Horimiya: The Missing Pieces
While the previous season of this show focused on the Hori/Miyamura romance, this season adapts the remaining material from the manga- with an emphasis on the comedy.
Before I go on, a mea culpa; just based on what I saw in Season One, I thought that Hori's parents were basically splitsville; but a Crunchy commenter (maybe familiar with the manga, as I'm not?) assures us that they're "happily married". Still, it's the strangest "happy marriage" I'VE ever seen. Aside from Mama Hori's (Yuriko's) seeming coolness toward Papa Hori (Kyosuke), most wives would express SOME solidarity with their husbands against a daughter who holds her own father in as much contempt as we see here. Hori is described by Sengoku (the class president) as a "monster", and he has a point (though it takes one to know one): Hori has anger-management issues which, coupled with her fetish for an "alpha" (abusive) male, pretty much guarantees stormy seas for anyone who gets close to her.
Why she likes Miyamura- who's a gentle, conciliatory sort- is kind of a mystery. While this "season" of the show emphasizes comedy over romance, we do see how naturally Miyamura fits into the role of a mediator in the Hori household. Hori may think she wants someone who'll treat her roughly, but perhaps, deep down, she realizes that what she really needs is someone who's good at smoothing ruffled feathers (particularly her own.) Her mom once told her dad- when those two first met- that a man shouldn't hit a woman, so I'm not sure how Hori came to the opposite obsession. (A flashback to her parents' first meeting shows that it was eerily similar to Hori and Miyamura's own. It also shows that Mama Hori once had a lot more fire in her personality than she demonstrates these days.)
But still, this is a comedy- and despite how all this may sound, it's a surprisingly sophisticated one. It's written at about the level of one of the higher-end, more droll U.S. sitcoms. The show has the "soft" line art, and pastels, characteristic of series that are trying to imitate the "look" of their source manga.
My general opinions of the characters from the original season haven't changed; I still LIKED Miyamura, Toru Ishikawa, Yuki Yoshikawa, and Sakura Kono. I still generally DISLIKED class president Kakeru Sengoku and his girlfriend Remi Ayasaki, but they do have their moments here: Sengoku does get to suffer some richly-deserved humiliation (and we learn there's some long-standing animosity between Sengoku's dad and Hori's dad); while Remi and Hori in Ep. 8 re-enact a scene from something and do it SO badly that it's hilarious even though I have no idea what the original was. Ep. 8 also features Akane Yanagi, another "good" character, who has a problem that many of us can relate to.
I was also pleased that, having lost in musical chairs in the previous outing, Sakura might have found a new potential boyfriend. She's a sweet (and RESPONSIBLE) girl, and one of those sorts of characters I always root for.
On the other hand, we get Yasuda, a male teacher with an inappropriate interest in the female students. Teachers like this ARE out there, as I know from my own teaching days; they sometimes stay just shy of the line where they can be fired. In this season of the show, at least, some of the female teaching staff in Hori's school help to keep the reins on this guy. (He also excuses Miyamura and Sengoku from a school requirement after the two boys present the most outrageously facetious reasons on record. I knew the real reason why Miyamura pled to be excused, but can only attribute Sengoku's to his vanity.)
Contrary to the impression you might get from the description herein, Hori is NOT hopeless; in fact, the last words in the show are hers. She, like several other characters here, has rough edges, but there are plenty of great comedies out there with characters that have idiosyncrasies. The gags here are still great, and I really like Miyamura and the other folks I've "positively" identified; and, most of all, the dialogue often has a natural, realistic (if a little snarky) feel that you don't always get in school comedies. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Same general remarks as the first season, i.e., mild violence and some mature content. 14+.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll video stream
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Horimiya: The Missing Pieces © 2023 HERO, Daisuke Hagiwara/Square Enix, "Horimiya the Missing Pieces" Project
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