Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Episode 1
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, or “I Don’t Have Many Friends”, is a weekly televised anime series starting in October 2011 based on a continuing light novel series. Kodaka recently transferred to a high school, but ends up being ostracized due to his appearance and a bad first impression. Until one day he comes across Yozora, who also is friendless, and decides to make a club for the express purpose of finding new friends.
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Spoiler-free set-up: One month after transferring to a new high school, Kodaka finds himself an outcast from the rest of the students due to his unusual blonde hair and a poor first impression on his first day of school. But he comes across another student, Yozora, talking to herself in class. He soon learns that she is talking to her imaginary friend, because she hasn’t been able to make any friends herself. After planting the seed of an idea in her head, Yozora decides to create the “Neighbors Club”, with the express purpose of finding lonely people and forming new friendships. So, what happens when their first catch is the popular girl in the entire school?
My Impressions: I was so ready to completely hate this show based upon the preview description and video. Sigh, just another derpy harem high school series. But a funny thing happened on the way to my hatefest: I actually found this…pretty decent.
Well, at least for the first episode, that is. Basically, it starts out as “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”-lite (minus the supernatural elements), as a girl with an abrasive personality with no friends decides to create her own club, dragging Mr. Everyman-viewer-surrogate along for the ride. I actually find the two main characters likeable, even if they are just paler shades of Haruhi and Kyon, and the concept for the show itself is sound. The animation and art are decent (reminds me alot of Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, without all the over-the-top Shaft elements), the back-and-forth between Ms. Outcast and Ms. Popular was well done, it is well-paced and engaging, and I did not find myself watching the crawl of the clock to see when it was going to be over.
Mind you, I still reserve future judgment as it does seem that it is going to turn into one big “harem” series with one high school guy surrounded by your odd assortment of very broken-toy girl in the school. While I’m most definitely not a fan of the harem concept, it’s not an automatic deal-breaker for me…as long as all the other elements of the show come together nicely. Will Boku wa Tomodachi pull it off?
In any case, I’m not judging what might (or rather, will) happen in future episodes, but I’m giving it a thumbs-up/down based on the first episode. And based on that first episode, I have to say it’s surprisingly good. Good job, guys.
Oh, and the bitter irony of writing about a show based on loners making friends when I’m a forever-alone type myself who has essentially let just about all past friendships drift away and fade is not lost upon me. Excuse me why I go cry in a corner or something.
- Preview trailer on Youtube.
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Seitokai no Ichizon or, uh… Toradora?
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Another great thing about this anime was that despite it being a harem comedy, it was pretty insightful. What exactly does define a friend? When exactly are people considered friends? Human relationships are complicated, and this anime delves into just how complicated they can be.” – Metanorn
- “It is bad to say this, but one of the best things about this show is how pointless it all is. They get together to make friends or at least appear to have friends, but none of them seem to get along. They make a club and advertise to get something they don’t expect or want. This show is an ecchi show, but if it follows the manga it won’t be piling the dirty jokes on as much as some shows do.” – Nerd Age
- “Finally a half decent first episode. It wasn’t amazing or anything, but it did make me chuckle a few times and managed to keep my attention. It was much much MUCH better than the OVA.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “Comparing the OVA and this first episode, I really like what AIC Build has done with the animation this time around and I think Hisashi Saitou does a good job with the directing because the way some of the scenes play out play a big part in depicting emotions of the show. I’m impressed. Grade: 7.8/10.” – Conspicuous Klux
- “I don’t doubt that this series will be much discussed and very popular, but I’m still a bit on the fence. There was a touch of blandness about the premiere – the last thing I would have predicted – and none of the characters really leapt off the screen.” – Lost in America
- “It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great either…It’s about a group of people who can’t seem to make friends, and rightly so. The two girls that appeared in this episode are bitches. Their personality is rotten. That black haired girl is unreasonable, and the blonde is just full of herself.” – Forty Four Fennecs
- “It’s a harem anime of the lowest order, with the main love interest introduced early on, and thus the point of watching completely obliterated. I still don’t know why series like this are being made, to be honest, since the only way to keep a harem interesting is to either introduce an element of unpredictability, or to have the characters be strong enough to prop a show up by themselves, and BokuTomadachi seems incapable of either feat from what I’ve seen.” – Shinde Iie
- “I thought that this would be a show about outcasts. Instead, the main cast consists out of two people with foreign looks, suffering from Japan’s xenophoby, and another character who refuses to talk to others because of… arrogance I guess. That was not what I expected. Strangely enough, these people didn’t seem to suffer from insecurities at all. Instead, the emotion that prevailed here was annoyance for not being able to make friends. Potential: 40%.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “For a series without a prequel/sequel, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai premiered with a great episode to match even the most sought after titles of the fall season. The character design is actually quite similar to that of Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, with plenty of humor and similar development.” – The Akiba
- “I am not quite sure about how Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai will turn out. On one hand we have, the high school harem genre modified a bit to have friendship, which in turn could be fun to watch. On the other hand, the show could go down the dime a dozen harems that we have seen before and just like the rest in the genre. Grade: 3/5.” – Janai Blog
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Working Season 2, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Thumbs-down for Round One: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2, Kimi to Boku, C3: CubexCursedxCurious, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls
Coming up next: Shakugan no Shana Final, Hunter x Hunter, Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Love, Tamayura: Hitotose, Persona 4: The Animation, Maken-ki, Cross Fight Bedaman, Digimon Xros Wars II