Is it Tough Being a Friend?


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I’ve encountered my ideal protagonist!

It’s my friend, Hinomori Ryuuga. We’ve become the closest of friends after entering high school.

My first impression of Ryuuga was “This is the kind of protagonist you’d see in something like an anime.” Then, that thought soon changed into conviction.

First of all, this guy almost never talks about his past. Also, he frequently slips out of class. As soon as he comes back, he gets extremely tired, blood comes out from his lips, the sleeves and cuffs of his uniform get torn, and so forth.

Furthermore, there’s always beauties that are surrounding Ryuuga. The one who’s like an idol within the school, Yukimiya Shiori. The cool expert of the sword, Aogasaki Rei. The mysterious transfer student, Elmira McCartney. It’s very tiring for me when these people appear in front of Ryuuga. I have to frantically make a fuss by saying things like “H, hey Ryuga! How did you get acquainted with Yukimiya!”, “W, why did the beautiful swordswoman Aogasaki come to the classroom to specifically meet Ryuga?!”, or “E, E, Elmira! What is it that you see in Ryuga!”

…So why am I doing this? That’s because I, Kobayashi Ichirou, am a pro at being a friend.

My life’s calling is to support Hinomori Ryuuga, the protagonist amongst protagonists, as a close friend character.

―Let the curtains open for the rom-com presented by co-starring best friend, Kobayashi Ichirou!

Associated Names
One entry per line
Is it Tough Being a Friend?
Yuujin Character wa Taihen desu ka?
Yuujin Kyara wa Taihen desu ka?
Related Series
To Be a Power in the Shadows! (WN) (7)
The World of Otome Games is Tough For Mobs (4)
Ordinary I and Extraordinary Them (2)
How to Raise a Silver-Haired Loli (2)
There Was No Secret Organization to Fight with the World’s Darkness so I Made One (In Exasperation) (2)
I’m the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire! (2)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Personal recommendations
  2. ROM01
  3. Yomimasu
  4. For me
  5. read so far w/ reviews

Latest Release

Date Group Release
04/18/21 2Slow2Late Machine... v7c2 part2
03/29/21 2Slow2Late Machine... v7c1 part6
02/15/21 2Slow2Late Machine... v7c1 part5
02/11/21 2Slow2Late Machine... v7c1 part4
01/16/21 2Slow2Late Machine... v7c1 part3
12/28/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v7c1 part2
12/09/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v7c1 part1
12/01/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v7 prologue
12/01/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v7 illustrations
07/12/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v6 epilogue
07/10/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v6c4 part6
06/20/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v6c4 part5
06/13/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v6c4 part4
06/03/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v6c4 part3
05/17/20 2Slow2Late Machine... v6c4 part2
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39 Reviews sorted by

nguyentantan2001 rated it
March 18, 2019
Status: v2c2 part6

Honestly I don't wanna be that guy but I just really really HATE taotie. He ruins this novel for me. I know that the author already addressed the Ntr situation but still.... If you're a sensitive b**** like me then you might rage thanks to taotie. However, it still is a pretty funny light-hearted novel and I would definitely recommend you read the first volume.

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MrDowner rated it
December 2, 2019
Status: v4 c01
Its alright the author like setting like toeing the line of NTR it's fine if its just a one time thing but it keeps doing it with the volumes after its introduced it makes more sleazy than it has to be, also the protag explaining his fetish of being a support character each volume is starting to get tiresome. I only kept reading cause the protags interactions with other characters is fun. I'll drop it after volume 4 ends most likely at this point. Edit: nvm lmao dropped it now.
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Bakaleaf rated it
April 18, 2019
Status: v3c4 part3
This is a great novel at first if you read "The power behind the shadow" novel you can see some similarity here but sadly as the novel progress the author had a sudden wrong turn that complete lost the very essence of the novel.

First the concept of MC role wanting to be a support character for his ideal main character was good even the concept of supporting some heroin for the hero is exceptional.

But sadly for some odd reason it went from diamond to complete garbage.

One reason is at first... more>> the MC was exceptionally amazing from planning to scheming you can say that it was entertaining but as the chapter progress the MC went from genius to ret*rded.


I suppose this all started when the Totie Spirit Possession, The MC character became GARBAGE and I mean literary tr*sh Character. MC was of being NTRed by the Totie was already a huge MINUS. Then he still push his dream as a support character in the most ret*rded way. He have a harem in his house yet barely have an impact. Even his relationship with the other girls seems idiotic as the Totie keep on replacing him especially in romantic moments like dating.

I don't know if the author just love NTR or something but the Totie character just is annoying in my point of view.

Imagine one of the scene where the Totie has a date with one of the Heroin and MC just watch at the distance where Totie promise this and that and made the girl in love with the MC because Totie has the same appearance with MC.

If this was Hentai maybe the Totie started raping the girls and MC watch at the sideline...


While since it's japanese novel where MAJORITY is a HAREM no TOUCH genre but with the idiotic ROMCOM approach it made me give up on this novel.

The Battle is repetitive and boring almost no originality. Their is no element of surprise what so every that made you think of something or make you expect of something.

Another novel started good and ended up as tr*sh... <<less
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crocoer rated it
July 26, 2018
Status: c1 part3
It's good so far, but what I've seen might be a little polarizing later on.

... more>>

Seeing the cover art, I thought, ah, this "protagonist" he's supporting is probably a woman. I mean, the shading around the chest only reinforced the fact. Then I saw the illustrations. Yes, he is a she. At the later parts, it also seems like he moved to being the protagonist of some SoL harem story instead, so I believe that you are probably being mislead.


But if all you are looking for is the comedy, it is good so far. Really nice and some meta jokes that are not quite fourth-wall breaking. You really feel the MC (the perspective character, not the character he calls the MC) working hard. And he's secretly high-spec to boot. Overall, it looks like it will be at least decent.

I'll give it four stars for now since there isn't even a full volume to read and so far it seems to be above average quality. <<less
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N0r rated it
February 25, 2019
Status: --
A lot of people are complaining about this description being bait, and I can understand where it’s coming from. The premise that the description sets up is extremely interesting but it only matches part of the first arc before transitioning into more stereotypical romcom territory. While this is a bit disappointing, especially for people within the “side-character” niche who were targeted by the description, it’s still an interesting story. It is well written, and the humor remains consistent. Overall, it’s a good romcom even if that isn’t what it was... more>> set up to be. <<less
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Monk3yofchaos rated it
August 5, 2020
Status: v6 epilogue
2 Star only cause the first volume is good. Not a very good review but is only me ranting

Spoilers AHOY:

Volume 2 onwards it gets annoying. The MC acts like a f*cking CUCK from then on.

... more>> Literally allows his evil spirit (who looks just like him btw) to f*cking flirt and go on dates with the hero (girl). Sure I guess.

Some bullsh*t f*cking drama happens then.

And then some MORE f*cking drama that's not even intriguing.

Oh and God Damned Volume 5 and 6.

The f*cking MC literally does nothing when the *other transfer student* f*cking goes on a date and literally sexually harasses the other hero (girl btw).

f*cking NTR goddamned undertones all over this f*cking WN/LN who cares.

Idk if I'm blind but the MC had almost no growth unless the growth is him becoming a f*cking cuck.

Seriously f*ck this. I actually put up with 6 f*cking volumes hoping it would get better but I guess f*cking not. <<less
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AC253 rated it
September 2, 2018
Status: v2c1 part2
As usual, there may be spoilers in my review, but nothing much to say here other than - I NEVER KNEW I NEEDED THIS.

WELL. MAYBE I DID. Because honestly, I always loved the side characters of harem shows and reverse-harem shows, and I always have a special spot in my heart for the supporting best friend character. And he's self-aware too? The downside is... it doesn't stay that way. It's gradually growing more generic devolving into a standard rom-com LN, and though I didn't mind the lack of (actual) plot... more>> in the beginning, it doesn't hold my interest. I wish the MC remained as a side-character, but what made him (and Ryuuga, for that matter) initially unique is getting lost.

But there's friendships, there's humor, and there's some nice, easy-to-read translation. If you're in the mood for a breezy read or a funny story, it's worth a try. <<less
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bonkleboi rated it
November 16, 2018
Status: v6
This novel starts off really good but then it baits and switch into something else. In my list, mocking and referencing cliches are always well received. So when I read the premise of the novel I knew I would like it. And, for the first volume, it was mostly true.
The MC is a guy obsessed with being a best friend side-character. And because of that he will always try to highlight the 'protagonist' and will use some common cliches to create or even force his ideal setting for the... more>> 'story'. This is where most of the comedy (the good one at least) comes from.

The problem is that the author started adding other elements to the story and these started to overthrew the original idea. By volume 2, the cliche setting the MC had set up and his position as a side-character have almost dissapeared and with that out we're only left with a typical romcom. I guess if you still like a regular romcom you can enjoy the story but for us that came for the comedy it's a real bummer.

EDIT: As of volume 6. This story has become infuriating and almost unreadable.

Basically the MC lets other characters be in peril and refuses to fight for the sake of maintaining his mental image of how the story should progress. The result of this is people getting beat up and some others dying.


And also, my god, the cliches. Going by the premise you'd think this series would try to subvert cliches but in reality it uses them to an exhausting point. Simply bad honestly. <<less
17 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
December 23, 2019
Status: v3 prologue
The MC insists on being a friend character that he doesnt mind being NTRed. I feel bored reading, no parts of the story that makes me excited to read the next chapter. The romance is bland. The heroines are duĺl which someone you can find most in cultivation chinese novel. Each volume ends with no progress in the story.
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Ba Hai Gong
Ba Hai Gong rated it
October 14, 2020
Status: v7
This series is an extended metaphor for "coming out of the closet".

MC Kobayashi Ichiro initially identifies as red. But society forces him to be a green, praising him when he acts out the green role. He then starts to identify as a green and genuinely enjoys it. However, reckoning comes when his client, Hinomori Ryuuga, who he thought was red, is revealed to actually be green. He is then haunted by the fact he's very attracted to green Ryuuga.

Ichiro has ingrained the false idea he's a side character into his... more>> very identity. It's deeper than a hobby, it's his destiny. It's so deep he's deceiving everyone, including himself. Nobody knows what Ichiro's true self is like. When Ryuuga reveals herself as not just female, but always female, two conflicts arise. The first and external conflict is that Ryuuga is attracted to Ichiro's fake personality. The second and internal conflict is Ichiro is attracted to the real Ryuuga, and that attraction is his true self.

This realization horrifies him. He tries to distance himself from the fake personality, seeing it as the root of all his problems, and falls back on his real personality. When he acts like his true self in front of Ryuuga's thirsty harem girls, he easily and unintentionally seduces them, further compounding the pressure on him trying to remain a side character.

Ultimately, because this is a "coming out of the closet" story, there is a lot of license for the author showing Ichiro's revulsion to becoming an MC. Even the "NTR" events mentioned in other reviews could be easily justified as Ichiro's extreme lengths to avoid facing the truth. The first volume is very entertaining and competently sets up the internal-external conflicts. But I personally don't think the premise had more than 4 volumes max, and it's clear at this point the author is trying to milk a clever and brilliantly set up premise.

Read Volumes 1-2, enjoy them, then drop the series. The rest is basically filler. <<less
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fireutsie rated it
February 15, 2019
Status: v2
Like others have said. This novel is a bait and switch. The summary had me completely fooled and while the plot twist was kinda unexpected. I didn't really like it and the plot soon became generic afterwards. This wasn't what I had signed up for. Such a shame too since the original premise was kinda unique and plenty fun.
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V1 was amazing. It had the parts I wanted to see in a good first volume so I started v2. V2 was a huge letdown for me. After the end of v1 I was thinking that Taotie is actually evil and that the MC would use that as a plot device to bring him back to where he wanted to go. Then Taotie is revealed as an annoying character that rubs me the wrong way. The excitement I felt at learning about an Evil Spirit inside of MC is gone.... more>> The potential and the branches the story can take was Alt + F4'ed and replaced by a generic romcom harem with creepy NTR-like undertones. I just wanted to see the MC accept his lot in life and ending it there because he became annoying. The MC became passive, unlike in v1. V1 MC was actively seeking out answers and getting himself to situations that further his goals but in v2 it's like all that drive vanished. If you're the type that like generic romcom harems then this is for you. <<less
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Sager rated it
July 24, 2018
Status: c1
Only the first chapter is out but I'm already enjoying this its really funny!

It's also nice to have some originality for once
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boomstick3000 rated it
July 25, 2018
Status: c1
Only first chapter so far, but it feels like a breath of fresh air. MC's passion is to bring up the talents of others, but there are hints that he's pretty talented himself. For now it's pretty amusing.
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Need2Bookmark rated it
April 26, 2020
Status: v6c1
I don't really have much to say about the novel that others haven't pointed out already.

It starts really well. The first volume was awesome. The MC (the actual MC) is an unreliable narrator so I had fun comparing his POV with the supporting cast's POV and with the actual events that happened.

But after a while, the battles became repetitive, and the MC's behaviour too. By v6, it was super annoying to read the novel. I wonder how I made it this far.
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mmem rated it
July 27, 2018
Status: v1 illustrations
Interesting premise, so far it's been fun and I've always had a soft spot for side characters over main characters, though he's reasoning for being a side character is questionable. I especially can't wait for the protagonist to learn the truth.

At least that's what I felt until I saw the illustrations. Now this story seems like it'll become generic real quick. I just don't feel motivated to continue reading. I'll probably come back later when there's more chapters, hopefully I'm wrong about the direction this story will go in and... more>> this'll stay interesting. <<less
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Fitoor rated it
April 2, 2021
Status: v3c4
It's mostly a funny read. The genre-savvy MC can be quite funny, and the side characters are actually interesting. Here are some points that need to be mentioned:

  1. The "NTR" thing that people have mentioned. It's the MC's willingness to let this one other character pursue a girl that likes him. But it's not actually NTR since Ichirou doesn't like her back and would rather just be friends with her. So it's not really an issue for reasonable readers.
  2. The MC is flawed. Not a Gary Stu. His number one fault is his belief that his life is a battle-harem light novel, which it kind of is, and his continuos effort to make the story interesting, or the way that they are "supposed to be". This makes him actually cause problems for the other characters at times. But he also helps them solve some problems too.
  3. Continuing from the above point, this is what makes the novel different from Galactic Overlord, or Power in shadows. The MC here actually messes up a lot in his delusions. So don't read it if you just want a fixfic kind of thing.
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FujiwaraSensei rated it
March 1, 2019
Status: v2c3 part3
I've been reading this novel for the past month and its pretty good.

But until this MC who is kind of retarted dense and who just want to be a side character is really annoying.

... more>>

At the volume 2 of the novel is where the cringy part begins.

The MC find his friend to be a girl. The girl is inlove with him and he just think of it as a "Boyfriend Role" was really annoying. And oh he just realized that he's the 2nd boss' vessel. Plot twist.... The 2nd boss dont want to fight the heroine but the MC keeps bugging him up to become one so he can get back to be the heroines friend.


Im not really sure if its worth the time reading the story when some volume is making me fuse up until I explode become of the MC <<less
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Fourthaid rated it
August 3, 2018
Status: c2 part5
This is early for a full review, but there's some potential for an amusing read here. The passionate way the MC wants to support someone else into the limelight is quite funny, despite him in actuality being far superior to all of his previous "main characters".

However, as is always the danger when it comes to comedies based largely on misunderstandings, it can get old quite quickly, which was why I was pleasantly surprised...

... more>>

... when the obvious girl crossdressing as the ideal Hero, Ryuuga, was revealed to be a girl within the first two chapters to the MC. I was expecting that to be a recurring gag and somehow sidestepped by a bunch of different tropes as excuses, such as it being a gender bender curse or a potential twin sister or what-have-you whenever it got brought up.


So far, with a fairly limited amount of content, I'd give it a solid 3, 5/5 and round it up to a 4. How it'll handle the comedy and romcom aspect of it in particular will shape that score. <<less
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bkwrm rated it
January 30, 2021
Status: v7c1
So first and foremost, the protagonist is damaged in the head. Instead of being s*upidly oblivious to girls he has a drive to stay a support character to straight up insane levels. This matters more to him than women or anything else, he is willing to die for it. Which rotates being maddening and funny.

... more>>

I would argue that drive is why his life-force is strong enough to easily support being a vessel for two evil gods at once.


Many times the plot or issues would have been handled 10x faster if he dropped the "story plots" he's always trying to setup where he stays on the sidelines and supposedly "doesn't know anything".


It only truly starts becoming maddening in volume 6 and 7 when things get more serious imo.


The NTR isn't really a thing unless you're truly so sensitive that you can't stand the MC tolerating someone else liking your ship while she is obviously only into him.

My only true complaint with the story is that several times he grows as a person and realizes that he needs to step up and stop treating people as characters. And than 2 chapters later he freaking reverts back. <<less
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