Girls Club anime or shows starring girls who have great difficulty making friends is nothing new but there is something special about this one that sets it apart from others. Join me and find out what I mean as we take a look at Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu.
Alternate Title: Hitori Bocchi no ○○ Seikatsu
Genres: Comedy, School Life, Slice of Life
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Bocchi Hitori, a girl with extreme social anxiety, has had only one friend throughout elementary school. When Bocchi learns they’ll be split up after graduation, she makes a promise to her: “By the time of my middle school graduation, I’ll make friends with everyone in my class.” And if she can’t do it they won’t be friends anymore. But Bocchi has a hard time talking to people. When she gets nervous, her legs cramp. She can’t look other people in the eye. She doesn’t even know how to make friends. Every way she thinks of to make friends ends up failing.
Put simply Hitori Bocchi is a fun show about a socially awkward girl doing her very best to befriend everyone in her class to keep the promise she made with her childhood friend so they can reunite and get married in the future. At least that is what Bocchi hopes to achieve at the end of her arduous quest. Of course that is easier said than done due to Bocchi being one of the most inept students in Interpersonal Public Relations Class, meaning her social skills are quite poor. Worse than KAOS from Comic Girls for example. Fortunately she gets plenty of help to slowly but surely become more confident. One step at a time for our adorable weirdo. Even when calm her habits are adorably odd. One of the best parts of the show is seeing how much strategy Bocchi puts into everything from approaching someone to taking over the school for a quick win…often resulting in her passing out after a successful mission or regurgitating from massive anxiety. Some would consider her reactions as exaggerations and they are to an extent but ask people who relate to Bocchi and they will tell you she is their spirit animal, aka “That’s pretty close to what I was/am like”. The reason socially awkward protagonists are common in school anime is because even after graduating it is still not easy for people to become more social, among other reasons. It is not just because shy girls/timid boys are adorable.
Speaking of social awkwardness Bocchi is not the only one who has trouble talking to other people. Of the many girls Bocchi meets throughout her journey three become permanent members of her harem. First up is Nako. She looks and acts somewhat intimidating but is actually quite nice though she enjoys playfully teasing Bocchi. Cannot blame her due to the adorable weirdo’s numerous hilarious actions and reactions. Next is Aru whose goal is to become the “coolest vice-president ever” but is quite unfortunate, resulting in numerous small accidents and silly mistakes. Lastly we have Sotoka, the token “foreign student” who likes certain famous Japanese warriors and takes devotion a bit too seriously.
There are other cuties Bocchi encounters and tries to befriend and all but one are likable. It is not difficult to discern which one is difficult to like (No. It is not the tsundere. She too is precious). Her intent is understandable but her method and actions are terrible.
Another neat thing about the show are the characters’ names which give viewers who know some or are fairly knowledgeable in Japanese a clue on what kind of people they are. For example, when Bocchi’s name is pronounced in Japanese without stopping, hitoribocchi, it can be roughly translated to “alone” or “lonely girl”. One of the girls’ names introduced in the last quarter of the show literally spells out what she is.
The presentation is solid. The character designs are cute, the animation, particularly when the characters move and react, are pretty good and the soundtrack fits the mood. The OP and ED are delightful, especially a second ED somewhere in the middle.
The yuri is all shipping. Bocchi’s slowly growing group of friends can easily be seen as her harem (which it is) and some of them can be shipped with each other. Like the show they are cute and funny.
Overall Hitori Bocchi is another cute and funny Girls Club show with plenty of fun, creativity and cuteness. Seeing all Bocchi interacting and doing her best to befriend her fellow adorable weirdos is fun to watch with Bocchi herself being worthy of cheering on. I could not help rooting for her to succeed throughout the show. This is one of many Girls Club shows worthy of a second season because the finale obviously left room for more. Whether we will get more in animated form remains to be seen. Highly recommended to Girls Club aficionados and others who are cool with this slice of life sub-genre.