Honey and Clover – episode seventeen

August 21, 2005 on 2:36 pm | In Honey and Clover | Comments Off on Honey and Clover – episode seventeen

“I don’t even know how I feel”

It’s Christmas again! It’s like magic, the way Honey & Clover gets away with three Christmas episodes in the space of seventeen episodes.
On the non-festive front, this is an excellent Takemoto story: a relaxation from Yamada and Mayama that comes just in time.

Takemoto realises in this episode what his problem is: that he has no direction. He has been going through life for three years without understanding exactly what it is that he wants.

So we finally get to learn the significance of the wheel that has been seen intermittently since the first episode. Takemoto has such a strong history, which is helpful considering that his present is based simply on the fact that he does not know what he wants to do with himself, that he is envious of Morita and that he feels an unrealised love for Hagu-chan.
I like that Takemoto gets his scenes with the other characters but he really does seem to be a loner, even in a group, when the story is focussing on him. I suppose that this is because he is the character who relies on voice over monologue the most.

The progression of this episode is something akin to magic, with all of the emotions falling into precisely the right places. The final scenes with Kazu at Takemoto’s bed were great, particularly to see how Kazu feels about being the odd one in the family unit. We harken back to the idea that no one can replace anyone else – and Kazu does not want to; he wants to act in his own capacity out of his own feelings for Takemoto and Takemoto’s mother.

This next section has my views tinged with spoilers for this episode … slightly more than I usually go into.

With Takemoto deciding to become a fourth year student, I’m seeing more parallels between himself and Morita. Morita would not have become a seventh year student simply through laziness: I think that it has to do with him also having had no sense of direction, and his hollow pursuit of money.

I believe that Morita simply acts as a warning to Takemoto that if you stay around too long, you can really take it over the edge. Of course, Takemoto and Morita are vastly different characters: Takemoto expresses surprise that he is still celebrating Christmas with these people, that he thought he would be the one to leave. I think that Morita may well have stuck around because he liked the company of these people that he so torments, but finally got a better offer.

This is yet another reason for Takemoto to envy Morita but, if you don’t know what you want, how can you envy someone else for what they have? Takemoto can’t process his feelings, and only comes close through Kazu, a man who he is slowly coming to realise actually has some worth.

Late round update: I can’t believe that I forgot to mention Takemoto’s almost confession, courtesy of Kazu! It fits in with this theory, I do believe. You can get courage from the most unlikely places.

Spoilerish section complete

The only thing that sticks about this episode is that during the Christmas dinner I realised for the first time how much I miss the “Waltz” ED. “Waltz” was a huge part of the show itself, and “Mistake” simply can’t hold a candle to that appeal: “Mistake” is really just a bookend, it doesn’t do justice at all.

It’s hard to have a favourite episode in a series as exemplary as this one, especially as I’m not used to semi-weekly anime consumption: still, this is truly a great example of the Honey & Clover magic. Too bad it’s going to be be destroyed next week, when chaos befalls the land once more.

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