Anime of Tomorrow
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (review)
Final impression – short-lived, repetitive fun (6/10)
Autumn 2011 (12 episodes) (alternate title – Bokuha Tomodachiga Sukunai) (title literal translation – I Don’t Have Many Friends)
Kodaka was never very good at making friends and being half-Japanese with dirty blonde hair didn’t help his popularity at school. Yozora was always a tomboy and couldn’t get along with the other girls. When she forces Kodaka to go along with a new club she’s made for the explicit purpose of making new friends, their circle grows in ways they didn’t anticipate. It turns out Sena, the most popular girl in school, wants to seek real friendship instead of the empty admiration of her posse. Then things get ridiculous when Yukimura joins in order to work on developing his masculinity. Then the easily excitable Rika enters the scene to be with a group where she can let loose her passionate personality. As this varied group of social rejects stumbles their way through discovering the norms of youth, their clashes of personality set off fireworks of camaraderie.
When I first started watching this anime I had high hopes this was going to be a satirical story about how socially awkward people have a hard time making friends. What I got was a harem anime with an underlying subplot about the reunion of two childhood friends. There’s nothing immediately wrong with that and I don’t feel mislead. But I think a better plot catch would have been to appeal to a fan base that can relate to other people who typically have difficulty making friends. And on that note I am a bit disappointed a chance for a more meaningful story was passed up. This is especially poignant when several entire episodes of this short series are devoted to the characters just playing video games together in their clubroom. Overall, it’s dispersed with some very memorable moments that give a smile and a chuckle, but all the rest just melts into background noise. The pacing is quite poor and never gets a chance to wow the viewer.