12 Days of Otaku Christmas, Day 11: Honey and Clover

While many anime have an entire Christmas episode featuring filler, Honey and Cover only really has half an episode dedicated to Christmas, and this is interwoven with character and plot development. However, even if you haven’t seen Honey and Clover, the Christmas episode is only the fourth episode, so there are no major spoilers ahead.

The beginning starts off by revealing more of the Mayama’s feelings for Rika, an older woman who doesn’t seem to notice his affections. Meanwhile, a girl named Yamada likes him, but knows her feelings are unrequited and is irritable and despondent as a result. Hagumi is also having trouble, as she faces a lot of pressure due to her talent, and her peers often treat her coldly. She has a nervous breakdown, and we discover that this is the third time this has happened in a month. As you can see, the first half of this episode was already a bit melancholy.

How thoughtful.

Yuta isn’t an exception from the overall mood. It’s December, and Christmas makes him anxious and lonely. Morita, constantly lightening the mood, is organizing a Christmas party, handing out invitations to everyone dressed in a Santa costume. Yamada is reluctant to come because Mayama will be there, but ends up going anyways. While Hagumi and Yuta are Christmas shopping, Yuta admits to her that he doesn’t really like Christmas. When he was growing up, he spent Christmas in a hospital ward, as his mother was a nurse. His mother didn’t have very much time for him, and so now Christmas is just a painful memory.

Of course, as soon as he was thinking about not liking Christmas, someone invites him to a Christmas party. I find this is the way with many social events, they come up especially when they’re unwanted.

I’m sure that this is something many people relate to. Not everyone has a Christmas free of painful memories, and the troubles of life don’t necessarily go on hold during the Christmas season.

Mayama also wasn’t going to go to the Christmas party, but does after discovering that Rika is spending time with his teacher, Hanamoto, and is also visiting her late husband’s grave, he changes his mind. The Christmas party is a little chaotic, but they still have fun. After they all go home, Yuta is laughing in his sleep while having a dream about him and Hagu decorating a Christmas tree.

This was a very bittersweet episode, but I felt like it ended on a positive note. Even though all of Yuta’s past Christmases may have been hard, the new relationships he’s been forming made it possible for him to have fun, opening up an opportunity for him to have good memories of Christmas in the future. I feel this idea actually connects fairly well, if unintentionally, with the Christian understanding of Christmas, as we believe Jesus came to bring hope and new life.

If you’re one of those people who aren’t doing so well this Chrstmas, whether due to past memories or present trials, I hope that you enjoy this Christmas as much as you’re able to, and that happier memories await you in the future.

Murasaki Lynna

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