Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT- I have friends
April 20, 2013
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Kodaka helps out Aoi, who is behind on her work due to her studying of the Neighbors Club, and is eventually joined by Hinata. Impressed by his work, Hinata offers Kodaka a position on the student council. Kodaka turns down the offer but keeps helping them out with some grunt work whilst continuing to avoid the clubroom. Later on in the week, Kodaka runs into Yukimura, who explains only she and Sena have been regularly visiting the clubroom and also states why she still continues to serve Kodaka. Afterwards, Kodaka is called up to the rooftop by Rika, who starts attacking him with remote controlled steel balls as punishment for fleeing from the club. While Kodaka takes the brunt of Rika’s attacks, he admits his weaknesses whilst also getting her to admit what she truly wants; friends. After the fighting calms down, Kodaka asks Rika to become his official friend, to which Rika responds that she and the others have always been friends. As Kodaka returns to the clubroom to speak with Sena, they all receive a text from Yozora saying she is going on a journey.
- The opening moments to the finale feel like a completely different anime, reflecting on how strongly the core cast define this series’ characteristics.
- Aoi Yusa is the accountant of the Student Council at St. Chronica. Being Sena’s classmate, she ranks second in the final year exam, driving her competes with Sena in her studies and is also envious of her popularity and other excellent attributes.
- The introduction of new characters near the ending of a series may leave viewers with more questions than answers in some cases. Fortunately, this is not the case here: we have Kodaka working with Hinata Hidaka. The current third-year Student Council President at St. Chronica, she is very popular in school and is a great athlete.
- Yukimura is the first to confront Kodaka about his absence from the Neighbours Club following Sena’s offhand remark that she loves him, regardless of the arranged marriage contract their fathers had made.
- The climax of the episode, and the season, is a confrontation with Rika. I must hand it to the writers for taking things in a completely different direction than I had anticipated.
- After a fight with funnel-type weapons, Kodaka and Rika come to the realisation that viewers would have been aware of since season one ended: that everyone in the Neighbours Club has essentially become friends with one another without even realising it.
- The whole point of the Neighbours Club was to simulate doing things that friends normally do. Boku wa tomodachi ga sukunai thus demonstrates that there are cases where individuals participating in a façade of some sort may eventually embrace their roles so fully that it no longer becomes a façade. Thus, by the end of two seasons, it is clear that members of the Neighbours club are as close as, if not closer, than most friends.
- As each of the members in the Neighbours Club make their feelings more pronounced, I was wondering who would be the first past the post: thus, I am most surprised that this title would go to Rika. Upon realising that Rika and Kodaka now regard one another as a friend, viewers are given a brief flashback depicting a younger Kodaka staring at a younger Yozora that transitions into the present Kodaka looking at Rika. This scene drives home a point that would become less subtle as the series wore on: if it were not clear before, Yozora had utterly failed her goal of trying to keep Kodaka for herself. Despite applying questionable means to go about doing so, one cannot help but feel sympathy for her: the club she had created was probably for the sake of getting closer to Kodaka would have been for naught, and in the end, Yozora loses out on both friendship and love.
- I believe that Kodaka has finally come to terms with Sena’s feelings for him, denoting a marked change in his willingness to accept the others’ feelings after becoming friends with Rika. At the end of the episode, everyone receives a message from Yozora, who has announced her intent to travel.
- At day’s end, the only individual who gets the short straw is Yozora. Everyone else in the Neighbours Club get along with one another, and this image captures that nicely: note that Yozora is the only person lacking a smile. When she messages everyone about her journey, I realise that she might be trying to discover herself, something that could potentially result in another season.
Boku wa Tomodachi Sukunai NEXT began slightly weaker than I had hoped with the first episode, but by the time the culture festival rolled around, these feelings had dispersed completely. The second season succeeded in establishing more conflict amongst the characters than the previous season: I found the plot in the second season to be substantially more solid relative to the first season. This last episode, while leaving a few loose ends, nonetheless successfully reinforces what viewers have known since the end of season one: that everyone in the Neighbours Club is about as close as friends can be, even if they are not immediately aware of their special relationship. The tensions amongst the characters are an element that sets the stage for much of the events that occur, especially Kodaka and Sena’s arranged marriage plans, and Yozora’s increasingly desperate attempts to mark Kodaka as a friend. Boku wa Tomodachi Sukunai NEXT leaves the viewer with one central query addressed: that the members of the Neighbours Club are indeed friends, and it is through Kodaka’s admission to Rika that really drive home this point. However, at the same time, there are too many unknowns concerning Sena and Yozora; this could have easily been a 26-episode anime, and likely would have maintained all the glitz and humour of its current incarnation. When all is said and done, Boku wa Tomodachi Sukunai NEXT is an exemplary sequel to Boku wa Tomodachi Sukunai; much as how CLANNAD After Story dived into the more intricate inter-personal elements after CLANNAD, Boku wa Tomodachi Sukunai NEXT succeeds in representing the challenges and adventures that this band of misfits have with one another. While its brand of humour may not be suited for all parties, individuals with an open mind (or who’ve seen this series before) will have no trouble enjoying the second season to an already excellent series.