Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – 1: Taking this at face value
Watch how I skillfully sidestep my way out of making comparisons between this series and Suzumiya Haruhi.
Let’s just say every anime that has got something to do with members in a club has to have quirky people in it, and in its own right, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (which will henceforth be referred to as Haganai, as stated by the law that is Wikipedia) has already got its foundations set.
I must say that the art style is exactly like Denpa Onna (incidentally, one series that I did not finish, amongst many others) only with a different colour palette.
But whoever was responsible for colouring Kodaka must have felt that the main male character should have the honour of being coloured in last, only to find out that there wasn’t any yellow paint left.
So the illustrator hastily coloured half his hair and mixed the residual paint with some used water.
But HEY, he’s going for the dirty blonde look, so yeah, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
With that minor aberration aside, I really like the attention they pay on applying some colour to the girls’ lips. That subtle touch just gives the female characters a whole new level of feminine appeal.
And with not one, but two gorgeous female leads (for now, that’s what I’ve been told). I mean, character designs like these won’t suffer from the dreaded Budget Demon. Not as much as Kampfer at least; the bar’s been set quite high that they can allow some slip in quality without making the characters look like a toddler’s doodles.
Moving on to the first of the initial two female leads, Mikazuki Yozora sounds nothing like Suzumiya Haruhi, apart from the number of syllables. Oops, nearly fell into a trap I set myself.
It’s quite clear that Yozora is just a normal girl who must’ve had some problems before. Note the ostensible lack of anything supernatural here. Kodaka is misunderstood and doesn’t know how to clear it up, Yozora has dark secrets and is unwilling to open up to just anybody. They’re both in the same boat. Only that Yozora has already set the sails, piecing together an illusionary friend to keep herself company.
These two were meant to cross paths some way or another eventually.
Being in the same predicament probably made Yozora open up a little to Kodaka. The crux of the matter is about making quality friends. Even though Yozora didn’t exactly look very convincing when she said she’d be fine without friends, she’d rather have a few close friends than many acquaintances.
And the way their conversation naturally led to the idea of creating a club to gather people who wanted friends was good scripting, to say the least. There was the real problem of trying to integrate into an existing social circle. Inducting yourself into the circle is the greatest challenge, as it requires consent from the circle and to gradually incorporate yourself in it.
So why not start from Ground Zero, Tabula Rasa? Become the social circle and allow those who are in need of friendship to enter.
The place they found where they could carry out club activities happened to be within the compounds of a church as well. Cue the immediate reference to a place of solace and refuge, where people can find external help in their darkest hour.
Right after placing an advertisement, Kodaka and Yozora had their first applicant in the form of Kashiwazaki Sena. We’ve had 3 different writers for each of these 3 Haganai posts describing the characters, but I’ve just got to say that she is voiced by Itou Kanae, using her boisterous Ohana of Hanasaku Iroha voice mixed with the lovesick Sanae of Ika Musume voice, topped off with a generous scoop of sexy.
I quote myself, “Sexy Itou Kanae voice on a kyonyu gaijin is win no matter how you look at it.” That is a truism that shall last throughout the eons.
Surprisingly, she in dire need of a true friend herself. On the outside appearance, Sena is the perfect girl who has adoring fans at her bidding, but to her, everything is just plastic.
As Kodaka rightly put, being overly popular or pretty might be a cause of alienation. In fact, being different from what is considered social norms will cause alienation.
Perfect as Sena may be, she needs the warmth of being actively involved in a social circle, and not as an idolized figure with no equal.
And so the embryonic group is formed.
Kodaka is the Kyou, the Shinpachi, the Himeko, the Ryuuji. In short the Tsukkomi character.
Sena and Yozora are for now the Boke. Technically.
Take that, SOS-dan! Or err…SKET-dan! or Yorozuya!
You get the point. Taking this at face value and watching this series without having previously read any other form of media regarding it, that’s how I’m going to review this series. And I must say it has established a good start. Having friends is central to our social development, so sometimes it’s not about the quantity of friends, but the quality.
I leave you all with another stitched picture of the lovely Sena, who must now have her own corner akin to Kirishima Shouko of BakaTest.
Alternatively, just go search around for her THOUSANDS of doujins and fanpics. Ufufufufufu~