A thoughtful response to current anime.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 11

The previous episode of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai was the third swimsuit episode of the season.  That’s plenty, in my opinion.   Swimsuits are wonderful, but ordinary clothing has its own charms as well.   Oh, and cosplay!  Remember when Yozora was wearing a horse mask?  That was pretty sweet.  I guess for fully half the cast, their “ordinary clothing” would probably count as cosplay – Yukimura dressed as a maid, Maria dressed as a nun (she is a nun, but also, she is dressed as one), Kobato dressed in the gothic lolita style, and Rika dressed in a lab coat (she may work in a lab but that’s no excuse).  When you get right down to it, it’s a mistake to refer to anything in this show as “ordinary”.  Let’s see how extraordinary episode 11 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai turns out to be.

…thirty minutes pass…

Yukatas have their own charms too, it's too bad Yozora doesn't see that.

Summer does not just mean swimsuits, it means festivals too, and festivals mean the writers can take it easy, because they don’t have to come up with a plot, they can just have the characters go from booth to booth and make one or two easy jokes about goldfish scooping or that game where you have like a pad and a pin and you’re supposed to scrape out specific shapes?  Without poking the pin through the pad?  I think that’s how it works, they don’t have it at festivals in the US and it’s hard to tell the rules of the game just by watching anime in which it is peripherally featured.  Anyway as festival episodes go this was a pretty decent one, the jokes were solid, especially Sena’s “creative” approach to goldfish scooping.  Goldfish scooping is supposed to be a test of skill, not money, but I guess having money is a skill all its own.

The two characters that got the most characterization this episode were Kodaka and Yozora. (Rika had some good bits too, but she’s still pretty much just a gimmick character.) Kodaka was characterized as a guy who cares way too much about takoyaki.  Forget about your hair, man, the real reason you don’t have any friends is because you talk the ears off of anybody who gets close to you about the exact optimal mouthfeel of octopus balls.  Really, I feel like we don’t know enough about Kodaka’s character.  He doesn’t seem to be exactly the standard harem bland protagonist – there are always these hints that maybe Kodaka is as screwed up as the rest of the Rinjinbu, but just isn’t as outspoken about it.

Although, Yozora is pretty screwed up.  She made me want to cry in this episode, almost.  Why can’t she be honest with her feelings! She doesn’t even have to be honest with her romantic feelings toward Kodaka, I’m not going to be that harsh.  But she should at least be able to be honest with her feelings about wearing a pretty dress!  (Pictured above, tragically only hypothetically.)  Look at Yukimura!  If he can put on an adorable yukata, then she damn well can too.  I guess it’s lucky she didn’t, because it would have been ruined when she had a bucket of ashy water thrown on her.  Poor Yozora.  Sometimes real friends will, with good intentions, throw buckets of water on you.  And yes, I am aware that imaginary friends do not do this, on account of they are imaginary and cannot lift buckets.  But real friends have numerous countervailing benefits (not pictured), and you shouldn’t let one sour note at the end spoil an evening of fun.  Or, at the very least, you shouldn’t let it spoil the whole next week.

So somehow this was already the second to last episode of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.   Kodaka finally remembered who Yozora was, which means too bad for Sena and Rika, I guess.  I like all three of them, and I wouldn’t mind Kodaka being paired up with any of them.  I like Rika the best, because she is smart and self-aware, but in terms of what’s best for the haremette, I think Yozora is the one who needs Kodaka the most.  Sena’s fine – she might whine about how all the guys around her aren’t real friends, but she is able to handle being around people without fainting, so even if Kodaka doesn’t work out, she can always go looking for another guy.  Rika is perhaps even worse in social situations than Yozora is, but she has come to terms with it, and accepted a life of the mind.  She has coping strategies, she sends proxies to Comiket to get her doujinshi.  Kodaka may be the only mammal she’s ever been interested in, but she’ll do fine without any mammals at all.  But Yozora is both socially incapable and socially needy, so if she doesn’t get together with Kodaka now, she is basically doomed to a life of misery forever.  No pressure, Kodaka!


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