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Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu – 01

「はじめての告白」 (Hajimete no Kokuhaku)
“My First Confession”

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu is the story of a shy girl entering middle school separated from her only friend, and cut off completely by that own friend in order to force her to make friends at her new school. It’s a comedy about Hitori Bocchi’s (Morishita Chisaki) struggles to make friends, and also her triumphs. It’s also super cute, paced well, and nails the jokes in episode one.

To be clear: cutting a socially anxious person off from their only friend isn’t a good way to do it. It’s liable to do a ton of damage to them, rather than spur them forward. There are ways to gently encourage someone with mild social anxiety—which Bocchi may not qualify as, she’s got some pretty big issues, but let’s assume they’re being exaggerated for comedic effect, and the “realistic” Bocchi would merely be super shy and uncomfortable around unfamiliar social situations—to reach out to new people, or to accept it when others reach out to them. Cutting them off from their only social lifeline ain’t it. But then again, this is a comedy, and not all authors are able to successfully account for all the complexities of human social interaction within the context of a fictional story meant to be enjoyable, so with that in mind, let’s enjoy this show for what it is.

And it’s good! As I said in the preview, “this premise could so easily be frustrating and cruel, but instead it’s full of cute moments and patient friends as we bask in Bocchi’s minor triumphs and cheer her on through her struggles.” This first episode totally nailed that, by faithfully adapting the source material line-for-line. Hey, I ain’t gonna judge; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But the crew at C2C also nailed the pacing and comedic timing, the seiyuu all nailed their parts, and generally it was just good. Morishita Chisaki as Bocchi had to carry the episode, and she did so with aplomb, but I really enjoyed Sunao Nako’s (Tanaka Minami) portrayal as well. Once again, this was all in the source material, so they just had to make the animation look good (it does) and not screw up. They didn’t screw up, and that still counts as a win.

I won’t be blogging this going forward, but I’ll definitely be watching it, because this is a keeper so far. Tell me what y’all thought in the comments below. Cheers!

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OP Sequence

OP: 「ひとりぼっちのモノローグ」 (Hitoribocchi no Monologue) by Morishita Chisaki, Tanaka Minami, Kito Akari, Kurose Yuuko

Preview

April 5, 2019 at 3:49 pm
12 comments »
  • April 5, 2019 at 4:30 pmgloomers rise up

    sure smells like helicopter parenting up in here.

  • April 5, 2019 at 4:41 pmstarss

    I’m glad this show won’t be 100% depressing, given the subject matter. Bocchi already made her first real friend, and that ending was very heart-warming, if predictable. Now she just has to be careful not to actually end their friendship by accident. Bocchi may have anxiety, but I hope it’s not a real disorder, and either way, I can’t help but feel for her. This anime isn’t anything special, and yet I am oddly enjoying it so far.

    Also, yeah that bet her old friend had sounds overblown. I suspect it wasn’t just her own reasoning.

  • April 5, 2019 at 7:43 pmOne Pinch Man

  • April 5, 2019 at 8:12 pmArsene

    Hitoribocchi is one of my favorite comedy manga, so I was pretty anxious about seeing the anime adaptation and… it’s pretty good. I figured the voice actors would be hard to cast, to do the characters justice, and… they’re not bad, so far. Bocchi’s is a little less… extreme than I’d imagined, but it works.

    What’s weird to me is seeing how much more… mainstream the character designs are. I’m not a fan. Bocchi isn’t bocchi with normal, human-like proportions!

    • April 8, 2019 at 5:23 amsnappy

      Indeed, I dearly miss the baby-like proportions (i.e. big head) the original manga has; it gives it a very ‘Peanuts’ like feel to it.

  • April 6, 2019 at 1:30 pmRenaSayers

  • April 6, 2019 at 1:59 pmRedjuice Fan

    I like that their names are based on actual phrase. minna ga warau, sunao na ko, hitoribochi, kawaii no.

    • April 6, 2019 at 9:39 pmVoyager

      Yes, all the names have obvious alternative meanings to Japanese audience.
      In this episode:

      Hitori Bocchi (一里 ぼっち): hitoribocchi (ひとりぼっち), “all alone”
      Sunao Nako (砂尾 なこ): sunao na ko (素直な子), “honest child”
      Yawara Kai (八原 かい): yawarakai (やわらかい), “soft”
      Sotoka Rakitā (ソトカ・ラキタ): soto kara kita (外から来た), “came from outside”
      Oshie Teruyo (押江 照代): oshieteru yo (教えてるよ), “I’m teaching”.

      You can look up the rest of the names on Wikipedia.

  • April 8, 2019 at 2:40 pmewok40k

    might be my heartwarming dish this season, 3 eps rule and whatsnot

  • April 15, 2019 at 12:13 pmAdrienne Marsh

    Coming as the manga reader, I really loved in how they nailed it. Curiously, I thought of Kai’s line of thinking when she claimed about severing her ties with Bocchi for a moment, altough obviously cruel is some of the most realistically depicted mind of a child, still oblivious in how words actually affect each other.

    • April 15, 2019 at 12:14 pmAdrienne Marsh

      *although

  • May 4, 2019 at 11:00 pmLxima35

    This manga has been filmed into an anime. I now are chasing this anime. Last week the episode 5 has been aird. Expect the next episode 6.

    Japanese Name: ひとりぼっちの○○生活 #05 
    Date and Time: 2019-05-05 21:30
    TV Channel: アニメシアターX(AT-X)
    TV Schedule: nihofun.com/Program/program_460604.html

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