Leadup to Tri Week 1- Haganai

MarcFBR

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Let's see how this goes.

For the first week let's all watch Haganai.

Warning for ecchi and nudity.

The entire show can be watched on the following:
Subbed on Hulu for free http://www.hulu.com/haganai
Subbed on Funimation for free http://www.funimation.com/shows/haganai/home
Subbed on Youtube via Funimation for free https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=ELg2FmQpR76-Q
If you are a paying member at Funimation you can watch the show dubbed.
If you have the DVDs, Blu-rays, or any other way to watch the show you can watch them however you want.

We're just going to do season 1 (episodes 1 through 12.)

I picked this show first because while it gets quite perverted, I feel the way the characters interact with each-other is something quite a bit interesting and something I wouldn't mind seeing in the new series (not necessarily the pervyness, but the general interactions.)

Does it have any connection to Digimon? A few actually. The series director did key animation for the third Digimon movie. And one of the female leads was Tagiru in Hunters.

Feel free to post as you wish in this thread. You can post as you watching, episode by episode, when you finish. Whatever you want. Try and give it a couple days for end of season spoilers so people have time to try and view stuff without spoilers, while still interacting in the thread.

Feel free to make any suggestions regarding how I made the thread also. First time we are doing this, so perhaps there is something I can improve for next week.

I've embedded the Youtube version of episode 1 to help get everyone started.

 

megagold5

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Whilst I do not have time to rewatch it at the moment, Haganai (both seasons) is one of my favourite anime from the past few years. It is pretty damn hilarious and rarely gets too serious without good reason.

Definitely recommend people give it a go.
 

MarcFBR

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Whilst I do not have time to rewatch it at the moment, Haganai (both seasons) is one of my favourite anime from the past few years. It is pretty damn hilarious and rarely gets too serious without good reason.

Definitely recommend people give it a go.
It's a great little funny show. It doesn't skimp on the fanservice, but the character moments really do make what could have been a generic harem anime something more than a little special.
 

megagold5

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Whilst I do not have time to rewatch it at the moment, Haganai (both seasons) is one of my favourite anime from the past few years. It is pretty damn hilarious and rarely gets too serious without good reason.

Definitely recommend people give it a go.
It's a great little funny show. It doesn't skimp on the fanservice, but the character moments really do make what could have been a generic harem anime something more than a little special.

Dunno if you have seen the OVA episode (season 1 episode 13, if you will) but the mecha scene is something I will never be able to forget...
 

MarcFBR

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Dunno if you have seen the OVA episode (season 1 episode 13, if you will) but the mecha scene is something I will never be able to forget...
I've seen all of Haganai that's out minus the (apparently quite poor) live action film.

Also added a third streaming source for the episodes to the original post.
 

wuffusszzz

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Yeah, I love this anime. I love all the characters (especially Yozora and Sena) and enjoy their interactions and all the little activities they do at (and outside of) the club. It is one of my favorite anime of the harem genre. I definitely recommend.
 

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Yeah, I love this anime. I love all the characters (especially Yozora and Sena) and enjoy their interactions and all the little activities they do at (and outside of) the club. It is one of my favorite anime of the harem genre. I definitely recommend.
Sena's proper introduction always makes me laugh. She looks so sad and angry wanting into the clubroom up against the window.
 

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I enjoyed the first episode.
Love the humor and characters. I'm adding it to my must watch anime list that I will probably never finish.
 

Trilby1992

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3 episodes in so far.

There are a few things I don't get (probably due to the cultural differences) but I like it enough to carry on watching.

Having finished Moyashimon lately, Sena reminds me of Marie and I suspect there is a gender-bending character in this anime too but that's probably due to the wine influencing my thoughts.
 

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So I began to watch the show yesterday late at night and, to get some actual discussion going, I'm just gonna write down my complete first impressions for the first episode, which will probably mostly consist of me going on in great length about background details we were not supposed to think about.

...to get a few things out of the way, I don't usually watch harem or ecchi shows (especially ecchi doesn't really resonate with me that well), so I expected to have a relatively hard time liking it but I was quite surprised that at least in those first episodes the fanservice was really pretty light, good to see that it's none of those really obnoxious shows that shows skin every five seconds, I expect the level of fanservice to rise gradually and I guess I'm okay with that. I didn't really inform myself much about the show, except for reading the first few lines of its Wikipedia article (but not more since they tend to get spoilery fast), so I was aware of ten basic premise and the character traits of the three main characters.

so well about those characters... Kodoka is an interesting one. sure socially awkward harem protagonists aren't anything new but in his case it's nice that it's not entirely his fault and people seem to be more put off by his face than by his personality. that being said even though I find the concept intriguing I'm not entirely convinced by the way the anime implements it. It's just that his face just isn't actually scary. I can kinda see what they were going for with his eyes and his eyebrows but it's just so... mild that it makes him look slightly annoyed at best and to be honest most of the tie he just seems like your stereotypical bishounen. You really see how the animators are struggling to make him seem scary in scenes where he's supposed to be intimidating people. everything just goes really over the top to justify their reactions but I guess that might be part of the joke. Apart from his face there's also his blonde hair which I guess might be realistically out of place in japan (but then again, no one seems to see Sena's hair as anything negative).

moving on to yozora and her first meeting with Kodoka... having her talk with her imaginary friend was an interesting introduction and even though it's not brought up during the second episode or the rest of the first it seems "tomo-chan" might be more than just a ordinary imaginary friend from the way yozora really seems connected to her.
I didn't expect the first half of the first episode to basically be a long discussion about the theme of friendship. Sure it establishes it as the theme of the show, but it was almost a bit too blatant with the character's deficiencies being made so obvious from the start. I generally prefer stories in which things like that are done a bit slower and left for the viewer to discover over time instead of simply spelling everything out that fast. although I'm sure there is more to discover about the characters during the rest of the show.
Anyway after kinda getting to know each other Yozora gets the Idea about making friends and Kodoka is a member whether he wants to be one or not, which is really standard as far as high school animes go, to the point where there could be an high school anime where there's a club about founding weird clubs and coercing people to join or whatever.
what was interesting however was Yozoras Idea with the hidden message on the club flyers. if she is actually right in her reasoning that people who are desperate for friends will see the message, I wonder how many japanese people who watched this show while being desperate for friends actually picked up the message before the show pointed it out and how weird that must have felt for them.
Another interesting fact that was revealed during those scenes was that for some reason that particular high school seems to be a christian school which is why the "love thy neighbor" excuse for the club worked so well. I'm not sure if christian high schools are actually a thing in japan but it might be a bit of a change, they even seem to have a few nuns running around one of which doesn't have any friends (I'm pretty sure we'll meet her pretty soon). The school also has some nice bells which I'm just gonna call "dramatic atmosphere bells" because that's the only time they seem to ring.

The comedy elements of the show seemed pretty well timed to me and I chuckled a few times, however the thing that made me laugh the most was not a intentional joke. It's just no matter how many years I spend watching anime whenever some character makes a big fuss about being on first name basis with someone else I just find it hilarious. It's always "OMG you just called me by my first name, unbelievable!" complete with awkwardness blushing etc, it just makes me think that japanese people can be pretty weird sometimes.

One shot that stood out to me in particular during this episode was that of a satchel falling on its side when Yosora kicks the desk while getting worked up about Sena. I actually rewound that shot of the satchel falling multiple times and watched it frame per frame in order to figure out whether the motion was animated by hand or if CG was used. I came to the conclusion that it was definitely hand drawn but when I first saw it it just looked so clean that I thought "this has to be cel shaded CG" because CG almost always has this characteristically smooth feel and keeps perspective perfectly. It's also possible that the reason why I was so fascinated by that shot was because I was half asleep at the time.

And then there's Sena can't say much about her yet because she had the least screen time but she is obviously desperate for friends despite being seemingly popular with boys. I'm saying "seemingly" because her being always surrounded by boys is mostly brought up by Yosora and we have never actually seen Sena in this situation yet so I'm ready to believe that Yosora might be spinning things her way and the reality doesn't actually really match up. Maybe we'll see more about that in the next episodes.

And of course the girls hate each others guts, having them become friends in the first episode would be anticlimactic as hell I guess. There's definitely much fun to be had with them getting annoyed by each other.

Also showing the activities of normal students alongside our atypical protagonists was a nice touch...
 
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MarcFBR

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so well about those characters... Kodoka is an interesting one. sure socially awkward harem protagonists aren't anything new but in his case it's nice that it's not entirely his fault and people seem to be more put off by his face than by his personality. that being said even though I find the concept intriguing I'm not entirely convinced by the way the anime implements it. It's just that his face just isn't actually scary. I can kinda see what they were going for with his eyes and his eyebrows but it's just so... mild that it makes him look slightly annoyed at best and to be honest most of the tie he just seems like your stereotypical bishounen. You really see how the animators are struggling to make him seem scary in scenes where he's supposed to be intimidating people. everything just goes really over the top to justify their reactions but I guess that might be part of the joke. Apart from his face there's also his blonde hair which I guess might be realistically out of place in japan (but then again, no one seems to see Sena's hair as anything negative).
I believe in the case of Kodoka, it's more that he isn't really scary (as anyone who interacts with him even minimally isn't scared of him) but rather that so few people interact with him because of the LEGEND of how scary he is. People see it's him and freak out instantly because they are worried to upset him and SEE how scary he is, and anytime he doesn't look terrifying, it just adds to the legend (because he's terrifying people without doing anything.) The episode even has one or two people in the background talking about earlier 'run ins' with him that we see, and often describing things that didn't happen.

And regarding his hair and not Sena's, I believe it's because her hair looks naturally blonde, while his looks partially dyed (in the sense that it further adds to the legend in the sense that, it makes him appear to be SUCH a delinquent that he purposely makes his hair appear two tone as some measure of defiance against what is no doubt some degree of school rules on hair.)
 

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Well, I've watched the first episode. Getting through the whole season might be something of a tall order on the week of Christmas; this year we seem to be having more family gatherings and outings than usual. But I'll see what I can do. I wasn't sure that I wanted to actually participate in this. Besides having seen every Digimon anime I've watched only two relatively brief anime series in their entirety, so I'm not really familiar with the medium as a whole. That may help rather than hinder my appreciation of new series, though. Theigno in his post mentioned starting school clubs as being an anime cliche, but it's an original enough idea to me. Anyway, as I said, I was a little uncomfortable jumping into another anime series, especially when I saw people in the thread classifying it as a harem show (it's a rather offensive name for a genre, at least to my sensibilities), and I went into it a little stony. I did enjoy it once it was underway - cracked a few smiles and all that - but I'll need some time for it to grow on me.

I was on chat at the time and made a few comments as I watched, so I may as well repeat them here and add a few additional things. It took me a little while to get a handle on the premise. For a few minutes at the beginning I wasn't quite sure what character to focus on, though it soon became clear that Kodoka was our protagonist. Explaining his history in a flashback immediately after the commercial break struck me as a little odd for some reason.

I found it kind of funny that there are entire shelves of manga in the school library. Definitely a Japanese school.

Wonder if there's any significance to the name Chronica, or if it was just a little wink at the viewer.

Those rice balls in Yozora's poster look like Pickmon.

On the whole I like the interactions between characters. The exchange between Yozora and Sena was particularly amusing. There's the typical anime weirdness in places, but nothing too off-putting so far. I agree with Theigno that it was nice to get a sense of general activity going on at the school. It's needed to provide a contrast to the friendlessness of the main characters.

You know, I've never been the type of person to make friends myself, so I can relate to that aspect of the characters if not to their general loneliness. I can't really say I've ever made a friend, though I've been fortunate enough to have had several people befriend me over the course of grade school. Several of these people I considered to be annoyances until I'd known them for a couple years, and I think there were only two that I hit it off with more or less immediately.

I'm saying "seemingly" because her being always surrounded by boys is mostly brought up by Yosora and we have never actually seen Sena in this situation yet so I'm ready to believe that Yosora might be spinning things her way and the reality doesn't actually really match up.
We do sort of see it before the opening song.
 

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Staff Edit- No linky to the bootlegs.

I'm going to watch it right now. If I don't like it, I will skip this week's anime... I usually dislike ecchi and anything that doesn't include some kind of fantasy/adventure.
 

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Nope. We hate teenagers because we remember what we did at that age. And hate that.
 

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I believe in the case of Kodoka, it's more that he isn't really scary (as anyone who interacts with him even minimally isn't scared of him) but rather that so few people interact with him because of the LEGEND of how scary he is. People see it's him and freak out instantly because they are worried to upset him and SEE how scary he is, and anytime he doesn't look terrifying, it just adds to the legend (because he's terrifying people without doing anything.) The episode even has one or two people in the background talking about earlier 'run ins' with him that we see, and often describing things that didn't happen.

And regarding his hair and not Sena's, I believe it's because her hair looks naturally blonde, while his looks partially dyed (in the sense that it further adds to the legend in the sense that, it makes him appear to be SUCH a delinquent that he purposely makes his hair appear two tone as some measure of defiance against what is no doubt some degree of school rules on hair.)
I guess that angle works... it reminds me of another comedy manga called Angel Densetsu that takes that "scary face" concept to ludicrous degrees by giving the nicest guy possible the most scary face imagineable and when he does things staring delinquents into submission he's not even aware of it. Never made it past the first few chapters though, another work on my list of "maybe I'll read more sometime"


some thoughts about episodes 2 through 5...

Ep.2
It was an interesting to choice to bring up Video games as a means to become friends, so I quite enjoyed that episode. Monster Hunting is obviously a thinly disguised "Monster Hunter", I only played one of the earlier installments of Monster Hunter years ago once with one of my neighbors on the PS2. we played about one level of it and then crafted a word that was about twice as big as the player character and when I tried to use it he just awkwardly heaved up and then fell over backwards because of the weight. it was kinda hilarious.
Anyway, seeing Sena and Yozora screw each other over was funny to see (and Sena already being rank 6 was a nice way of showing how seriously she takes the club). I think most coop games have an option to turn team damage off, if they ever plan to play that game again they could try using that.

Kodoka's game outfit was one of the funniest parts of the episode for me. I expected an explanation like him screwing up the character creations but it turns out he actually wanted long hair and some weird belly top armor. who would have known.
I also always take note when an anime shows the ingame avatar's faces to look exactly like the characters. The question is, if that's simply a stylistic choice just for the viewer of if they are really supposed to look like that. After all, recreating your own face with in-game character creation has either poor or hilarious results in reality. Newer games are of course also coming up that are using things like the Kinect to scan the player's face and put it on the model but even that only works half of the time and the other half results in zombie like abominations with skin tumors.

Kodoka having to borrow his sister's pink PSP was also quite funny. When he approached his classmates to talk about the game I was half expecting him to be laughed away because of that but they went for the delinquent angle again. Still a funny scene though.

Next Game: a stereotypical dating sim whose biggest technical achievement seems to be that the characters actually say the players self defined name in the voice acting! seeing this made me go up and down my room for quite a while trying to figure out how this would be actually possible. I guess with japanese being quite syllable based it would be easier to construct artificial voices that can say generated words than in other languages (that's how Vocaloids work, isn't it?) but if the naming screen lets the player enter something romaji you could still name your character "hrmpfghtz" I wonder what the result of that would be. Personally if I was a game developer I would program it in a way that if the player uses unpronouncable letter combinations the character's would just go "that's a weird name how about I just call you..."- and then select a Nickname from a random list or something that would get used throughout the rest of the game.
Anyway "Semoponume" certainly sounds funny, if it's a hilarious pun for something it went over my head, then again it would be weird to have this kind of meaning in a name that was entered in half by apparently randomly shaking the controller.

The girls had quite an interesting way of playing this kind of dating sim. Their skepticism towards "Akari" was quite unfounded in that particular genre, it would be more understandable if they had been playing a non-romance based VN type game in which you could really get involved with the wrong person and have them turn out to be a psychotic maniac. In a true gal game however most girls will turn out to have been a "right choice" as seen at the end of the episode.
So in the end they decided to go for that library girl only to have their romance ruined by the game's "rumor" mechanic. are there any real games that work like that?
Well it's certainly cute that they picked a game so Innocent that simply "not getting the girl" qualifies as a bad ending. In the kind of VNs I tend to play the bad ending would involve most characters dying in a horrible manner...

Ep.3

When the previous episode brought up a gal game I was already thinking about how funny it would be if it would suddenly turn out to be an ero game. And in the first scenes of episode three that actually happens! yay! I have to say I disagree with Yozoras premise of "art has to be something you can recite/present without shame" there's lots of art that is indeed centered about being provocative or even repulsive but that doesn't make it less like art.
The preconception that art has to be something old or done in an traditional medium seems nonsensical to me, so I was a bit dissapointed that Sena asserting that the VN is playing could be art was portrayed like some kind of joke. Does containing graphic depictions of sex automatically disqualify a work from being art? why? Why would VNs not be art? Because they use music, anime imagery and voice acting to bring their stories to life? I'm pretty sure most would agree that drawings, text, music, and voice acting are in fact things that can be art, so why would a medium that combines all those elements suddenly not be art? where does the sudden disqualification come from?
Well that had to be said, although I'm sure the anime wasn't meant to be an actual analysis of that Issue.
The recitation scene was still hilarious. In my own (admittedly limited) experience with VNs that contain ero scenes, the characters don't actually use weird metaphors nearly as often as they do in that fictional game. The narrative might be going all purple prose but the characters tend to be straight forward. But then Sena would have run away after the first sentence.

So it turns out Kodoka has a little sister who thinks she's a vampire. and he takes care of her because they are living alone together? does that really work that way in japan? I mean a 16 year old getting his own little apartment maybe, but him just staying in that house with his 13 year old sister without parents... is that just a plot device to get his parents out of his relationships with the girls or is that something that could actually (legally) happen in japan?

so after that we get some swimsuit fanservice. Sena really seems to be a fast learner, I was especially impressed with her being able to open her eyes under water (but that might just be me since I can't open my eyes underwater at all, i always use goggles). Btw I was surprised to see that sena was surprised when Kodoka looked at her tits, her being surrounded by guys that always give her stuff I was expecting her to be more of a manipulative type that would use her cleavage as to her advantage but no, she seems to still have a degree of innocence to her. When she's menaced by a group of guys it turns out that Kodaka can actually hold himself in a fight, and with realistic moves to boot. I liked seeing that. Sena's suprise at Kodoka getting angry and worried about here was also interesting and I would actually say, that if you see a guy every day, he teaches you swimming protects you from jerks and is worried about you all with honest intentions he very much already qualifies as "friend". I wonder when they will notice that.

one of the most interesting parts of this episode was of course Kodokas flashback to his childhood friend. So he really did have a friend a while back but somehow lost touch long ago and even more surprising Yozora seems to know one of this friend's phrases. There's definitely a connection between those two. their hair colors are exactly the same, so he's probably her long lost twin brother or something.
But I have a even more interesting theory, I only half believe it myself but could Yozora actually be Kodokas long lost friend? It's maybe a bit of a jump the kid seems pretty boyish but most of that came just from the clothes. Think about it, Kodoka doesn't remember his friend's name and Kodoka states in the first episode that she had a nickname that she refuses to use because "it's only for friends" now the fact that she has a nickname at all means she also must have had a friend at some point, and here's the point I want to make: If that friend was Kodoka but back then Kodoka knew her only by her nickname, he would not know that she was his childhood friend when she introduced herself with her real name in the first episode he didn't recognize her. furthermore if she had told him her nickname it might have awakened some of his old memories and he might have connected the dots but as she didn't do that he's still oblivious. There's no way that nickname isn't gonna come up again in some way, and that seems to be the perfect reason for it. The main reason why I wasn't entirely convinced by this theory when I first thought of it was because the friend in the flash back seemed to have a different darker eye color than Yozora. But when I rewatched part of the episode while writing this post I noticed this shot: http://i.imgur.com/NNIu8oN.png
The eyes actually are purple but in most of the scene we see a darker color because of the baseball cap's shadow.
I think finding out whether my theory is true or not is all the motivation I need to finish this anime...
 

MarcFBR

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Not entirely sure what you're saying. I find her interactions with Sena a bit too mean-spirited for my liking. The gaming episodes made me laugh though.
Yeah, but you have to remember, it's a teenager who is being forced to spend time with someone she doesn't really want to be around. She's effectively been shoved into a situation where one of the closest people she has to a friend is someone she doesn't really want around. (And of course, you have the element that the show points out, is that the cast by and large doesn't KNOW how to interact with people.)

The girls had quite an interesting way of playing this kind of dating sim. Their skepticism towards "Akari" was quite unfounded in that particular genre
Like I mention earlier in this post to Trilby, remember, you're dealing with people who have NO interpersonal skills (and generally bad common sense.) Kodoka generally has decent common sense, but his interpersonal skills are pretty bad just from most people being scared of him, which means he has minimal interactions with people. Sena and Yozora treating the game character poorly is partially meant to show us just had bad both of them not only are at interacting with people, but their general lack of common sense (and also perhaps a bit of insight into how they tend to view other girls, explaining why both of them have had such an inability to make friends, since by the time we meet both of them they've both sort of given up on the concept to some degree.)


When the previous episode brought up a gal game I was already thinking about how funny it would be if it would suddenly turn out to be an ero game. And in the first scenes of episode three that actually happens! yay! I have to say I disagree with Yozoras premise of "art has to be something you can recite/present without shame" there's lots of art that is indeed centered about being provocative or even repulsive but that doesn't make it less like art.
The preconception that art has to be something old or done in an traditional medium seems nonsensical to me, so I was a bit dissapointed that Sena asserting that the VN is playing could be art was portrayed like some kind of joke. Does containing graphic depictions of sex automatically disqualify a work from being art? why? Why would VNs not be art? Because they use music, anime imagery and voice acting to bring their stories to life? I'm pretty sure most would agree that drawings, text, music, and voice acting are in fact things that can be art, so why would a medium that combines all those elements suddenly not be art? where does the sudden disqualification come from?
I saw it more as Yozora trying to call Sena out on being a perv (not only playing an ero game, but sitting there playing it in the clubroom) and Sena trying to defend herself rather than any actual arguments about art.
 

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Finished episode 4 tonight. The ecchi aspects of the show have started to ramp up, but that was to be expected. Theigno's theory about Yozora being Kodaka's old friend is my theory also. Among other things it would explain why she was so quick to support Yukimura, another apparent case of gender adoption. Not much else to say that hasn't already been said, though the video games were interesting (if not entirely believable). The creatures of Monster Hunting put me in more familiar territory, and it looks like episode 5 will include them as well.
 
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