Take an outcast with strange hair and no parental supervision, give him a club full of anime girls (there’s a girl for every male viewer) and watch as hilarity ensues and nothing much is accomplished. Set it in a high school, though this time a Catholic school (why not?) and watch the drama unfold. The question ultimately becomes though: what drama?
Based on a series of light novels (duh) I Don’t Have Many Friends as we English speaking chaps would call it is an anime that goes nowhere though is entertaining. A girl named Yozora meets the transfer student Kodaka, they have no friends, they start a club to make friends, and a bunch of crazy chicks join and make things interesting. It’s not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination and the whole club thing is severely overused in my opinion, but it still comes across as somewhat fresh. Maybe it’s the whole Catholic school setting, I don’t know why I wasn’t groaning the whole time. The series follows the club through their pointless adventures throughout the city. Most of these adventures are genre conventions (pool, beach, festival) but I found the karaoke one to be something new and fresh, I’ve never seen a romance/comedy do that. The only karaoke house I’ve ever seen in any Japanese entertainment medium was the video game Yakuza 3. The episodes generally boil down to the characters not liking each other or being complete opposites and fighting or something along those lines. The first and last episode are about the only ones where there is a moment of peace between the characters. Then it’s back to the constant fighting.
There is a backstory between Kodaka and Yozora that is really generic and groan-inducing. Otherwise, that’s about it. There is really no story.
The animation is great. Colors are fantastic, characters look good, backgrounds are nice. Movement is smooth.
I found the music and voice acting to be good as well. The opening song was fun and while not the best, it was not the worst. The ending song was pretty good. Voice actors all play their roles well.
Wow, this is quite possibly the shortest review I’ve ever done. It helps if there were a story I could explain. Well, let’s make up lost space with the characters:
Kodaka is a rather boring character. He doesn’t do anything interesting and every time I see him I wonder why his parents left him and his sister living alone together. Hell, why does this seem to be a conventional thing? Why are parents leaving their children alone to fend for themselves while they go to America to do things? Kodaka’s sister is Kobato, the goth loli of the series. She’s cute and adorable and loud and loves her brother and is yet another basic character. Maria is a nun at the school and ten years old. She’s also a teacher. She also never shows any sort of intelligence so I wonder what the hell she is doing as a teacher at the school. Does she teach the “How to Dress as a Slutty Nun to Appeal to the Loli Crowd” class?
Then we have Rika, the scientist chick who is obsessed with yaoi and sexual things. She wants to bang Kodaka really bad but ends up instead having to enjoy herself with the vibrations of a train because Kodaka doesn’t really like her. She is probably the funniest character of the show, only because of her sick and perverted ways.
Yukimura is a trap. A chick that thinks she’s a guy that dresses as a girl because Yozora tells her that it’s the manly thing to do. I’m sorry, but I am completely at a loss for words at how stupid that is.
Yozora is a bitch with a lighter side I guess. I don’t know how to describe her because she spends pretty much the whole series being an asshole to Sena and treating everyone as if she is Haruhi Suzumiya’s less likeable cousin. She then has this mood swing where she treats Kodaka nice and blushes around him. And then she goes back to smacking Sena in the face with a fly swatter.
And that’s where Sena comes in, or Meat as Yozora calls her. Yeah, she’s kind of a stuck up bitch but at the same time she’s probably the only likeable character because she doesn’t deserve what Yozora does to her. She’s trying to fit in but Yozora just kicks her in the face every time and treats her like meat. The two are always fighting and Yozora always comes up with these ridiculous things and it just makes her seem more and more like a bitch. Meanwhile, Sena is actually being outgoing and hanging out with Kodaka and acting like a nice girl. And the show wants me to like Yozora because she likes Kodaka. But I can’t because Sena, while a pervert and while a little stuck up, is actually the likeable one!
And let me iterate that the romance portion of this comedy/romance is nowhere to be found. I guess Kodaka and Yozora are supposed to like each other and it’s all subtle, but the opening makes it look like this guy is going to engage in a goddam orgy! I watch comedy/romances to laugh and to see a romance develop, not laugh and feel bad for one of the characters because the other is a total bitch who is supposed to be likeable! It’s like a cheap trick! And the thing is, Yozora and Kodaka do nothing together and only share one intimate moment throughout while he spends two episodes sharing moments with Sena.
But why do I like this anime when all it is is a tease? It’s not a romance. It’s a comedy. A funny comedy. And the little insinuations of a romance are not insinuating SenaxKodaka, but YozoraxKodaka which I don’t think should happen. Usually the romantic interest is someone you want the character to be with, someone likeable. Not Yozora.
All in all this is just another brick in the generic comedy/romance wall. And the writer of this can’t get any pudding until Kodaka gets together with Meat (whoa, I just made a Pink Floyd reference in an anime review. I feel like a boss).
/Fan Boy Rage
Overall, Boku wa Tomodachi is not a bad anime by any stretch of the imagination, but just doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t do anything. The romance is lame, the characters are archetypical, the comedy is good but does resort to boob jokes sometimes (Jiggly breasts do not equal comedy gold) and other sexual jokes that are either funny or groan-worthy. The back story is generic as well.
What I’m getting at is: this is entertaining to a certain degree, but by no stretch of the imagination deep or emotionally involving. It’s just twelve episodes of okay.
It’s a 5/10
The goth loli, the big boob blond, and the chick who thinks she's a guy who is a chick in a maid outfit. This show will appeal to your every fetish.