When I was first introduced Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (abbreviated as Ha-ga-nai), a light-novel-turned-anime intellectual property about a group of students having trouble making friends, and forming a highschool club with the purpose of finding friends, founded by a spunky and eccentric girl and narrated through a male counterpart, the entire concept was screaming “Haruhi” to me. Less sci-fi and more situational comedy? That works for me!
To give some more depth and insight into the story itself, we start with a male highschool student, Kodaka Hasegawa, an individual of mixed nationality between Japanese and English shown heavily in his hair of mixed black and blonde hair, giving him the appearance of a delinquent who failed at dying his hair fully. This stigma has prevented him from making friends after transferring over to his new, current highschool.
The story starts off with Kodaka walking in on a female classmate, Yozora Mikazuki, seemingly talking to herself, where she claims in defense was her speaking to “Tomo-chan” (her “air friend”) and the two realize that neither one has any friends and seemingly have issues with acquiring them. Yozora decides to form a club of her own called the Neighbors Club, registers Kodaka into the club without asking him, and the rest of the story takes off from there.
Although I was already aware of the anime version, I decided to take upon reading a translated version of the original light novel instead, which is still in publication (7 total so far) and thus still being translated. Suffice to say, the light novel has been very entertaining to read.
The various characters within the story all have a very unique personality to them, making for very dynamic chemistry when introducing the cast of characters into scenarios loosely bound by slice-of-life properties. The undertones of affection between the male protagonist and the two female leads, along with the ambience of the supporting characters, helps you connect with all the characters and want to care about what happens to each one of them, as you, the reader, can see that they will eventually become friends in the process without realizing it.