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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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 10:48 AM)
    This is a fairly minor complaint but in some older anime I always noticed “flashing light syndrome” and “Epilepsy visuals” , “Animes equivalent to flash photography”, it can sometimes bother me alot/hurt my eyes watching old shows, then again I am susceptible to epilepsy…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 09:14 AM)
    @Bam: Emotional involvement and rewatch value are very important to me in a film, which is my preference for synecdoche over birdman.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 04:05 AM)
    “Firechick, answer: Hell no. And don’t impersonate Bam. You suck at it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 03:05 AM)
    Yeah guys! Why aren’t you reviewing Go! Princess Precure?
  • Firechick
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 02:51 AM)
    Is anyone gonna review Go! Princess Precure? I hear it just aired.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.

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