This week’s episode of Haganai is centered almost entirely around the upcoming school festival. For unpopular people such as the members of the Neighbors Club, that means tragedy and exclusion. That doesn’t mean they can’t dream of participating as a club, however. They try out 2 ideas, a maid cafe and fortune telling. They both result in more cruel jokes on Sena as can be expected. After last week, this episode proved to be disappointing from a character development standpoint.
As I was watching this episode, I had an interesting thought that I just had to get into this post immediately. After Yozora and Kodaka had their past effectively dismissed by the rest of the club; most notably by Rika referring to them as former friends, I began to think of this series in terms of social isolationism. Each of these characters is isolated from the rest of the student body in some way. Kodaka is labelled a delinquent for his hair, Sena is elevated on a pedestal for her appearance and generally being superior to the rest of the students, Rika is kept separate so she can work on her science matters, Yukimura is the girl who acts like a boy without a care, Maria is part of the administration, Kobato has her appearance issues like her brother, but Yozora just seems to have a bad personality. It’s sort of weak there, but it still allows this next point to work. The reason anyone in the group has no idea of friendship is because they’ve never been near people who were friends. If I had to use a rubbish analogy, I’d say it’s like giving a typical American a cricket bat, putting them out in the center and expecting them to play cricket with no knowledge of the game.
Enough about that, you probably want my views on what actually happened in the episode. Like I said above, there wasn’t actually that much. However, there was plenty of anger and abuse directed at Kodaka and Sena. Rika changes into the maid outfit in the same room as Kodaka and he gentlemanly doesn’t open his eyes. This is pretty much outright rejection of her, and he would come to regret that. Her act wasn’t so much tsundere as it was sadistic. It’s exactly the performance Yozora would have put on for Sena in those roles.
The anger continues from the other girls after Sena puts on the maid outfit. It barely fits you see, and that means she’s flaunting what she has, even if she isn’t consciously doing it. Hell, even Yukimura is pissed off. That just continues when Yozora speaks for the rest of them when Sena has to admit she’s copying servants from maid cafes in Akiba rather than Stella. Despite the anger, it felt like the first half of the episode was pretty pointless.
The 2nd half of the episode was fairly standard abuse of Sena by Yozora. It would normally be the type that she would easily recover from. Using patented fortune telling techniques that are normally used to extort money, Yozora convinces Sena to dance on her roof at night with a bowl of water on her head while shouting “Sexy Beam.” That goes as well as anyone watching was thinking. It leads to a depressed Sena having to be comforted by Kodaka into going back to the room. I almost thought we’d have a real plot development in Yozora having to become aware of Sena’s feelings. However, that was ruined by Kobato being in the club room and things returned to the same as they always were.
This was as uneventful an episode of Haganai as I can remember so just a couple of minor points here:
- The swearing: Has Rika’s influence spread across the club now? Will Yozora start dropping Fs and Cs on Sena soon?
- Tragically, it seems having Yukimura openly as a girl has made her utterly irrelevant to anything happening now. That’s really poor form.
See, not much. At least next week it looks like a shopping trip to buy stuff for Kobato and the others. Rika will probably stock up on the latest and greatest in mecha BL. Maybe some character development will happen. And maybe the date has sapped my enthusiasm for this show temporarily. Find out next week.