Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai: Love, Hatred, and Perverted Stuff

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Credit: mahoutofu

Anime: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Producer: AIC Build
Director: Hisashi Saitou
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Ecchi
Episodes: 25
Release date: October 2011

“I have few friends.” That’s precisely what the plot of this series is dictated by (and that’s also the translation of “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai”). Depending on who you are and what kind of anime interests you, that will or will not immediately grab your attention. But, for those of you who don’t think that sounds interesting enough, here’s a quick overview of the plot that’ll determine whether or not this is the anime for you.

The anime stars a transfer student named Kodaka Hasegawa whose had a track record of being unable to make friends, mostly thanks to the color of his hair, and to his supposedly intimidating eyes, which immediately threaten his classmates around him. He meets a girl one day by the name of Yozora Mikazuki, in which he finds her in a classroom, “alone,” privately conversing with an imaginary friend. After meeting each other and discussing their troubles in making friends and not having social lives, they decide to establish a club on campus, the Neighbors’ Club, in an effort to make friends, and to learn the social skills that every other classmate around them possesses.

Through the first season, we are introduced to the following people who join the Neighbors’ Club:

1) Sena Kashiwazaki – An attractive and arrogant girl who doesn’t have female friends, and takes advantage of the males who are blinded by her beauty and act as her servants.
2) Yukimura Kusunoki – A feminine underclassman who serves as an “underling” to Kodaka in an attempt to become more manlier.
3) Maria Takeyama – A 10 year old teacher and nun who is recruited as the adviser for the Neighbors’ Club.
4) Rika Shiguma – A perverted underclassman (underclasswoman) with fujoshi tendencies, but is also a genius.
5) Kobato Hasegawa – The younger sister of Kodaka who worships Gothic anime.

Lots of different personalities, and thankfully each of these characters play a role in keeping you entertained throughout the anime. You have the two girls, Yozora and Sena, in a situation where the other woman has to be better than the other: a situation which I’m sure many of you can relate to. You have the two younger girls, Kobato and Maria, who argue over whatever younger kids these days argue about. You have the side characters, Yukimura and Rika, who keep you entertained based on what their personality provides in this show. Actually, I shouldn’t have called them side characters. Their characters make huge transformations through the anime and you can argue that at the end of season two, that they are a whole lot more important in the anime than you initially thought they were when you were first introduced to them. And now you really have the actual side characters, which include Sena’s dad, Maria’s older sister, and a few other characters that make appearances later in the anime. I’m not going to go over their personalities right now, but some of these characters really do entertain you too and have a reason to be cared about in the show.

Though, this is a comedy, and has its really funny moments (as you can probably tell, these people don’t know how to socialize after all), most of the time you’ll just be calmly sitting in front of the screen. But, there’s a reason for that: it’s not just a comedic anime. Originally, the story began with two people trying to make new friends, but a-whole-nother story stems through the ground and becomes another reason why I loved watching this anime: love.

Okay, I’m sure some of you are sick of those lovey-dovey animes. But there isn’t necessarily a whole lot of lovey-dovey stuff in this anime. In fact, there really isn’t any, depending on how you look at it. The anime isn’t all about love, and there’s a reason why it’s called a Romantic Comedy. It’s funny, but the story is also driven through crushes and feelings, which a lot of you can relate to, especially those who are in relationships or have crushes on someone right now.

As far as the music goes, it most likely sounds like music in other shows that’re under the Ecchi or Romantic Comedy genre. One or two of the openings/endings may sound catchy to you, and that’s pretty much it. I was pretty fond of the second season’s opening, but it’s not something that I’d really listen to over and over again. But hey, it’s not like this is a Shounen or Mecha anime, which usually have the best music. The music definitely isn’t as annoying as the music that Yuri anime has, though.

Overall, you will either like this anime or you won’t. But, if you are open to any type of anime, I think you’ll like it. If you are a fan of Romantic Comedy/Ecchi stuff, then you definitely should check it out. After each episode, you will be eager to find out what happens next and because of that, you’ll definitely be watching more than on episode every sitting. This was my first taste in those genres and I particularly enjoyed it and watched each episode and was thoroughly entertained throughout the anime. The only thing that I wish this anime did better was make me laugh more, but that’s not a big problem. I especially recommend it to those who can relate to love stories, because you may find a spot in your anime playlist for this one.  I imagine there will be another season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, but season 2 has been done since March 2013, and as I am writing this review (June 2013), there is no season 3.

Final rating: 7/10

Fanime and Computer Science

It’s probably been about three weeks or so since summer break started. I’ve had a pretty good one so far. I already accomplished a lot, I guess I could say. I’m watching more anime, I’ve been writing programs, I’m building a website, I’m blogging lol, and all at the same time I’ve been able to spend some time with friends and family.

Ash & Tifa
Me (Ash Ketchum) with a Tifa cosplayer

I’ll begin with Fanime. This year’s FanimeCon in San Jose was the first one I’ve ever been to, and I was pretty excited, and overwhelmed I suppose. I thought I was a real nerd, but seeing everyone at the convention in their awesome cosplays and such actually made me feel out of place. I hadn’t watched a whole lot of anime prior to the convention so my knowledge on everything  was pretty much non-existent compared to everyone else; there is no way I would be able to hold any kind of intelligent conversation with anyone there, but regardless I got used to the vibe after a while. I had my friends and cousin show up so we had fun walking around and seeing everything. I even had some fun watching the Stage Zero events; I kinda wish I participated in the cosplay drawing contest. By the way, I cosplayed as Ash Ketchum, and compared to all the cosplayers over at Fanime, I was pretty damn confident that my cosplay looked just as legit as everyone else’s!

Along with my going to Fanime and watching my friends graduate, I’ve written some programs already. Two of them were written in Java and they’re desktop apps that rename your directories/files in bunches for you (so you don’t have to do it manually for each directory/file), and one counts how many files of a certain format you have on your desktop. Now, especially for the first program, you might be wondering how useful that might be. Well, for those of you that watch anime, you have a lot of unnecessary junk written in the beginning and/or end of each file/direcotry name, right? That program is EXACTLY what it’s for. The only thing is, I have to modify my programs and turn them into interfaces rather than have them execute fully through text. After that’s accomplished, I hope I can publish them as apps that people can use so I can say that I’ve made some apps at some point in my life.

My Website
Current color scheme of our website

And together with those programs, I’ve been working on a website project for the past two weeks or so. This is the current look of the homepage, and as you can see there’s still a lot of work to be done. But it’s making progress! If any of you viewers would like to give any feedback on the color scheme and such, then feel free to comment (or those of you who link to here through my Facebook or Twitter, just message me :P). I would greatly appreciate a lot of feedback because in order for this website to be successful, it has to attract viewers (much like any other website). Also, ignore the black text please. That’s just there for testing purposes.

Having said that, it’s pretty much a website dedicated to video game reviews and guides written by me and a friend of mine, but there’s no content published as of right now. The website will even allow for gamers to interact with each other through forums and chat rooms, and watch video streams conducted by the administrators. At the moment we’re collaborating with each other to decide what designs, color schemes, features, etc etc would look good on our finished product. For individual projects, I’m developing the website (the design, and the client/server-side related stuff), and he is writing the content. Whenever this website is officially done, I’ll be sure to have a link to it on here. In the future, we may even allow for a section dedicated to anime discussion and reviews as well.

As far as updates go on the blog, be on the lookout for another anime review soon. I already made one for Angel Beats! as you probably saw, the next one will be a review on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai!

Angel Beats! – Forever Cemented in Our Hearts

Angel Beats!
Credit: wikipedia

Anime: Angel Beats!
Producers: P.A. Works, Aniplex
Director: Seiji Kishi
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Episodes: 13

Now to shed some light on my anime background, I didn’t get into anime until about last year where I was bored as hell at home with nothing to do. I’ve watched a little bit here and there (like Pokemon and DragonBall Z), but it wasn’t until my cousin told me to check out the hottest release last summer, Sword Art Online, where I officially entered the infamous otaku phase. From there on out I checked out some anime, including Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and several other shows. And now, after exposing myself to the wonders of anime this past year, I’ve come to write my first anime review, which will feature arguably my favorite anime so far: Angel Beats!.

Before checking this out, I will admit that my standards in anime aren’t the highest since I’m just basically starting out and experimenting with what kind of anime interests me. But I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that this anime is definitely one that needs to be on your playlist at some point, if you haven’t watched it already.

The anime stars a wanna-be doctor, Otonashi, who wakes up to the site of a young woman by the name of Yurippe (Yuri for short), who is on heavy watch with a sniper rifle. With no prior memories of what happened to him before he woke up, he is immediately greeted with the request to enlist in her Battlefront in order to rebel against God and to fight against their main target: Angel. In her short spiel, Otonashi is informed that he is dead, and that he is now part of an afterlife in which no one dies, and that he must fight in order to ensure that he is not “obliterated.”

Indifferent and somewhat confused, he leaves without enlisting and walks toward Angel to announce that they are aiming a gun at her and to inquire about who she is. When she speaks, she supplies him with the same information that Yuri gave him about the world that he is now in, and what it means to be here. Now irritated, Otonashi demands Angel to prove that he is dead; and thus is struck by Angel with an artificial blade.

Further through the anime, we are introduced to the rest of the Battlefront’s members and witness some of their backstories about how each of them came to this afterlife. Consequently, we learn that the reason why they came to this afterlife was because each of them was unsatisfied or devastated with events in their prior life and thus possess lingering, self-defeating emotions prior to their death in the real world.

Through the events that transpire in this anime, I guarantee that you will discover several likeable characters thanks in part to their unique personalities and heart-breaking backstories. While there are many characters in the show, the show mainly focuses on the development of only half of the characters. Though this has been seen as a major flaw in the anime, it makes up for it by the emotions and feelings that we develop for each of the main characters.

The main thing that this anime does perfectly is entertain you. At times, you will laugh at the actions that your favorite characters take and the dialogue that they spit at each other. At times, you will even think to yourself about how stupid some of the characters can be at times. But, it’s a funny stupid.

And that’s not even the best part.

What really made this anime memorable to me was how it could easily reach out to your heart and make you feel sad for a particular event/character. Coupled with great writing and music composition to match the tone of each event, the anime evenhas the potential to make you cry. And I’ll tell you right now: if you don’t cry at any point in this anime, you’re one heartless individual.

As far as music goes, I’m not really one to ask about music. There are some songs in here that I particularly enjoyed, but I think it’s safe to say that you will enjoy some of the music on the basis that it you’ll be moved and may even be overcome with emotion; mainly because you’ll be reminiscing over the scenes that each song was matched with. And that’s another reason why I think this anime is so great. The music in here is memorable because of how well it tied in with the action in this anime, and because of that you won’t forget about either the songs or the events that took place in this anime.

Though one flaw of this anime is clearly outlined. This anime is short, and consequently the character development for some of the characters is completely non-existent. You probably won’t even care for some of the characters in this anime, and that could be particularly disappointing to some people. And since you can deduce bits and pieces of each character’s backstory, whether or not it was touched upon, you might even feel saddened that some backstories weren’t covered at all. But as I mentioned earlier, the build-up for each of the main characters, in my mind, makes up for the lack of character development for the second half of the cast.

In short, this anime is guaranteed to find a place in your heart. I don’t care what your expectations are, or how much anime you have watched in your life. Whether this is your first anime you’re looking to watch or your thousandth, you will not forget this show. With a fantastic pairing of music composition and writing, you will be thoroughly entertained and may even shed tears. At the end of the day, it is one anime that you should check out if you haven’t already, and I promise that most of you will even recommend this anime to another friend too.

Final rating: 9/10

Anime Queue: Revision #1

1. Hunter x Hunter
2. Angel Beats!
3. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
4. Tamako Market
5. Kokoro Connect
6. Suisei no Gargantia
7. Naruto
8. Psycho Pass

One down. Just finished Angel Beats! yesterday. I cried. That was probably the first time I’ve ever cried at an anime. A review will be up for Angel Beats soon, so be on the look out for that! I haven’t watched a lot of anime but I think it’s safe for me to recommend it to anybody. It’s only 13 episodes long, so definitely check that out. Also, my brothers have pushed me to finally watch Naruto, so I’m adding that on my Queue. I’ve also heard a lot about Psycho Pass, so I’ll be checking that out too.

Other updates:
I’m currently adding more content on the blog, but it’ll take me some time because I’m currently on a website project and I’ve been working on that too a long with this blog. If you’re a computer science guy, you can check out my program that implements Dijkstra’s Algorithm in the “Code” section of the blog :D. I’ve also finally gotten around to writing a brief summary about me and what I intend to do with this blog in the “About” section.

Anime Queue

In an attempt to expand my knowledge on anime, I’m looking forward to hopefully finishing the following anime in the next few weeks (maybe lol. I might not even touch a few of these in favor of some other anime):

1. Hunter x Hunter
2. Angel Beats!
3. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
4. Tamako Market
5. Kokoro Connect
6. Suisei no Gargantia

Not too much shonen here, as you can see. Gotta be open to everything! Reviews and discussion on each of these will come soon on the anime page. I’m currently on episode 10 of Angel Beats!, and I’ve gotta say that I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve watched so far. The characters are really likable (Angel, Yui, Ooyama, the Vice President guy and Yuri are my favorite), and I love how it can be humorous and sad at the same time.

Anyways, just a short preview of my Angel Beats! review I suppose! Look out for an in-depth review of Angel Beats! and others in the next few days.

P.S. The blog is definitely gonna see a lot of improvements too. I’m just working with a basic foundation right now, it’ll definitely look a lot better as time rolls on.

Preparing an Eventful Summer

5/28/2013

English: Combination of two Nuvola KDE icons.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a lot of students, a summer break is a time to relax and kick back with friends and family. No homework, no tests, no quizzes, no projects for 3 months. No stress. It’s the vacation that every kid can’t wait for after the first day of school starts.

But that mainly applies to those that haven’t graduated high school yet. Of course, most college students can’t wait for summer either, but as college students we know there’s a lot more to summer than just kicking back and relaxing. For me at least, there’s a lot I want to accomplish this summer, especially having investing my last two summers into family and video games.

If you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know how much I love video games. Unfortunately, as time flies by, some of the things you love to do the most take a back seat to what we call “life.” It’s life that we have to go out and work. It’s life that we have to pay taxes. It’s life that we have to move on from our childhood and transition into adulthood, where video games aren’t as relevant anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my video games (and I’ve even gotten into anime as well), but there’s just a whole lot of aspirations that, as an adult, I want to and have to strive for.

That being said, I’ve thought a lot about “life” and I realized that there’s a lot of things I want to do with my life. And fortunately, this summer is a great time to start thinking about how I can go about achieving my goals and aspirations.

To give you a brief overview of the things I wanna do with my life:

  1. Start a business where anime, manga, and video game lovers can hangout, interact and compete against each other.
  2. Learn the Japanese language and further expand my knowledge on anime.
  3. Become a video game developer.
  4. Become a better web site designer/developer.
  5. Become a better artist and graphic designer.
  6. Become a damn good, well-rounded Computer Scientist.

My journey begins now. I’ve got a whole three months to take a jab at each of these goals. Let’s do it!