Home > Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Episode Review > Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – 1: Taking this at face value

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~

  1. xexexe
    October 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I was wondering if I should watch this, since the premise of the series didn’t sound terribly exciting to me. But, now that I know it’s akin to Denpa Onna in terms of art style, I’m definitely giving it a try at least! Also, from now on, I will always know this show as toothless (ha ga nai)…look what your random wikipedia tibbit did to me😡

    • archyver
      October 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      hahaha i think its much funnier than denpa onna and has tons of dirty jokes and references to either games or other anime…. really a must watch

    • October 12, 2011 at 3:43 am

      I was trying to think of a contraction as well, cos haganai just doesn’t roll off the tongue nicely.

      But I gave up, cos BokuSuku sounds downright terrible.

  2. October 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Finally someone who understands the true meaning of this series! SENA! SENA! SENA!

    • October 12, 2011 at 3:46 am

      Yeah get ready to feast your eyes upon all the full-length stitched pictures of Sena that I can find!

  3. enixfire
    October 12, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Oh, I have many contradicting views on things with this series than you, perhaps one of the few things we agree with is the that the main character’s (am to lazy to remember names~) hair looks like he accidently thought that a can of spray paint was hair spray. The whole I idea of having an “air friend” and naming the club the “neighbor” club made be have a derp moment and I even questioned the intelligence of the heroine at that moment. In addition I don’t find what she has as misunderstanding or is normal rather I believe she has a problem with society or something along those lines (I found myself having a very similar mindset as the two main protagonists) and I just find that when people have these kind of mindsets it normally an indication that they had some sort of bad past leading them to dissociate with most other people (least that’s how it was with me). As for the blonde (who’s name I found out through your review) Sena is REALLLLLYYYYYY arrogant. If she’s as perfect as Yozora (Ctrl + C,P ftw) claims than all she’s guilty of is being picky as hell. I know that some of the key points when in being an athlete is teamwork and I’m will to bet that at least someone else has attempted to befriend her and she’s snubbed them off with her “I am greater than thou you don’t understand me” attitude. I’m looking forward to this anime, it’s grabbed my attention and hopefully I won’t go into a giant rage fit at how ridiculous this harem might in the future be based on the opening.

    • archyver
      October 12, 2011 at 1:56 am

      all of the characters have a certain trait that makes it hard for them to socialize which makes it interesting…regarding the harem concept i can assure u that it is very different from what you actually think for this show, hopefully they will follow the original story and all will be explained as the series goes on….oh and fyi there is slight BL in this series too…

      • enixfire
        October 12, 2011 at 2:06 am

        That’s good to hear, I look forward to a good series then and to pour fuel on the fire by luring me in using my fujoshi tendencies well played good sir, I see what you did there.

      • October 12, 2011 at 3:58 am

        I don’t usually follow source material so I can’t stoke your fujoshi flames. But from what I can see, it’s all about social misfits trying to find their comfortable place. I’m keeping away from spoiling myself and you should too. I’m eager to see how it defines itself as not just another Haruhi clone.

  4. Tyler Junky
    October 12, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Well I must say I was’nt going to give this anime much of a chance. But after reading I thought why not stick with it for a few more episodes. I was a bit stammered on you comparing it to Haruhi. The only connection I saw was the club thing. Haruhi is into the Supernatural, not makeing frieands. But oh well. Anouther good review.

    • October 12, 2011 at 8:01 am

      I was just conveying the thoughts of people who assumed that this was a Haruhi clone.

      While I didn’t go to great lengths to disprove that, I just said that I’d review this series on it’s own merit.

      But yeah, fellow blogger archyver has insistently implored us to give this series a few episodes to prove it’s mettle. So there you go.

  5. xexexe
    October 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Just to let you know, I absolutely loved the first episode!!!! Thank you for introducing me to another great show!! I actually laughed several times throughout the episode, so I know this show is for me! Sadistic queen blonde girl ftw: “踏んであげるから跪きなさい~”

    • Shiki
      October 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      she’s no sadist, she just said that guys in her class liked to be stepped by her
      that’s all

  6. October 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Lol at least I gave credit where credit’s due.

  1. October 11, 2011 at 9:52 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: