Jun 29, 2019
Stark700 (All reviews)
With the ever growing list of rom-coms coming out every season, Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai (We Never Learn) honestly isn’t anything home to write about. We just had a similar show called “5-toubun no Hanayome” that aired a few months ago. That show came together as a teenage rom-com with harem content. Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai tries to be something on its own but ends up being a fallout of stupidity.

On the plus side, I do applaud that the manga has been running as long as it is right now. Too many shounen jump series ends being victims of the dreaded axe yet this one managed to evade that. Trust me, I do want to see a shounen jump show succeed with romantic elements. The anime offers a 13-episode adaptation although from what’s shown, it’s far from a complete adaptation. For what’s worth, the anime is more of an advertisement of the manga that touches the main story with its cast of characters. But if you are actually expecting your mind to be blown with some masterful storytelling, then I’m afraid I got some bad news.

The English title is translated as “We Never Learn” and spells out the story for itself. A straightforward premise like this is the way to go considering we have a set of goofball characters. To get the boring part out of the way, we got 3rd year Nariyuki Yuiga, the hardworking guy with a dense and dull personality. I can’t fandom how such a guy can be so oblivious when it comes to the feelings of certain people but alas, he’s our male protagonist. Not long after, we are introduced to Fumino, Rizu, and Uruka. All of them are talented in certain subjects but needs help in other areas. It shouldn’t take long for viewers to realize that some of these girls have feelings towards Yuiga. Unfortunately, the show loves to dance around the thought of building a relationship between Nariyuki and these girls. What ends up happening is little to no development with a senseless form of romance, if you can even call it that.

Now, I do want to mention that We Never Learn’s storytelling feels more like skits with an intention to humor. It seems that every chance it gets, the show pokes fun of the idea of studying and the way characters interact with each other. Even Mafuyu Kirisu (the teacher of Ichinose academy) gets dragged into certain shenanigans despite her more mature personality and older age. Taking a look back at the trio of students though, there’s not really much special about any of them. In fact, they fit under archetype characters that you can find in just about any rom-com shows these days. For instance, Fumino is the sensitive girl with few friends. Rizu is the serious genius type who has trouble interacting with others. And finally, Uraka is the energetic girl who easily makes friends with others. With this character roster, it’s easy to distinguish each one of them but the show itself lacks concrete characterization. Sure, we see a good degree of their character traits and even some background storytelling. However, the show doesn’t make an impact to make these characters truly stand out. Forget Nariyuki. The girls only attracts my attention when they interact with certain circumstances. They never draw more on their own. On the other hand, I do find myself invested in some of the other supporting characters. Name such as Kominami Asumi and Sawako Sekijou managed to capture my attention more than the main cast.

On the other hand, I do give praise to making the story entertaining on occasions. School can be a boring setting but the author is able to take advantage of the setting to make humorous drama. It’s one of the perks of being a romantic comedy where the author can stretch their imaginations. For a rom-com harem, I believe the show stands out the best when it seeks to entertain. If the characters were better written, this would have easily stood out as a solid show. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

With a collaboration between studio Silver and Arvo Animation, this pretty much stands out as an average looking show. To be honest, A-1 Pictures would have been my first guess considering the license. Nonetheless, the animation quality lacks impact with its uncharismatic character designs. Nariyuki has a punchable face while the main girls lacks any distinctive features. I will say this though, the anime likes fan service. It’s slightly tamer compared to the manga but in later episodes, it’s more and more fleshed out. Uraka is the big target eye candy for this for her status in the swim team and well-toned body. However, Fumino and the other are vulnerable too. Considering that this is a rom-com, you should expect a lot of shenanigans coming your way. The character expressions also speaks for itself when you see them react in ridiculous manners.

Should I be surprised that We Never Learn ended up being no more than a mediocre show? Not really. As a manga reader, I kept my expectations in check. This anime lacks a bold story with a weak cast and borderlined forced comedy. It may draw out a few laughs on occasions but once you realize what you’re in for, there’s really much more to see. If you want to give the manga a shot, then be my guest. Just know that We Never Learn dropped the ball and there’s much better rom-coms out there.