“See? It’s easy. I just created a world where nobody gets

For quite a few of us, high school is remembered as a time of
mixed emotions and experiences—some that fill us with nostalgia at the thought,
and some that reflect times of confusion and angst aimed at the world around
us. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
captures these feelings and explores them in ways that are both relatable and
almost painful to watch.

The story centers around Hachiman Hikigaya, an isolated
pessimist who thinks of high school youth as an illusion to hide the terrible experiences
forced upon students by the realities of society. Having been rejected long ago
by love and ridiculed for it, Hikigaya has evolved into a state of eternal distrust
for others and accurately analyzes the dark implications behind the actions of
other people. In other words, he has come to understand the nature of people at
an almost calculative level, and through his detachment can provide observations
and solutions objectively. It is for these reasons that his career counselor,
Shizuka Hiratsuka, assigns him to join the Service Club at their school so that
he can offer advice to students in need, and  hopefully regain some positive outlook on his
own life. In the Service Club, he meets Yukino Yukinoshita—a cold and refined
girl who reflects quite a few of Hikigaya’s disconnections with teenage life
but believes not every person is full of bad intent, and Yui Yuigahama—an
energetic and honest girl who at first struggles with a lack of confidence, but
admires Hikigaya and Yukino for their convictions and provides the enthusiasm
that keeps all three together.


My Teen Romantic
Comedy SNAFU
excels at establishing a set of layered and complex characters
who reflect the viewers in their own experiences and struggles. Hikigaya may be
an expert at understanding situations and coming up with the most effective
solutions, but he cannot understand how people feel due to his distrust for
others and overall hypocrisy on the life he lives. Over time, he has become
true friends with Yukino and Yui and values said friendships above all else,
but claims high school friendships to be temporary and superficial. He even
goes so far as to push away the people closest to him, because while he does
care for Yukino and Yui, he’s created a self-defense mechanism of separation
from others to forever avoid getting hurt. His methods in helping others are
also incredibly cruel, as they usually involve self-sacrifice in order to
ensure everyone else is happy and things are wrapped up neatly. That’s right;
Hikigaya usually sets himself up to be the villain in order to concentrate
everyone’s troubles on him instead of one another because he values himself so
little. He believes he doesn’t possess the same insecurities others do and has
already been injured to a point of no-return, so any more damage dealt to him
personally wouldn’t actually be a big deal.

But these methods personally hurt those around Hikigaya who
sincerely care for him, including Yukino and Yui (who affectionately refers to
Hikigaya as “Hikki”). At one instance Yukino tells him, “It frustrates me that
I can’t explain why, but… I really hate the way you do things.” Yukino may
believe that high school life is fickle and full of lies, but she truly
believes that people can better themselves and hates to see Hikigaya’s knack
for self-sacrifice solve the issue at hand. He basically proves that
self-demeaning techniques are more effective than her precise but more
optimistic ideals. Meanwhile, Yui actually cares for Hikigaya and feels
responsible whenever he becomes hurt, feeling that there was something she
could’ve done to prevent it. Yui also asks Hikigaya why he understands so much,
and yet understands so little about how people feel. It’s almost like watching
your best friend plunge themselves further into depression, and no matter how
much you try to pull them back up they push you away and say that they deserve


The first arc of the season involves two students from the
circle of popular kids that Yui hangs out with—Tobe and Ebina—where Tobe wishes
to confess feelings of love to Ebina, who simply isn’t interested. But the
problem is rooted deeper than that, because if the former is rejected then that
might cause friendships to fall apart and the circle of friends may eventually
dissipate. Several people within the group want to avoid this and prolong their
friendships, so the issue comes forth to the Service Club to try and figure out
a loophole where the confession doesn’t result in anyone getting hurt and
friendships staying the same. The original plan is to convince Ebina to fall in
love with Tobe by creating situations where the two spend time together on a
field trip; however, the ever-so-watchful and clever Hikigaya realizes that
this plan is destined to fail, and decides on his own to come up with a
solution that will intercept the confession. On the last night of their field
trip, the Service Club and Yui’s friends bring Tobe and Ebina together at a
romantic tourist site where Tobe intends to finally ask Ebina out on a date.
Ebina is anticipating this however, and is bracing herself for both rejection
and eventual loss of friendship. Tensions are high, and just when Tobe is about
to make his confession, Hikigaya steps in the middle and falsely proclaims his own love for Ebina, asking
her to go out with him.

Everyone is shocked, but Ebina quickly realizes Hikki’s
intentions and politely declines his offer, explaining that she has no
intention to date anyone at the moment and proceeds to quickly leave. Tobe is
also at a loss for words, but his friends tell him that he’ll simply have to
wait until Ebina is ready. Tobe takes their advice, and they retreat from the
scene with friendships intact. However, Hikigaya still had to give up his own
dignity for this, and Yukino becomes extremely resentful to him for once again
resorting to such means. She tells him off before walking away, while Yui
nervously tries to lighten the mood by making jokes about the situation and
walking with Hikigaya back to their hotel. However, Yui quickly stops and grabs
Hikki by the arm, asking him never to try that again. Hikigaya, surprised by
her sudden aggression, tries to defend himself by rationalizing his decision,
but Yui shouts at him through a stream of tears that he should give more thought
to how others feel, before finally confessing how much she hates his methods
and walks away. Hikigaya is left alone afterwards, left to ponder his decisions
and carry even more weight upon his shoulders.


It truly stings having to watch these characters clash with
one another so intensely, because things just seem to continually get worse for
each main character as time goes on and their relationships thin out. There’s
so many ways they could fix their problems if they only opened up to each other
more honestly. But it’s quite real to expect a teenager who’s spend most of
their adolescence in desolation to have an overall negative outlook on life and
be anything but honest to those around them. Their struggles and the struggles
of the students who come to the Service Club in search of help are far too
relatable, with something in this series that nearly everyone can say they’ve
been in the position of before. I’ve certainly had to deal with painful
rejection like Hikigaya, and I’ve certainly had to try and keep friendships
together like Yui by being the middle-man.

Entering the third and fourth episodes, our protagonists are
now coming upon an issue they can’t solve alone—finding a candidate for the student
council president election—and fizzling friendships are causing the whole
situation to go south quickly. It’s hard to say whether or not Hikigaya, Yukino
and Yui will even remain friends by the end of this. Wherever things are going,
let’s just hope Hikigaya breaks out of his desperation soon before the Service
Club comes to an end. The clear message behind SNAFU is how mixed, confusing and stressful adolescence can be, and
while many of us can look back on those days as petty little arguments, at the
time these issues felt like the whole world to us. Again, it stings to watch
this show sometimes as characters go through the motions, but that’s what makes
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU so
unbelievably brilliant.

SCORE: 9.5/10


-Andrew (Head of A7)

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