Honey Lemon Soda Anime Receives a Release Date: When and Why You Should Watch it

Uka and Kai manga and anime character designs for the Honey Lemon Soda Anime

Mayu Murata’s beloved manga, Honey Lemon Soda, is finally getting the anime treatment! Announced at the Fuji TV Anime Lineup Press Conference, the Honey Lemon Soda anime is set to debut in January 2025 on the +Ultra programming block.

Are you a fan of shoujo, an introvert who dreams of finding their voice, and anyone who loves a good coming-of-age story? This might just be your new drink of choice then.

Why We Are Hyped for the Honey Lemon Soda Anime

Now, you might be wondering: why should this particular anime be on your radar? That’s because Honey Lemon Soda offers a refreshing take on the classic “shy girl meets outgoing boy” trope.

Is 2024 the season when Shoujo anime adaptations make a reigning comeback?

Kai and Uka Honey Lemon Soda Anime
Honey Lemon Soda | Image via IMDb

This announcement comes at a particularly exciting time for the shoujo genre. Between the currently airing A Sign of Affection (Yubisaki to Renren) and A Condition Called Love (Hananoi-kun to Koi no Yamai), which is about to air in April, we are witnessing a resurgence of romance-oriented shoujo series in the anime form. The last time we saw a year with a shoujo anime in every season was back in 2016, and it seems like the genre is back to topple down other genres.

Honey Lemon Soda is just one piece of this exciting trend. The wholesome romance series, originally published in Ribon Magazine – a monthly magazine aimed primarily at elementary and middle school students – is a perfect example of the kind of classic shoujo stories making a comeback.

What is the plot of Honey Lemon Soda?

Uka in Honey Lemon Soda
Honey Lemon Soda | Image via IMDb

Our protagonist, Uka, isn’t your typical shoujo heroine. She’s not clumsy or perpetually lost. Instead, Uka struggles with social anxiety, making it difficult for her to connect with others. This introspective nature is what makes her so relatable. Who hasn’t felt like an outsider at some point? But Uka’s story isn’t about waiting for a prince charming to sweep her off her feet. It’s about self-discovery, about learning to embrace her voice and forge her own path.

Then there’s Miura Kai. Imagine a guy with the effervescent personality of, well, lemon soda! Kai is everything Uka isn’t – outgoing, vibrant, and always ready with a smile. Their chance encounter sets the stage for a beautiful friendship, one where Kai encourages Uka to step outside her comfort zone without pressuring her. This supportive dynamic is a breath of fresh air in a genre sometimes plagued by possessiveness or jealousy.

You can buy the manga here to read from and be all caught up till the anime releases next year just so you can have the perfect bragging rights of seeing your favorite manga panels come to life on screen.

Ribon characters get center-stage after a long time

Uka, Kai and the side characters from Honey Lemon Soda manga
Honey Lemon Soda | Image via IMDb

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a proper TV anime adaptation of a Ribon manga.

  • The last one, Yume-iro Pâtissière, aired back in 2009, and the last shoujo romance specifically was Aishiteruze Baby★★ in 2004.

Honey Lemon Soda’s adaptation signifies a renewed interest in shoujo anime, especially stories aimed at a younger audience. We’re also getting Acro Trip this year, a magical girl anime based on another Ribon manga, further solidifying this exciting return.

Concerns about the Honey Lemon Soda anime

Kai and Uka in Honey Lemon Soda
Honey Lemon Soda | Image via IMDb

Of course, with any adaptation, there are always concerns. The studio handling Honey Lemon Soda, J.C. Staff, has a mixed reputation when it comes to animation quality. Their workload, which currently includes One Punch Man Season 3, might also raise some eyebrows. Additionally, some fans feel the character designs in the anime lack the sparkle and shoujo charm of the manga.

Another looming question is the length of the adaptation. The manga is a hefty 24 volumes, plus a side-story volume. It’s highly unlikely the anime will cover everything. The slice-of-life nature of the story and its slow-burn development could also be a concern for some viewers. After all, shoujo anime sometimes get criticized for their “one step forward, two steps back” approach, which can be more frustrating in animation format compared to manga. But at least, the production team is taking their time and releasing it in 2025 so that’s one green flag right there.

Conclusion 

Kai and Uka in Honey Lemon Soda
Honey Lemon Soda | Image via IMDb

Despite these potential drawbacks, fans are still thrilled about the announcement. After all, Honey Lemon Soda offers a refreshingly wholesome romance experience without the melodrama sometimes found in the genre. At the end of the day, shoujo fans are simply happy to see more anime adaptations in the works, and Honey Lemon Soda promises to be a delightful addition to the upcoming season.

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