12 Moments of Anime #1: The Memories That Revolve Forever

by eternal on December 25, 2009

2009 has been an interesting year, though it was probably more interesting for me than it was for anime. Between finishing up some personal projects, broadening my scope of anime and media consumption, and delving deeper into my selected niche of visual novels, the distance between my last Christmas and this one is vast. Of course, aside from all of the personal growth that I could go on and on about, there was something quite significant that occurred this year, and it’s the only thing befitting the number 1 spot.

It goes by the name of Honey and Clover.

I wrote about the show when I finished rewatching it, pouring everything that I could think of into a single post. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one. It was quite an experience, tackling one of my favourite anime of all-time to properly re-examine it and solidify its place on my favourites list. I was only partially surprised when I found that the rewatch also solidified its place in my heart.

If there’s one thing that the blogosphere’s writing and my later rumination on the show has taught me, it’s that there is no correct answer to Honey and Clover. There are symbols, motifs, and implied themes, but to label a specific meaning to the show is just as foolish as labeling a specific meaning to life

Quite simply, H&C is life. That’s what causes it to resound so deeply with some viewers, what causes the different interpretations and reactions. We all find something different to relate to, something to project ourselves into – the mind unconsciously clings to whichever situation it finds most relatable. It’s like a magical item from a fantasy novel, a mirror that reflects the heart: the feelings that the show conjures are nothing more than the feelings from our own experiences. It does not create or tell; it simply stirs what’s already there.

Looking back, I believe that’s why I fell for Honey and Clover three years ago, and why I fell for it all over again last summer. As the other bloggers and viewers can attest to, each viewer leaves the show with a different feeling, with a different view of the central theme – but in reality, I don’t think that theme existed in the first place. It’s simply a memoir, a personal reflection done to perfection. Because of that, everyone will watch the final episode and find a different answer, a different “truth” about life… but nothing can change the fact that the show stirs the heart of all who open up to it.

And just like the ferris wheel that never stopped spinning, the summer weeks of 2009 that I spent revisiting this series will never disappear; they will continue revolving forever as my bittersweet memory.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

RP December 25, 2009 at 11:38 pm

I’ve heard so many great things about H&C, I really need to get around to watching it. It’s my big shame for not having done so yet.


kluxorious December 26, 2009 at 12:52 am

Agree with everything that you said. I’m not a fan of shoujo and H&C is the first shoujo I watched and it moved me to tears. One of the best show that always at the top of my mind whenever someone asked me what my top 10 anime is.


Ryan A December 26, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Stirring, that is a great way to put it. It is indeed troublesome to try and approximate H+C’s existence and meaning, but I feel everyone is satisfied by engaging in that reflection, especially seeing how bloggers take the series in a re-watch; still a great effect.

Truth becomes apparent, even if it is small things we already know, H+C is a good light to experience them under.


Jinx December 28, 2009 at 11:12 pm

There are three works that have influenced my writing greatly. The first one is Makoto Shinkai’s work, 5cm/second, which delivered a simple and very much realistic stories of two people who gradually grew apart. As a person who moved around the world often, I can relate to this personally. However aside from that, it was this movie that taught me how much background and the atmosphere you derive from that is important in pushing the story forward.

The second would be the manga Honeymoon Salad and Baby Leaf. While I know that not many people agree with me, there’s something about Ninomiya Hikaru’s work that eases you into the story and into the life of three round and complicated characters. It does not play with innocence the way many romance manga does, but instead, it reveal the complicated and frustrating issue that is relationships and life. Although I have to say, that what made me fell in love with this manga is the character interaction which is just fun and interesting.

The third, and oldest, influence would be Honey and Clover. This anime have been a staple “get your act together” anime. The pace is extraordinary. The character interaction is genuine. The stories (for it’s not just one story) are touching. Most people can relate to the characters and the troubles they have, because once upon of time in their life, they have that trouble. One thing that I fall in love with is the calm and gentle narration that guides the audience through a story. I may rave about Kara no Kyoukai and Fate/Stay Night (plus Tsukihime, just to complete the set) and while my blood is dedicated to them, my heart belongs to Honey and Clover.


ETERNAL January 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I completely agree with what you said about H&C’s narration. I usually cite it as a perfect example of how to use monologues and internal dialogue without spelling things out for the viewer.


usagijen January 1, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I have a confession to make, I joined the H&C rewatch circle-jerk but stopped 1/4-through because I got… distracted, among other things T_T

H&C gets better after a rewatch, or even after many rewatches, because then you’d be seeing it again from another lens, and… life goes on~ I first watched it while I was still in the ‘denial stage’ of my life, not admitting that I was just as lost as Takemoto. Then in my [failed] rewatch, saw myself in both Takemoto and Ayu… and gawd the tears TT__TT

I have yet to take on the epic task of blogging it episodically, reflections and all, but I do hope that I’ll be able to do it. MUST. In my [hopefully successful] rewatch.

Cheers~! May the H&C circle-jerk live on! :3


ETERNAL January 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Even though I feel like I understand the story now, I’m sure I’ll rewatch it eventually just to experience it during a different life stage. Ayu was basically me back before high school, but this time I empathized with and related to Takemoto more than anyone. Who knows what will happen next time~


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