Back when I wrote up my First Impressions piece for Haganai, I had some mixed feelings about what I'd gotten myself into. I quickly learned that the prologue and OP are both quite misleading and came to really enjoy the show! It probably isn't for everyone, but I definitely got lots of laughs watching.
Hit past the jump to get the lowdown on the final episode and my thoughts in general for the series!
Haganai is an example of a show that could basically have ended with episode 11, but that wasn't the technical finale. It didn't quite bring things full circle, you know? I came into the last episode wondering how they were going to top the moment when Kodaka finally realizes that Yozora is his childhood friend Sora from ten years ago. As it turns out, much like the finale of Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi 2, it was a big ol' recap except with lots of recycled animation showing Yozora's point of view rather than Kodaka's.
I enjoyed seeing things her way because we didn't get to see much in the way of introspection for any of the cast outside of Kodaka. We got a lot of insight with Sena, but not so much on Yozora and they're both equally important characters. The fact that Yozora is so mysterious and forbidding with her personality just emphasized that there wasn't anyone who could get close to her. It's finally revealed in the end that the reason why is because all she wanted was her buddy back. And she got it.
It's a nice, sweet ending to what's been a ridiculously entertaining show this season. I enjoyed every parody and reference I caught, every boob bounce and every weirdly animated scene where a girl's head looked way too large and arms way too small to be normal. For having some pretty eye-catches and designs, the animation really was quite poor!
In terms of music, is it just me or did the last episode's OP play a lot of extra sound effects that it didn't have before? It sounded like some video game sounds made it in there and I hadn't heard them before. Please tell me I'm not crazy?
Overall, I think for folks who aren't really into the fanservice sort of thing this show wouldn't be their cup of tea, either. It's not this blatant thing with sexual themes, rather a lot of the pervy stuff is just slipped in with puns and turns of phrase. The only exception to this, really, is Rika, who is very open about her love of the sexy things, but in her case I felt it was comical. I fell in love of her the second she narrated a Gundam/Evangelion/Gunbuster-esque comic and somehow turned it into a hentai doujinshi. As the series goes on she's just a little over-the-top, but I still found it amusing.
From the very beginning, Yozora was my favorite character and remains so. I tend to really enjoy the girls that are just plain mean, though I'll be honest in saying that Sena definitely grew on me. I'm disappointed that nothing was ever resolved with her crush on Kodaka, or that we even saw a return of her father, but maybe that'll be something for a season two? It seems like they left it kind of open, didn't it? I'll assume that the story is still on-going. I'm going to have to read the books now that I've gotten hooked on these characters.
The other characters for me were cute and all, but not quite as strong. I got plenty of laughs out of Yukimura's dialogue, and adored Kobato but found Maria tiring as well as her antagonistic relationship with Kobato. In that respect, I'm glad they toned it down as the series went on, or else I might have dreaded any episode that the two of them were in together. That and Sena's pathetic obsession with the girl (drooling and all!) was just painful to watch.
All that being said, if you don't mind some alarmingly suggestive dialogue being tossed about dense main characters who create a club for the purpose of making friends, and make friends with each other before they even knew it, it might be the show for you! It's just plain fun, nothing too serious, and no serious overlying plot was really introduced throughout the season besides just having it at the back of your mind that Yozora wanted Kodaka to notice her for who she is/was. Oh, and the voice cast is fantastic.
I'm very interested in hearing what everyone else thought, though! I've seen a lot of mixed reactions on twitter feeds and various blogs that my buds or fellow Japanator community members wrote, so what's the final say?
From other sites around the web