Oddballs and Outcasts: Aharen-San wa Hakarenai

Slice-of-Life, iyashikei, whatever you want to call it, sometimes we all need a show that just slows things down and is only about the good vibes. And Aharen-San is all about those vibes, only. Now that we’re midway through the season, we at Honey’s Anime have seen enough to give you our thoughts so that you know what to watch and what to not watch.

First-year high school students, Reina Aharen and Matsuboshi Raido have never been lucky in the friend department. With Raido’s menacing looks people tended to avoid him, and with soft-spoken Aharen, people would keep their distance since she would make ‘too much effort and was seen as overbearing (seriously, so unfair). However, Raido’s resolution to have things go differently in high school set these two adorable outcasts on a truly heartwarming path to friendship.

Fast, Funny, Friends

Given their apparent social ineptitude (we still don’t think it’s on them tbh), it’s no surprise that our new favourite oddballs began their friendship in the oddest way. With Raido shooting his shot for his mission to make friends, we were all ready to see the seeds of friendship bloom. Unfortunately, due to Aharen’s extremely soft voice (she’s a librarian’s dream), Raido had no way of even knowing he was being spoken to, let alone understanding what was being said. However, after some very creative and extra measures— all of which failed— he adapted to Aharen’s soft voice and these two finally took their first step towards friendship: communication (is anyone else getting Komi Can’t Communicate Vibes?).

Cute and Comedic

Like many of the genre, Aharen-san leans on the side of cute and comedic. With no real overarching storyline, we just get slice-of-life vignettes looking into the daily lives of Raido and Aharen as they oh-so-slowly navigate their way through high school. From the characterisation and contrast between the big, strong, and ‘normal’ Raido to the doll-like, pint-sized package of weirdness Aharen, miscommunication is the only possible outcome, and how gloriously amusing said conundrum is! And what makes it all the more absurd, is the fact that in spite of being polar opposites, Raido and Aharen share one significant personality trait: they’re as stoic as it comes. Which, as you can imagine, doesn’t help the communication issue!

And so comes forth more comedy, in pursuit of this strangely adorable friendship, these two get up to all kinds of shenanigans to become closer and more communicative. Morse code, carrier pigeons, you name it, they’ve tried it, and we’ve laughed along to it all the while fawning over their cuteness. From silly antics like Raido trying to administer eye drops to sweeter moments like Aharen waking up early to make lunch for him, this anime is the perfect balance between sweet and silly, so if iyashikei is your vibe, it’s bound to hit your sweet spot.

Feel Good Vibes

Like most anime of its genre, Aharen-san is a pretty easy watch. No drama, no high stakes, no angst, no stress, it’s just wholesome content for your viewing pleasure. Even the aesthetic itself. From clean lines to simple colours, this show screams (well whispers, since it can’t possibly scream) soothing. Even its subject matter is easy to digest.

Centred around the social aspect of school life, we only see Raido and Aharen slowly building their friendship through their very amusing antics, and awkwardly sweet gestures. There’s literally no scope for even a modicum of a non-positive vibe, so you’re guaranteed to actually relax when you sit back and relax with this one.

Final Thoughts

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So if basking in the glow of sweet camaraderie sounds like your cup of tea, why not try Aharen-san? It’s slow, sugary, and oh-so-satisfying. We’re halfway through this anime, and the most stressed we’ve been was when Raido had his fly down. And while this anime may be slower than a lot of what some of us are used to, if one has the time (and space) on one's watchlist, and one’s tired of being emotionally wrung out or needs a break from having to pay attention to plot, one ought to consider Aharen-san.

So, are you going to be the one who does? Or is iyashikei not your vibe? Let us know in the comments below!

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Author: G

An aspiring animated filmmaker, graphic designer, writer, I’m pretty much a jack-of-all-trades hoping to master some! I’m an artist with a knack for software, so epic fight scenes, campy aesthetics and artsy animation are right up my alley. Webcomics, late-night cartoons, obscure movies, rare books and of course, anime take up the bulk of my free time (and my not so free time too! ). So I spend my days cycling between my anime obsessions and existential dread over my never-ending watchlist.

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