REVIEW: Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu (Episode 1)

WHAT IS IT?

Based on the comedic slice of life 4-koma manga is one of spring’s 2019 anime Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu. It was directed by Takefumi Anzai, and produced by animation studio C2C. We follow along new middle school student Hitori Bocchi who struggles with crippling social anxiety. Childhood friend Kai Yawada makes Hitori promise her that she will attempt to befriend all of her peers in her class, and until then Kai and Hitori cannot be friends.

GIVE US THE DEETS!

What Hitori goes through is very much accurate and relatable for those who struggle with social anxiety. From dreading the first day of school thanks to mandatory ice breakers to struggling with putting yourself out there and making friends (and doing so in the most awkward way possible). The show is rather hilarious listening to Hitori’s internal voice and how she chooses to act in nerve wrecking situations. For instance, when Hitori attempted to conversate with classmate Nako Sunao she had written down dialogue on herself to go by so she would not screw up. The show is paced well by already showing you the anxious nature and characteristics of the protagonist from the jump. She is also already being put in uncomfortable situations. We also see that Hitori is already developing as a character right from the first episode.

ART & ANIMATION

The bright and bubbly art style and fun and lighthearted tone of the show goes hand in hand. For a short slice of life anime as such it is a good combo and fits the vibe of the show. It also has a mixture of CGI that meshes well with the 2D animation.

IS THIS SHOW LIKE ANY OTHER?

There are a handful of series who took the approach of creating a socially anxious protagonist with the most well-known being WataMote. Hitoribocchi is much more lighthearted compared to WataMote and it is obvious that we should be rooting for Hitori rather than her being a laughingstock and treated as a joke like Tomoko. Other than WataMote viewers relating to Tomoko it also made viewers feel sorry for her, whereas with Hitori not only can some viewers relate to her but also feel proud of her for improving herself even in the slightest.

VERDICT

The first episode already sets the relaxing and laidback tone thanks to the atmosphere of the cherry blossom trees and the sound of soft piano music. The initial tone juxtaposes the humorous and fun that presents itself later in the show. This is a good show to start watching on the side to switch things up, especially if you are the type to mainly watch action packed shounen. Not only does it fit with the current season but also it will put you in a chill mood and have you laughing and leave you with a smile on your face. 9.5/10