Tag: Haganai

Haganai NEXT

Haganai NEXT

Haganai: I don't have many friends NEXT anime cover art
Haganai NEXT Cover Art

Overview

Haganai: I don’t have many friends NEXT is the second season of Haganai and picks up from exactly where the first season left off. Yozora and Kodaka have just recently realized they were friends as kids, and have decided to keep it a secret from the rest of the club members.

As far as the general plot of this season goes compared to the first, not much has really changed. The Neighbors Club is still composed of the same seven members, and their relationships with each other haven’t progressed any since the first season.

The biggest change this season was the lack of nudity which was present in the first season. I can only remember one time in the second season where anything 18+ was shown, and it came in the beginning. This could simply mean that I saw a censored version of the second season, but that’s unlikely considering both seasons were on the same website, Crunchyroll.

This season was also slightly more plot focused, but not much. Instead of practicing things in order to be prepared for when they have friends, the various girls are all trying to get Kodaka to see them as romantic partners, although they still say it’s for the sake of practicing for when they have friends.

In the latter half of the season the club decided to make a movie for their school festival, and I couldn’t help feeling as though I’d seen this exact plot somewhere else. That’s right, this is the plot of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, as well as various other high school slice of life anime.

It would have been nice if Haganai did something different, but I guess old tropes die hard. That said, by following this same trope the season lost my interest in the second half. I didn’t care for this plot in Haruhi or any of the other anime I’ve seen it in, so why would I care this time?

Character Updates

There are a couple of new characters introduced in this season, but unfortunately two of the three are introduced at the end of the season, and none of them are main characters. These are Kate, Aoi, and Hinata.

Kate is Maria’s older sister, who’s also a Sister at the school/church, but who’s still only 15 and so refers to Kodaka as her older brother just like Maria does. Despite hiding it from Maria, Kate is constantly worried about her younger sister and needs to continuously check up on her.

Aoi and Hinata are introduced towards the end of the season and are members of the student council. Aoi is Sena’s self-proclaimed rival, and Hinata is the Student Council President for the second year in a row. Unlike most people in the school, these two aren’t put off by Kodaka and want him to join the Student Council.

If there was ever to be a third season, I think these characters would be brought in to be more recurring, but since the second season of Haganai came out back in 2013 I doubt a third season will ever happen. I also don’t think it needs a third season; it’s a pretty standard high school, harem, comedy.

Besides those three new supporting characters, three of the new characters also got upgrades this season, and by upgrades I mean we learned some new, game-changing information about them. I’ll start with Rika because she’s my favorite of the girls in this series.

Rika Shiguma depressed and in a maid outfit from the anime Haganai NEXT
Rika Shiguma depressed and in a maid outfit

The big reveal about Rika this season is that she actually doesn’t need glasses despite wearing them throughout the entire first season. That’s right, Rika’s glasses are just for show, and so she opts to go without them for much of this season.

We also learn that despite her personality, Rika is actually the only normal girl in the group. Unlike the rest of the Neighbors Club, Rika’s the only one who recognizes that the club no longer needs to practice for when they have friends because they’re all already friends.

Next up is second best girl, Sena. It’s revealed that Sena is actually Kodaka’s childhood friend from back when they were toddlers. Worst-girl Yozora’s character had become defined by the fact that she was Kodaka’s childhood friend, so it was nice to see her get beaten by Sena.

Additionally, Kodaka and Sena are technically engaged due to an arranged marriage between their fathers. This next part is more of a spoiler than anything else I’ve written so far, but Sena is also the only girl throughout the series who actually professes her love to Kodaka.

The final and best new character development comes from Yukimura, Kodaka’s sworn brother. It had generally been accepted throughout the first season that Yukimura was an extremely feminine male, however, it’s revealed that Yukimura was actually a female the whole time, but just didn’t know.

This revelation was probably the funniest part of the season, if not the entire series. The fact that the series had committed to Yukimura being male for so long before it was revealed that she was, in fact, female, made it so much better. Needless to say, Yukimura is still Kodaka’s sworn brother nonetheless.

Conclusion

In the end, Haganai NEXT gets the same rating as Haganai6/10. It was a good watch, but it wasn’t anything special. It had its funny moments, but there are other comedies that are funnier. But, most of all, I don’t like Kodaka nor Yozora’s characters, and if two of the main characters aren’t good, the series probably won’t be any higher than a 6.

I’d also like to mention that the OP for Haganai NEXT isn’t all that good. However, if you’d still like to check it out, it’s available here.

So what are your thoughts on Haganai NEXT? Let me know in the comments, and while your down there click the like button if you enjoyed this post. You can also follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or subscribe to my blog via email, if you’d like to be notified every time a new post goes live.

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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.

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