After a seven-month hiatus, the members of Sobu High School’s Service Club are back to aid their classmates with whatever matter ails them. In case you don’t remember (and I wouldn’t blame you given the lengthy gap between DVD releases) the Service Club is made up of a diverse trio of teenagers. Yukino Yukinoshita is the group’s pragmatic leader, Yui Yuigahama is the troupe’s beacon of bubbliness and Hachiman Hikigaya is the sullen faced problem solver who was forced to enlist at the behest of his still unmarried language teacher. This season’s thirteen episodes have the Club playing matchmaker, rigging the student council elections and organizing a Christmas event – all amidst the backdrop of strained relations that threaten to wreck the triad’s friendship.
One thing I enjoyed about My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too is that it isn’t a rehash of the first season. A lazier writer would have simply churned out more amusing adventures were the Service Club save the day thanks to Hikigaya’s sardonic schemes. What we get instead is a cour dealing with the ramifications of Hikigaya’s actions. The catalyst of this turmoil is the first story arc’s resolution, were the club is requested to help a student ask out the love of his life. Unfortunately for the budding Romeo the object of his affections is a fujoshi who doesn’t want a boyfriend (she is content enough fantasizing about homosexual romances.) To resolve the deadlock Hikigaya assumes the mantle of martyr, which doesn’t go down well with Yukino or Yui.
Despite being the most unpopular guy in Sobu, Yui and Yukino have grown fond of Hiki and don’t want him to sacrifice his reputation so recklessly. Hikigaya pays them no heed however, culminating in a spat that sees Hikigaya go off on his lonesome. Without the support of his female club mates, Hikigaya agrees to assist the student council in arranging an Xmas shindig. It soon becomes apparent that Hikigaya has bitten more than he can chew, because the event’s organizers resemble my office’s upper management. They spew out buzzwords and waffle ad nauseam during meetings, but fail to make any concrete progress. Will the Service Club be able to reconcile their differences and together beat the bureaucracy before the festive deadline elapses? Will I remain employed when my boss reads the earlier remarks on work conferences? Time will tell.
My rating for My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too is four stars. The score reflects my opinion that the second series is a slight improvement over the first. Not only have the visuals/animation received a boost, but the writing is superior too. The end result is characters that are more fleshed out and interesting. For example, Yukino who previously was portrayed as a model student endowed with sarcastic wit is revealed to suffer from insecurity issues. Burdened with the pressures of living up to her family’s expectations she now struggles to make important life decisions for herself. Hikigaya meanwhile is forced to grow past his cynical phase and open up to others. It’s nice to see his gloomy face crack a smile for once and register other emotions too. One touching moment even sees him weep manly tears.
Looking back at my season one review, I previously described My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU as being an amusing show that contains a smidgen of drama. Too is the reverse – rich in dramatic scenes and peppered with light comedy. As mentioned earlier the shift in tone worked for me, but I imagine fans of the previous instalment’s goofiness may not welcome Too’s more sombre narrative. One thing that all viewers will agree on however is that the finale is unsatisfying. Studio Feel have done a fine job adapting Wataru Watari’s light novels for the small screen, but have shown no foresight in picking a good cut off point. The manner in which episode thirteen concludes leaves many plot points unresolved. Let’s hope a third season eventually sees the light of day, or else Hikigaya won’t be the only person around sporting a glum expression on their face.