Can a charming lead overcome annoying supporting characters?
Aru takes the full focus in episode 5 of Hitoribocchi and I’m going to be honest, that was a detriment to my enjoyment. Aru’s unfortunate gag has already run paper thin and this episode just finished it off entirely cementing her as my least favourite character within this story and largely just boring me in the process.
We start with her wearing a primary school backpack rather than carrying her middle-school bag. There’s more than a few questions raised by this. For instance, does she actually empty the entirety of her bag each night and then grab an empty bag to fill for school? That seems unlikely. Even more unlikely that she just has her whole primary backpack just lying around ready to be carried to school.
However, even if we toss logic off a cliff, the next steps in the gag are what utterly obliterate any goodwill I might have been willing to give it.
In an effort to show perfection to the class, Aru keeps volunteering to read and answer questions and things inevitably go wrong. You would think that she’d change tactic and just keep her head down, but she insists on drawing attention to herself. That was annoying enough, but the following day she apparently manages to dress entirely in a primary school uniform. And not notice until she’s half-way to school.
Forget suspension of disbelief, here you would need to actually paralyse your thought processes to accept that as the groundwork for a joke.
Anyway, they tediously drag this out for a full twenty minutes with a tennis match thrown in for who knows what reason and then mercifully the episode ends. I just can’t find anything in this episode that was redeemable and on the back of the ninja episode Hitoribocchi is coming perilously close to getting dropped from my watch list.
While certainly not as tedious as the previous episode, episode 6 of Hitoribocchi certainly isn’t making itself any more endearing by returning some of the focus to the inept class teacher who is still, for reasons utterly idiotic, afraid of Nako. So begins the set-up for the episode with Nako having failed a maths test and the teacher having to give her result back and the follow up concern that now she has to stay for extra lessons and can’t walk home with Bocchi.
The moments this episode focused on Bocchi and her growing group of friends trying to tutor and support Nako were okay. Not great or laugh out loud funny, but there’s a cute dynamic in the group of odd-balls and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that those parts were better. There were also some cute moments early in the episode where Bocchi was willing herself to get sick in order to avoid presenting a poem.
However, the moments that brought us back to the teacher were just kind of sad and to be honest I don’t get anything from her character other than a growing sense of annoyance.
For me, Hitoribocchi is becoming something of a chore to watch so I’m uncertain at this point whether I’ll finish it or not. It isn’t a broken anime that would appeal to no one, but it certainly isn’t appealing to me at this point and the few elements I find cute or amusing are being overwhelmed by elements that I find just kind of stupid, dull or lazy.
Thanks for reading
Three great ways you can support
100 Word Anime:
- Hitoribocchi Episodes 1 + 2
- Hitoribocchi Episodes 3 + 4
- Hitoribocchi Episodes 5 + 6
- Hitoribocchi Episode 7
- Hitoribocchi Episode 8
- Hitoribocchi Episode 9
- Images from: Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu. Dir. T Anzai. C2C. 2019.