ANIME & MANGA - Review
09:06 - 15th July 2016, by NEO Staff

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

Hachiman Hikigaya is what might be termed a cynic. A perpetual loner at school, he shuns his classmates and regards anyone who claims to enjoy their youth as a phoney. To try to change his negative outlook, his careers counsellor, Miss Hiratsuka, coerces him into joining the school’s Service Club, which exists to help out other students. Thus Hikigaya meets the beautiful but aloof Yukino, the club’s only member, and the bubbly Yui, who needs help baking cookies for her secret crush.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is both a comedy and a fairly sharp look at the trials of navigating high school’s social whirls and eddies. Hikigaya is not really the misanthrope he likes to present to the world. Stung by past rejections, particularly from pretty girls, he keeps a wall of detachment around him to hold everyone at arm’s length. The stories address issues around how subtle bullying can be – exemplified by snooty class princess Yumiko – and the importance of fitting in. That’s particularly relevant for Japanese kids, who desperately avoid the stigma of being marked as nakama hazure – excluded from their peer group. The subject matter might be serious, but the show maintains a light tone, helped by Hikigaya’s sarcasm, some physical comedy (beware the lethal punches of Miss Hiratsuka!), and tangled romantic attractions made even more complicated by Hikigaya’s attraction to the tennis club captain Saika, a sweet-natured, beautiful boy.

Well rounded, believable characters, strong writing and surprising depth make this a superior high school anime.
SCORE: 4/5
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