Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Review

Hello there. This is review number sixty one. I’m preparing my mind for one more Spring anime but in the meantime, I decided to watch a Fall 2011 anime. The anime this time is Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukanai or I don’t have many friends. It’s a twelve episode anime about friendship or something? I was mostly watching to see the cute imouto and the boobs though. I kid. It’s an awesome show *cough*

Story

Kodaka Hasegawa is a transfer student who has no friend after rumors spread around school of him being a bully. He spends all his time alone with people always staying clear of him. One day, he forgot something in his classroom and he discovers Yozora Mikazuki talking to herself. It appears she is friendless as well. They talk about ways to befriend people and Yozora came up with an excellent idea. She created a club for people without friends and they would gather helping each other to make friends. A club called “The Neighbors Club”.

Taking the Pants Off

So this anime is about making friends. I’m a bit introverted so I can understand the feeling of being out of place. Wouldn’t it be a great idea if there was a club dedicated to helping you gain friends? Yozora thought so too so she created the “Neighbors Club”. I really the premise of a bunch of oddballs stuck in a room trying to sharpen their social skills in order for them to make friends. I didn’t expect the anime to fall along the lines of Setokai no Ichizon though. It’s something fairly new in anime where we only have one guy in the entire cast and then a bunch of girls. It’s not harem and the appeal of the anime mostly stems from this group spending time together doing activities and other fun things. There is also very little plot which is disappointing for this anime because it had potential.

I like the anime, don’t get me wrong, but I also love a good story. This anime is just a bunch of eccentric people spending their days with each other doing various activities and producing some funny moments at the same time. Most of the time the characters would be doing activities to help them make friends like playing video games and going to beach. There isn’t really a plot that the anime builds up until the end. The premise was promising though. The misadventures of a bunch of friendless people as they try to make friends sounds like a nice story.

Despite a thin plot, the anime does stand out for two reasons. One of the reasons is the characters. It’s standard among anime that if the story seems weak then the characters carry the weight. I love each and every character in this anime and it’s enough to make me forget about the thin plot. From the guy who is mistaken for a delinquent to the gullible ten year old nun, there is no shortage of interesting characters in this anime. Even characters that only appeared once in the anime were interesting in their own way like Sena’s tsundere dad. There is some really great chemistry among the characters and it’s often their interaction with each other that makes the anime so fun to watch. I really love it when the mean spirited Yozora would tease the innocent Sena. The outcome of each encounter often make me laugh out loud (no, not LOL, you bastards).

The second strength of the anime is it’s Comedy elements. It also stems from the amazing cast of characters and their everyday exploits. Each character can easily make you laugh whether it’s the scared reaction of people whenever Kodaka approach them or whether it’s the lab coat girl turning every situation into porn. I love one scene where she was imagining dirty things as she admires the interlocking chains of a train or how she can turn a mecha battle dirty with just reading the lines in a different way. The interaction of the characters brings a lot of laughs too. It’s just a brilliant set up and even if the same joke was used many times, it can still make you laugh.

The anime also has this subtle charm to it where it features certain attitudes of an introvert and building something from it. I’m an introvert so I can easily relate to Yozora feeling left out when the class do groups for Home Ec and she just stays in a corner being ignored by her group mates. It’s mannerisms like those that help me relate to the characters. The anime never really discussed the matter of having no friends and just delivered a lot of comedy which is a shame. Smiling as you see the address on your cellphone double, the awkward feeling of being in a crowded place and the joy of having someone understand you are all part of being an introvert. I wish the anime was more direct on that point but it’s not really what the anime is about. The anime is about comedy and lots of it.

There is also a very nice lesson here that the anime wasn’t direct about. The idea of having other people share the same problem as you is reassuring. You’re not the only one having a hard time obtaining friends and there are people out there willing to be friends with you. A person you can trust, call when you need help and understand you. It’s a nice message that I think the anime doesn’t realize. Another lesson is not about having hundreds of friends but having one that is worth a hundred. Isn’t that touching? It just makes your heart go “d’awwww”, doesn’t it?

It’s not hard to like the characters and I’m certain the comedy aspect of the anime will easily hook you. There is one thing the anime didn’t do right though. It tried to set up a comedy love triangle between the three main characters but nothing really materializes from it. I understand that the anime is mostly comedy but it established some romantic elements so I was hoping they’d go through with it. Sena is really adorable and despite being rich and beautiful with gigantic knockers, she is often like a helpless puppy when she talks to Kodaka which I find cute. It’s very cute and very romantic. I was hoping the anime would cross the “more than friends” bridge but the anime ended abruptly for anything to happen. It’s a minor blemish on the anime but it’s all good.

Sight and Sound

The character is familiar for people who have seen Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. The noticeable cute lips and the way the face is drawn are very similar. It’s been done by the same artist and that is really a great plus for the anime. It retains a lot of its childish charm while still being able to serve a lot of fan service. Each character was very nicely designed and it goes well with their comedic personalities. The outfits in the anime are also nicely designed. There were a lot of outfits in the anime especially in the first part where the characters are playing video games. They would often cosplay what they are playing.

The animation is pretty solid with the facial expressions being the most standout. I particularly like Kodaka’s little sister’s facial expressions that go from serious to childish in mere moments. The fan service in the anime is nicely done as well. Each character comes off a cute and sexy including the little girls which I know sounds creepy. I like the fan service because its bold like ecchi but not actually crossing the line.

My favorite part in the anime is the scene where they mention the “brought to you by the following sponsors” segment at the start of each show. They show this real life scene where a girl wears a shirt with a print on it. It goes stop motion as the shirts changes and the picture moves. It’s really well done especially since it must’ve taken a lot of shirts.

The soundtrack of the anime is also a great standout. The opening song was pretty wild and it easily threw me off when I was still in the feeling out process. It had the same energy as the anime. It’s very upbeat and quirky which suits the anime well. The opening was really crazy and it certainly fits the anime well. The ending song is really great as well. The same energy of the OP is present in the ED with an impressive ending sequence where the characters are lip synching the words and air guitar-ing the sound.

Overall Score

7/10 “A nice story about friendship with a pretty interesting cast.”

This is a really great anime and if you want a different way to explore the theme of friendship then this anime certainly fits the bill. The anime has a great premise, awesome cast and a lot of funny moments. It will certainly not disappoint.

3 thoughts on “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Review

  1. it sounds interesting. I’ll have to see if I can find it. A lite anime is always good now and then after something heavy/long in episodes.

  2. This was one of my favorite anime last year. Still love Kobato and her cute antics.

    Also, the thin plot could be contributed to the anime basically being the exposition in the light novels. Can’t wait for more seasons.

Thoughts~

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