YOUTH ROMANTIC COMEDY GONE WRONG | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 05, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 05, 2015

ANIME REVIEW

YOUTH ROMANTIC COMEDY GONE WRONG

Genre: Comedy, romance, slice-of-life, social commentary

When I came across this anime I thought, "That's a funny name, probably just another clichéd high-school drama." I was wrong, and now I won't be able to die in peace until I recommend it to a hundred other people.

Hikigaya Hachiman is a high school loner with an extremely pessimistic (though some might say pragmatic) view on life. When asked to write a composition about life at high school, he submits a contemptuous hate-essay about youth. As a result his teacher forcefully makes him join the school's “Service Club” in an attempt to fix Hikigaya's rotten perspective. There he meets the club's only other member, the cold-hearted Yukinoshita Yukino who happens to be the smartest and prettiest girl in school.

The synopsis makes the anime seem like your average high school rom-com, but don't be fooled by the words “Romantic Comedy” in the title. There's plenty of comedy to keep you laughing, but the romance is in such small doses that you will either yearn for more or sigh in relief for the lack of all that love high school dramas usually bombard at us.

The story delves into the social psychology of high school students as observed by Hikigaya, while he and the Service Club help out and solve problems for fellow students. The points he makes about certain situations really make you think about how you yourself socially interact with others outside your home. You might end up relating a lot to the protagonist, and you'll find yourself cheering for him. Also, his quotes might stay with you forever.

The best thing about “My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU” (a.k.a OreGairu) is not the story, but the characters, especially Hikigaya. He's a breath of fresh air for anyone who is bored of the generic slice-of-life male protagonist. The female lead, Yukinoshita Yukino, is also full of depth. Also look out for an amusing pattern in the characters' names.

There's nothing wrong with the anime except that perhaps not everyone will be able to understand all the social psychology OreGairu deals with, and thus find it boring. The anime is based on the highly prestigious light novel of the same name, so if you also happen to be a bookworm, I recommend you give it a read; it's really insightful. Sites like Baka-tsuki.org have the full English translation. OreGairu might not be for everybody, but it is a great anime nonetheless.  

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