After the 12 episodes of whacky, ecchi-filled action and unravelling Yozora’s true disposition against Kodaka in season 1, we were left with an extremely cliffhanger ending. So the story was going ‘oh, here’s how the real story begins’ for about 12 episodes. Only now, albeit not yet, we get the much-anticipated continuation to the adventures of the Neighbors’ Club. Real sneaky, Yomi Hirasaka.
I finished the whole of season 1 within a day, because of how appealing I found it to be, no joke. If you’re really conservative and don’t like dogmas or religion being infused into anime along with sporadic scenes of inappropriateness, you probably won’t like this anime – because it thrives in doing that. This is also a story of taking on human relationships in an unconventional way; while being hilariously entertaining at that. The previous statement was what truly made the anime worthwhile for me. My take on this can be found here.
In the meantime, if you haven’t caught up with this series, there’s always time to do so. Don’t be a 肉 [meat] and do it ASAP !
If you are a forever alone and was offended by the title of this post, do come and forward your complaints to me. This anime does depict socially reclusive and introverts people pretty accurately to certain extent ( speaking from experience ), nevertheless. So be grateful that you knew this piece of work actually existed, oh , introvert, you.
Intro aside, I set away a couple of nights to finish up Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai (alt. name ‘Haganai’. Why ? because I watch whatever I want and whenever I want. I guess it was pretty worth it pulling an all-nighter to finish up this series. Note that the content of this post would solely be based on the anime, as I rarely read any manga.
So, if you didn’t know already, this story is about Hasegawa Kodaka, a student transferring into St. Chronica’s high school, a Catholic High School. This blond-haired boy finds it difficult to socialize and form bonds with people around him due to the oh-so conservative notion and stereotypes of rowdy-looking foreigners being very ‘kowai’ (scary ) people, as well as his looks further aggravating the aforementioned situation. One fine day, he stumbles upon Yozora Mikazuki, a classmate of his, talking to an imaginary friend of hers. In a swift epiphany, Yozora realizes that the best way to make new friends would be create a club of her own and start from scratch there onwards.
Thus, the adventures of Neighbours Club begin. ( Though I can’t help but point out that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya probably heavily influenced this scene)
“Let’s think of new stuff to do everyday, so that we can be friends, as well as meet new ones.” Yes, the whole twelve episodes ran along that tangent. I’m a sucker for video games and this anime deserves a plus for featuring Monster Hunter on its second episode. Another One for Haganai. Of course, it wasn’t that simple – each episode was about how these awkward people become increasingly bonded together and picking up social skills so that they can step out of their reclusive shadows and actually form palpable bonds with other humans. Or so I thought. Sad to say there was little of that actually happening.
Most of the episodes were about Neighbours Club members loafing around in their club room ( again, like Haruhi Suzumiya ), with the occasional wacky stuff and comic relief occurrences happening. Coming to Club Activities, they would mostly separate into their own cliques: Yozora-Sena and Kodaka with the youngsters. I observed that there wasn’t much interaction across the cliques outside of comedy and mere pleasantries. At some point, It did feel like a Harem anime, where Yozora and Sena are vying to get Kodaka’s attention, albeit being tsundere and hardy about it. (yet another anime came into my mind: Baka To Test ) The relationships became better towards the end of the anime, but the idea of forming a huge clique inside of the Neighbours Club doesn’t really sound to me like ‘making new friends’ since you’re virtually just mingling around people who are hold roughly the same ideals – at least personally, my own sense of making sense would include stepping out of the comfort zone to interact with other humans. It sure didn’t have a solid, central plot, but was rather about Kodaka’s relation with the people around him and how he unravels it all.
Though, I find it kind of ridiculous that Yozora only reveals her true disposition to Kodaka after twelve episodes – which is a bit of an overkill action, even as much as the tsundere she is. Wouldn’t you feel pissed if a long-lost friend trolls you for two whole months only to reveal himself or herself to you and say that ” Hey, I was that friend of yours.” ? Pretty damn would be.
Fret not, this is only its first season – i’m sure more of ‘making new friends’ will be more relevant in the near future.
This is where the anime truly shines. Kodaka is the usual mature, responsible and capable brother, though with an unfortunate case that results in a poor social life. Yozora’s a cunning, rowdy, opportunistic and quirky tomboy and also lacking in the social department. Kodaka’s sister, Kobato, is an anime-obsessed girl who speaks in a manner heavily influenced by Vampires, mythical beings and what-not from her idols. Sena, on the other hand, is a rather spoiled brat who’s haughty as hell but somehow is honest enough to join the club due to her happenstance being the most ‘worshipped’ girl in school and as a result making friends with just about anyone seem odd and out-of-place for her . Being the tsundere they both are, it’s rather hard to discern whether Sena’s intentions of making friends are truly sincere, but hey, which person would go all the way to a club just for ‘making new friends’, when they can already meet new ones without the help of a club, no? Rika, a first-year is a genius but also a HENTAI (pervert) to the maximum, and gets as erotic with Kodaka as nerds can be. Maria, the club’s moderator, is a 10-year old intellectual loli nun (*cough* Index *cough* who’s also mentally immature. Lastly, Yukimura ? Couldn’t think of a more ideal scenario better than a Yaoi BDSM between Kodaka and him ( it makes total sense if you watch the anime and actually look up what’s BDSM ).
The girls are all gunning for Kodaka, with each their own reasons, though Yozora and Sena are the quickest to put up their tsundere facade and hide their feelings, no surprise over there.
As much as I’d like to point out how there are no socially acceptable females in the anime, it’s what makes this series appealing ( no offence intended ). Though, each of the character’s behaviors and attitudes were consistent, unique and appealing throughout the anime.
There was one memorable scene where Kodaka and Yozora gets new contact numbers on their phone for the very first time. Their reactions to infrared transfer via phone and the idea of communicating using phones was just golden. It was as if for the whole sixteen years of their life they did not once need to contact their friends, families and what-not using their cellphones, excluding other means of course. Well I’d be damned to say that this is an accurate portrayal of introverts, albeit with this one being a bit extreme, because, as much as the introvert most people are, it’s rather important to have a method of communication ready at hand and be accustomed with it.
True story there.
Thus, as far as character development is concerned, the anime has done well in creating distinct characters that possess their own unique sets of behaviors and not generic in any sense.
I don’t really know much about animation production, but clearly this anime is quality work. The animators made sure each key frame was carefully done, and never half-assed in the process. The colour tones were suitable for the anime’s genre and so a a thumbs-up from me to the animation department – nothing else to say over there.
The music ? Nearly all of my Japanese music libraries are made up of anime OPs, EDs and OSTs. Zannenki Rinjinbu (Hoshi Futatsu Han) and Watashi No Kimochi are both great additions to my library.
It has been entertaining, and the cliffhanger ending really left the masses to hunger for more of Sena’s goddess touch and the relation to develop further between Yozora and Kodaka !
P.S I don’t give ratings too. Tee hee.