For the sake of clarity, the whole title of this show is not included in the heading. That is because the missing part is the acronym “SNAFU”, of which the F stands for a particular nasty four letter word. Even though it is not spelled out, I still felt awkward about posting it on a Christian site, so I abbreviated the title as a result.
Now, for the review. Honestly, I didn’t remember much about this show, other than the fact that I had watched the first season. This episode doesn’t do much to reintroduce you to the plot-in-progress, either; things just pick up right where season one left off, which means that new viewers cannot easily jump right in, and even veterans will have a hard time picking up where they left off if they haven’t re-watched the first season recently (which I haven’t). So, for your sake and mine, here is a brief rundown (thank you, Wikipedia).
The series centers around Hachiman Hikigaya, Yukino Yukinoshita, and Yui Yuigahama, the three members of the Service Club, which attempts to help people with problems. The series began with Hikigaya being coerced into joining said club by his adviser, which is where he first meets Yukino, who was the only member at first. Hikigaya and Yukino are later joined by Yui. As it turns out (this is spoiler territory if you intend to watch the first season), the three are actually more connected than they think: Hikigaya was hit by a car while saving a dog on his first day of high school, resulting in him missing the first three weeks. The dog belonged to Yui (who has a crush on Hikigaya), and the car belonged to Yukino’s family (Yukino was in the car, on her way to school when the accident happened). This unfolds during the first season.
Season two, episode one (that is, the episode I’m reviewing) begins with a bit of a flashback to a concert that was performed at the school festival in episode twelve. Season one consisted of twelve episodes, one “extra” episode (which is episode 13 on Crunchyroll), and an OVA. Apparently, Hikigaya is still pretty much a social outcast, and his classmates are shown talking about him despite the fact that he is in the room. Hikigaya, as usual, does not seem to care much, and still has the same cold personality that he is known for. The focus of this episode is the class trip to Kyoto, and how the Service Club agrees to help a classmate confess his feelings to the girl he likes. Of course, this eventually tapers off, instead focusing on Hikigaya and Yui spending time together, then Hikigaya and Yukino later on. As you could probably surmise, there is a loose love triangle here, although nothing has been officially confirmed in regards to Yukino’s feelings towards Hikigaya. The situation seems obvious, though, but perhaps I’m looking at it too much.
One of RomCom’s weirdest elements is the inclusion of Totsuka, an extremely feminine looking boy whom Hikigaya often has some very inappropriate thoughts towards. While Hikigaya isn’t shown to be gay, he often exhibits wrongful desires (such as wanting to take a bath with Totsuka) towards his effeminate-looking friend. I think the cues dropped by the show (and especially the opening and ending credits) affirm the fact that Hikigaya is, in general, a straight male whose interests will ultimately settle on either Yui or Yukino (or both, or a cliffhanger….), not to mention he shows a bit of awkwardness about drinking from the same cup as Yui in this episode. At most, the thing with Totsuka is probably meant to be more comedic than anything, but it may give some Christian viewers pause, as the jokes do get a little heavy. The next-episode preview, for example, has Totsuka talking in a very suggestive voice (although it is hinted in the end that he is talking in his sleep), with Hikigaya seeming to get worked up.
If you can get past that, though, then you will probably enjoy this show for its comedic and dramatic elements. The characters themselves are enjoyable, and one can only hope that they will grow as the season continues. Again, I don’t remember much from the first series (to be fair, it has been two years), but as far as I can recall, there doesn’t seem to have been much in the way of character development. Hopefully that will change, but only time will tell. So, if you are returning to the show, then welcome back. If you are new to the show, then welcome aboard. Let’s see where this train takes us.
A Christian Perspective:
The only thing I can think to say is that we should watch what we think, and this really isn’t that applicable to this episode as it is to the series at a whole (and especially earlier episodes), but it’s the best I’ve got. Basically, Hikigaya tends to have inappropriate thoughts about Totsuka, despite knowing that Totsuka is a boy and despite (by all appearances) being a heterosexual male. Yet, instead of keeping his thoughts in line and reality in view, Hikigaya seems prone to letting looks deceive him and thus allowing his mind to wander down roads it shouldn’t. When a thought becomes sinful, I don’t know, but I do know that the more you think about something the more it tempts you, and the more it tempts you, the more prone you are to give in. So, let’s not be a bunch of Hikigaya’s. Let’s catch those bad thoughts and put an end to them early on, lest we find ourselves chasing ideas that are not pleasing to God.
Language: A band sings, “Jesus, Jesus” at the beginning of the episode, although I don’t know if the context is taking His name in vain
Alcohol/Drug Use: A teacher talks about going to a liquor store
Other: The series contains a “trap” character (a very feminine looking boy) named Totsuka who Hikigaya tends to have weird thoughts about (he mentions wanting to take a bath with Totsuka twice); a female character is shown to be into boys’ love, and talks about some invented romances between her male classmates; two characters turn a stone and make a wish; characters are shown at a Japanese shrine, participating in typical shrine rituals