Honey and Clover – episode fifteen

August 3, 2005 on 7:42 pm | In Honey and Clover | Comments Off on Honey and Clover – episode fifteen

“An unfair me begins to run”

Talk about a second wind! Honey & Clover never stopped being good, but now it’s a supreme being!

Now that Morita is out of the picture the plot has little choice other than to focus on the Mayama side of things. This, as it turns out, is a very good choice. In this episode I actually gasped at the power of some parts.
The Mayama company scenes are a useful addition, and Nomiya is a prime obstacle to throw between Yamada, Mayama and the truth. Fortunately, unlike the previous episode, Nomiya’s face has had symmetry restored for all scenes.

Essentially Mayama is realising that no man is good enough for Yamada, because he wants her to be “happy”. Nomiya certainly is not a good candidate for a happy relationship; he takes Yamada out for soba in a far off prefecture.
As this happens, Mayama realises that he must talk to Rika once more …and the events of two years ago, previously undisclosed, come out. It’s amazing how much time has passed, really. Mayama is great to follow because he is so damned selfish yet still somehow sympathetic.

I don’t know how this plot became so important to me, when as recently as two episodes ago I was saying I didn’t particularly care. I suppose that what is needed to add spice to the situation is Harada Rika, who makes all things more urgent and precious.

The scene of two years ago, a night that Mayama has recalled before, but never in its entirety, was terrific. I simply couldn’t believe what was happening, and I’m not exactly sure how it happened. The scene was great and terrible magic, the kind that weaves itself in the most insidious of ways. Look at the accomplishment of the art in those two shots above. They are so intensely subtle: the look of horror on Rika’s face, the fact that Mayama looks like he’s about to cry. In my time I see so much stuff that it takes something super great to impress me; this was super great.

The hospital scene was also great, and for the first time I have got the sense of cliff-hanging from Honey & Clover. I suppose that the narrative is becoming more immediate, and can no longer afford to drift through the lives of the characters. Remarkably, this episode featured no Takemoto at all, except in a little allusion that Yamada makes to what he is doing with himself. Mayama retains his internal monologue, but he gives no overall narration that suggests that there is distance from the events at hand. This is truly well crafted stuff.

Honey & Clover has become so dear to me, and so true in animated form, that I simply cannot imagine the manga. Most anime properties it is easy to see the roots, but how can something as beautiful as this come from such a static form?

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