Nov 18, 2016
CloacaMahoney (All reviews)
There have been only two manga I have read that focus on a character with apparent social anxiety. Watamote, which is often known as an extremely cynical view on the condition.
And Hitoribocchi, which is more or less the anti-Watamote.
I came into both of these manga at separate times, but both manga were read during times where my own social anxiety were at its peak. Where Watamote is good for people who suffer under the disorder to laugh at themselves in a more mean-spirited way, Hitoribocchi is perfect for those who want a more lighthearted laugh.
The characters are all extremely likeable, to the point where you'll be continually rooting for the titular Hitori in her quest to make friends with her classmates and break out of her anxiety. The side characters are charming, from the girl who goes out of her way to make herself look cool but in reality is a giant dork, to the girl who believes that Hitori is a ninja master and appoints herself as her student.
The art style is a more simplified version of the moe blob style, fitting into the simple slice of life vibe the manga gives off.
The comedy gives things for both those who experience anxiety and for those who don't. Although they have plenty of jokes surrounding anxiety that people like me can look at and laugh while saying 'oh yeah, I've done that before!' (such as the scene where Hitori tries to leave her house but two of her neighbours are chatting outside near her front gate, causing her to become too nervous to go) there are plenty of other regular gags throughout the story. The before mentioned girl who tries to look cool is often the butt monkey in many chapters; one of the brick jokes surrounding her got me to fully laugh out loud.
It's a sweet, light hearted manga about a girl who wants to make friends so she can be with her one old friend once more, and it delivers this nicely. The characters are lovely, the jokes - though not typically not made for pee your pants laughing - can get a chuckle out of you, and it gives material that whether you're like Hitori, or the most extroverted person out there, is enjoyable to read.