First Look: Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu

Alternative title(s): Crunchyroll Apparently Was Too Lazy to Localize The Title
Manga Adaptation by C2C
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Hitori is extremely shy and struggles to make friends. To help overcome her shyness, her only friend from elementary school has challenged her to make friends with everyone in her new middle school class.​

Jel’s verdict: Friendly

I realized while watching this that it would be unfair to only present my opinion from the perspective of the tired old man that I am. For me, I am far too removed from the school-age challenges that Hitori finds herself presented with to find her story compelling. Watching the first episode felt a bit slow and tedious. I suspect if you’re an older anime watcher like me, you’ll have a similar opinion.​

That said, I don’t want to discount the value of what the series seems to be offering. I’ll bet a lot of younger people will find Hitori’s inner monologue extremely relatable. Her plight is presented with sympathy, and her initial breakthrough with her first friend feels warm and comforting. It kind of reminds me of a younger, lighter version of Amanchu, or at least before that show introduced sexual predator Peter Pan… uh, where was I… ah yes, Hitoribocchi or whatever short name we end up calling it is good Wholesome Entertainment™ that deserves an audience. Hopefully it keeps up this level of quality for the rest of the series.​

Marlin’s verdict: Pleasant Fluff

I had three feelings while watching this show: It could be shorter, it’s actually got some good jokes, and it has a lot more heart than I was anticipating. It seems to be the bane of a lot of slice of life 4-koma adaptations that they don’t fit the material properly to their run time. It’s such a shame, as it seems to have a knack for good physical comedy. The beats of the 4-koma are pretty easy to see, but that doesn’t take away from their effect. It seems to me everything that happens here could easily have been condensed into an 11 minute runtime without losing its endearing qualities or the jokes, and yet it isn’t and so I can’t help but feel it when it’s dragging.

As Jel said, the show is very genuine in depicting Hitori’s social anxiety as well as creating a very warm environment for her to interact with. I think Nako’s patience with Hitori is sweet and way more understanding than I’d expect from your average 13 year old. Then again, it might be trying to show that, while Hitori is very open about her anxiety, this is something a lot of kids that age struggle with, and having someone so easily approachable like Hitori makes Nako want to stay around her. I hope they’re able to maintain this energy, as I could see this being very helpful to those who also struggle to connect to others.

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