Saturday, 29 October 2011

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai - Episode 4

Having spent its first three episodes concentrating on Yozora and Sena as they pertain to our protagonist Kodaka, it appears that it's time for some new characters to be introduced to the show's Neighbours Club - a task which this fourth instalment approaches with gay abandon.

For starters, we finally receive a brief opportunity to meet the club's moderator, sister Maria Takayama - a girl who turns out to only be ten years old for no easily explained reason.  More importantly however, this episode sees a couple of newcomers join the club - the first of these comes as Kodaka is convinced that he's being stalked around school, a conviction that eventually leads to him quite literally bumping into Yukimura Kusunoki, a person of hard to determine gender who has seemingly been following Kodaka in a bid to learn to become more manly and avoid what he regards as being bullied.  Of course, the truth of his "bullying" isn't quite what it seems, but nonetheless before he knows it he's a part of the Neighbours Club, with Yozora using her own unique "insight" in tutoring her new charge.

The club's next addition comes from Kodaka saving a girl in the science lab as she collapses after a science experiment gone wrong.  The girl in question is Shiguma Rika, a loner but scientific genius with a decidedly perverted streak - particularly when it comes to mecha it seems, as demonstrated by an amusing Evangelion Unit 2 x Gundam example.  Beyond her obsession with science and robots however, Rika naturally also ends up taking quite a shine to Kodaka, with her brazen attitude towards him looking likely to upset the club's balance with very little effort at all.

I suppose we had very quickly reached the point that Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai needed some fresh blood in its character roster to shake things up, although the way these new individuals have been presented really just makes them seem like fodder for the otaku database rather than living, breathing characters - rather a shame given that Sena and Yozora at least feel somewhat fleshed out at this point, although perhaps these newcomers will receive similar treatment over the coming weeks.  For now though, the slightly uncomfortable feeling that you're being "exploited" and otherwise deliberately targeted by the way this show and its character traits are panning out continues, offset by some great snippets of dialogue that assuage the guilt somewhat of watching a show that's almost trying too hard to pander to the proclivities of its audience.

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