|2006-12-06, 04:11||Link #1082|
Join Date: Jan 2006
I just have to say, if they release the DVDs in the US they better look like that too. The beach scene on the back is an especially nice touch I think. Kind of makes me feel a little bit sad almost though, heh. Also, lucky unicorn stickers FTW.
|2006-12-09, 16:49||Link #1085|
I've (finally) finished my arrangement (and performance) of Fugainaiya for piano, since I believe that, like Waltz, it cannot be found on any official OST?. You can get it by heading over to www.honeyandclover.net. I'm not the best at arranging anime tunes played during the show behind character voices by ear but I think it turned out pretty good!
Note: Mirror 3 is hosted on my server, please try the others first
|2007-01-02, 10:22||Link #1086|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Hey guys. I've never posted on this forum before, but I'm a big fan of Honey & Clover. I think it's an absolutely brilliant and beautiful series, easily better than any anime ever created.
When I first watched Honey & Clover I found the intro to be ridiculous because it didn't seem to have any relevance whatsoever to the actual anime. When Honey & Clover II came out, the same thing appeared to be the case. However, the more I watched it the more I realized that the intro to Honey & Clover II was actually a brilliant and complex work of art, with very important meaning behind it.
For my explication I will be using Honey & Clover II - Episode 4 by Solar-IDE fansubs.
Okay, so the scene begins with a figure wrapped in some kind of membrane. We cannot make out what it is at first, and its shape is very peculiar. The sculpture is ALWAYS rotating, no matter what happens to it or to the things around it.
My hometown lay buried in the snow the morning I was born.
The tape begins to unravel, and we begin to make out the shape of the seemingly absurd sculpture. The color of the wrapping and the color of the sculpture is white, which at once both signifies the snow in which the narrator is born, and also white is the color of blankness and starting over : like the tabula rasa of a newborn baby. The unwrapping of the garment around the sculpture represents birth. We do not understand what the sculpture in as of itself is; we do not understand why our birth is manifested by a goose on a poodle on a lion on a unicorn, an absolutely absurd circus. We just have the feeling that it is important.
I looked up at the blue sky with my tiny hands.
This line invokes the feeling of futility. It contrasts a young child with his tiny hands, beholding a blue and endless sky that threatens to swallow him up. The sky - the universe, is big and great and I am small. A fear of the world is instilled into the narrator from birth.
The face of the girl next door that I've known so well...
It's as familiar as the graduation canon.
These lines are a little difficult to explicate perfectly, but my guess is that the meaning is that the narrator's life has changed very quickly, like a blur. The girl next door with whom he has grown up has been suddenly and without time for him to comprehend it, been replaced with the environment of the university (the graduation canon). He has had no time to look at his life and understand it, as day relents to day, year relents to year, and he grows older and is no wiser than any day before it. He still does not understand anything.
The sculpture begins to change, as his life does. The milky white texture of birth is slowly replaced with dollar bills, which begin to fly out of the sculpture. I guess this represents how the world is very simple and uncomplicated at birth, when all humans are the same and innocent and without worry. Once we get older, we require and desire money, especially so if one is attending a university. This is a pretty shitty explanation but it's the best I can come up with.
The sculpture then suddenly changes to a metallic texture.
Thriving in solitude has been mistaken as my life story.
This is a little ambiguous, but I think what it means is that the isolation that the narrator feels manifests itself in his life through him isolating himself from other people and therefore not having any friends. This is what it means to "thrive in solitude": to grow up afraid of others, afraid to make friends, afraid of the world. To be "mistaken as my life story" is a little difficult to understand. To say that his thriving in solitude has been mistaken as his life story means that somebody has mistaken it: and who is that? We can only assume that it is society, the people around him, who have misunderstood him as DESIRING isolation. That is, the word "story" seems to indicate the narrator's personality and temperament, which is isolated but does not desire isolation. The society in which he lives can only see him as an isolationist, and assumes that the narrator wants to perpetuate this, and ultimately the narrator is forever left alone in solitude as a pariah.
That was a really muddled explanation but hopefully you get the idea. At once we can identify the character in Honey & Clover who seems to very much be in line with this song because of his loneliness and isolation: Takemoto, the main character. This is Takemoto's song.
I want to blame it on someone.
It's so difficult. No, I hate it.
This is very understandable given that he feels that society has abandoned him, whereas society gets the impression that he wants to be left alone. Takemoto does not understand what he has done to deserve being isolated, so he wants to blame it on someone (society) because he does not want to accept his own social ineptitude. He is lonely, it is painful, he can't stand it.
The metal texture of the sculpture represents how cold and empty his life is, like cold, lifeless, and undeformable metal.
The next part of the song is very interesting.
Tears and sorrow caused my eyes to melt away.
We begin to see the metal of the sculpture reflect something blue. For the first time, we zoom into the sculpture and suddenly a bee appears, that seems to be flying forward as we are zooming in. Our following the bee deep into the blue of the sculpture seems to indicate our unity with the bee: that the bee now represents us or the narrator, and as we go so deep into the sculpture, we see that the reflection was of a blue sky. Surreally, we see the bee flying through the blue sky and the sculpture becomes obsolete and no longer has any meaning. It simply ceases to exist, as we have zoomed so deeply into it that we cannot make out it having been there at all.
The way that we lose focus of the entirety of the sculpture can be interestingly compared to "eyes melting away," as the way that we look deeper into the sculpture until its identity completely blurs away, it is not unlike how when you stare at something and lose focus in your eyes, the object blurs further and further until it loses identity and all you can see eventually is a unity of one color, in this case, blue.
"Tears and sorrow caused my eyes to melt away," meaning that the author's sadness and crying over the state of his life led him to lose focus and cease to understand his life as he knew it up to that point: as a ridiculous sculpture that changed only in color, a goose on a poodle on a lion on a unicorn. The eyes melt away, the sculpture melts away. We are immersed into the fantasy of the blue sky, and the narrator is now represented by a bee.
The fact that his eyes melt away is important because it tells us that the world that he sees now is not real. It is a mirage.
Autumn passed, and in the dead of winter I became a year older.
A bee is a creature generally associated with fertility and spring, since bees pollinate flowers, etcetera. Autumn passes, which is odd to say because the scenery of the blue sky and the bright colorful bee has not changed. "In the dead of winter I became a year older" is a beautiful line, my favorite in the song, because of the way that it indicates the absolute futility and meaninglessness of the passing of time. We do not see the "dead of winter" in the movie, and we do not see him growing a year older. It brings to mind what it means to get a year older: one day, one hour, one minute before your birthday, how much older are you when you reach your birthday? What is the meaning of it? Like the continuous attrition of the sand in an hour glass, there is no grand distinction between one moment and another. Time flows to time, day flows to day, without interruption and without definition. However, the actual scene depicted does not show this.
Rather, the scene we see is still a blue sky, a beautiful green clover. Our yellow bee attempts to land on it, signifying the sexual pollination and beautiful process of procreation (even though bees don't actually pollinate clovers, you get the picture). It does not show us the futility. It does not show us the meaninglessness. It is clearly spring in this picture... the passing of autumn, the dead of winter, and the atrophy of time are ignored in this scene. The melting of the eyes, the metamorphosis of the bee, and the dissolution of the sculpture are forms of escapism. This scene is Takemoto escaping his life, and deluding himself that his life is beautiful and perfect, and that he is sexually active (the act of the bee landing on the clover, signifying procreation). It is a lie from which he is quickly awoken.
The bee lands on the clover, and then suddenly out from the ground springs tons of foliage. It quickly grows higher and higher, as if to tear through the sky and the scene, which must zoom out to capture its entirety. We don't know what it is until it grows more and more and we see at last what it grows into: the sculpture has returned, in the form of foliage. Its magnitude tears through the scene of serene spring that we have so meticulously devised to escape from reality. We cannot escape. Even in our delusions, reality tears through our makeshift sky and we are forced to remember. We cannot run away.
You think you've run far away, but your story never ends.
The meaning of this line becomes at once evident. Takemoto thinks he can delude himself into a false world, but the reality of his life - the cold, unrelenting, absurd sculpture manifests itself no matter how hard he tries to escape it. The story of his life, the sculpture that defines his existence, will never disappear. He thinks he has escaped, but he's still in the same place, and even in the most insignificant little clover, the sculpture is still there defining his life, like a cruel stoic overmind.
The sky melts away to the gray background that was originally there.
And yet, you're smirking.
It's so cowardly.
As you can see, these three lines are interesting because they mark a fundamental shift in the song. The voice changes. No longer is the narrator speaking about himself (e.g., "mistaken as my life story," "I became a year older"), but shifts to another voice who is speaking to the original narrator. You can also observe a shift in the actual pitch of the singer after the line "... I became a year older," further signifying the shift.
Aside: When I was writing this part, I immediately noticed that this pattern seems to be similar to the Petrarchan sonnet, which is composed of an octave (8 lines), which first introduce the subject or pose the question, which is followed by a sestet (6 lines), which answers the question or drives the point home. In between these two is what's called the turn of the poem, the fundamental transition between octave and sestet, problem and resolution, question and answer. The Petrarchan sonnet is a very fundamental and old poetic form. I thought it was peculiar and decided to transcribe all of the lines from the lyrics, including all of the 'fugainayaya's within the preceding line EXCEPT for the last two, which seems quite natural if you listen to the song itself. Lo and behold, perfectly organized into octave and sestet, with the last line of the octave being "Aki ni nari mafuyu ni nari hitotsu toshi wo totta (Autumn passed, and in the dead of winter I became a year older)", and the first line of the sestet begins when the song SHIFTS the voice of the narrator. Coincidence?
Anyway, my admittedly obtuse interpretation of these lines is that the singer is accusing the original narrator of denial. After having been forcefully awakened from his delusion of peace and happiness, he grins at his predicament and tries to laugh at life and laugh at his own despair. This might seem to some as a very audacious way to face your problems head-on - to laugh at them, and to therein confess your own absurdity and contradictory nature as a human being, which might be seen as the very opposite of denial. But no, the singer proclaims, "It's so cowardly." You laughing at your own problems is not to acknowledge them. It is, once again, to attempt to distance yourself from reality and to intellectually treat your own life and existence as a specimen to be comically digested and understood. That is not life, that is not living. That is not acknowledging your problems, your sadness, your despair - that is the truth, and to be aloof and laugh at it is to not acknowledge its enormous reality. It's wallowing in self-pity.
Like I said, a little ridiculous, but the song gets much more ambiguous and difficult to explicate herein, especially with the shift of the voice (which presumably represents Hagumi in the anime, the female companion who tries to save Takemoto).
Even if I have to cling to you, chase after you, and get kicked down...
I'll close the hole that's opened without a doubt.
I assume that this refers to Hagumi's attempts to save Takemoto. Although Takemoto is at first firmly rooted in his habit of living in solitude, Hagumi will persist in helping Takemoto achieve personal salvation, and close the "hole" in his life. There are probably more ways of interpreting these lines, but this seems the most basic and straightforward one.
The sculpture, still made of foliage, begins to bud with flowers. More and more flowers bloom all over it, until it is completely covered with flowers of many colors. Since these lines are about a girl trying to save a guy, it's very understandable that it could be considered words of romance and, basically, sex. The blooming of flowers all over the sculpture once he begins to interact with this girl can be likened to a sexual awakening, as he begins to experience adolescence and an appreciation of life through this girl.
It's so cowardly.
Echoing the accusation earlier. In the middle of this line, all of the flowers suddenly explode, revealing a liquid sculpture that seems to be made of honey. The explosion of the flowers which no longer hide the sculpture pretty obviously represents an orgasm - the loss of virginity, a masculine awakening. Life is sweet, life is good. Sweet, sweet honey.
It's so difficult.
Another echo, as if lamenting along with the original narrator that his life is sad and painful and difficult. What does this mean? I’m not sure entirely, and it’s a difficult line to interpret. Is it merely an echo? Is it a declaration of the true nature of life? Is it a comment on behalf of the SECOND narrator? It’s difficult to say.
The honey sculpture melts. The last line of the song, "tsurainai iya iya aaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” A prolonged “aaaaaaaa” as it melts, as if a dying scream. If the sculpture stood for life, then what does its melting mean? Of course, it means the end of life. It means death. However, what is this we see? The sculpture melts into syrup (or honey, I’m not sure) on a pancake, which sits on a pedestal entitled “HONEY AND CLOVER.” The music finally stops abruptly when a fork is driven into this pancake. The intro ends.
What on earth could this mean? Everything has been jumbled into absurdity! The sculpture which was so integral to our life and understanding of our own existence has become syrup on a pancake, it has lost its meaning. It has become formless and pointless and completely and utterly mundane. The life of ours which had changed so much, which defined everything we had ever felt and thought and experienced, is now no more than indistinguishable syrup on somebody else’s pancake. Our life is melted, our life loses its meaning, and will be digested by another. Then do we take this as the declaration that every life is meaningless? Like the dirt on the ground, like the completely indistinguishable and insignificant syrup on somebody’s pancake, is life completely meaningless and futile, damned to return to the same meaningless jumble from which it sprung?
Art. Honey & Clover is not just a story about people, it is a story about art. The pancake is on a pedestal, with a nameplate - it is displayed as a work of art. What does this mean? Does it mean that your life is beautiful and bcomes art only once its remnants and legacy is destroyed? I don’t think so. I think what it means is that during our life, that is, while the sculpture is still visible and defines our life, we cannot make out its meaning. We cannot see the beauty and the ultimate purpose. We may bear through tough times and ugly times and get hurt and cry and feel hopeless, and we will never be able to say in our lives “Oh, so that’s what it was. So that’s what it was all about. So this is why I was alive, this is the meaning of my existence,” and so in the story Takemoto is unsure of why he is alive and what his purpose in life is, desperately groping for it as he tries to justify his feelings for Hagumi. But once it’s all over... once his life is melted, destroyed, and becomes nothing more than a memory: when he boards the train in the last episodes and leaves all his friends and old life, knowing he will never be able to return to it... he is able to see the art. The beauty. Everything. Quaint, really. Syrup on a pancake. So that’s what it was all about... not that bad. Honey and clover. Life.
(Note: so, the sculpture therefore represents Takemoto’s life. The sculpture in as of itself seems meaningless and incomprehensible - a goose on a poodle on a lion on a unicorn. No matter how hard you look, you will not find any meaning to this queer assembly. The same way, he is born and he looks at his life and he doesn’t understand it. No matter how hard he looks, it seems absurd and meaningless, leaving him lonely and empty. The fact that it constantly rotates as well reinforces this interpretation, as the fact that it revolves, like all of the wheels (which are a prominent motif in the anime) suggest the dynamic change that characterizes life. Whether the melting of the sculpture represents his actual death, or merely his departure from Hamabi is up to you; I believe both are justifiable interpretations, as who is to say that when the sculpture turns into a pancake, that it is no longer a sculpture? Perhaps henceforth his life will be characterized by a different sculpture with a different shape and ultimately a different purpose. We certainly have no means to know, we can only distantly watch over them.)
Personally, I believe that Honey & Clover is the only anime that can be considered a work of art. It is brilliant, realistic, deep, and relevant to anyone, no matter how young or old (younger people may not understand it, but it is still relevant). Each and every one of the characters are individual and raw - they are more human than any other character in anime I have ever seen. The only character who is shallowly portrayed is Morita, and that is only up until his interactions with Kaoru in Honey & Clover II. In Honey & Clover I, Morita plays a very distant and comedic role as basically a jester, using the pretense of his incomparable genius as reason to portray him as inhuman and incomprehensible. His humorous manner is one of the reasons that the anime succeeds as an anime, but even he is brought to life in Honey & Clover II.
I think one of the scenes that most vividly demonstrates the unfiltered, brilliantly portrayed humanness and complex emotions of the characters is in Honey & Clover II, episode 4, when Mayama and Rika take the sleeper train to Sapporo.
(I especially like the line "Her monologue slowly melted into the rain-drenched scenery..." which is supplemented both the deep, dark, and soporific watercolor rendition of the scenery, the deep hum of the moving train, and Rika serene voice. Genius.)
Specifically, after Mayama turns off the lights and tries to sleep next to Rika, the mysterious and aloof woman whom he has desired for so long. We expect to hear "Sleeping next to the woman of my dreams, I felt like I was sleeping on a bed of clouds. Ah, so this is what it feels like... to be happy... Before I knew it, it was morning." The simple, shallow characterization of a man in love.
Instead, "Being able to be by her side the entire time she slept... My heart swelled up with so much happiness... It was irritating. My head was pounding." What complexity... can you feel Mayama's humanity? He is not a simple character, whose reactions to his dreams and ambitions and his love are predictable and so readily digestible. The anime challenges you to understand, challenges you to feel the reality. The monologues in Honey & Clover are ingenious. The scenery, the somniferous punctuated speech, the soft voice, the evocative music, and the evanescent scenery all beautifully blend together to portray this complex and raw emotion. Save Morita, no character in Honey & Clover is simple or stereotypical. They are all beautiful and expansive universes of thought and emotion and reaction.
It took me a while to write this so I'm not going to bother trying to edit this. Thoughts, comments, refutations, criticisms are appreciated.
|2007-01-02, 17:49||Link #1089|
Impressive analysis indeed.
Has anyone heard any news of Umino Chika's next project? The word
was she was taking a break and then in the fall (which was three or four
months ago depending on how you look at time) announce her new
project. Or maybe she meant Fall 2007? Any news?
|2007-01-03, 13:57||Link #1091|
Join Date: Dec 2005
I've got raw scans of what seems to be a chapter of the spin off story. Can't for the life of me remember where I found it or if it is even the spin off in question. It seems to be about Ayu and one of those shop keepers guy she knocked back previously, at least that's what I made of it.
|2007-01-03, 17:57||Link #1092|
|2007-01-03, 18:23||Link #1093|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Not a problem. Done and done. You have a PM
If anyone else would like to get a looksie I can provide a link, just drop me a PM and I'll provide it. I'd rather not link to stuff like this openly since it's probably against forum rules.
edit: from mangafanatic's comments upon viewing it, it seems it may not be what I thought it was. Sorry for the disappointment
Last edited by Zappster; 2007-01-03 at 19:19.
|2007-01-03, 21:09||Link #1095|
I wonder if it was a preview available somewhere?
It doesn't look like leaked material but rather like it was "check out this
preview at our website" because page two is all advertisements for a book
(released 1/19/2007), a DVD on (1/12/07) the DVD volume 2 of the anime
and the ad for the cafe (including hours, telephone and menu). Hmmmm.
And a beautiful hand-drawn color cover.
I see familiar faces in the art - I'm not going to spoil it for you though.
Wow, that's so cool. I wish I knew what her plans were. We really need
someone conversant in Japanese to look that document over and report
Big thank yous to Zappster - now we need to find out if there's more
or if a new manga is being released...
|2007-01-04, 13:25||Link #1096|
: : Sleepyhead : :
Join Date: Dec 2006
I just wanted to say, that Honey and Clover is one of the best anime series I've ever watched! Maybe the best! The words cannot tell how much feelings I was going through when I watched the first season and the second one... well, I think I cried in every episode too.
It's always so amazing to notice that you can love persons, who don't even exist in the real world and that's how I feel about Takemoto, Ayu, Nomiya, Shuuji, Morita and all those beautiful and sympathetic characters! I'd like to have friends like them.
(Sorry my bad english.)
|drama, noitamina, romance|