Don’t get me wrong, I am quite well aware that Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (also known as Haganai) is a harem.
I know that the girls in typical harems tend to only think about the MC.
But, see therein lies the problem. Haganai is a harem, but I don’t think Haganai is a typical harem so this inclusion of a typical trope leads to an overall unpleasant experience.
Note: For the sake of simplicity and compactness, I am going to pretend that I am only talking about a regular harem, that is to say several girls and one guy. I am sure the same applies for reverse harems as well. You just need to flip the genders.
In a typical harem, what little character development we get is shown through interactions with the main guy.
We don’t get to see much if anything of the girls outside of their interactions with the Main Character. On top of that, all of the plot/character development almost always happens when the main character is in the scene.
Do you remember Nagisa? She is a moeblob when she is with Tomoya, but what is she like when she isn’t with him? Can you even picture a Nagisa when Tomoya is not in the picture? What of the other Clannad characters? Or even, the Kanon cast or various other harems?
If you remove the MC from most harems, you are left with a bunch of lifeless dolls who don’t or rather can’t do anything on their own. Well, for all sakes and purposes they might be able to do everything on their own, but as a viewer, we only see what they are like when they are in the presence of the MC.
This is where Haganai is slightly different.
Regardless of whether you like them or not, the girls in Haganai have personalities. I can see them without Kodaka in the picture.
Yozura would probably just be reading a book somewhere like the loner she is.
Sena would be doing stupid things Yozura told her to do and getting spanked by her old man.
Kobato would be watching TV and doing her typical vampire imitation.
Rika would be…well…probably reading mecha Yaoi or something.
Yukimura…okay…well, I guess she would be kind of useless without her ‘aniki’.
And yet, even though most of the girls have well defined personalities, the show insists on often making them focus solely on Kodaka. This might be annoying in a regular harem, but over here, it is particularly annoying because these girls could be just as interesting if not more so if they stopped caring about Kodaka.
A constant plight to be the center of the MC’s attention is required from regular harems because that is the only way any development happens, but here it just gets in the way. A desire to monopolize Kodaka almost seems contradictory to their already developed characters.
Don’t get me wrong, Kodaka is not a bad MC. As far as harem MC’s go, he is pretty good. I like his stoicness at times and while his denseness gets annoying, he makes up for it by not constantly blushing and falling over into boobs.
Getting back to the girls, Yozura is probably the worst.
Almost everything she does is accompanied by an ulterior motive to get close to Kodaka. She made the club to get close to him. She made Yukimura dress up to get rid of competition and then once Yukimura’s gender was revealed, she made her dress as a man to keep Kodaka’s libido in check.
She screamed when Kodaka was about to kiss Sena and got visibly upset when her nefarious schemes failed.
Whenever she gets the chance, she cockblocks Kodaka. Whenever she can, she does something to try and get closer to him. All the while, she never admits to her feelings (well, she admits them to her self…I think). She bullies Sena for no good reason and bullies her even more if she detects progress on the Sena x Kodaka front.
When I think about it…the other girls don’t focus anywhere near as much on Kodaka as Yozura does.
Sure, Rika’s constant attempts to seduce him have gotten annoying (I still love her antics, but they are wasted on Kodaka) and Yukimura’s desire to be manly like Kodaka is also quite grating, but neither of those come close to Yozura’s obsession.
Interestingly enough, the only thing that comes close to Yozura’s obsession with Kodaka is Sena’s obsession with Yozura but at least Sena keeps her obsession in her room. Yozura walks around with her obsession everywhere she goes.
She is vile scum and I hate her.
Okay, it would appear that in the process of making this post, I seem to have discovered something.
One of my biggest problems with Haganai is how the girls focus too much on Kodaka because the show could have better if they didn’t. My biggest problem with this show is Yozura or rather her intense obsession with our dense MC-kun.
I apologize for the possibly deceiving title. Have a good day.