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Review: ‘Horimiya: The Missing Pieces’ provides old fans new nostalgia

CloverWorks ties up loose ends, satisfies viewers’ hunger
Courtesy of CloverWorks.

CloverWorks released the final dubbed episode of “Horimiya: The Missing Pieces” on Sunday, Oct. 8. The sequel covers manga chapters the first season skipped over, adding 13 episodes to the series. The romance-comedy anime follows Izumi Miyamura and Kyouka Hori’s relationship throughout high school. It continues the comedic aspects from the original season while fleshing out the side characters’ relationships and giving fans more content from the main lead.

With key plot points already being hit in the original season, “The Missing Pieces” had potential to be stale and uninteresting, but the hyperbolic situations, wholesome moments and stellar characterization provide a lighthearted but emotionally deep watch.

One of the defining moments of the season is “Sports Day,” where Miyamura finally decides to compete in events after spending his whole high school career watching from the sidelines because of his lack of confidence and friends. The episode shows how much he’s grown since he and Hori started dating and the confidence the relationship instills in him. While Miyamura doesn’t end up winning any events, the couple cheering each other on in their respective competitions illustrates their bond well and warms fans’ hearts.

Gaining strength from relationships isn’t exclusive to the main lead, as the side couples go through their respective ups and downs, as well as the friendships. In the previous episode, “Cooking Class,” the bright and lively Yoshikawa Yuki helps the introverted Kouno Sakura practice cheerleading for the sports festival, even though they’re on opposing teams. Sakura’s spirits were boosted and she was able to perform well on the day of the event. The scene provides a heartwarming moment and highlights the show’s brilliant relationship-building, as well as adds layers to the dynamic side characters. The selfless acts each character commits display the group’s tight bond and gives realism to their closeness.  

Each moment the characters share illustrates their chemistry, which adds significance to everyday interactions. While it can get sappy and cliche at times, fans of the original series would love peering deeper into the casts’ lives. 

One character who falls under that stereotypical mold is Remi Ayasaki. Her entire role in the show is to exemplify the “cute, dumb anime girl.” She comes off quite childish and is practically only a comic relief character throughout the show. In a friend group of eight, it’s forgivable to miss on a single member’s characterization, but her screen time is often unneeded and feels filler. Especially since she had tried to play the romantic rival (to no success) in the original series, it doesn’t make sense for her to be friends with Hori. 

Ayasaki is an exception, not the rule, however. Miyamura and Kakeru Sengoku relate to each other in their negative self-body images. Sakura and Yuki are the definition of opposites attract. Hori stands out with her extroverted and assertive personality but shows her soft side around Miyamura, in a nice role reversal of the typical macho man and shy girl trope in many romance stories. 

“The Missing Pieces” successfully satisfies the hunger fans felt after the original series ended. There aren’t many extreme highs or lows, but instead it has a steady diet of humor and couple life. New fans can follow the story in chronological order or by release date, and both are equally enjoyable. The show completes the “Horimiya” universe’s puzzle wonderfully, deserving an 8 out of 10. 

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