Considering the strong run the series has been on there was bound to be one miss. Horimiya: The Missing Pieces Episode 9 confirms that not every supporting character deserves their own side plot. As is suggested in the name, “Teacher” spins the spotlight onto Yasuda, the group’s main instructor and resident lech who too often comments on his love of high school girls.
Unfortunately, he’s given a large portion of the episode’s runtime and while there are moments that are easier to digest than others, the amount of incorrigible and inappropriate comments he makes is enough to dampen what otherwise is another hilarious episode. The only saving grace of his character’s inclusion is due to how his students perceive him. Treated with zero respect, Horimiya: The Missing Pieces Episode 9 spends a great deal of its runtime allowing everyone from Toru and Miyamura to Yoshikama to take shots at him. It’s the only element that makes it palatable.
That plus the fact that the writing clearly doesn’t support his behavior makes up for how often he’s onscreen, but is brought down in tandem due to how often the writing also seems to find his actions funny. It’s not exclusive to Horimiya, the lecherous teacher or character seems to be a staple in many an anime but still, for a series that is so often focused on small gestures from the comical to the heartfelt, Yauda’s character breaches territory that’s too broad for the show he exists on.
This brings us back to the saving grace of the character’s reactions to him. His wanting to ogle at teenage girls isn’t funny, but his being laughed at by his entire class is. So too is Toru’s absolute disdain for him, going as far as to tell him to “drop dead” when he pretends to be on Toru’s side when it comes to Yoshikama’s interactions with another teacher. The latter works particularly well because of Toru and Yoshikama’s own relationship which has yet to be fully explored this season, as the two play more ancillary roles to the rest of the ensemble.
Broken into three parts, the episode utilizes many colorful backdrops for its characters as they make declarative statements, the vibrant, single-card backgrounds allowing for the frames to pop despite little actual movement. That plus a reliance on chibi-style design humor as the students react to Yasuda’s misbehaviors helps sell their distrust of him.
Of the stories, there’s plenty to glean in terms of character relationships. Miyamura being worried about Sengoku’s well-being after he finds out he and Hori were stuck in the student council room together, in particular, is funny. That said, the strongest bit is also the shortest, and a solid reminder that these characters for all the fine lines and soft colors they’re shaded with are a bunch of weirdos. Miyamura, Iura, and Toru all conspiring together to sneak — of all things — an entire cake into the school is one of the single funniest things the show has done and it’s given zero explanation. That’s how well-written this series is. They can introduce such a zany, inexplicable plot point, with no follow-up and we take it at face value. It’s in character.
Horimiya: The Missing Pieces Episode 9 is the weakest episode of the series by virtue of its main protagonist. That said, by taking away Yasuda (or if they’d tamed his character’s dialogue) the episode remains as whip-smart and witty as the previous installments. Hopefully, with only a few episodes remaining, the series will pivot to the characters we care about, rather than the ones who deserve, at best, a single scene each week.
Horimiya: The Missing Pieces Episode 9 is available now on Crunchyroll.
Horimiya: The Missing Pieces Episode 9
Horimiya: The Missing Pieces Episode 9 is the weakest episode of the series by virtue of its main protagonist. That said, by taking away Yasuda (or if they’d tamed his character’s dialogue) the episode remains as whip-smart and witty as the previous installments.