My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU 12

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Hell yeah, Hachiman delivering the direct smackdown on that bitch!

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Ouch. Stabbed it in right there…

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

… annnnnnd twisted it…

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

… and twisted it again one more time, for good measure.

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Even Hayato couldn’t stand it anymore himself, great follow up though!

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Because he’s delivering the smackdown the bitch deserves, not the coddling she wants right now. So, he’ll do it for everyone, because he can take it. Because he’s not a hero. He’s a antisocial cynic. A watchful loner. Hachiman Hikigaya.

Luckily, some people aren’t so condemning of him…

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Ahhh this is probably the most teacher-like thing Hiratsuka-sensei’s done this show… and boy does she do it right in the feels. As self-centered she seems at times, she really loves her students doesn’t she? Real nice to see go for the tender approach too, to complement her tough love usually.

As for Yukinoshita…

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Heh, poor Hachiman got shot down again.

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

… but it seems there’s still hope for Hachiman!

With that, SNAFU comes to an end. Yeah, kinda forgot the series was originally slated for 12 episodes, and the 13th week is for a extra anime-original episode. Sounds like fun from the preview!

Now what can I say about SNAFU…. one thing for sure is how much I enjoyed it as it slowly progressed from the “monster problem of the week” formula to creating some of the most interesting character development drama in anime. It really was enjoyable just seeing how our main trio and the regulars interacted with each other and Hachiman both creating and solving issues with his pragmatic and cynical approach to human relationships and social structures.

Hachiman’s the rare breed of protagonist that isn’t the usual definition of respectable or “positive/light”. Instead, all his approaches really hinge of tapping in to the “negative” side of people and himself. That somehow really captures the minds more than what the usual “light” heroes would do.

In fact, not all his solutions really could be said to result in a “happy” ending, as seen in the Tsurumi arc, but it’s really fascinating how he’ll choose to make everyone miserable to make it more “fair”, rather that trying for the path where everyone becomes “happy”. Yet, when it truly matters for him, he doesn’t really mind being the target of hatred as long as he gets things moving to a more positive direction for everyone else.

Of course, the show wouldn’t really work without Yukinoshita providing the “positive” to Hachiman’s “negative”, albeit more in the “both sides of the same coin” way instead of the “opposites attract” way (that really would be Yui, I could say). And it really was fun watching the two banter about and solve things with their individual approaches, albeit in the end, it seems to be more of Hachiman’s ideas that really work (though he probably couldn’t pull it off without her). Really wished there was more episodes like their ‘date’ though.

And not to forget Yuigahama as well, who in many ways, is the glue that sticks Hachiman and Yukinon together. Those two would’ve pushed each other apart easily at the slightest things, without having someone like Yui to be the moderating force between them. I don’t agree with the view that she’s really just the rival love interest for Yukinon and another ‘haremette’ for Hachiman. She really becomes a very important member of the show, in her own right, by being a loyal friend to the both of them through thick and thin, even as both of them tried to push her away for their own selfishness.

Heh, somehow I’ve managed to write so much about SNAFU… so to wrap things up, I’d just like to say that SNAFU is seriously a great show once you don’t try too see it as yet another romcom-harem-LN adaptation. Wataru Watari has managed to create a really great character-driven drama that really lives to the literal meaning of its title. Give it a try with an open mind, and have patience too. “Good things come to those who wait” is a saying invented for shows like this.

30 Comments

  1. Dakkar Said,

    June 21, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    This show features so many sharp characters that it makes me wonder if it tries to make up for all the denseness in other series.

    I’m actually curious about Hayato’s true character, because there’s clearly a part of him, probably related to his past with Yukinoshita, that we haven’t seen yet. Let’s hope for the second season or LN’s translations being actually done.

    And Yukinoshita won’t settle for a friendzone, she expects the marriage proposal straightaway, I bet.

  2. Himajin Breaker Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 12:17 am

    Hayami Saori really turned up the charm in her voice for the “but I know you now” line.

  3. Giovanni Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    Damn, this guy is amazing. Definitely one of the few harem protags that deserve some measure of respect and admiration. This show is making me see in some very interesting ways. Very good.

  4. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    I melted a little when she said that

  5. Dakkar Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 12:35 am

    I actually wonder why did he become a public enemy after telling off Sagami. Sure, it wasn’t pretty, but to a neutral party it should also be clear that his evaluation was correct. Considering the number of people Sagami has caused problems for, I would rather expect some vengeful cheers, in the silent approval form, at least. Japanese cultural thing?

  6. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 12:38 am

    I guess it’s because he’s been saying so many things that make other people feel terrible about themselves. Plus it’s probably due to his pre-existing reputation as a loner and weird guy.

    So basically he’s just the easy scapegoat to be blamed when things go wrong.

  7. Dakkar Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 1:04 am

    Well, the guy no one noticed turning out to be extremely perceptive and willing to voice his opinion might make you want him to return to being silent and invisible due to the self-preservation instinct kicking in, true. The majority of people might be afraid they will become the next target and are likely to try to distance themselves, but it doesn’t require trashtalking or open signs of avertion.
    That, in fact, might serve as a provocation, and no matter how others feel about Hikki himself, the damage he’s capable of inflicting on someone who pisses him off can’t be brushed away. Actually, after all that’s happened, it’s Sagami who makes a nice scapegoat and a likely target of bullying. Picking on her should be safer for sure.
    Not to mention that if there’s a majority, there should also be a minority he scored positive points with, and I’m not talking about those who already like him.

  8. Mentar Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 1:48 am

    Brilliant conclusion to a great, great little series for the thinking viewers :)

    Off-topic rant on:
    “…but I know you now”… Hayamin at her best. Did I mention that I demand Mahouka Kokou no Rettousei as anime? Hayamin already did Miyuki on the Drama CD…
    Off-topic rant off:

    8man is one of the most interesting male leads in ages, and his interactions with Yukinon were a joy to behold. Especially the very gradual change from Yukino verbally beating him down in the beginning, to Yukino showing him some respect in their exchanges, to finally… well… it feels more like flirting than quarrelling.

    I hope that Yui is going to end up happy one day, she deserves happiness. However, 8man it ain’t.

  9. Sena Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 2:11 am

    I really agree with your comments, especially the conclusion at the end. Step over Maou-sama, Yahari is really my favorite anime of the season. Sure there’s a severe lack of budget and they really rush the adaptation (6 volumes in 12 eps), but I think they still amange to get the important parts in, which is the main plot and the service club.

    What astounds me is that true to its name, the three really isn’t as your usual romcom characters. Another great thing is how they clearly underwent character development in the 12 episodes, all thanks to each other. Yukino is obvious, by the end she becomes much less cold and is willing to open up and rely to her friends. I agree with you, Yui is more than a haremette as she’s the glue that makes the group works. When she’s absent the two are way too awkward and immediately needs to get her back in. It’s a great change to see how she develops from a sheep who can only admires the stronger personality, to someone sharp and insistent enough to be someone they can rely on.

    Hachiman though, really the best character of the season to me. His insights and mindset is unique not just for your typical harem romcom protagonist, but most anime in general. What’s more interesting is that he’s not necessarily portrayed to be right either – as sensei noted this episode, his methods might have result, but it’s a ticking that shouldn’t be praised, and eventually it will backfire and hurts many people. The rest of the supporting are also great and has a bit more depth than usual for a romcom, and the writing can be really subtle and sharp too. Shame about the budget, but everything else works for me.

  10. Athos Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 2:28 am

    Damn. Sensei’s speech got me. It-it got me. I was so convinced she was just gonna complain about him bringing everyone down, but then she goes and says she was just pissed at him for getting hurt in the process. If an anime’s worth could be measured by a feels/episode ratio, this show would skyrocket in rankings about 6 episodes in.

    So, fuck yeah, Hachiman. The courage to be an outcast.

  11. moridin84 Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 2:35 am

    I’m not sure where I got it but here’s a link to a summary of the novels for volumes 1-7. http://pastebin.com/wj66eJkL

    There’s a lot of Saika content that got skipped. Like Saika accidently seeing Hachiman naked (“They both scream”) and Saika’s response to what girl he liked (“Eh girls? Eeeh?”). Depressing :/

  12. Elevator Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 4:37 am

    @Dakkar
    It’s because Hachiman did not go around and spread what he said, so the reason that everyone else in the school knew about it was second-hand account from Sagami’s minions. They probably told everyone that Hachiman was just being a huge asshole to Sagami without getting into the specifics, and caused her to mess up her ending speech.

    In some ways, this is probably what Hachiman was shooting for. Now everybody is talking about what an asshole Hachiman is, instead of how Sagami totally failed her speech. Bullet taken and successful school festival for everyone~!

  13. Jon Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 4:39 am

    I found Hachiman similar to Sagami in the sense that they both just want people to acknowledge them. That’s what I see in Hachiman solutions of always trying to put the blame on himself. He’s always trying to be the tragic hero. Like in this episode he knew he could have solved the problem just by saying what Sagami wants or even taking the sheet with the winners to Yukino but instead he had to lay down the smackdown and draw the ire of his classmate. This just makes him look pitiful to those who know him. Yet he didn’t even need to get to hated on if he just wanted to solve the problem.

    Also, I wish the story explored more of Hayato’s character/backstory, he can make a perfect foil for Hachiman. From what was hinted at, Hayato is not as oblivious to the situations as he shows. He also seems to be a cynic at heart, yet is able to not let that leak out. And I believe that’s a much healthier way to function in society. How does lashing out at people and isolating yourself help anybody? I can understand getting bullied or ostracized even if there was no reason like Rumi a few episodes back. Yet Hachiman purposely blows up any chance he has at integrating into society.

  14. Sena Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 5:18 am

    @Jon

    I think Hachiman might have a complex, though I don’t think it’s need for recognition – he hates being pitied, which is the opposite of the whole tragic hero thing. Analyzing that will be too long for this post though, maybe later. That being said, Hachiman’s actions might be necessary here, he doesn’t went to that extreme just due to his complex. Sweet-talking Sagami is already being done by Hayato, and yet Sagami is still stalling and might be late for the speech.

    Also, Yukinoshita requested him to bring Sagami back, not just the papers. I think what Hachiman wants isn’t just the papers, but making the festival looks good by having the chairman acts as a proper chairman, not choking at the final moments. After all, Yukinon has worked hard in her way as an aide for Sagami, if his inaction makes Sagami looks bad then Yukino’s efforts is pointless. As such, he strive to make Sagami look good (by giving the impression that her failng is because of him) at the cost of himself looks bad. He has no problem with this, because he literally see nothing wrong – he means what he said to sensei when he says he’s fine being hated.

    Secondly, about the Hayato thing. Yes, Hayato is perfect as Hachiman’s foil, and he does meld into society much better than him. However, I think when it comes to solving difficult social problems, Hachiman is much better than him.

    The problem is, Hayato is a nice guy, but he’s too nice and idealistic. When the field trip group problem comes up, he wasn’t able to solve it because he’s to afraid to confront someone and let them feel hurt. He naively wants to find a perfect solution that can make everyone happy, but this is impossible and thus often left him powerless. He failed to solve Rumi’s problem too, and while here it seems pretty ambiguous, I personally believe he wasn’t going to be able to convince Sagami to come back in time – she’s still stalling too much. He means well, but his inability to sacrifice anyone as the means to an end is hampering his ability to solve problems.

    This is in contrast with Hikki, whose default solution to solving a problem is either nuking the whole thing entirely (Field trip chain mail, Rumi), or making himself be the fall guy. Such contrast is why Hayato is frustrated with him, not helped by him realizing that approach like Hachiman’s is sometimes necessary after all.

    To take the popular Batman comparison – if Hachiman is the Dark Knight, then Hayato is the White Knight/Harvey Dent. (Haruno is Joker, Sensei is Alfred and Saika is Robin).

  15. c2710 Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 8:22 am

    With Yahari coming to an end…. I’ll be having Mongatari 2 to fill it in.

    No wait, Yahari feels like a lead up to Monogatari 2

  16. Dakkar Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    @Elevator
    It’s not clear how much of an explanation has Hayato given to others, but I see your point. Seeing how Haruno and sensei appeared to be very well aware of what exactly had happened gave me an impression the details were known to public, but that might be just their deductive ability.
    I’m not sure about the ending speech, though. It mirrored all the Sagami’s fumbles during the opening speech, and those weren’t blamed on him. Sure, her cronies were saying it’s Hikki who’d thrown her off-balance, but one really has to be an idiot to believe that was the only reason given her previous performance.
    Moreover, there should have been people who were unhappy with Sagami, particularly among the active committee members. And it’s impossible to rumors not to leak, so I would expect a certain level of negativity toward Sagami lingering in the background. With that, the act of running away and making a scene can be interpreted differently, and not necessarily in her favor.
    Overall, it just looks to me that the mistreatment Hikki gets a somewhat forced. That’s the setting and you can’t change it much, but the simple rule is that it’s the weak who are bullied, not the strong, so I fail to see why Sagami and Hikki get the treatment they do.

    The deal with the club, if I remember right, was to make the festival a success with Sagami helming the committee from the beginning to the end. My impression was that Hikki wanted the festival to end smoothly, with Sagami getting the spotlight as promised, but not in the way she expected. I’d say he wanted Yukinoshita to have the credit for all the work she’d done, so he aimed to prevent Sagami riding on the wave of success and making a good impression in the very end. She was in the spotlight alright, as per the agreement, just looked miserable and incompetent enough for everyone to doubt she’s capable of anything.

  17. Susu Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    I was thinking of different scenarios that coulda happened at that balcony scene:

    1. Hayato wasnt there+Hachiman tries to get her back: There will be no contrast between 2 points of views. Hachiman wont be himself either. Fans will never be satisfied if the bitch didnt get what she deserves. Hachiman’s reputation likely stays the same. Neutral ending, but there’s really nothing good about it…

    2. Hayato wasnt there+Hachiman gave Sagami a bitch-slap speech: No contrast here either. 8man will get to teach that bitch a lesson with less damage to his reputation since there were no other witnesses, but Sagabitch probably wont agree to come back; Hikki will fail his mission –> school festival fails. Bad ending.

    3. Hayato got there+Hachiman tries to get her back: still no contrast; Hikki’s reputation will not suffer. His reputation will improve. But he will just become a Hayato wannabe, not himself, and that’s really pathetic. Semi-bad ending.

    4. Hayato got there+Hachiman gave Sagami a bitch-slap speech: this is the anime’s ending. There is contrast in opinions, as we were shown. Hikki’s reputation suffers greatly due to the presence of 4 witnesses (3 of them are your typical female gossipers-god I hate them!). This is the best ending. Why? Because the bitch got her deserved slap to the freaking face. Plus, Hayato was there, so he was able to bring the conceited bitch back for 8man; it was unintended good teamwork.

    Hayato is good in the show as a contrasting character. He’s the shining hero type that gathers people together; It is this kind of method that is to be encouraged in a committee setting since you need people working together. But there is no justice in forgiveness; Hachiman is the villain that delivers this justice; he will be ridiculed for the greater good.

    I am sure everybody here agrees and really likes Hachiman, which strikes me as strange the students in that school dont like him. I believe it’s all due to the familiarity factor. If you dont know someone, it is hard to give that person a deep evaluation of their deeds; not to mention Hachiman already appeared as a bad character in people’s eyes before the fall of his reputation.

    What else can I say…he gave the bitch a final blow by blowing himself up XD.

  18. Susu Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    Ah btw, you know, if 8man failed to bring Sagabitch back, it woulda been that bitch’s reputation going down instead of 8man’s.
    What kind of chairman doesnt appear to end the festival?
    I think that will satisfy fans who only concentrate on their hatred for this Sagami character. HOwever, that wont be a good ending at all, since it will be a failed festival.

  19. Giovanni Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

    His talking down of Sagami also makes you realize that being nice to people who cause trouble for others due to their selfishness, conscious or otherwise, isn’t really fair when you look at it from another angle. Hachiman knows there’s a better way to do things; he even acknowledges that Hayama’s usual approach of letting people throw their bullshit, letting them hear what they want, and generally being considerate of other people’s feelings might work, but that’s not really his thing. Doing it like Hayama and letting Sagami hear what she wants is against his nature and his logic, as twisted as it may be. Aside from Hikki not really caring what other people do or think of him and prioritizing his objectives, if he coddled Sagami, then she’d basically get off scot-free from all the crap she’s responsible for. She was more load than help in the festival, and so she got her just desserts when Hikki, whether or not she bothered to actually listen to him, told her how terrible a human being she really is.

    Hachiman is a man with a zero-tolerance for bullshit.

    That said, Hayamin’s peformance here is making me anxious to see her play Miyuki in the inevitable Rettousei anime adaptation.

  20. edo Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    8man and yukino should be friends,I don’t know why she keeps rejecting him..

  21. Hayate Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    @edo
    isn’t it obvious, she wants to be more than just friends

  22. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    There’s a lot of Saika content that got skipped. Like Saika accidently seeing Hachiman naked (“They both scream”) and Saika’s response to what girl he liked (“Eh girls? Eeeh?”). Depressing :/

    Slightly sad about that, but it doesn’t really ruin the series overall so I think it’s fine. The production team seems to have done well in prioritizing the stuff that the series excels at.

    No wait, Yahari feels like a lead up to Monogatari 2

    Can’t say I agree with that, Araragi is a different type altogether.

    —-

    As for Hachiman deciding to talk down and Sagami, I agree with the view that he’s doing it so that she’ll realize how much of a terrible person she is and that not everyone is taken in by her attention-whoring antics.

    In fact, I could even say that this is a “kinder” way to deal with her, by telling her upfront her bullshit isn’t really working and people are just going along with it because it’s easier and no one seriously cares about her, even if they act as such.

    The issue here will be if she’ll realize what he did (which I highly doubt) and change for the better, or if she’ll just continue on with her petty ways.

    In any case, Hachiman is really more self-sacrificing than he lets on, and he’s lucky there are people who understand him well enough to see him for what he’s doing.

  23. Phazeshift Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

    What happened to the date Yuigahama tricked Hiki into :(

  24. Ohnoo Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

    Yukinon… She doesn’t want to be 8man’s friend. I suspect she wanted more than that. Either that or I’m delusional enough to see it that way.

    Either way, things are getting more interesting… sad enough the season just had to end next week. Even with author involvement in it and all. But that’s just…. boring.

  25. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    June 22, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

    Yeah, I really loved how ambiguous they made Yukinon’s “rejection” of Hachiman’s offer to be friends. It’s like… “aww” then “oh shi—-!”

    Seeing nothing wrong with the extra episode though, it’s labelled as such anyways. Just think of it as an early-airing OAD, which I much prefer instead of forgetting about it totally by the time it airs.

  26. Mechamorph Said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 1:30 am

    I have to admit that I love Yahari very much, 8man is a breath of fresh air in a sea of cookie-cutter spineless male protagonists. I do see a lot of myself in him for good and for ill. Sometimes there really isn’t a tactful way to state things or more precisely a diplomatic solution does not exist because the person you are dealing with is unreasonable, overly belligerent, insane or all of the above. Trying to account for everyone’s feelings often leads to a lot of BS since there will be people (sometimes a LOT of people) who will take advantage of that. Hachiman is in truth as much a power fantasy as many other characters are; we all wish that we could just say the ugly truth with as much aplomb as he does.

  27. HoHo Said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 1:41 am

    @Kuro I think that @c2710 means both series have heavy dialogues. But I think that Araragi and Hachiman have something in common. It’s that they are ready and willing to sacrifice themselves in order to make other people happy. And they don’t realize that there are people who will feel sad from seeing them getting hurt.

  28. Tropic Thunder Said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 5:54 am

    Best series this season, without a doubt.

    Also, I no longer feel bad about shipping 8man with Sensei anymore…

  29. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    June 23, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

    @Kuro I think that @c2710 means both series have heavy dialogues. But I think that Araragi and Hachiman have something in common. It’s that they are ready and willing to sacrifice themselves in order to make other people happy. And they don’t realize that there are people who will feel sad from seeing them getting hurt.

    Mmmhmm, true enough on those points. Still feel it’s different because Araragi doesn’t really realize his actions at times, on the other hand, 8man is perfectly going for it with full realization of what it results for him.

  30. Hiki Said,

    August 9, 2013 @ 1:35 am

    Wikipedia said that Hachiman shift all the blame away from Minami by making himself the bad guy .
    But What ”Blame” ???
    I didn’t seen anybody blaming her even if she was complete bitch .
    Sometime I wonder , Would Hayama’s method solve anything if Hachiman didn’t butt in ???
    For example , I sometime think that People might have talk behind Minami’s back for avoiding her responsibility and trying to get the attention of most popular boy putting an act of runing away .
    I mean , Yukino send Hachiman to bring her back .
    Yet , her 2 friend only found Hayama (The Most Popular Boy) to help them instate of help Hachiman or anybody else in that entire school.
    Furthermore , Minami act Coldly when Hachiman approach her but when Hayama show up she start acting so Vulnerable & sad .
    It was Like She playing a role of a heroin in Romantic Movie Or Harem Anime with Hayama as the hero .
    It would seem fishy to everyone .
    Specially those who had carry extra load of Work because of her while she check up on them to show her face .
    However , Hachiman scolding shit all the attention and hate to him while everybody start feeling sorry for Minami who was crying .
    So , Its that what Wikipedia meant by Hachiman scolding shift all the blame away from Minami ???

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