Jun 29, 2019
Fircoal (All reviews)
When I was young and first was getting into anime the harem genre was one of my favorites. It was a pleasure to watch a lot of cute girls do cute and lewd things, as well as have the excitement of seeing who would win and fighting in waifu wars with friends that had objectively inferior taste (unless they happened to pick actual best girl, and in that case they're fine.)

However after watching more and more of these, it became clear that while some were well made and had lots of life to them, there were others that were not well made and ended up being cheap vehicles for a show that they assumed a horny teenage fandom would eat up, and they did. Often the cast wouldn't be fully developed and were either just archetypes with less more going for them, or where way in the background causing one girl to take the center stage and defeating one of the points of a harem. While many seasonal harems ended up disappointing in these ways, We Never Learn, is a return to the good old days.

It doesn't take that much to make a good harem that's a joy to watch. While I do love deep character development and interesting meanings and points that are made in a show, not every show needs to have them, and in particular a good harem isn't defined by having those. In my opinion, the most important parts to a harem are having a varied and likeable cast of girls, and having good fan-service. And Bokuben happens to have both of those.

The main cast is a whole lot of fun. They interact with each other and play off of each other and are very clearly friends with each other. They don't exist just for the sake of the male lead but they have goals of their own and friendships outside of the male lead. They have charming personalities that makes it easy to root for them and very easy to like them. And while they don't have a great amount of development they have enough development that they feel like unique characters and not archetypes. Some of the silly things they can get into are a lot of fun and overall it made me happy to watch this show.

And it fills it's role as a harem very well. There are three main girls and they all have their own charms that are quite distinct. There's an airhead who is much more emotionally connected to everyone but herself, a brainaic who can't understand others or herself, and a tomboy childhood friend who is pretty hyper and excitable. And while the archetypes are certainly there, they're vibrant enough to outshine them, and feel unique. Each of them gets screen time with the main lead, and each of them have a reasonable claim to him. Unlike many harems in the past it actually does feel up in the air who will win and not just a forgone conclusion that was turned into a harem for some reason. They each have their own dynamic relationship with the lead and it's a lot of fun.

Furthermore the show also gives a good deal of fanservice so that we can see the more echiii situations with them and capitalize on their cuteness. And while most of them happen by accident, of course, a staple trope of these harems. The girls are aware enough to not blame him, and if they do blame him it doesn't last longer than 30 seconds. Too many harems like to go off on the blame game for too long which detracts from the show and ruins the vibe they have going. If anything what Bokuben does so well is it allows this vibe to continue throughout the show, and rarely becomes too much of a drag. The art and sound also help with this a lot as the art is pretty high quality and always looks nice. The sound is better jovial and helps accent the more comedic parts of the show. While it may not be impressive on its own it really works in the show.

It may not be the most impressive show, but Bokuben is a good solid harem, and I very much enjoyed watching it. I'd recommended it to all other harem fans.