REVIEW: ‘Horimiya,’ Episode 2 – “You Wear More Than One Face”

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Horimiya Episode 2

Watching Horimiya Episode 2 was just as relaxing (if not more so) than the first. The adorable antics continue, and viewers get to see more sides of Hori. The animation from CloverWorks continues to astound. The anime production is an adaptation of the romantic comedy manga Horimiya by Hero, with art by Daisuke Hagiwara. The series is published in English by Yen Press. Like the title of Horimiya Episode 2 suggests, it is a slice-of-life focusing on a pair of high schoolers who discover the lives they hide from their school friends.

Horimiya Episode 2 can be broken up into three smaller parts, each with a mini storyline as the two become closer friends. First, Hori realizes with horror during a conversation with her mom that she doesn’t actually know Miyamura’s first name. Too embarrassed to ask him herself, she goes to comic lengths to try and uncover his name without him realizing. It is a messier side of Hori. It shows that she truly values her friendship with Miyamura, but is still learning how to express that.

The spotlight continues on Hori as we get a glimpse into more of the side she shows at school. The student council consistently asks for Hori to help them out with work. It seems to Miyamura and friends that the Student Council is pushing off the work of President Sengoku’s girlfriend onto Hori. Hori is overworking herself, but smiles through it all, maintaining her perfect student image. Miyamura’s unexpected way of standing up for her is a highlight of this episode. This is not only because Horimiya Episode 2 is a romance at heart, but because Miyamura has just slightly let the mask slip for his friends at school. The character growth has already begun, which continues the strong start the series had in its premiere.

Horimiya Episode 2 excels in showing viewers that even the supporting cast is multifaceted. Student council president Sengoku hasn’t likely won’t earn much approval from viewers with his treatment of Hori, and fairly so. The show still shows that there is another side to Sengoku as well. Unfortunately, the show almost frames it as justification. Granted, it is meant to be more lighthearted and comical, but may not land with some viewers. This is similar to the physical “comedy” used with Hori. Sometimes she can become a little more physically violent than some viewers would like justified by “comedy antics.”

The music in Horimiya Episode 2 is still spot on. It helps carry the show just as much as the animation. An additional shout-out should be given to the voice actors behind the two leads. Haruka Tomatsu does an excellent job playing Hori’s rollercoaster reactions without making her seem like a caricature. Even when she is comically extreme, she still feels like a relatable teenager. Kōki Uchiyama in contrast is able to make the more subdued Miyamura’s reactions have just as much range, even with a relatively even vocal cadence. The actors are playing these teens genuinely, which makes the comedy works and feel relatable even when occasionally pushing the boundaries of realism.

Horimiya Episode 2 follows the excellent premiere with a three-beat slice of life story. Viewers get to see a lot more sides of Hori this week, well-performed by Haruka Tomatsu. The relationship development has eased into a comfortable progression, after the initial establishment last week. The show’s introduction of the student council successfully expands its themes beyond the two protagonists, enhancing the show to a relatable look into teenage relationships.

Horimiya is streaming now on Funimation.

Horiyama
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Horimiya Episode 2 follows the excellent premiere with a three-beat slice of life story. Viewers get to see a lot more sides of Hori this week, well-performed by Haruka Tomatsu. The relationship development has eased into a comfortable progression, after the initial establishment last week. The show’s introduction of the student council successfully expands its themes beyond the two protagonists, enhancing the show to a relatable look into teenage relationships.