It was always going to be one of those dreaded moments when Honey & Clover finally finished up – an empty feeling, my mind swirling in miscellaneous doubt and irritating confusion. What do I watch now?
I had my ups and down with this second season, perhaps borne from episode after episode of frustrating romantic cliff hangers, but sooner or later it will be worth coming back and watching the whole show again, from start until finish — I say "start" and "finish" as if to suggest there is a definite beginning and end to the adventures of Takemoto and his merry band of buddies, that’s wrong, because life goes on, round and round.
If Honey & Clover is the beginning and end of anything, it charts the spark of close friendship, our gradual parting of ways, and the birth of meaningful, affecting memories. I’m glad with how it’s ended — half expecting a sickly Hollywood climax; we’re left instead with the bitter sweet taste of a hopeful future. True to its base human empathy, Honey & Clover ultimately leaves these characters free to chase their dreams and open new chapters of their lives, having lost innocence but gained an important wisdom; basically, all grown up.
At times threatening to become an inverted male harem (with no less than three dashing heroes chasing one fair maiden), Hagu makes the right choice to stick with Shuuji; of all the characters, Shuuji most desperately needed Hagu – the idea of them eventually "hooking up" is more than a little unsettling, but their relationship is more like kindred spirits than any physical attraction. Truly they need each other to survive, while Takemoto and Morita are strong enough to move on — their dreams and ambitions lay elsewhere.
Taken a whole — including the first season, Honey & Clover has been a joy to watch. Symbolic, philosophical and moving, it’s not without faults but that’s not really the point. Watching this show forces me to look within myself, to think about life. You can’t really ask for much more than that, to be engaged on such a personal level is rare indeed and the whimsical Honey & Clover will always have that extra something special.