Why didn’t the Sweet Rom-Com Anime Hiyokoi get its own series?


Shojo manga series based on high school romances such as Kimi ni Todoke and Say I love you” are very popular among anime fans. When it comes to these high school rom-com series, viewers can’t help but be mesmerized by the quirky, good-natured characters combined with the heartwarming romantic stories. There are plenty of popular shojo manga that have received an anime, but quite a few fan favorites have yet to get the on-screen treatment.

One of these shojo titles is that of Moe Yukimaru Hiyokoia completed shojo manga that ran from 2009 to 2014. Hiyokoi has all the elements of a great rom-com series, including a lovable, shy couple learning to be in a relationship and plenty of everyday antics of young high schoolers. The series received an original video animation (OVA) by Production I.G. in 2010; unfortunately, there hasn’t been any talk of a possible anime series anytime soon. let’s see why Hiyokoi deserves an anime – and why we hesitate to create one.

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Hiyokoi centers on the relationship between two eccentric and shy high school students: Hiyori Nishiyama and Yuushin Hirose. Hiyori is a very shy and introverted little girl, and has trouble making friends due to her quiet demeanor. She greatly admires Yuushin as he gets along with everyone and has a friendly personality. The two become friends and as they begin to learn more about each other, Hiyori develops a crush on him.

Using several popular tropes, Hiyori and Yuushin are the standard shojo couple: an introverted girl-next-door falls in love with a popular, warm guy. When these two characters come together, the male lead usually helps her co-lead come out of her shell, and she gains the confidence to interact with others. Therefore, Hiyori and Yuushin’s relationship story is similar to other popular shojo couples such as Sawako Kuronuma and Shota Kazehaya from Kimi ni Todoke and Mei Tachibana and Yamato Kurosawa from Say I love you.”

Also, Hiyori and Yuushin undergo hectic scenarios in high school that help grow their relationship. These scenes include school events such as the cultural festival and sports day, and some important holidays such as problematic gift giving on Valentine’s Day. Hiyori and Yuushin make a cute couple, but that’s not enough of a selling point to get another standard high school shojo anime.

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Avoid Hiyokoi being just a shojo rom-com “cliché”, creator Moe Yukimaru characterizes Hiyori as super-short when standing side by side with tall guy Yuushin. The height difference makes them look like a cute couple, but when seen together, Yuushin looks like a father taking care of his daughter, despite being the same age. It’s a humorous trope mentioned throughout the series, but it’s not new. The height difference scenario is similar to that of Aya Nakahara Nice complex where the main female protagonist, Risa Koizumi, is taller than her significant other, Atsushi Otani. Yet, despite the size difference, the two end up becoming a couple.

Hiyokoi follows many cliched shojo storylines and character tropes, making it similar to other popular shojo anime. Even though it’s a fan favorite among shojo manga readers, it doesn’t stand out enough to charm a new fanbase. The series leans heavily on traditional shojo elements. Therefore, if it were to get an anime, the only likely audience it would appeal to would be people who have read the manga beforehand.

Also, for an anime to come to fruition, the manga usually needs to win a prestigious award. Unfortunately, Hiyokoi hasn’t won any awards in the shojo genre. That said, fans shouldn’t lose hope. Even though it’s a cheesy, standard high school rom-com story, there’s still a chance it could make it into an anime one day – it might take a while.


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