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YMMV / How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: In Japan Megumi is extremely popular, winning 6th place in the 2016 Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! Best Female Character poll. In America, while she does have her fair share of fans, she has just as many haters.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • First up is Eriri, the Tsundere Patient Childhood Love Interest and the biggest example by far. While the story presents her and her actions in a neutral light, one group of fans actively demonizes her, calling her a shallow, abusive bitch, and ignoring times she does show remorse or Character Development. Likewise, another group refuses to believe she is capable of doing anything wrong, actively hating other characters when they call her out on questionable behavior.
    • Megumi Katou is either the best girl by far because of her "original" shtick of a normal person being dragged headlong into Otaku culture, or about as entertaining and funny as standing in line at the DMV because she is too normal and a possible Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. There is no middle ground.
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    • Utaha doesn't spark as many Flame Wars as when Eriri and Megumi fans go at it, but some fans have still taken potshots at her for her aloof attitude and her Ms. Fanservice nature. Eriri fans especially don't like her for her habit of pissing off Eriri For the Lulz.
    • While Michiru is liked by some for being a Tomboy Singer-Songwriter as well as appealing to incest shippers, others find her crush on her cousin to be disgusting. Adding to this is that in the anime, she appears extremely late compared to the others, and therefore isn't given time for sufficient development like the others.
    • Even the protagonist Tomoya gets this. Is he one of the best Harem Genre leads in years due to the fact that he has a defined personality, or is he an obnoxious, lazy prick who doesn't deserve the attention of one girl let alone five? His haters especially don't like his rather needlessly harsh calling out of Eriri in episode 8, as well as the fact that he basically tricked Michiru in the final episode in order to get her to join his circle.
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  • Broken Base: Season 2, episode 10 sparked a debate on whether or not Eriri and Utaha were right on quitting from Tomoya's group to work on Akane Kousaka's new project. Supporters claim that Eriri and Utaha had careers to uphold and Tomoya actually supported their decision to leave, not to mention that it wasn't an easy choice for them anyway. Detractors claim that Eriri and Utaha abandoned Tomoya despite their promise to support him and even criticize Akane Kousaka's management style.
  • Even Better Sequel: The first season of the anime was generally viewed as, while decent, nothing more than another Pandering to the Base light novel adaptation. The second season, on the other hand, went far deeper into Character Development for many of the main cast, sufficiently downplayed their negative traits, and used a lot more Leaning on the Fourth Wall humor instead of being so overly serious all the time.
  • Les Yay: Eriri and Utaha have just as much Belligerent Sexual Tension, if not more, with each other than with Tomoya (who is supposed to be the Love Interest of both of them).
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Izumi in the second half of the light novel. Instead of just being a Satellite Love Interest, she joins her brother's doujin circle of her own will in order to compete with Eriri on an equal footing, and loses most of the traits fans found annoying from her first appearances.
    • Iori as well, with more screentime showing that far from being a one-dimensional antagonists, he still does care about Tomoya in his own way, and sees him as a Worthy Opponent, and does put just as much effort into his circle's work as Blessing does, far from the jerk he was made out to be when he first showed up.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Episode 0 doesn't make a lot of sense at first aside from a typical harem hijinks in an anime show with some Leaning on the Fourth Wall. But watch it again after having seen all the characters introduced properly in the show, and their interactions make a lot more sense, such as Eriri being a Clingy Jealous Girl and why she doesn't like Utaha much. Chronologically it takes place right before the end of episode 12.
  • The Scrappy: Tomoya and Eriri got this treatment, the latter for both seasons while the former was mostly for the second season.
    • Tomoya was immensely hated during the season season for his Oblivious to Love tendencies towards Utaha since her acts of flirtation were way too obvious not to noticenote , letting Eriri go off on her own and collapsing during the Winter Comiket part and the fact that it took him two months to finally apologize to and acknowledge Megumi when she was angry at him. Needless to say, a good number of people were happy when Utaha and Eriri left him to go work for Akane.
    • Eriri was hated when it was revealed in the first season that she abandoned Tomoya during their childhood due to being teased about liking anime and leaving him to take all of the teasing and bullying to protect her own image, which left him bitter about the entire ordeal. While the second season tried to have her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, the hatred came back full force when she went behind Tomoya's back by working for Akane and not saying anything to him for a month, and even lampshading that she was betraying him once more.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Akane Kousaka is set up to look just like one of these, until it's subverted beautifully. At first, her trying to get Eriri and Utaha to go behind Tomoya's back to work with her, and her harsh criticism of the circle's members, make her look like the personification of Ambition Is Evil, seemingly leading to an ending where the two will choose their friends over fame and money. But every point Akane brings up is entirely correct: Eriri's talent is being wasted by working for a doujin circle of middling popularity. Tomoya has no idea how to bring out the best in her and basically lets her do whatever she wants; a real publishing company wouldn't tolerate her frequent mood swings and periods of refusal to draw anything, because there are many more artists out there who would be more productive and would jump at the opportunity to work for such a well-known name. Being brought down a peg may seem overly harsh, but it's the only way in which Eriri can succeed in the professional world of media, and her current situation does not allow her to do that. Ultimately, Tomoya agrees with Akane's criticisms and pushes the two to go work with her; while he's hurt by them having to move away, he also acknowledges that with their talent far outshining his and carrying the doujin circle on their backs, it was inevitable that someone bigger would come calling.
  • Tear Jerker: The argument between Eriri and Tomoya in episode 9. It's notable because not only does Eriri yell at Tomoya, Tomoya also yells back with his own grievances. It's pretty clear that they both feel wronged by the other and aren't going to back down yet. At the very least, Eriri ends the argument on a calm note.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Michiru slides into this as of the second season of the anime. While almost every other character got plenty of screentime and a good load of Character Development, her time spent seems to consist of either being off camera, or when she's onscreen, sexually harassing Tomoya. Utaha lampshades this during the finale.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Tomoya; while he does have a right to be pissed about how Eriri threw him under the bus to be bullied instead of standing up for him as a kid, he comes across as a petty asshole for being hung up on it for years (and the fact that said bullying doesn't really seem to affect him anymore makes it look even worse). Eriri, in contrast, while still being pretty abrasive, does seem to have changed and is helping him out for no pay and with no ulterior motives other than their friendship, but he refuses to acknowledge any of the things she's done for him or thank her for her time and effort because he's still holding a grudge for something that happened years ago.
    • Earlier, he attempted to badger Megumi into revealing the details of what she was doing when he found out she was going to do something on the weekend with an older boy, up to the point of going along uninvited and attempting to sabotage it out of jealousy. While it's swept under the rug when it's revealed the boy is her older cousin she hadn't seen in a while, he completely missed the fact that what she chooses to do on her own free time is none of his business in the first place.
    • Megumi coldly rebuffing Tomoya after she finds out about Eriri's overwork and collapse, for not telling her about it. Nothing she'd said before made it seem like she cared about intensely personal things like that, but she treats Tomoya coldly for basically not being able to read her mind (and this is someone she knows to be slightly poor with social cues to begin with). It's impossible to blame him for rushing to the side of someone he's known for his entire life, but Megumi does, and the story expects the reader to side with her, but to most she ends up looking unreasonable.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Invoked. Megumi is considered "boring" in the beginning of the series and doesn't seem to stand out or fit into any defined heroine archetype. The focus of the series is her evolution into a proper heroine.


Example of: