Thoughts on Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi

Seems I have found myself on something of a slice-of-life-like excursion. While the medium has plenty of stories revolving around superpowers and fantasy elements, I’m swimming in waters far more… ordinary. With today’s example of “everyday life only mildly exaggerated with anime tropes,” Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi (or My Senpai Is Annoying), it could not get any more trope-y. Almost like that’s exactly what it’s going for.

Almost like the opposite side of the same Working!! coin, it features a large cast of characters in a workplace environment. Sometimes. Each person embodies a very particular character archetype that is amped up at specific points for maximum wholesomeness. Or humor? Hard to tell sometimes. Whereas one side of the coin was more based on comedy and, to some extent, parody, this leisurely swaps between two distinct modes: comedic bait and switch and doki-doki cockteasing.

Copy-Paste Synopsis

“Being seen as a full-fledged business woman isn’t easy for Futaba Igarashi when her senpai, Harumi, treats her like a kid. Days for her are never typical, at work or outside of it, with all the antics going on in her life. As mishaps ensue, she’ll find herself growing closer with her loudmouth senpai. Maybe Futaba feels more than she lets on, but one thing’s for sure: she’s still annoyed!”


Actual Review

Many years ago, I made a Top 10 list of the most annoying clichés in anime. My Senpai Is Annoying commits (about) half of those featured in that list. (Sidenote: The #10 listing could also include “Helicopter family members.”) Despite this, I found myself craving each episode like I was having some sort of withdrawal. I do not understand it.

To be blunt, this is not a good anime. A lot of it revolves around clichés and very resolute character archetypes that went out of fashion ten years ago, yet somehow still find life. It also meanders terribly with many of the romantic prospects between characters for the sake of… I don’t know, the thrill of the hunt? Really, it’s all over the place with its pacing and progression of relationships and themes and et al.


What strikes most apparently by the end is that this author does not know how to write a three-dimensional character. You can describe all characters with one word: Futaba—tsundere. Takeda—himbo. Sakurai—exists. Kazama—aloof. These characters—especially the first two names—rarely flinch. They are exactly the same from the first episode to the last, reacting as you would expect every time.

When the time comes for characters to be a little flexible in their personality, the author draws on popular tropes to try and enthuse audiences. Sakurai, at least initially, is shown as a closet teasing enthusiast. Eventually, though, she retracts into the shy, pure and innocent beautiful girl that is about as interesting as looking at the floor. Kazama is a Gamer™ and otherwise painfully unexpressive, yet because he helped Sakurai out of being harassed by a co-worker once, he’s the next Bachelor. Okay.

Not about himself.

To some extent, some of this could be excused if there were some other thing this story can latch onto for content. Its first episode includes Futaba wishing to become a better salesperson at her workplace. All right, great, that’s something. However, outside of a few subtle reminders via comments or still images, this is mostly abandoned as soon as episode three. By the halfway point, all one can look forward to in each episode is a bunch of character get-togethers. Trope-y ones.

So why exactly did I like this? I’m having a hard time coming up with an answer for that myself. Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment? The inner romantic in me is charmed by the glacier-slow pace of the romantic subplots-turned-main-plots? Maybe it’s refreshing to see a series so honest with how uncreative it is that it doesn’t shy away from just throwing shit at the wall. Who cares? It’s a cute series about a bunch of adults who still act like teenagers because the world is stupid.

She’s, like, 22.

How consistently watchable this series is, too, down to the minute details of the most stereotypical situations present. “The gang plays basketball.” “The gang goes to the beach.” “The gang celebrates [insert holiday here].” Where it falters for me, in terms of an almost guilty enjoyment, is episode six, when Futaba’s overprotective grandfather enters the fray and makes even Takeda mostly intolerable. It’s not funny, it’s not cute. Every time he appeared onscreen, I groaned.

Even the title is kind of misleading, at least in English. “My Senpai Is Annoying.” Takeda isn’t really that annoying. There are some occasions where his lack of awareness causes Futaba fits, but a lot of them are a “her” problem. He’s just being a nice guy, if not fairly blunt. Why that bothers her so much is mostly indicative of how deeply entrenched into the tsundere mold Futaba really is, which makes any genuine forms of communication mostly moot. Such is writing characters as templates.

Santa would be more believable.


Mostly bad, but in a strange sort of way that prevents you from looking away. I suppose it’d be most appropriate to call it “harmless.” A harmless series about pseudo-reality where gamers get the hottest girl at the workplace because he’s not garbage and himbos develop parental instincts when faced with girls a third of their size. Sure, why not?

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

For more anime reviews, check out the associated archive.

If reading this compelled you to give me a dollar, feel free to tip me on Ko-fi.

Thank you for your time. Have a great rest of your day.

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