In a season filled with rom-coms, Aharen-san wa Hakarenai distinguished itself very quickly. It wasn’t the premise, nor even the characters, which set it apart. Instead, it was just plain and simple execution.
Much like my post discussing season 1 of Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu, we’ll keep this brief. I feel like romantic comedies don’t work well with in depth analysis. It’s all about the feeling you get from the series, and that can’t be perfectly put into words. It’s just something you need to experience.
After watching the first episode, I assumed we’d be getting a series similar to Komi-san. We had a quiet protagonist girl who seemed pretty isolated. After the first few episodes, however, that plot point seemed to fall by the wayside.
A greater focus was put on the gag comedy with the pair of Aharen-san and Raido-kun. Whether it’s Aharen-san’s incredible skill in the most random activities, or Raido-kun’s (usually) ridiculous fantasies about Aharen-san, the jokes come one after another. Often times, the humor was the result of how absurd things got.
Aharen-san was a very cute character. Her soft-spoken nature and innate awkwardness just hit that moe nerve for me. Her subtle competitiveness was really funny too. One of the episodes was literally a montage of her laying the smackdown on Raido-kun.
Raido-kun was actually a good male lead. His imagination running wild was something else, but he also was just an honest person through and through. The pairing with Aharen-san was just a perfect fit.
The side characters joined in with the absurdity. My personal favorite was Toubaru-sensei. I swear, I don’t know how she’s alive still. Someone keep medical personnel at the ready to administer a blood transfusion.
Toward the end of the series, we started to get what I suspect many of us saw coming. There was a shift toward the relationship between the two lead characters. The transition was actually pretty seamless. And, unlike how many series execute this transition, they didn’t abandon the gag humor.
After a romantic episode, we’re actually left hanging a bit. They go back to the jokes we’d had to that point. It’s not abandoned completely, but left to dangle a bit to get us needing more. And, finally, at the end, we get the closure we were looking for.
To sum up this super fast post, Aharen-san wa Hakarenai has great gag humor and fun characters. The romance is hinted at throughout, but really comes into focus at the end, and concludes with a very satisfying ending.
Honestly, I’m curious where the series goes, as the manga is apparently ongoing. I’ll probably check it out. But yeah, if you like light-hearted gag humor with a nice, romantic conclusion, I can’t recommend this one enough.