Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu anime series cover art
Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Overview

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu (ひとりぼっちの○○生活), or simply referred to as Hitoribocchi, is a fairly standard slice of life anime in a high school setting. It follows a girl named Hitori Bocchi as she attempts to become friends with every single person in her class.

The only problem is that Hitori is painfully shy and struggles with even the most basic of greetings. Sounds relatable, right? But why is a girl as shy as Hitori attempting to befriend her entire class? Surely it isn’t so that she can overcome her crippling shyness, right?

Well, it’s complicated (not really). Upon graduating from middle school Hitori is separated from her one and only friend, Kai Yawara. Not only are they physically separated due to the fact that they’re going to different high schools, but Kai also cuts off all contact with Hitori.

The reason she does this is because she knows that if Hitori still has her as a friend, she won’t be motivated to make any new ones. And so Kai gives Hitori an ultimatum. Until she can befriend everyone in her class, the two of them aren’t allowed to have any contact with one another.

Thus begins the story of Hitori Bocchi attempting to make a bunch of friends just so that she can use them as stepping stones to get back to her former best friend.

Characters

Hitori Bocchi is the titular protagonist of the series. As previously mentioned, she has a crippling case of shyness which inhibits her from talking to just about anyone other than Kai. However, once she gets to know people, she seems to have less of an issue talking to them.

Some of Hitori’s key traits are that she often stammers when under pressure and faints when surprised. Surprises resulting in fainting don’t have to be of the scary sort. If someone surprises her by agreeing to be her friend, that’s enough to do the trick.

Her personality also frequently swings back and forth between being extremely confident and extremely depressed. She tends to get too confident before trying to speak to someone, ends up failing, and then is depressed by her failure.

Hitori Bocchi from the anime series Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu
Hitori Bocchi

The first friend Hitori makes in her new school is a girl named Nako Sunao. Nako is pegged as the delinquent of the class by all of her classmates as well as the teacher. A running gag in the series is that the teacher is afraid of Nako because she believes she’s a member of a gang.

However, this is simply untrue. Naki is extremely direct which tends to cause people to think that she’s scary. We’re also told that she just has one of those scary looking faces since she scowls a lot. Finally, the fact that she has blonde hair isn’t helping her fit in.

Next Hitori befriends the vice president of her class, Aru Honshou. While I don’t like most of the gags that are pulled with Aru, she definitely has the most entertaining personality of the series. Aru is what you would call “unfortunate.”

Everything that could possibly go wrong to embarrass her does, and yet because she’s the vice president she tries her best to keep anyone from figuring this out. The only problem is that no matter what she does, she’s unable to hide this fact from Nako.

By far the best gag that was played with Aru’s unfortunate quality was when she showed up at school wearing her elementary school outfit. The first day it was just a backpack, but by the end she was fully kitted out as an elementary schooler.

The fourth and final of the main characters is Sotoka Rakita (Sotca Luckythar). I honestly didn’t know what her non-Japanese name was until I looked it up just now. Sotoka is a foreign student who came to Japan in order to learn how to become a ninja.

She refers to Hitori as “master” and learns ninjutsu from her (not really). She’s also exceptional at origami, and her specialty is the shuriken. Overall I’d have to say that Sotoka is the weakest of the four main characters despite the fact that she’s clearly a fellow Naruto fan.

General Thoughts

Originally I thought this series was much better than I did later on. It seemed like it was going to be pretty funny, which it was at times, but I quickly learned that constantly repeating the same jokes and gags gets old. Each character has only one or two gags which get reused every episode.

And since this is a slice of life series, that’s not a very sustainable game plan. Slice of life anime need something to keep them engaging, whether it be interesting characters, comedy, or drama. Without a continuous supply of those they tend to get a bit boring after a bit.

But I think the real problem is that I don’t see comedy/slice of life series to be all that sustainable as a genre. The best one I can think of is Yuru Yuri, and I gave that an 8/10. Every slice of life series I have rated higher than that is drama/slice of life.

Aru Honshou using her Aru Aru Beam from the anime series Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu
Aru Honshou using her Aru Aru Beam

I’d say that the true best parts of this series are the OP and ED. While both are definitely good, and the OP has some better animation, I think I preferred the ED. The ED has a much slower song and the animation mainly consists of Hitori and her friends walking.

However, what really makes the ED superior than the OP to me is the incorporation of manga panels, some of which have been slightly animated. I always like when manga panels are used in anime OP/EDs. While this wasn’t the most seamless use of them, it was still a nice touch.

Conclusion

In the end Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu was a 5/10. I don’t think there was anything particularly good or bad about it, which means it falls right in the middle. I also never really looked forward to watching it each week for any reason. If I had, I probably would have bumped it up to a 6.

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