Beginning his first year of high school, all Matsuboshi Raidou wants is to make friends—starting with the cute, tiny, and soft-spoken Reina Aharen, who sits right next to him in class. Unbeknownst to Raidou, Reina shares the same sentiment, but she has a problem. Awkward and timid, Reina is incapable of determining how chummy she has to be when approaching a person.
Due to Reina’s complete inability to gauge personal space, the two struggle to spark their unlikely friendship, as even the simplest tasks like talking seem impossible for them. But despite the countless yet pointless challenges that hinder the pair, the overly imaginative Raidou will do whatever it takes to befriend the indecipherable Reina.
Aharen-san wa Hakarenai is a Iyashikei anime, when tend to be my anime of choice simply because of the calming vibe it gives me whenever I watch them. At it’s core, Aharen-san wa Hakarenai has been a slice of life that I’d say is in the middle of the pack. As previously mentioned, this style of anime is something I naturally gravitate to, which also means I’ve seen a bunch of similar anime.
Was Aharen-san wa Hakarenai entertaining? Yes, I would say so. However, the reason why I’d say it was a middle of the pack SoL anime is because there wasn’t anything that made this anime special, there wasn’t anything that really stuck out at me.
Our characters in Aharen-san and Raidou-kun are two individuals of different builds, but their personalities share more similarities than differences. Which I thought really benefitted the anime because when you have two characters who share similar personalities, it makes all the interactions between them even more entertaining.
I enjoyed how Raidou-kun always exaggerated what he thought Aharen-san was capable of in his mind. However, in reality it was far from it. I also loved how when Aharen-san did something, she would always do it in excess. Like for example, putting more layers on because she was cold, or overpacking her bag for a camping trip which caused her to act like a turtle stuck on their back. A more recent example would be episode eleven where she built a massive snowman cafe, all by herself. Aharen-san is the embodiment of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”.
All that being said, however, the reason why Aharen-san wa Hakarenai was a middle of the pack anime for me was (as previously mentioned) there wasn’t anything that stood out at me. Aharen-san wa Hakarenai felt like your normal SoL anime. I also wasn’t a big fan of the anime throwing in a little bit of romance during the latter episodes. It felt almost random to me, I talked more indepth about it in one of my blogs. So I won’t rant on too much about it, to make a long story short. I wasn’t too big of a fan of turning a really good and fun friendship into one where they have mutual feelings for one another. Obviously, this is something that happens in almost every anime, but I would’ve like to see it stay as a friendship.
Another reason as to why I thought Aharen-san wa Hakarenai was a middle of the pack anime for me was because the supporting cast wasn’t as involved as I thought they should have been. While Aharen-san and Raidou-kun could carry the anime. They cannot do it alone, they need complimentary pieces which is when the supporting cast comes in, well, should have anyway. They (supporting cast) lacked in overall presence. If they were a little more involved the anime as a whole would have benefited. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
In short, Aharen-san wa Hakarenai was a good anime. Could it have been better? I think so, but the positives outweigh the negatives and that’s what is important.