(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

February just ended and many entertainment outlets just wrapped up publishing endless lists about the best romantic comedies. The problem with the rom-com, like with any popular genre, is that their tropes are so well-known that it can become tiresome to go through yet another story of an odd couple getting together and breaking up due to some stupid misunderstanding, all before a grand finale where love is professed and everyone lives happily ever after. To paraphrase the great poet, Maxwell Lord, rom-coms are good, but they could be better.

Enter Horimiya. This anime speeds through the bad parts of a rom-com to get to the funny, wholesome parts. The story is a tale as old as time: she’s a star student loved by everyone, and he’s an introverted otaku with messy hair. But what if she wasn’t just miss perfect, but a really good sister who took care of her little brother as well as all domestic chores while her mom is at work? And what if he actually was the embodiment of the “oh no, he’s hot! meme?  

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