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My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection (anime review)

snafu-season-2Review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection

Director: Kei Oikawa

Studio: feel.

Author: Shotaro Suga

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: October 18, 2016

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 13 episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, School Life, Drama

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Haganai, Haganai: NEXT, Kokoro Connect, and Toradora!

The good, the bad, and the socially maladjusted are back!

Synopsis:

The stampede of recent events may have herded the awkward members of the Service Club into something closer to a real bonding, but the upcoming field trip to Kyoto threatens to reverse those tiny steps forward. Alongside a list of attractions to see, they will also be taking along a lot of emotional baggage, and helping others with their personal and romantic issues may just cause the entire luggage rack to collapse.

Between Hachiman’s growing realization of how much he can manipulate others, Yukino’s underlying battles with responsibility, and Yui’s shifting needs and insecurities, the tenuous thread that holds their relationship together is more fragile than ever. Even as the path ahead is strewn with psychological traps, the feelings that each of them refuse to acknowledge may end up being the true pitfall in My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection.

Commentary:

I was so excited to hear that My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection was finally being released. I loved the first season and I was really looking forward to the conclusion that My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection would give the story. Boy was I wrong about that conclusion because Hachiman, Yukino, and Yui end up not talking about their feelings at all and instead shove them all to the side so they can just be friends. There was no plot progression, actually it crawled at a snail’s pace and never really went anywhere, and the characters did not change or develop at all.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection starts off where the first season left off at the school festival and Hachiman’s behavior is explained to some degree. Then they all go off to Kyoto and that is where all the problems for our three main characters start. Hachiman decides to go off and change the outcome of one of the club’s projects and they did not care at all for how he handled it. Yukino’s older sister comes back into the story and just causes all sorts of trouble and eventually brings their mother into the picture because she is worried that Yukino is just copying her older sister and not becoming her own person. That situation is what forces Yukino to set her true feelings aside and it changed her personality. Yui is just too shy to say her true feelings and instead just wants everyone to be friends and get along. She knows that cannot happen but she still pushes for it every chance she gets.

The animation changed a bit from the first season but it still looks great. The colors are bright and lively and the backgrounds do not detract from the characters. The voice actors did a great job as always. The opening and closing animations were catchy and I found myself singing along with them within a few episodes.

Extras:

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations, a special animation, and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language option.

 

Overall Grade: B-

Even though I do not have much good to say about My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!: Complete Collection I did still enjoy it and I hope they decide to make a third season so that the story can be wrapped up. A girl can always wish, right?

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray (anime review)

My-Teen-Romantic-Comedy-SNAFUreview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection

Director: Ai Yoshimura

Studio: Brian’s Base

Author: Shotaro Suga

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: September 1, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, School

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular, Haganai, and Haganai: NEXT

Synopsis:

Caution! Opposites may attract, but putting them together may result in chemical burns, electric shocks, and explosions. Enter Hachiman Hikigaya, a pessimistic high school student with no friends and absolutely no interest in making any, and the firm belief that everyone else’s cherished high school experiences are either delusions or outright lies. Hachiman finds himself forcibly coerced by his well-meaning student advisor into joining the one member Service Club. There he encounters club founder Yukino Yukinoshita, a smart, attractive, walking superiority complex who looks down on the entire student body.

These two negative personalities are quick to attract Yui Yuigahama, who’s cute, bright, cheerful, and needs the Service Club’s help to… bake cookies as she should not be allowed in a kitchen by herself. Is this a recipe for romance or the precursor for a nuclear meltdown? Will there be cookies or a reason for everyone to play hooky? Get ready for rom-com gone totally wrong as the three members of the Service Club is unleashed on the unsuspecting student body!

Commentary:

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection is the opposite of a rom-com but at the same time it is one as well it just depends on the episode. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection gives you a fresh and exciting spin on anime stereotypes that will leave you bawling in laughter. The storyline is mostly episodic and character-driven. The last few episodes flow together but the rest of the episodes do not need to be watched in order after the first episode.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection really gets its characters and empathizes with them, but it does not make excuses for them. The characters are wonderful and well thought-out. Hachiman Hikigaya, or Hiki, is your cynical and somewhat pessimistic lead male character and his dissections of everyday occurrences and his appreciation for the little things in life bring hilarity to the story. The way he thinks and acts changes drastically throughout the course of the show as he meets new people and learns more about how to be a friend. Yukino Yukinoshita is the incredibly cunning and calculative tsundere of the series. She and Hiki are in the same boat when referring to lack of friends because she lacks them due to her perceived perfection and elitist attitude; while Hiki lacks them for his mistrust of others and cynical behavior. It was amazing to watch them grow on each other in a way that is not very predictable, but extremely well done. Yiu Yiugahama is the air-headed and inexplicable nice member of the group and serves as the glue that sticks them together with her much needed comical outbreaks and genuine emotions.

The animators brought these characters to life and it was amazing to watch. The character designs were bright and the facial expressions added the realism to the series. The opening and closing songs were fun to listen to and were easy to sing-along with. The voice actors did a great job and helped bring the characters to life before your eyes.

Extras:

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language option.

Overall Grade: B+

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection has made it onto my list of favorite series and I found it quite enjoyable. It is a refreshing and interesting take on the rom-com genre. I hope that there is a second season released soon so the story can be wrapped up.

The Eccentric Family (anime review)

The Eccentric FamilyTitle: The Eccentric Family (Uchōten Kazoku)

Director: Masayuki Yoshihara

Creator: Tomihiko Morimi (novel)

Anime Writer: Shōtarō Suga

Studio: P.A. Works

Music by: Yoshiaki Fujisawa

North America Distributor: NIS America

North American Release Date: Jan. 6th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 307 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, Slice of Life, Drama

Age Rating: TV 13+

Overall Personal Rating: A

Synopsis:

In modern day Kyoto, humans live in the city, tengus take to the sky, and tanukis roam the earth. One such tanuki is Yasaburo, the third son of Soichiro Shimogamo, famed tanuki leader who met his end far too early at the hands of a group of humans and their year-end banquet hot pot.

Yasaburo has since embraced his “fool’s blood” and strives for a happy, carefree life. But between taking care of his old tengu master Akadama-sensei, avoiding the life-threatening advances of the beautiful human Benten, dealing with his dangerously stupid twin cousins, and avoiding becoming a hot pot himself in the next year-end banquet, the young tanuki has his proverbial work cut out for him!

Commentary:

Ok, all you tanuki fans line up. This anime is the next best thing to Pom Poko. yes and I really mean it. I have to say I laughed and cried with this anime and was  left with smile on my face when it was over. The Eccentric Family takes on the every lasting struggles of understanding the world around you and also the differences that make a family unit. There are classic older brother issues along with the neurotic personalities that come with being a middle and youngest brother. Seeing this family represent the full spectrum is great and they are burdened with having a father that cast a huge shadow. How can a son ever live up the heroic legendary ideal that their father created before his tragic end?

The Eccentric Family is well written and adapted to this 13 episode anime. It doesn’t drag anything out and also manages to fill most of the gaps in a short period of time. I feel as though the story had a lot to say and really hit on a few points. I’m sure if it really explored the tanuki aspect as well as it could, but it managed to keep the supernatural world at the center of the plot line.

The animation was carefree and stood up to the story well. I would have preferred it to be a little tighter with maybe a more robust full feature to the characters. The background was bright and cheerful which help keep things in line with the overall fun filled attitudes of the world of the tanuki. The music fit well with the story and really helped out in a few critical points. Way to go Yoshiaki Fujisawa for understanding the nature of the story.

Overall Grade: A

The Eccentric Family is a well rounded story that I think the whole family can enjoy. I do think that percents will enjoy it because of the way it provides that archetype personas of children and the behavior based on their birth place. I think there is something to say about rediscovering the memories of a long lost loved one and trying to understand the meaning of their existence.

The only real detractor for me was that it was not dubbed into english. I believe that because of the quick pace much of the meaning can be lost and some of the dialog looses its punch. That being said I still enjoyed the series and may need to revisit it several time to catch all of it for what it really is.