In this week’s episode of Haganai, the club watches a classic of its genre as a new-look Rika looks confidently on. Kodaka meets Maria’s older sister and comes away extremely unimpressed. Finally, Yozora desperately wants to compare answers to the recent tests with Kodaka. Because that’s what friends do, and that she doesn’t want to do it because they are friends or anything. So for the most part this is a pretty ordinary episode of Haganai, with a fart joke thrown in and ridiculous BL and galge titles on top.
So on to the opening portion of the episode where I found a couple of points of interest.
First, was Rika’s film she brought to show the rest of the club. The all-ages version of the BL eroge Homoge Club. As a true aficionado, she reels off all of what went into converting a hardcore sex-filled romp of a game into the family friendly TV show and then the compilation movie. However, I’d also note that the movie is still called Homoge Club, which would almost certainly harm sales to a general audience. Much like naming a show Cat Planet Cuties, but I digress.
After watching it and being emotionally moved, Yozora was able to recite lines from memory, which is where I started getting interested in it. This was a compilation movie after all. It made me wonder about that whole concept of compressing a TV series down to a movie. Would the plot make any sense? Or is it simply enough to be getting condensed highlights of all of the best moments from a series into a two hour package? I feel there is potential for the whole exercise to be intellectually dishonest. Like compressing the entire Endless Eight arc into 20 minutes and calling it good or judging the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs entirely by video of the few touchdowns they scored and wondering why they aren’t in the playoffs, it could be misleading. On the other hand, if people find it entertaining, it has some value, and maybe the people behind the series should have had better editors, or been replaced entirely.
That led directly into the confrontation between perceived legitimate and low culture fiction when it came to comparing Homoge Club to the fantastically named One Day I Suddenly Got a Little Sister with Blonde Twin-Tails and I Can’t Hold Myself Back Anymore which Sena picked because the girl in the title looked obviously like Kobato. She then proceeded to read a line of dialogue from a sex scene in that game, and was derided as a pervert. The comparison of reaction to each is interesting. I think a point is definitely being made about the adaptation process. Both of them started as sex-filled romps of games appealing to niche audiences and through the process of the movie Homoge Club had more and more of the sexual content stripped out leaving viewers with just a hint of what it originally was, and being much more successful as a product and in gaining societal excellence. Without having gone through that conversion KinpaImo (terrible attempt at shortening) is just pornography for perverted buyers.
There was also a thread through this episode of judging things by their appearance. It began early on with Rika not wearing her glasses. In a case where internal monologue was not so internal, Kodaka says visually that Rika appeals to all of his physical preferences. Without even knowing Rika’s personality, he would have been attracted to her. That judging things differently after getting to know them kick continued with the showing of Homoge Club, and then with Kodaka’s meeting with Maria’s older sister, Kate.
When she first appears, Kate is slouched on a bench and holding a can of soda in her hand. She’s also quick to judge Kodaka because of his hair. Yes, like everyone else who meets him for the first time, she also thinks he’s a delinquent. So what of this girl who appears judgmental, angry and a slob. It turns out that she’s pretty judgmental, angry and a slob. At least Kodaka and the audience watching this had a chance to see her for what she was here. I’m sure she’s more caring as a sister later on, though.
Finally, there was the scene where Yozora and Kodaka spent time comparing answers to the tests that were already done. As the pair of them aren’t very familiar with the banalities of everyday conversation, there was something peculiar about this scene. It was almost as though neither of them could really consciously break out of the idea that there was no utility in comparing answers after the test had concluded. They just couldn’t see what the whole point of having that conversation was until Sena showed up. Then it turned into a pissing contest between the two girls as they talked about a shared experience the two of them had. Without consciously understanding what they had done, the two of them figured out why others have those conversations.
As for the less important talking points from the episode:
- …ga Konnani Kawaii came up as part of a title twice in this episode. Once as one of Rika’s absurd BL eroge titles, the other is actually in next week’s episode title.
- Kate’s can of soda is Cochicala. That seems like something that would be used without irony for fans of Japanese beverages. Or maybe the creators were yearning for domestic cola production to have the quality of a certain Atlanta-based multi-national corporation.
- The very first scene from Homoge Club is a take on a classic BL meme. There’s no jumpsuit here though.
- Yozora breaks the 4th wall in the next episode preview. Ok, that’s not much of a talking point, but I think I had already covered most everything.
Next week doesn’t look like there’s anything groundbreaking. Just an attempt to play the King’s Game that will probably come very close to breaking the sexual stalemate within the club, but not do so. Plus some food gets deep-fried. It may not be the meat you are thinking of.