Why so gloomy 8man? I actually enjoyed your show! Find out why below the break
Never thought I’d be saying this but SNAFU is my dark horse of Spring 2013. This season had a lot of shows that started out strong but failed to keep the momentum going however SNAFU was the opposite. It has a mediocre start but exponentially gets better as it goes along. It all came down to what makes any series good: excellent characters
Hikigaya Hachiman (also known as Hikky or 8man around the web) is what jaded would be if you personified it as a LN protagonist in highschool. He has an old soul trapped in a teenager’s body. Growing up, he had some “traumatic” school life experiences which warped his mind into this pessimistic character you slowly learn to love. What’s somewhat refreshing about this take on the social outcast is Hachiman appoints himself the role and relishes being alone. Evidenced early in the series, he can actually hold conversations and make friends, he just chooses not to if he can avoid doing so.
Hachiman makes it hard for the audience to empathize with him in the first half of the series because he constantly pushes the people away who are trying to get close to him. However as the series progresses, he eventually comes to accept this new group of people who are now common in his life, if still at arm’s length away. His actions naturally evolve from pushing people away to pushing people away. That’s not a typo. The difference in the latter being he does so for the sake of improving everyone’s lives and social statuses around him. He isn’t afraid to take on the role of the bad guy or doing the hard things in certain situations and all the disadvantages that come with it since he’s already emotionally and socially scarred. Hachiman’s character arc throughout the series has an interesting progression culminating with him coming to terms that even if he doesn’t care about himself, other people do. That was Hachiman’s “weakness” and what was holding him back from truly growing up.
I said the cast is the best part of SNAFU yet I’ve only mentioned one character in the entire post. Hayama Hayato, a personal favorite of mine, receives a lot of misplaced flak from viewers. On the surface, he seems like your typical high school role model that everyone loves and aspires to be. In SNAFU though, it goes much deeper than that. He is able to understand why Hachiman is the way he is even if he doesn’t agree with his lifestyle. Hayato’s role naturally foils against Hachiman creating some of the more interesting conversations in the entire show. I personally think Hayama considers Hachiman a friend but I’m not sure if the feelings are mutual to the same degree.
Overall, one more of the more engaging high school slice of life shows I’ve had the pleasure to watch especially compared to something like I don’t know… Haganai (That’s right I said it).