Friday, 18 January 2013

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT - Episode 2

After a pretty forgettable opener, this second season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai knuckles down to tackle some of life's big questions in episode two.

By "big questions", of course I mean questions such as "why did those two guys just kiss?", as a new-look Rika (sans glasses but still sporting a lab coat, of course) introduces the Neighbours Club to the world of homoerotic anime, via a movie based on a boys love game but, naturally, sanitised for television.  This magnum opus proves to be surprising popular and movie for most of the group, despite its passionate ending causing some confusion amongst some of its members.  As conversation then turns to comparing the joys of boys love and eroge, Sena once again finds herself on the wrong end of a heated debate.

Having escaped from all of that, Kodaka finds himself encountering another of his school's nuns, the nun in question being a woman named Kate, who just happens to be the elder sister of Maria.  Although I'd like to say that Kate is a very different and more mature personality than her little sister, this isn't actually the case at all, but she does nonetheless thank Hasegawa for his help in bringing Maria out of her shell.  Finally, the episode ends with Yozora prompting Kodaka into comparing answers on their recent exams - a conversation that heads south as soon as Sena arrives.

Having been really rather disappointed with its opener, this second episode of NEXT shows what this series is best at - self-referential humour.  There were plenty of laughs to be had of its depiction of boys love anime, and the world of eroge wasn't spared some withering put-downs and references either to make for some material that is blatant otaku fodder but no less funny for it.  Although NEXT also seems to have ramped up the fan service in the hope of keeping its audience on-board, I hope that it can at least continue to play to its strengths rather than mire itself in cheap tactics to impress its viewer.

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