Whether you call it Oregairu, My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected or my preferred choice of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU… either way it’s a long ass name. But one that you don’t forget. At its heart it’s a little bit of a harem comedy. In fact it really has the structure of one, but unlike others that have previously broken or changed the mold, no one is in love with our main character. Well that’s not true. No one’s honest in the slightest about their feelings for our main character Hachiman Hikigaya (say that however you want everyone else does). And here’s why… he’s terrible. He’s rude, he’s unkind, and he’s intentionally mean, a loner with a superiority complex and everyone in the school either doesn’t acknowledge his existence or hates him.
And I absolutely love his character for it. Because it’s all a front. Socially he’s the smartest guy in the room. He’s figured out how the world works and has a negative view of it and how can you blame him. Do you hate work, school or social interactions that feel forced? Well that’s society and we all deal with it. We get to that age where we know how to play the game and acknowledge that we are in fact playing it.
Hikigaya doesn’t play the game, at least not like everyone else. He sacrifices himself constantly to make others feel better, but he does it in the worst possible way. He makes people face reality and when that happens the other people around them go into overdrive to protect the societal boundaries we’ve all been duped into agreeing to. To put it another way, he plays the heel (wrestling term for a person playing the “bad guy” when in actuality they aren’t).
Again… I absolutely love his character for it.
The second season started up and I didn’t realize how much I missed this show, though I did instantly remember the thing I didn’t like about it. I needed more. One episode isn’t enough, a fact I can prove by pointing out that I’ve watched it twice and started going back through the first season. I feel like a little kid in an At&t commercial screaming for more, “We just want more!”
The first episode begins in an interesting way. It actually recaps some of the twelfth episode of the first season. Not the last episode, but the second to last episode. This was the episode that really changed the dynamic of the season and so it’s interesting that they start with it here. Almost as a reminder that things will never be smooth for Hikigaya.
The rest of the episode is spent on a service request. Tobe wants to ask Hina out finally. What’s interesting here is that when Tobe and Hayato approach the service club, they’re disrespectful to Hikigaya which isn’t unusual. But both Yukino and Yui tell Tobe to come back when he has more respect which is a shocker to Hikigaya. It’s a strong scene and opened the show well. Then its school trip time and all the tropes that go along with that storyline.
I liked the story for the episode. It brought back every character from the first season in a way that didn’t feel forced and re-established the status quo. The other interesting part is that Hina goes to the service club to get their help maintaining the status quo which seems to imply that the way things are now… will not remain.
The art has genuinely improved, but there’s some things have changed and not for the better. It’s clear that the budget is bigger and don’t get me wrong I love seeing better animation. The coloring is better and looks more natural rather than having a lot of solid colors. It looks more like a movie than a tv show which is becoming the norm for popular shows. What isn’t improved is the changes to Hikigaya’s design. His hair is far more stylish and the coloring doesn’t have that green hue to it. I personally liked that because in a way it reflected his personality on the exterior. Again you want to see improvements, but here you lose some of the charm and visual personality of the characters and that’s a shame.
Talking about this show doesn’t help. I hoped it would, but it only makes me want to see the next episode. If you enjoyed the first season then you’ll welcome this series back with open arms. If you missed the first season then you’ll likely be lost on the main plot line, but still able to follow what’s happening and the gist of the characters. I would just recommend watching the first season though. Now let the countdown to next week begin.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! 2.1 "Nobody Knows Why They Came to the Service Club" Official Website