Heroines run the show has just started airing as part of the packed 2022 anime season, but believe it or not, it’s the latest installment in a much larger universe. So big that it’s been around for more than ten years.
Here’s a brief overview of the world of Honeyworks and how newcomers and seasoned fans alike can get started with each area of the sprawling anime, manga, and music franchise.
Who and what is Honeyworks?
Honeyworks is an independent music circle made up of three core members: composers Gom and Shito and their illustrator Yamako. They started out producing music using the popular vocal synthesizer software VOCALOID. They started producing music in 2010 and released their first full album in 2011.
In 2014 the trio collaborated with singer CHICO and formed the new unit CHICO with Honeyworks. They would go on to perform multiple opening and ending themes for a number of popular anime, including Haikyu!!, Gintama and Magic Kaito.
Honeyworks’ connection to famous anime voice actors – and Hatsune Miku
Honeyworks have released numerous music videos since their debut, but their best-known works are part of a large, ongoing continuity entitled Confession Executive Committee ~Love Series~. The series follows the love lives of various teenagers who all happen to attend the same high school. It draws focus to different types of love: romantic, platonic, and even unrequited. The main cast consists of six characters: Miou, Haruki, Natsuki, Yuu, Souta, and Akari as they stumble through awkward confessions and first dates leading up to their graduation.
There is a correct order to watch the videos and they are all free to watch on Honeyworks’ official YouTube channel. Be warned though: not all videos available have English subtitles. All of the main characters have at least one song focused on them, beginning with picture book of love. The songs were originally performed by virtual singers including GUMI, Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Len and vFlower. Eventually, as the series grew in popularity, Honeyworks switched to using human singers more frequently, and managed to enlist well-known talent in the voice acting industry like Yuki Kaji, Haruka Toumatsu, and Natsuki Hanae.
Confession Executive Committee ~Idol Series~ is both a spin-off and a sequel that takes place about a year after the cast of love series have graduated. It focuses on several aspiring idols juggling celebrity life with their own personal drama and a dash of romance. characters from the love series are common, and while knowledge of their origin is recommended, it is not necessary to fully enjoy this succession. Unlike the predecessor, there is no very clear starting point for them ~Idol Series~ music videos While it is generally recommended to start with LIPxLIPs Romeomost songs can be viewed in any order.
Where to watch and read Honeyworks’ anime and manga adaptations
There have been two film adaptations and an eight-episode anime based on it Confession Executive Committee ~Love Series~. The first two films i have always loved you and The moment you fall in lovecan be watched in release order followed by anime, Our love has always been four inches apart. While the anime is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation, both films were removed from the Crunchyroll library in May 2021 and are currently not available for streaming or purchase.
As for that Confession Executive Committee ~Idol Series~, There was a film adaptation titled LIPxLIP that focuses on the idol unit Kono Sekai no Tanoshimikata: Secret Story Movie (How to Enjoy This World: Secret Story Movie). The film has yet to be picked up by platforms for streaming.
Finally, the latest anime adaptation to air this spring, heroines run the show, acts as a direct sequel to the film and focuses on the manager of the idol unit, the plucky country girl Hiyori. It is currently available to stream on Crunchyroll.
Along with all the anime adaptations, there have also been a number of novel and manga series, some of which either act as direct adaptations of the source material or chronicle entirely new side stories. There’s even a series of audio drama CDs, albums of brand new music performed by the anime’s cast, and a mobile game that’s currently still operational.
Unfortunately, none of these supplemental materials have been officially licensed and translated outside of Japan. But perhaps the most impressive bit of official media to come out of this franchise would be the live concerts. Created by Honeyworks, the idol units appear on stage and perform via hologram projection, not unlike a typical Hatsune Miku concert.
Honeyworks has created an endearing shojo universe that seems to get bigger every year. There’s a lot to dig here, and that’s just scratching the surface. But when you have the time and an insatiable craving for something sweet and fluffy, you definitely dig deeper.
According to Crunchyroll, demand for shojo is outstripping available anime franchises
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