Boku wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai NEXT – Unwilling to change


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Over the last few episodes we have seen Kodaka’s inability to change, and his unwillingness to even consider the idea that there are those who may care for him as something more than just friends. He is a character that is stuck in a particular way of thinking and viewing the Rinjin-bu, and is someone who fears the change that accepting the girls feelings may bring onto the club that he holds so dear. As we have seen during the first season, and throughout the run of Haganai, Kodaka is an individual with a complicated past, and has to deal with the scared faces of those around him due to his English parentage. As a social outcast, labelled as a yankee, and effectively ignored or avoided by everyone in school, Kodaka has lived a relatively isolated life, other than caring for his sister Kobato. This also means that his life has been incredibly simple until he started attending the Academy and in a way had very little to worry about, although he obviously felt a little lonely. By attending the Academy and then helping to form the Rinjin-bu with Yozora, Kodaka has gained a good group of friends as he has wished for, but in doing so his life has become far more complex than it once was. Read more of this post

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT – The artist formally known as………Pegasus……


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One of the most fascinating elements of Haganai is the way people approach the notion of friendship and what it means to be popular. As we already know from previous episodes, and indeed, previous season, the members of Rinjin-bu all have rather curious, and at times, warped perceptions of what it means to be popular with others. Furthermore, the various characters that occupy the Rinjin-bu are also (mostly) oblivious to the fact that their very presence within the club, and the increasingly close relationship that these characters have constitutes a form of friendship. Rika and Kodaka are clearly conscious of their current situation; although in Kodaka’s case we get the impression that he remains oblivious to everyone around him. Haganai also helps to present the notion of judging a book by its cover in relation to its central characters, particularly Kodaka and Sena. In the most recent episode for example we learn more about how Sena is viewed by the rest of the student population through the ranting of Yusa Aoi. Read more of this post

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT – A question of friendship


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As most people may know, friendship is hardly an exact science; we can’t always choose who our friends are, or even work out exactly why we became friends in the first place. Friendships, while important are also a curious aspect of human interaction and can create lasting relationships, or simply be a brief period in our lives, but one that is no less important than longer lasting friendships or relationships. The central aspect of Haganai is that of building or creating friendships in a highly artificial, and often rather bizarre way. This series brings up some rather fascinating points about friendship and closer relationships in general, and particularly in the context of anime. The majority of high school anime involve a close group of friends, and for the most part we don’t really know why or how they became friends, just that they are, and this is the group that the series will be focussing on. Generally speaking these groups are far from being particularly well known or popular, although they are at least acknowledged in their classes. What we see in Haganai however is the complete opposite; instead of an already formed group of friends we are introduced to a number of different character who for various reasons lack any real human interaction or a deeper friendship with those around them. Read more of this post

Loli and Lolita in anime (non-Hentai – Misused, Misunderstood, Misrepresented


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Please bare in mind that this post is far from definitive and I have barely even begun to explore the varied and complex issues surrounding Lolita in Japanese society, especially with regards to anime and more broadly speaking ‘otaku culture’. 

The Lolita or ‘Loli’ character has become ubiquitous in anime over the years, with numerous series employing younger characters or those dressed in Lolita fashion to varying affects. In a more general sense, Lolitas of ‘Lolis’ are young women and men who dress as anachronistic visual representations of Victorian-era dolls, covered from head to toe in lace, ruffles, and bows. This term in the west is most often associated with the title character of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel, depicting an adolescent girl who has a sexual relationship with her middle-aged stepfather; in Japan however ‘Lolita Complex (lolicon)’ also refers more generally to older men who are attracted to young girls. Part of the problem with these terms however is the way they are used an interpreted in conjunction with anime and the numerous ways with which the Lolita is represented in the anime medium. One of the interesting elements of Lolita in Japan is that they are usually young women (not girls), who dress in cure, childlike, and modest fashions without the overly sexualised appearance typically associated with Nabokov’s Lolita. This representation of the Lolita is further complicated by the broad nature of anime fandom’s description and understanding of the Lolita complex, with numerous fans referring to any young character as a ‘Loli’, whether they are dressed in Victorian-era clothes or not. This particular description makes the whole notion of the Loli far more complicated, as there is an implicit understanding amongst western fandom that Loli is linked with Nabokov’s character. Read more of this post