Acknowledgement and Denial in Haganai NEXT

I’m not entirely sure what compelled me to watch the second season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT (popularly shortened to Haganai NEXT). Haganai’s first season was an intriguing invitation into the world of the Neighbors Club at St. Chronica’s Academy, fronted by Kodaka Hasegawa, Sena Kashiwazaki, and Yozora Mikazuki. The show itself has all of the trappings that you would expect of a comedy-harem-school-romance-slice-of-life, and though I can’t say that I disliked the show, I can’t really say I cared much for it, either. I can at least say that, if nothing else, the show crafted a cast of characters that stood out in my mind some time after I had finished watching the season. It is perhaps because of this – that I cared for the characters but not the show itself – that I decided to give the second season a shot.

Unsurprisingly, the second season was largely more of the same – oversexualized high-schoolers, misunderstandings, and a whole lot of Kodaka being his protag self and missing every romantic advance that his female counterparts sent his way. Honestly, the second season’s pacing and timing of jokes was an improvement over the first, yet there were still moments where I found myself wondering “do I really want to keep watching this?” It was not until episode 10, “The Sad-Case King and the Stone-Cold Story” (“Zannen Ō to Waraenai Hanashi” [残念王と笑えない話]), that I stopped asking myself this.

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