Honey and Clover and my Friends.

Please ignore the weird title but also bear with me as I try something I just thought of on my way home today.

On the train ride home tonight I gave my good friend (and fellow basketball’er) Fred a call to see how his packing for The Nation’s Capital was going as well as ultimately exchanging goodbyes.

After the call I kind of thought back randomly to how what’s currently going on in our lives could be represented similarly in the manga/anime — Honey and Clover (after all, its genre is “Slice of Life”).

Honey and Clover

So how did this come about — ? Well..

Late January ’12 -> February ’12 is an interesting time for me (and my friends of course!) because 3 of my dear friends will be moving away! Not like a simple suburb move like me, but like actually quite far away.. the later they leave the further they go! Exponentially!! this is what I get for trying to be clever.

But just to give a bit of background’ing – Honey and Clover (H&C) is one of my all time favourite animes (and stories in general) because of how easy it is to relate to it. I always see the story (my interpretation, shoosh) about friendships, love, soul-searching, independence and growing up (surely I can’t be too far off).

But what makes this anime so great is that each character is so different and yet the group dynamic just seems to mesh together so nicely. Each character seems go to through some kind of journey throughout the story too which shapes how they grow.. before you know it you’re following them on this journey of maturing and becoming independent in their own ways.

As for our me and my friends, it seems that we’re all slowly hitting that point in our life. At different times of course, but nevertheless we’re still reaching that point.

I’ll start with the first friend who is developing their independence — Angela.

Angela, little baby Angie, I’ve said this many times before and I’m sure you know it too, I’ve always seen you as Hagu (you even did the leaf-pose for me haha!) – that little girl who dives into the world and all its challenges. It’s like she knows what she wants and she’s strives to get it.. although sometimes she puts too much stress on herself and falls victim to her own talent. But in the end she re-discovers her passion and maturity despite the way she’s raised. Ange, seeing you fight, claw and truck your way through University reaffirms my belief that you will always be successful in Optometry. You survived five years without faltering and here you are now, tackling the another (new) world (although opposite of Taylor Swift in how she went to the big city 😛) and experience, which no doubt will be invaluable. It’s a time for you to become independent and solve the challenges that the world puts in front of you. Remember not to be too hard on yourself — you’ll get to where you want to be because I believe you’ll never let your goal out of your sight.


🙂 Thanks again for this.

Fred, freddy.. fpb.. the one who tried so hard to get me into basketball and was still there for me when my passions finally took off. In hindsight, if only I listened to you earlier perhaps I wouldn’t be suffering poor footwork and poor shooting form now — haha! You shocked me when you first told me about your application to GAMSAT in Feb/Mar 2011 — during basketball too! What a coincidence. But I suppose it wasn’t the first time you decided to do a occupation/academic-pivot right? Because of this I see you a bit like Yuta, who spent most of the anime questioning his passion and desires – then spent the rest of the anime riding a bike.. (hey you like cycling too, gasp!). But in all seriousness, I got the feeling that perhaps Yuta knew what he wanted to do all this time. He had a general idea in terms of field, but didn’t have a specific area of expertise. Often you’d see him attempting different things for projects and assignments to test his passion and possible future occupation. Eventually resulting in a bit of soul-searching. Freddy, to me sometimes it feels like you haven’t quite found what you’re truly passionate about (I know that your friends would joke about your passion in Economics with your Economic jokes and what not — ref. your 21st, yes I remember!) in terms of vocation. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I think because you’re moving to Canberra (for 4+ years too!) it just adds a whole different level to the whole thing. It’s not like before where you could simply drop / change / transfer in University. This is quite a commitment. However, this is also why I think you’ll definitely find that passion and be happy with what you’re doing in the future – because you stay committed. I’m sure you’ll be just fine too, hopefully you’ll start sharpening that cooking knife too! Just promise me that you won’t give up basketball.


Find something you're happy with! No regrets.

Hans, soon-to-be Park Oppa (great name by the way), do you ever think back to how you’re about to get to where you’re going? Rather, do you realise the magnitude of what is about to happen in your life?! I think post-high school you’ve definitely been someone I’ve spent a lot of time with so you’ll definitely be leaving a bit of a gaping hole which I will learn to deal with. Funny that isn’t it, especially since you’re the only one between the 4 of us that went to a different University! There’s always been a certain unpredictability about you but you’re always someone who is so easy to get along with, be it gaming, kpop, carrying me in StarCraft II, or just coming to Bom’s every time. For this I’d say you remind me of Morita, Morita who is always cares for his friends and looks after them. But seems to have a certain mystery surrounding him – what is it that you want to be? What is that you want to do in life? Do you know? I’m sure that after this year you’ll definitely be one giant step closer to knowing. Morita is always coincidentally the only one in the group that ends up going overseas and makes a name for himself — hopefully you won’t for the wrong reason *cough Tiffany / Yerin*. It’s definitely going to be a very different year for me without you around and no doubt it’ll be even harder for you — you’re right, I don’t really know how you’ll feel but you know I’ll only be 1 or 2 hours ahead right?! In all honesty I really believe that you’ll love your time there and a part of me is preparing for that high possibility that you will make it your new home. Nevertheless I’m looking forward to catching up in 2013 to find out if the path forward for you has become a bit clearer or not :).


"What do you mean that Tiffany isn't allowed to marry?!"

To each of you, I will definitely do my best to visit each and everyone of you! I will be looking forward to the great stories you have to share too!

Remember to keep in touch (what else do you have to do anyway? LOLjks).



6 thoughts on “Honey and Clover and my Friends.

  1. Hans says:

    Thanks Ben! Funny that when I started reading this, I thought you’d compare me to Morita. And you did! I’ll surely miss you and everyone in Aus! But with the abundance of social networking tools that we use today I’m sure it’ll be much easier for me (esp with only 1-2 hours difference!). I’ll try to update my blog frequently, and as I said to Fred, upload at least one photo a day.

    To Fred; good luck with your studies, I really hope you will enjoy your time in Canberra and find that medicine is right for you. We are all still young and in our prime, so I believe that the time to try new things is now! So good on you for taking the leap and I’ll talk to you soon! =)

    T Angela; thanks again for the blanket! I’ll make good use of it in Korea. I hope the money is worth going to Tamworth for… just joking! =P I’m sure it’ll be a great experience and a good step for your career. Don’t let them rural bogans push you around!

    Stay safe to all of you and I’ll see you when I see you =)

    P.S. Tamworth is further than Canberra so “the later they leave the further they go! Exponentially!!” is WRONG!

  2. angela says:

    在遠方的夢想, 從不能不能被遺忘

    I’m sure we will all work hard towards our goal without regrets and we will all learn and grow, so Ben you have to make sure you’re working hard, too. I’ll come back in a year and compare our achievements like Hagu and Morita chucking their paintings and art pieces at each other (I LOVEDDD that scene it’s so funny hahahaha)

    And Tamworth is 370km north-west of Sydney so yes it is further than Canberra :p

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