Horimiya is one of the most talked-about romcom anime series of this year. It has the perfect mixture of comedy and growing pains while centering on the relationship and individual growth of two high school students, Izumi Miyamura and Kyoko Hori, and their social interactions with their classmates.
The series is filled with many delightful but also unexpected moments. Let’s take a look back on some of the major plot twists in Horimiya that caught viewers by surprise.
Izumi Miyamura’s New Look
In Episode 6 of Horimiya, Miyamura decides to cut his hair after rumors start to spread about him and Hori dating. Many of their peers initially disapprove of their relationship: Hori, the smart and popular girl, shouldn't date someone so emo-looking. As a result, Miyamura became concerned that his reputation as a loner and weirdo would affect Hori’s good name at school, so he decides to cut his hair and wear contacts -- resulting in all the girls flaunting at him for his “good looks.”
A haircut may not seem that shocking, but it is a big deal in anime and even Asian dramas. The act is a symbol of transformation and growth for a character. In this case, Miyamura is shedding his “emo” reputation and making the statement to everyone that he deserves to be Hori’s boyfriend.
Honoka Sawada’s Tragic Backstory
Another surprising incident in Horimiya Episode 6 is when Miyamura learns about Honoka Sawada’s family. In the beginning, Miyamura found Sawada to be annoying because she is always lingering around Hori. He eventually has a change of heart after learning that Sawada lost her brother a year ago. As a result, he shows sympathy for her situation and starts to act like an older brother to her.
Sawada’s family backstory isn’t explored enough in the anime series. However, it is shocking that a bright, comical girl shoulders such a deep wound in her heart. Audiences also feel a sense of sadness for her, but it’s great to see a character like Miyamura -- who also faced his share of sadness and trauma -- act as a role model for her.
The Redemption of Miyamura's Bully, Makio Tanihara
Horimiya Episode 9 dives deeper into the origins of Miyamura’s traumatic past. He runs into a former junior high classmate, Makio Tanihara, who tries to talk down on Miyamura until Hori intervenes. While talking to Koichi Shindo, Tanihara recalls a time during middle school where Miyamura is visibly upset about the death of the school’s rabbits. Later on, we find out Tanihara forgot to feed the rabbits during summer break and placed the blame on Miyamura, which caused Miyamura to isolate further from everyone. Tanihara finally “apologizes” about the situation though, when he visits Miyamura’s bakery and asks to buy some cake.
Viewers get a glimpse at Miyamura’s dark past through the Tanihara story. But rather than holding a grudge against him for the bullying, Miyamura finds the strength to forgive and even become friends with him. In this episode, we see the self-growth and maturity develop between the two, forgiving one another and themselves.
Miyamura Operates as a Subtle Romantic With Hori
Several moments showcase Miyamura as a smooth operator when it comes to romance. In Episode 4, Miyamura takes care of Hori when she suddenly becomes ill, slyly confessing that he likes her while she's "asleep." In Episode 6, he uses candy as an excuse to unexpectedly kiss her. They further solidify their relationship in Episode 7, when Miyamura spends the night at Hori’s house and they consummate their relationship.
It’s hard to select just one scene in Horimiya to showcase how much of a romantic Miyamura truly is. He expresses his love in the most subtle and surprising ways that every moment tugs on viewers’ heartstrings.
Toru Ishikawa and Yuki Yoshikawa Catch Feelings
In Episode 8, Yuki Yoshikawa asks Toru Ishikawa to be her "pretend" boyfriend so she can respectfully decline Akane Yanagi’s confession. Eventually, what started as a “fake relationship” becomes complicated as the two of them catch feelings for one another. This is evident in Episode 10, when Toru tells Yuki that Sakura Kono confessed to him. Yuki realizes her feelings for Toru and becomes anxious when Toru doesn’t reveal whether or not he rejected Sakura’s feelings. The two talk, revealing that he declined Sakura’s confession, but Toru also states how much he enjoys the winter snow before spring, subtly implying his feelings for Yuki.
It isn’t a surprise that Yuki and Toru like each other. What’s surprising is that neither of them acts and confesses their feelings. Although Toru implies that he likes Yuki in Episode 10, his confession isn’t explicit enough to garner the start of a real relationship. Thus, we see Yuki and Toru still pretending to be in a fake relationship even at the end of Horimiya, which is unfortunate when they have such great chemistry.