Greetings! Welcome to the first review of Shorts Week! Today we are covering the romantic anime Honobono Log. Much like the short, there is not much to say, other than beware of minor spoilers.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: Based on an illustration book by Naka Fukamachi. The anime offers heartwarming peeks at the lives of close couples and families. -MyAnimeList
Honobono Log does not really have a premise, let alone a plot. It mostly just focuses on different aspects of relationships, and flips through multiple couples. These couples range from high school age up through late twenties. This style makes each episode its own self contained story, which is part of a larger unseen story. These relationship depictions are very realistic, contrary to the often extravagant depictions of romance in most anime, in the romance genre or otherwise. The main complaint is that the show is not very clear about whether it flips through a select group of couples, or if each episode is a different couple. The lack of any real continuous story may frustrate some viewers as well.
The characters displayed in this anime all come across as very realistic and down to earth, which fits perfectly with the mood of the story. While not much is explored with each one, there is obviously a lot of implied depth to these characters and their relationships. All that said, it can be hard to understand if some of the characters appear multiple times across the anime.
Simple is the first word one probably thinks when looking at the animation style. It appears like most of the characters are hand sketched and the backgrounds are very minimalist. Overall, the anime is very pleasant to look at despite the obvious difference from other anime, though the difference may be unpalatable for some.
The soundtrack mostly revolves around the opening, which seems to run throughout the entire viewing time. The opening, while pleasant, can seem a little bit cliche at times. There are few other pieces present, including a minimalist piece that matches quite well with the animation.
While short, the show is so obviously thematically rich, it is almost painful. This stems from the basic story structure and simplicity of the whole show. It explores the ups and downs of relationships, careful to note that it is not always easy. The biggest take away from the show, however, has to be that while a relationship may not be extravagant or exciting at every turn or every event, it can still be beautiful and wonderful. It is easy to take a relationship, and by extension your significant other, for granted, especially in the peaceful times. Honobono Log reminds us all to not do this through its beauty in the simplicity.
Final Score: 8.6/10
Final Grade: B
Honobono Log was an amazing short. It is a ten episode romance short that are two minutes a piece. It is not these obscure kind of romances that you will find in an anime, they are mundane everyday situations that are super sweet and relatable. Each episode is a different couple at a different point in their relationship. I was able to see myself in several of these situations, which really added to the appeal to the anime. The animation was very basic, but it worked really well for the short. Over all I would give this anime a 9 out of 10. I personally loved this short and it was a great way to start off Shorts Week. I recommend this anime to anyone who is in a relationship. – B-Ro
Happy Shorts Week! And what an interesting one to start on with Honobono Log. Based on my experience with this show, I feel it can incite two possible reactions: 1. Warm your heart with its charming little relationship stories. Or 2. Painstakingly remind you of your current singleness by showing you numerous situations of couples doing things happily together and being in love and happy and in love and…. Okay, so it’s not that bad, but this show certainly is not for everyone, specifically those who aren’t fans of mushy couple stuff (I never thought I would use “mushy” in a review). Thankfully, the show does do a decent job at looking at love from multiple angles and situations, bringing in things like parenting and friendship in some cases. This show uses the short runtime quite well by showing quick and enjoyable little clips that don’t require much depth or emotional investment to make you smile. They’re like greeting cards one receives in the mail, or little pieces of those fancy chocolates you get in boxes. I love the way the characters look and move in this show. I also love the somewhat surreal feel to it all thanks largely to the minimalist backgrounds. It all just looks and feels really nice. Then there’s the main song for the show. It feels like they base the entire show around this song, which sucks for me because I honestly don’t like it very much. I should be praising how the song is implemented into the show, but I just can’t… It’s a love song that is supposed to be emotional and sweet, but ends up being extremely safe sounding and overly watered down. Plus, the whole “emotional piano that uses the old hat I V VI IV chord progression with guy vocals using falsetto and slight autotune to deliver emotionally sappy lines” thing just feels cliché to me. Perhaps I’m giving the song too hard of a time, as it does certainly achieve what it wants to achieve from a tonal perspective. I mean, there’s no accounting for taste with something like this, but it’s just not for me. Regardless, Honoboro Log is a really sweet short series, and one that I appreciated for what it was and what it did.
Final Comments: Honobono Log finds great beauty in the simplicity of relationships and its animation style. An excellent short for sure, though those who find cliche music bothersome or are overly lonely should steer clear.
Thank you for reading the first review of Shorts Week! Our next short up for review with be Recorder to Randoseru Do. To see what other shorts we are reviewing, check out our Bonus Post Announcing… Shorts Week! Feel free to comment your opinion of this short below, and be sure to follow us on Twitter!