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Tsubasa Chronicle – 26 (END of 1st Series) »« Tsubasa Chronicle – 25

Honey & Clover – 24 (END)

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Short Summary:
Takemoto continues his journey towards Hokkaido, and takes a rest at a shop where the elderly owner feeds him. Her story of her trip to Los Angeles reminds Takemoto of where he hasn’t gone, and how his father never got to leave Japan. He spots a red train that he remembers his father calling the North Star, one which they never got to ride together. He chases it until the bicycle crashes down an incline. Laying in the grass, Takemoto wonders about the meaning of their lives, and gains motivation to continue on. He eventually reaches the northernmost point of Japan and realizes that all he had to do was pedal forward to get there. Deciding that it was time to go home, Takemoto returns to Tokyo and finds Hagu-chan sleeping with a fever. He takes her hand and she welcomes him back. Hanamoto-sensei walks in to find them holding hands while fast asleep. The next day, Takemoto is welcomed back by everyone. His claim that he came back without finding answers still manages somehow to impress his professors. The girls want to throw a party, but Takemoto suggests that they go to a festival instead. Morita then arrives and passes Takemoto some soap, so Takemoto goes to wash up. It’s during this time that Hanamoto-sensei, Mayama, and Morita see how much Takemoto has changed and how much stronger he is now. At the festival, Takemoto realizes through his conversation with Hagu-chan that the purpose of him leaving was to find out how important the things he was leaving behind were. Knowing this, he confesses to Hagu-chan, but she can only thank him for returning home. Takemoto understands that living life and moving forward is the way to go. He also can’t hear the sound of the empty fridge anymore and continues on with his life knowing that maybe someday they’ll find what they couldn’t that one day.

The final episode basically wraps up the Takemoto storyline and brings it to a pretty satisfying conclusion. He has all sorts of realizations while he’s on the journey and when he gets back, and so his character has grown quite a bit from when we first met him at the beginning of the series or even compared to when he first started the journey. Because of the time constraints, they pretty much leave the Yamada and Morita plot alone. I feel a little cheated in that regard since we watched their relationship for so long, but yet the ending didn’t really bring that story to a close. Also, Morita got a surprisingly little amount of screen time. But they do a good job fitting what they could into one episode, and the pacing doesn’t feel off.
The final minute or so is what made me really like the finale. Never mind that they played Waltz, Takemoto’s final line about eventually finding what they were searching for that one day (the four leaf clover), really ties the series together, both in relating to an earlier episode and in the title of the show. I also enjoyed how they left Hagu-chan’s response to Takemoto’s confession open, so that they could be shown as a group of friends at the end, just like always.

Final Thoughts: Honey and Clover is a series that really wowed all of us who started watching it back in the spring. I personally feel that some of the later episodes are not as good as some of the earlier ones, but as a whole they make a great series full of laughter, friendship, and romance. With a unique watercolor feel to the animation and an astonishingly large array of insert songs by artists Spitz and Suga Shikao, this show does not disappoint. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone.

October 11, 2005 at 3:06 am
15 comments »
  • October 11, 2005 at 11:21 amSuginami (rus)

    I haven’t see even one episode, but tomorrow my friend give me DVD H&C which contained 1-23 eps. + today I’ll download last ep. Looks like I will REALLY enjoy this series now. ) Thanks for your reviews.

  • October 11, 2005 at 9:06 pmBit

    I feel the same way about this show. It wasn’t that I enjoyed the later episodes less, but it lacked the comedy that I enjoyed so much in the beginning, but that isn’t to say that it tanked out near the end. As a whole I think this is probably one of the best series of 2005 if not THE best. The watercolour feel of the show was amazing since it’s rarely done at all and gave an uniqueness to H&C. Now to find a friend like Morita ……

  • October 12, 2005 at 3:08 amZaraki Kenpachi

    animenewsnetwork.com says that there are 26 eps. but you all say that ep. 24 is the end… i’m so confuse… help me…

  • October 12, 2005 at 8:51 amBravejaf

    TV series is 24 but I have had there may be two more OVA episodes. I heard this somewhere, but can’t remember where.

  • October 12, 2005 at 9:02 amOmni

    The two other episodes will be packaged with the DVDs.

    Source: Memento

  • October 12, 2005 at 9:23 amKai

    Hi, are you the one, uploaded H&C insert song in point-blank?
    Can you please help seed from ep22 insert song and ep23 insert song?
    Thx very much.

  • October 13, 2005 at 11:28 amMTT

    I just cannot agree that you guys say the ending is not as great as the earlier episodes. How can be a show be a comedy from the begining to the end? Think more carefully. I think that Umino Chika wants to convey a message to us rather than to makes us laugh. Comedy is just a way to make Honey & Clover more attractive. Conveying message was the FIRST priority when Umino Chika was drawing Honey & Clover. If there is less comedic element, I still support this show because its character and music are well done! More importantly, I receive the message from Umino Chika as I face the similar situation as what takemoto does. This is the main reason of me to support the show. It MUST be the best show this year and top 5 best anime series in my life, WITHOUT A DOUBT.

    The final episode is excellent since I am heart-touching from the bottom of my heart when Takemoto said about what he would do in the future with Waltz as background music. This makes me feel that not only myself, but also all of people should continue to live on inspite of a lot of difficulties. How encouraging it is! In this five months, I feel that I grow up spiritually. I find out that the love, not just between a male and a female, but also among friends and with different people, is so important that makes my life warm and colourful. I am also glad that Takemoto has grown up as well. To conclude, it is an EXCELLENT episode.

    Of course, I am looking forward to the final two episodes on DVD and the movie, as well as the upcoming manga~

  • October 13, 2005 at 5:51 pmnewt

    Re the whole Mayama and Ayu thing: I like the way they handled this, Mayama pulling away slowly from medling too much in her life and Ayu showing more interest in Nomiya (as shown in previous episodes). Like real life long-time crushes these things don’t just end and aren’t resolved quickly. I thought it was realistic of them not to just “quick fix” things with the manga still running.

    I’d love to see a second series but wonder if it will ever have the same impact as this one did. Hmmm.

  • November 26, 2005 at 5:11 pmedward

    this is truly the best anime I have ever watched! lots of meaning.. and for me, the ending was soooooooo good! omg… I just thought that takemoto summarize everything perfectly at the end… and the four-leaf clover beside his bicycle is truly meaningful… it’s like at the end of his journey, he found his dream… gosh…. it’s really sad that the anime has finally ended… =[

  • December 21, 2005 at 12:11 amMercuryStar

    This anime is very real, in terms of how newt was saying. Feelings dont just go away. To the blogger: thanks for mentioning the insert songs, i was going crazy looking for them, and now i know what im looking for.

  • January 10, 2006 at 3:50 amcleanwater

    man just watched all 1-24 in 2 days. amazing anime but ending was :(. owell thanks to this blog i dled and watched it

  • February 18, 2006 at 2:06 pmanimefan

    wow…i loved this anime. it was not so cheap and overly dramatic and action-like flashy like many others. if it was ever dramatic, it was just…so nice and real feeling…sigh…i actually loved the way ayu and nomiya are coming together. mayama and ayu together is nice and all, but so not realistic. I watched this anime a second time thru and I still loved it. There’s so much to relate to in it.

    Anyone reading this…WATCH IT!

  • May 15, 2006 at 5:59 amMr. slick

    Wow, this has been a hell of a ride for me but i have to say, the ending was a bit disappointing as its focus seem to concentrated on Takemoto too much – mayama and morita only appear to aid in proof of his growth or to comment how his changes.
    However, all in all, this is probably the best anime series i have ever seen (big statement), as it allowed me to view life differently and i think any anime/movie/song which can do that deserves alot of credit.

  • May 17, 2006 at 2:04 pmahbonk

    Well about Mayama, Ayu and Morita… the 2nd season is coming up! Banzai!!! Quite curious how Hagu will respond to Takamoto’s feelings…

  • November 17, 2006 at 11:47 amkazmi

    “WOW!” dats all i can say..hoping for the 2nd season..