I have completed the first season nearly a week ago and it was a pretty good concept of a story which is pretty unique. In this story, they took a extraordinary nice guy and a high class girl who have one major flaw of being a otaku. That is just the surface of the story since Nogizaka Haruka is not entirely about otaku subculture in shows like Lucky Star. This twist, however makes things more interesting, but is it well executed? Let’s find out, shall we?
The story is a typical romance story… a ordinary guy meets a girl. However there is a big twist in this story. Nogizaka Haruka, an ojou is the most unattainable girl in school with rejections up to the triple digits. Yuuto bumps into Haruka in the library after Yuuto returns the book and the magazine she took out revealed her secret, her love for Anime and Manga, which is viewed negatively for people of her class. However, Yuuto accepts her secret and will keep it as a secret. Throughout the series, the relationship between Haruka and Yuuto builds up with some help of Mika (Haruka’s sister), Nanami and Hazuki. Also with that, another girl is thrown in called Shiina which Yuuto accidently bumps into which causes her to gain some kind of a romantic desire of her becoming his boyfriend, although Yuuto only seems to like Haruka.
The series itself throws some references to other anime. The most references shown is Shakugan no Shana.
What this anime tries to shows the sad realization of how Otaku are viewed in real life. In real life, Otakus are viewed negatively because Otaku means house in Japanese, meaning that people who are otakus spend time watching and obsessing over anime, manga or playing games/visual novels and never leave the house, meaning that it can cause a lack of social skills. This is viewed when Yuuto tries to over up Haruka’s secret when a comiket catalog falls out of her bag when she fell and her father, Gentou which does not want her daughter to watch anime and read manga, but eventually allowed with the help of her mother.
There are some fanservice moments in Nogizaka Haruka, but nothing too excessive.
Diomedea did a pretty good job with animating Nogizaka Haruka, so there isn’t really much to comment here.
The characters in Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu is what you expect from a romance comedy, but not so much. I will talk about the most important characters, but besides from those, Nanami and Hazuki, Nogizaka’s maids who seems to be shown most of the story and help with Haruka and Yuuto and also help stop Gentou before his wife comes. Another is Ruko and Yukari, who seems to be alcoholics and finally, Haruka’s parents, Gentou, the hot headed father and Akiho, the seemingly beautiful, despite her age and intelligent mother.
Ayase Yuuto – The seemingly, extraordinary nice guy who seems to understand everyone’s feelings… This is somewhat the departure of the losers and jerks that are typical in harem/romance comedy anime, but there are some flaws that are more apparent in the second season with his character. Also, his personality seems to be more of a gentleman, although his class is lower than the jerkass Shutto, which in contrast is a spoiled brat and causing him at sometimes, being unworthy for being Haruka’s boyfriend, although he overcomes it, but the notion of him being a lower class than Haruka will be stuck in his mind for some time.
Nogizaka Haruka – The moe ojou and also have a terrible secret of being a Otaku, which is viewed negatively, especially in the higher class she is in. Haruka seems to be a very sweet character, which mainly causes most of the terribly sweet moments between Haruka and Yuuto. Although Haruka is really smart and is top of her class, she is somewhat a dojikko.
Nogizaka Mika – Haruka’s younger sister, but seemingly dirty for her age and already talking about sexual stuff? Mika in comparison is more easygoing and not as naive as Haruka… and even calls Yuuto, “Onii-chan.” It makes me wonder.
Amamiya Shiina – The second girl in Yuuto’s love triangle, although Yuuto does not have any romantic relationship with her and her being only a friend. With her bumping into him causes her to have a romantic interest with Yuuto.
The music from Nogizaka Haruka was pretty good… We are presented with a pretty catchy opening theme which seems to have a fast pace and a ending theme with maids (seriously, who doesn’t like maids). The extra image songs not played in the anime sounded pretty decent, so no complaints.
The first season of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu is a pretty good watch for those who are sick of a indecisive harems and romance comedies filled with too much fanservice and a jerky male lead. For those who are looking for a deep romantic story or a non-cliched romance anime, you may come off disappointed. Nogizaka Haruka is a pretty good comedy romance anime in my opinion so far… but I would say since I haven’t watched other yet.
Once you finish with the first season, I suggest taking a look at the second, although it’s somewhat weak in content and have a little more fanservice, but you may find it just as enjoyable.
8.72/10, B+, Outstanding
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