REVIEW: ‘Horimiya,’ Episode 5 – “I Can’t Say it Out Loud”

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Horimiya Episode 5

Horimiya Episode 5 foregoes the traditional dramatic love confession for a more natural exploration of emotions, making it the best episode of the anime to date. The series from CloverWorks follows a group of high schoolers through the ups and downs of their senior year, notably Hori and Miyamura, two teens who encounter the other outside of school and realize they are very different people at home. The series takes a thoughtful, nuanced look into teenage relationships and is based on the manga series by Hero with art by Daisuke Hagiwara. The manga is published in English from Yen Press and is available now.

At the end of last week, Miyamura confessed that he was falling in love with Hori. He was caring for her since she was sick, and she is left embarrassed and confused if he knew she was awake and heard him. The usually studious Hori even lies saying she is still sick to stay home from school an additional day, as she clearly is confused about her budding feelings for Miyamura. She doesn’t get to remain confused for long since Sota seeings Miyamura with another girl and Hori gets jealous. Hori is the embodiment of an emotional roller coaster this week, everything is hitting her at once and she isn’t sure how to sort it out. Especially when it turns out Miyamura knew she was awake and didn’t expect a response. Similar to my review about Yona of the Dawn Volume 27 this method of confessions is a fantastic representation for young teens about emotional consent. Miyamura wanted to be upfront about his feelings, but he also isn’t requiring an answer out of Hori.

Hori’s tendency to get slap-stick violent for comedy in the show rears its head in Horimiya Episode 5. Simple miscommunication and her getting flustered leads to multiple textbooks getting chucked in Miyamura’s face. This gag might not land well for certain audience members. At the very least, Hori does apologize, and both of them getting flustered about their feelings is a wonderful scene, well portrayed by both voice actors. The audience also meets Hori’s dad, Kyosuke, who seems pretty deadbeat.

Hori even calls him by his first name and is rather disdainful, although not to the extent that she kicks him out of the house. It is an odd household dynamic to be sure, and it will be interesting to see how it is expanded on in the future. Kyosuke at the very least doesn’t fall into toxic masculine tropes via being an overprotective father. If anything, he is the one that brings the two teen’s feelings out, although his methods are more than questionable.

There are other phenomenal character moments in Horimiya Episode 5 as well. Instead of vignettes, this feels like the most cohesive 20 minutes the show has had. It creates room for beautiful character development. The two leads steal the spotlight, but the supporting cast shines too. Toru again is a fantastic example of an anime allowing a teen boy to be vulnerable. He is still trying to get over his feelings for Hori, but knows his newfound friend Miyamura is in love with her.

Additionally, the student council members Sakura and Remi are revealed to have a closer friendship than people may perceive. Remi likely didn’t make the best first impression on viewers. However, in this episode she shines as a self-aware character, who breaks stereotypes of the “cute, popular girl.” Additionally, Sakura’s scene of self-reflection and vulnerability with her friend is fantastic, with voice actress Reina Kondo deserving praise.

Finally, the direction and art in this show are perfect with the emotional highs and lows. In past reviews, many nods have been given to the use of watercolors and white backgrounds to freeze time in an emotional moment. This is utilized perfectly in Horimiya Episode 5. The sheer joy viewers will have at a splash of sun-colored brushstrokes hitting the moment a handhold is initiated cannot be understated.

Horimiya Episode 5 was a showcase of the best the show has to offer. It takes a road less traveled, where two teens decide to acknowledge their budding feelings and grow with them slowly instead of dive in. Multiple supporting characters have key moments that truly prove this is an ensemble show.

Horimiya is streaming now on Funimation.

 

Horimiya Episode 7 - "I Can't Say it Out Loud"
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    Rating - 10/10
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TL;DR

Horimiya Episode 5 was a showcase of the best the show has to offer. It takes a road less traveled, where two teens decide to acknowledge their budding feelings and grow with them slowly instead of dive in. Multiple supporting characters have key moments that truly prove this is an ensemble show.