Hori-san To Miyamura-kun

September 12, 2014

Sometimes the way a series’ synopsis is written could be the reason why it attracts people to watch it. Never mind the contents. The words alone in the summary could be the deciding factor for people (especially yours truly) to go watch an anime. Provided if I don’t judge it by its poster first. And so this is the case for the double OVAs for Hori-san To Miyamura-kun. It went something like this:

“People say that the youthful days are always bittersweet, but maybe it’s just bitter? Kyouko Hori is a flashy high school girl, who, despite her ostentatious appearance, excels in academics and has a family-loving character. Izumi Miyamura is a bland high school boy, who, despite not wanting to stand out in class, secretly wears piercings outside of school and has a large body tattoo. One day, Miyamura finds Hori’s little brother injured and helps him back to Hori’s house, where the relationship between Hori and Miyamura begins with Hori’s discovery of Miyamura’s secret”.

It might sound very normal and ordinary but for me at that time, it was enough to make me decide that I should give this a try. Besides, I didn’t realize there were actually 2 OVAs for this and I only recently got to know about this series when the second OVA was released back in March 2014. The first OVA was released somewhere in September 2012 and that is like one and a half years between the OVAs! I don’t know if they’re going to wait another 3 years to decide for another OVA but let me watch this couple of OVAs first.

Episode 1
It starts off with some comical short clip of Hori wanting to cut Miyamura’s hair. I don’t know how much she cut off… On to the story proper, it is the start of the new term. Hori, Tooru Ishikawa and Yuki Yoshikawa find themselves in the same class. Also with them is Miyamura whom Hori’s friends think is an otaku. Hori and Miyamura seats are close to each other. This has Miyamura remember their little secret. When Miyamura saved her little brother Souta after he fell down due to being startled by a dog, he brought him back to his home. Hori is shocked and surprised and cannot believe this guy is Miyamura. I mean with all that ear piercings, no glasses and different hairstyle, he doesn’t look like that geek. He too thought Hori was unrecognizable since she dons a different hairstyle and is without any makeup. She feels embarrassed when he praises her how she keeps her house clean by herself. Even more so when he comments she looks cuter without her makeup. He thought this would be the last time he would come to her house but because Souta always asked for him, that is when he started going to Hori’s house on his days off. On another day, he saves Souta from being bullied from another kid. But I guess he forgot to buy Hori’s coffee from Starbucks so he lets her have his (indirect kiss?). It wasn’t to her liking and scolds him. However her body action later reveals that perhaps it wasn’t the drink she finds it frustrating… There is a physical examination at school so Miyamura is at a loss on what to do and seeks Hori’s help. Why? Because he has this big tattoo over his body! This is going to be troublesome. Shortly, Ishikawa confronts Miyamura that he has been pretty friendly with Hori lately. Are they going out? Of course not. He thinks they won’t be a good match. Miyamura asks if Ishikawa likes Hori. Naturally. Miyamura is naturally an insensitive person so he couldn’t see Ishikawa embarrassed and continues asking. Ishikawa notices Miyamura wearing his jersey despite it is summer. Does he have a scar? Miyamura tells him his secret and shows the tattoo. Ishikawa pats his head and finds him interesting. Upon closer look, he realizes he has piercing holes on his ear.

Ishikawa requests to walk home with Hori because Miyamura is acting all fidgety and nervous, she suspects something is wrong. More so, he couldn’t look at her in the eye when they talk. Actually Ishikawa told him he wants to confess to Hori. He just wanted to check if he is okay with that. Miyamura feels grateful since she is nice to him. He then ponders if they actually became a couple, what will happen to him? Will he be in the way? Will he be alone again? If so, it is okay since he is used to it just like before. When Hori comes back, she talks to Miyamura that Ishikawa had told her. She is not happy that he thought they don’t match and that she was just being nice to him. He admits it but because he doesn’t want to blow her cover. She isn’t impressed with that and doesn’t want him to do it again. As for whether he can still come over, of course he can. Because Souta would be lonely and it would be hard for her to carry the groceries alone. As for Ishikawa’s confession, she turned him down. Miyamura couldn’t understand why she turned down such a nice guy so Hori says if he likes him that much, they can date each other. Wait a minute… Miyamura doesn’t discount it?! Ever since, Ishikawa feels heartbroken and somewhat avoids Hori. Though, he hasn’t had any problems talking to Miyamura. When the teacher tells the class to form a group of 4, Miyamura becomes part of Hori’s group as he wonders if this is how it feels to have friends. He remembers people always leave him out and in the end he was always alone. Miyamura and Ishikawa talk. Hori treats him the same as always. Does it mean she thinks nothing of him and just a friend? He feels irritated that he is close to Hori. But because he is too nice and gullible, he can’t leave him alone. They try calling each other by their first names. It sounds weird but I think it’s passable. Hori reprimands the guys for not doing their report. Miyamura thinks he’ll be okay with friends like them.

Episode 2
Ishikawa’s weird dream of Miyamura as his little kitten? Miyamura didn’t do well in his test unlike Hori who almost got perfect. Hori declines Yoshikawa’s invitation to hang out after school. Miyamura could guess she wants to rush for some time limited sales. He helps her out and they bought a lot. Hori is tasked by the student council to do a welcoming party for the freshmen since she is an honours student. This makes Souta ask the meaning of it. Miyamura explains all the cool qualities of being an honours student. But that doesn’t include shooting beams from their eyes! One evening, Hori SMS to Miyamura about some sale of cheap eggs that will only be available till 4pm. That means he only has 15 minutes! He makes a quick dash and jumps over the fence. He almost bumps into Yoshikawa but she couldn’t recognize him as he wasn’t wearing his glasses. She never knew such a cool guy exists in her school. Back home, Miyamura tells Hori that Yoshikawa saw him in that coincidence but she doesn’t mind about it although she would prefer nobody else sees him in that appearance. Miyamura also mentions the side of Hori that he would love to see and not let others see so she scolds him. Because Miyamura is such a frequent visitor, Souta thinks he should just live here. But Hori says he can’t be here all the time. Especially when he chooses his path after graduating from high school. Souta throws a tantrum that he doesn’t like it. It won’t be fun if he isn’t here. Is Hori okay with this? Of course she prefers him around too. Souta gives off a big smile. In class, Yoshikawa sees the resemblance between Miyamura and that hot guy but couldn’t guess they are the same person. So the friends try to cover up like he looks like some character in some tokusatsu show. When Hori is called by the student council for work, the friends talk about the student council president, Kakeru Sengoku who is quite popular with the girls. However he has a cute girlfriend, Remi Ayasaki whom they believe doesn’t do the work and pushes it to Hori. While Miyamura is at the vending machine trying to decide, he sees Sengoku and Remi coming by lovey-dovey. He overhears their conversation (it’s like they act he doesn’t even exist). She wants him to cover up a big mistake she did and he agrees to do it.

Hori feels stressed since she needs to think how to receive a female guest Souta will bring home. With Miyamura’s idea, they use the leftover eggs to make some bread cake. While washing the dishes, Hori requests Miyamura to bring her scrunchie in her room. He sees a crumpled future survey form with lots of cancel marks on it. It was when he realized she was always stressed out and never noticed about it. He feels sad about it and goes back to pat her head (?!). He even leaves a message that he thinks she must have cried. Did she? Not even she herself knows. In class, he gives her an extra copy of the form to fill out. Hori is called again by the student council. They thought she has finished all the work. They hear them accusing her of faults in the materials so it can’t be published. Hori denies it since it is under Remi’s job but they continue to blame her for blaming others instead of doing a proper job. Also, the people around are starting to badmouth about Hori. She just stood there in silence… After a while, Miyamura comes back and he has Ishikawa hold his glasses. Then he head butts Sengoku!!! What was that for?! He was mad. And then he shows the proof of Remi’s miscalculations. They disperse the crowd and everything is settled for now. Seems Miyamura went to find the proof and perhaps they are just like the lazy bums they are, they didn’t even properly burn away the evidence and left it in the garbage. On a rainy day, Hori forgot her umbrella but Miyamura lends his jacket and they make a dash in the rain. She spams him with questions like why is he being so kind to her. Why does he always appear when she needs him? Why?! He says something inaudible and he whispers “Baka!” in his ear. In the aftermath, the head butt incident didn’t spread and Ichikawa thinks Sengoku might have taken advantage of her weakness. Flashback reveals Sengoku lost a bet and became her lackey. He promised to change when he enters high school and wants to have high grades and become the student council president. He is appalled to find she is enrolling in the same high school with him. He wants her to leave her alone then. Otherwise the next time she makes fun of him, he will spill her secret. Not the one where she hates stew but where she arm wrestled 5 guys and won. Hori couldn’t believe she once bullied him. Likewise Sengoku too can’t believe he once bullied her. I suppose he has some sort of trauma seeing Miyamura even if he is just greeting him normally.

Averagely Normal…
I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear? Oh, let me start with the bad news first. First of all, there is nothing really exciting going on in this series. You have got the main protagonists who are looking normal but have their own secrets. You don’t see them trying hard to hide it because all they have to do is just act normal with everyone else and you won’t even suspect a thing. There is nothing special in the romance either and it might bore you to death as we don’t see any progress. My guess is that just like this anime’s title suggest, the main pairings will be between Hori and Miyamura. I have a gut feeling that they like each other but just keeping their distance and status as friends. I mean, how long can you use the house visit all for Souta excuse? Therefore the plot is nothing special and nothing that extraordinary because it is just about these bunch of people and their interaction among themselves. Although I didn’t read the manga, the way the episodes show feels like they are putting snippets of certain chapters into the episodes. It’s like cramming everything or just showing the so called important bits.

Even more so, the animation is nothing special and is ordinary. In fact, I would say that the art and drawing are the biggest downside (at least to me) because the characters here do look simple and general. It is like they didn’t put enough quality into them but then again, this might be the series’ uniqueness. But still, I find it a major turnoff. If you want to have handsome guys and cute girls, it is best to have them looking like the standard bishonen and bishoujo instead of going for something simple and plain. Though, I feel the second OVA’s quality was a much better improvement than the first one although the art of the character designs still remain generally the same.

So average this show is that it might even turn into a bore fest because with the lack of everything, it also lacks everything else. It has no great music, with no grand plots means it has no filler scenes. And as said the lack of any extravagant animation or complicated plots that involve the confusing love relationships, love polygons makes everything else feels so normal and in a way uninteresting. Despite all that, what is the good news? All that too. Yup. The bad things are the good things as well because it shows that it is just a simple show and that you don’t need all the fancy and extravagant stuffs to pull in your audience. Therefore despite there is the danger of it being uninteresting, if you toss away all your high expectations, you should find this series to be decently good and satisfying. Because, there is nothing wrong being normal or average, right? Whoever said being that was bad?

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