Hello! I realize I have returned way earlier than I claimed I would. As it turns out, the wait time for delivery for my new laptop battery came way ahead of schedule. My trusty typing machine, now recovered, is ready to churn out more written content on series I am only passively enjoying.
Wasting no time, Aharen-san‘s third episode provides very little different from what the first two episodes already established. Raidou and Aharen are pretty goofy and are just a wee bit too close to one another physically, even if not emotionally. It seems that, for the moment, they are going to ride that very simple premise all the way to the end.
Episode 3 Synopsis
While not technically the basis for the whole episode, it is revealed that a seating change is going to take place in the near future for the two leads’ homeroom class. Knowing they may not be seated next to one another anymore, the two attempt to spend as much time together as possible before the inevitable.
So I have two options here. I can either:
- Repeat almost everything I’ve said before in my prior two episode reviews for this anime.
- Cut the fat and be frank about how this series is.
I’m going to go with the second option, even at the cost of this review’s word count.
It’s pretty safe to say that Aharen-san isn’t really interested in going beyond the boundaries set by its parent source. Manga Aharen-san doesn’t do much different from what anime Aharen-san is doing, yet there’s one crucial difference: means of communication.
With actual animation, the jokes slow down in pace, giving adequate time for a more realistic interpretation of what the characters do to re-enact it. With manga, it’s far speedier, where things are communicated with a lot of text and quick, bombastic images. Individual chapters (generally less than 20 pages per chapter) are also quick to end, meaning the themes to specific chapters come and go at much faster intervals. Turns out I greatly prefer it this way.
Granted, the anime does have a tendency to focus on those bombastic images I described above. Only difference here is that they rely on it too frequently, and with the prospect of animation, it comes off as somewhat lazy. More so with this episode than with others (outside the ending few minutes, which had some adequate dancing animation), there were many points where characters just think and sit their with blank, unmoving faces. Slow and easygoing.
This has been something of an issue for all three episodes, but I wanted to give it time to see if that would change at all. I will continue to watch (and review) this series, anyway. Nevertheless, it’s gotten to a point where I’m confident in saying that this will only be amusing to a specific section of people—perhaps most notably, fans of the parent material.
For someone as experienced in anime as I (and I attempt to say that without some manner of elitist arrogance), this provides very little for its genre or the medium in general. A series enclosed in a vacuum of space, uninterested in cohabitation. Just kind of wanders along and does things the mangaka finds amusing.
For things pertaining to this episode, it’s probably the weakest of what’s aired thus far. There was one humorous moment amongst the whole, the animation was, as stated, fairly lazy, and the general scenario painted a pseudo-emotional inevitability that the two leads would be separated during homeroom.
Spoiler, I guess, even though it’s entirely obvious: They don’t get separated and it’s played off as a big joke.
I understand the joke is that these two have gotten closer and the idea of them being separated is disappointing. I get that they build it up so much to make the payoff all the more of a contrast. It’s a comedy formula. My issue is that it occurs way too early—it’s the third episode! We know they’re not going to be separated! What’s even the point? Makes the episode end on a predictably sour note.
Remember that good ol’ “Three-episode rule”? Aharen-san has reached the threshold; my final verdict is that if you didn’t care for the first episode, you won’t care for anything else. It’s a lost cause. The anime adaptation is a fairly faithful, yet aimlessly unstylistic series that will only be for the most hardcore of goofy slice-of-life series. I don’t anticipate that changing at this point.
Thank you for reading. Have a great timezone.