This might seem a bit out of place, but I will take this chance to offer my condolences to the victims of the Boston marathon tragedy. If you live there, I hope you are safe and sound.
Sorry this post is very late. I have been busy battling games, laziness and communists.
I watched Haganai 12 a few weeks back and I am happy to report that it was a lot better than what I was expecting.
Highway was right, this episode was not what I was expecting.
Normally when you have a plot upsetting event like Kodaka’s reactions at the end of episode 11, the character must go through two separate phases before things are right again.
The first stage (lets call it post-bad-thing stage) normally involves escaping the problem somehow. This is usually done by one or more of the following:
- Skipping School and staying at home.
- Going to extreme lengths to avoid contact.
- Going on a trip in order to skip school.
- Yelling at everyone until they leave you alone.
Now, Kodaka definitely did run away, but he didn’t do anything overly dramatic nor did he do anything exceptionally offensive in his league of absence. If anything, his ‘escape’ was really quite natural. In order to avoid the Neighbors Club Crew, he helped out with the Student Council.
None of his actions felt misplaced and nothing felt unnatural. I really liked that.
And in the process of it all, we learnt a bit about the student council president who is a pretty interesting person to.
The second stage (let us call it reconciliation) involves ‘getting over’ one’s problems and hopefully leads to a happily ever after.
This stage was exceptionally well done in this episode. It wasn’t accomplished through Kodaka’s own will though, no, he had some really good friends help him out.
Now, I never disliked Yukimura, but I never liked her that much either. She was always just there. She had a few occasional excellent moments, but she didn’t quite stand out as much as some of the other girls.
This episode made me like Yukimura a good amount more.
Yukimura was a true bro this episode.
Up until this time, I had thought that Yukimura was mostly just another naive love struck fool who worshiped a fantasy version of Kodaka that only existed in her own head. As it turns out, Yukimura knew that Kodaka was not all that, but still found enough good in him to like him. I liked this. It shows a more reasonable side to Yukimura.
The other and perhaps far more heroic heroine was Rika (naturally).
It should be quite obvious by now, but I really like Rika and I have liked her since Haganai season 1.
While Rika’s eccentricity, passion for Yoai and mad scientist shenanigans have always been the most obviously charming part of her character, she demonstrated something more this season.
In this season, she showcased a keen amount of insight and understanding into the behaviors of her club mates. Throughout the season, she figured out exactly what the club required and did her best in the background to make sure everyone had a good time.
No where was her dedication to the cause more apparent than the final half of episode 12 where she masqueraded as a villain to bring Kodaka back to his senses. No one understood Kodaka better than Rika and no one understood Rika better than Kodaka.
It was this bond and understanding between the two that lead to a great rooftop performance and a lovely ‘friendship’ confession that will likely go down as one of the better moments in anime from 2013.
All in all, I thought Haganai Next was a pretty decent anime. It was a big improvement over season 1. Would I watch season 3? Probably, though I am not that hyped for it and don’t particularly lust for it (mostly because I don’t want to deal with more Yozura. 😛 ).
p.s. I have been meaning to finish this post for quite some time. I am not really sure why it took so long especially since it is a pretty small post to.