Making friends can be harder than you think
|I’ve had my eyes on Boku wa Tomodachi for some time. And by that, I mean I’ve had my eyes on Sena. Getting off of that path, it should be fun to do first impressions, and doing so with my friend Karakuri!|
|So once again, I find myself tagging what appears to be a harem show. However, the whole plot about making friends interests me so hopefully this goes above and beyond my expectations because if I have to sit through something like C3 again, I’ll flip a table.|
Welcome to Saint Chronica Academy, where everyone appears to enjoy a normal, healthy high school life with their friends. However, there is one guy who stands out because not only does he not have any friends, but also people are afraid of him. Meet the protagonist, Hasegawa Kodaka.
Unlike most protagonists, he lacks eyes for the first couple minutes of the anime
As Kodaka returns to the classroom to get his bag, he notices from the doorway that a girl in his class, Mikazuki Yozora, is talking to someone and laughing. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal because that’s what everyone in this school does, but he notices this because normally Yozora looks unhappy and antisocial. He wonders if she’s talking to the supernatural (like in a light novel he just read), but when he opens the door, Yozora is the only one there.
Yozora reverts back to looking unhappy and Kodaka asks her if she can see ghosts. However, Yozora says no and explains defensively that she was talking to her air friend (it’s like and air guitar, only twice as delusional). Yozora claims that her friend Tomo is real though and starts explaining the things she’s done with her. None of the stories are consistent though.
Kodaka suggests she find some real friends, but neither of them know how to go about doing that. Plus Kodaka doesn’t really have any in the first place since he transferred in a month ago. Yozora suggests paying people off to friends (which Kodaka rejects for obvious reasons) and the topic moves on to what defines friends and how society thinks one needs friends despite Yozora being content with her imaginary one.
They can’t join a club either since no one wants a club member only interested in making friends. Also joining this far into the year would only mess up the relationships that the club members have already formed. Suddenly, Yozora gets an idea and runs off.
So flashing back a month ago to when Kodaka transferred, it turns out he was late the first day from taking the wrong bus and then had to run all the way to school. When he got to the classroom, he was out of breath and couldn’t form proper sentences (plus he tripped, making it look like he was attacking the teacher) so everyone assumed he was a delinquent. Oh, plus his blonde hair. It didn’t help that he forgot his textbook and needed to borrow the girl’s beside him either because then a rumour spread that he extorted a textbook off a girl spread.
And Kodaka has never worn his pants normally since.
The next day, Kodaka watches Yozora in class and she doesn’t move the entire day. However, after school, Yozora asks him to follow her (much to everyone else’s surprise). It turns out that Yozora decided to form her own club (so all of the members will be new and there won’t be any social awkwardness) called the Neighbors club. The description for the club is long and flowery, but the real goal of the club is to simply make friends. Also, Kodaka is a member as decided by Yozora.
They get a rather nice room for their club, as allowed by their moderator (who also lacks friends) and Yozora tells Kodaka that they’re going to post posters with a bunch of hidden messages on them to recruit members. Apparently lonely people will be able to decipher the meaning on them.
So they go to distribute the posters and Yozora tells Kodaka to call her by her first name. Kodaka asks if she has a nickname instead, but Yozora says that she won’t tell him it since nicknames are something friends call each other. Minutes after they finish and return to the club room, someone knocks on the door.
A girl asks to join, but Yozora slams the door in her face and ignores her completely. Kodaka asks if Yozora knows the girl (after Yozora slams the door in her face again saying that popular people can go die). Yozora denies knowing her, but then says that the girl is Kashiwazaki Sena, daughter of the board chairman and that she has a ton of fanboys that surround her.
Sena appears in the window and Yozora accuses her of making fun of them. However, Sena really does want friends. She and Yozora argue about boob size for a bit, but then Kodaka asks why Sena needs friends. Apparently, despite her near perfection, Sena has no friends since all of the other females alienate her for being too good looking and popular. Plus the males that surround her are considered doormats (that enjoy being stepped on). Kodaka suggests that Sena and Yozora become friends, but that just sparks them arguing again. And thus, the Neighbors Club was founded.
Because nothing says ‘friendship’ quite like nuns
Okay, I have a bunch of things to say before I start talking about what I thought. First of all, Kodaka should roll down his pants so he stops looking like he’s wearing man capris. Second, what is with every single anime I’ve watched/blogged this week and arguing about boob size?! Other than that, this anime was great comedy. I laughed quite a few times at Yozora’s comments. Not as much as something like Mayo Chiki, where 80% of what’s going on is over the top and comedy based, but it was still amusing.
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. It also covers how society pressures people into needing friends, but at the same time, people are afraid to mess with social dynamics. It’s hard to fit in as a new person when everyone has known one another for a long time. Of course, not all cases are like this, but it’s pretty common. Long story short, I’m impressed on how deep this conversation went for an anime. I wasn’t expecting that.
Once again, I am very disappoint. HANAZAWA HAS A CHARACTER IN THIS, BUT SHE NEVER SPOKE. Will I EVER get to use the Hanazawa Virus tag?! Other than that though, Kanae Itou as Sena is probably the greatest casting I have ever heard. Normally I’ll hear a seiyuu in an anime and go “Oh yeah, I can see why they cast them here”, but with Sena, I can’t imagine anyone else acting her role. It’s too freaking perfect. Though this is just judging from what I’ve seen so far in the anime as I didn’t get all that far in the manga. Also, that animation totally reminds me of Denpa Onna (not that that’s a bad thing) and the ending song is great. I had to laugh at Yozora and her air guitar. Overall, this was a great first episode and I’ll be watching the rest of the series as well. This anime has me impressed.
Facebook will put a number to the amount of friends you’ve gained (the Farmville Moms, which I’m sure there will be a political push for in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election), but it’s interesting to think about what it takes for a friendship to truly form. Some might say it takes a period of time, others could say after certain experiences (number of experiences not of importance). I think about the podcasts I do with Kyokai and Hato. I’ve had fun times with them, but are they actually my friends? They live on the other side of the planet from me and an IRL meeting is highly doubtful. The meaning of friend is changing in this era of social media, so I don’t think I’m too off-base in considering them my friends. I’m sure if there’s ever such a thing as a post-Metanorn era, I’d still go to FB and see those two and the other Metanorn people and look fondly on the fun we had.
A little heavy there, which Bokuwa isn’t really meant to be. I really enjoyed episode 1 a lot. The OP & ED themes are the best combo I’ve seen so far this season with fun animation and catchy tunes. I was really attracted to the crisp and fine animation AIC Build did here (Jrow did like them skirt shots of Yozora). Kodaka is as good a male lead as I would have hoped for him to be. Level-headed and not a hentai, he seems to bring the qualities that I love so much in Kyon and Kyousuke from OreImo. Yozora and Sena are terrific on their own, but together I found it fun to watch them bicker at each other and we still got more to come!
This voice cast is fantastic and I love the casting. I’m not a guy who makes it a point to look at seiyuu cast right away, but I do like being surprised at hearing familiar voices. Starting with Kodaka, voiced by Ryohei Kimura who does Shouma in Penguindrum. It took a little time to identify, and I loved when he yelled that delinquent/pervert line. Kanae Itou as Sena, I heard Ohana-chan yelling instantly and I really liked hearing Sena (in addition to looking at her). Marina Inoue as Yozora, I started liking her back when I watched Sekirei. And we still have yet to utilize the hanazawa virus tag on here, because of course she’s on Boku wa Tomodachi.
Did anyone else have an air friend? I personally don’t remember having one.
Episode 2 Preview: