Honey and Clover

Simple Complexities. There are anime that I’ve watched. Lots and lots of them. But there is a whole different category of anime. Those that I’ve rewatched. In the case of Honey and Clover, I think I’ve rewatched it more than a dozen times. It’s a comfort pick, I suppose. Something I can leave running off to the side while I’m puttering with something else. It has a wistful, hopeful mood. I like the airy ambiance. I enjoy revisiting the characters. (I recently picked up the manga, but I haven’t taken the time to read it yet. And see if it varies at all from the animation.)

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The primary setting is an art school, and the cast includes students, teachers, alumni, and other artists already in the workforce. It’s slice-of-life. It’s self-discovery. It’s heartbreak and the pressure to create. It’s starving artists and the lure of money and loneliness and courage. And … I will probably always love these goofs.

If you already know and love Honey and Clover, may I further recommend another of Chica Umino’s works? March Comes in Like a Lion follows the life of a professional shogi player. Rei is only seventeen, and his life seems so empty. Until the day he meets a family made up of three sisters. Their warmth becomes his haven. The cast includes Rei’s mentors, rivals, teachers, classmates, and family. I admire this storyteller’s ability to brush gently against the strong emotions, pressures, longings, and tensions that are tangled up in every human soul.

 

Anime: March Comes in Like a Lion

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A bad cold is as good a reason as any to hide in bed with a box of tissues, a packet of cough drops, and an endless supply of anime. One recent indulgence has been March Comes in Like a Lion by Chica Umino. The main character, Rei Kiriyama, is a seventeen-year-old shogi player who turned pro while still in middle school. Episodes explore Continue reading