Written by Bananaowns
Images courtesy of Feel
The first season of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU was amazing. There were a few problems, but nothing that managed to reduce my overall enjoyment of the show. Thankfully, the show received a second season, but there was one issue going into this new season. A different studio was responsible for the production of this new season and it was unclear if they would maintain the same level of quality as the first season. I am glad to say this new studio managed to improve on almost every aspect of the production while maintaining the great characters that this series is known for. I am Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.
Story & Characters
The season begins almost immediately after the events that characterized the ending of the first season. However, it immediately skips the fallout of Hachiman’s outburst by jumping ahead in time. This is the only negative that I have with this anime. The last major event of the previous season is relatively ignored and everything returns to the status quo too quickly. If this aspect had a bit more time, the show would have been absolute perfection because the entire season after this quick jump is absolutely phenomenal. As for the rest of the season, it is similar in some ways to the first. Initially, the focus is on the club carrying out its duty to help other students, but then it shifts to a more focused plot. The previous season used the tasks as vignettes to explore the characters; this season doesn’t really use this aspect because the drama for character development is already present. As a result, the main trio receives quite a bit of direct focus.
Much like with the first season, this series is all about the characters. The major focus now is on the main trio as they deal with their now solid friendships. Hachiman’s methods for helping the service club begin to create tension in the group. Due to their relative closeness now, Yui and Yukino begin to have a hard time seeing Hachiman hurt himself for the sake of others. The tension between Yukino and Hachiman begin to deteriorate the group while Yui desperately tries to keep the three of them together. The interactions between these three characters are so intertwined now that all of this tension eventually comes to a breaking point. This moment is one of the most powerful moments of the series so far as Hachiman finally begins to show a hint of vulnerability. That is a moment that perfectly represents the evolution of the main trio in this season. They all struggle to find out just exactly what they mean to each other. This is further complicated by both girls discovering that they have romantic feelings for Hachiman. It’s very philosophical, but that fits with the overall theme of the show: the difficulty in finding something genuine in a relationship. That covers a tiny amount of the main development of the main cast, but I want to talk about a new character specifically before moving on to the updated presentation.
Iroha Isshiki was introduced as a new character in this season. She is a first year that is initially shown as being cheerful, pretty, and ditzy. This is quickly shown to be a rather fake personality. She actually alters her personality so that she simply maintains a decent public image. Her true colors only begin to show when she begins to spend a lot of time with Hachiman as he assists her with a problem. In reality, she is actually quite intelligent with a slightly devious personality. Iroha quickly becomes a mainstay with the cast and she receives quite a bit of character development. Her interactions with Hachiman, coupled with another event, lead to a drastic change for the character. She becomes more outgoing and less manipulative. This change takes place over the entire run of this season. Iroha is such a great character that I would put her on the same pedestal as Yui and Yukino. Despite cleaning up the drama from the first season very quickly, the story was a perfect continuation of the character study on the main trio.
Animation & Sound
One of my main gripes about the first season involved the animation quality. It’s shocking how much the animation quality improved with this new studio. The awkward animations of the past are gone. Every movement looks great now. The facial expressions maintain their excellence, but with a much cleaner look. The most dramatic moments also receive a significant boost in animation quality. I’m not an expert, but these moments almost have a sakuga-like feel about them. I complained about the flat backgrounds of the first season, but this not an issue at all in this season. The backgrounds received a large jump in detail. Coupled with the improved animation, the backgrounds make every frame of this series look great. Along with the updated animation, the characters also received a slight redesign. While some have criticized this redesign, I actually like the new looks quite a bit. It certainly took time to get used to, but the new designs really add that extra factor to the series, especially when combined with the more fluid animation.
As for the sound design, the series maintains its excellent voice acting. Given the more dramatic moments for the main trio in this season, there was more required of the voice actors. Hachiman’s actor was especially great in this season, given his newfound displays of emotion. Again, the entire cast manages to give a great performance this season. My favorite new aspect of the sound design is the new opening. I love this opening song so much. It has the perfect tone to match the series. It’s light hearted, but then bursts into dramatic moments. As for the rest of the music, there really isn’t a standout track. This is similar to the first season and again, it’s not detrimental to the series as a whole. Overall, the updated animation was a welcome addition and the series maintained its solid voice acting.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO was an outstanding follow-up to the first season. While I had one issue with the pacing, the overall plot was excellent. The series continued its look into the main three characters while also introducing some great new characters. The presentation was greatly improved, with the animation receiving a huge face lift. The sound design maintained the solid voice acting of the first season as well. I did not think that they could do it, but the second season was an overall improvement on the already great first season. I give My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too my Bananaowns’ stamp of approval. Sadly, the anime managed to adapt pretty much all of the currently released light novels, which means a potential third season is quite far away in terms of time. Given my love of this series, I will gladly wait any length of time for the rest of this adaptation, it was that good. I’ll be back next week for another anime review and thanks for checking this one out.