On one of those lovely, lazy days, Kodoka suggests the novel idea of a Novel Relay! The plan? Everyone takes turns writing a novel, and Kodoka is the main character! The concept seems cool - but the novel just gets stranger and stranger!
At first, I believed "Haganai" would have been a series with some quality drama, effective character development and/or deep insight into the meaning friendship but I was sadly mistaken. The atmosphere created from the first couple episodes mislead me to think that the series was going delve deeply into the concept of friendship but rather it quickly began to take the slice of life/comedy/harem route and made use of some cliche themes and characters. For the most part "Haganai" didn't turn out too bad, it offered a great quality of humor and entertainment via parodies, references, sexual innuendos, hilarious conflicts between characters and of course for certain viewers, fan service like the usual emphasis on breasts, swimsuits and there are also a couple of episodes where it goes just a bit too far in my opinion but it typically came in fair doses almost every episode."Haganai" contains a small and rather eye catching set of characters, most of which are rather cliche and some with exaggerated personalities, but even so, watching characters such as Rika and Kobato and the conflicts between Yozora and Sena provided loads of comedy and kept the show entertaining enough to keep me laughing and tune in every week. The supporting characters were still successful in capturing my attention throughout series because of all the random humor but still remained rather static in terms of character development. Aside from their abilities to entertain me, they didn't really have much else to offer, in fact some of these characters did not really feel like a character at all, they felt like they were there for the sole purpose to tell jokes or acted as eye candy. Moving onto our leads, I felt that Sena never really changed at all and sadly stays as the typical tsundere, and as for the other two, I could only witness a slight bit of growth between Yozora and Kodaka but alas it was mostly during their confrontation at the end of the series meaning there wasn't enough time to conclude whether the two really changed from that at all.I'm sure no one expected the background artwork in "Haganai" to be anything amazing but there is definitely one thing the animators did exceptionally well on, and that was the detail and coloring on the characters, mostly the facial features. I was able to quickly notice that there was definitely more effort in detailing the redness on the cheeks and they also focused on the lips when the characters are in a bit more focus just like the style used in "Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko" (and go figure, it's the same character designer). The eyes were also done with great detail on most of the characters, I really enjoyed how they put some thought into the color scheme like how a couple of character's eye color matches their hair nicely, or how Sena's blue eyes matches her blue hair clip, and even Kobato's red and blue contacts made her stand out. I really felt that all of the attention put into detailing the characters really pays off as the end result really makes the characters look much more appealing, in fact some more than the main characters.The voice acting, the most notable performance in my opinion was from Hanazawa Kana's role as Kobato as she did a splendid job on juggling between speaking in a goth/aristocratic fashion (that's how I like to describe it anyways) and her cute childish voice, nevertheless the rest of the VAs still provided a great a voice for their respective roles, definitely no complaints here.Finally coming to the story of "Haganai", it carried the simple theme of making friends but soon developed into a bit of an episodic series after all the characters in the club were introduced about a third of the way in, which. For me, it became one of those shows where I just sit back, enjoy and not have to pay too much attention to specifics, but that was also the problem, the amount of random humor in every episode was sadly what the show was mostly comprised of. Although I can't say the show completely strayed away from the theme of making friends after all, the characters in the club did become more acquainted and friendly with one another, but I couldn't help but realize the end felt rather ironic seeing them be together like friends would but yet they deny or don't acknowledge the fact that they are. It was just a shame though, the series could have had more room for a richer story had the focus not been so much on comedy and cliche ideas."Haganai" was a bit misdirecting right at the start because of the intriguing insight made into the concept of friendship in episode one but it immediately developed into something less intelligent. I was rather disappointed with this quick change in atmosphere as the show became more of a slice of life/comedy/romance series, but regardless the show contained some effective chemistry between the characters that made it fairly entertaining, hilarious and full of life despite them being cliche or unrealistic. Despite a story really lacking depth, slow progression, and subpar characters, "Haganai" still turned out to provide a decent watching experience for me and is definitely a show for anyone that is looking for some uplifting entertainment with loads of random humor and doesn't mind the typical fan service or cliche themes being tossed around a bit, but don't expect much else.
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