I give a quick description of why my favorite anime are my favorites, but I have never done full reviews of them. I was thinking about reviewing some older anime, so this seems like a good place to start. I have decided to start at the bottom and work my way up my list, so here it goes.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (which translates roughly as “Again, My Youth Love Comedy is Wrong”) or My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU on US shelves, is one of many, many, high school based RomCom animes. So what makes it so different from the rest? The main draw for SNAFU is our protagonist. Hachiman Hikigaya is a cynical teenager whose sarcasm well is never empty and who takes pride in his outsider status. He mocks his classmates and their petty lives internally and, on occasion, in the papers he has to write in class. His teacher, who sees the wounded soul inside, punishes him for one of his papers by putting him in the “Service Club,” where he will be tasked with helping other students with their problems. It just so happens that the only other club member is also the school’s other big loner. The beautiful, smart, but frosty Yukina Yukinoshita (whose name can be translated as snow under snow). The booksmart Yukino and the cynically observant Hachiman make a great team, partially because neither of them seem to have the capacity to fit in anywhere else. They also make for one of the best slow burn romances that I have ever seen.
The comedy and romance are nice, but what makes this show really shine are the characters. As I mentioned at the beginning, Hachiman Hikigaya in particular stands out. He embodies the angst ridden teenager that wants to find a comfortable place without having to fit in. His journey from cynical malcontent to something approaching a “normal” teen is remarkably enjoyable, for him and for us. As he bounces off of those around him, the rough edges start to disappear. It seems that Hachiman might just find happiness, whether he wants it or not.
The show starts off episodic, as the club handles requests from students. The short storylines at the beginning give way to longer, richer stories before the series abruptly ends, and that is my biggest and almost only gripe with this series. The show just stops, resolving nothing, and leaving just about everything flapping in the breeze. Fortunately, we are finally getting the sequel and hopefully the conclusion to the series. Having read all of the novels to this point, I expect that the show will only get better from here. Unless the second season is criminally mishandled, I think this show will rise to nearly the top of my favorites.
My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU (season 1) is available on Crunchyroll.com. My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too! (season 2) is being simulcast on Crunchyroll right now. The first episode will be available to non-members on Saturday, April 11, 2015.
9 out of 10