OP: 「Be My Friend」by 隣人部（三日月夜空〈井上麻里奈〉、柏崎星奈〈伊藤かな恵〉、楠幸村〈山本希望〉、志熊理科〈福圓美里〉、羽瀬川小鳩〈花澤香菜〉、高山マリア〈井口裕香〉）(The Neighbor’s Club (Mikazuki Yozora, Kashiwazaki Sena, Kusunoki Yukimura, Shiguma Rika, Hasegawa Kobato, Takayama Maria))
「やはり俺の青春はまちがっている」 (Yahari Ore no Seishun wa Machigatteiru)
“I Think Something Is Wrong with My Youth”
After one whole year, Haganai makes its triumphant second season debut. And honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy another season of this quirky show. Luckily, this first episode completely blew past my expectations by wasting no time and jumping straight into the gist of things. However, what really made it stand apart was how AIC Build went above and beyond and even touched on a few points that I really wanted to see last season. All of which had me on the edge of my seat wanting more.
For starters, I really loved how AIC Build decided to handle this first episode. Instead of giving us a boring run of the mill introduction episode that attempts to lay the foundation for an entire season, I was loving how spontaneous everything seemed. It was almost as if the studio forgot that it’s been nearly a year since the first season ended and completely blew off the fact that viewers may not remember key points. The thing is, I think it worked really well. Especially in a case when you have a show that essentially works off of how characters interactions bounce off one another. And in retrospect, what’s a better way to jog our memories then watching characters do what they do best? Sure, I may not have remembered how air-headed Sena could be or just how devilish both Yozora and Rika could be — but watching them double team against Sena in an all out attempt to give her the worst hairstyle possible was an extremely fun way to jog my memory.
At the same time, I really enjoyed how the second half of the episode started to change things up as it shifted toward a more somber and serious mood. Well, I mean as serious as a show like Haganai can get. Sure it may have been downright creepy to view just how dedicated Sena was at focusing on her grudge toward Yozora — but wouldn’t you love to see your face plastered on someone’s ceiling? Sarcasm aside, the latter half of the episode brought up an interesting point (at least for me) — the whole love triangle between Sena, Yozora, and Kodaka. Even though I could have sworn that Yozora was the one who came out on top in the battle for Kodaka’s heart, this episode did a wonder on messing up my memories. Between watching Kodaka accept a condom and having Sena’s father tell him that he entrusts him with his daughter, I can’t help but feel that the whole love aspect is going to have a triumphant return later in the season. And if it’s anywhere near as awkward as discussing friendship was during the first season, you can bet I’m excited to see where this leads.
If I had to give one word to describe this first episode I would say that it was stellar. After helping me remember just why I loved watching this show and then enticing me with a Nun with boobs as big as Sena’s, there’s almost nothing I can complain about. Throw in a spectacular opening and ending sequence that I can’t stop listening to and hints that the romantic side of things might get touched on a bit more and you have me at the edge of my seat thinking about the endless possibilities of what could happen in a show like this. And don’t get me started on how emotional the show could get when the topic of what “friendship” really is comes back around! And in the worst case, it seems like AIC Build is ready to provide all the fanservice one could for.
ED: 「僕らの翼」 (Bokura no Tsubasa) by 隣人部（三日月夜空〈井上麻里奈〉、柏崎星奈〈伊藤かな恵〉、楠幸村〈山本希望〉、志熊理科〈福圓美里〉、羽瀬川小鳩〈花澤香菜〉、高山マリア〈井口裕香〉）(The Neighbor’s Club (Mikazuki Yozora, Kashiwazaki Sena, Kusunoki Yukimura, Shiguma Rika, Hasegawa Kobato, Takayama Maria))