Horimiya: A Beautifully Animated Series on the Pleasures of Platonic Intimacy – Anime 1st Impressions (Winter 2021)

Horimiya (ホリミヤ) is a shōnen, romantic comedy anime series about two unlikely individuals who end up coming together due to peculiar circumstances. As they realise they’re classmates that are, in fact, quite different in reality versus their student personas, they formulate a platonic kinship which blooms beautifully with the potential for much more. The anime adaption is being produced by CloverWorks with direction from Masashi Ishihama.

Horimiya is an interesting experience for me. I tried to read the original manga by Hero (which is the source material for this anime adaptation) towards the end of last year while I was on recovery from surgery. For some reason, I couldn’t get into it. I loved the chemistry between the two main characters, Hori and Miyamura, but beyond that the story felt too typical of a shōjo manga and my mind kept wandering from boredom. Even so, I decided to try the anime just for kicks and I fucking loved the first episode. I’m not sure if this is a story that’s more enjoyable for my ADHD brain in a lively manner versus a literary one (of sorts), or if I merely picked up the manga at the wrong time (I’m assuming this is more likely the culprit). Either way, I’m so happy that I decided to watch the anime because it is way too precious for its own damn good.

My number one favourite thing about Horimiya so far is the humour. It’s not your standard stupid humour for the sake of forced laughter. Instead we get chuckles and some laugh-out-loud moments that stem from the natural progression of two individuals coming together and building a friendship as they get to know each better. It’s amusement that’s grown from the gradual establishment of platonic intimacy and it’s so heartfelt and feel-good.

The exchanges that occur between Hori and Miyamura have a phenomenal sense of a slow-burn chemistry that is sincere and warm as it is lightly tense with attraction. This adds more dimension to their budding bond and makes me feel excited yet impatient for them to realise they’re developing romantic feelings for one another. If written and presented well, their relationship (whether it’s platonic or something else) shall end up being one of my favourites within the anime medium.

Other titbits that I’ve completely swooned over is the bond that Miyamura is developing with Hori’s little brother, Sōta. It is incredibly charming! Miyamura treats the kid wish respect and adoration and never like an annoyance or some burdening chore that most teenagers tend to perceive children to be. The family dynamics is something else that I’m really curious to see more of with the coming episodes; to learn more about Hori’s home life elements and what life at home is like for her new chum.

Lastly, it’s so cool to see a high schooler that has piercings and tattoos and is construed as a loner yet isn’t an otaku. He’s just somewhat of an eccentric dude who isn’t afraid to live in the moment, which I think is supremely badass. Plus, all of Miyamura’s body modifications just remind me that I need more of my own, especially more piercings!

Overall, Horimiya is turning into a prime pick for this Winter 2021 simulcast season and I can clearly see why it has garnered such popularity already! It is a superbly entertaining , lively, and uplifting series with gorgeous animation and a fun city-pop musical essence (mostly via the opening song). If you’re a fan of slow-burn friendships with a possibility for romance, and beautifully produced anime, then you’ll definitely want to visit the shōnen hit of this season! You can check it out over on Funimation and Anime Lab (links below).

Native: ホリミヤ
Source: Manga series by Hero
Demographic: Shōnen
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Season: Winter 2021
Episodes: 13
Studio: CloverWorks
Director: Masashi Ishihama
Content Warnings: Preparation and consumption of food.
AniList: HoriMiya
Streaming: Funimation, Anime Lab (Aus)

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4 thoughts on “Horimiya: A Beautifully Animated Series on the Pleasures of Platonic Intimacy – Anime 1st Impressions (Winter 2021)

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