Sometimes a show’s concept has to be so blank and open-ended, that the room for hilarity and insanity is open for anything and everything. Haganai (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai) is a great example of that.
The concept of the show is so simple, it requires almost no explanation. Two loners decide to form a club to make friends. That’s it, that’s all the show really is. In the early going it’s just Yozora and Kodaka, two students known for being unapproachable, Yozora just ignoring everyone and Kodaka being viewed as a delinquent, even though he’s the total opposite, his look just gives off the wrong impression to everyone. So after Kodaka finds Yozora talking to her imaginary friend, she gets the idea of making the Neighbors Club, designed as a place for those who are alone having a place to make friends. In actuality, it’s Yozora’s way of being able to be alone with Kodaka, but that backfires real quick with the introduction of the first new member of the club, Sena.
From then on, it’s an endless parade of crazy people and shenanigans that counter everything Yozora intended the entire club to be when she made it. Naturally, Kodaka is the only male in the entire club, because harems are always fun. Yes, there’s Yukimura who claims to be a male, but let’s be honest, if you took one look at Yukimura and didn’t think she was a girl, you clearly haven’t watched a lot of anime, especially harems. The girls range from Yozora, who’s very tomboyish, Sena who’s a pervert, Yukimura, who’s proper and NOT A BOY, Rika who is the giant nerd, Maria who is the annoying child and Kobato (who is also Kodaka’s sister) who is the chuunibyo girl. Together, these girls combine to create the biggest ball of insanity that poor Kodaka has to deal with on a daily basis.
The show is about what you’d expect from a harem, there’s quite a bit of ecchi to it, but also delves deep into over-the-top shenanigans and humour. There were plenty of times during the course of the show that I was in stitches over some of the jokes and random twists the show takes. But there’s no hiding the fact that a major part of the show is in its sexual content. There’s a lot of walking in on girls dressing.
What I really like about the show though is that unlike the majority of the harem anime out there, for once the “childhood friend” character is actually the one I’m rooting for in the end. Generally speaking, the childhood friend character in harems tend to be either boring or just unlikable, where in Haganai, Yozora is easily the most likable character for me. She’s a tomboy who dressed as a boy through her childhood, making Kodaka think he’d been friends with a boy the whole time until they reconnected in their current high school. So she comes off very relatable at times, at least when she’s not talking about her innate desire to kill “normies”. It’s also in the moments that we see her in a more feminine demeanor and showing us her cute side that she’s even better, seeing her blush madly because she got caught trying on a maid outfit is super adorable. And come on, she made a full-body swimsuit still look sexy!
Other girls shine as well, Sena has her moments when she’s not being perverted and trying to attach herself onto Kobato. Speaking of Kobato, her chuunibyo attitude makes for a great character, I particularly love her laugh that she mimics from the anime character she idolizes. Other side girls like Stella (Sena’s butler) and Kate (Maria’s older sister) also have their moments as well, pretty much every character gets their time in the sun and they make the most of it.
If you can put up with ecchi content, Haganai’s a pretty decent anime to take a look at. It’s a pretty funny show filled with a very bright cast of characters, there’s really never a moment that makes the show get too depressing, which for me is a major plus. So check it out…IF YOU DARE!!!