Horimiya Vol. 6 - Manga Review

Things may be going swimmingly for Hori and Miyamura now that they are dating, but their friends have got some love issues of their own!

The Lowdown

Hori and Miyamura have been dating for a little while now, and things have been going great! Miyamura continues to spend plenty of time with the Hori family, and is perhaps a little too close with Hori’s dad now. However, Hori and Miyamura’s lives have changed for the better since they met each other without question, and they are simply happy being together as their relationship progresses. Meanwhile, there’s a love triangle brewing: Sakura’s got a crush on Tooru, and it’s only after seeing Sakura trying her hardest that Yuki realizes that her heart might be set on him as well.

How Was It?

While Hori and Miyamura’s relationship has obviously taken up the bulk of this series’ attention, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know Hori and Miyamura’s growing group of friends as the two have gotten closer to one another. If you were hoping that their friends would start developing relationships of their own, I’ve got some good news for you: the two chapters of this volume focus on the budding love-triangle between Sakura, Tooru, and Yuki. Love triangles tend to evoke a certain type of drama, but the result that actually plays out here is exceedingly pleasant because it embraces the same understated focus on the characters’ feelings as opposed to relying on overdramatic moments to entertain. These chapters do a great job portraying each of these characters in an empathetic light – in the first, we see Sakura struggling within herself to try and move forward with confidence, and in the second, we also see Yuki trying to figure what her feelings are. The feelings involved are just a little bit messy in a good way, and this segment ends on an uplifting note that ties the little emotional arc that Sakura and Yuki each undergo together in a way that makes me want to see more of these characters.

Naturally, the rest of the volume returns to the headline billing in following Hori and Miyamura as they go about their relationship, and the way this volume proceeds in this will definitely please fans of the series. The first of these chapters, chapter 37, is quite profound in canvassing a wide range of their emotions as their relationship deepens. The plot follows Hori after she begins worrying that she is going to alienate Miyamura by not acting girly enough because of her love for grisly horror-films. The way this plays out is quite heartwarming in plumbing the nature of their relationship and mutual attachment in a way that cements the charming genuineness of the way we’ve seen them develop their feelings for one another over the course of this series. The conclusion to this chapter is both memorable and wonderful, and this is especially true if you’ve been reading this series and loving the understated yet affective way that Hori and Miyamura have grown together. The final scene is also a standout in showing a heartwarming moment between Miyamura and Souta that highlights how much Miyamura has come to mean to Hori and her family, and I had to smile both at how cute this was as well as how skillfully this moment capped off together all this chapter’s emotional themes.

The chapter immediately following is also a stand-out in following Miyamura reflecting on the differences between his life now and his life in elementary school. This forms a logical emotional counterpoint to the time he spends with Hori in the previous chapter, and it ends up being a nice moment of reflection for his development in the series. We get a strong sense of how important his relationship with Hori has been for him, and I thought that this was illustrated quite sweetly. We get a chapter later in this volume which focuses more on Hori after the two have a bit of a spat, and this is similarly meaningful in terms of showing Hori’s feelings and attachment to him. I’ve been fond of the way that this series has often taken the time to alternate between both Hori and Miyamura’s different perspectives to establish the mutuality of their feelings, and this volume does this quite meaningfully here.

The rest of the chapters in this volume follow a scattershot of different scenes, some comedic, and some not. The comedic scenes are hit and miss – a scene showing Sengoku and Miyamura trying to get out a swimming is a bore and fails to matter or be funny, but a sequence showing the Hori household in the eyes of a friend of Souta’s hits the spot in having Hori and Miyamura unwittingly seemingly like Souta’s actual parents. We also get a nice scene with Remi reflecting on what she finds attractive about Sengoku that is another excellent example of the way that this series is beginning to spent some serious time fleshing out the side characters in an interesting way. I’m hopeful that the entire cast will continue to round out this series well to complement the excellent portrayal of Hori and Miyamura’s relationship.

Final Thoughts

Horimiya Vol. 6 will definitely hit the spot for anyone who has loved seeing Hori and Miyamura grow together and develop their relationship, and I was really pleased with the way that this series continues to provide an understated and charming portrayal of these two. We get the sense that they both enjoy being around each other and make each other whole emotionally, and this volume continues to make it easy to cheer for them all the way. We also get some scenes with Hori and Miyamura’s group of friends that help to develop them in an interesting way, and I’m interested to see how this continues to develop going forward as an interesting complement to the titular couple. There are a couple blemishes in this volume – the unfunny swimming chapter comes to mind – but there’s so much else to like here. Those coming for their dose of sweet and subtle romance will be well served.


Horimiya Vol. 6 was published by Yen Press on January 24th, 2017. Authored by Hero and illustrated by Daisuke Hagiwara based on HERO’s original web comic, the series is currently ongoing and published by Square Enix’s GFantasy magazine. 

Verdict:

A-

Date of Publication: January 24th, 2017

Author: Daisuke Hagiwara (Art) + HERO (Story)

Translator: Taylor Engel

Publisher: Yen Press




Matt

Matt is a broke law student by day, broke law student by night, and one of the co-founders of Taykobon in his dwindling spare time. Although his favourite series tend to be shonen adventure series, he also has a soft spot for slice-of-life shojo romances. He enjoys following the manga industry, and is a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays in other nonexistent spare time. 

Favourite series: Bakuman

Favourite author: Io Sakisaka