Recap: The Neighbor’s Club debates participating in the school festival. Sena proposes a maid cafe while Yozora suggests fortune telling. This does not end well.
Jel’s Thoughts: As this season has focused a bit more on the romantic angles of Haganai, I kind of forgot that Yozora and Sena’s friendship is also an important goal of the story. While I can’t say I feel sorry for Sena, seeing her genuinely hurt by one of Yozora’s pranks was an abrupt reminder of that. I do love the idea of seeing more emotional walls falling down as we get deeper into the series, whether it was Sena admitting she was happy about Yozora understanding her, or Yozora meekly trying to ask Kodaka to go to the festival with her. Considering how shocked everyone was about something as simple as Yozora and Kodaka being childhood friends, clearly there are plenty more psychological land mines to navigate.
But who cares about any of that when we can dress everyone up as MAIDS! While that statement may have been mildly sarcastic, the A side of this episode was a classic example of Haganai delivering prime Otaku pandering while irreverently skewering it at the same time. As usual this task falls on Rika. Her woefully misguided take on the tsundere maid saved yet another scene from being dreadfully boring. Bonus points too for generally keeping the fan service classy, at least compared to last season when they were lettin’ it all hang out. It’s entirely possible I will eat those words before season 2 ends, but at the halfway mark it does feel like they’ve cut back on the T&A.
It’s been a solid stretch of episodes for Haganai and I continue to cautiously raise my expectations as the story moves along. The fact that the novels are still ongoing keeps looming over my head, so it’s hard for me to totally invest myself knowing there’s such a small chance of closure when the anime finishes. There is certainly room for a few surprises though, and at the very least the show’s sense of humor helps elevate it above your average harem comedy. So while I’m hoping for more, I won’t be totally disappointed if this is all Haganai turns out to be.