REVIEW: ‘Horimiya,’ Episode 9 – “It’s Hard, but Not Impossible”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Horimiya Episode 9

Horimiya Episode 9, like much of adolescence, is messy. However, the show has an eagerness to do right by the emotions of its characters. The anime from CloverWorks (The Promised Neverland) adapts the manga of the same name by Hero, with art by Daisuke Hagiwara. The manga is available in English from Yen Press. The series predominantly focuses on main couple Hori and Miyamura. The two students run into each other outside of school, and slowly grow to fall in love as they learn about each other.

Hori can be a lot for viewers. While played up for comedy, her rage isn’t always as endearing as the show would like it to be. She gets jealous over Miyamura, but she will whack him when it isn’t his fault. Once again, this is likely meant to be slapstick comedy, but when the show is so painfully honest about emotions and bullying, the humor doesn’t land. The show takes many things seriously, so something clearly unhealthy isn’t that funny. It is touching, however, how much she cares for Miyamura. This week she even gets violent purely because she sees Miyamura getting bullied. Hori isn’t terrible, let’s make that clear. She just has a lot of anger and the show doesn’t really address that.

Also, Hori clearly wants to explore kink with Miyamura, but the show doesn’t address this very well. It is clear that Miyamura is incredibly uncomfortable acting out these scenes, and since the communication isn’t there, these scenes can happen in front of people at school making their relationship look abusive. Of course, realistically, no one expects two teens exploring kink to get it perfectly right. The issue here is when the mishaps are meant to be humorous, or have characters gain respect for Miyamura because they see him be aggressive towards Hori. It doesn’t match up with the show’s overall trend of breaking down toxicity in teenage years.

One way that Horimiya Episode 9 attempts to confront toxicity is in addressing Miyamura’s bullies. Miyamura and Hori run into Tanihara on the way home from school one day. Tanihara was one of the kids who mercilessly bullied and isolated Miyamura in middle school. He promptly starts to bully Miyamura once again until Hori steps in. A large majority of the episode actually focuses on Tanihara. It walks a fine line, and Horimiya Episode 9 doesn’t quite stick the landing. The show doesn’t quite excuse Tanihara’s cruelty towards Miyamura, but it is a little frustrating to see the burden be placed on Miyamura to forgive. Miyamura maybe be happy to move forward, but it would be nice to see a little more verbal accountability from Tanihara.

What Horimiya Episode 9 does do, however, is dissect Tanihara’s reasons for being a bully. It doesn’t feel like the show is excusing it, but it tries to understand why some young children may become bullies. Tanihara’s reasons are realistic. He goes with the crowd because he is afraid of being alone. His insecurity leads him to pin false blame on Miyamura. None of this is okay, and Horimiya Episode 9 falls short because it neither condemns nor excuses this behavior. It is, however, thoughtful of the fact that Tanihara is a teen boy, and toxic masculinity has put him at odds with his current self. He is battling his insecurity and guilt around Miyamura, and though he is stumbling, he definitely regrets it.

Horimiya Episode 9 tries to tackle a lot, so it leads to some fumbles. However, because the show is so eager to be honest with its characters, it still works more than it doesn’t. The episode isn’t afraid to show the ugly side of being a teen.

Horimiya is streaming now on Funimation.

 

Horimiya Episode 9 - "It's Hard, but Not Impossible"
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Horimiya Episode 9 tries to tackle a lot, so it leads to some fumbles. However, because the show is so eager to be honest with its characters, it still works more than it doesn’t. The episode isn’t afraid to show the ugly side of being a teen.