Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

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Not to be confused with Saikano.
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata(Saekano), cover.jpg
The cover for the first light novel volume
(Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata)
Genre Romantic comedy
Light novel
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Kurehito Misaki
Published by Fujimi Shobo
Demographic Male
Imprint Fujimi Fantasia Bunko
Original run July 20, 2012 – ongoing
Volumes 7
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Takeshi Moriki
Published by Fujimi Shobo
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly Dragon Age
Original run January 9, 2013 – ongoing
Volumes 3
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Egoistic-Lily
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Niito
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Ace
Original run February 4, 2013May 2, 2014
Volumes 3
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Koisuru Metronome
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Illustrated by Sabu Musha
Published by Square Enix
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Big Gangan
Original run August 24, 2013 – ongoing
Volumes 2
Anime television series
Directed by Kanta Kamei
Written by Fumiaki Maruto
Music by Hajime Hyakkoku
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network Fuji TV (Noitamina)
Original run January 8, 2015scheduled
Episodes 11
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend (冴えない彼女(ヒロイン)の育てかた Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata?, lit. How to Train the Ordinary Girl to be a Heroine), also known in the short form Saekano (冴えカノ?),[1] is a Japanese light novel series by Fumiaki Maruto, with illustrations by Kurehito Misaki. Fujimi Shobo has published seven volumes since July 2012 under their Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint. It has received a manga adaptation in addition to two spin-off manga adaptations. An anime television series adaptation by A-1 Pictures[2] is scheduled to air from January 2015 on Fuji TV's noitamina block.[3] The anime has been licensed by Aniplex of America.[4]


Male otaku Tomoya Aki, who works part-time to earn money to buy anime meets a beautiful girl one day during spring vacation. A month later, he finds out that the girl is his classmate, Megumi. Tomoya was told that she is hardly noticed by the other classmates. Tomoya, who also has no special skills or abilities, goes to Eriri Spencer Sawamura, a well-known member of the Art Club to provide the art for the game and to Utaha Kasumigoaka to write the game scenario. Thus forming Blessing Software and their goal is to sell the game at the next Comiket.


Main characters[edit]

Blessing Software is a dōjin circle to produce a visual novel whose main heroine is modeled on Megumi. The members of Blessing Software are as follows: Tomoya, Megumi, Eriri, Utaha and Michiru.

Tomoya Aki (安芸 倫也 Aki Tomoya?)
Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
Tomoya is the main protagonist. He is a student in class 2B of Toyogasaki Academy (豊ヶ崎学園 Toyogasaki Gakuen?). He is an otaku and prefers to engage in reading comics and light novels, watching anime and playing galge. He is an enthusiastic fan of Utaha's novel Koisuru Metronome. He is the representative member of Blessing Software. He serves as the producer, director and programmer for this circle. He is also the manager of Michiru's band "Icy Tail".
Megumi Kato (加藤 恵 Katō Megumi?)
Voiced by: Kiyono Yasuno
Megumi is Tomoya's classmate. Unlike Eriri and Utaha, she is portrayed as an ordinary girl with no distinctive character. She is a good-looking girl but doesn't stand out in class at all. She knows little about otaku culture but never keeps Tomoya at arm's length. Her attitude toward Tomoya is often described as furatto[5] (フラット?). She is the model for Meguri, one of the main heroines of the game being produced by Blessing Software.
Eriri Spencer Sawamura (澤村・スペンサー・英梨々 Sawamura Supensā Eriri?)
Voiced by: Saori Ōnishi
Eriri is Tomoya's childhood friend. She is a student in class 2G and the most promising painter on the art club. She was born to a British father and a Japanese mother, and has blond hair. She has small breasts and Utaha sometimes teases Eriri about it. She is an otaku and the representative member of the dōjin circle "Egoistic-Lily" (stylized as "egoistic-lily"). Eriri uses the pseudonym Eri Kashiwagi (柏木 エリ Kashiwagi Eri?) when she participates in dōjin activities. She hides her otaku side and pretends to be a refined young lady at school. Almost all the students in the school don't know her otaku personality and she is very popular with them. She is the illustrator for Blessing Software.
Utaha Kasumigaoka (霞ヶ丘 詩羽 Kasumigaoka Utaha?)
Voiced by: Ai Kayano
Utaha is an up-and-coming young novelist. She is a student in class 3C and wearing two hats as a student and a writer. She writes her novels under the pen name of Utako Kasumi (霞 詩子 Kasumi Utako?). Her first novel Koisuru Metronome (恋するメトロノーム Koisuru Metoronōmu?, lit. The Metronome in Love) was published under the Fushikawa Fantastic Bunko imprint and sold over 500,000 copies. She has both intelligence and beauty, and is the brightest student in the school. Most of the students hold her in awe. She appears to be quiet, but actually she has a sharp tongue. She used to call Tomoya Tomoya-kun (倫也君?) but now she calls him Rinri-kun[6] (倫理君?). She began to call him by the nickname Rinri-kun when he flatly rejected her suggestion that he read the last volume of Koisuru Metronome before it is published. She is in charge of writing the scenario for the game by Blessing Software.
Michiru Hyodo (氷堂 美智留 Hyōdō Michiru?)
Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi
Michiru is Tomoya's cousin. She is a student in class 3, in the second year of Tsubaki Girls' Senior High School (椿姫女子高校 Tsubaki Joshi Kōkō?).[7] She is a very versatile girl except for her poor performance in school. She is good at almost everything and doesn't stick to anything for long, but she has been absorbed in singing her favorite songs and playing the guitar in the band "Icy Tail" for the past year. Michiru had a prejudice against otaku culture and wasn't happy about Tomoya being an otaku until Tokino, Echika and Ranko told her they were all otaku. Michiru composes the music in the game by Blessing Software.
Izumi Hashima (波島 出海 Hashima Izumi?)
Voiced by: Chinatsu Akasaki
Izumi is a student in class 3A of Honoda Junior High School (穂野田中学校 Honoda Chūgakkō?) and two years younger than Tomoya.[7] She is an otaku and the member of the dōjin circle "Fancy Wave" (ファンシーウェーブ Fanshī Wēbu?). It was through Tomoya's influence that she became interested in otaku culture. She is deeply grateful to Tomoya for this. She has loved Little Love Rhapsody (リトルラブ・ラプソディ Ritoru Rabu Rapusodī?), an otome video game series released by Sonar[8] for the PlayStation Portable, since Tomoya bought her Little Love Rhapsody 2 and a PlayStation Portable console on her birthday. There is rivalry between Eriri and Izumi, then Izumi decided to compete with Eriri in the next Winter Comiket. Izumi made up her mind to be the illustrator for her brother Iori's dōjin circle "Rouge en rouge".

Rouge en rouge[edit]

Rouge en rouge is a well-known dōjin circle. This circle plans to release the game Towa to Setsuna no Évangile (永遠と刹那のエヴァンジル Towa to Setsuna no Ebanjiru?, lit. The Gospel of Eternity and Transience) with illustrations by Izumi at the next Winter Comiket.

Iori Hashima (波島 伊織 Hashima Iori?)
Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara
Iori is Izumi's brother. He is the representative of Rouge en rouge.
Akane Kosaka (紅坂 朱音 Kōsaka Akane?)
Akane is a successful manga artist and the founder of Rouge en rouge.

Fushikawa Shoten[edit]

Fushikawa Shoten (不死川書店?) is a publishing company, which has its own light novel publishing imprint Fushikawa Fantastic Bunko (不死川ファンタスティック文庫?).

Sonoko Machida (町田 苑子 Machida Sonoko?)
Sonoko is Utaha's editor.

Icy Tail[edit]

Icy Tail[9] is an all-female band which consists of four members: Tokino, Echika, Ranko and Michiru. All the members are otaku except for Michiru. The manager is Tomoya. He and the band members call one another by their nicknames as follows: Toki (トキ Toki?) for Tokino, Echika[10] (エチカ Echika?) for Echika, Ranko[10] (ランコ Ranko?) for Ranko, Mitchie (ミッチー Mitchī?) for Michiru and Akkie[11] (アッキー Akkī?) for Tomoya.

Tokino Himekawa (姫川 時乃 Himekawa Tokino?)
Tokino is the guitarist of Icy Tail. She is a petite girl.
Echika Mizuhara (水原 叡智佳 Mizuhara Echika?)
Echika is the bassist of Icy Tail. She has a boyfriend.
Ranko Morioka (森丘 藍子 Morioka Ranko ?)
Ranko is the drummer of Icy Tail. She is calm and quiet.

Relatives of main characters[edit]

Keiichi Kato (加藤 圭一 Katō Keiichi?)
Keiichi is Megumi's cousin. He is a student at Johoku Medical School (城北医科大学 Jōhoku Ika Daigaku?).
Sayuri Sawamura (澤村 小百合 Sawamura Sayuri?)
Sayuri is Eriri's mother. She is a fujoshi.

Class 2B[edit]

Yoshihiko Kamigo (上郷 喜彦 Kamigō Yoshihiko?)[12]
Yoshihiko is a friend of Tomoya's.

Cherry Blessing characters[edit]

Cherry Blessing (cherry blessing 〜巡る恵みの物語〜 Cherī Buresshingu - Meguru Megumi no Monogatari?, lit. Cherry Blessing: The Reincarnation Story of a Blessing) is a visual novel developed by Blessing Software.

Seiji Azumi (安曇 誠司 Azumi Seiji?)
Seiji is the main protagonist. He is a reincarnation of Soma and has vague memories of his ancestors. He is modeled on Tomoya.
Soma Hinoe (丙 双真 Hinoe Sōma?)
Soma is Seiji's great-grandfather. He inherited the supernatural ability to remember what his ancestors experienced, and so he has vivid memories of distant ancestors of his.
Meguri Kano (叶 巡璃 Kanō Meguri?)
Meguri is one of the two main heroines. She is Seiji's classmate. She is a reincarnation of Ruri and has vague memories of her ancestors. She is modeled on Megumi.
Ruri Hinoe (丙 瑠璃 Hinoe Ruri?)
Ruri is one of the two main heroines. She is Meguri's great-grandmother. She is Soma's sister and his fiancée. She loves him deeply. She inherited the supernatural ability to remember what her ancestors experienced, and so she has vivid memories of distant ancestors of hers. Her personality is modeled on Utaha.
Kirari Spider Kawamura (河村・スパイダー・きらり Kawamura Supaidā Kirari?)
Kirari is one of the heroines. She is Seiji's childhood friend. She is modeled on Eriri.
Kaho Hibarigaoka (雲雀ヶ丘 歌穂 Hibarigaoka Kaho?)
Kaho is one of the heroines. She calls Seiji Seijitsu-kun[13] (誠実君?). She is modeled on Utaha.
Miharu Endo (炎藤 美晴留 Endō Miharu?)
Miharu is one of the heroines. She is Seiji's cousin. She is modeled on Michiru.


Light novels[edit]

The first light novel volume was published by Fujimi Shobo under their Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint on July 20, 2012. As of August 2014, six volumes and one short story collection have been published.

No. Release date ISBN
1 July 20, 2012[14] ISBN 978-4-04-071078-5
2 November 20, 2012[15] ISBN 978-4-04-071081-5
3 March 19, 2013[16] ISBN 978-4-8291-3875-5
4 July 20, 2013[17] ISBN 978-4-8291-3917-2
5 November 20, 2013[18] ISBN 978-4-04-712956-6
6 April 19, 2014[19] ISBN 978-4-04-070096-0
FD August 20, 2014[20] ISBN 978-4-04-070282-7


A manga adaptation with art by Takeshi Moriki began serialization from January 9, 2013, in Fujimi Shobo's shōnen manga magazine Monthly Dragon Age. It has been collected in three tankōbon volumes, released between August 8, 2013, and September 9, 2014.[21][22]

A spin-off manga titled Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Egoistic-Lily with art by Niito began serialization from February 4, 2013, in Kadokawa Shoten's seinen manga magazine Young Ace. It has been collected in three tankōbon volumes as of June 2014. Another spin-off manga titled Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata: Koisuru Metronome with art by Sabu Musha began serialization from August 24, 2013, in Square Enix's seinen manga magazine Big Gangan. It has been collected in two tankōbon volumes as of August 2014.


  1. ^ Maruto, Fumiaki (2014-08-20). 『冴えない彼女の育てかた FD』 [Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fan Disc] (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. p. 284. ISBN 978-4-04-070282-7. 
  2. ^ "Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata official anime website" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  3. ^ "Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata Light Novels Get Anime on Noitamina". Anime News Network. 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Aniplex USA Licenses Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend". Anime News Network. 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2014-12-17. 
  5. ^ The Japanese word furatto (フラット?) is a loanword from English (flat), but it has a different meaning from the original English. The word furatto does not necessarily have bad connotations such as "dull; without energy or enthusiasm". It means "without showing one's emotions; in an easy unaffected manner" in this novel.
  6. ^ Rinri (倫理?) is the Japanese word for "ethics".
  7. ^ a b ドラゴンマガジン [Dragon Magazine] (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. January 2014. 
  8. ^ Sonar (ソナー Sonā?) is probably a pun of Sony (ソニー Sonī?).
  9. ^ The band is named after Michiru. Her family name includes the kanji "", meaning "ice". The name "Icy Tail" has another meaning "I love you." (愛している aishite-iru?). Notice "Aishī Tēru" (アイシー・テール?) ("Icy Tail") and "aishite-iru" (愛している?) ("I love you.") are similar in pronunciation.
  10. ^ a b The nicknames for Echika and Ranko appear to be the same as their real names in English, but their nicknames differ from their real names in written Japanese.
  11. ^ Michiru calls Tomoya Tomo (トモ Tomo?), but his nickname in the band is Akkie (アッキー Akkī?), not Tomo. The ostensible reason for this is to avoid a confusion between "Toki" (for Tokino) and "Tomo" (for Tomoya), but the real reason lies elsewhere.
  12. ^ Yoshihiko's family name "上郷" may be read either Kamigō or Kamisato. It's unclear which reading is correct for him. Kamisato is indicated in the first volume and Kamigō is indicated in volume five.
  13. ^ Seijitsu (誠実?) is the Japanese word for "sincerity".
  14. ^ "冴えない彼女の育てかた at" (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  15. ^ "冴えない彼女の育てかた 2 at" (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  16. ^ "冴えない彼女の育てかた 3 at" (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  17. ^ "冴えない彼女の育てかた 4 at" (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  18. ^ "冴えない彼女の育てかた 5 at" (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  19. ^ "冴えない彼女の育てかた 6 at" (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  20. ^ "冴えない彼女の育てかた FD at" (in Japanese). Fujimi Shobo. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  21. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた 1 (ドラゴンコミックスエイジ も 3-2-1) (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  22. ^ 冴えない彼女の育てかた (3) (ドラゴンコミックスエイジ) (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-09-09. 

External links[edit]