First Look: Convenience Store Boyfriends

Alternative title(s): Konbini Kareshi
Anime original by Studio Pierrot
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

A bunch of high school students have too much time on their hands. They regularly stop by Not Lawson on their way home from school, where they literally bump into each other and act super awkward. Apparently they also fall in love and stuff.

Artemis’ verdict: Missed Comedy Opportunities

Despite the plot being about as bland as it sounds on paper, I probably would’ve stuck around if it meant seeing this show doing everything it could to get around blatant trademark use. We’ve seen some pretty great examples of that in anime before (my personal favourite being Toradora’s ‘Sudohbucks’), so I can’t help but feel that Convenience Store Boyfriends cheated me out of some potentially hilarious moments. That said, if the show is actually connected to Lawson in some way (and with the sheer amount of blue and white going on, I can’t imagine it’s not), maybe they wanted to steer clear of any comedy material.

Unfortunately, Convenience Store Boyfriends doesn’t exactly have much to recommend it in the story or cast department, and the animation is clearly very limited, with little to no movement going on in the background shots. You could certainly do worse this season, but I can’t imagine even slice-of-life fans would find this particularly gripping. It’s not necessarily unrealistic – I’ve witnessed plenty of people here, from students to office workers, use convenience stores as a meetup or even hangout spot – but compelling it definitely ain’t.

Jel’s verdict: Best Romance of the Season*

I agree with Artemis this was a missed opportunity to name the store “Lowson” or something but to the show’s credit it actually attempts to be a real thing and not an advertisement or a reverse harem dating sim. Instead we got a decent show about two guys and two girls fumbling around their crushes on each other. Maybe between this and last season’s Tsukigakirei, “Awkward Teenage Flirting” will become the hot new anime genre of the week.

Of course I don’t want it to sound like Convenience Store Boyfriends is some kind of masterpiece or something. It still has some dumb anime romance staples like the clumsier-than-humanly-possible shy girl who is dazzled by common human decency, or the pushy dude who can’t keep his hands to himself and doesn’t take no for an answer. At least in that case the girl stood up to him and ran away instead of falling instantly head over heels… for now. Still, considering my abysmally low expectations this was pretty decent and might be worth it if you’re desperate for a romance anime this season and already realized Love and LIes is bad.

*This season is not very good
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