Should You Watch Convenience Store Boy Friends?

Our Episode 1 Summer Anime 2017 Review
konbini kareshi convenience store boy friends episode 1 summer anime season 2017
Should you watch Convenience Store Boy Friends? (c) Studio Pierrot

Good god, Convenience Store Boy Friends is a boring show. Not because it’s a slice-of-life romance starring high schoolers, although after last season’s Tsukigakirei, I’m less enamored of that sub-genre than I used to be. No: Convenience Store Boy Friends is boring because the show’s only hook is that couples run into each other at a convenience store regularly. That’s the hook. That’s the whole point of interest. A deli. Wow.

The boring premise isn’t helped any by the low production values. I can’t believe that Convenience Store Boy Friends reused random frames from the opening theme in the actual show — and not great frames at that, just shots of two characters turning to speak. That’s a level of low-budget, bottom-shelf, bargain-bin anime I don’t normally dignify with a review.

The visuals are bright, but very, very flat. Every feat of basic animation feels tortured, like the animators were being held prison in some director’s basement until they produced enough frames to animate someone walking, or falling over, or getting something out of a desk, or any other number of extremely boring tasks. Every background is super polished, gleaming and geometrical, lending an eerie feeling of unreality, like a cheap visual novel.

The character design for the boys is as color-by-numbers as you can get, with a lot of bland handsomeness enlivened only by hair silhouette and differences and hair and eye color. We follow two boys, Boring and Loudmouth, who are best friends. Loudmouth talks incessantly and sleeps over at Boring’s house a lot, which is supposed to be some kind of comedy font or charm point but fails on both parts.

This show is also rather quiet, with long stretches of boring dialogue without even a touch of background music to maintain interest. Nothing is ever happening in any scene so the lack of music makes the nothingness you see even more noticeable.

As far as girls and love interests go, we have Class Rep and Clumsy. The class rep is responsible and likes to read, but is tortured by Loudmouth’s incessant idea of affections, while the clumsy girl has been Boring’s dream girl since he was in diapers or something. The two girls bond in the library or something, but Boring and Loudmouth put me to sleep earlier in the episode so I couldn’t tell you what the hell had them giggling.

The only scene with even a single iota of promise or interest in the entire 25-minute runtime of this show is when Loudmouth tells Class Rep (outside the convenience store, of course) that he’s always telling her she’s cute because she really actually is cute. This comes after Class Rep’s tearful confession that cute things like shojo manga and, uh, strawberry-flavored candy are for cute girls and not for her. Unfortunately, I don’t like Loudmouth and I don’t like romances that begin with one part of the pair relentlessly irritating the other, so I don’t root for these guys. Sorry.  

I was so relieved when this show was over. Then I realized that the ending theme features like six pairs of heterosexual teenagers all lined up, which made me groan with unhappy anticipation: a dozen more cardboard dolls to watch jerkily moving through empty backgrounds in silence? There’s more of these vacant creatures to pretend to care about? Not for me. I’m out.

Convenience Store Boy Friends airs every Thursday on Crunchyroll at 3:05 p.m. EDT. Will you be watching? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

 

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