Anime Review: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too! (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 16.04.2017

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My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too! (UK Rating: 12)

This is the second season of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU and it spends no time explaining or establishing the events of the first season, so viewers who have yet to check out that first season would be wise to do so before watching this. The first season of Snafu introduced protagonist Hachiman Hikigaya as an antisocial, moody, and pessimistic teenager. After getting tired of Hachiman's attitude, his teacher, Shizuka Hiratsuka, forces him to join the school Service Club, where he has to help out any fellow student, whatever their request. This second series from Manga Entertainment is out now.

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Hachiman wasn't the only student in the Service Club - there was already a member there, the top student at the school, the "Ice Cold Beauty" Yukino Yukinoshita. The beliefs of the two clashed, greatly, but deep down they weren't all that different, both loners with a huge chip on their shoulder due to past events. The pair were not only tasked by their teacher to help their fellow student, but they would also compete to see which of their ideals and methods work best in solving the various problems the other kids faced. Yukinoshita explains it best right at the start of the first season, using a rather old adage. The Service Club does not give food to the hungry - rather they teach the hungry to fish so they can feed themselves. As a parade of students entered the club, Yukino tried to convince them to dedicate themselves to the hard work of improving and getting better while Hachiman would instead go out of his way to put himself out to help them.

The club gained new members over the course of the first season and, most importantly, the more people the club helped the closer the members of the club grew. There are big parallels here with Haganai, seeing a group of misfit students all without any real friendships, who bond and become friends themselves instead. On top of Hachiman and Yukino, the cast is rounded out with plenty of lovable weirdos and the main one of these is the third of the series' love triangle - a polar opposite of the main pair. The girl is Yui Yuigahama, a happy-go-lucky, cheerful and lovely girl, one that owes a lot to Hachiman; he saved her dog from getting hit by a car during the first day of school, an act that he still feels influenced his social standing.

The case is definitely one of the best aspects of the show and, honestly, superior to that of Haganai. Even better, this cast is fantastically developed across this second season. It's one of the best aspects of the season, in fact! Hachiman is still the moody, melancholy teen who abhors society and, in particular, the "normal" students at school, but his internal dialogue begins to change and these changes show how he is beginning to accept friendship and possibly even a little more. Then there are the ladies, Yukino and Yui - this is, after all, called 'a teen romance.' and while it is not the focus of the show, Hachiman has to have his Betty and Veronica. Yukino is clearly growing closer to Hachiman, with her scathing comments becoming much softer this season, and clear flags being raised for her interest. Yui, meanwhile, continues to be the perfect girl next door and a possible way to return Hachiman to a "normal" life with the popular kids of his school. Both have some significant growth this season and plenty of moments that would pass the Bechdel test, with glimpses into their thoughts, their families, and their history.

Speaking of history, one of the new characters this season gives a lot of insight into Hachiman's. The girl mentioned through introspective moments and flashback - the girl that broke Hachiman, a girl called Kaori. Kaori is a seemingly vapid, careless, and immature girl that only accepted Hachiman out of pity and still sees him as the weird, friendless kid. It's great seeing her begin to understand how much he has changed. This is one of numerous story threads this season that is considerably more serious than the first season. That's not to say it's without humour - there's still plenty of humour throughout - but it's grounded in much more contemplative stories that look into the life of high school students.

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Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
Fans of the first season will love My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too! It takes everything that made the first season so enjoyable and does it better. The more serious tone delivers some enthralling stories and yet manages to still contain plenty of humour. Existing characters are fleshed out and developed, while plenty of new enjoyable characters are added into the mix, too. A surprisingly good show, although the ending leaves a lot to be desired - it's clearly setting up for a third season, so hopefully one is on the cards.

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