I’ll be frank. Watching Haganai NEXT episode 2 is the most fun I’ve had from an Anime in a long time.
Episode 1 was clearly a pilot; a wary foot being dipped into the untouched pool. But now that they’ve revealed the full development of Haganai NEXT, I think I have my verdict for the series.
The directing and writing work together brilliantly to draw a constant stream laughs and smirks. I can’t get enough of the consistently seamless pacing and spot-on scene focus.
Right as the surprise of “No glasses Rika” wore off, I was hit with the hyper-energetic OP which I gleefully partied to.
Although I would’ve liked to see more MOE Rika, I’m shoved back to reality when she suggests the club watch the movie “Homo Game Club”.
The usual routine of Yozora embarrassing Sena follows and she storms out once again, although it feels like the exact same scene happened before… Still, the gag never gets old . The current spin on the long-running joke is Yozora’s new tactic of apologizing.
When we’re introduced to Kate, Maria’s sister (no pun intended), the earlier tactic is repeated. It’s so nice, they did it twice. First, they play on your initial curiosity. Then they kick in with a familiar gag. And finally (my favourite part), there’s the acknowledgement of the barest trace of change that feels oh so satisfying for someone who has followed the series.
When Yozora shyly asks Kodoka to compare results with her to practice for when they make friends, it feels so nostalgic. Then Sena comes in with the EQ of a snail shell and ruins their moment. Although it may sound like it, Haganai isn’t simply recycling their bag of old tricks. They’ve built on it, polished and refined them, but still kept their heart intact.
You could say they’ve brought it to the NEXT level…
Yeah, you can kill me later.
And then, the screen fades to black and the ED chimes in. I’m left smiling at my screen, in a daze, before I realize that the Episode is over. 22 minutes have never felt shorter.
I had a real blast watching this Episode. Needless to say, I’m already waiting impatiently for next Friday to come arou- Wait, what’s this?
This just keeps getting better and better…