Honey and Clover (ハチミツとクローバー Hachimitsu to Kurōba)

          Created by Chikia Umino –  the title came about as the mangaka is inspired by these 2 albums – Hachimiitsu by Spitz and Clover by Suga Shikao.   

           Forget about a sweet mix of cocotion…2 spoons of honey and 2 spoons of clover and maybe you’ll end up getting something that is bittersweet … The same can be said of this series…a bittersweet realistic tale of the lives of these best buddies –  Takemoto, Mayama, Morita, Yamada, Hagu – who study in the same art university, live together, fall in love and their search for their true selves – what they want for themselves in the future.  It also offers a glimpse of life views through their eyes.

         

      I’ve just started on this series this year.  Honey & Clover first started off as a manga series which has just ended in
Japan.  It has won the 2003 Kodansha Manga Award. Unlike most mangas, it uses a choice of descriptive language to bring out the emotions and thoughts of each character, especially showing the reflective thoughts of Takemoto, Yamada, and Sensei Shuugu.  I’m impressed by the way it shows the different sides of a character – the crazy but observant Morita,

 

the kind but stalker-like Mayama. 

       Honey & Clover anime  is one of the best animations I’ve seen so far.  I actually considered it the best Shoujo anime I’ve seen for this year 2006.  There are 2 seasons for this – Season I consist of 24 episodes, Season II  was aired recently in Jun 06 and has 12 episodes. 

The slow-paced of the story in the beginning may take a while to get used to, but once you get into the story, you are slowly sucked into the wonderful scenary that this anime offers – the huge Ferris wheel, the boat ride, the bicycle wheel, the cherry blossoms blowing in the wind, the wind chime… Is just so wonderfully beautiful…

 

     The anime series is created in a watercolour manner, whereby the background shows the different shades of light falling on the objects– the run-down state of their rental house, the setting sun.  Apparantly, each episode is done by different directors, and hence each episode give the audience a different feel. As the title came about from Suga Shikao & Spitz’s albums, their songs are featured prominently as insert songs in both seasons.  

Insert songs

Ist Season:

  • Episode 1: Hachimitsu (ハチミツ) by Spitz

  • Episode 2: 8-gatsu no Serenade (8月のセレナーデ) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 3: Tsuki to Knife (月とナイフ) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 4: Nami Hikari (波光) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 7: Tamagawa (多摩川) by Spitz

  • Episode 10: Sakana () by Spitz

  • Episode 13: Sorosoro Ikanakucha (そろそろいかなくちゃ) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 14: Y by Spitz

  • Episode 15: Yoru wo Kakeru (夜を駆ける) by Spitz

  • Episode 18: Yubikiri (ユビキリ) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 19: Ougon no Tsuki (黄金の月) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 22: Tsuki ni Kaeru (月に帰る) by Spitz

  • Episode 23: Room 201 by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 24: Spica (スピカ) by Spitz Honey and Clover II,

2nd season: 

  • Episode 1: Nakayoshi (仲良し) by Spitz

  • Episode 2: Pool (プール) by Spitz

  • Episode 3: Koko ni Iru Koto (ココニイルコト) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 4: Honoho (ほのほ) by Spitz

  • Episode 5: Je t’aime (ジュテーム) by Spitz

  • Episode 6: HAPPY BIRTHDAY by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 7: Natsukage (夏陰~なつかげ~) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 8: Ringo Juice (リンゴ・ジュース) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 9: Kazenagi (風なぎ) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 10: Namida () by Spitz

  • Episode 11: Futari no Kage (ふたりのかげ) by Suga Shikao

  • Episode 12: Inaka no Seikatsu (田舎の生活) by Spitz  

 There is also a Honey & Clover Life Drama Movie for this..I have not watched this yet.  Hopefully, this does not let me disappointed, like most of the dramas adapted from Manga. 

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