Art: Daisuke Hagiwara
Translation: Taylor Engel
Lettering: Alexis Eckerman
What They Say:
At first glance, the ultra-popular Hori-san seems like a frivolous high school girl, but in reality, she’s plain, pragmatic, and family-oriented. On the other hand, the bespectacled Miyamura-kun comes across as an average, gloomy high school fanboy, but he’s actually an attractive young man who has a bad-boy streak and is covered in piercings and tattoos. When these two unexpectedly similar classmates have a random run-in outside of the classroom, a bubbly, sweet tale of school life begins!
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
So, here we are again with our beloved Hori-san and Miyamura-kun. Just to keep you up to date and give you a quick recap of the last volume, our two main characters still haven’t gotten it on yet. I know, I know — we’re all eagerly awaiting the exciting “first kiss” but just…hold your horses, all right? As we oblige by the standards of present-day romance manga, we must first learn about our protagonists’ backgrounds before we are allowed to see them tongue wrestle. Luckily for us, the third installment of Horimiya delves into said backgrounds and shines some light on the pasts of the characters we are slowly but surely growing to love.
At the end of the second volume, Hori and Miyamura had their hands entwined, which ultimately resulted in Hori [kind of] confessing to Miyamura. Of course, she immediately changes her “I like you” to “I like your hands” because that is a thing normal humans say to one another. Miyamura-kun, who also likes Hori’s hands, reassures her that her hand-love is not unrequited as he goes on to confess to her hands as well. Huh, okay. Needless to say, when Miyamura goes home that night, he winds up thinking that Hori may have wanted to say something else. Basically, he starts daydreaming about how she possibly likes him. This sends Miyamura into a constant daze that carries on to the next morning when he is hit in the face with a ball. And, of course, guess who is also in the nurse’s office when he arrives? Hori-san.
Hori, currently overworked and stressed out by her feelings, winds up visiting the nurse’s office only to essentially be told said nurse that she needs to man-up. After that, the nurse winds up leaving, Miyamura shows up, Hori punches Miyamura in the stomach, and so on/so forth. Some more non-review worthy stuff happens shortly after, but to summarize: Miyamura likes stew a lot and Hori doesn’t, but she makes it for him anyway because love.
Eventually, we wind up finding out about Hori’s relationship with Sengoku. Apparently, the two of them have known each other for very long. They’re basically childhood friends that aren’t actually really good friends. They’re more like childhood acquaintances. In the midst of this, Tooru winds up running into Sakura (Vice-President girl) when she drops all of her important documents out of a window because who needs responsibility? After Tooru picks up her papers, Sakura plunges into yet another unrequited love that I assume will subtly consume her over the next several volumes. Surprisingly enough, I think these two would actually make a good couple. Maybe. I don’t know, she doesn’t talk much.
Back to the topic of childhood friends, we finally get to meet someone from Miyamura’s past. As expected, Miyamura had a history of being ignored or avoided in school. It’s not like he was bullied per se’, but moreover, that just people didn’t care to be around him. That is, until one day, a boy named Kouichi Shindou walks into his life. The two becomes friends almost immediately. Being the polar opposite of Miyamura, Shindou is the one constantly trying to further their relationship (In a completely non-yaoi way). Miyamura winds up continuing to dismiss Shindou, but it’s obviously apparent that he doesn’t hate his new-found friendship. Anyway, Shindou has since started attending a prestigious school on the other side of town, leaving Miyamura behind. But, just when he’s least expecting it, Miyamura runs into Shindou again. Shindou, of course, finds out about the whole Hori situation and starts butting his head into everything, beckoning Miyamura to “Bring his girlfriend” along the next time they meet. Oh no. Shindou used the “G” word.
Several days pass and we eventually arrive at a situation in which Miyamura is faced with the challenge of attempting to dress a sleeping Hori. Kind of. That’s not really what happens, but it’s funnier to think of it that way. Basically, he shows up in her room, she’s sleeping in a weird position that reveals a decent [sexy] portion of her stomach, and he pulls the blanket over her to prevent her from catching a cold. And you know what she does next? Catches a cold! That’s just flat-out disrespectful toward Miyamura.
As Hori plunges into a deep, sick slumber, memories of her past come rushing back into her head. Unfortunately, we only catch a glimpse of them. But, it’s safe to ascertain from said memories that Hori is at least slightly scarred from the lack of motherly presence in her life. So much so that when she wakes up and Miyamura is taking care of her, she pleads with him to not leave her, even for a second. She essentially projected the desires she had concerning her mother onto Miyamura himself, prompting him to comfort Hori in saying that he will never leave her no matter what. Eventually, Hori goes back to sleep (Or does she?…) and MIYAMURA CONFESSES, OH MY GOD.
I really love this series so far. The characters are well flushed out, the backgrounds are actually realistic and endearing, and the relationships are progressing at a surprisingly normal pace. Nothing is too fast, nothing is too slow. This volume continues to demonstrate Horimiya’s capability in showcasing realistic, easy-to-love characters, all while slowly building up one of the most endearing manga-couples of the year. The last few frames of the volume demonstrate that things may be a little rough from this point on, but who doesn’t like a little bit of drama? Actually, wait. No, this could be bad. What if they don’t ever kiss? WHAT WILL I DO?
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: April 26th, 2016