So today I looked at my MAL, and realized that I don't have any other seasonal shows to write about. I've either already made a post regarding them, or I've dropped them. So I thought, well, why don't I write about some manga? I'm relatively in-experienced when it comes to manga, so this seems like a good idea. So I'll be doing this quite often, at least until the end of the season. I even decided to give this series of posts a name, MangaView. I'll read at least 10 chapters for each manga, which I think is enough to get a good grasp of whether I like something or not. And for the first manga, I'm going to be talking about 'Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai', otherwise known in english as 'Haganai: I don't have many friends'.
The basic premise of the manga is simple: the main character, Kodaka Hasagawa, has no friends in high school. Along with Mikazuki Yozora, who also has no friends, they create the Neighbours Club, which is dedicated to making friends. The manga is based on a light novel of the same name, and has been publishing for nine years now.
This is a slice of life comedy manga through and through, and at first, that was something which made me a bit skeptical. After all, this genre has seen so much variety in subject matter, but rarely in the actual content. However, Haganai is both different, and not. Most of the chapters take place within the club room, and the comedy is derived from the wacky interactions between characters. They all have greatly exaggereted personalities, so there aren't any that are easy to relate to, and the comedy is very hit or miss. A lot of the jokes is the two female characters talking negatively about the main character, and I'm not really sure whether this is supposed to be funny, or whether the artist just has a humiliation fetish. Either way, a lot of it gets tired pretty quickly, and it is one of those stories that can only really derive new jokes from introducing new characters very often, as the old ones don't change very much. Also worth mentioning is that the manga can be fairly raunchy at times, so read it at your own discretion.
However, the new characters they do introduce into the story are really well done, especially Hasegawa's little sister, who is extremely adorable. While the character archetypes used in the story are a bit tired, there's enough originality for me to enjoy it. Not to mention, the character art is fairly well done, with tons of blushing. And who can say no to that? As I stated earlier, the manga is comedic in nature and fairly light hearted. However, it does delve into some more melodramatic scenes. These aren't done very well, and they definetely make the experience worse. Slice of life series can get more melodramatic and still be good, it's been done before, but this isn't one of those instances. The art is still fairly detailed however, so I can't complain that much. Another thing I think is worth mentioning is the amount of translators notes and cultural refrences. It doesn't lessen my enjoyment of the series, but I know a lot of people don't really like comedy focuses series if the jokes are a bit too out there for them. Just something to keep in mind.
Well, that was my thoughts on the first ten chapters of 'Haganai: I don't have many friends'. Overall, I thought it was a fine series, and I might consider it a 7/10, but for now, it's a 6. I enjoy the character interaction and the artstyle, but the premise is a bit too basic, and when it tries to be dramatic or increase the stakes of the story, it doesn't really work. The main characters backstory is also a bit confusing, with him being presented as the "accidenta delinquent" archetype in the first chapter, but in chapter 9, a flashback shows him actually being a delinquent. It's sort of the same problem I had with Senryuu Shoujo. Well, this is supposed to be the conclusion, so I won't ramble on for too long. As always, you can find me on Twitter @tes_star, and I'll see you next time with another manga review. :)