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on February 13, 2013
On the surface the story of "Haganai" is that of a typical Japanese "gakuen comedy" genre, comedy based on everyday school life. The difference is that most characters (including one teacher) are "misfits" at high school St. Chronica Academy, who are not very good at making friends.

The comic begins with the "yaminabe" ("nabe in the dark") episode, a prologue in which the club members and advisor are introduced. If you find it confusing, skip it and go directly to the first episode. The protagonist is a male transfer student Kodaka, who overhears his classmate Yozora, a girl always looking grumpy, talking to her "air friend." Then Yozora forms "Neighbors Club" so that she can recruit those who are inept at making friends, and the first one to join, albeit reluctantly, is Kodaka himself, who is often mistaken for a delinquent.

The comic's premise reminds us of "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" and "Toradora!" and like these popular series (both started as hit light novels) the strength of "Haganai" lies in the two strong-minded heroines, Yozora Mikazuki and Sena Kashiwazaki. The club's activities (like playing a dating sim game) often results in hilarious and unpredictable consequences.

Seven Sea Entertainment's comic "Haganai," illustrated by Itachi, is based on the on-going light novel series by Yomi Hirasaka. "Haganai" (four-syllable abbreviation frequently used in Japanese anime/manga) stands for "Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai" ("I Don't Have Many Friends"), which is the original title of the hit novel/anime/manga. Illustrator Itachi has a unique drawing style that may divide opinions, as unlike the anime version, the characters of the comic "Haganai" are drawn in an exaggerated way, giving an emphasis on their facial expressions.

I for one liked the manga version for the interesting characters and solid storytelling thanks to the simple and effective panel layout. This is a very entertaining read with a few clever offbeat jokes.
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on November 25, 2012
I've not seen the anime or read the light novel of this series, so I went into the manga blind. I found the plot description above amusing and saw potential for this as a series. I was not disappointed. The plot follows a group of students who, well the title "I don't have many friends" seems a bit misleading as they don't seem to have any friends. One of them gets the idea to start a new club, "The Neighbor's Club," to find people who are as desperate for friends as they are.

The first volume does a good job of introducing a few of the cast members (and shows us a bit of a preview of who will join later). It sets up the personalities well and does a good job of showing not only how desperate these people are for friends, but also why they would have trouble making friends. It should be noted that someone going into this series looking for a lighthearted manga with cute characters making friends will probably be disappointed. Some of the characters are rather unpleasant. I do not say this to insult the series, in fact I applaud it for this choice, these are rather damaged people looking for friends, but lack the social skills to keep one.

For a first volume, we mostly just get our standard character introduction chapters (which are handled rather well) and there are two chapters involving video games as a way of socializing. My favorite was chapter four in which they play a dating sim game in order to developed social skills. The choices they make in game were utterly hilarious, and I refuse to spoil it here.

In terms of the look, the art style is a little rough at times, but good. The style follows many more recent anime in trying to give characters more realistic features, which not only gives it both a sense of reality and also makes some of the jokes work better when it does exaggerate.

In closing; it's an interesting start and I look forward to seeing the direction this series takes. Often very funny if you know what you're getting into beforehand. I give it a solid recommendation and will be adding it to my list of series to collect.

Note: Funimation has licensed the anime for the US so hopefully we'll see a release of that soon too.
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on December 29, 2012
I bought this book out of whim with a gift card I received for Christmas, and when I got it, I immediately started reading it. It gets a bit wordy at times, but it takes me back to some of the things I used to do in highschool with my friends. There were a few times I laughed out loud while reading. I'd say that it is definitely worth picking up, and I certainly plan on picking up the second book.

Also, Nabe in the Dark sounds quite fun.
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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2013
I will admit that I've read the scanlated version of this series, so I knew going into it that I'd like this series. My reason for reading the official release was to see whether or not that charm would translate into an official version. For the most part, it did.

As a whole, this is a very cute series and a decent start. The characters are all fairly endearing in their own ways, although I will say that at times they're your typical character tropes. What saves this from completely fading into the background is that the series tries to have fun with this idea as well as throwing some new stuff into the mix. One of the things that keeps Yozora from being unlikable is that her introduction comes from her talking to an "air friend" because she can't really manage to make them on her own. I rather liked that this was handled in a way that was neither a "totally sad" type of thing nor played up entirely for comedic value.

I will warn readers that the charm of the volume might wear with repeated readings, which is why this wasn't a perfect read for me. The artwork is really wonderful, so even if you tend to get a little bored with the story after the initial reading, there's lots to look at. The female characters are pretty lovingly drawn to appeal to the reader, but without it being too overly fanservice-y. The lead male character? Well, let's just say that unless you're a pretty boy or a cute girl, the artwork won't be as detailed at times. But hey, the artist knows that in the end the cute girls are what people are really here to see.

Overall this is a nice series and one that I'll probably end up keeping up with in the future. It's a bit slow at places, but it does pick up later in the volume and does get better as the series progresses.
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on May 30, 2015
Fairly entertaining, but didn't grab me as much as I had hoped. I was looking for more humor, and although it had some, it wasn't really the LOL kind for me. I may try and second volume to see what happens next. But this one left me luke warm.
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on October 10, 2014
It was definitely interesting and some scenes I can even relate too when I was in school. I even found myself sympathizing with one of the characters, it's cute and hilariously funny, I had quite a few laughs. I will definitely continue the series on this one to find out what happens.
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on December 6, 2012
What I liked about this book, is that it entertained me for a while and it was pretty funny. I really like the characters! I'm sad that it ended so quick..can't wait for the next volume. At first I didn't really like the art, but I got used to it. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good laugh and to be entertained throughout the book.
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on December 31, 2013
For starters when I first received the manga I wasn't too happy about the condition, it didn't look new but it was great. When I first started reading the manga it really grabbed my attention. I keep looking forward for more funny moments and more relationships being developed. Great manga.
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on January 16, 2014
The story overall is very funny, touching, and the art is very interesting, a few outcasts with very unique personas in a mix makes for a great story.

The book itself is new and looks it, despite the nightmare of shipping and delivery.
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on October 8, 2013
Bought one whim. Very oddly paced. Yet at the end of the first volume, I wished I had sprung for volume 2 as well. Not it has been added to the list of sets to complete, just as soon as I get a couple others knocked out of the way (Such as Girl's Bravo and BECK.)
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