Hitori Bocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu (Spring 2019) – A Wholesome Show about Overcome Anxiety

★★★½

With Spring 2019, there is plenty of great anime that maybe I can say is a bit of a failure and doesn’t meet my expectations. Or in short, 2019, and 2010s as well, has a lot of great shows and masterpiece. I can talk about anime in this decade, which ones are masterpieces and which aren’t. From my biased perspective, we are still depending with many sequels, the new season of decent series, lack of original anime, and of course, Isekai. In Spring 2019, we got “Carole & Tuesday” which marked the arrival of Shinichiro Watanabe back to the game. Besides, there is the disastrous sequel of “One Punch Man 2” and “We Never Learn” whose second season has just finished.

With that a few shows I mentioned, some people may like it or maybe not. And with “Hitori Bocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu”, I can expect if this is another slice of life show and being self-aware with its cute-girl-doing-cute-thing theme. With this show, I have a mixed feeling about this. One because this is a wholesome anime of all anime in that season. Two because it’s got repetitive and becomes annoying in specific parts. However, it’s kind of hard too if you already feel related to this show. Moreover, this is a wholesome anime about anxiety.

The plot focuses on the protagonist, Bocchi Hitori (Chisaki Morishita), who is a little bit of introvert and suffers a lot from social anxiety. Similar to Shouko Komi from “Komi Can’t Communicate”, entering her first day at her middle school, she just wants to be friends with the rest of her class. Before that, she only had one best friend, Kai Yawara (Konomi Kohara). Kai goes to a different school because of her family’s circumstances and other reasons. Bocchi was afraid that if there were no classmates who wanted to be friends with her because there was no Kai by her side.

Kai told Bocchi that if she couldn’t be friends with the entire class, she would never speak to Bocchi again. So, this agreement made Bocchi even more afraid of herself and her social problems to the people. This is a charming, relatable, quite heartwarming show, like most cute-girls-doing cute-things or else. The plot is very slice of life, so simple, yet the heart of this show is the presentation. Even though it might seem weird when this is just another adorable show put on the screen, I can expect a lot with other characters. It’s not just Bocchi.

At the end of the day, the show remains a lot to its main plot. The plot will go like this: Bocchi is trying to find friends. She thought carefully about what she had to do. Then, things didn’t go straight and the friend she wanted to meet approached her the first time. Bocchi ran away because she was very afraid of her anxiety. However, at the end of the day, she finally befriended the person. It repeatedly becomes repetitive with the plot but the payoff for Bocchi is well-development. We saw her at first afraid. But, she could then learn a lot to overcome her social anxiety and how to make friends.

As it said from the premise, this is about a person who overcame her social anxiety. And to say at least this is a psychological anime, it might be weird obviously. Yet, we, and me, can relate to the protagonists as well. Taking the first step on the first day, in a new school, or even in a new environment, was hard, to be honest. You should be able to form a good first impression but don’t overdo it. If you can also want to appear to be yourself, don’t be too unique and different from the others. When it comes to this, it’s a bit of fun yet so sticks with us.

While the show only focuses on Hitori Bocchi as the main protagonist, this show doesn’t have an in-depth character other than the protagonist. I might be able to like and be more related to the show because of other characters. I might be able to learn a lot from other characters. There is a lot of potential for them. Therefore, we never know them personally and experience other than this is just about Hitori Bocchi. Read the title loudly!

In every aspect except for the well-development supporting cast, the chemistry between the protagonist and other characters is well-timed, great, and nice. Yeah, they always used the same gags over and over again. It might lose the charm and tone as well. Just like what we always called them, running gags. But, the comedy has a simple tone to the theme. Although like which, this show sticks with the jokes and personality of the characters. For instance, Bocchi’s personality to her anxiety might be annoying for some people especially me. Aru and Nako gag, the headbutting joke, can also be annoying as well. It got tiring in each episode when you didn’t adapt to it.

I don’t know with most of C2C works. Seeing their previous projects, such as “Oneechan ga Kita” and “Harukana Receive”, it could be it’s just a decent studio with decent work. But, in aspect, they create a unique and colorful art style. They have potential with this. The design characters are memorable, like the cast personality, such as Nako’s reliability and her yellow hair. Aru with her typical personality heroine in most of the anime I always see as well as Sotca with typical “don’t judge the book by its cover” personality and style.

This anime has beautiful production. While the animation and artwork are stylish and colorful, the soundtrack might not be memorable. The opening and ending themes, regardless of they are catchy, are just not my main things. The cast also is well-performance in their respective roles and expertise. “Hitori Bocchi” can be the most relatable at the season, fun, and always sticks with its theme. Yeah, the show has a lot of flaws. But, to say if the anime doesn’t have anything is not fair. It has potential with all of the characters, but I just want to know more about these characters besides the main protagonist. Maybe, I can’t and won’t.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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