「残念王と笑えない話」 (Zannen Ou to Waraenai Hanashi)
“The Unlucky King And the Serious Story”

Can you imagine how different college/school life would be if the punishment for plagiarism was a one-on-one battle with Rika in full blown Yakuza mode?

Up until this point, there’s been a character specific episode for everyone except Rika! And sure she may have taken the liberty to make a bunch of small changes to herself throughout the season but I think this week’s episode finally took the dive to really flesh out her character and in turn push the show toward a very interesting climax.

Starting with the first point, I’m honestly surprised just how important of a character Rika has become. Looking back at her introduction during season one as the genius student who was too smart to interact with others, she’s come quite far. Besides becoming super cute after dropping her fake glasses, something about her deceptively cynical personality that’s become more prominent manages fills in the “normal” person gap that’s missing in the Neighbors Club. Essentially she’s like the anchor that not only maintains and subdues some of the ridiculous personality flaws in the club but also lets them float up and reach amazing (or hilarious) places. Which in itself isn’t a huge role, but something much larger than what I expected originally! But by the end of the episode, it became apparent just how large of a role she’s meant to play — the person who may liberate the club and actually push them toward actually making friends!

And by that, I mean the heated conversation between her and Kodaka right before the episode came to a close. Because up until point, I don’t think anyone has taken the initiative to really go out there and accept the idea that the members of the Neighbors Club are actually friends with one another. In which case you have to give Rika a big hand for noticing all of Kodaka’s insecurities and bluntly pushing him to move on.

With two more episodes left, I think the we’re in an amazing position. With all the major misconceptions cleared up and the topic of friendship shining in the spotlight, I’m really hoping that the story continues to build off of this week’s momentum to create a finale fitting of a show like Haganai.

P.S. I feel somewhat entitled to say that I feel completely vindicated about giving Kodaka the benefit of the doubt that he may not be the dense idiot who can’t realize other people’s feelings. If anything, he may be one of the most perceptive male leads ever created! At least, perceptive to the point where he’s able to clearly see the situation and attempt to lie to himself to avoid facing his fears of forming bonds with others.



End Card


  1. https://randomc.net/image/Boku%20wa%20Tomodachi%20ga%20Sukunai/Boku%20wa%20Tomodachi%20ga%20Sukunai%20NEXT%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2016.jpg

    Rika kawaii~

    With her constantly changing looks and perceptiveness regarding Kodaka’s feigned ignorance of his de facto “harem” and pushes him to make a decision, Rika is fast becoming the de facto heroine while the two supposed “main” heroines faded.

    Even Kobato and Maria bickering was more interesting than seeing Yozora and Sena’s respective scenes this season.

  2. Kodaka, you want friends, but are afraid of people getting too close to you so you create a wall they can’t pass through even though they want to get closer to you. What in the actual fuck man?!

    Oh btw, RIKA!

      1. he’s had the trauma all his life. his hair color and “fashion sense” has led people to assume many things about him, prime assumption being the delinquent thing. people have since been afraid to interact with him, and he’s taken a lot of that to heart.

    1. In a strange way I can understand Kodaka – he wants all the advantage of having friends without also accepting the disadvantages. He doesn’t want to be lonely but isn’t willing to accept the affection of others for fear of not being able to give something of similiar value. He fears that his inability to be affectionate to other will cause them to leave him. It’s a paradox but I can honestly say I understand him. As for Rika, I guess she’s right – they are already friends. I guess that’s why Kodaka doesn’t want to hear it – accepting that they are friends means accepting that the club is no longer needed.


    2. It’s obvious that they all like him. However Kodaka likes how the current situation is. The status quo in this series is so fragile that it can easily be broken by any of them going on the offensive more than the others. Rika knows ho Kodaka feels more than any of them (BEST GIRL), but there’s also one in the group that not only doesn’t have any clue how he feels but doesn’t care how he feels, it’s just all about her. She’s the wrecking ball – wait for it.

      All the hopeless shipping that happening in this series seems to undermine the whole point of this series. Not is not some love story, that’s not it’s purpose. It’s about how a bunch of socially dysfunctional kids interact with each other. There’s no way in hell any of this will end up with any concrete romantic relationship.

  3. I think what Kodaka is trying to do is to prevent the friendship within the club to be ruined just by picking/dating one of the girls knowing they all have fell in love with him. Like Key-kun of Seitokai no Ichizon where he only wants everyone to be happy resulting to a harem ending.

    Also I like how Maria got jealous seeing Kobato with some friends but in the end it seems that Kobato and Maria gets along each other very well even if they don’t noticed it yet.

    1. It´s safe to say that from all the club members Maria and Koabato are the one who share a strong, solid bond of friendship but don´t really care of naming it as such. That´s where Kodaka has his insecurities: to label their relationship as friendship, meaning he already has friends but doesn´t dare to use the “F Word” in fear of ruining the magic of what he has found.

  4. After seeing this episode does anyone else feel this strange effect from the opening an closing, I never focused on the english lyrics to the opening since i just thought it was energetic and fun but it makes a lot of sense with the situation. With the ending, now that we confirmed how perceptive Kodaka is when I see Sena and Yozora run up to him at the fountain it makes me feel kinda like they are pushing towards an incredibly far goal. Before this episode when we thought he was kind of oblivious it felt like he was far away and they had to just get to where he is but now it feels like since he know’s they are trying to get to where he is he keeps moving away. To the RikaxKodaka fans I don’t think she’s the closest to him falling for her but I think she is the closest to him calling her a friend especially since she’s the one who brought up his problem. I think Yozora and Sena may see it too but I don’t think they are brave or comfortable enough yet to bring it up, Yozora is still trying to define and strengthen her past relationship with Kodaka and Sena is trying to convey her feelings the best she can without changing who she is and staying true to her character. Now that Rika made Kodaka realize it I wonder if this will push him towards acknowledging everyone’s feelings.

    1. But it’s not just Yozora! If you watch the series carefully, you’ll see that they’ve actually pulled a Saki. Even the girls whose skirts got flipped last week by Pegasus running past at high speed were nopan.

  5. Forget Sena or Yozora, I’m shipping for Rika x Kodaka! To me, she has been the highlight of this season. As I mentioned before in a previous post, I am surprised at how quickly my impression of her changed this season. I found her character pretty annoying last season to be perfectly honest, as she just appeared to be a hyperacting geek who is into mecha and boys love. Now we have seen so many different sides of her over the past few weeks, not just her character design, but also different personalities,and as Kodaka mentioned about midway through this episode, she is the one character who appears to be trying her hardest to actually make friends. Rika, in my opinion anyway, has to be the best character in this anime, if not for the whole anime season!

  6. And here I was getting annoyed by how much they went for the what I didn’t hear what you said thing. Little did I know it was actually part of the plot I’m glad to see that after 12 years of watching subbed anime anime can still surprise me…(especially a harem anime).

    Also Rika is great this season!

  7. I think Rika just topped best girl of the year for me, surpassing Kanna. She’s been showing a lot of new facets to her personality since season 2 started. I’m rather surprised because I’m finding her and Yukimura more likable than Yozora and Sena, whose “bitch-for-the-sake-of-being-a-bitch” attitudes have been taken to high levels of annoyance this season.

    Lol at Yozora ass-shot. Sena just kept inching it closer and closer with each passing episode, but never crossed the line. Yozora just quite literally throws her ass out there.

    Overall, really good episode. Kobato being popular was rather surprising as I figured she acted the same in class as she did at home. Maria’s jealousy (at least I think it’s jealousy?) and her immediate make-up fight with Kobato was portrayed well.

  8. And here i thought that Yozora was a coward, but no. Kodaka is even more of a coward, almost on the level of a certain Shinji Ikari (anime version) While it is a no-brainer that Rika can, and will, say whatever is in her mind, she just pointed the obvious to Kodaka, and the idiot didn’t have a way to bail out this time. An advise for you, son: THAT’S LIFE, SO GET ON TO IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!! He wants friends and a girlfriend but is afraid that making a choice will destroy the status-quo? Having in mind that the only people he ever talk to is everyone in the Neighbor’s Club, the fag don’t have any other options. Even with that, the status-quo would uphold with this: Sena as GF, Yozora as (bitter) competition, Rika as concubine (like she wouldn’t…) and Yukimura as his henchmen (henchgirl?)as ever. All happy as Yozora can still be the bitch around.
    The most beta characters ever straighted up at some point (Love Hina’s Keitaro, Shuffle!’s Rin Tsuchimi, Princess Lover’s Tepei) and they uphold their harems. How hard could it be for Kodaka? Way too much, it seems. C’MON MAN!!

    1. People seem to forget that Kodaka only had few friends before and doesn’t want to lose the ones he has know like he did before so if he has to act like an idiot he probably will.

  9. damn watching this episode makes we wonder which is worse? Being too dense too realize people’s feelings or being able to perfectly see them and choose to ignore them instead. Didn’t think Kodaka was this down deep to actually yell just to stop Rika from telling him where exactly he was standing. Kodoka shame on you man…

  10. Its the first time i watch an anime with girls who might not have any underwear(bottom half) almost all the time you see up a girls skirt here the underwear is not damn visible!!! not that i mind though, prefeer it that way but this time around i just Yozora was a bit too exposed(not that i mind that either) great episode at any rate.

    PS: I have long wished for Rika/Kodaka pair but i wonder if i was just being stupid, would like it if anyone told me if there is any actual of it happening.

  11. Kodaka’s feigned obliviousness to the girls feelings confirmed his goals of a HAREM-ENDING! My advice to him is to do away all that shit and take a page from a certain seitokai protagonist by admitting equal love to all haremettes and make everyone happy! Or if he preferred being Beta then look at Kyoro of GJ-bu and learn from his Hair brushing techniques!

  12. Rika has turned into one of my favorite characters. The scene of her with her lab coat blowing in the wind was just…. She’s ntelligent, sexy, perceptive, raunchy and, in many ways the most mature of the group, she covers all the bases. It actually hurts to watch her reach out to Kodaka and have him push her away. The two key scenes for me were the one where they talk to Kobato’s classmate and Rika and Kodaka on the roof. Kobato shies away from her classmates (even though they like her) and Rika points out that that is so like Kodaka. On the roof, we have Rika wearing her lab coat, but also wearing her gym clothes, watching the rest of the kids compete. That shows her isolation and why the club is important to her and why she is so frustrated. No one will admit the obvious, that they are already friends. But why is Kodaka so afraid to admit the obvious? He knows that Sena and Yozora would never accept that they are friends. Is he afraid that saying it out loud will cause the club to break up? He’s stated that he thinks he needs to have friends before he starts thinking about a girlfriend. That is probably why he has refused to acknowledge Rika’s obvious interest. If he rejects her as a girlfriend I think he’s afraid he will also lose her as a friend, but if he confesses to her then he will lose the others. Sometimes the fear of losing something you care about is worse that the lack of a thing in the first place.

    Interestingly enough, the two that have created an obvious friendship are Maria and Kobato. Both were overjoyed when Kobato showed up at the clubroom. So cute.

  13. A girl in a Harem anime confronting the main character.
    They are trying to destroy the genre?

    With this ep Rika leaved all the others girls eating dust.
    Rika FTW.

  14. OK…
    Kodaka loses his mantle of socially blindness master. Instead he is elevated to stupidity king!
    Look at the club members. Rika is already covered, hard-working, intelligent and helpful.
    Maria and Kobato are de-facto childhood friends already. Even Sena and Yozora show signs of closeness, Sena encouraging Yozora to make up for plagiarism with working at making movie, Yozora by taking another popular person as hate pet.
    And Kodaka knew it all along, for a quite time already!
    I can understand that he is afraid of upsetting the balance of power and breaking up the club, but for heaven’s sake, you can’t pretend like that forever. All of the (older, i’m not counting kids) girls are in love with him, and the longer he keeps it, the harder the rejected ones will be hurt!

  15. Kodaka is not dumb. He knows they all like him. Unitl now the only tidbit of information that touched the subject was that he wanted friends b4 thinking about a girlfriend. As salty as that sounds, if we decipher that a bit, it can be concluded that he has no interest in any of them. So why should he do something as stupid as respond to any of their obvious feelings?

    It doesn’t even approach the level of not wanting to HURT any of them. It’s more like he doesn’t want to deal with any of the problems associated with having any of them as a girlfriend. Rather than it being something like not wanting to face his own demons, he thinks he doesn’t need to face them, because it would only be self-destructive. But that would only work if all of the girls were smart enough to not face them as well. Unfortunately, there’s always that one self-centered idiot in the group that think there are NO demons, & thus become one – for Kodaka.

    Rika only wanted to confirm her precognition of Kodaka. She, in no way wants to become that destructive element. She has actually changed her behavior to “fit” in better with the group – but she also wanted Kodaka to know that as well, which was pretty darn obvious to him. The destructive element role will be filled soon. All things considering, there’s no way to prevent that, even if Kodaka wasn’t playing Captain Oblivious.

    Any kind of outward advance from any of the girls will accomplish the destruction of the group. This is not Kodaka’s fault. It’s the fault of the advancing idiot, especially since he hasn’t expressed ANY interest in any of them – not to them, not to us, not to himself, PERIOD!

    1. I think that Kodaka is just trying to put off what he sees as the inevitable: the breakup of the group because the the girls are attracted to him and someone is going to screw things up. He sees himself has having no where else to go. Once this is gone he’s left with the loneliness that he endured for ten years. Aoi’s comments to him may be the thing that gives him an out: she thought he was “cool”, so there are people that are outside of the group that would be interested in knowing him if he reached out.

      1. You might very well be right about Kodaka being concerned over the club breaking up, but I don’t think it’s to that degree. The end of the club doesn’t necessarily mean the end of all his relationships. There’s the SC VP, and while Maria is Kobato’s friend, sister Kate seems quite willing to be Kodaka’s friend (possibly with benefits). Yukimura seems the type to follow Kodaka around even if he’s dating someone else. The only one I see disappearing is Yozora if he decided to date someone else. I think that would be too painful for her to stick around. Even then, he’s not alone if he’s dating someone.

        Maybe just me, but I think it goes beyond just concerns over the club members. As I understand it, Kodaka’s issue is global, that is to say it’s not particular to the club itself. Even if it was just Yozora (or Sena/Rika/Yukimura), I don’t think that would change anything. As Rika says, his problem is with “intimacy” (not sure if that’s the best term), and that applies regardless of the situation.

      2. “Intimacy” is a good way to put it. If I trying viewing the situation from Rika’s end, it seems that she’s trying to make him acknowledge what he’s doing. Of course she already knows he’s aware of it. The other thing is that Rika could be subconsciously aware that destruction is drawing near, so she’s trying to take the proactive route.

        Would anything change if he stopped acting so dense, DEFINITELY. Whether it’s for the better or worse remains to be seen.

        I really think this situation is just a ticking time bomb just because of the types of characters we’re dealing with, regardless of Kodaka’s actions.

    2. @Bear, That may very well be the case when the time comes. It’ll be sort of an introduction to reality, that you can actually interact well with people that don’t necessarily have romantic feelings for you. Baby steps. Dropping him into that situation at the beginning of this series must of seems like hell on earth for him. You just don’t be alone for 10 years of schooling – you do it because you want to. It’s also VERY HARD to accomplish this in real life because schooling literally makes you find friends & make them find you.

  16. Wow, so this season really looks like it plans on ending with volume 8. I find that really intriguing, especially since this season of haganai is actually written by Yomi Hirasaka, who is the author of the light novels. To me, this was never about who is gonna end up with who (although i do prefer sena because behind all that self-aggrandizement is actually a mature person who tries to pursue her goals), it was about a group of kids with personality kinks that need to overcome these kinks. I commend Rika because she seems to be the first person who is actually going to overcome her barriers and become someone who can make important relationships, if she hasnt already.

    If this episode was any proof, Kodaka having to leave Yozora all those years ago didnt just affect yozora; it also closed him up to a certain degree. And as for Yozora, she is lagging far behind the rest of them in terms of making friends so im sure her journey to reformation is going to be the longest. With only two episodes left, no volume 9 released, and Yomi Hirasaka in the writing chair, I wonder if there will be any OVA’s to hint towards the future past volume 8. There is that Hagainai connect novel that recently came out so i wonder if that will be adapted as well.

  17. I believe Kodaka doesn’t want to fulfill any feelings towards him, since he believes that this will destroy the friendship between the club members. He’s not dense, he knows almost all girls like him, and he knows that there is friendship between the club members, but also knows that he choosing one of them as a girlfriend would rip apart at this. At least that’s my take. He’s not scared of having friends or a girlfriend, he’s afraid of losing his friends to a love rivalry (which does destroy friendships).

    1. I liked her from the start. And I have liked her even more as episodes piled up. And after this episode I like her more then ever before. And you are saying that it will only get better? *wow* I can’t imagine and I am so eager to find out. ^_^

  18. One thing I noticed about this episode was it’s “tone”. Very subjective, but for me this episode was noticeably more serious. Yet despite the change, I like this episode perhaps as much as any other this season. The reduced focus in comedy provided time to give a lot of additional insight on some character as well as raise some new questions.

    I must admit that I didn’t give Rita quite enough credit. As Kodaka say, she does seem to be the one trying the hardest to make friends (at least with the other members). I won’t go as far as Takaii and say that she’s really “normal”, but she’s more “normal” that most or perhaps all of the group. Primarily, I see her as the most perceptive and objective of the group. Kudos for trying to push Kodaka to take the next step. Evidently, someone needs to do it.

    I never gave it much thought, but I didn’t expect Kobato to not only be the most popular one in her class or even school, but treated as an oujo-sama as well. Yet despite her popularity, she’s reluctant accept her classmates as friends. I wonder whether that’s connected to Kodaka or some common past experience since both siblings exhibit the same character trait.

    Poor Maria. Seeing Koboto’s popularity really struck home her lack of friends her age and isolation. Nice to see her happy reunion with Kobato in the club room afterwards.

    As for Kokdaka, the voice-overs have hinted that he is more aware of the situation than he lets on. What I didn’t expect was his the emotional strength of his outburst at Rita to stop. After watching that, I think whatever is holding Kodaka back goes beyond any concern over what might happen to the club and relationships amongst the members if he chooses to date one girl. That’s a legitimate concern, but even so, that sort of risk is inherent in any situation where multiple girls/boys like one boy/girl. I think Kodaka’s problem is more extreme and on a more fundamental level.

    Lastly, giving points to Yozora for going commando… in short “skirt”… while sitting on a bicycle seat. That’s certainly a strong commitment to the success of the club’s movie.

    1. @daikama
      He’s been friendless for ten years. That’s got to have scarred him emotionally. Even though he’s Japanese, he both looks gaijin and yankee. They’ve shown a few vignettes of him trying to interact with others in the school and they were abject failures because of his looks and social awkwardness. I think it is a concern about the club, or at least the club members and himself. As it stands, they have a place to gather and hang out. Even to do things together. What they have in common is the club. Without that they would probably wind up going their separate ways. They are very different people with differing interests and talents. The club is what binds them together. In any case, Sena and Yozora won’t be able to accept that they are friends without the club as a cover for that friendship (especially Yozora). Possibly it’s also a feeling of guilt for having left Yozora so many years ago and he can’t bear the thought that he might break up the group by stating the obvious. Kodaka is afraid that putting a name to the relationship of the club members would jinx it. I’ve had similar feelings in the past where I’ve been afraid of admitting that him happy in a situation for fear of jinxing it. Sort of an analog to the gods punishing mortals for hubris. What’s worse than not being happy? Having happiness and having it taken away. It’s the contrast that makes it worse and I think that now that he has a modicum of happiness he can’t bear the thought of losing it.

  19. Rika vs Aika man two great women even though they’re on two different shows makes me think what would they be like on the same show (serious of course). Such a great episode and Kobato looking cute as always 😀

    Jason Isenberg
  20. Am I the only ones who find Kobato’s classmates to be suuuuuuuuuper creepy?

    It makes sense that she’s happy playing with Maria, that antagonistic relationship is the opposite of what she has to deal with at school.

  21. While I get that many have been saying that Kodaka isn’t as dense as he pretends to be, I have a problem with this. Is he a good guy? Yes. Is he a good onii-chan? Yes. But what did Rika say about him?

    He’s spent all of his life being lonely. In all the time he’s been in the school, four months or so, there isn’t another student outside the club that he can talk to. They still shy away from him (or run away in abject terror). If he isn’t dense now, what was he before? For example, the cell phone/phone number episode.

    On another note, this show has three great major females (plus the unfortunately neglected Kate, glorious Kate). I’d say best across all shows of the season. They’re all crazy, they’re all anti-social misfits and they’re all pretty wonderful. However this one ends, I hope that there will be a third season, just to show them off some more, and see them develop some more.

  22. “Can you imagine how different college/school life would be if the punishment for plagiarism was a one-on-one battle with Rika in full blown Yakuza mode?”

    I’d plagiarize all day! Ahh, Rika-sama! Punish me more, more, moaarrr! <3

  23. LOL at next episode preview skit. rika singing the opening theme. honestly, not until now i understand the meaning of the lyrics of the song, damn it is really pinpoint accurate to what is actually happening to them(or to kodaka).

    Rika: Senpai! Rika to kekkon shite kudasai!!
    Kodaka: Eh? Iyada yo.
    Rika: eh? Nandatte?! *copying the theme song

  24. Two things that I found interesting that I haven’t seen any comments about yet anywhere.

    While the burgeoning friendship between Kobato and Maria is much discussed, what about the relationship between Sena and Kobato? What’s going on here?

    While she screamed and hollered when Sena was smothering her, she reacted differently when her classmate was grilling Kodaka.

    She stopped squirming in Sena’s grasp and after hearing of Onii-chan’s compliment, she gasped, teary-eyed, and hung onto Sena’s arm more closely, even letting Sena stroke her hair for a moment before overloading and running off again. And who was she calling stupid?

    Secondly, kudos to Yozora for taking her punishment right on the chin. I like her justification for the borrowed script, too – “You guys are stupid, so….” But she took the insults and even let Sena seize the glory without a word. She absorbed the gloating. She took orders from Sena. She practiced reading with Maria while eating. The only thing she didn’t do was follow Rika’s direction to get Yukimura on the bed.

    Last note… on Rika again. I like how she answered when Kodaka pointed out that it must have been a lot of work. Simple, honest, not self-aggrandizing. Gotta like her a lot.

  25. I see an incredible difference in how Kodaka reacts with each girl in private, versus when they’re in a group. Sena in the church, at lunch in the mall, at the amusement park, Rika in her special room and on the roof, even Youzora at the cat cafe. The conversations aren’t free-lowing and easy, but they’re young and trying to handle their feelings. It’s the chemistry of the group that makes the individuals interact so harshly with each other. Of all those conversations, the most ‘normal’ was Kodaka and Sena in the food court of the mall. It just seemed fairly relaxed, introspective and natural. Even when Kodaka said he had to have friends before he could have a girlfriend, he wasn’t defensive or nervous, but just more thinking out out loud, like you’d do with a friend. I guess he figures that as long as they’re going at each other, he can be friendly to all. It’s when they get focused on him that things get tense, and being seen to have made a choice among them will change how they see him, and he can’t handle that right now. If each has feelings for him, then that ‘condition’ can only last for so long before people start to wear down and either get more argumentative or begin to give up. That point is what Kodaka has to avoid, or it will all fall apart whether he acts dumb or not. He’ll just end up where he never wanted to be, and he’ll never have made a decision. I think we’re getting to that point pretty quickly, now and he realizes it, which may be why he reacted so harshly to Rika. He’s in a corner, so let’s watch and see how he does…


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