My Teen Romantic WTF-ery

After having watched the eighth episode of the current season, I think My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu should be re-titled Jesus Christ, What the Fuck is Wrong With These Kids?

I do like how the kids’ social problems aren’t a result of some past trauma, which would have been too pat (remember that Hikigaya was already a loner long before he got hit by a car). They’re like this because that’s just how they’re wired. Some people are shy, some people are gregarious, and some people have trouble connecting with others. Perhaps it’s good that pop psychology isn’t as pervasive in Japanese media as it is over here, otherwise I get the feeling that undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome would be the easy answer for the question of the kids’ social issues.

I wonder now what the writer of the light novels is like. The personalities of the characters are exaggerated for dramatic effect, of course, and most of the situations in the show are too contrived to be realistic, but it feels like there’s emotional truth and perhaps first-hand experience in the depiction of the loneliness of the misanthrope.

2 Replies to “My Teen Romantic WTF-ery”

  1. True that. The overdramatization is what prevented this from replacing Usagi Drop as my favorite anime.

    My 2nd complain is that I feel characters often talk starting from the middle (not sure how to describe this, it’s like when you meet a best friend you haven’t seen in years and you two just continued your chat as if he never left. Baffling to outsiders because only you two know the context of the conversation). I’m not sure whether this writing is intentional or a result of the crew lacking outside opinion and evaluation.

    But all in all, as my scriptwriting teacher said, you can put whatever the fuck you want if you give it enough emotional support. This is how cliche animes and bad tv shows get away with stuffs.

  2. Coincidentally, I added Usagi Drop to my Crunchyroll queue a couple of months ago but still haven’t gotten around to it. If you’re saying it and Oregairu are in the same ballpark in terms of quality then I’ll have to move Usagi Drop up a couple of places on my viewing list.

    Anyway, yes, I see what you’re saying. The anime’s characters start talking as if they’re already in the middle of a conversation. My reading on this depiction is that it’s intentional, that Hikigaya and Yukinoshita’s personalities match each other so well that they’re basically having one ongoing conversation that sometimes pauses when they’re away from each other. Of course, understanding is not romance. It’s not even friendship, at least not early on in the series. But it’s not nothing, and having someone understand you is a rare thing in itself.

    As you said, their way of talking excludes outsiders, which Yuigahama specifically mentions a few times, but Hikigaya and Yukinoshita have given up on being understood by other people anyway. Or they did at the beginning of the anime.

    And on the subject of scriptwriting, note that a lot of soap operas and romantic comedies (a-ha!) have terrible plot lines but still have legions of obsessive fans. It’s all in what your goal is.

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