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.
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Hachiman Hikigaya (aka Hikki) He has dead eyes and has determined never to have a relationship ever again because of previous pain. Throughout the show we hear his constant ruminations about the state of humankind. They are usually cynical and mostly true. Unlike most harem guys, he isn’t dense or in denial. He sees the potential attachments and avoids them. You might consider him a “hinedere“.
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That is Yukino Yukinoshita. She was the sole member of the service club until Hikki was forced to join. Yukino was tasked with turning Hachiman into a social being. She has a problem with relationships too. Her parents are rich, she is beautiful, and yet she avoids social interaction. There is an annoyance/hate relationship with her sister who always seems “one-up” on her. She has been hurt somewhere before.
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Yui Yuigahama is the third member of the Service Club. Yet another bishoujo. She slowly develops a crush on  Hachiman which he chalks up to pity and gratitude for saving her dog. She doesn’t have a good sense of herself. Outside the club she is always trying to get into the “in” crowd, yet always stuck just on the periphery
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Shizuka Hiratsuka. A grown up version of Yukino. The teacher who forced Hikki and Yui into the Service Club to try to get the 3 members to become socially functioning people. She’s 100% kireirna josei and in her mid 20s. She shows her care for Hikki by punching him in the gut when she is angry with him. Mayhaps they remind her of her school days. Insecure about being in her mid20s and not yet married.
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Saika Totsuka. Before the service club he was Hachiman’s only friend. He is very pretty and often mistaken for a bishoujo. Even Hachiman ends up gazing adoringly at him until he forces himself to shake it off. If I had a friend like this when I was in high school I would never want to shake it off.
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Haruno, Yukino Yukinoshita’s big breasted big sister. She constantly rides and derides Yuki over her social situation. Loves to tease Hikki.
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This is Hikki playing with his little sister, Komachi. As far as I can tell it is a perfectly healthy relationship with Komachi trying to help her nee-san out of his isolationist and depressive ways. Even if he is resistant to admitting it, they really do care for each other. The matching brother & sister ahoges scream Monogatari to me.

 

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.

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Turns out Saki, who is very mature for her age, is working illegally in a swanky all night club as a bartender to save money to put herself thru extra summer school. She wants the best possible results in her college tests. When the Service Club has her talk to her little brother about it, and the Club also suggests she look into scholarships,  the conflict is resolved.

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!

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Hayato Hayama is the local heartthrob and center of a clique. He is not the nice guy everyone wants to make him. He becomes a friend of Hikki and comes to the Service Club for help on occasion.
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I just realized that Hina Ebina rhymes. She is a die hard yaoi and BL fan in real life, spurting blood from her nose when speculating over the relationship between three boys. Part of Hayato’s circle, she becomes involved in a couple of the Service Club’s projects. She is adorable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yumiko Miura is the alpha female of the clique centered abound Hayato and that Yui was trying to be accepted by. She is a bishoujo (of course) and a princess in her own mind. Hikki’s thinks of her as a snake when she is angry.  However Yukino is capable of verbally dismantling her because Yumiko has worked hard on her looks but not on her personality.
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Yoshiteru Zaimokuza is a middle school associate of Hikki’s who suffers from Chuunibyou syndrome. An aspiring writer who really needs to work on his originality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basically there you have it. Toss in another few characters who are important in second season and it is complete.

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Rumi is an elementary school girl the club helps out who is teased and bullied.  She is very much like a younger version of Yuki. Hikki’s solution left something to be desired.

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.

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These are just the ending credits trying to get you psyched about the girls as love interests.
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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!

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The Service Club swings into action to help.

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