Horimiya is a shonen romantic-comedy manga series published in GFantasy Monthly. Written by HERO and illustrated by Daisuke Hagiwara, the series is ongoing with 37 chapters currently available.
Kyoko Hori is a flashy senior high student who in the absence of her workaholic parents takes care of her brother, leaving her little time for a social life. She successfully hides this plain side of herself from her classmates until Izumi Miyamura brings her injured brother home one day and recognizes her. However, she sees a completely different side of as she sees his normally covered piercings and tattoos. As Miyamura begins to come over to her house to spend time with Hori and her brother, the two become closer in this sweet romantic comedy. Let's take a look at why it's worth your time.
A Romance with Plot Progression
It's great to see a manga series which isn't afraid to focus clearly and unhesitatingly on the relationship between its two protagonists. The character development that Hori and Miyamura experience over the course of their relationship is great to see and is handled with refreshing maturity. It is compelling to follow these characters as they learn to accept the parts of themselves they have hide from others through the relationship, keeping the plot interesting as readers witness their entertaining (and consistently hilarious) exchanges. Their relationship is handled in a satisfying fashion, never bogging itself down with endless melodrama with chapters consistently maintaining a sense of forward momentum as their relationship develops.
While the characters in Horimiya appear to be well-worn rom-com tropes, as the story progresses they behave unexpectedly and show an surprising amount of depth. Hori and Miyamura a likeable couple who complement each other well and even the supporting cast remains compelling, providing a good amount of comic relief in addition to helping to drive the plot forward. Horimiya perfectly balances the ability have characters act outside of predictable tropes while remaining familiar enough that it is impossible not to feel warm and fuzzy while witnessing the little moments shared by Hori and Miyamura as they get closer.
It's also worth noting that Horimiya also handles several aspects of their relationship with remarkable maturity that is rare among portrayals of relationships in most mediums. I won't get into it because it is spoilery, but you'll know what I'm referring to when you get there.
Great Art Style
Horimiya is a great looking manga with a clean art style that manages to suit the story perfectly. Character designs are fantastic, with Miyamura being the stand out as his design manages to convey his character perfectly.
No Harem No Fan Service
If you're someone who isn't interested in the heaps of harem romantic comedies out there, Horimiya is the series for you. Horimiya gains strength from its focus on its protagonists, and is a better series for it. The series also features no fanservice and should definitely be on the radar of anyone looking for a great read without that type of material. The series is wonderfully understated and this really makes it stand out.
This a problem that occurs more in the more recent chapters of the manga, but things tend to get a little disjointed at times. Time skips are not clearly delineated making it confusing on occasion to tell how much time has passed between certain pages. It's nothing huge, but it makes reading certain chapters more confusing that it should be and it would be nice if future chapters were more clear in regard to this. It also feels as though some chapters lose a little bit of their focus, jumping back and forth between subplots at inopportune times. This doesn't harm the plot progression but there are certain segments that just feel a little out of place.
- The lead romance is fantastic with some great plot progression and character development. The little moments between Hori and Miyamura are what make this series.
- No harem and no fanservice to be seen here, just a remarkable focus on the romance without apology. The art style and character designs are great!
- Can be a little disjointed and unclear at times, but these instances do not even come close to really detracting from the story.
Read this if you like: Golden Time, and the romantic elements of Bakuman, Sword Art Online and Silver Spoon.
Horimiya is adorable and should not be missed by anyone who is a fan of romantic plots. The character developments is fantastic to watch and the relationship between Hori and Miyamura is compelling to watch as it evolves over the course of the series. It also functions as an enjoyable slice-of life shonen that takes the best of typical romantic-comedy tropes while staying free from the problems and distractions that usually plague the genre. I have high hopes for Horimiya as it continues (the most recent chapter, 37, is absolutely fantastic and one of the best so far) and it is definitely worth your time.
Horimiya is being released in English by Yen Press, with the first volume schedules to come out in October 2015.