Making friends is easy, right? With today’s technology, you can get hundreds and even thousands, or even better, millions of friends! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, WhatsApp and SnapChat, OMG you’ve got another friend request! OMG! You’ve just surpassed your hundred millionth friend! Oh yeah… Unfortunately such numbers these days don’t mean a thing. Uh huh. Trying to make real friends, real physical bonds is the challenge nowadays. It’s not surprising that our social skills have dramatically decreased with the rise of social media platforms. But still, I guess some of us really shy ones are still struggling to make true friends. Like Hitoribocchi No Marumaru Seikatsu. Meek girl is forced to make friends in her new class if she is going to be reunited with her best friend that has gone away. It’s going to be tough but hey, it’s better than simply clicking the subscribe button to be my friend.

Episode 1
Bocchi Hitori is a shy girl and dreads her first day of middle school. However her childhood friend, Kai Yawara went to another middle school and severed their friendship. If they are to be friends again, she has to make friends with everyone in her new class. She gave her a charm for that. What’s with this creepy fairy that looks like Colonel Sanders? Since her wish to destroy middle school didn’t work, how about being the only person in class so that technically means she is friends with herself, right? Well, Class 1-1 has 29 people. So sorry. After the opening ceremony, Bocchi even got this idea to place a note that the class is abolished and everyone is to be transferred elsewhere! But everyone takes this as a joke and thinks this class will be super fun. I guess the only way is to live up to that promise. During class introduction, Bocchi was so nervous that she vomited! Because the person sitting in front of her, Nako Sunao talked to her, she thinks she is already her friend. Hence she nervously tries to do stuff for her. Is she trying to be her gopher? You mean gopher = friend? With Bocchi thinking they are done for, Nako eventually gets the chance to tell her she likes the idea of being her friend. Bocchi remembers Kai’s advice of making friends. A trick is to start liking the other person. As Bocchi tries to like her, it looks like she is invading her personal space and getting annoying. I wonder if Bocchi wrote all the scenarios on how to answer on every inch of her body. What if no answer? Damn she’s screwed! Soon they exchange contacts and they communicate via texting. Wow. So fun. So much texting that Bocchi bumps into everything as she is too focused on her handphone. Bocchi then confesses she likes Nako. As a friend. But aren’t they already friends? Well, she never heard it from her. Nako has to spell it out that they’ve been one since the day we’ve met. Oh wow. This really brings Bocchi to tears. Bocchi now has the confidence to face her middle school life. One small step for Bocchi, one big step for her middle school life.

Episode 2
Nako is mad! Oh no. Did Bocchi lose a friend? Ah well, easy come, easy go. Thinking on how to fix this, the class vice president, Aru Honshou speaks to her. Damn right we’re going to have a long flashback on how it all happened. With Bocchi referring to a magazine on how to make friends, the duo explored several places in school. Nako playing a few ‘ghost’ pranks on Bocchi like tapping on her shoulder. All those were just red herring as the deal breaker was when Bocchi tells of her promise to Kai. That promise to make friends with everyone. Aru helps her ‘get ready’ to apologize. WTF why change into her gym clothes? Bocchi sums up her courage as she stammers her way through her apology that sounded like a love confession. I guess seeing her trying so hard or to stop this pathetic act, Nako isn’t mad anymore. Yay! Back to friends again. So with Nako noting her promise, is she going to try and make friends with others? Oh dear, Bocchi getting cold feet again. Even when Nako suggests starting with Aru, she’s getting nervous just hearing that. Speak of the devil, here is Aru. When Nako notices a hanger in her clothes and Aru tries to pass it off as fashion, that is when Nako realizes she is an unfortunate girl. Yeah, she could somewhat guess she mixed up her pantsu with her mom’s. WTF???!!! With Aru devastated, the duo try to reconcile with her although she thinks they just want to laugh at her. Aru talks about her misfortune being some sort of hereditary. So unfortunate she didn’t end up being the class president but the vice. Yeah… Bocchi sums up her courage to ask her to be their friends. Sure, it is due to Kai’s promise but even if that wasn’t the case, she still wants to be her friend. With Aru agreeing loud and clear (or else Bocchi will think otherwise), Bocchi is so happy that she faints? Can’t blame her. She’s raking up new friends faster than the speed of light. Read, sarcasm of course.

Episode 3
Homeroom teacher, Teruyo Oshie is scared of Nako?! WTF?! Seriously, she’s all nervous and running away when face to face with her. Bocchi wants to ask Aru to walk home with them but with others getting in the way, this is going to take a while. When she finally does, she passes out from excitement. Can she walk home at this rate? Because Nako and Aru don’t really get along with each other, this has Bocchi worried. Better start making up if you don’t want her to have trauma that they are doing this just for her sake and that she is the only one happy with this friendship. The duo are supposed to meet at Bocchi’s place and when they’re late, she starts thinking they’re no longer friends! Only Nako shows up as Aru has last minute tennis practice. WTF Bocchi dressed in her bear suit and trying to be a super nice host?! Yeah, must be a lot of hard work trying to stick to the script, eh? However Bocchi fumbles and ends up getting sick. This means missing school tomorrow. Oh dear. She is already having this trauma her friends will forget her! Hence she spams them if they remember her! Extreme! Meanwhile Teruyo still have fears of Nako and wants to resign? It gets weirder since Nako is here to collect today’s assignment to hand to Bocchi. Teruyo being overly polite so as not to make her mad or something but it ends up with her running away since she’s so scared. Aru teases Nako for having a scary face and tone and that she should learn for her who has a pretty smile. Fake smile? Better hurry to Bocchi because those spam messaging is getting worse. Hi, I’m Bocchi… Not sure if her illness is getting to her, but this girl is really ‘sick’. Upon reaching her place, she is so ‘excited’ that they’re here that she really gets passionate to remind them she is her friend. Don’t worry. They still remember her. Please don’t even tease an inch because trauma switch on… They hope she gets well tomorrow so she can come back to school. It’s boring without her. Or perhaps they don’t want it to be a pain… You know…

Episode 4
Looks like Bocchi has a long way to go to even interact with the people in the neighbourhood. Just when she thought she managed to avoid talking to them, she bumps into Sotoka Rakita. Damn, Bocchi giving out the scariest scream! Sotoka thinks she is a ninja due to her lack of presence and good at running away. But she is left disappointed when Bocchi says she isn’t. Since then, she is a bit down and Bocchi thinks it is her fault. Later Sotoka reveals that as a foreign who came to Japan, she was impressed with ninjas, the reason she came here to meet one. She really believed Bocchi was one but sadly that zapped her enthusiasm. Hence Bocchi comes up with an idea to be friends with her by making a paper shuriken. Inside is a message for them to become friends. However Sotoka thinks Bocchi is really a ninja and that she cannot admit it upfront! Therefore instead of becoming her friend, she wants to be her disciple! This is just getting worse. Uh huh. Sotoka loves lifting Bocchi and this act is almost good enough to ‘kill’ her. Now Sotoka looks up to Bocchi with much anticipation. Can’t disappoint her, can we? Aru has an idea for Bocchi to let Sotoka gain mastery quickly so they can be friends. But first, a lecture from Nako to Sotoka to stop hugging Bocchi as and when she likes since there should be some distance between master and student. Bocchi teaches one pose and claims she has achieved mastery. Sotoka thinks there’s more so Aru interjects by teaching this lame ninja beam pose. Yeah, even Sotoka is laughing at her unfortunate pose. Bocchi then tries to teach her some ninja running but ultimately trips. Sotoka carries her to the infirmary. Bocchi reveals she has a scar on the other leg due to a similar ‘training’ with Kai. She really wants to see through this with Sotoka since she looked so much happier during training after thinking she found a ninja. Hence Bocchi hopes that once Sotoka masters everything, can they be friends? Certainly. She’ll do her best. If she could only remember not to lift and ‘kill’ her master like that all the time.

Episode 5
For some unfortunate reason, Aru wears her elementary school bag. She manage to get by fooling her friend, Hanako Yamada but the thought of Nako seeing her would mean disastrous. When she tries to hide from her, her leg cramps. How unfortunate… But that goes on to a whole new level the next day as she somewhat dresses in her full elementary school gear! How does she fool Hanako this time? She is Aru’s little sister, Mieru! But this doesn’t work with Nako as she starts to laugh her ass off! When Aru tries to fool Bocchi and Sotoka, because they are so gullible she decides to come clean with them. WTF they think she used some substitution technique? She tries to fool the class as Mieru. With Nako laughing her ass off again, the class is impressed she made her laugh and start applauding. Huh? Later Aru challenges Nako to a tennis match. She will have to stop teasing her if she wins. The first to score 10 points wins and they will take turns to serve. Nako is bad at serving. Aru too! Miss! I guess this is the result of missing club activities too many times. Nako tries to shift the serving to Aru with the excuse to show her serve. With Aru taking up that challenge, yeah Nako is raking in easy points doing nothing as she continues to miss. One time she hits it but it flew to the swimming pool. Go get it. Finally with Nako up 7-0, she finally hits in. That is when Aru admits her loss. She thinks this is part of Nako’s kindness to tell her to attend her club activities. Of course it’s not. It’s just to make her serve and lose while she does nothing. As for why she accepted this tennis challenge, she thought she could win. Uh huh. All one big misunderstanding. But the unfortunate teasing still goes on. Especially Mieru! This reminds Bocchi she bumped into her sister this morning… Damn… When Aru goes help out another club and by the time she returns, she is surprised to see her friends still waiting. They didn’t have time to talk much today and hoped to wait till she finishes all her club activities. So Aru just screws the rest of her club activities and walks home with them. Nako advises Aru that she doesn’t need to be perfect since Bocchi would love the unfortunate Aru more. Is that a compliment or insult? Or both?

Episode 6
Bocchi is praying to get a fever. Don’t want to go up in front of class to recite her haiku. Nope. Still fine. How about a sore throat? Doing fine. I guess it’s time to go face those fears. In class, she tries to make weird movements because mom told her to do so whenever she is nervous. Sorry, nothing happened. Only her leg gets cramped. After failing to visualize everyone as a potato, can she now read her haiku? She vomited instead. At least she managed to stand in front of class, right? When Teruyo hands back the test papers, she thinks Nako will be mad at her because she failed. She tries not to be scared but eventually her natural reflexes take over. Yes, bowing to her again. Nako realizes she is still scared of her and needs a way to act friendlier. Somehow thinking of Aru’s style only makes her feel disgusted. Hence Teruyo gets the wrong idea that she is really mad at her. With Nako failing her test, this means she has to stay back and take supplementary lessons till she passes. Aru offers to coach her but is ignored. Bocchi offers to teach her how to laugh and have fun while studying. This can’t be good. As Teruyo is still terrified with Nako, she still wants to be a respectable teacher. So she spies on the gang but comes up with a twisted conclusion that Bocchi is the secret gang leader since she is teaching Nako and Sotoka is calling Bocchi her master! Later when Teruyo talks to Bocchi about this and Bocchi revealing he goal to be friends with everyone in class, poor Teuryo overthinks and gets scared about Bocchi needing a lot of underlings. Teruyo manages to tell Bocchi she can’t be her friend but is her teacher. She thought she got her confidence back but the moment she sees Nako, it’s that perfect bow again. Because Bocchi feels sad that going home without Nako is different, the rest suggest to wait for her outside school till she finishes. But worry no more as Nako passes her test. Yahoo! And WTF everybody starts laughing in this weird robotic monotonous style. You mean this is a song?!

Episode 7
The most horrifying dream for Bocchi: Kai is no longer friends with her! Never too young to realize how cruel the world is. Bocchi tries to take assertive steps to make friends but they all fail. She thought of making a new friend with Kako Kurai and everything looks fine in her mind. But in reality, Kako chides her for slacking. No accomplishment for the day. With Bocchi being worried about this, the friends plan do to things together over the summer break. First up, they head to the pool. WTF Sotoka thinks she can walk on water but falls right in. Need more training, huh? Bocchi notices Nako sitting out. I can guess why. True enough, she is scared of water as she doesn’t know how to swim. With Bocchi overreacting and suggesting they go home, Nako decides to learn swimming from her. By now Aru has discovered this and brags about getting one up on her this time. Too bad Nako throws her back into the water and continues practising with Bocchi. Next, they hit the karaoke joint. It dawned too late to Bocchi that one is supposed to sing in front of people! Muri! Can’t do it! With Sotoka not knowing any Japanese songs but only call backs and Nako just providing the beat, is this going to be Aru only show? Suddenly Bocchi sees Kai passing by. She rushes out and calls out to her. However Kai continues to ignore her despite Bocchi telling her she has made friends and will continue this until her entire class becomes her friend. Kai has left the building, reducing Bocchi to just tears. But outside, Kai also cries. She has been worried about Bocchi all this time and is happy she has made some friends. In the end, both of them vomited after crying too much. Birds of the same feathers? The friends carry sleeping Bocchi home. Sotoka seems to have her reasons to continue being Bocchi’s disciple rather than being her friend. Bocchi still crying in her sleep and sleep talking that she made some friends. Must be traumatic, huh?

Episode 8
Sotoka gives out her paper shuriken, making her a little more famous. When Bocchi tries to talk to Kurai, once again she gets shot down and is almost at breaking point. What a bad way to start the new term. Talking to Nako about this, it seems Kurai lent her ribbon and she wants to return it, hence a chance for them to talk. With some motivation, Bocchi tries again. Too bad she gets nervous again and Kurai thinks she is mocking her. Thus it begins the weirdest and slowest chase ever. When she is cornered, Nako gives her the signal so Bocchi comes clean. She purposely undone her ribbon then so as to make her notice her. Although Kurai is fine if they chat, however it is against her policy to become friends. Oh dear. Looks like this is a high hurdle to overcome. Can she try to make other friends first? Meanwhile the rest wonder if Sotoka is going to ask Bocchi to be friends instead of a disciple and again she doesn’t want to yet as she is afraid she would get mad. Bocchi, get mad? Next day as Bocchi arrives at class early, she sees Kurai cleaning the tables. Spooked at first, she helps her and they get the job done in half the usual time. The mood is great for Bocchi to strike up a conversation. She asks about her policy of not making friends. She wants to become strong because having friends just creates weaknesses in your heart so as she can rely on herself. With Bocchi agreeing to that, Kurai helps discipline her a little. Not sure if Kurai is being petty as she is THIS strict with the other classmates streaming in. I know a thread sticking out from the sleeve is untidy but she could spot that?! And WTF she asked another if she forgotten her handkerchief?! Here, have hers. With that, Bocchi also tries to be as strong as her. I don’t think making that weird face works but it’s a start. Meanwhile Sotoka has to listen to Nako and not get in Bocchi’s way. Must be tough for a disciple, eh? A bit of gloom blown away when Bocchi gives her some ninja arts book as homework. You mean she is really serious in her being her disciple? Sotoka might look happy and lively with her friends but back home she is all alone and her face is cracking to cry. But when her friends message her, she is all smiles again. We see the hidden side of Kurai smiling as she thinks about Bocchi praising her. Then she reminds herself she can’t be weak and returns to her strict mode.

Episode 9
Oh Bocchi, stay strong. For the cooking class, she is separated from her friends and in a different group. Chance to make new friends? She overthinks what to do and it gets off to a bad start as she messes up the flour. Luckily Aru is here to help out by handing her some of the ingredients. With that, Bocchi’s group manages to create a great pancake dish. Her groupies are glad to finally see her smile. However because Bocchi feels the need to apologize, all in wrong timing when the girls hope they could be friends, Bocchi apologizes! It sounded like she rejected them!!! Nako suggests that Bocchi introduce them to Kurai. Speaking of the devil, here she is. She starts off introducing herself before introducing her friends (I think she said more than she should for Aru… How unfortunate). So what does Kurai think? She too introduces herself and ends it that it is not her policy to make friends. Goodbye. Luckily Bocchi won’t give up since there is a chance to ask Kurai to join her group to make curry in an outdoor camping trip. Don’t mind the pun of zekkou which can mean both perfect and not friends. Because Kurai catches Bocchi ‘stalking’ her. Trying to find that perfect timing to ask, eh? At first Kurai turns her down but after Bocchi explains how Aru helped her out during the cooking class, Kurai thinks Aru is a strong person and agrees to be in her group. But Kurai threatens to leave the group if Bocchi thinks she is looking forward to making curry. Which I think she is because she has really come up with the idea of making seafood curry and she’s serious about it. Oh Sotoka, please don’t ruin her vibe with your seafood doria suggestion. She gets her vibe back with Bocchi’s motivation. They had the best friendship curry ever. Later Kurai talks to Bocchi and notes their different approaches to become stronger. Bocchi does it via having friends while Kurai does it alone. She wants to continue watching Bocchi to see if she can grow stronger this way. In a way she wants to see the ideas Bocchi comes up and help improve herself. Hence she views them as rivals. Bocchi is confused. Is that counted as friends? I guess not.

Episode 10
Oh well. The semester is ending and Bocchi feels she didn’t make as much friends as before. Hence she tries to be super strong? Too bad it backfires when she tries to put it up to her friends because it makes her look weak instead. Though Sotoka tells them about Bocchi’s intentions, Sotoka herself is reminded about her own. Still want to be an apprentice instead of a friend? It’s complicated! The friends visit the shrine for New Year. Kurai is also there but since she isn’t officially part of the group, she leaves earlier. Bocchi stumbles upon her cooking class friends. Since she earnestly wishes for them to become her friends, they agree. Hooray! Wish to make more friends come true! So happy that she faints?! That’s Bocchi for you. With Ito Kurie and Peko Onaka now her friends, why is Sotoka putting up the biggest shock on her face?! It’s the way Bocchi addresses them. Because Sotoka is still addressed as Sotoka-san rather than Sotoka-chan. Talking to the rest, it seems she is reluctant to end her apprenticeship because of what Bocchi said about the need to pass everything down to her, then only they’ll be friends. So she hasn’t passed everything down yet? Sotoka gives it a shot. Nope. Still Sotoka-san. So shocked that she now speaks Engrish?! So the friends set them up to meet. Bocchi has created a new shuriken for her. I guess they’re back to friends. But why is Sotoka still worried? Now she can’t call her as master? Nako tells her that Bocchi already told everything she had to her. At least her feelings. With renewed determination, Sotoka sees Bocchi again. This time she manages to get it out. She wants to stop being her apprentice and be her friend. Music to Bocchi’s ears as this is the first time somebody asks her to be her friend. Hey, at least she didn’t faint this time. Oddly, they are still somewhat distant when trying to address each other. But they are super close when it comes to making shurikens together. Needless to say, they’re already good friends.

Episode 11
Wow. Bocchi has so many friends to say good morning to that she is panicking?! WTF?! Yeah, this is unprecedented. As Nako and Sotoka are in the same Smartphone group, Bocchi also wants to join. Too bad she realizes hers is still a flip phone! Desperate, she calls mom for an upgrade! Otherwise she can’t make friends! Oh silly, you have to wait till next year to get yours… Bummer. When Kurai refuses to still be friends with them because they will be changing classes, this activates yet another Bocchi trauma. Because now she ponders about Kai’s words. When she said make friends in your entire class, is it first year, second year or third year? And if changing classes is true, does this mean she must start all over! Oh the horror! Hence she tries to come up with strategies to stay in the same class. Yeah… That plan flies into the hands of another classmate, the rich girl, Mayo Oujosa. After hearing her troubles, Mayo suggests buying school! WTF?! Not enough money? She’ll find her a job! And she did! So folding 1000 cranes? With help from her friends, they get the job done quick. Mainly thanks to Sotoka who is super fast due to her shuriken training. So how much the pay? 500 yen. Wow. So much. Now let’s go buy the school! But where to buy? Oh dear. Heh. The store lady says school is not for sale! You can’t buy it here and even if you could, it’s probably worth 10 billion. Shock! Better start folding more cranes! I think that will be kingdom come… You bet Bocchi is going to do it but then Mayo reveals the truth. This school doesn’t change classes although she tried to use her influence to do so but failed. Bocchi is happy but Mayo leaves sad. Bocchi goes to talk to her as she reveals more truths. She wanted to be friends with Bocchi and lied about the class changing thingy for fear Bocchi will not be with her anymore once this is over. Mayo is always feeling lonely as her parents are working abroad. Oh no. It’s going to be noisy with 2 emotional girls crying… Bocchi then gets an idea. She wants to spend this 500 yen with her friends as they helped her earn it. Mayo joins them at the photo print booth. Aru can’t stand how the noobs can’t decently operate the machine and takes over. After taking their picture, Bocchi reveals they planned this for Mayo. So they’re friends now? You bet. Ah, signature Bocchi fainting. With that, Mayo now has the courage to text to her parents about her loneliness.

Episode 12
Finally! Bocchi has got a handphone! Hooray! I guess mom moved forward her promise since it’s cheaper to get one now. Damn, Bocchi treating her handphone like a human friend? I hope she doesn’t get the idea she can buy ‘friends’ with money! Bocchi starts taking pics of her friends. When Nako falls asleep, all the friends spam taking pics of her sleeping! Later Bocchi tells her friends the biggest incident! When she talked to Kurai, she smiled! Honest! They go talk to her to see for themselves. See! She’s smiling! Weird. Something must be wrong… Bocchi enjoys talking her so much that suddenly Kurai collapses! OMG! Bocchi did you just kill her???!!! As she recovers in the infirmary, Kurai is back to her gloomy self. Ah well. Good while it lasted. It seems she was putting up that fake pleasantry to hide the fact she is sick so as not to look undependable. With the graduation day for seniors looming, Bocchi is worried she can’t attend. So WTF stalk her? I think it is easier for Kurai to just ignore and pretend she didn’t see them doing their lame hiding. Kurai left some DVD she earlier promised for Bocchi. But let’s hope it’s not revenge or prank because the DVD inside is empty! Actually she forgot and still left it in the player. Embarrassing! Graduation day is here and Bocchi practises putting a pin on Nako. Thank goodness she didn’t slip up, eh? But that was sure heart pounding. Bocchi manages to put the pin on the senior but says the wrong word that sends everyone having the wrong idea that senior is pregnant. Bocchi wants to go home with all her friends today. Unfortunately Kurai shuts her down! Maybe next time. On the way home, the friends stop by for pancakes. Soon, the next year starts. This time Bocchi is chosen to introduce herself first in class. Time to show how much she has learnt… And here it is… She vomits again! Some things just don’t change.

Step By Step: You Are (Not) Alone!
From the looks of it, looks like Bocchi is still going to have a long way to make her entire class as her friend. That is, pending on what the definition of ‘entire class’ is. I don’t think Kai would be such a bad hearted girl to shift the goalpost but as long as Bocchi still feels insecure that she doesn’t have enough friends, her mission to get more friends will continue. But not bad, getting 6 people in her class for the first year is impressive. And as Nako said there are 29 of them, let’s hope that she will score more in her second year because you know, being status quo means she’ll fail to achieve it by the deadline. Or worst case scenario, everyone has to stay back until Bocchi makes friends with all of them! I hope it won’t go down this route…

Call it boring or call it cute. Animes like this one can divide the audiences into generally that. You know me. I’m on the fence! Yes, this anime isn’t perfect as there are pros and cons. Besides, it isn’t outright good nor is it outright bad. That’s why it’s in between. As always for me. I have seen so many of this cute girls doing cute things throughout the seasons and years that this series can be part of that statistic in my watch list. Fortunately the characters are quirky in a cute way that it partly helps in my enjoyment watching the dozen episodes. But still, if you’re the kind who can’t stomach all the sparkly cuteness and all that charming adorability would start churning your stomach, well yeah, you’re going to find all the sugary sweetness to be nauseating.

With the plot of the story basically being about Bocchi trying to make friends (heck, it doesn’t feel so much like a main plot and an excuse-cum-reason why the girls need to gather and do cute things), the main focus falls on the characters. Thankfully they aren’t such a bore and as I’ve said, all of them have quirky personalities. Though, you might feel their character types might be a little cliché. We have the shy girl, the not-so-delinquent girl, the girl who wants to stand out, the unfriendly girl (also sometimes known as the emotionless girl), the rich girl and yes, the foreigner who loves Japan.

One might have realized and get to know after watching a couple of episodes into the series, the characters’ names revolve around puns. Disregarding the fact how their parents could name them so accurately or if the girls decide to live up to their namesake, you can quickly tell a girl’s character or role just by looking at her name. Heh. That’s like judging a book by its cover, no? Even though that a majority of the characters live up to their named puns, I am worried about Bocchi. Yup, you guessed it. If she were to live up to her namesake, she would forever be alone! Yikes! Horror! Because Nako is sure being the honest girl she is. Aru certainly has a ‘true nature’ she is trying to hide. Sotoka definitely came from over there (AKA foreigner) and Mayo is absolutely a rich girl. No doubts that Teruyo will still be doing her teaching job. Even if Kai sounds ‘mean’ in giving Bocchi this mission, she is actually being kind. You gotta be cruel to be kind? Hence if you take all this into account, does this mean Bocchi will forever be alone?! I don’t think so but considering this theory, perhaps she will have to change her name soon once she reaches her target. Maybe… Tomodachiga Ippai! Konichiwa, Ippai-chan!

It makes me wonder if Bocchi’s class is the only class filled with classmates with such weird names. I bet there are other quirky classmates but unfortunately the dozen episodes do not give the series justice to flesh them all out (I noticed there is one classmate who is always wearing a sleep mask over her face. I bet she must be named Nemu or something…). Yeah, hint to go read the manga if you want more. However as I noticed, not all of the classmates are weirdly or aptly named. Because you do notice there is a girl named Hanako. Why, that’s a very normal name! So common and normal her name that hers really sounds the weirdest. Unless she is a flower girl who lives in the mountains… I guess it is safe to say that being the most normal of normal of all names, can she even become Bocchi’s friend? Because she doesn’t display any sort of quirky behaviour like the rest. Yeah, maybe Bocchi is attracted to make weird friends.

On to the main characters, to sum it up for Bocchi, she is a funny girl! Being extremely naïve and a simpleton makes her extremely, uhm, cute? It feels like she has this comprehension level the same as Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy! No kidding. She tends to overthink the simplest of things and this leads from one thing to another, causing unnecessary worries and anxiety. And she looks so innocently cute in that mode! Keep calm and carrying on being Bocchi! Oh wait. She can’t keep calm always ;p. Bocchi as the main character having this sort of trauma and insecurity problem seems to mirror main character girls in other similar series of the genre like Kaos from Comic Girls, Hinako from Hinako Note and Hana from Slow Start. I guess it beats being a dumb my pace retard like Kohane from Anima Yell.

There is a very interesting interaction and relationship between Nako and Aru. It is like this series’ own manzai comedy duo. Because Nako being true to her character will always find opportunities (and there are plenty of them) to label Aru as an unfortunate girl. Yeah, this word is so taboo to Aru that now it has become some sort of reflex for her to rebuke it via her trademark style of head diving. How unfortunate. Oops! But it’s like the running joke of the series. Seriously. Not. But not as much as a running joke of Teruyo kowtowing to Nako every time Nako opens her mouth! Poor teacher. Her job is supposed to straighten out students but she gets straightened out instead. Friendship problems aren’t only for Bocchi since Sotoka has something similar. So it feels like a big roundabout for her to play master-disciple relationship because that is somehow closer than being friends? I thought friendship is universal? Not bound by language or cultural differences? But it’s a good thing they are friends now. Because dragging it out, Sotoka may learn how to clone herself or become invisible! Holy cow!

Kurai feels like that stubborn thorn on your side. She clearly stated her intentions not to have friends but yet she doesn’t entirely shut off Bocchi and co. She feels like the last boss of the class that Bocchi should conquer after having everyone else in class as her friend. But Bocchi being Bocchi never gives up. So it could be that ever since she initiated the ‘ritual’ of trying to be friends with her, it has been just one very long ‘battle’ to turn Kurai into her follower friend. Or could it be that Kurai has already accepted Bocchi as her friend but just playing hard to get. After all, you can see in the ending credits those who have officially become Bocchi’s friend will be added to the animation. Kurai is no exception. But oddly when Mayo became part of the friends, why is she not part of the animation? I know she was introduced very late but at the end of that episode aren’t they already friends? Even Ito and Peko aren’t in this line-up. Hmm… Something is fishy… Does this mean they are considered as lesser friends because they don’t spend enough time with Bocchi’s close inner circle? Oh well. But hey, at least Mayo isn’t as naïve enough to think friendship can be bought! Yeah, that will be 10 trillion yen to be my friend! Heh. Not sure if it is a good thing or bad thing since she doesn’t know the value of money since she is so rich.

Art and animation are very bright and cute. But of course. As usual, the cutely designed characters feel like they are taken from other anime series. For example the most obvious to note the moment I laid my eyes on her: Sotoka, doesn’t she look like Karen from Kiniro Mosaic? As for the rest, I bet I’ve seen them somewhere before (like Nako looking closely to Hinako Note’s Chiaki) but my brains can’t think right now so I’m being lazy to go right over and skip thinking about it. This series is done by C2C who produced Harukana Receive, Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu Ka? Ishogashii Desu Ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu Ka?, Yurumates 3D, Aquarion Logos and Onee-chan Ga Kita.

For the voice acting department, Chisaki Morishita as Bocchi takes the cake. She sounds both cute and insecure at the same time, fitting her character role very well. This is her debut as a main character although she has voiced minor extras in a few other series like Harukana Receive and Mitsuboshi Colors. The other casts are Minami Tanaka as Nako (Mary in Kakegurui), Akari Kitou as Aru (Noa in Watashi Ni Tenshi Ga Maiorita), Yuuko Kurose as Sotoka (Coco in High School Fleet), Kana Ichinose as Kurai (Asagi in Irodzuku Sekai No Ashita Kara), Konomi Kohara as Kai (Chika in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Minami Takahashi as Teruyo (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma) and Rika Nagae as Hanako (Olivia in Asobi Asobase). The opening theme is Hotoribocchi No Monologue by the trio of Bocchi, Nako and Aru. Highly energetic and genki anime pop. Typical and suitable for this kind of show. The ending theme is slightly slower, Ne Issho Ni Kaero by Bocchi. It feels a bit like Celtic music due to the Celtic-like flute tunes permeating throughout the song.

Overall, still an enjoyable cute girls doing cute things genre of the season. This is probably one of the very few series that I don’t mind having another season because I would love to see Bocchi get more friends and in the process try to overcome her friendship achievement trauma. Because one day Bocchi is going to realize that it is going to be really hard to fit all her classmate friends into the photo frame! Hah! That’s another trauma she has yet to think about! But this series shows that making friends might sound like an easy task, but it is a herculean effort for a shy introvert and it is laudable that Bocchi managed to do that. You can say she well deserves her friends. She earned it. Goes to show that true friendship is like respect, you earn it and is not given for granted. What next after conquering the class? The whole school? The entire nation? The whole wide world???!!! Watch out, people. Bocchi is coming to make friends with you on the internet! By that time I’ll quickly block her invitations from all my social media accounts ;p. Just leave alone to watch my animes, okay?!