For a long time, Takemoto had wondered if a love that didn’t ripen had any meaning and if things that disappear were are the same as things that weren’t there in the first place. In the aftermath of Shuuji’s confession, he and a visibly shaken Yamada are having coffee together. Shuuji confirms that his feelings are just as she heard – he loves Hagu. But as for how long he’s liked her, Shuuji is too embarrassed to say. He also hasn’t told Hagu, although he thinks that she probably knows. Still in shock, Yamada is stuttering through her words, barely able to talk since she had never noticed until now. She suddenly turns around to go tell Hagu, but Shuuji holds her back. It’s at this point that Mayama walks up to the pair, having returned from Spain. He immediately hugs Shuuji happily, saying that he heard the news from Professor Tange. After they settle down, Mayama asks if it’s ok that Shuuji is leaving the school, worried about his living expenses. Shuuji thinks he’ll be ok since some publishers have asked for his work and he’ll be able to do some art history seminars, causing Mayama to realize that Shuuji has really decided this time. Later that afternoon, Mayama thanks Yamada for contacting him about Hagu. In return, Yamada thanks him for finding Morita, but she also has doubts about whether she did something unnecessary again. Mayama tells her that he felt that things could only develop like this and goes on to talk about the meaning of living, saying that there are people who love and there are people who don’t. He thinks that Hagu has things that she must do, prompting Yamada to ask if those are more important than love. Mayama responds by saying that it’s not about which is important and which is correct. He suggests that Yamada use her instincts to judge before worrying.
By nightfall, Shuuji returns to his room at school and finds Rika waiting there. He confirms to her that he is indeed leaving, and the two then share a tearful embrace. Shuuji remembers how he and Tange had earlier talked about his leaving. Tange had said that Shuuji had looked like he couldn’t move from here because he lost the exit. After what happened with Harada, Shuuji had been unable to honestly face things. It wasn’t until Shuuji brought Hagu here that it was apparent that he was gradually returning to normal. Tange had ended by saying that this time it was Shuuji’s turn to save Hagu, which is also the same as saving himself. Rika admits that she had wanted to come sooner, but she was in the middle of some important work. It was in fact Mayama who had stopped her and told her that if they returned, they wouldn’t be anything that they could do. When Mayama had said that returning then would cause Shuuji pain, Rika had countered by challenging what Mayama understood about Shuuji. Mayama claimed that he had indeed understood because he had been with Shuuji for these past six years and the Shuuji he knows is a respectable man. Having now heard about this, Shuuji thinks that Mayama should have said it to him face-to-face.
Around this period of time, Kaoru is walking through a town looking for an address, remembering what had happened when he had taken over the company from the Floyd Electric president. He arrives at the home and finds the president’s family preparing the garden trees to get through the winter. The president’s wife is remarking about how there was someone who would lend them this big of a house on the sole condition that they maintain the garden’s greenness. The president, who is sitting nearby, apologizes to everyone for their hardships since he lost the company. His grandson actually thinks it’s fun, and his son agrees, saying that he’s happy because they can all be together under one roof now. The president’s daughter-in-law also agrees and his wife suggests that he feel better. Watching as the scene unfolded, Kaoru can’t help but be reminded of his own childhood since this is actually his old home. He realizes that this must all be the doing of his brother and Shiroyama. Kaoru ends up calling Shiroyama, but doesn’t say anything at first. Shiroyama figures out that it’s Kaoru on the other end and wonders where Kaoru went off to for all this time. He says that there’s a mountain of documents waiting for Kaoru’s signature, but more importantly, he tells Kaoru that everyone is waiting for him. As Kaoru starts to cry, Shiroyama turns less serious and asks if Kaoru would be interested in a system that took 190 yen from each woman aged 20-34 in the world. A now smiling Kaoru says that it would have to be 230 yen, and then declares that he’ll return tomorrow. He also has Shiroyama to gather everyone up to prepare a meeting. When Shiroyama asks what Kaoru would like to eat when he gets back, Kaoru of course answers curry. In the end, Kaoru thanks Shiroyama for everything.
Meanwhile, Hagu remarks to Shuuji outside the hospital that the white pigeon in front of her resembles Yamada with its eyes, good posture, plump chest, and pink feet. She then recalls how Satsuki-sensei had told her that she could touch clay during rehab, and she hopes that she can learn from Yamada how to make pottery. Hagu wants to make pigeons first; she’ll give one to Yamada and one to her father’s wife and new baby. Hagu is unsure if she can make it in time, but Shuuji believes she can because the baby won’t be born until spring. The two walk off, holding hands and talking about spring. It was the next day that Kaoru returned to the company and Shinobu found him eating curry. Shinobu is pissed off at his brother, but Kaoru simply has Shiroyama get another plate of curry for Shinobu, one with extra meat. That night, as they are sleeping in the same room, Shinobu reveals that he’s going to Peter Lucas’ place. He explains that he really likes the old man and that company and recalls how happy everyone was to play with beam sabers after the electricity went out. That was the first time he had seen such foolish adults, outside of their own father. When Kaoru asks about Hagu, Shinobu remembers that she had told him that she’s always going to be watching him. She had seen through him when he had wanted to throw everything away and had told him to not run away so that they could struggle through it all together. Because of what she said, Shinobu feels that he can’t do anything but his best. Still, he wants to stand in front of her again and show her something new that he’s created. To him, it at last feels like it has become bright before his eyes. Kaoru attributes that to the fact that it’s already morning, but says that he finally understands what their father said about heading towards the light.
When spring comes, Takemoto and the released-from-the-hospital Hagu both graduate. The group holds a celebration for both the graduations and for Takemoto going off to Morioka to work. The only one not with them is Shinobu, but he happens instead to be on TV with Peter Lucas. Shuuji notices Hagu’s smile as she watches Shinobu go crazy on TV, and then asks Takemoto what time his Shinkansen leaves tomorrow. After Takemoto reveals that it’ll be 9:30 in the morning, Shuuji wonders about Takemoto’s apartment. Takemoto explains that he already finished tidying up the place, and Mayama interjects that Takemoto will be staying with him tonight since this is the end. His choice of words causes an awkward silence between the group as they think about this last time. Shuuji finally suggests that Hagu go buy some ice and he has Takemoto go with her. Once those two go off, Mayama, Yamada, and Shuuji all admit that they were almost about to cry. Takemoto ends up taking Hagu to the store on his bike with sakura trees blooming all around them. Hagu tells him that she thinks the temples he fixes will be blessed because she had seen how he hadn’t cut corners while working on his tower. That’s why she thinks he’ll be putting his heart into fixing those temples, and surely those temples will be happy. After Takemoto thanks her for her words, Hagu says that she’ll also do her best so that she won’t lose to him; she believes her right hand will definitely heal. It has to because otherwise she can’t return anything to Shuuji. Takemoto disagrees, saying that the things that Shuuji wants aren’t the things that Hagu can return to him, but rather the things he can find himself – that’s the type of person he is. Hagu starts crying, but she thanks Takemoto.
As he gets ready to leave, Takemoto recounts the details of his now-empty room: it is six-tatami with no bath, a ten minute walk from college, built 28 years ago, rent of 34,000 yen, and the morning sun shines because the room faces east. Today is the day that Takemoto leaves this place. He arrives at the station and is putting away his bags on an empty train when he sees Hagu outside – it seems that she came with a special package for him. Takemoto responds by hugging her as a goodbye, but then the bell sounds for the train to leave, separating the two. As the Shinkansen starts off, Hagu runs after it and waves goodbye, unable to hear what Takemoto yells to her. Takemoto sits down afterwards and opens up the package, revealing several slices of no-crust bread forming a large sandwich. At first, he smiles and just checks to see what the filling is. He is quite surprised to find honey and a four-leaf clover between each piece. Hagu’s wish had been to give all of the happiness to him. Crying as he eats it, Takemoto recalls how he had always thought about the meaning of love that didn’t go well, about things that disappeared being the same as things that weren’t there in the first place. He understands now: there is meaning. Takemoto is glad that he liked Hagu. .
In the aftermath, Rika and Mayama return to Spain where Mac Carlos is as feisty as ever. Miwako, Yamazaki, and Leader remain at Fujiwara design with Mario and Luigi. Yamada continues her pottery and appears to be warming up to Nomiya. Kaoru works with Shiroyama while Shinobu works with Peter Lucas. Shuuji and Hagu are determined as ever to get through Hagu’s rehab. Takemoto meanwhile rejoins Shin and the repair crew he met on his bicycle journey. Looking up to the blue sky, Takemoto remarks that time passes by and the day when everything becomes a memory will surely come. However, he was there and she was there – everyone was there, searching for only one thing on that day that was like a miracle. It will always be a sweet pain, that distant place inside his heart – always nostalgic, always continuing to turn.

For this final episode, I thought Nojima Kenji did a pretty good job in Takemoto’s part. It did sound different, but I quickly got accustomed to it. (For those of you who don’t know, Nojima Kenji voiced Takemoto for this last episode because Kamiya Hiroshi was injured in a car accident.) Although I do wish that Kamiya Hiroshi had been able to voice the role to the very end, this way worked too.
As for the ending, it did a good job wrapping everything up, with maybe a few minor exceptions. Since they were strapped for time, they cut out all of the NomiyaXYamada stuff from the final chapter. In a way, I feel a bit jilted given how much development Yamada and Nomiya (and Mayama) had, but I also understand that there were more important things they had to show. And of course, the final lines of the series reflect back on that day when they were searching for the four leaf clover – a very fitting end.
Incidentally, the final insert song was Spitz’s 「田舎の生活」 (Inaka no Seikatsu) from their 1992 mini-album 「オーロラになれなかった人のために」 (Aurora ni Narenakatta Hito no Tame ni).

Final Thoughts: Well, this fantastic series has now come to an end, almost a year and a half since I started watching it. Back then, I started watching the show for the comedy (the Twister episode was hilarious), but the series was very much a relationship drama. And indeed, the complex web of relations is what kept me watching, whether it was Yamada & Nomiya or Takemoto & Hagu-chan or Mayama & Rika or whoever. But what was also so great about Honey and Clover was their use of insert songs from Suga Shikao and Spitz, neither of whom I had known about before watching this show. Though I admit that my favorite songs still ended up being Suneohair’s pair of EDs, Waltz and Split. My point is, they combined production quality with story and crafted such a great show – J.C. Staff did a great job, and Umino Chika wrote a great manga.
On a side note, the next show airing in the “Noitamina” block is Hataraki Man.


  1. Looks great, i’m pretty young but this show really hits me hard and i’ve been following it for what’s probably the majority of the time i’ve been interested in anime so it’s very important to me. The ending is probably gonna make me shed a couple tears when i get to see the sub.

  2. Because Rika and Shuuji are VERY close friends. Shuuji has always had feelings for Rika and the same can be said for Rika, but because they reminded each other of their lost friend, they couldn’t be together.

  3. OMGOSH! The ending is TOTALLY ridiculous! Isn’t the relationship between Shuuji and Hagu kind of incestuous? I wish she chose Morita. Can anyone explain clearly why Hagu didn’t choose Morita? Is it because he isn’t able to support her like Shuuji can? I’m guessing that Hagu is able to draw again. Do you think there will be a third season? I really hope so.

  4. I made a huge post in suki about Hagu x Shuu. Like I said in suki, Hagu likes Morita. There’s no doubt about that since the first season, its a fact. But Hagu chose art/Shuu instead of Morita. Im sure the ep 11 Hagu monologue made it clear as to why she chose Shuu/Art. Sigh.

  5. If you look at the way Hagu watched the TV, one KNOWS she has romantic feelings for Morita still – and Shuuji knows that. The way those two (Shuuji x Hagu) are together is much like the way Shuuji x Rika were together – strong feelings are shared, but nothing physical occurs and he’s there mostly as a support and assistant.

    Actually, that probably explains part of why Shuuji’s leaving the college to help with Hagu’s recovery – it’s not the first time he’s done this for someone, and he wants to do a better job this time around.

  6. I screwed myself over by looking at these screencaps. I did NOT expect this to happen. And by this, I mean everything.

    And, I really doubt ShuujixHagu is even a pairing. There are different ways to say “I love you” you know.

  7. Wow, people are in so much denial. Do they need to show Shuuji kissing hagu and taking her to a hotel to believe that Shuuji loves Hagu. By the way, the Hagu and Shuuji relationship is that of second cousins. Haguhave strong feeling for both Morita and Takemoto, I think she loves Tekemoto more to have spent so much time looking for 4 leave clovers, but the first love in her life was Shuuji, he is her most important person. Morita also realized at the end that he couldn’t do what Shuuji did, and Hagu knew it too. Morita was not there for Hagu, but for himself, he was being his typical selfish guy.

  8. Well, I finally was able to watch this episode. Nojima Kenji did a great job, I had to go and watch episode 11 and listen to some of Takemoto dialogue to tell the difference. HE sounded different but you had to be looking for it. The sandwhich scene was so damn awesome, and the last line made me shed some tears “Hagu-chan, I am glad I fell in love with you”

  9. Not the ending I would have liked, but powerful none the less. As ever there was not enough Morita even though he was the most interesting character. I still don’t fully understand the relationship between Hagu and Shuuji. Each of them seems to feel a different kind of love for the other with Shuuji getting the shorter end of the stick. Then again, this is Honey&Clover so I won’t attempt to understand all the romantic reasoning.

  10. I’m not sure since i havent gotten there yet, but since my curiosty lead me to read what the ending to the manga was

    Show Spoiler ▼

    well done. I love when anime does that. Can’t wait to watch it.

  11. i wish that there will be a third season and Hagu will change her mind and end up together with Morita!!!!! Really wish that it’s Morita and Hagu but not Shuu and Hagu!!! So SAD!!! Third season!!! But anyway, the story is really very beautiful, one of the best i have watched so far.

  12. Well, in episode 11 Morita realized that he couldn’t do what Shuuji did. Abandon everything for hagu. The reason that he wanted Hagu to quit drawing was for his own selfish reasons. If he had supported her and offered to do what Shuuji agreed to, Hagu probably would have picked him. Hagu knew Morita well, and she didn’t want him to abandon what he love the most, not that he would have done it.

  13. I like the way it ends, it makes sense. Shuuji and Hagu do actually love eachother, for those of you that don’t think so, one word, denial!

    Thanks for blogging H&C. GREAT SERIES!

    Do the movie too 😀

  14. What does this whole business of “abandoning everything for Hagu” (as golthin put it) actually MEAN? Correct me if I’m wrong, but Morita didn’t really seem to ask Hagu to give up her art. Wasn’t it more like he wanted her to know that EVEN if she couldn’t draw no more, he’d still love her? WHAT would he actually have to abandon to help Hagu recover? WHY can’t she recover with him by her side instead of Shuu? Neither of them is a doctor, so all they really have to do is be there for her (and pay for her rehabilitation). The actual recovery is a lot more up to Hagu than either of them. I don’t see why Morita couldn’t or wouldn’t do these things. I just don’t understand WHAT it is that Shuu can do for Hagu’s recovery that Morita can’t. ESPECIALLY if (as many people seem to think) Hagu doesn’t actually love Shuu romantically. In that case she pretty much comes across as a USER and loses a lot of my sympathy.

  15. Hagu already decided to be with Shuu from the beginning so though she loves Morita in a romantic sense she never did consider being with him. Why? Hagu loves art more than anything. She’s still immature about romance. Romance is like the idea of looking at the moon for Hagu. She likes to see it from a distance and not getting involved into it because her mind is not ready for that yet. It is also not her priority. The reason why she picked Shuu is because Shuu was always there. She’s comfortable with him like family. He’s her comfort zone. He’s someone who shelter her and pampers her as much as she wishes.

  16. Even without the accident, I doubt Hagu x Morita would work as they’re both too self centered. As her rehabilitation will take a long time, Morita is just not the type of person to ‘hang around’. Similarly, Takemoto doesn’t have the ability to support her, so the only person who can help her is Shuuji. This is the real brilliance of the story : people are not willing to sacrifice everything for love. Hagu knows she is selfish for picking the person who can help her best, but to her, the thought that she can’t draw again is too frigtening to comtemplate.

    I feel sorry for Takemoto though – all he gets in the end is a SANDWICH!!

  17. Arthuria: Did you watch episode 11? Takemoto took Morita to see Shuuji’s office, to show him that Shuuji was ready to abandon EVERYTHING for Hagu, Morita said it himself, that he couldn’t do the same. That is what abandoning everything mean.

  18. @golthin

    What I’m getting at is that it is NOT NECESSARY for either of them to abandon “EVERYTHING” in this situation. For chrissakes, Hagu HERSELF has the kind of determination that even caused her to reject the pain medication. It’s an ARTIFICIAL dilemma. I just don’t see how Morita couldn’t have provided everything she’d REALISTICALLY need, if we leave all the overdramatization out of it. It’s great DRAMA, but a lot of it doesn’t really make sense. Like this whole “oh noes, can’t take Morita’s money because then I’d owe him” thing. I thought the IDEA was to help Hagu recover. So apparently he can abandon “EVERYTHING” except some misplaced PRIDE?

  19. … It’s been a thrill ride for the last 2 years or so for this series…

    The whole portion where Hagu gives Takemoto the sandwich… it was just priceless. Even though Takemoto was going to leave Hagu, probably forever, he was glad of how it all came together.

    I still think Hagu holds feelings for Takemoto, searching for those 4 four-leaf clovers by herself wishing for his happiness on contrast to the 5 not finding 1 for Shuuji. Remember that Takemoto really put Hagu in a bind as Takemoto told Hagu he loved her and as Hagu starting developing some feelings for him. However I think that Hagu simply admires Morita rather than him being the romantic interest for the series.

    Either way…

    Series ending… Great. I loved it. Cheers for the production team and the manga writer for this great anime.

  20. Frankly, I was hoping for more Yamada X Nomiya scenes in the end, since they went through that much together and that the manga had a more romantic ending…… But then in the anime, its only in the very end that they showed a more much subtle development. I must say that I’m quite disappointed 🙁

  21. I still think Hagu holds feelings for Takemoto, searching for those 4 four-leaf clovers by herself wishing for his happiness on contrast to the 5 not finding 1 for Shuuji. Remember that Takemoto really put Hagu in a bind as Takemoto told Hagu he loved her and as Hagu starting developing some feelings for him. However I think that Hagu simply admires Morita rather than him being the romantic interest for the series.

    Takemoto’s feelings are completely unrequited. As far as the whole Takemoto/Hagu/Morita triangle is concerned, Hagu -> Morita. As for Morita/Hagu/art(Shuuji), Hagu -> art over Morita (for now). Morita may have Hagu’s heart (as established way back in season 1, and finally, that wistful look in the end), but for Takemoto, even if he doesn’t have that love, received something else in return, something equally as beautiful and meaningful: that he does mean a lot to someone, as Hagu had shown when she went through the trouble of gathering those five clovers.

  22. Becky:As for Morita/Hagu/art(Shuuji), Hagu -> art over Morita (for now).
    Keep dreaming on that (for now). Hagu is not going to turn around and leave Shuuji after she asked him for his life. She won’t think of hurting him like that. I think hagu is one of those persons that make a commitment for life.

  23. Keep dreaming on that (for now). Hagu is not going to turn around and leave Shuuji after she asked him for his life. She won’t think of hurting him like that. I think hagu is one of those persons that make a commitment for life.

    When I said Hagu -> art over Morita for now, I meant there may be a possibility in the future that romance will not take a backseat to art as it is now for Hagu once she recovers with her rehabitilation.

    I suggest you keep your attempts at being snarky to yourself, as you have completely misinterpreted me. 😉

  24. I think it’s great that Hagu chose Shuu, knowing that he is the one who could give her what she needs. But what i don’t get is.. Shuu-chan having romantic feelings for Hagu? Huh? It’s like a sudden revelation ‘cos.. all these while (correct me if i’m wrong), Shuu-chan has always been more of a fatherly figure/ family to her? I just can’t exactly swallow the fact that he loves her more than just a niece?

  25. Animax has just aired episode 6 of H&C here in Southeast Asia. H&C started last month.

    I love/ enjoy watching it, it’s addictive so I bought season 1 with English subtitles and watch all night long just to see how season 1 ends. Yes, it made me cry more than twice already (esp the Yamada & Takemoto unrequired love). I understand how Mayama felt. You can’t choose the one you love and Mayama is just being true to himself so (sigh) though I love the Yamada-Mayama pairing (and Hagu-Takemoto) coz it brings the angst that I love to see, I’m relieved to read hear that finally, Yamada is getting over Mayama (Nomiya seems to be a decent guy and I think he and Yamada are compatible) and Mayama has won over Rika’s heart (patience is a virtue and I’m happy that Mayama’s sacrifices paid off).

    As to Hagu and Shuuji, I’m not comfortable on this coz they’re blood related. The ideal set up would be Shuuji will help Hagu recover and when Hagu recovers and later matures as a young lady, will let her find her ideal mate.

    Takemoto, I’m sure will be like Yamada. He’ll recover eventually. Morita, he’s too eccentric and though fun to be with, I’m not sure he’ll be a dependable lover.

    Not sure when season 2 will be shown here, but I hope I can find the dvd copies (at least end of this year, as a xmas gift, keeping my fingers crossed). I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    And thank you guys for this wonderful site/ updates.

    Grace N
  26. i find it so weird. i thought shuuji’s love for hagu was just you know, love like a fatherly or relative love… but i think he actually has feelings for her as a ‘guy’! Like, how then would you be able to explain what Yamada said, “you were ought of the equation” or “but now that i think about it, sensei is a man despite his age.” its just, i find it so hard to accept… he had been like a father to her, to all of them and now this?! Shocking revelation.. haha.. oh well.. at first i thought they were related right??? waah its just so weird. But i love it anyways… Great ending. Love Honey and clover so much!! So sad that it ended…. I’ll.. mmmiss them!!! T.T

  27. It is kinda confusing, Hagu chose to follow her dream not her love, so to do so she chose Shuu not Morita. So in the end when she gave Takemoto the sandwiches with four leaf clovers in them, what does that mean? I mean I got really confused because Takemoto starts saying things about “failed love”. He was glad to have a failed love, why?

    type name here
  28. i have a shujii’s love for hagu in the romantic sense? or is just a family type of love? if it is in the romantics sense, isn’t it kind of incestuous considering the hagu is his niece?

  29. wait, someone told me the manga series still continue until the 10th book. i’m still wondering about ayu x nomiya though. and it doesn’t bother me if hagu chose shuuji, he sacrifice a lot for her, right?

  30. well, this is the end though. Just so you know, I cried. I was really crying when I realize d the meaning of that bread Hagu has given.
    I expected more than just 12 episodes, I thought, it was too short, considering that this season has more complex problems, didn’t you? I love this show so much, could be THE BEST SHOW I have ever watched! So it is too bad that this show has to end 🙁
    I want you (the Honey & Clover’s writer) tell me more about how are all the cast now. Ya, you already have told me at the end of 12th episode, but, you know, I haven’t satisfied yet. It’s like I need to know more more than just some expectation, maybe the whole thing about them.
    Thank you so much for showing this really long comment Random Curiosity!

  31. Although i expected hagu x morita ,but i cant understand why she chose shuu.I think she love both morita and shuu.the love between Hagu n Morita is sweet love,that’s is why she let him go to do what he want,don’t want to tie him.the love between hagu n shuu is light love ,she need shuu like “clover” need rain,n shuu need her too,like rain exist because of clover.this ending give me a little sadness ,but have to admit this is really a very beautiful ending.

  32. Just finished the series, which I found to be very bittersweet, although very recommendable. I really didn’t like the, what seemed like, sudden turn to shuuxhagu. Now I understand that they both had strong feelings for one another, however I was under the impression that he thought of hagu as a daughter rather than someone he would be in love with.
    To clarify for people who still don’t understand:
    She admits it, however also admits that what drives her life isn’t love but art. She has choosen art over love.
    But am I the only one who thinks takemoto got the fucking shaft? I mean he has constantly been beside her throughout most of the series and, after confessing, she immediately rejects him and he leaves to wonder off. He isn’t a genius like morita and hagu, he doesn’t have a steady job like mayama, shuu, and yamada, and he getsno love unlike mayama, morita, and yamada. Sure it kinda made me feel a little sorry for morita, but he at least knows that she loves him and will forever. Takemoto doesn’t even have that :\ (Which really surprised me as he seemed to be the most central figure in the story)


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