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.|