My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu-Kome ha Machigatteiru) (Crunchyroll) left me with very mixed feelings. The witty insightful writing made the show fun to watch. On the other hand the two main characters are among the most infuriating that I have ever seen (and for a anime series that’s saying quite a lot.)
Hachiman and Yukino, the two main characters, are smart, witty and insightful–and they use those talents mostly to make themselves unhappy.
Typical anime misfits include:
- Shy, socially awkward types, maybe a bit autistic.
- Rowdy or alienated semi-delinquents.
- People with an obsessive hobby.
Hachiman and Yukino refuse to conform to this model. They have been so scarred by early experiences of not fitting in that they have given up hope. They use their considerable intelligence to rationalize pushing other people away and refusing to accept their friendly overtures. By the end of the season they have made some friends but they don’t really trust them or feel close to them.
What could redeem this would be another season in which these characters get a clue and exhibit some real personal growth. I’m not too hopeful about that. If it were going to happen I would expect to see more evidence of it in the first season. Also this is based on an ongoing series of light novels, which suggests that the author has found a successful comic formula and is not eager to change it.