Well, on the positive side, it would appear that the episode previews don’t exactly give a good idea of what the next episode is going to be like. The preview at the end of episode one certainly left a strong impression that there would be a lot of Hikigaya and Totsuka scenes, which is far from the case. Instead, this episode ends up going into pretty deep territory that, honestly, this writer was not able to fully grasp without a visit to the comments section on Crunchyroll. It definitely calls into question the legitimacy of this show as a “romantic comedy”, though, as the drama far outweighed the comedy.
One thing that RomCom does very well is to create a cohesive story. As a comedy, it would be very easy to make the episodes more or less self-contained, with references back to previous episodes but no need for a regular consistency. Instead, the show focuses on developing the characters as a whole, as well as not rushing plots (after all, this was the second part to the current arc). While some of the themes are a bit juvenile (i.e. the high school romances), there are other, more mature themes explored in the show, such as that of self-sacrifice, the effects our actions have on others, and human relationships in general. To top it off, the show does a wonderful job of throwing these elements at you when your guard is down, due to an amusing trip to a haunted house along with Hikigaya’s thoughts on free food.
It really does feel like a shame to be watching this season without the first season fresh in mind, because the show is now building upon character developments that are already established. We’re not just dealing with the beginning of these characters’ stories, so if you haven’t seen the first season, then this is the part where I encourage you to stop and go back. I kind of wish I would have done the same now, but honestly the show didn’t stick out enough in my mind, and at first I wasn’t even going to bother with the second season. Perhaps I wasn’t giving the show any serious thought when I first watched it, or perhaps the second season is simply that much better already, but whatever the case is, if you’re a fan of shows that give you more to chew on that just a simple twenty minutes of entertainment, then give this one a shot.
A Christian Perspective:
Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (ESV)
We see this verse acted out in this episode a couple times. The first is when Hikigaya is confronted by a female friend of the two students he is trying to set up. She expresses concern about what Hikigaya is doing due to Hina’s disposition, and the fact that she will inevitably turn down the guy that they are trying to help. The second instance is in how Hikigaya chooses to handle the situation by placing himself in an awkward position to divert the possibility of a friendship being broken up and the close knit group of friends to which his client belongs being damaged. Ironically, Hikigaya’s attempt at looking to his client’s interests ultimately hurts those closest to him, so while looking out for the interest of another, he ultimately fails to look out for the interests of others.
There is, of course, another friend in the group who petitions Hikigaya to not go through with the request; however, his reasons are selfish: he doesn’t want the group dynamic to change, because he likes the way things are. While his request is the same as the girl from before, his reasons are different: she knew how her friend would ultimately react, and wanted to avoid the injured relationship. He simply didn’t want his own comfort disrupted. We should take notice of this, and ask ourselves if we are truly looking to the interests of others or simply looking out for our own interests under the guise of being concerned for others.
Language: “Oh G*d” x6, 1 “h*ll”, 1 “h*ck”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A boy’s butt is shown hanging out of his pants
Violence: Yui accidentally headbutts Hikigaya