Will Horimiya fall prey to the dreaded love triangle?!

Title: Horimiya
Genre: Drama, Slice of Life
Publisher: Square Enix (JP),Yen Press (U.S.)
Creators: Hero (Story), Daisuke Hagiwara (Artist)
Translator: Taylor Engle
Original Release Date: January 24, 2017
Review copy provided by Yen Press.

One of the nice things about Horimiya is that up to this point there haven’t been any stagnant love triangles (as much as Honoka, who graces the cover but does not appear in the book, would like there to be one). Unfortunately it looks like there is a love triangle amongst three of the side characters — Tooru, Yoshikawa, and Kouno — and it’s unlikely to be settled nearly as quickly as Hori and Miyamura’s relationship was.

In theory a love triangle is a really interesting idea, with three characters who all bring out different sides to each other and struggle to determine what each of those relationships is at their core(s), but in most stories a love triangle becomes a clichéd way of adding drama without advancing any of those emotional arcs. Horimiya looks like it will take that second route. Despite the nuance it’s shown in Hori and Miyamura’s relationship, the character dynamics in this love triangle are markedly different; it looks like this will be a triangle where two sides quietly pine, while the third side hasn’t picked up on any of the romantic implications at all. 

This sixth volume does focus more on the side characters than usual but also doesn’t spend an excessive amount of time cooling its jets. Soon the volume swings back to focus on Hori and Miyamura who continue to deepen their relationship (they totally “do it” and even Hori’s younger brother notices!). While Hori continues to have little moments of jealously, it’s again Miyamura’s moments that prove the most enlightening. There’s a new threat that might cause Miyamura to disrobe and show off his tattoos to the school (a joke that has run its course by now) but there is also more musing on Miyamura’s past and how deeply he had retreated into himself before opening up to Hori.

Despite some of the pair’s glaring differences, like Hori’s enthusiasm for scary movies to Miyamura’s horror, this volume continues to reinforce how good of a pair the two make together. Both Hori and Miyamura have given each other a confidence that they didn’t previously posses and a bulwark against the petty nips and jabs of high school life. This volume had a bit less humor than usual, but hopefully the next volume will bring back both Horimiya‘s sweet romance and oddball high school comedy in full force!