That was…one of the most ambiguous endings for something like this
So the first season ended for us with Yozora’s return as Kodaka’s realized childhood friend (who didn’t see that coming?) and now the 2nd season picked off and ended with a very inconclusive ending. Was it a worthwhile second season or was it a bust?
While I’m not too familiar of what happens in the light novels, Kodaka gets semi-recruited into the student council and works with Yusa and Hinata to find a place to belong. He doesn’t feel too keen on returning to the club he ran away from and hasn’t been in contact with any of the members (well, Kobato doesn’t count) for a while. Yusa keeps up with her unrequited praise for Kodaka’s character and Hinata is suprisingly…sympathetic to him as she looks down on those who judge people by looks (basically a much more sophisticated Sena). After a small talk with Yukimura, Kodaka gets forced up to the roof where Rika confronts him about his problem of ignoring people. Rika gets pretty violent and unveils a machine that responds to brain waves…and a set of steel balls (Gyro Zeppeli style). So Rika beats the crap out of Kodaka while he tries to explain why he did what he did, but only gets beated down some more. Accusing him of selflessness to not hurt anybody that ended up hurting everybody. Kodaka yells back at her for doing a similar thing: Piling all the work on herself for the sake of others. After hearing eachother out in this battle, Kodaka asks her to help him set everything straight. Kodaka enters the clubroom to confront Sena about her confession from before….and the series ends
- Kodaka: Well, we haven’t had much chance to see how Kodaka thought about everyone last season but that gets revealed this season. The years of social deprivation makes him naturally yearn for social contact and what he found in the club was the friendships he longed for. What he didn’t want, or rather expect, was that every female (basically everybody) would like him so much. Accepting a confession would only lead to something chaotic and that’s something he didn’t want. Understandable, plus it makes more sense than a lot of other harem protagonists I’ve seen. While people may not seem to like Kodaka as much, I understand where he’s coming from.
- Yozora: While her hairstyle has changed, her personality hasn’t strayed off too far. She still maintains her dominance over the club and still competes (lords over) Sena’s stupidity. We didn’t see too much of what she thought back when she came back with short hair and revealed to us about her status in the 1st season. There’s not too much to Yozora this time around, other than that she lost to Rika in terms of prominence this season. We learn that she see’s the past more valuable than the present. We also learns she adores cats and plagarizes material. Other than that, she gets left out in the finale so poor Yozora.
- Sena: Sena got herself a lot of screentime this time around, and had more “Idiot Yozora-Run out crying” moments than last time. We get to learn she holds a lot of grudges and also stalks Yozora in her free time. While she’s a genius like she says, her social retardedness exceeds that of everyone else in the club in my opinion because of her nature. They also upped the fanservice by making it look like she never wears any panties at all too. I kinda liked her back in season 1, but now, she’s just annoying.
- Rika: Rika got the reverse treatment of Sena this time around. In Season 1, I just didn’t like her at all but now, she’s the most interesting character. Her diverse hairstyle change through the episodes adds into that factor as well. Rika’s pervertedness is toned down and her genius level got their time to shine. Rika probably had the most “development” in the entire series and skyrocketed herself to the top of the character list for me.
- Yukimura: Surpise suprise, Yukimura’s a gender-confused little maid/butler. She apparently thinks she can become a man even if she was born as a girl and Kodaka entrusted Rika to teach her about how everything worked.
- Kate: Kate was one of the characters I wanted to show up for the second season (but now that I look at it, there’s not too many new characters in the actual series). Kate is a well-endowed 15-year old who appreciates what Kodaka and Yozora have done to help her sister overcome her problem of socializing. She wasn’t featured too much but I love her anyway.
- Maria/Kobato: Maria was there for extra comedic relief while Kobato served as a little parallel for her nature that also reflects on Kodaka. They didn’t get too much screentime than the rest because of the romance kicking in and obviously, they don’t really have that sort of feelings for anyone yet.
First off, I have to say that the art style got drastically changed. Season 1 was…”smooth like rubber” while this season was “smooth as silk”. I hate to put it in quotes but I’m currently lacking the words to describe it. The changes are very noticeable though, and I don’t think I need to dwell on that for another line. So the series has become more romance based than comedy based, a point that many people don’t seem to like. I had mixed feelings about it.
While I would bash any other harem lead that denied his harem, Kodaka had an understandable reason to be indecisive. While this applies to most harems, Kodaka’s desire to simply maintain friends is easier said than done. Because of his natural kindness, he only got everyone to like him and if he happens to get serious with one of them, it would only ruin the friendships he has made. Personally, I think it was a decent backdrop behind all of the crazy stuff going on. As a love-story, it isn’t too great because the only thing Kodaka seems to have done for the girls is just being nice.
The ending leaves much to be desired though, so I’m expecting an OVA to fill in the gaps because I just NEED to know what happens next. I’m the sort of person who just needs closure.
Haganai NEXT was….alright. It was an entertaining ride but nothing too special going on this time around. It was a pretty funny comedy last time but now it comes back as a romance series, but it’s still funny. In a numerical value I’d give it a 7.9/10 just because of its ending