Horimiya: Exploring the Anime’s Charm and Failures in Depth


Network: Gunma TVGenre: AnimationSeasons: 1Episodes: 13

A secret life is the one thing they have in common. At school, Hori is a prim and perfect social butterfly, but the truth is she's a brash homebody. Meanwhile, under a gloomy facade, Miyamura hides a gentle heart, along with piercings and tattoos. In a chance meeting, they both reveal a side they've never shown. Could this blossom into something new?

From the very beginning, the Horimiya TV adaptation, including the OVA, has left many viewers disappointed and puzzled. Director Ishihama’s evident strange choices have limited the appeal of this flawed yet often brilliant source material. While I want to cover the sequel, Piece, I am finding it difficult to justify doing so due to various circumstances.

Choosing School Comedy over Character Development and Romance

It becomes apparent that Ishihama views Horimiya primarily as a school comedy rather than a character-driven story or romance. This perspective has been reflected in the choices made for the too-short 13-episode first season. However, the manga itself is peculiar in this regard. It peaks as a drama early on and gradually leans more towards sitcom-like humor. Although there is a wealth of compelling material that the first season overlooked, it seems unlikely that Piece will address this missing content, which was my sincere hope for the sequel. Ishihama appears to disregard significant aspects of the story, such as Kyouko’s family dynamics and Izumi’s limited exploration. I find it perplexing.

The Pitfall of Blogging About Piece

If I were to blog about Piece, it would likely devolve into complaining about what it lacks rather than discussing what it offers. This would not be enjoyable for anyone, especially not for me. These chapters, centered around the undokai theme, are passable on their own, but they would have been more effective as diversions intercut into the main plot. Standing alone, they feel rather mundane for the most part. Personally, I have never felt that this type of comedy was HERO’s strong suit. While Ishihama is a skilled director, he can only work with the given raw materials.

Interestingly, food analogies always seem to come to mind when discussing Horimiya. This season can be likened to a multi-course French meal. The palate cleansers served between courses have their purpose, but they were never intended to be a meal in themselves. Piece, on the other hand, feels like Ishihama took all those palate cleansers, piled them on a platter, and called it a meal. At best, there is enough substance for a snack. This is where the problem lies for me, both as a viewer and a reviewer.


In conclusion, the Horimiya TV adaptation, particularly Piece, has left me disappointed and perplexed. The focus on school comedy over character development and romance, as well as the neglect of significant story elements, has dampened the appeal of the series. While the individual chapters of Piece may serve as entertaining diversions, they lack the depth and substance that made the manga so captivating. As a reviewer, it is challenging to find merit in a sequel that fails to live up to its predecessor’s potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Piece worth watching despite its shortcomings?

While Piece may have its moments, especially for fans of the manga or those who enjoy school comedy, it may not fully satisfy those seeking deeper character development and romance.

2. What are some of the notable differences between the Horimiya manga and the TV adaptation?

One significant difference lies in how the TV adaptation focuses more on comedic aspects and downplays certain dramatic elements present in the manga. The portrayal of Kyouko’s family and their dynamics, as well as the exploration of Izumi’s own family, are examples of overlooked storylines.

3. How does the director’s vision impact the adaptation?

Director Ishihama’s choices heavily shape the adaptation, as he prioritizes the school comedy aspect of Horimiya over the character-driven narrative and romance. This decision has resulted in a deviation from the source material’s original intent.

4. Are there redeeming qualities in Piece despite the limited focus on character development?

While Piece may not offer the same level of character development as the original manga, it still provides lighthearted moments and humorous situations that fans of the series might appreciate. It ultimately depends on individual preferences.

5. Will there be any improvement in future seasons of Horimiya?

It is difficult to predict whether future seasons of Horimiya will address the missed opportunities of the first adaptation or veer towards a more balanced approach. Ultimately, it will depend on the choices made by the creative team involved in the series.