Horimiya Vol. 3 - Manga Review

“I like yo- your hands!” Nice try Hori, but as she and Miyamura spend more time together they find themselves revealing their feelings more and more.

The Lowdown

Kyouko Hori and Izumi Miyamura have become an increasingly important part of each other’s lives ever since they started hanging out together, but now the two have to consider whether they are really “just friends”. After Hori accidentally lets slip to Miyamura that she likes him, both she and Miyamura are left feeling more than a little bit awkward and unsure how to proceed with their relationship. Meanwhile, one of Miyamura’s old classmates re-enters the picture, showing off a very different side of Miyamura to Hori.

How Was It?

One of the things that I’ve enjoyed quite a lot in Horimiya is the continuous romantic progression of Hori and Miyamura’s relationship, and this volume continues this trend excellently as the two grapple with the changing way they view one another. The pacing has been perfect so far because the two experience romantic progression that is measured enough to believable, but at the same time we never get the sense that the series is drawing things out any longer than necessary. This volume does a great job exploring both Hori and Miyamura’s individual processes of trying to figure out how they feel, and this provides the basis for a number of enjoyable shorter stories.

One of the most enjoyable of these stories followed Hori deciding to cook stew for Miyamura after figuring out he likes it. This led to a touching and funny scene where Miyamura rushes in to stop Hori after learning about her long-lasting inability to tolerate stew, and scenes like this were meaningful in terms of advancing their romantic relationship in a wonderfully subtle and understated way. A second excellent scene follows Miyamura and Hori after Hori becomes sick. While this scene is played for humour, this scene demonstrated nicely how far they’ve progressed in the series so far and culminated in a really nice moment between the two which explored a bit of Hori’s backstory while pushing the two closer. These scenes continually made me want to root for Hori and Miyamura, making for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Horimiya Vol. 3 benefits from the continued characterization of Hori and Miyamura’s classmates, making this volume the funniest in the series so far. More of the humour has begun to come as a result of the characters being put into situations which play off of their personalities, and this was especially effective because the series has taken the time to establish the various personalities in play. A standout scene featuring Toruu misunderstanding what had happened when Hori and Miyamura went to get pop for the group was a perfect example of this, with the humour perfectly taking advantage of his personality. I also loved how this scene played into Hori and Miyamura’s romantic development, and scenes such as this were extremely effective in pushing the plot forward in a thoroughly entertaining way.

This volume also continued to explore Miyamura’s backstory is a meaningful way, and it was great to see this continue to be linked to his development as a character. This came through really well in a scene that explored his relationship with his friend from middle-school, and I liked the way that this scene was connected back into his relationship with Hori in the present. The cohesiveness Horimiya shows in terms of making sure that all the various scenes are connected together has been really great to see, and I liked the way that scenes such as this never felt like tangents at all.

Horimiya continues to be well-drawn, and I found myself enjoying the art quite a bit in this volume. The art complemented the humour well by portrayed Hori and Miyamura as simplified chibi figures at certain times to play up their cluelessness to comedic effect. This contrasted well with the more serious moments of romantic progression, and artist Daisuke Hagiwara continues to emphasize these moments appropriately with close-up panels to signal the reader of their importance. However, this never felt overdone, and it always felt consistent with the subtlety that Miyamura and Hori’s relationship is portrayed with.

Final Thoughts

Horimiya Vol. 3 is another fantastic volume in this series, continuing the wonderfully consistent development of Hori and Miyamura’s relationship through a number of cute stories. I really liked how funny this volume was thanks to the continued development of the extended cast, and I loved the way that Hori and Miyamura’s interactions with all of them helped to progress their relationship even more. This was a very cohesive volume in the sense that everything that happens feels relevant to the main relationship, and those looking for a more subtle but no less enjoyable romantic story should definitely be checking this series out.


Horimiya Vol. 3 was published by Yen Press on April 26th, 2016. 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. Volume 4 will be published in English on July 26th, 2016.

Verdict:

A

Date of Publication: April 26th, 2016

Translator: Taylor Engel

Author: HERO and Daisuke Hagiwara

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