Review: Haganai Next – Ep 3: My Little Sisters Are This Cute

I’m skipping the second episode since my overall feelings about it are about the same as the first episode of this season. Don’t get me wrong they’re both good episodes, but this third one is great. It has all the charming nuances of the first season and reignited the harem-esc plotline that is the core of the series. The best thing that it did though, was return to the two short story formats that the first season did so well. The previous two episodes were basically the same way, but the overall structure and quality was quite the same. The first half of the episode takes place just after the school has let out for a break after finals. Maria suddenly arrives at Kodaka and Kobato’s house just before dinner. It’s a great interaction as Kobato is sent to answer the door and told to say, “We don’t want any” if it’s a salesman. She says it once and Kodaka thinks nothing of it, but then she continues to scream it drawing his attention. He comes over to discover that she’s trying to push Maria back outside. He asks what she’s doing there and she in forms them that she’s a runaway. It’s later revealed that Maria’s sister, that we’ve just met, was the one that actually brought her to the house. The trio sit down for dinner and of course the girls begin to compete about everything they possibly can. As the scene continues Maria’s sister calls more and more making sure that everything that she usually does for Maria is being taken care of as well.

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The next half of the show is back at the club room. After Kodaka complains about there being nothing to do just three days after school being out, they decide to hold a party to blow off stress. The problem is that two of the members didn’t even take the test and the rest of them aren’t really stressed. They hold the party anyways and eventually they end up playing Ōsama Game aka the King’s Game. I absolutely love it when a show uses this plot device and it’s pretty obvious from the interactions before the game that a kiss is going to be included. Kodaka suggests that they write out commands beforehand to prevent anyone from being able to go crazier and crazier as the game goes on. It’s a great scene that reestablishes everyone’s interest in Kodaka which was lacking in the first two episodes.

The ending to the episode is awesome and while I won’t ruin it for you I’ll say that it’s going to make future episodes interesting for sure. Any doubts I had about this series returning to its prime have been completely erased and I’m looking forward to them being out of school more since that’s when the series tends to have its best adventures. In general though, this was a fun episode that had everything that makes the show special, but without hammering you over the head with it or attempting to be the first season.

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The last thing I’ll say is that I miss the old opening… both the opening and closing songs are not that good and really don’t fit the animation that they’re attached to. Okay you Otaku Bastards, until next week or whenever I review something else.