Thursday, September 4, 2014

Haganai Review

Haganai Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you and onto the review:

Before watching this, I have heard of this show multiple times via Youtube, and with that it's appearances in AMV's, and I was wondering what kind of show this would be like. 

I have had several examples of amazing slice of life shows that have no running plot that are each amazing. (For example, Lucky Star, and Azumanga Daioh) And with a little bit of plot in this, I was worried I wouldn't be as good. But then, one of my friends recommended it to me, so when the English dub rolled around, I wanted to each wrong.

I've lost count over how many time I've re-watched several episodes over and over of this 12 episode series, (plus one OVA) and haven't stopped finding it as hilarious as the first time. This show is one of my favorite "harems" (some people may not think so, hence the air quotes) and is my fourth favorite series of all time.

So, why don't take a deeper look into the Neighbors Club, shall we?


Kodaka Hasegawa has had difficulty finding any friends at St. Chronica's Academy, ever since starting school there a month ago. This is mostly because of his brown-blondish hair he inherited from his late mother, and the way he displays himself isn't the most wonderful way ever so to speak.

One day after school, he encounters a girl in his class named Yozora Mikazuki, who is talking to a imaginary being named Tomo, who is to find out later on, her invisible friend. After a discussion about why each of them don't really have ant friends, Yozora decides to make The Neighbors Club. It was intentionally made for Yozora to spend more time with Kodaka, however, this plan is backfired when a blonde, seemingly "perfect" popular girl named Sena, who is the daughter of the academy's principal, decides to join to club too.

Her joining follows several hijinks in the club, new members including Kodaka's sister, and a pervy scientist, and a possible back-story between one of Kodaka's childhood friends. Who will happen in this crazy club/ And will things get complicated from here on out?

The story for this anime isn't too wide-spread, but it is quite funny and refreshing to see how all the club members interact with real life situations, such as gaming, and going to a summer home. It's quite entertaining, and very funny when dialogue rolls around.

On the other hand, finding out who Kodaka had a acquaintance in the past is made blatantly obvious from the get-go. When I saw what the childhood friend looked like, I immediately figured out it was Yozora. This eliminated some of the surprise of guessing which one of the girls was the friend, and it left me with disappointing feelings.

That aside, the story does roll aside well, and it's awesome to see several people work together that come from different backgrounds, and have diverse personalities.


All of the characters of Haganai each have respective traits about them that all make them stand out, but I will talk about the main 3, plus someone who later joins the club that made the most memorable impact on the club.

Why don't we start off with Kodaka?

Kodaka has recently moved back to where he grew up, and now must go to St. Chronica's Academy. But wait! What about making some new friends? But pause the brakes, Kodaka doesn't have that much of good luck.

When Kodaka tries to make friends or at least tries to communicate with other people from the academy, majority of the people shut him out because of over-exaggerated rumors, or due to him trying a bit too hard in order to make them. Until he meets Yozora, he hasn't made a single friend since transferring. At least that puts a better outlook on him. Well, ish.

Kodaka has a gentle and calm personality, but that's only when you get to him. Other people will tell you that he's just a thug, and someone you should stay far away from. But then again, just ignore the first impressions, because he actually has heart. Don't judge a book (or a person for that matter) by the cover, okay?

But due to his bad reputation, Kodaka has been able to defend for himself and for other, example being Episode 3. He stands up to Sena after she accidentally causes a group of guys to nearly punch her.

Overall, Kodaka actually is a really good male protagonist. He's nice, caring, but that's only if you dig deeper into getting to know him.

 Now, onto Yozora:

Yozora isn't very sociable, so she can only find some solstice with her invisible friend Tomo. But Tomo eventually vanishes when she re-meets Kodaka, who doesn't remember her as his childhood friend until the last two episodes in which her hair caught firework embers after the club went to a festival, which her only option was to chop it short, thus returning to what she looked as a child.

Yozora may seen approachable as one of those really cute puppies. However, she's more like this:

I've found and seen a angry face of Toshiro, but since that scares the hell out of me, we're going to settle with this.

Yozora is probably one of the rudest people I've ever seen act to one character, mainly to Sena. She refers to her as Meat, referring to her breasts. Though in the English dub, this is switched up a bit to Meat, Meatsacks, Jiggles etc., you get the idea. She often makes Sena so distraught that she often runs crying from the clubroom, for examples in which Yozora has insulted her.

She also isn't that approachable to the the members of the club either, making Yukimura dressed as a maid, and tricking Maria to run outside butt naked after Kobato bit her, and since she's a pretend vampire, it's for caution purposes.

But the main reason as to why I like Yozora is the entertainment she adds to the show. Either it being with her lines, or just being one of the reasons the club was brought together. Yozora just seems relatable as to the reason she can hate someone so much, and isn't afraid to bitch about it. However, be prepared, because if you call a girl Meat, you will get smacked.

Let's go on to Meat now (Opps, I meant Sena):

Sena is a perfect example of the most "popular girl in school". She is very successful in about EVERY SINGLE subject, and is the daughter of the school's principal. So you may be thinking: "Wait, then why is she in the neighbor's club?"

Sadly, her arrogance proves her to be unsuccessful with the female friend department, and though she has a lot of boys fawning over her and flocking her in groups like a famous model, she only treats them as servants, and not as close friends. Because she's just too PERFECT. *giggles*

Though being popular, Sena does have some nice qualities in her, as her ego isn't constantly up in her head unless it needs to be. Sena's common doings in the club is playing video games with a TV, and a game console that she brings into the clubroom one day, though she also likes playing them on her laptop as well. These games are bishoujo games, as this allows her to make female friends, even if virtually. However, some of the games are quite graphic, and Sena is forced by Yozora not one, but twice (in the next season), to read a scene from a specific game.

Sena also had a obsession with Kodaka's little sister Kobato, which results in Kobato nearly bolting out of the room nearly every single time she's there. Or sometimes, she'll get intimidated by her.

Sena isn't that very stuck up about her popularity, and even though she starts a bit on the wrong side, she gets better as the series goes on, becoming a well liked character in my mind. I feel that she begins to feel accepted by the club in some way, making her feel that even though she is popular, she can be accepted by some people. But not Yozora.

Other members of the club include Kobato, Kodaka's younger sister. Yukimura, a effeminate classmate who stalks Kodaka, and is forced by Yozora to wear a maids outfit in the club room. Rika, a first year genius who has a sexy spot for yaoi, and makes many sexual puns through-out the series. And finally Maria, a ten year old nun who is the club's adviser who often has a foul mouth and insults Kobato a ton, so they are also rivals.

What I like about all of the characters is how well they play off each other. It's interesting seeing a club come together from all sides of the spectrum, and it makes for a great cast.


The animation was done by a side company of AIC, which is AIC Build. AIC is most famous for it's efforts on the Tenchi Muyo franchise, Date A Live, and Heaven's Lost Property. So, they are veterans of the harem business, and do know some good tricks of the trade.

The animation for this series isn't stellar, but it's pretty good as a whole. The characters are given great designs, and it overall looks very polished in every scene you watch.

So, once again, not many complaints.


The score for this series was done by Tom-H@ck, who hasn't done anything that involves score expect for this show. His score often has a fun comical sound to it, ranging from a joy to listen to, as well as a fun, bounce in your seat time. 

It's very diverse, and I could really see some people enjoying it, especially during the show's vast amount of funny moments.

The show's opening which is sung by all of the female cast, has a nice bouncy atmosphere to it. however, it's not my favorite"loud, and in your face" opening, as that belongs to another. The show's ending, which is sung by Marina Inoue, who plays Yozora, is a example of how guitar and nice vocals can work well together if one doesn't outshine the other. it's a great ending, with some cool visuals as well.

The original Japanese was very good of what I first heard, and I do like some of the voices. However, I didn't get to see majority of the show until the English dub came out, and the dub surprised me. While it's not one of FUNimation's best, it's still a very good dub, helped with the addition of a great cast, and hilarious script. All of the cast does well for each of there roles, though some efforts are better done in the English dub. This includes some of the main cast, along with the sides that appear in season 1.

Highlights of the original Japanese include Ryohei Kimura, Marina Inoue, Kanae Ito, Kana Hanazawa, Misato Fuken, and Ryotaro Okiayu.

Highlights of the English dub include EVERYONE! (Though this is your own preference, as Jerry Jewell's performance as Kodaka doesn't pact as much impact as Ryohei Kimura's, but it's still good to say the least.)


This is a very strong "harem" series, with great amounts of character development, unique score, and interesting all around fun, While the show doesn't make surprise factor into Kodaka's backstory, and it isn't knock off your seats with it's English dub, the show is worth giving a few chances, and who knows? You might find yourself liking it.

I recommend this series to people who like Tenchi Muyo, and who might find it fun to draw comparisons between the two. I also recommend it to fans of comedy in general, as the show does contain some great classic lines. 

Score: 9.5/10


Unique cast of characters.

Creative score.

The English dub's script.

More effort is put into some characters in the English dub.

Good animation.

Overall hilarity.


Backstory is predictable.

Japanese isn't as engaging.

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