We Never Learn

We Never Learn

We Never Learn anime series cover art
We Never Learn

Overview

We Never Learn (Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai / ぼくたちは勉強ができない), or simply BokuBen, is another romantic comedy with a harem set in a high school. And, while that may at first sound boring since the sub-genre is pretty overdone, I’d say this is one of the better ones.

It actually reminded me a lot of The World God Only Knows, which is another anime in this sub-genre I consider good. If you’re a fan of The World God Only Knows, you’ll probably like BokuBen; and if you’re a fan of BokuBen, you’ll probably like The World God Only Knows.

But despite how similar these two series look and feel, their plots are very different. In BokuBen, the story focuses on a high school student who needs a recommendation from his school to get into a special academic program. And he’s offered this recommendation if he can successfully tutor some of the brightest minds in the school.

Rizu Ogata, Uraka Takemoto, and Fumino Furuhashi from the anime series We Never Learn (BokuBen)
Rizu, Uraka, and Fumino

At first it seems like a fairly easy task: help girls who are already experts in their fields study. But, things get more complicated as Yuiga learns more about each of their hopes and dreams. It turns out that all of the girls are hoping to go to university for their weakest subjects, not their strong suits.

Honestly though, the gag that each girl wants to study the one thing they’re terrible at isn’t all that important. I mean, it’s important in that it’s the catalyst for them each interacting with the protagonist, but the series would have been essentially the same if these girls weren’t prodigies trying to go against their innate skills.

Main Characters

Nariyuki Yuiga is our protagonist this time around, and his appearance reminds me a lot of Keima’s from The World God Only Knows. However, unlike Keima, Yuiga is actually a functional human being. Sure, he’s a nerd and, like any good protagonist, he’s oblivious to the advances of the girls around him, but he can hold a conversation and make friends.

While Yuiga isn’t a prodigy and doesn’t excel in any one subject, he’s a jack-of-all-trades. Thanks to his relentless studying regiment, he’s climbed his way towards the top of the class in almost every subject.

So now that Yuiga’s out of the way, let’s go through all the girls from worst to best starting with Rizu Ogata. Rizu is basically the anime girl version of Einstein. She can solve any math problem put in front of her, but she wants to go to university for liberal arts instead.

Of all the girls, she’s the only one I would really call a nerd and loser. In fact, she’s less socially competent than Yuiga is, which isn’t a good sign for her.

The next two girls I actually think are tied, so we’ll start with Uraka. She’s a genius when it comes to sports, but fails at every academic subject to compensate for it. I think she wants to study English in university because I can only ever remember her studying that with Yuiga.

Uraka is also a member of the swim team and is Yuiga’s friend from middle school.

Tied with Uraka is Fumino. These two girls are very different, and I like them both for their differences. Fumino is the opposite of Rizu. She excels at literature and writing, but can’t solve an equation to save her life. Obviously she wants to study math.

Side Characters

Now that we’re past the core characters of the series, it’s time to get into the upper tier of girls. A step above Uraka and Fumino is Mafuyu Kirisu, or Kirisu-sensei. She’s a counselor at the school and former tutor of Rizu and Fumino who wanted the girls to continue on with their areas of expertise in college.

And above Kirisu-sensei we have Asumi Kominami. Despite her younger appearance, Asumi is actually the oldest “student” in the series so far. She already graduated from high school and is currently taking a gap year as she studies to get into medical school despite being terrible at science.

Asumi also works part time at a maid cafe to fund her medical school entrance exam studying.

Asumi Kominami from the anime series We Never Learn (BokuBen)
Asumi Kominami

The final, and therefore best, girl from season one of BokuBen is none other than Mizuki Yuiga, Nariyuki’s younger sister. Mizuki is a middle school student with a brother complex, like any good little sister character in anime. Unfortunately, we don’t actually see all that much of her other then when she’s cooking at home.

I’m hoping that we get more Mizuki content in season 2, along with more Kirisu-sensei and Asumi content. And the good news is that we don’t have to wait long for that. Season 2 of BokuBen begins airing in October 2019.

We can also assume that there will be some new girls added to the mix in the second season, since this is a harem series after all. Or, maybe some of the more minor characters, like Uraka’s friends from the swim team, will play a larger role.

Conclusion

We Never Learn (BokuBen) is a on the lower end of 7/10 for me. Really any episode that focused on Rizu wasn’t for me, but other than that I thought it was a good series. Most of the girls are cute, and Yuiga isn’t a completely cringe-worthy protagonist, so can you really ask for much more?

The OP and ED of this series were also pretty good, which is always a bonus. The OP is definitely the better of the two and sports the best animation in the entire series. However, I like the chalkboard aesthetic of the ED.

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