Kodaka Hasegawa is just trying to get through his school life, but one day he saw the cute but forever pissed off girl Yozora Mikazuki alone, happily talking to herself. Kodaka and Yozora started discussing how to make friends, and Yozora, with her excessive action powerness started a tragic club. Then, as things went crazy, one by one other regretful cute girls also joined the club. Together they played galgames, went swimming, and they put together stage acts. Can our hero, who got suckered into the mess, become good friends with others? The even-though-it-really-needs-much-to-desired-for-but-still-very-entertaining tragic youth romance story has been born!
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai has been published in English as Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends by Seven Seas Entertainment since November 13, 2012; in Italian by J-POP since October 20, 2012; in Russian by XL Media since August 8, 2012; and in Polish by Studio JG since October 24, 2014.
Now this Manga was something I didn't expect, looking at the front cover all I could think was "Oh man, another teen manga with overused content". Oh how I was wrong.
This Manga is easily one of my favorite manga I have read in a while, the overall story doesn't seem very powerful at first, but as it has progressed it has slowly begun to reveal interesting little tidbits into the past of each of the characters. Now, I'm keeping an open view on the story, as I have not read the entire series (as only 3 volumes
are out in English at the time I'm writing this). Humor has a major influence on this Manga, as the activities that they partake in generate a lot of fantastic and down right raunchy moments.
The art style for this manga, isn't anything overly unique or bland. It pays attention to the details when it is needed and it works well with the overall light and Hilarious themes. each character looks different, not only in their general display but in their facial expressions and posture. As a big theme in this manga would definitely be comedy, the art does not disappoint in portraying these moments to the reader.
Now, surely having a club that is for making friends is going to generate a lot of "Interesting" characters, and oh my, how it does. Throwing all of these different characters into one room would make any normal person question whether or not it's some twisted social experiment. The club starts with just Kodaka and Yozora, but as the manga progresses characters are constantly joining this lively club. An obnoxious princess, Kodaka Fan-boy and an overly intelligent 10 year old nun later and you have the ingredients for madness.
If I was to put this manga into one word, that word would be "Hilarious". Due to the simple fact that this manga shows what you can do when it comes to comedy. I found myself Audible laughing on public transport, much to the discomfort of the other passengers. Along with all I have said so far, this series is really shaping up to be one of my top 3.
If you have not had the time to check this manga out, I would thoroughly suggest you find a copy somewhere and give it a read. It's funny, raunchy and brings a smile to your face with every page. I personally cannot wait for the rest of this series to be published into English, and I refuse to watch the anime until I finish it.
Harem is such a complicated genre to make enjoyable. The very nature of the story demands that there won't be a resolution until the popularity drops, and usually the quality of the comedy dropped long before that. Add that from the start you know that the first interest will be the winner, or maybe the second one if the author is extremely risky; and you end up feeling as if the entire story is desperately trying to bait you into things that won't happen. The main route to get the reader interest is being funny, which is hard to make universal.
I wouldn't say that this
manga is extremely funny, although it does reach situations so far fetched that make it enjoyable as a slice of life comedy. The secondary characters are, as it tends to happen, far better romantic options and knowing that they are just filler for the childhood friend can make then a bit irritating.
I think the main element that makes this one work specially well is the absolute lack of human contact the MC has. The standard route i giving the MC two school friends who will desire his girls and maybe work as consolation prices for the losers, but having absolutely no one (and each time the class mates talk about him they quickly jump to assuming he abused people and should be in jail) makes it a bit more natural that he wouldn't think about having a girlfriend at all. When you can't talk to anyone, or share your mundane happiness, your mind would be aiming to something much more basic than getting your privates wet.
As the formula starts to get in place they lose the ironic reminder that they don't have friends (since they clearly are friends), so I'd like to assume the author is aware of how he's dealing with that topic without making it overly obvious.
As a side note I really like the sketchy style and while panel layout is pretty standard and the faces can be confusing here and there, it does have a general feeling that makes it appealing.