This is going to be a short review. Maybe that means more people will look at it and realize how wonderful it is. That picture from the season one ending sure had me thinking yuri. But it isn’t.
Spoilers ahead! Or maybe just very soft fruit.
Hikki, Yui and Yuki clean up very nicely when they have to go undercover in a formal setting. They are solving a mystery as to why Saki Kawasaki disappears after school and doesn’t come home until late in the am. This request of the Service Club was initiated by Komachi for her friend Taishi, Saki’s little brother.
This is what the Service Club does. Most of the requests are complicated personal issues. Teacher is scoring them on who solves the most.
My God man! Are there any females in the show who aren’t supposed to be bishoujo? (No. That what happens in a harem.) And there are a lot of characters names who are alliterative (YY or HH).
Shizuka’s main weakness is her despair over not being married – as Saki demonstrates with just a few well placed words. Despite this, Hikki wishes he were ten years older so he could fall in love with her. Stupid Japanese notions of females marrying so young!
Basically there you have it. Toss in another few characters who are important in second season and it is complete.
On its surface, the anime is about the Service Club helping other students with delicate and private matters. Hikki’s usual method to solve a problem is usually cynical or harsh, often involving underhanded actions or putting himself up as a punching bag to offer people a different target to dislike. Or he devises a way to get a clique to fight within itself rather than pick on a client. Yui and Yuki promote different methods, with Yuki and Hikki breaking even on the “score” of problem solving.
On another level it becomes a harem with Yuki and Yui the main interests. You could even include Hina, Saita and Shizuka and a few others on the periphery if you wanted. Hikki is brutally honest about things and so desperate for something “real” in a relationship, he is off-putting to most people. Sometimes he causes great pain to the attracted girl with his avoidance behavior.
The girls never do get into these poses in the anime but I think they are beautiful art.
The two main girls are slowly becoming attracted to him and he is trying to avoid that entanglement due to the pain of the past. He is not dumb as a toad nor blind to what feelings are going on around him. Other girls along their way that the club has helped start showing an interest in him. Kind of the periphery of his harem. Komachi wryly notes that even without “those two” there is still hope for him.
On the most basic level the three are a therapy group. Slowly they begin to overcome the pain of their pasts to reach a level of social functionality in the real world. That was Shizuka’s true intent behind the Service Club. The hope that helping others might help them find their way in the world and maybe even bind them together in friendship. Perhaps Shizuka is hoping they will avoid some of the mistakes she made along the way.
And that is the loveliness of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. We need a season three!