Haganai

Haganai

Haganai anime cover art featuring the main characters
Haganai Cover Art

Overview

Before we begin, let me just say that this is a review of the first season of Haganai (which is 12 episodes long) as well as episode 0 and the bonus 13th episode which I believe came with the DVD release. The second season, Haganai Next, will be reviewed at a later date.

Haganai is a pretty standard high school comedy, ecchi, harem anime except for the fact that Crunchyroll has the uncensored version which I wasn’t expecting when I started the series considering there is a censored version. Either way, this didn’t affect the series very much.

To give an example of how fairly generic this anime is, the harem has a loli, an imouto, a childhood friend, a younger classmate, the popular girl, and a trap. It also combines some other character tropes with these ones so it has a little bit of everything.

Episode 0 was more of a preview than an actual episode as some episode 0’s tend to be. It was only half-length (roughly 12 minutes) and quickly showed a bit of the main cast with a mini plot about making a hot-pot.

However, I didn’t find episode 0 to be entertaining, and if I had watched it before the series (I watched it after) I probably wouldn’t have even given the rest of the anime a chance. The other special episode, episode 13, was more entertaining an full-length.

In episode 13 the cast writes their own novel with each member adding a single page. It was kind of like a mix of seven different fan-fics mashed together which was a pretty entertaining watch.

The main portion of the first season was better than both special episodes. The general plot is that the characters are all part of a club known as the Neighbors Club. The point of this club is to learn how to make friends since each of the characters is a loner for one reason or another.

Basically the series just follows the cast doing a bunch of activities that they think friends would do in order to practice in case they ever actually make friends of their own. It’s clear to the viewer that the main cast have become friends, but none of them ever seem to realize this.


Characters

Kodaka Hasegawa is the protagonist and one of the two founding members of the Neighbors Club (although it was founded without his knowledge). He’s your typical comedy, ecchi, harem protagonist who’s generally oblivious to the feelings of the girls around him.

Yozora Mikazuki is Kodaka’s childhood friend (although he doesn’t know this for most of the series) and she’s generally not as interesting or entertaining as the rest of the characters, as you’d expect from the childhood friend trope. Unfortunately, the series attempts to push her on the viewer anyway.

If Yozora is worst girl, then Sena Kashiwazaki, the popular girl, is best girl. Sena and Yozora are foil characters who don’t really have anything in common. While Yozora is annoying and boring, Sena is “nice” and entertaining. She’s also the main tsundere of the group.

Kobato Hasegawa is Kodaka’s younger sister who suffers from an extreme case of chūnibyō. She usually dresses in gothic lolita fashion like her favorite anime character and thinks of herself as a vampire.

Kobato Hasegawa from the anime Haganai
Kobato Hasegawa

The other loli of the series is Maria Takayama, a sister of the church and apparently a faculty member despite being something like 11 years old. She and Kobato aren’t foil characters like Yozora and Sena, but they do tend to argue with each other frequently.

*Fun Fact: Maria Takayama has the same voice actress as Index from A Certain Magical Index, and this series even references that by having Maria dress like Index in one scene.

Rika Shiguma is Kodaka’s younger classmate and a science student (she literally just does research in the science lab). Although Sena is “best girl,” Rika was the most entertaining due to her love of extremely niche, adult manga.

The final character is Yukimura Kusunoki, a very feminine boy who wants to learn how to be more manly and tough. To do this, he follows Kodaka around and refers to him as “Aniki” as if he were a Yakuza boss.

Despite wanting to be manly, Yukimura solely wears women’s clothes (including bathing suits) because Yozora told him that real men exude an air of manliness even when wearing feminine clothing.

Conclusion

Episode 0 was a 2/10, episode 13 was a 5/10, and the main portion of Haganai was a 6/10. I’m looking forward to Haganai Next because I don’t see how it could be any worse than the first season, but I have other series and seasons of series I want to get through first.

If you’re someone who isn’t yet bored of comedy, ecchi, harem anime, then I’d suggest giving Haganai a watch because it really was an enjoyable series.

The OP for Haganai is available here.

Loading Likes...

Leave a Comment

Bitnami