First Impression – Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

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:


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18 Responses to “First Impression – Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai”

  1. Junko says:

    Seems like it wont be a ‘male character moves an inch -> bam, ecchi shit happens -> gets crap beaten out of him’ kinda harem, so that’s a nice start.

    Actually kinda interested to see where this goes. Although, from what I’ve seen of the other characters involved, I don’t think I’m going to give a damn about them. Why can’t everyone just be simple and consistent looking rather than running about in cosplay..

    • Karakuri says:

      LOL yes, those seem all too common these days.

      Er, yeah. I’m curious to know why the hell they have a loli nun there, but at the same time I don’t. At all.

  2. Dan-go says:

    OH MY GOD SENA IS SO HOTTTTT. that butterfly clip/eyes…*jiiiiiii*

  3. Spinarakk says:

    To people thinking that this was another Harem Ecchi show, unless of course the anime decides to add that, the show WON’T have a single ecchi harem cliched moment in it. I don’t think Kodaka has even tripped or fallen over ONCE in the entire manga.

    The first episode set up the story fairly well, and I can’t wait till they start playing games and the two girls try their best to piss each other off.

  4. Samantha Zan says:

    I honestly did think this was another harem show too, but nice to know I can be wrong sometimes xD. I do really like the plot of this show, and I mean, I could even understand why at the begnning (or middleish) why no one wanted to be friends with Kodaka. Though I think that situtation might be a little exaggerated xD, but I think people are quick to judge a person with such a stunt like that. Even with Yozora and Sena, on how everyone brands them on how they act on the outside, which I can’t blame the people on, since they think what they see.

    Anyway, now the actually episode, I mostly like the character relationships they laid out for us. Yozora and Kodaka, I can see the loyal bond of friendship right there xD. Then Yozora and Sena, love-hate relationship in my opnion xD. Can’t really tell Sena’s and Kodaka’s though. I favorite scene was probably with Kodaka and Yozora at the begnning, it really does wonder about the true human nature of friendship.

    Anyway, another thing I liked was the character design, of at least Sena and Yozora, since FUUUUUU WHY SO PRETTY XD! I think I like Yozora’s character design a little bit more, since I have a think for girls with ribbons in her hair xD. But Sena is a close 2nd with the Vocaloid Magnet clip in her hair xD.

    Okay, overall this is a good first-starter, but I do really hope they can keep away from the harem set up here (Which I doubt, but just not too much please!).

    • Karakuri says:

      I thought it would be like that too. As I said, this show actually got pretty into how society works, so that definitely drove it away from that genre, which is nice. Though I agree that Kodaka’s situation was totally exaggerated XD.

      Hmmm, as for Sena, judging from what I’ve seen (and based on every other harem out there), she’ll join the harem because Kodaka isn’t one of her fanboys. I could be wrong though. Yozora and Sena’s relationship is hilarious and I hope they focus more on that.

      I absolutely love Sena’s colour palette. That blue they used for her clip and eyes is extremely pretty. Though I also like the purple for Yozora’s eyes.


  5. Samantha Zan says:

    Ahhh my comment got eaten T_T

  6. BlackBriar says:

    This is a really nice anime. I can already see Kodoka and Yozora pairing up. Everyone is the school is an Otaku. I see PSPs all in their hands. If that’s a club, I want to join, and in a heartbeat. Yozora and Sena will soon become the best of friends, I’m sure of it. And I feel sorry for Kodoka. LOL. Bad first impression on the class. Oooh, that’s harsh.

    I personally like how this anime is reflecting on society, peer presure and image today. Mainly saying you need friends and popularity to get things going in one’s life. Wanting to be alone sometimes isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some prefer that than always being among a crowd. Some are fake friends, there just to see you fall flat on your face.

    • Karakuri says:

      It is! Though it looks like Sena might just make this into a love triangle. …. or an hexagon maybe if ALL of the female characters join in on the harem. Kodaka is a pretty okay character though who isn’t actually aiming for a harem, so that makes him okay in my eyes.

      Same here and I hope they focus more on that a bit as the storyline moves along. That whole thing is what made this stand out from other harem anime for me.

  7. Foshizzel says:

    I like the two main chicks but they quickly turned Tsundere so fast! Well I guess to each other mostly, and yay another series with my favorite actress! Itou, Kanae she seems to be stuck playing roles where her characters always have special hair accessories like Ohana, Saten and now Sena.

    And fun fact! The loli nun voiced by Index! Another actress stuck in playing nuns for life….

    I will watch this their club sounds awesome and yes it reminds me so much of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, oddball main lead girl forms a club and “recruits” people to join in the fun xD

    • Karakuri says:

      Ahaha and it looks like they’ll be fighting all season.

      And Hanazawa gets yet another imouto role. NOT THAT I EVER GET TO USE THE TAG.

      Haruhi indeed. Only Kodaka doesn’t have a necktie for Yozora to drag him by. And somehow I doubt Sena will be as compliant as Mikuru was XD.

      • Foshizzel says:

        Lol yeah Sena will probably dress up on her own, I know the image boards are exploding with pictures of all the girls.

  8. […] “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 […]

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