“To the outside world, Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Awaya are the perfect couple. But in reality, they just share the same secret pain: they are both in love with other people they cannot be with.
Hanabi has loved her childhood friend and neighbor Narumi Kanai for as long as she can remember, so she is elated to discover that he is her new homeroom teacher. However, Narumi is soon noticed by the music teacher, Akane Minagawa, and a relationship begins to blossom between them, much to Hanabi’s dismay.
Mugi was tutored by Akane in middle school and has been in love with her since then. Through a chance meeting in the hallway, he encounters Hanabi. As these two lonely souls spend more time together, they decide to use each other as a substitute for the one they truly love, sharing physical intimacy with one another in order to stave off their loneliness. “ -MAL Rewrite
As long and detailed the synopsis may seem, it’s actually only scratching the surface of the complex story that is within Kuzu no Honkai. In all honesty, I had no idea where the story was going, everything was unpredictable and would get darker with every turn. Yet there were still elements of happiness that would draw you into further into the darkness.
Instead your typical “love triangle”, Kuzu no Honkai takes it a step further with a “love dodecagon”, that’s like nine sides!? It can get somewhat confusing at times, but the story that revolves around Hanabi and Mugi is so compelling it’s hard to not pay attention! And this isn’t your typical love conflict, it involves the darker side of “love”. Using others for the sake of your own desires or to steal the desire of others. And it’s this darker side of the story that makes you feel for the characters, the pitiful or horrific mental state that they are put through. There are some parts that are light and cheery, but it’s only there to mask the pain that is hidden within.
Artwork & Animation:
Lovely character design and artwork! The backgrounds are breath taking, with the cherry blossoms in the spring as well as the detailing of the city landscape! Each character has their own aura even without their personalities, it’s clear from the way they dress and their facial expression what type of character that they are. A lot of thought was put into making the characters come to life via dialogue AND art.
Every single character in Kuzu no Honkai, is powerful. And I mean Every. Single. Character. Even the side characters have certain mannerism, that gives them depth. Not one character is “generic” or a side cast. Everyone seems to have a story behind their actions and words. Pair this up with a mind-boggling story, and it’s a great setup for an addicting anime.
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
Excellent OST to accompany the already immaculate story, and the capture the emotion of the moment in each scene. Sayuri, Ending theme performer, continues to gain popularity and as a fan since she preformed Boku no inai Machi’s Opening theme! I’m excited to see her get more publicity!
As painful, emotionally, as it was, Kuzu no Honkai is fantastic! It’s been a while since I’ve watched an anime with such character development with so many characters as once. I am, however, unsatisfied with the ending. It doesn’t feel right, I needed something more to happen, I don’t know what, but I know there should’ve been more to that ending than that.
Overall: score 8
Kuzu no Honkai is a must watch for veteran anime watchers, to appreciate not only the artwork but also the deep character development that is buried beneath a web of love. The score is docked points for an unsatisfying ending, for me, and cutting Ecchan’s hair…because she looked so good with long hair.