After being ignored all through middle school for his unfriendly face, Raido wants to get along with people during high school, and the first step toward that goal is to befriend his seatmate, Aharen. Unfortunately, Aharen seems to ignore all of his attempts to talk to her. However, the next day, she forgets her textbook and needs to move her desk next to his to share books… and suddenly, she starts getting really close to him! Turns out, she just speaks really softly, and has a tendency to get really clingy with people who are nice to her, which has made others distance themselves from her in the past—a pattern she was trying to avoid with Raido. But he tells her it’s okay for her to get into his personal space, and so begins their school life together as Raido tries to hear Aharen’s voice and understand her seemingly indecipherable moments of closeness.
Okay, so this show is absolutely adorable. Perhaps this is to be expected with the focus on a smol girl who seems to have no issue clinging to Raido whenever she feels like it. The contrast between that and her otherwise stoic face and voice only adds to the cuteness. Beyond the charming visuals, the appeal of the series lies in watching these two as they try to become closer emotionally, in keeping with their physical closeness. While there’s no explicit romantic feelings involved yet, it definitely seems like their relationship will go that way. Other characters also look set to play a part in later episodes. All in all, this promises to be a great watch for anyone wanting a cute slice-of-life rom-com, especially if you feel you don’t get enough physical contact in your life.
Aharen-san wa Hakarenai is streaming on Crunchyroll.