Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends Volume 4 (Manga)

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends Volume 4
Haganai! Vol. 04 (manga)

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Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends Volume 4Highlights from this volume begin with Kodaka suggesting the club do a round robin story, which quickly devolves into insults and ecchi content based on various club members being depicted in the story.  Rika brings in a prototype virtual reality RPG game for the club to play.  Kodaka picks mage, not realizing the developers based the character type on the Japanese Internet legend of a virgin reaching age 30 becoming a mage, sans the magic. The game, with all its bugs, ends the way games usually end when the club plays a game together.

Sena tentatively asks if the other have done karaoke, and is distressed when she learns that Yozora has. Because Sena has an pretend attitude about going to karaoke even though she really wants to go, when she breaks down and asks, Yozora rejects this, though Sena vows to go just the same. At the karaoke place that Yozora usually goes to with her pretend friend, she’s shocked at the increased price and thinks they are being ripped off. Sena and Yozora end up getting solo rooms while Kodaka and the others share a room and have fun. Finally, with school ending for the summer, Kodaka, Sena, and others are depressed about not having club activities. Yozora promises they will still meet and do things during the summer, but she’s not happy when she learns that Sena’s father wants Kodaka to come by for a visit.

Although I shouldn’t be starting at the last chapter, I’m doing so because it amused me in a non-comedic way. The whole premise of the Neighbors Club is that these people don’t have friends, but want to try to come up with ways of making friends. Sena and Yozora may fight, Yozora may tease and manipulate Maria, Kobato may hate Maria for stealing her An-chan, Rika may be a perv, and Yukimura may be a confused, doormat trap, but this dysfunctional club’s members are already friends of a type, longing to see each other over the summer break. The irony of that amused me.

Anyway, as to the other stories, they were pretty much routine and just OK, nothing special. The round robin story went as expected, based on whomever was writing at the time. The VR RPG game went as expected since Sena and Yozora will always fight.

The trip to the karaoke bar was kind of odd in that Yozora was rather dumb here. Beyond that, there’s really nothing to say about it.

The only interesting plot development (or rather potential plot development) was Yozora being upset over the thought of Kodaka visiting Sena’s house and Sena’s father. While this may be nothing more than Yozora’s normal antagonism toward Sena, but it seemed like something more. I guess I’ll find out when I read the next volume.

On the Seven Seas side of things, the usual Japanese honorifics are here, which I’m always going to approve of. While there is not a translator notes section, we do get a page of notes at the end of chapter 16 to explain the various parodies in that chapter. There’s another note at the end of chapter 17. So there are some notes here, which I’m glad of. The usual four color pages are at the front of the volume and we have a note from Hirasaka-sensei and Itachi-sensei.

So while this volume didn’t make the improvements in story that I had previously enjoyed, it was OK for what it was worth, and even a bit funny at times. Hopefully, the next volume will be better.

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