Haganai

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Haganai TV Poster Image
Racy sexual content overshadows insightful anime's messages.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Teens wrestle with the complications of relationships, longing for meaningful friendships but being inhibited by social castes and their classmates' preconceptions. Issues such as stereotyping, popularity, bullying, and peer pressure are raised in a thought-provoking manner. Some teens use sexuality to get what they want, whether it's a peer's attention or the adoration of the opposite sex. Others manipulate in different ways. A character's uncertain sexual identification is a frequent topic of discussion. The overriding message is that friendship is a rewarding experience that can bridge most personality differences. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

A mixed bag. Some characters, such as Kodaka, have the best intentions at heart and are looking for meaningful connections with peers. Others, such as Yozora and Sena, are controlling and manipulative at times, which threatens their relationships. A younger character's obsession with a TV show inspires her to adopt the pseudo-ego of a vampire. 

Violence

Fistfights, but no blood. 

Sex

Bedroom noises (gasps, moans, panting, and, "It's coming! I'm going to lose my mind!") from an online game in which a man visibly kisses a woman's breasts and other sex acts are implied. Teen girls are shown naked, with full side views of their butts and breasts and only nipples and groin areas obscured. Teens talk about breast size, calling them "knockers" and "rack." Girls are shown in provocative positions -- on their hands and knees and shaking their butts, reclining with their legs splayed, and pressing their breasts into view. Lots of innuendo and euphemisms. Girls' outfits draw eyes to the chest and groin areas, which often get close-ups.

Language

"Bitch," "ass," "damn," "suck," "hell," "pissed," "shut up." Also name-calling such as "jerk," "hussy," and "nympho." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that even though Haganai is an anime that centers on high school students, its sexually explicit content and strong language render it inappropriate for most teens. Characters play Internet games that allow them to role-play bedroom scenes, and you'll hear moaning, panting, and remarks such as, "It's coming! I'm going to lose my mind!" Girls wear revealing clothing (swimsuits barely cover nipples and groin areas, and skirts hardly obscure butts) and act provocatively, shaking their butts and breasts at each other. Teens also use sexuality to manipulate others, either as a temptation or to insult a peer's appearance. Language is another concern, with "bitch," "ass," "damn," "hell," and "pissed" being common fare. Even though they're overshadowed by such mature content, the show's messages about teen relationships are mostly positive and strongly caution against judging people on appearance or passing on friendship with someone who's different from you. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 1 and 5 year old Written byBarneyTheDinoRocks January 31, 2017
Parent of a 17 year old Written bykayned1 May 15, 2018

Common Sense Media. let's please not go further into Otaku culture

We don't want anime to get a worse reputation as it does. Please don't review anime with ecchi (sexual focused but not porn) content. The same with an... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjulixt October 15, 2016

11+

Honestly anyone over the age of 11 should be able to watch boku wa tomodachi (haganai). Everyone's freaking out over "sexual content" but in real... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byShyKitten June 10, 2016

Just a regular anime that's an honest review

To be honest I don't know why people are overdramatic about this anime. Its actually fairly decent. It is an anime and some content may be not for all peop... Continue reading

What's the story?

A recent transfer student to St. Chronica's Academy, Kodaka (voiced by Jerry Jewell) has had trouble making friends because of a poor first impression, but a chance encounter with loner Yozora (Whitney Rodgers) shows him he's not alone in craving connections with peers. The two decide to start the Neighbors Club, a group for people struggling to find meaningful friendships in traditional niches at school. Their first member is Sena (Jad Saxton), the school's popularity queen, who claims to want something more than the constant adoration of her following of boys, but her contentious dealings with Yozora immediately cast doubt on the club's viability. As other students join, including Kodaka's younger sister, Kobato (Alison Viktorin), Kodaka and Yozora learn that friendship isn't always easy. 

Is it any good?

HAGANAI takes a surprisingly insightful stance on the complications of teen relationships, and many of its messages about self-esteem and individuality are things you'd want your own teen to hear. The stories illustrate the dangers of judging someone by his appearance, for instance, and express the sense of despair teens feel when they're socially isolated. What's more, Kodaka's and Yozora's willingness to remedy this void in their lives by reaching out to their peers shows courage not many teens could muster in a similar situation. And even though they're rife with stress, the fact that friendships are forged across status lines suggests underlying similarities among the disparate teens. 

So it's a real head-scratcher as to why Haganai intentionally puts itself and its positive messages out of reach for many teens by incorporating such racy, red-letter content among its high school-age characters. What with the full-figure nudity (minus views of the groin and frontal shots of breasts) and persistent suggestions of sexuality, Haganai is mature fare, and its likable messages are mostly lost on those who are on the other side of their teen years. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about this show's intended audience. What, if anything, would adults enjoy about the show? Why would creators make the series so racy if its messages are beneficial to teens? 

  • Teens: How is sexuality presented in the media? Do shows you watch suggest that most teens are sexually active or at least thinking about sex? How does this compare to what you see among your peers? 

  • Would you agree with some of the characters' impressions of social difficulties? What pressures do you feel to fit in with certain peer groups? Why is it important to nurture friendships?

TV details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love anime

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate