Category Archives: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

Winter 2013: Played Out

I think we’re at the point of the season where new shows are either cleaning up from their explosive and intriguing pilots, or holding on to its cards until the final stage of the game. I feel the lull.


I think this is where a lackluster anime can really fly its colors and get people’s attention, now that the TV anime mix has stratified from sedimentation; the unforgiving centrifuge of short attention span will float those Senren Kaguras on top and hard campers like Shinsekai Yori and Psycho-pass on the bottom. Not that either is particularly value-assigned good or bad, mind you, and certainly that means the Jojos of this world is probably somewhere in between. Man, what a show that is.

But is there anything really outstanding? It’s kind of like how all this people who harp on Magi, either way? I mean, yea, I see animation mistakes and the like, but I wouldn’t call it bad. Or else nobody would watch anything SHAFT makes (at least on first pass). At least there has to be that proverbial cabbage, and it wasn’t there anywhere this season. But anyways, why do people chime after Magi, besides that it ended a story arc in the middle of the season? Maybe that was it. At least it didn’t do what Chiyomaru’s Robotic;Notes (almost) did, which is grow a little too long in the tooth. No matter how moe Frau is, we want to know what happens next.

It reminded me of that show with flying panties a few years back. I mean, all you need is just a little bit of whack. Maybe Kyoto Animation can make Tamako Midori burst into a tango duet with Dera? Or in Magi’s case, a cute Haruka Tomatsu character doing a gap moe dance routine (and unlike Frau, that clip is spoiler-free and context-free). Or maybe what it takes is Urobuchi killing some more people gruesomely in his Psycho-Pass (surely that is tired). Maybe it has to do with gothloli maid character bouncing around in a dance routine with a bunny sharing the same rack size with Kurokami Medaka (complete with hair color change)? I’m looking forward to that. (And I hope someone tells me Medaka’s are larger, because they may be.)

That said, if there’s anything reassuring in Winter 2013, it is that boobies only get you so far. Who’s still watching Senren Kagura again? Maoyu’s sacs of fat is a somber reminder that boobs are really no big deal in the real world–we all have them, it’s more about how you use it. It’s much like how SHAFT, try as they might, can only do so much in Sasami-san episode 5 because that material is so Haruhi in this post-Haruhi environment, that the Based God herself (CV: Asumi Kana) goes meta over her own desires, in which becomes the plot driver. At least now we can claim that the combination of Haruhi anime with incest is actually a thing, or Haruhi with untranslatable puns is a thing. Plus the only booby character is the loli (who is fully clothed at all times, God willing). On the other hand, adding the right amount of boin (and it could be in all forms, from Kanade “Boin-chan” Oue to the cast of Da Capo III–Da Capo Sakura Drift) does give your show a little bonus juice. It’s about time we’ve gotten that formula right. (Is calling Kana-chan “boin-chan” the, uh, the 1000AD version of “Titty-ko”?)

On the other hand maybe this is why Aniplex is going for butts in Vividred and Lantis & ASCII Media Works are putting money on the surging idol trend. It is free market at work, folks; the industry is growing to meet your ever finicky and ephemeral demands. The only question is which people group are they taking feedback from? Surely not from people not paying any money into that exorbitantly problematic financing model. Maybe the final hook from Vividred would be the “OMG my body is an elite combat machine from the future and I’m just a plucky 14yo girl who wants to make friends using world-destroying weapons, but now I can’t do anything because I’m a zombie like Grandpa and I will never get married.” That would be such a cop-out. A more direct way to make sales is to just give us some bonus throw-ins, like how they deal with those rednecks from Osaka.

Or if you’re like me, you’re still glued to this show called Hyoubu Kyousuke, because it’s actually the most anime-y and best anime-y anime on the air. Why hello there Aya Hirano. If I had any regrets, it would be that shipping Hyoubu and Hinomiya is probably the canon thing to do, even if one (or both) of them is a real lolicon. I almost regret to be able to introduce the show for those “oh why are anime full of teenagers” crowd, but Hyoubu Kyousuke does work for them.

What is up with all these lolicons, anyway? I think there are probably a couple more than usual this season. Not that I actually keep track–it just feels weirder. It’s just like how Oreshura takes that oddish turn as it continues to introduce the girls in a mid-flight attempt to boost its solid if lackluster drama, borrowing from both Haganai (which continues to be problematic, for better or worse) and maybe even Chu2koi? I don’t know and I don’t even. It’s probably way too hopeful to expect it to be like Sakurasou, since I think a lot of us were expecting Sakurasou to be like Tora Dora, which is already way too hopeful. Does that mean Hocchan > Asumiss > Yukarin? It feels that way certainly when it comes to luck of the casting draw.

I’m starting to think Asumiss is the Morgan Freeman of the otaku anime world. でんがなまんがな! Or maybe more appropriately, PUCHIM@S!

Random Grab Bag

Life’s pretty chill when you have time to rest when you are weary and things to do when you are not. Kick back and relax to something like:

Help yourselves.


Author explains his thing about Haganai. I am sympathetic 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. I understand the whole “clumsy but likable” distinction but I didn’t think that was the point of the original works? But I didn’t really care about Haganai beyond the visuals and voice acting, so I didn’t really want to state an opinion. Well, I guess on occasion it was genuinely funny, and that was why I watched it in the first place.

The thing I wanted to see the most is that proposed crossover between Seitokai no Ichizon and Haganai. I hope they make an anime based on that.

Also, I kind of like the OP, even if it happened right in the middle of that Aki Toyosaki stalker drama. Props to Tom H@ck. I also have a history of liking these painful anime OP, so take it with some salt.


Con season 2012 is still a ways away, but now that Halko Momoi is landing somewhere a bus ride away, I will try to oblige. See you there?


I understand why, in theory, a Ritsuko or Kotori figure would be desirable, but I think this is a good real-life example.


MOOOOOOOOOOO MOURETSU! The PV and the live dance OP are, well, common idol schticks, but I can’t imagine iM@S to come up with something like this, even if songs like Honey Heartbeat rivals it in awfulness. These two videos have a strange addictive qualities to them. I recommend checking them out just for how weird they are.

The fusion of idol and anison is power!

Haganai And Bokutomo

Here’s some research.

Here’s some more research.

I have done none. Absolutely none. Even before Haganai episode 1 aired I already found out about the light novel author’s “word” on this. So this is really just worthless thoughts I’m throwing into the wind about nothing really interesting. But this is a more cynical take:

Fact remains, when it comes to this uber-geek sort of thing, people abbreviate as a matter of convenience and out of laziness. There may be some other motivations too, but effort- and time-saving are the primary motivations. The second issue of English-speakers trying to compress Japanese romanized text compounds the picture in a way that is probably academically curious but it isn’t so curious that makes me want to think about it besides it exists as a black box of sorts. Thirdly, in Haganai’s case, there’s that wa vs. ha vs. wahahahahaha thing, which makes it the third weirdness to this whole deal. And on a totally unrelated note, when I see “/w͍/” I think of Amisuke’s Horo.

There is what I think yet another, a fourth layer: weeabooism. Bitmap makes the statement that fandom overseas has grown closer to Japanese’s fan scene. This is probably true. The use of these 4-syllable acronyms has increased. This is also particularly troubling because there’s this increase in anime with really long titles, making the typical take-the-first-letter approach unwieldy (nobody is going to remember what OnIgKnKWgN is, if you are one of those weird type that uses lower case lettering to denote particles. We know what OreImo is; it’s good enough to use in trade). I mean personally I despite the whole first-letter thing half the time because that half the time I have no clue what people were referring to without asking someone, and given romanization of Japanese language is not exactly universally uniform it also gives a lot of room for confusion. Sometimes it doesn’t even work (eg., how do you shorten Utawarerumono this way?). I also dislike how this is a very western-fan kind of thing, which seems to be okay as long as nobody draws the line between that and complaining about R1 companies localizing anime into weird or funny titles that has nothing to do with the original, purely for convenience (and marketing) reasons (see: Utawarerumono).

Okay, so now, being all spiffily-closer-to-Japan, we all know why FLCL is called that. Right? At least if we read the links up there. So, Bokutomo? It actually sounds worse than Waganai or Haganai. Or even w͍aganai, at least in my ears. But there’s a rhythm to the reason, and it’s very otaku-sai to follow those kind of rules (well, maybe just a very human/nerd thing) to keep perpetuating these truncated names within a formula. What’s more, the phonic-nature of Japanese lettering makes these sorts of abbreviation way superior than the old way, using letters you can’t pronounce. So I think it is smart to abandon things like “KnK” for “Rakkyo” (my #1 pet peeve), since the latter is pronounceable and extremely distinctive. Or maybe I just remember my words by how to pronounce them? Can’t we just call things like Karekano?

I haven’t even gotten to why I think it’s a weeabooish-thing. Mainly, I think, this is just a case of “let’s follow some rules to make some terms” rather than “this is what Japan’s majority consensus is” in choosing what to call which show by what name. It’s the official abbreviation by the production committee and the products. It’s handed down by the original author. It’s what most Japanese people use. Can we get any more official and consensual than that? So why BokuTomo? Weeabooism.

And specifically I mean by looking at something without understanding, yet trying to do it anyways because it’s “omg so Japanese.” Because all these “Bokutomo” people should just call the show by its abbreviated romanized name, or BwTgS. It’s way shorter than AHMHnNwBwMS!

On second thought, maybe BokuTomo isn’t so bad as a competitive alternative. If English-language anime fandom wants to be retarded and shorten names differently, I would prefer the current state. But what the hell guys, Haganai is even more weeaboo-y! Why don’t you all adopt that?

PS. Yeah, I feel bad.

PPS. Yea this is yet another reason why I don’t like hosting at, because I can’t get the charcter encoding the way I want. Or at least I don’t see an easy way…