Saturday, 6 April 2013

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU - Episode 1

If there were a prize to be handed out for cynicism, Hachiman Hikigaya would surely be a contender - here is a young man who looks towards the concept of youth and all that goes with it with a raised eyebrow, and as a result has little time for his classmates or making the most of the so-called "youth" which he has come to distrust and despise.

Beautiful though a little cynicism can be, it's clear that Hikigaya has issues, and after turning in an essay exhibiting this disdain for youth to his teacher he finds himself forcibly dumped into the "Volunteers Club" a one-man (well, one-woman) club founded and presided over by Yukino Yukinoshita, a sharp-tongued girl with little time for formalities... or, it seems, for Hikigaya.

While the premise of the Volunteers Club is to help out people in need, there don't seem to be many takers, nor is there much help being dispensed towards Hikigaya - still, the arrival of a girl named Yui Yuigahama with a rather pronounced baking deficiency problem  perhaps offers the first steps towards a solution for all three character's problems.

If I had to sum up this first episode of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (and yes, I'm going to be using the official English title for this one, so deal with it) in a sentence, I'd call it "a less colourful, less humorous version of Haganai".  I imagine this series will branch off in its own direction soon enough, but for now it's hard to get over the fact that in many ways this feels like a less accomplished version of that particular light novel comedy anime - I love witty, cynical and world-weary characters, but neither of the two leads are any good at the "witty" part, and with that important element removed the rest of the show's pack of cards teeters on the brink of falling in a tumbling tempest of apathy.  I'll be sticking with the series for the time being to see if it can stamp itself with something original or entertaining enough to become noteworthy, but judging by this opener I'm not holding my breath.

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