One wouldn't have to look far to find fans ready and willing to sing the praises of Honey and Clover. Often lauded as being a groundbreaking, brilliant new style of anime, it seems no expense was spared in its creation. However, one also needn't look far to find those of us who are less impressed with it. Beneath the layers of high budget animation and high production values, this anime is badly lacking in substance.
Though some may argue that anime in the "slice of life" genre need not have a plot, there should at least be something going on that keeps the anime feeling fresh and dynamic. Sadly, this is not the case here. Each episode drags, and each character repetitiously does whatever antic the creators assigned to him to make him seem more "unique." The girls whine endlessly, the men angst and nothing ever really moves forward. Though the writers did make an effort to include two separate storylines, neither one ever goes anywhere. Instead, the characters spend a lot of time crying, suffering, internalizing their problems and staring at the sky or out of a window while music plays in the background.
During the second half of this anime, things begin to look up... briefly. One of the storylines actually becomes mildly interesting and moves to the forefront. However, this refreshing change is very shortlived, and soon this anime moves back into its previous state of stagnation. Occasionally, the endless boredom is interrupted by something genuinely beautiful or moving, but without fail the mood is shattered by ill-timed and badly conceived attempts at humor. In the end, Honey and Clover ends pretty much where it started, with exceptions: the characters haven't grown and nothing is resolved.