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