The strange thing about Anime and Manga is that it’s so self-aware at times that a story that is grouped within a genre can actually call itself out on being within that genre. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU or My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As Expected manages to nail all of the tropes associate with the romantic comedy genre, but in a very different way. The main character constantly notes what could, should or did happen and thus compares it to the formula of the genre in a negative way. Because of this self-awareness, the main character is almost always able to make the opposite choice of what other RM’s have done before.
The story follows Hachiman Hikigaya; a loner that’s been rejected so many times that upon entering high school has separated himself from the rest of the class. He’s so mature for his age that he looks at high school the way most people only can after going through the entire experience. The catalyst of our stories events come from an essay he wrote in which he takes a simple question and finds a way to answer it with his own commentary on life, school and his classroom. His advisor Shizuka Hiratsuka becomes annoyed with him and places him in a club that only has one other student: Yukino Yukinoshita.
The thing about Hachiman’s character is that he’s quick to pick up on things and has no problem with the way people view him. For instance he detects Yukino’s disgust for him instantly and attempts to use that as his way out of the club regardless of what light that paints him in Yukino’s eyes. Unfortunately for Hachiman, Shizuka isn’t going to let him out of the club and he finds himself to be the second member of the Service Club.
The Service Club is run by Yukino who is a sharp-tongued beautiful woman. She’s the tsundere character, but without any of the sexual tension. She doesn’t outright hate Hachiman, but the two argue about practically everything in a very calm and orderly manner. They can throw verbal daggers back and forth at each other without batting an eye and so often their relationship is misunderstood. The thing about Yukino is that for as beautiful and smart as she is, she’s just as alone as Hachiman. In fact Hachiman probably has had more friends come and go than she’s had to begin with. Boiled down to their core, they’re prefect for each other… if they had any romantic feelings for each other, but neither one has any interest in that sort of thing.
The club itself functions to help people and many of the students come to get their wishes made true, but the club actually just assists people in accomplishing their own goal usually. The first person they help has a very complicated relationship with Hachiman and is even in his class. Her name is Yui Yuigahama and she asks for their help in making cookies for someone who she likes. A formula develops here as they help her, but it’s never as simple as it seems. If it was then no one would care. Hachiman uses his talents to help in the situations when Yukino is the lead on the “case” and vice-versa when he’s on the case. They’re the perfect balance to each other… if they got along.
The first six episodes have an underlining story arc, which is why I’m reviewing them together. Hachiman missed the first few days of class after being involved in a car accident; he was injured after saving a dog that got loose from its owner and rich luxury car nearly ran it over. This one event actually connects our three main characters, but it’s something that mostly plays out in the first six episodes.
The drawl of this show is that while it is a romantic comedy, it’s not. Every chance it gets to deliver a touching or romantic moment, it does the opposite and this is almost always delivered by Hachiman. His character is the biggest drawl and his realization of the world is terrific. He’s been burned so many times that he’ll basically do whatever to stay out of situations that would get him hurt or force him to drop his guard.
This show could turn into a typical romantic comedy, but for now it’s all about the different types of loners in high school. Personally, I was able to relate to numerous aspects of the series to my own experiences which made it quite enjoyable. The realization that my journey, while not as theatrical, was not so different the journey of someone else half way around the world was kind of amazing.
I’m not saying that all people who watch Anime’s are loners, but for the most part it’s still a lot like comic books in the sense that you’re in the minority of people who enjoy them. Which is why this is a great anime to check out for an anime fan. It’s available for streaming through the usual channels, but there are still several more episodes to air. It’s already completed in Japan so I’m sure someone has torrented the shit out of it, but I personally enjoy the weekly streaming experience as it makes it feel like legitimate TV watching rather than an obsession that has you searching for the best fan subs. If it sounds interesting check it out and if you’re struggling give it at least the first six and I’m sure you’ll get into it.
Director: Ai Yoshimura
Studio: Brain’s Base
Based on the light novel series created by Wataru Watari