Initial Thoughts: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Persona 4

So I guess today was a day for transfer students, hm? As well as for male leads who befriend some pretty nice-looking females right in the first episode.  All generic set ups aside, these two much anticipated shows seem to be proving their worth right from the start.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, a.k.a. “Haganai
Currently watching
I wasn’t too impressed with this show after watching the OVA, but I’m happy to say that the first episode of the TV series captured my interests once again.  There’s been a lot of hype about this show from the get go, and I’ve seen plenty of talk about it both in blogs and in forums.  And what’s not to like? The art style is pretty, thanks to the beautifully drawn lips by Buriki, and the dialogue is quick and full of punch.  The premise behind the show is a fun one, too.  The whole notion of a couple of friend-less students forming a club for the blatant purpose of making friends sounds a bit silly, but isn’t that the reason why many people, if not all, join clubs in the first place–to find and interact with others who have the same interests? The only catch in this case, though, is that neither of the characters, and the audience included, knows if their interests will work together or not.  Obviously in the shown example of Sena and Yozora, that is likely to be in favor of the negative.

My misgivings are my usual ones: a hope for minimal fan service and a hope that more males show up so this isn’t just another harem.  Thankfully, the male lead isn’t too boring as of yet, at least visually.  Unlike many other harem male leads, Kodaka is actually interesting to look at, with his gradient-shaded blonde hair and sense of style.  I especially like Yozora at the moment, with her strange logic and brusque way of attacking issues head on.  Even Sena isn’t all that she seems, all big-boobed (complete with shaded nipple dots on her uniform) and blonde-haired.  Her acknowledgment of her supposed popularity is refreshing, even believable.  With the rate the club is going, I look forward to meeting some more eccentric members.

Persona 4 The Animation
Currently watching
I know nothing of the video game, but that doesn’t stop me from liking what I see, and disliking some other areas that I wish I could overlook.  The opening scene is pretty cryptic in nature, as we’re confronted by some all-seeing, long-eared old man called “Igor” and a hottie-tottie blondie named “Margaret” who talk to the viewer of spaces between borders, contracts, and fated futures.  The sudden change of setting and introduction of our protagonist makes the opening all the more mysterious and intriguing, since what seems to be the real world looks pretty drab in comparison.  Transfer student Narukami moves to Inaba Village, a town with little to outwardly distinguish itself.  There are some interesting rumors going around, though, of a Midnight TV through which one might see his or her soul mate.  Taken into account with the gruesome murder that takes place, all’s not right in a town that should be peaceful.  Narukami and his friends find that out all too soon for themselves when they take up the challenge of watching Midnight TV and get sucked into the television into some sort of alternate universe where monsters lurk.  What’s the connection, and when did Narukami ever make his contract for his persona?

If there’s one thing I dislike so far with this anime, it’s the art style.  For the better part of the episode, the character designs look carelessly created and shaded.  Narukami is thoroughly boring to look at; the one redeeming aspect to the designs are the surprisingly stylish school uniforms.  It’s not until the three students fall into television world that the saturation levels are amped up, and the animation suddenly looks worth the big hype.  I hope the contrast in art style is intentional, otherwise I find it a shame that such a pumped up title is saddled with such poor artistic flow.

8 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Persona 4

  1. The art style is pretty, thanks to the beautifully drawn lips by Buriki

    While I agree that Buriki’s art is great, I cannot say that about anime’s. It looks so “fat”, mushy or whatnot and not as sharp and thin compared to the original art. Denpa Onna did a better job at this.

    I would love to have an anime featuring the exact same art done by Buriki, as if his drawings would just come alive and move. God I would love that.

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    • Yes, I agree that the overall designs are different than Denpa Onna’s, but I don’t mind the difference in art direction; I like both. Maybe you’ll just have to wait for another SHAFT show with Buriki🙂

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  2. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai’s 1st episode was pretty good, it exceed my expectations😀 though i hate to break it to you but so far, that i’ve read in the manga, there aren’t any other male characters beside Kodaka.. x.x

    As for Persona4, i have to agree that the art is its main problem.. i don’t know for sure but it’s probably like that because that’s what the game actually looks like (or not? i haven’t played/seen the game as well)… but once i get used to it, probably i won’t be complaining anymore since P4 seems like an interesting anime..

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    • Oh dear….well…I’ll just hang in there and hope that the harem set up doesn’t affect the quality of comedy.

      Yes, I may have to check out the Persona games, though I think it a bit silly if they really had approved crappy character designs just because that’s how they were in the game.

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  3. I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t like the first episode of BTS. What’s even more strange is that we have virtually the same reasons for liking it/disliking it. The art and animation are beautiful and the story is set up well for comedy among the characters. And I’m concerned since it’s 6 girls and 1 guy (and a school setting) with some basic fanservice. But probably my biggest worry is that I didn’t find the anime to be all that funny. Going to try the second episode to see if the comedy picks up now that they have the main trio introduced.

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    • Hmm, well now I’m gonna go see if you’ve written a review of the first episode of Haganai to see just how poorly you scored it :p I was more lenient with the grading just because I do have some harems that have been gone above my expectations, to where I enjoyed the story and characters enough to forgive all the girls going after the one guy (ex: CLANNAD, Kanon (2006), Ai Yori Aoshi). I guess the humor worked for me since I completely understood where Sena was coming from when she spoke about being surrounded by people, but having none of them truly be her friend.

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  4. Watched the first 3 episodes of Tomodachi Sukunai in a row, and so far it been great. The beautiful art and animation aside, I like it’s characters, all with their own problems and interesting personalities. And considering what been on episode 3, they aren’t static and will develop by their interactions (Sena as an example), or they may have more than meets the eye (Yozora as an example). Kodaka too showed that while he usually follows what the two girls wants, when it matters he has a strong personality. And seems like there is still a few more unique central characters to show up.

    I also like the situations I’ve seen so far which are the kind I can relate and makes it funnier to me (like the whole galge part). I also liked the fanservice. Instead of the “background panties”, it haqs a less frequent but more enticing fanservice that don’t disrupts the story flow.

    I only played a bit of Persona 3, and while it may have a few similarities, it’s still pretty different from 4 so I don’t know what’s going to happen. The story from the first 2 episodes picked up my interest, although should be the kind that takes a longer time to unveil itself. Different from you I do like its art, and I am cool with some of it’s “stylish” parts (how they make the expression more like what the game probably is) even though would probably prefer a normal flow.

    If you don’t mind me asking, after some episodes in, how are you feeling about those two shows?

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    • I, too, have been really enjoying Haganai. The mean humor works great, and I’m hopeful that the male lead keeps becoming more interesting. I’m looking forward to meeting the other members of the club.

      As for Persona 4–I am enjoying it, but I find it predictable so far. It’s also missing a lot of background information for the TV world and how it’s connected to the real world, so much so that I’m constantly wondering the why’s and how’s. of it all. Still sticking with it though since it has my curiosity!

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