I have done none. Absolutely none. Even before Haganai episode 1 aired I already found out about the light novel author’s “word” on this. So this is really just worthless thoughts I’m throwing into the wind about nothing really interesting. But this is a more cynical take:
Fact remains, when it comes to this uber-geek sort of thing, people abbreviate as a matter of convenience and out of laziness. There may be some other motivations too, but effort- and time-saving are the primary motivations. The second issue of English-speakers trying to compress Japanese romanized text compounds the picture in a way that is probably academically curious but it isn’t so curious that makes me want to think about it besides it exists as a black box of sorts. Thirdly, in Haganai’s case, there’s that wa vs. ha vs. wahahahahaha thing, which makes it the third weirdness to this whole deal. And on a totally unrelated note, when I see “/w͍/” I think of Amisuke’s Horo.
There is what I think yet another, a fourth layer: weeabooism. Bitmap makes the statement that fandom overseas has grown closer to Japanese’s fan scene. This is probably true. The use of these 4-syllable acronyms has increased. This is also particularly troubling because there’s this increase in anime with really long titles, making the typical take-the-first-letter approach unwieldy (nobody is going to remember what OnIgKnKWgN is, if you are one of those weird type that uses lower case lettering to denote particles. We know what OreImo is; it’s good enough to use in trade). I mean personally I despite the whole first-letter thing half the time because that half the time I have no clue what people were referring to without asking someone, and given romanization of Japanese language is not exactly universally uniform it also gives a lot of room for confusion. Sometimes it doesn’t even work (eg., how do you shorten Utawarerumono this way?). I also dislike how this is a very western-fan kind of thing, which seems to be okay as long as nobody draws the line between that and complaining about R1 companies localizing anime into weird or funny titles that has nothing to do with the original, purely for convenience (and marketing) reasons (see: Utawarerumono).
Okay, so now, being all spiffily-closer-to-Japan, we all know why FLCL is called that. Right? At least if we read the links up there. So, Bokutomo? It actually sounds worse than Waganai or Haganai. Or even w͍aganai, at least in my ears. But there’s a rhythm to the reason, and it’s very otaku-sai to follow those kind of rules (well, maybe just a very human/nerd thing) to keep perpetuating these truncated names within a formula. What’s more, the phonic-nature of Japanese lettering makes these sorts of abbreviation way superior than the old way, using letters you can’t pronounce. So I think it is smart to abandon things like “KnK” for “Rakkyo” (my #1 pet peeve), since the latter is pronounceable and extremely distinctive. Or maybe I just remember my words by how to pronounce them? Can’t we just call things like Karekano?
I haven’t even gotten to why I think it’s a weeabooish-thing. Mainly, I think, this is just a case of “let’s follow some rules to make some terms” rather than “this is what Japan’s majority consensus is” in choosing what to call which show by what name. It’s the official abbreviation by the production committee and the products. It’s handed down by the original author. It’s what most Japanese people use. Can we get any more official and consensual than that? So why BokuTomo? Weeabooism.
And specifically I mean by looking at something without understanding, yet trying to do it anyways because it’s “omg so Japanese.” Because all these “Bokutomo” people should just call the show by its abbreviated romanized name, or BwTgS. It’s way shorter than AHMHnNwBwMS!
On second thought, maybe BokuTomo isn’t so bad as a competitive alternative. If English-language anime fandom wants to be retarded and shorten names differently, I would prefer the current state. But what the hell guys, Haganai is even more weeaboo-y! Why don’t you all adopt that?
PS. Yeah, I feel bad.
PPS. Yea this is yet another reason why I don’t like hosting at wordpress.com, because I can’t get the charcter encoding the way I want. Or at least I don’t see an easy way…