even though they lack a tad of their charms from the first season.
Production-Values: 8/10 – A bit less impressive than the first season, but it still is pretty sweet to look at.
Setting: 9/10 – Still thanks to the first season incredibly solid portrayal of the final years of college.

Suggestions:
Aria The Origination (after watching the first two seasons of course)
Asatte no Koukou
Aoi Hana

8 Responses

  1. Firechick says:

    I just noticed something: all your suggestions all start with A. Lol.

  2. Alec says:

    both honey and clover and aria are on my top 5 animes. I also love the fact that both of them have amazing music

  3. Pax says:

    I really can’t say that the production values were less impressive compared to the 1st season, imo this season had some really breathtaking looking art. oh well, it seems that the rare times I actually comment here I complain about what you mention about the Production Values lol

    Anyway, for me this is by far the best drama/slice of live anime series, probably because it is so easy to relate with the characters, they feel so real.
    btw the ending scene was just brilliantly done, one of the most memorable moments in anime for me.

  4. evolstar says:

    I absolutely loved this anime; I think I prefer the second season a little more than the first because I liked the development and the ending of course.

  5. sadakups says:

    Yeah. Loved this one so much. It’s rare to find a story about college students and people in the working class that works well. The only thing I liked about Season 2 is that it continues the streak from the first season and gives the show the proper end.

    Where’s the review for Season 1 of H&C though?

  6. AznCoffee says:

    HHHNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHH.

    Honey & Clover will always be genius work to me. ;D

  7. AKI says:

    Loved this series because of its soundtrack: Spitz and Suga Shikao!

  8. summerberries says:

    I rate this higher than the first. around 96/100. They portrayed the emotion very well. More tears in 2nd season. Brilliant ending! You will know why it’s called honey & clover.

    (spoiler)
    I love Ayu’s struggle. It’s very real and realistic. Viewer who rate it high, definitely experienced what Ayu went through. You need to connect to understand her pain.

    I love the ending for Hagu, it’s real and not fairy tale as lots of people wanted. I agree, it is the best ending for Hagu

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 06:02 AM)
    Although given that the the Japanese film industry is steadily improving, this still would’ve worked much better as a big Hollywood flick, mainly because it’s just an over-the-top story with big action sequences, but also because pretty much all the cast (with the exception of Mikasa) have western features.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:55 AM)
    Well it looks like the Japanese have taken it upon themselves to make a live-action Attack on Titan movie, which sounds like a pretty bad idea:
    http://www.otakuusamagazine.com/LatestNews/News1/Liveaction-Attack-on-Titan-Visuals-Revealed-6057.aspx
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:51 AM)
    I mean I’ve watched some awful stuff like hidan no Aria to take the piss out of it and infinite stratos might as well get to continuing Ass-ange/crass-ange.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:34 AM)
    *Ange
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:34 AM)
    @Emma: and that’s why you should watch Cross Ante.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:33 AM)
    @Emma: you know what? I’ve been trying to find a good version of X for a few years now, but nobody seems to be seeding the torrent anymore =/
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:33 AM)
    Sometimes I’m pretty glad I have the ability to get guilty pleasure/so bad its good/funny enjoyment out of genuinely awful things and sometimes end up enjoying them more than actually good series.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:18 AM)
    One other good example of an old ova I loved was the X/1999 movie, I didn’t overly care for the manga or second anime adaptation nearly as much by comparison. Yes the voice acting is terrible, the character development was cut out but the fact is I never really cared all that much for Xs characters/drama to begin with and the voice acting makes the final scene laugh out loud hilarious. Beyond that I just enjoyed sitting back and watching the gore play out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 01:12 AM)
    I also miss the days where incest was reserved for the villains in anime.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 01:09 AM)
    @Bam: I remember giving John dies at the end three out of five and deciding that it was never a poor film but never an excellent one.

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