“Masks and Expectations” Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – My Teenage RomCom SNAFU 2 Review and Recommendations

“If you had to sacrifice a bunch to protect something, you’d probably throw it all away. Even the relationships you currently have.”

Yahari does a superb job in demonstrating the complexities of human relationships. It shows how through the communication of characters or lack there of communication, that human beings can develop slowly into their own unique beings. We follow this through the eyes of Hikigaya Hachiman (8man) and his relationships between his “club members”, Yuigahama Yui and Yukinoshita Yukino. Hikigaya exemplifies the role of a observer, someone who observes, learns and is readily able to act when problems occur with all the information available. “We all have our own personal image that’s dictated by others, one that’s always off the mark. We wish to remain true to ourselves, but who decides who we are as people?” This season however, we learn about the struggles he faces when that information is not everything at face value. Yahari does a great job in demonstrating the differences in expectations humans have between one another. Whether or not those expectations can be fulfilled through our actions is another thing. For example, as human beings we wear a mask, in order to fit in with different situations. We wear different masks in order to be accepted or to meet the expectations of others. However through Hikigaya we learn that not all expectations are fulfilled as they may differ from person to person, leading to a complexity in relationships. There is also an ongoing struggle to meet/find genuine relationships and Yahari does this well. When one does not meet his/her own expectations the opinion of them self changes and thus others around them. We learned that humans can be manipulative and cunning under their masks (as show through Hayato and Yui) and may not show genuinely show what they are really thinking. The fact that Hikigaya seeks something genuine was against his own expectations and the journey he faces confuses him as he is a whole new world. However through his fellow “club members” or “friends” we slowly develop an understanding, that this may or may never come to be. Where it is independent on the acceptance of oneself,others and the situation of whether or not this is going to come true. Example: One may accept everything they believe to be is going on is genuine, if everyone does this, then it is possible for the relationship to be deemed as “genuine”. On the other hand there is also the other view of that it is not possible unless we “show our guts to each other”, where everyone is hiding something and it’s human nature to benefit for oneself. Yuiyui2yui4yui3

YUI BEST GIRL

OP/ED: I believe Yahari had the best combination of OP/ED this season. With Yanagi Nagi (one of my favourites) at the helm of the OP and the seiyuus Hayami Saori and Touyama Nao at the reigns of the ED, I believe they got the best out of the voices and the lyrics. In saying this the lyrics and pace of the songs really fit within the anime’s themes.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the ballad versions of the ED

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – My Teenage RomCom SNAFU 2 Was it Good? It was really good, one of the best. It creates a whole different psychological perspective that a lot of people don’t have and seem to be missing. It does really well for an anime that focuses on character relations. The characters are great, the music is great and the way that things are said create a thought process that may differ to the norm. I enjoyed watching and thinking, how this can apply to my own relationships and whether or not everything is genuine or not.

Recommendations: It’s difficult to recommend anime similar to this, when there are many complexities and very psychological thought processing themes within an anime. Nevertheless I try, here is what I recommend:

  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (The first season of course)
  • Bakemonogatari
  • Hyouka
  • Kokoro Connect
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