My Senpai is Annoying is a slice-of-life romance comedy anime that debuted this Fall 2021 season. The show, while not pushing any boundaries with regards to the traditional slice-of-life formula, has accrued a cult following over its run that will defend protagonist Igarashi Futaba to the death! So, what exactly made My Senpai is Annoying so popular? Let's get into it!
My Senpai is Annoying follows the life of protagonist Igarashi Futaba. Igarashi has been steadily progressing her career for two years under the guidance of her senior coworker. There is only one problem. Her overbearing and loud senpai will not stop teasing her. To make matters worse, Igarashi is exceptionally short for her age and is very self-conscious about it. Takeda notices this and makes it his mission to make Igarashi as uncomfortable as possible. Over the course of the series we meet not only are our two pseudo-protagonists but an ensemble cast of colleagues and friends as well. These characters each have their own lives and motivations playing out in the background of most episodes and it is just as entertaining learning of the secondary characters as it is our two leads.
That isn't to say the main romance is lacking by any means. Takeda's annoyance soon turns to affection as the longer the pair hang out, the more they realize they have feelings for each other. Over the series, Igarashi and Takeda will enjoy quiet days lounging at the park, trips to the beach, or drinking together after work. In each of these settings, we see the back-and-forth between Takeda and Igarashi develop. Takeda is a lot more forthcoming when it comes to compliments while Igarashi is easily embarrassed. However, Takeda is just as susceptible to a surprise attack from Igarashi once in a while (a certain bar scene springs to mind). All in all, the events of the show are nothing more than the details of our cast's everyday lives. However, it is by creating such interesting characters that this narrative never grows stale.
How Good Is the Romance?
In the romance-centric story that My Senpai is Annoying is, it is important that the feelings of affection are believable and develop naturally. It is a tall order this anime has to fulfill airing directly after one of the most highly-praised romance anime of the entire year, Horimiya. However, the high school romance dynamic offers different avenues for drama than a more adult workplace story like My Senpai is Annoying, and this anime utilizes its assets perfectly. There is a lot more on the line here than in Horimiya with regards to realistic and problematic situations. Igarashi has to juggle a budding romance, her work life, and insecurity that eats away at her on a daily basis.
Igarashi's famous "why couldn't I be your wife instead" was uttered out of being treated like a child due to her small stature. Takeda is noted as drawing attention every now and again but does not let this bother him and is always ready to compliment Igarashi. Takeda is a senpai to Igarashi both at their job and when it comes to teaching her about life. It is clear to see why she falls for him.
What Was Lacking?
Although My Senpai is Annoying was enjoyable to watch, as previously mentioned, it in no way surpasses other romance comedy hits that came before it. The characters themselves do little else other than conform to their assigned stereotypes and even said stereotypes are ones we have seen countless times before (a gentle giant, a feisty and irritable loli, etc). Furthermore, the interactions between characters when not focusing on lovey-dovey romance, leaves a lot to be desired as we barely scratch the surface of any other characters' backstory.
Speaking of narrative, My Senpai is Annoying does very little to push the boundaries of the romance comedy narrative. The anime's gimmick of casting the pint-sized Igarashi paired up with the hulking Takeda, is enough to draw new fans in but the hook just isn't there. You can imagine the checklist the writers used as inspiration as the cast followed carefully along from the public bath episode all the way to the beach episode. It is becoming harder and harder to stand out nowadays and, for every anime that seeks to push the formula forward, there are anime like My Senpai is Annoying who are happy to cash in on what is currently popular. The twelve episodes will be enjoyable, but the anime may be irrelevant in the coming years.
My Senpai is Annoying expertly blends a cocktail of witty, slice-of-life workplace banter with more serious and romantic undertones that permeate throughout the anime. There is something for everyone here and, if you don't fall in love with Igarashi and Takeda's plot, there are a slew of B-plots at play below the surface. While we cannot know for certain what lies on the horizon for Igarashi and Takeda, it is clear that such a supportive couple should have a great chance at success. That is, once the two oafs finally realize how they feel! So, what did you think of My Senpai is Annoying? Were Igarashi and Takeda your favorite couple or did you favor a different character? Let us know down below!