Haganai NEXT Impressions – (Making) Friends Again

Boku wa Tomodatchi ga Sukunai is back for a second season named Boku wa Tomodatchi ga Sukunai NEXT. The first season is my favourite comedy show so I have high expectations for the sequel.

Haganai NEXT Full

After the introductory banter between Yozora, Sena and Kodaka. The Opening hits you hard, proudly showing off the project’s increased art budget. The change in drawing quality is incredibly noticeable. Colours and lines are much sharper and more dynamic. When the camera pans, the motion blur is well fleshed out. It’s quite a treat for the eyes. They also had the resources to animate on-screen text, a full fighting game sequence, flowing water and rippling petals on the water surface. Needless to say, they went all-out in the graphics department.

OP Screenshot

I can’t hear the OP over the sound of all the money being spent.

On the topic of visuals, Haganai’s signature amount of fanservice returns in NEXT. During the first season, it was abundant but subtle most of the time. In NEXT, there are some scenes where they really shove it in your face, especially with Sena. It’s a little annoying but not unbearable. I think the new, more detailed, style of directing in NEXT highlights the fanservice.

Fanservice Screenshot

Was this really necessary?

In the first half of the episode, the Neighbour’s Club explores yet another ridiculous strategy of making friends and becoming popular. Sena is abused by Rika and Yozora as usual. The plot is exactly an episode out of the first season except the pacing is a little better and the directing has hugely improved. The only strange thing is that Yozora actually apologizes to Sena.

Yozora Apologizing

Who are you and what have you done with Yozora!?

The second half features more on Kodaka, Sena and her father while Kodaka is at her house. You’re showered with the gorgeous visuals and familiar style of humor throughout and the story feels like it’s being built up from under your feet, hinting that a sequence of events will be triggered very soon.

Before you know it, the Ending chimes in. I am not a fan of EDs, but I have to say this is the most beautifully drawn and animated Ending I’ve ever seen and probably will ever see. It marks the first time I’ve ever sat through the entire ending when it’s the first episode. The alternate art style reminds me of Baka to Test, my second favourite comedy. Even the transitions that last less than a second are lovingly animated. The song is quite fitting as well. It just feels right.

Ending Screenshot

My MOEmeter is off the scale.

It is a great first episode to a second season. The first half eases fans back into the show that they’ve waited so eagerly for and the second transitions more into what the second season will be like. I feel like it’s really grown up from season one and it’s a great feeling to have.

They got off on the right foot with Haganai NEXT. Here’s hoping they keep up the fantastic work!

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About LessThanFree

Average, lazy guy who loves to game and appreciates anime and movies. Studies on the side.

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