My biggest problem with Haganai: The girls care too much about Kodaka.

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.

Haganai-3 Rika

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?

Picture of aforementioned moeblob.

Picture of aforementioned moeblob.

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.

I will admit some her bullying is funny.

I will admit some her bullying is funny.

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.

Haganai-1 Yozura

 

Too Late

Too Late

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.

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  1. #1 by Flawfinder on February 18, 2013 - 5:36 pm

    Pretty sure the second season of Clannad depicted the girls doing their own thing without Tomoya’s involvement. There was even an episode where Nagisa was on her own.

    • #2 by Reiseng on February 18, 2013 - 7:21 pm

      CRAP.

      Let’s just pretend that I was only talking about the first season. More so, let us pretend that all of the character development in the girls happened in the first season…..

      • #3 by Flawfinder on March 1, 2013 - 7:45 pm

        By the way, you should check out the movie some time. Most of the characters get an upgrade in their independence in that (although in exchange, Tomoya gets a bit of a downgrade).

      • #4 by Reiseng on March 1, 2013 - 10:04 pm

        Yeah, I have the movie downloaded, but I haven’t seen it yet. I will do so when I get the chance.

        It is a shame though, Tomoya is like the best thing in Clannad. (Also, I might have given the wrong impression here. I liked Clannad and I absolutely love After Story. )

  2. #5 by Highway on February 18, 2013 - 6:05 pm

    See, I love Yozora in this second season because of the progress I see her making both on the personal honesty front and on the ‘paying attention to other people besides Kodaka and herself’ front. One of the things I think is a great meta joke about Haganai is that they constantly talk about how they don’t have friends and that they’re practicing for when they have friends. And in the last few episodes that’s really been changing as Rika, Yozora, and even Sena, are realizing that they DO have friends, they do stuff with those friends, and they are building friendships.

    That’s why I loved (at least what I thought of) Yozora’s reactions to Sena after Sena felt abused by Yozora’s fortune telling. In season 1, Sena would have come up and said that she got spanked and that she was mad at Yozora for tricking her, and Yozora would have laughed in her face, called her “stupid meat”, and walked away while Kodaka consoled Sena. But now, Sena basically says that she’s upset not because she got scolded by her father, but because she thought that she and Yozora were getting closer. And Yozora, realizing that she (again) went too far, is visibly uncomfortable, even through to the next scene when she’s visibly relieved that Sena’s mood gets better upon seeing Kobato.

    So I think that Yozora has changed into someone who actually does value Sena’s friendship, as well as Rika’s. And Sena and Rika are also valuing their friendships with Yozora and each other. But Yozora doesn’t quite know enough tact yet (because that only comes with experience with friends) about when to stop teasing Sena, when it would be too far. Before she’d feel bad because she looked bad in front of Kodaka. Now she feels bad because she hurt Sena.

    The other thing I wanted to say, relating to your post title (if not the post content😉 ), is that I think Rika’s transforming her relationship with Kodaka. She’s really liked him as possible boyfriend material, but she knows now that he’s just not into her that way. So the last couple episodes she’s been taking out her frustrations on him because of that, and I think it’s on the way to being a more normal friend, basically getting her romantic feelings out of the way. So yes, she’s been focused on Kodaka, but she’s also been very supportive of Yozora lately. And Rika might be what Yozora needs, if Rika will ever step up and tell Yozora “Hey, that’s enough, you’re pushing Sena too much.”

    None of this changes that Kodaka is still the idiot who can’t figure out that they’re all friends already, tho.

    • #6 by Reiseng on February 18, 2013 - 7:56 pm

      Hoh, I actually hadn’t looked at it like that.

      You aren’t the first person to point out to me that Yozura gets a lot of character development. I suppose that is true. For some reason, it felt that Yozura was nastier in this second season, but that might have just been me.

      I hadn’t thought of it, but the fact that Yozura shows regret over upsetting Sena is a good indicator of progress.

      My Yozura hating delusions have come crashing down. Well, I still don’t like her too much, but I guess I don’t hate her as much now. -_-‘

      Sigh, your point on Rika makes sense. It does feel like she realized that she loves him but will likely never get him.

      Having said that, I don’t want to believe it. Rika x Kodaka is my official ship after all.😦 Stupid Yozura getting in my way.

      And yes, more so than realizing he has 3 girls (and possibly 4 if you include Yukimura) in love with him, I’d really want him to realize that they are all friends, though I think some of the faces he makes when he sees Sena and Yozura bicker suggest that he knows they are all friends.

      • #7 by Highway on February 18, 2013 - 9:41 pm

        Yeah, I’ve felt that Yozora has actually been really getting far less nasty this second season. I think about the hair heap prank that she and the rest pulled on Sena, and think about how much worse it could have been (say they’d cut it, or something). I think about goading Sena into reading that raunchy scene out of her galge out loud (and boy was that raunchy). And after both of them, Yozora apologized to Sena, in what I thought was a sincere way. And this time, there wasn’t an apology, because I think that would have been much farther along the ‘friendship scale than either Sena or Yozora is comfortable with.

        Rika x Kodaka is one of those longshot ships, even more of a longshot than my favorite – Nanami x Sorata in Sakurasou. But I think Rika and Kodaka are actually going to get to a place where even if they’re not boyfriend/girlfriend, they’re going to be good friends. I think there will just always be a little regret on Rika’s part (and that happens a lot of the time in relationships).

    • #8 by Reiseng on February 18, 2013 - 10:55 pm

      Oh god, if they had cut Sena’s hair…or burnt it by mistake (similar to what happened to Yozura in the 1st season)…yeah it would have been bad.

      Aww, yeah, Rika probably won’t happen. I guess I will be content with them being good friends like they are now. Rika is more than funny enough to stand by herself.

      In that case, I hope we get Sena x Kodaka. I like Sena’s honesty so that would be nice to see, though really I just want to see that because I want Pegasus-san to be Kodaka’s dad.

  3. #9 by noahzukowski on July 26, 2014 - 11:14 am

    This isn’t really my type of anime, usually, but i LOVED haganai for precisely the reason you pointed out; the girls all have their own personalities. It was in the second season that i got kind of iritated with yozura. before, she seemed like a strong, albeit bitchy, carecter. she was funny, and had a good leadership role. but in the second season she was not only minor, but also really unfair to everyone else. I think that when yozura grows up and finally deals with the issues she has with people (like kodaka did when confronted by rika) she’ll redeem herself as a carecter.
    IF THEY STOP DICKING AROUND AND MAKE SEASON 3!!!
    as an unrelated note, I think Sena is a lesbian tbh. the only exception to her girl love seems to be kodaka, but who knows, maybe thats just a phase?

    • #10 by Reiseng on August 5, 2014 - 1:22 am

      Sorry for the late response. I don’t remember season 1 at all, but I don’t recall Yozura being as irritating. I too hope they fix her problems soon and/or just get rid of the show entirely all together (a season 3 without Yozura!)

      Haha, Apart from Kodaka’s sister, is there any girl Sena likes? I can’t recall. Regardless, I think Sena x Kodaka is my otp and mostly only because she is gutsy enough to confess!

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