Archive for the 'Haganai' Category

J.P.Meyer on SDS on Haganai

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

I marked Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai as something to see at ANN back when the anime was only announced, but when it started airing, the blogging painted an unattractive picture of a second Ichizon. But I kept following it a bit, and I saw the post at Ogiue Maniax, comparing with the original manga. The only thing I carried out from reading it was that picture montages did not support SDS’ points strongly. However, I see that post being shared around now, and others read more into it. In particular, J.P. posted:

yeah, i had a similar complaint with the anime. it was like it was filled with hateable sex objects rather than awkward cute girls

Also! Twitter and Tumbler failed to kill animeblogging. Plus is making a good attempt now.

UPDATE: Now JP is getting serious (and explains the remark quoted above). Of course, the attention-getter was this:

I had watched the first two episodes (or technically, episodes 0 and 1) of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai until I raegquit it due to a presence of eXXXtreme kimoi-sity.

TL: “Kimoi” is a slang that means “nasty”, basically, although I am not certain of its ethimology. {Update: JP tweets that it likely comes from “kimochi warui”. The only such word I knew before was “hagedou“, which means “[being in] violent agreement”.}

Haganai Portable

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

This was completely unplanned, but my imaginary girlfriend, who is not known for initiative, talked me into watching Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (aka Haganai). Apparently she was insulted by someone on IRC saying that a Haganai character Sena “looked like a hooker” because she wore a sparkling dress… I found that FUNi provides easy legal streaming at YouTube, so I thought: “sure, why not”. Imagine our surprise when Haganai opened with an arc dealing with imaginary friends. I had no idea. I told my wife about this, and she replied: “An unlikely coincidence indeed! But nobody will believe you, dear”.

Another thing they dealt with in the anime were VN-style games for PSP, which reminded me how Toradora Portable was a barrel of fun. I immediately went and pre-ordered Haganai Portable. Aside from the game itself, I may need reading glasses, as my eyesight is getting poor, but we’ll deal with it in due time. I hope the protagonist is voiced there too.

Haganai begins

Friday, February 17th, 2012

I came to Haganai with a load of misconceptions to be shattered in the space of a couple of episodes. Some of them were minute, for instance the name “Haganai” and nickname “Meat” were not 2ch/4chan inventions, but were canonical. Some were bigger. In fact my idea of this show was completely upended.

It happened because J.P.Meyer built the biggest misconception with his quote: “it was like [Haganai] was filled with hateable sex objects rather than awkward cute girls”. And he meant it, too, since he claimed it was the reason to drop the series. Now, I know better than believe these things when they are posted by some feminist hater of all things good in anime. But J.P. usually cuts through the spin and dogma.

He was, in my humble opinion, wrong about the fanservice, too. In the post where he expounds on SDS, he choses to argue the “opportunity costs [of] the fanservice”. When I read him, the narrative seemed extremely convincing. But when I watched the anime for myself, the impression was completely different. The character development was all there, nothing missing. Sena’s chest was well within the parameters and made complete sense. They even managed to include her gorgeous bottom in a convincing manner. Perhaps the moment when they did the same thing with Yozora’s bottom previously[2] tripped J.P. and left him disappointed, but even for that completely useless shot, the opportunity cost was very much negligible.

I should note that sexualization is extremely overt in the OP animation and perhaps it offended J.P.’s sensibilities. Clearly it was an attempt to sell the show to men who think with their penises, hard. But is it a part of the story?

On a completely unrelated topic — or possibly a very related one — it looked like the ‘sphere went hard for Sena, mostly on the account of Yozora’s character ostensibly being nasty. That would be understandable, but for me they look very evenly balanced in rudeness, at least for the first 3 episodes. I cannot understand why the disbalance. The two are given polar stereotypes of anime beauty. Sena is West: blond, buxom, sluttish. Yozora is East: dark, slim, bookish. Perhaps it may suggest something that Hikago summed up his impression thus: “it was mostly me thinking how terrible it [anime] is while drooling over meat [Sena].” I cannot deny that she was ridiculously cute when she started unwind a little. For me, however, the story of friendship thus far was handled as well as in, for example, Railgun or Dai-Guard. Of course, I am only 3 episodes in. Maybe Sena does something to win the hearts of watchers, or they bungle the story and turn the whole anime into a mess from which only Sena’s natural advantages help escape. We shall see.

UPDATE: Sabas twittered that it may not just Sena’s cup size, but that she’s a gamer which sways the audience. Possible! On the other hand, Ryan says he’d go for Yozora. Well, he’s not seen it yet. Maybe I am deceiving him now like J.P. did before.

Omo comments:

I am sympathetic [for the post above] because I didn’t agree with the general discourse on the topic from the blogs I’ve read either. Like, the whole thing comparing the anime to the manga. I thought the anime was slightly more authentic in that the girls are genuinely unlikeable, versus some kind of semi-tsundere moe that gets you in the manga.

Unfortunately he liked Ichizon. I don’t think that either Yozora or Sena were as bad as those characters.

[2] When Yozora and Sena were in perfect agreement, suddenly.

Haganai Portable arrives

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The game came in with the post today, 2 days ahead of the street date, but I’m extremely busy having life, so I will not have a chance to play it until Monday the 5th at the earliest.

The package includes some kind of a bonus content, but I can only see its edge through the wrapping: it’s either CD or a booklet.

P.S. It is not a laptop you’re seeing on the left, but the ridiculously expensive keyboard of my workstation. Like they say in advertisements, are you still doing that $100 million project with a $10 mouse?

UPDATE: It’s a booklet. There’s also bonus microfiber napkin with a character print.

Sayonara, Ryuuji-kun

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

While I was waiting for Haganai P to ship, I hit on Toradora P for a whirlwind tour, possibly for the last time. With the benefit of experience, I can tell that the writing was much more story-like in it. Haganai P is too goofy.

I think it was a stroke of luck for me. I remember how SDB burned on VNs by playing Tea Society of a Witch. And the Sturgeon’s Law has to apply to VNs just like everything else.

One super-annoying property of games is how they slip out of our grasp with the obsolescence of platforms. Emulators only help with the most basic ones, but not with PSP. Eventually, all that’s left of Todadora Portable is going to be a buch of screencaps (while anime is going to remain with us indefinitely, if we care to preserve it — no thanks to DRM and pig-headed rights owners).

P.S. Title of this post refers to Ami’s line.

UPDATE: Moogy related a narrative on #animeblogger, according to which Namco had such a great success with Toradora tie-in game, that they started cranking them out serially, with OreImo and Haganai being the result. I am not interested in Ore no Imouto … at all, so I am not going to engage in proper research and historic overview, but expect a comparison of Haganai against Toradora shortly.

First pass of Haganai Portable

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Finished an introductory pass through Haganai P, received the default end (“sisters battle”).

Overal impression is mostly positive. Story is not terribly dramatic, at least on the path that I hit, but it’s all right.

The plot graph is branchy like hell. I dread restaring and taking it seriously. The difficult part is that effect of selections is entirely unobvious. There’s no Inko to give you a seed. Also, on the map there’s an issue of combinatorics: it does matter whom to talk to first, whom to talk to next. Getting ends of this game is going to be much more laborous.

Unfortunately for those with weak Japanese, there is a lot of reading, despite the voiced protagonist. It comes in as “narration”, or Kodaka talking to himself. Toradora P did not have anything like it. Even more unfortunate is that the post-ending hints are given by Tomo-chan, who is not voiced. Brush your kanji and grammar.

One technical detail: for some reason, there is no battery indicator in the pause screen.

UPDATE: At Meenuvia: Yozora and Sena (separate endings), Yukimura and “IF”, Rika finale (the best end).

Oh you, GoodSmile

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

There’s a Yozora figurine for preorder at J-List, and here’s what Peter blurbs for it:

From the hit anime I Have Few Friends (aka Haganai) comes this superb figure of beautiful but socially inept heroine Yozora Mikazuki. The sharp-tongued Yozora is presented in her classic “arms-folded” pose, a delightfully sadistic expression of contempt on her finely-sculpted face. Her long black hair shines in the light, and the zettai ryouiki “absolute zone” between her skirt and stockings is positively delicious. Enjoy this amazing moe figure from the Goodsmile Company.

Here’s a picture from GoodSmile themselves:

Notice anything? Like something that’s missing from the description, perhaps? It’s not in the blurb at GoodSmile’s site either, and profile pictures are absent.

UPDATE: Never mind.

Haganai ends

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Nothing new happened in the series since I posted the opening bracket, except perhaps the JP’s mistake became even greater in the perspective. On the other hand, I skipped the oversexualized OP every time. It was this bad.

The art and animation of Haganai were astonishing, truly. The only thing that tempers my enthusiasm is a nagging feeling that I may be uprating shows which I see in postage-stamp format, and downgrading those which I experience in HD (like Idolm@ster). More research is needed.

Otherwise, there wasn’t much, and I’m afraid that the game made me less interested than I would be otherwise. It was a more rewarding experience with its varying storylines. Some of them did not sit well with me, but others were quite pleasing. The anime does not permit a choice, and the one available story was poorly capped. It ended like Natsume Souseki’s Botchan. The abrubt cut wasn’t quite as frustrating as in Sacred Blacksmith, where a continuing plot was sacrificed. Haganai did not have a long-term storyline aside from the harem resolution, possibly. So, taken by itself, the anime was not a disaster. It’s just the game offers so much more.

Not sure if I want another season or not. We know how Zero no Tsukaima went down, which is a big concern. If they make another season and do not wrap it up, I’m not going to touch it.

By the way, I pre-ordered the petanko set at CDjapan before I finished the anime. Fortunately, game and anime continuities are practically indistinguishable.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Probably not, except for research.

P.S. Completely forgot to mention that Haganai is another exception to the rule “FUNimation only licenses garbage”, together with Oh Edo Rocket. Just 3 or 4 more good shows, and we’ll get to “FUNi licenses 90% garbage”. Kudos to FUNi for streaming on YouTube, too.

Congratulations, Otou-san

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

As prompted by tweet, here’s my very liberal and amateur translation for The Rika End video – with heavy spoilers, naturally! – to be read in a separate window:

SFX: Door opens

RIKA: 「旦那さまーーーっ 愛しの理科が帰りましたよーーーっ!」 == Honeey! Your lovely Rika is hoome!

KODAKA (narrates): さて、かわいい奥さんのお帰りだ。 == Now, to welcome the cute wife.

KODAKA: 「おかえり、理科」 == Welcome back, Rika!

RIKA: 「はい、ただいまです、小鷹さん! == Thanks, I’m back, Kodaka!
さあ、お帰りのちゅーをお願いします!!」 == Now, the welcome kiss please!

KODAKA: 「はいはい」 == Yep

KODAKA (narrates): 理科の要望に応えて唇を合わせる。 == As Rika wanted, we touch lips.

SFX: Kissing

(continues) 理科は今、三人目の子どもを妊娠中だ。 == Curently, Rika is expecting our third.
けれど、いろんな会社や研究所 囲って忙しく働き続けている。 == However, she continues to stay very busy consulting various companies and research organizations.
それだけ、理科のことを必要としている人が多いのだ。 == That’s how much she is needed by many people.

KODAKA: 「今日はお腹の子、大丈夫だったか?」 == Tummy ok today?

RIKA: 安定期に入ってから大丈夫ですよ。 == Stable period of pregnacy has began, so it’s fine.
それに無理は絶対にしません。 == Anyway, I never do anything too tough.
子どもが一番大切ですから。」 == Children are most precious, you know.

KODAKA (narrates): そう言って理科がまた唇を突き出してくるので、俺はもう一度キスしてやった。 == Saying that, Rika again kissed me.

SFX: Kissing

RIKA: 「ふふ。それで小鷹さん、あの子たちはもう寝ちゃいました?」 == ^_^ So, Kodaka, kids are asleep already?

KODAKA: 「ああ。今、寝かしつけてきたとこだよ」 == Yeah. I put them to bed just now.

RIKA: 「むー、そうですか。でしたら、また起こすのはかわいそうですね」 == I see.. It would be a pity to wake them up.

KODAKA: 「明日の朝、おはようとただいまを言ってやれよ」 == Tell them good-morning tomorrow.

RIKA: 「そうします。で、いっしょにハグとちゅーも大サービズしちゃいましょう」 == Will do, and add a special hug.

KODAKA: 「そうだな。飯は?」 == Right on. Supper?

RIKA: 「食べてきました。それよりですね、先輩。 == I ate. But that aside, sempai
子どもたちも寝ちゃってるわけですし・・・・・・」 == Since kids are asleep…

KODAKA (narrates): 理科が俺のことを「先輩」と呼ぶのは、まぁつまり・・・ == Rika calls me sempai when… well…

KODAKA: 「や、め、ん、か!」 == NO. WAY.

RIKA: 「あぁん」 == Ahh!

KODAKA (narrates): 俺は軽く理科の頭をたたく。 == I hit her lightly on the head.

KODAKA: 「まったく・・・安定期までまたちょっとあるだろ。 == Geez, pregnacy is just into the steady state.
お腹の子に障ることはできないっての」 == You’re going to damage the child.

RIKA: でもー、やっぱり理科としては、先輩の遺伝子に興味津々なんですよ」 == But, for me, sempai‘s DNA is so very interesting.
先輩の遺伝子と理科の遺伝子をかけ合わせるとどうなるのか・・・ == I keep wondering what is going to happen if we combine our DNA…
サンプルは多い方がいいですからね♥」 == I need lots of samples!

KODAKA:「おまっ・・・子どもをそういう目で見るなよ」 == Wha… Don’t think about children like that!

RIKA: 「ふふっ。冗談ですよ。でも、子どもは多い方がいいというのは本心です」 == Heh. I’m joking! But I really think we need lots of kids.
「だって理科は愛する先輩の子どもだったら。何人でも欲しいんですから!」 == They are kids of my beloved. Any number is good!

Sena and Yozora pettanko

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

While I was frolicking in Florida, the Post Office delivered the Haganai pettanko set that I pre-ordered a few months ago. The two definitely look the money, the only issue being that they are designed to sit on a desk, not a shelf, and I have no desk space. Let me say it again: absolutely worth the price, the prettiest figures ever.

I unpacked Yozora first for some reason. Poor Sena, always shafted.