Otakon is over, by a few weeks actually. But look on the bright side. We have are laughs, our pictures, our live broadcasts. Oh! And not to mention that the Baltimore Comic-Con is just around the corner on the weekend of September 7th and 8th at the Baltimore Convention Center. It’s your chance to go downtown and see folks dressed up as their favorite comic book heroes and villains. Even if you’re just a spectator, it’s always a treat to see Batman walking down the street at night, saying hey to you. Speaking of treats, let’s get to our anime of the week, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.
“This romantic comedy revolves around an antisocial high school student named Hikigaya Hachiman with a distorted view on life and no friends or girlfriend. When he see his classmates talking excitedly about living their adolescent lives, he mutters: “They’re a bunch of liars.” When he is asked about his future dreams, he responds: “Not working.” A teacher gets Hachiman to join the ‘Volunteer Service’ club, which happens to have the school’s prettiest girl: Yukinoshita Yukino.”
Reading the synopsis of this anime, it’s easy to mistake this it for the stereotypical romantic comedy. The main guy is an outcast. One of the two potential romantic interests is the most beautiful girl in school. Starting to see how this somewhat sounds like the typical romantic comedy anime yet? Well, don’t go grouping this with other animes of its genre just yet.
So the story works from a fairly simple premise. Someone or a group of people come to the Service Club with a problem. The troop pretty much hammers at a way to resolve the issue. Through trial and error, they end up making through to a solution that satisfies the party. But hey, this anime, it wouldn’t be entertaining if it didn’t have its twists, turns, and turmoil that make us laugh. Through every episode or arc, you get a better glimpse into the minds of each of the members, finding how and why they interact as they do. This is especially true for Hachiman. The series thrives off of looking into the connections people have with one another, from relationships to just brief interactions.
It goes without saying that the series is made by the three central characters and their unique friendship… association… interaction? Hachiman and Yukino often butt heads, trying to get the one of up each other and seeming to enjoy it as they do it quite often. Yukino and Yui slowly but surely open up the channels for friendship, which makes Yukino secretly giddy. And Yui keeps trying to innocently get Hachiman to open up, to her at very least. The combined characterization between the three helps them develop more as individuals as you watch them go through their own private tribulations. And as much as you watch them progress, you catch moments where you watch them regress. The back and forth relationship is what really catch you up. Mainly because no one wants to watch anything about an absolutely perfect beings. It would be boring. On top of that, the series has a good supply of strong support characters that flush out the whole cast, not just the three. Their good and ugly sides are brought to the surface as they fight, approach problems, compete against one another, or just talk. The support cast helps to add to the human factor to this series that already studying the interpersonal relationship (social and personal) people have with each other.
Now one important aspect that we haven’t talked about on this series is its “romance” aspect. The series is classified as a romantic comedy, yes. However, it does not do much to play on the romance aspect. This is because Hachiman himself doesn’t set himself up to be in that kind of situation. Mainly because he’s had that kind of situation before and it didn’t work out for him. As an antisocial cynic, he pretty much does whatever he can to stay away from that kind of relationship. He even tries to limit the amount of friendships people try to make with him. However, this is also what makes the series funny, as despite his best efforts, his cynical wall gains some chinks in it as Yui tries to get close. Like mostly everything in the series, the romance isn’t obvious and it’s not forced down your throat. You either notice it or you don’t. Either way, you can still find a way to laugh about it.
The final review goes to the animation and audio. As the series hasn’t been dubbed in America just yet, only the Japanese subs are there for you to go off of. To say the least, the voices used are fantastic and support the stereotypical view of a character that is moe, cheery, and cynical to a fault. There isn’t much in terms of the ambient music, but the opening song, Yukitoki, is really catchy. Combine that with with the opening animation and it draws you in to at least see what the series has to show for itself. As for the closing score, it’s cute but somewhat too upbeat for an ending, especially against the ending animation. The art of the series isn’t anything unique but it still looks visually great. The characters personalities actually match their appearance. This may seem trivial, but there are cases where they just don’t and it pulls you away from the story.
Wrapping things up, the release synopsis of this series doesn’t quite do it justice. Funny on the surface with underlying romance, the series does a great job of keeping itself interesting. And if not for the fact that it was a last minute replacement of a showing at Otakon, this examiner would have missed out. So definitely check this series out if romantic comedies are your thing, you won’t be disappointed. And as always all, keep watching, reading, smiling.
 Source: Anime News Network