Things got dramatic in a hurry.
The Volunteers Club continues to assist folks with their problems. This episode, the little brother of an alleged high school delinquent seeks them out.
This Week’s Job
We learn that the “delinquent” introduced at the end of episode 4 has nothing to do with the slanderous gossip going around. Instead, she brings problems of her own. And actually, I’m not sure if staying out all night and only coming home early in the mornings really qualifies you for the label of “delinquent”. I’d think “problem child”, as with Hachiman and the others, would suffice. But apparently it does. In any case, this is what our delinquent has been doing, and it’s understandably worrying her little brother. So the guy turns to his friend Komachi, who just so happens to be Hachiman’s little sister. And thus the Volunteers Club gets involved. It’s a small world after all. This case is “solved” in a relatively straight forward manner, and actually serves more as a springboard for more serious matters. But I will say that I liked how SNAFU sort of subverts the cliche development of a chick with a tough exterior working at a maid cafe (or some equivalently “cute” establishment).
And so by now it seems fairly obvious that SNAFU might follow the “problem of the week” formula every episode. It’s been pretty much that way so far, and each “case” has provided some opportunity for the main characters to grow a little. In fact, I’m tempted to reiterate what I’ve said in the premiere about how SNAFU resembles Medaka Box. I have a feeling this is what that show would have been like if it didn’t change genres midway and become a shounen fighting anime. But that’s enough of Medaka Box.
Insert Some Drama
As mentioned, SNAFU very smoothly inserts some important developments into this episode. We first learn that Yukino might have had a wealthy upbringing, what with her fancy clothes. While she attempts to brush her wardrobe off as a triviality, I don’t think any of us are buying it. The delinquent, Saki, also accuses her of being a “rich girl” daughter of a Diet member. This upsets Yukino visibly, a reaction which I don’t think any of us have ever seen from the usually cool and composed girl. Come to think of it, I feel like we’ve heard something along these lines about Yukino’s family before, but I digress. Obviously this is something she is not comfortable with, so I’m sure we’ll see more of it in the future.
Another important development is the revelation of Yui to Hachiman. I was wondering when Komachi would bring it up as all three of them are present in the same place at once. And of course, she nonchalantly slips it in almost as an afterthought. Hachiman’s immediate reaction is to assume that Yui is just acting kind to him out of pity and guilt for ruining his “high school debut”, and when he confronts her about it, he leaves the poor girl running away crying. While I’m displeased with how he handled the situation, we have to remember that this is coming from a guy who has disdain for and no trust in society. The show is clearly setting him up for another life lesson, so we can only hope that someone (probably Shizuka-sensei) comes along and beats some sense into the guy. And once that’s done, Yui’s true feelings might even be revealed to Hachiman. How he handles that would be an interesting sight to see. Or maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here we have the beginnings of some more dramatic developments, which seem to go hand-in-hand with the romcom genre. But while this is going on, it’s nice to see SNAFU retain some comedy. Shizuka-sensei getting shot down with the sure kill “single female teacher” attack is nothing new, yet still hilarious. It seems there’s no shortage of lonely female teachers in anime. Someone marry them already! Also equally amusing is Yukino getting caught fawning over Hachiman’s cat. I don’t think Hachiman has ever feared for his life as much as he did in that situation. Finally, we have Hayato’s hilarious failure of an attempt to hit on Saki. That was probably the first time in his life that he has been rejected. I guess there’s a first for everything, even for sparkly bishies. Needless to say, SNAFU continues to do comedy well.