Horimiya: The Missing Pieces – Review

Horimiya: The Missing Pieces is the semi-sequel to the fantastic 2021 hit anime Horimiya.

What started life as a webcomic called Hori-san to Miyamura-kun, was later refined as a full-blown manga by its author HERO and artist Daisuke Hagiwara. While the manga ended in 2021, just two weeks before the final episode aired, the anime covered the first few manga volumes and then skipped straight to the conclusion of the story, leaving much of its content cut from the show. This is where 2023’s The Missing Pieces comes in, filling in much of the beloved story for fans who wished to see the gang’s further hijinks and the development of other characters who were sadly glossed over in the first season.

Hori-san spreads her arms in joy after graduation

The first season of the anime was enchantingly pretty, with Cloverworks really flexing their ability to showcase the original art design of the manga and seamlessly transitioning it to animated form. From full detail to chibified and a somewhat simplified middle-ground, the anime flawlessly weaved the art together to punctuate the gags and set the tone of the story throughout. Thankfully, The Missing Pieces continues this trend and somehow even goes above and beyond with the sakuga in key moments throughout and a final episode that truly awed me.

Miyamura-kun backs away with unease on the floor as Hori-san kneels looking over the back of the sofa at him

I won’t be delving further into the story here as I believe this is a tale best experienced yourself rather than simply reading up the plot on Wikipedia, therefore I also won’t be divulging key plot points from the first season for those who have not yet had the pleasure of watching. What I will say is that this story will have you busting a gut laughing from our group of loveable dorks and those who surround them and you truly do feel like you get to know these characters throughout its runtime, which led to me ugly crying at the finale of both seasons.

 Miyamura-kun and Hori-san both blush as he compliments how cute she is in a cheer uniform

The tale of Miyamura, our primary POV character, is something that affected me deeply with my personal history. Seeing how he’s grown over the course of a single year of high school truly touched me in ways I did not expect. The story is unafraid of delving into bullying, isolation, and the awkwardness that comes with being a teenager. It does not glorify these things and it does not wallow in them, it treats them with the respect they are due from such a natural perspective you almost don’t realise it’s happening. Nothing feels shoehorned in for drama. Everything falls into place so naturally you feel a deep sense of immersion while watching, so much so you may not realise you’ve accidentally watched five episodes in a row without a break!

Miyamura-kun gazes out over the sports festival reminiscing on how he spent it years before

You may notice that I’ve spent much time singing the praises of the story and the animation, but what about the music? It’s fine. Masaru Yokoyama is a veteran in the anime world with many series under his belt and he has composed a fun soundtrack that blends seamlessly into the background of the show, but perhaps almost too well as at many times I forgot that it was even there. For a simple heart-warming slice-of-life series such as this though, I can’t necessarily say that’s such a bad thing. It’s not a negative per se, more of a neutral aspect. What I would absolutely give praise to is the sound direction throughout. The mixing and sound effects are damn near perfect and help to elevate the show above many of its peers.

Miyamura-kun lazily lifts his head from the table while Hori-san feeds him a slice of orange

To conclude, Horimiya: The Missing Pieces is an excellent companion to the first season, bringing much laughter and joy from a truly heartfelt slice-of-life romance. It doesn’t ask for much engagement from you, but you may find yourself drawn into its world far more than you expect.

9/10 star rating





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