Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first season of Honey & Clover comes to a close with this set as it has the final twelve episodes plus the special Episode F which is all about the Fashion. That episode stands out nicely as a big bit of silliness in the midst of a show about relationships that are strung out to the point of malaise as you watch them waffle about things. Perhaps it's a very Japanese thing to do, something we've seen in countless other shows, but here it feels like it's a bit of overkill. And even worse is that this set of episodes keeps the focus pretty much on just a few characters from the larger cast, shuttling the rest to smaller roles or in the final few episodes as it focuses back on Yuta.
The bulk of this half of the first season revolves around the quasi-triangle that builds up between Ayumi and Takumi with Nomiya from the design company adding a lot of uncertainty to it. The whole set of relationships is quite odd, but it takes on greater strangeness when Ayumi begins to provide pottery work for the company's various projects and she gets to know Nomiya some. Nomiya, ever the light playboy, starts to show some mild interest in her and that sets off all sorts of alarms for Takumi. While Takumi is completely blissfully seemingly unaware of the interest that Ayumi has in him, he can't allow someone else to have her. Though when Nomiya points out the situation clearly in that he cannot lay backup claim to her while hoping for something with Rika, Takumi is unsure of how to proceed but still does everything he can to keep Nomiya at a distance from her.
It's hard to discern just how interested Nomiya is in Ayumi as he plays it fairly casually and just entertains her from time to time and teases Takumi at the office on a regular basis. There are times when Nomiya and Ayumi are together, and there are hints of possibilities to be had there, but by and large it feels very tame and friendly. Ayumi's interest is hard to discern as well because she seemingly focuses mostly on Takumi and doesn't really register that Nomiya is interested in her. She shows glimmers of it at times, but she's very much like Takumi in the way he's interested in just Rika. There's a very amusing sequence later on in these episodes where Ayumi ends up in the same room as Rika and there's a certain hesitancy to the way she acts that's utterly charming and cute.
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