HoriMiya, a relatable romance


I am not a person who is interesting in romance books. Most of the time, if romance is the main focus of the plot, there’s no way I’d be able to get through the first chapter, let alone the entire series. Yet, this is not the case for the manga HoriMiya. It’s a manga about two characters, Hori Kyouko and Miyamura Izumi, who have been in the same class for an entire year but have never talked. Both of them hide a secret self from the rest of the school.

For Hori, it’s her home life. While at school she is the popular girl who helps out the student council, makes sure her appearance is perfect from hair to makeup, and a very social and kind person. At home, she’s a dedicated sister who cleans the house, wears absolutely no makeup, picks up her younger brother from school, and cooks every night.

For Miyamura, it’s his appearance. He is thought of as a loner who stays at home all of the time. He has long hair that covers his face, and is constantly wearing the winter jacket of his school uniform. People think he obsesses over anime characters and has a collection of figures. In truth, his family owns a cake shop and the reason for his long hair is to hide his nine piercings, four on each ear and one on his lip. The winter jacket hides the tattoos along his arm and side that would show through if he wore the thin white dress-shirt of the school’s summer uniform.

When they come together outside of school, it’s because Hori’s younger brother had fallen and gotten a nosebleed. Miyamura brought him home and was invited into the house, quickly befriending Hori’s brother. After this instant, they grow closer during the school day and Miyamura is nearly constantly at their house.

This entire manga is about growth between characters in terms of friendship, even while Hori and Miyamura are semi-jealous of anyone who talks to the other. They don’t truly become attracted to each other for a while, but they are extremely comfortable in each other’s presence and will defend the other even at the risk of their own secrets.

The comedy that is mixed into this, which is mild and more like comments that a normal high schooler will make than normal manga humor, is well placed and nice to have. The characters only say one line that can change the entire feel of the scene, going from a serious atmosphere to one of annoyance.

This light humor comes at the perfect time to catch you by surprise and draw ot a laugh. Many times, the joke is referenced through out the chapter, bringing back the entertained feelings from before. The set up and expressions of the characters are perfect and maximize the effect of the punch line. The only problem with these jokes is how, if someone doesn’t understand the characters and the difficulties they have, then they will have no clue why a scene is funny.

In the second volume we hear Hori talking about the reasons she deals with the student council president pushing work on her, even though she isn’t part of the student council. “I work for him just ’cause I feel guilty. I often bullied him when we were young.” With this we see examples of her during younger years. It opens up to the later chapters, when we see her in a more sadistic light.

This manga isn’t entirely focused on the two main characters, however. As the two grow and create friendships with more people, we learn about the friends and aquantances. More ridiculousness follows the group, from a pretty boy obsessed with Hori’s best friend, to a girl that loves Hori and doesn’t believe Miyamura to be good enough for her. There’s a ‘meet the parents’ scene that goes beyond any and all expectations. It starts of with violence, but Miyamura is left alone before the bipolar father turns to him. It starts with an interrogation, before the father compliments Miyamura’s appearance. He then says that Hori is not allowed to date a guy with long hair, but that it’s a waste to cut Miyamura’s.

The best part of this manga is how relatable the group dynamics are. While characters get themselves into odd situations, the relationship between each of the characters is sarcastic and wonderful. They mirror the reactions of a normal friend group as opposed to the perfect ideals of a friend group or the extremely dysfunctional ones that are normally portrayed in manga. It’s natural.

The more I read through this manga, the more I fall in love with the love between characters. Every reaction is artfully done. I find this manga to be a 9/10 due mainly to the character relationships and the comedic value.