Kyouko Hori is beautiful and popular, Izumi Miyamura is a gloomy loner, and they couldn’t be more different from one another, right? Wrong. Hori is totally faking her positive and upbeat persona, Miyamura’s “gloominess” is mostly to hide his piercings and tattoos, and they’re the only ones who know each other’s secrets — and it’s made each of them fall in love.
The newest installment in the Horimiya franchise picks up after Miyamura confessed his love to what he thought was a sleeping Hori — except she was very awake, and now she’s in full-on fretting mode.
I’ll get it out of the way right now: My favorite part of Volume 4 is Hori’s father, Kyousuke, who shares the cover with her. He’s been gone for two years, smokes cigarettes constantly, and loves to playfully torment Miyamura.
Yet despite his rough looks and carefree attitude, Kyousuke obviously loves both of his children very dearly. One point in the story that feels particularly beautiful comes after Kyousuke starts to tease Miyamura about having children in a father-in-law sort of way.
Miyamura: Excuse me…! Aren’t fathers usually unhappy with their daughters’ boyfriends?
Kyousuke: Why? You’re the guy my daughter picked, aren’t you?
Kyousuke’s appearance intersects with a major step in Hori and Miyamura’s relationship, and his presence does affect some of the other events that occur in this volume. Hori has an odd sort of relationship with her father — she appears to be angry with him for reasons not fully explained in the story — but he seems determined to make up for it, and it leads to some very interesting plot points.
The ending of this volume contains a couple of major events in the storyline, and discussing them would go even deeper into spoilers than I’ve already gone. But the ending represents some major changes for both of the protagonists, and it’ll leave readers slightly panicking and freaking out about getting to the next volume.
Honestly, there’s not a ton to say about the art: it’s clean, on the shoujo side, and it lends well to some pretty funny facial expressions. (I love the faces Hori makes, which I’ve mentioned in prior reviews.) I think what I like best is that the art’s not distracting from the plot or difficult to read around, making the story shine through even better.
Volume 4 is probably one of my favorites so far, because her father’s presence is hilarious and wonderful. I would recommend Horimiya as a series for anyone who loves slice-of-life romances, especially those who are looking for manga romances that depict healthier teen relationships.
Story: 5 out of 5 stars
Art: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars