A thoughtful response to current anime.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 1

Boku wa Tomadachi ga Sukunai is a comedy about a club for people who don’t have enough friends.  I like what I’ve seen of the character designs (gradient hair!), and the novels on which it’s based are supposed to be good.  So, I’m optimistic!  Let’s see if my optimism is warranted in episode 1 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.

…thirty minutes pass…

Or you could start a blog!

Seems like a pretty cool show.  Sort of like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, but with Haruhi not having any magical powers.  So, Yozora talks to her imaginary friend, but because Yozora isn’t God, her imaginary friend doesn’t spontaneously become real and start smiling at Kyon.  But she still has the same domineering attitude that leads her to be dissatisfied with all the currently extant clubs and make her own, forcing Kodaka to join.  One thing it could have stood to have taken from Haruhi was the out-of-order joke-laden first episode.  The jokes in this episode were good, but they were kind of few and far between.  I’m assuming the situation will improve once they’re done introducing the setting and characters, but I could be more confident if there were an “episode zero” chock full of jokes.

I wonder if this show is going to actually make any interesting points about the nature of friendship.  Friendship is a tricky thing to talk sensibly about, because there are certain thoughts you can’t to think about friendship without making your friends worried that you’ll betray them, so people naturally shy away from thinking about various aspects of the problem.  For example, Yozora was talking about buying friendship, and Kodoka responded with the usual line about how that isn’t real friendship, but aren’t we usually friends with people because of the mutual benefits we get out of the relationship?  You’re not supposed to talk about friendships in terms of benefits, because that makes your friends worried you’ll betray them if you don’t get enough benefits, so we can’t hold a sensible discussion about whether or not buying friends is a feasible option.

It seems like there’s some hope, though.  Rather than the Rinjinbu being full of people who are unfairly passed over for friendship commiserating with each other, it seems as though things are moving in a somewhat realistic direction.  What do you expect to happen when you select club members for having few friends?  One of the leading causes of friendlessness is unfriendliness!  It’s like starting a club for religious fundamentalists and expecting Jerry Falwell and Osama Bin Laden to be pals because they have so much in common.  Of course, it’s possible to become friendless through no fault of your own, like Kodoka, who is a textbook victim of an information cascade.  But that can’t be the ordinary case, or there would be no reason for the information cascade to occur.  People think he’s unfriendly because most people who have no friends are unfriendly.  If most people who have no friends are wrongly accused then why would they make that generalization in the first place?

This is the fourth show I’ve picked up from Fall, and with Penguindrum in the mix too I’m rapidly approaching the limit of how many shows I’m willing to blog.  I may have to make some tough choices here.


2 responses to “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 1

  1. Pingback: Notes For The Fall 2011 Anime Season Final | Organization Anti Social Geniuses

  2. Pingback: Notes For The Fall 2011 Anime Season Final (Part II) | Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

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