First Impressions: Convenience Store Boy Friends (Konbini Kareshi)

Convenience stores in Japan are small national landmarks. Offering a variety of food and everything from toiletries and daily necessities to manga and magazines, these places become the best friends of anyone living in Japan. One of these stores also serves as the central setpiece of the anime Convenience Store Boy Friends (Japanese title: Konbini Kareshi). Here, new high schooler Haruki meets a girl who reminds him of a girl from his past, while his friend Towa meets up with his fellow class rep and finds out she likes reading shoujo manga. Many other couples will also find connections and possibly even love with the help of this store.

konbini kareshi convenience store boy friends
She’s reading a manga about boys with glasses. Wonder why she’s interested in that.

The episode starts off with nearly two straight minutes of nothing but a guy running to a convenience store at night. If that does not immediately make you want to hit the Back button on your browser, then maybe this show will work for you like it did for me. I do have to admit this show has very little going for it; the characters are overall rather bland, the artistry is subpar, and the show moves at a glacial pace that makes even other slice-of-life shows this season feel like adrenaline rushes. And yet, something about this show hits the right notes for me. If you know my tastes you know that slow pacing isn’t a problem for me; in fact, these sorts of slow-paced slice-of-life romances are something I feel like there isn’t enough of. It reminds me of the better parts of Nijiiro Days, without that show’s more unlikable characters. Hopefully we learn more about these characters and the others yet to be formally introduced, and maybe make some more interesting use of the convenience store, as that will be what ultimately can lift this show up to being actually somewhat interesting, rather than just being a mildly pleasant time-waster.

Convenience Store Boy Friends is streaming on Crunchyroll.

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