Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – 03

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The faces may look like Denpa Onna, but the similarity is strictly superficial.

Three episodes in and it’s pretty hard to get a handle on Haganai.  Sure, if I had to pick one genre for it I’d call it a dark comedy.  And this is a very fine example of one, with the humor derived from cutting dialogue and somewhat awkward social situations.  But the series had a very skewed sensibility to it.  Everything – the dialogue, the situations, even the fanservice  – comes off like you’re seeing it in a funhouse mirror. It’s an odd show – funny when you think it should be serious, and serious when you think it should be funny.

In actuality, most of the development so far has come not for the characters introduced first, but for Sena.  I’ve enjoyed watching her descend into full on gaming addict, but seeing her sweat and stumble through trying to recite eroge dialogue was one of the weirdest scenes of the season.  Funny, very uncomfortable, sexy…  It’s hard to say at this point where the line in the sand is that Yozora isn’t willing to cross, but as of now she goes at Sena pretty hard, and generally seems to have the upper hand. 

I was pleased to see Kodaka step out of the shadows this week and begin to assert himself.   It wasn’t so much that he stood up for Sena when the anime hoodlums were harassing her at the water park – we’ve seen that a thousand times (though I’m still unclear why Kodaka is scary, even with slicked-back hair).   No, the part I really enjoyed was when he turned on Sena like a cornered rat and lit into her for the way she’d gotten herself deeper and deeper into trouble.  That set him apart from most of the spineless males we see in series like this.  I like Sena quite a lot, but she definitely had that coming – for her own good.  The waterpark scene was also interesting for the off-kilter fanservice shots of Sena.  She looked great, don’t get me wrong – but those were not especially sexy shots, at least for me.  I’m not exactly sure where that was going or how it was intended, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Did anyone not guess immediately that Kodaka’s childhood friend was Yozora?  What’s interesting is that she hasn’t told him yet, thought she obviously remembers.  Full-on love triangle developing here, and we haven’t even met most of the cast yet.  We did meet one new member, Kodaka’s little sister Kobato (Kana Hanazawa – have I heard that name before?).  Sigh, it’s yet another helpless little sister who depends on Nii-san for everything, especially with the parents not around.  This one is also a goth loli, and forgive me for saying so but there’s a smidge of Kuroneko in KanaHana’s performance here.  Not sure what role Kobato has to play here, but she’s really the first character outside the big three to be introduced and I assume they wouldn’t have cast one of the hottest seiyuu in the business right now if it wasn’t a major one.

I get the sense that the character of the series is about to change yet again next week.  From the looks of the preview we may finally be transitioning from the mostly three-character show to the ensemble one I anticipated all along.  The nun was certainly there, and I get the sense that AIC has laid a trap for us as well…

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10 comments

  1. F

    Actually, I didn't guess that it was Yozora, I should have, but maybe it just seemed too obvious, but I approve anyway.

    Sena and Yozora's combative relationship is a lot of fun, though I do hope to see Sena get some back, though then again, after suffering those insults, at least very little else will ever really affect her.

    As for the fanservice at the pool, Sena's definitely got some….meat on her bones. She's still rather anime skinny, but not so much as you'd expect, and there was some definite pudge on her stomach as they were eating. She really is very sexy though, almost even more so because of that.

    And Kobato is so Kuroneko that I almost wish they'd cast someone else. Though it would be highly entertaining to get Kirino, Kuroneko, Sena and Kobato all together.

    CAN I HAS CROSSOVER?

  2. b

    Hmmm. Just changing the orders of events made the hints of the triangle more pronounced. The novels don't really give off the love triangle feel as pronounced as that. We had the rest of the characters introduced first plus the novel is only giving off just the slightest hints of that in their club activities. Dunno if this is a good thing or not. Thoughts?

    As for the episode, it's a bit lacking on the comedy that I like in this. But it's not that bad. I'm slowly warming up to the voices(when did I not xD). Sena reading that eroge lines(Sacred Blackstar xD) was very uncomfortable to listen to and it was uncomfortable reading it in the novels in the first place. And though her proportions are pretty inconsistent at different scenes, I don't mind since it's Meat. Tender and juicy XD.

    And that flashback couldn't be more obvious that they should spell it out that it's her(not a spoiler since the translated parts of the novel that I read hasn't confirmed this yet.) This was in the end of Vol1 while translated parts are at the end of Vol3 and this only popped up like 1 or 2 times after this when Kodaka was just thinking about it.

    They're really going out now with next episode introducing the rest of the characters in one go. There's some breaks/activities between the introductions and I would have like to see those first. I guess I should just see how they'll do this since they already did this pool part first. Told you there was a trap card here xD.

    Oh and "Kurogane no Necromancer" may refer to "Hagane no Renkinjutsushi" according to the translators, though the "True Ancestor" part doesn't quite add up to it so nvm.

    tl;dr I talk too much about a comedy/school life show :)). Can't help it, I like the novels.

  3. d

    I actually like the party where Kobato goes all An-Chan! Help! When she is troubled she forgets her "persona".
    And Kobato is a little girl without her parents. naturally she depends on her older brother. Children tend to look for support from the oldest/closest in the family.
    Furthermore she is a real sister character, not the Kirino bro complex kind. Just a slightly depended sister. Which is why she is one of my fav char.
    Next week will have lolli nun and a red? head maid. Wonder whether the butler? maid? which was helping Sena buy her bikini would make an appearance.
    P.S. Did i mention how hot Sena was?

  4. I have a funny feeling about that maid…

    I'm not hating on Kobato, just bemused that every little sister in Japan is either a siscon or so totally fail at life that they can't warm the bathwater without their Nii-san's help. If it's in anime it must be true, right?

  5. d

    @Bel: thought Kurogane was the line barrels show and True Ancestor was melty blood.
    Just love the parodies. Sacred Blacksmith, luke + cecily + banvanill
    to Sacred Blackstar, Lucas + Cecilia + Vanbanill
    Lol, i want more parodies!

  6. d

    @Enzo: Refer to Akane-Iro, or a more recently Kana Hanazawa, mayo chiki.
    Imoutos are not always weak bro cons.
    Actually in the LN it was the boiler that broke. But the main purpose was just for Lolli Moe and show that Kobato is not in a perpetual Cosplay mode but can be imouto like for all those imouto Otakus.
    Regardless— Lolli Moe Scene Approved!

  7. b

    Well, it sounded more like FMA with the Hagane(Full Metal) being Kurogane, it has the "no" in both, and Alchemist(Renkinjutsushi) being Necromancer. But as I said, the Shinso part doesn't quite add up to it. Best not to look more into it since it's still the same, the anime that inspired Kobato to dress up and talk like that.

    As for parodies and references, you'll just have to wait and see. There's this one part that's totally hilarious and disturbing at the same time. And with them introducing the glasses girl Rika next episode, we may see it as early as the week after next xD.

  8. s

    Great episode, the only thing I really wished they would have done was have Sena say at some point while reciting eroge dialogue – I want to sparkle.

  9. d

    @Steel: sounds very mirai nikki. I'm sparkling….
    In the LN she was saying pen…is but when it came to Man…ko she paused half way through and ran away
    But we can't have famous seiyuu do that now can we? =)

  10. S

    I'm loving the casting for Haganai, everyone fits their role perfectly and +1 for HanaKana working her Kuroneko charm into Kobato. Kodaka does look like a pretty sinister dilinquent with his slicked-back hair and with some of his back story revealed, we can see why he's as awkward as he is when it cames to socializing. As a rule of thumb, I'll be rooting for the childhood friend so Kodaka x Yozora all the way ;D

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