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My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! Complete Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

9 min read

snafu-too-blu-ray-coverThe service club continues on, more mired in their own problems though.

What They Say:
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’ll 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!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release is brings us the original Japanese language track only, which is done in stereo and encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The show has a fairly standard high school oriented design to it where it’s all about the dialogue in the classroom and some exterior events that doesn’t have much of an opportunity to go big. It does do it a couple of times with certain events, but by and large it’s a dialogue driven piece that keeps it casual and simple if not with some internal dialogue that’s kept at an even conversational tone. The show handles all of this well with a decent bit of directionality to it when needed and it gives us a clean and decent presentation that doesn’t stand out much overall. The opening and closing sequences add a bit more warmth to the events and it’s certainly noticeable, though not a game changer. We didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in the spring of 2015, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The thirteen episodes are spread across two discs in a nine/four format. Animated by Brain’s Base, the transfer for the show definitely reminds you of the difference high definition can make in a lot of ways. Colors have some great pop to it in many scenes, they’re rich throughout with some great shades moving across various areas and detail is well managed with clean linework and more. The show doesn’t go for a lot of high action moments, but when it does it comes across very well here with no noise or breakup associated with it. It’s definitely a solid increase in quality, quite noticeable in many areas, though more so on larger displays than smaller ones..

Packaging:
The packaging for this release brings us a standard sized Blu-ray case that holds the two discs inside against the interior walls. The front cover uses the familiar key visual for the season of the four main characters coming down the steps and it ha some nice representation with their placement in some ways. I like the detail of it but I also like the way the logo brings some real pop to it with the blue, pink, and white. The back cover uses the same color scheme to good effect as the center has another large dialogue bubble where we get the premise covered nicely while surrounding it is a series of shots from the show itself. We also get a small bubble that breaks down the discs extras. The bottom section brings out the production credits in decent form and the technical grid covers everything smoothly and accurately with no issues. The show doesn’t have any inserts nor does it have a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu design for this release plays off of the color design of the main cover but also gets a whole lot busier. The right side features the navigation with episodes by number and title which is done with a good sized font and some solid colors that makes it appealing and it doubles well as the pop-up menu. The rest of the menu changes with each disc as we get the leading ladies getting their own main menus to themselves with the school uniform focus. That’s made more so by some very splashy colorful backgrounds that just busies it up but works because it has a kind of visual intensity that works. Submenus are few and far between as it’s basically just for the extras but the release as a whole is quick and easy to navigate with no problems in getting done what you need to do.

Extras:
The only extras included in this release are the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having enjoyed the heck out of the first season of this show, which I caught on simulcast, DVD, and then Blu-ray, I changed it up for this season by waiting for the Blu-ray release itself and just taking it all in. Coming two years after the first season came out is always a difficult thing to deal with as audience tastes change quickly and something that seems fresh one year will feel dated when it surfaces again. This season of the series essentially carries on the basic ideas with the service club but it loses some of what really made it tick along the way. Since it’s likely following the light novels fairly closely you can pin the blame there, since few productions really like to shift things up from what the source material does.

This season largely works the same as the first one did in that we get a couple of arcs and a whole lot of character material to deal with. Hachiman is still front and center here but there feels like there’s been such a reduction of his inner monologue that he skewed view of things in looking at the world is sorely missed. Of course, if you spend as much time as you do with Yukinon and Yui as he does, you may end up not being quite so cynical and aloof as you once were. Hachiman still is essentially that same guy, one that also pushes himself into difficult situations to help save others from being hurt, but it felt like he wasn’t quite as special this time around because of his monologues. There’s also the simple thing of his being involved in so many situations now and connecting with so many others that his aloofness begins to get a little more frustrating than it was before since everyone is getting a lot more comfortable with each other.

 

While the group has several service jobs to handle over the course of the season it also focuses on the relationship dynamic between them all. Events have been nudging toward some sort of confession or revelation along the way as you can see how both Yui and Yukinon are affected by Hachiman and his ways. It’s hard to really say that he gets it and realizes it, but it comes to an interesting head in the final episode that almost feels too anticlimactic when you get down to it. Relationships and friendships are incredibly tricky things no matter the age but even more so when you’re young and haven’t been involved in many or any, depending on the case. I can totally get why feelings develop among these characters since they know each other better than anyone else, but you can also understand the desire on almost all their parts to keep things as problem free as possible.

Some of this is made more complicated by the service jobs that involve helping with relationships and confessions. There are interesting moments in there as it deals with Hayato and his interests with Ebina in the like – what a beautiful place for a confession – but these are often far too unsubtle pieces of foreshadowing for our main trio that will run into Hachiman’s own self sacrifice desire. The service jobs largely didn’t make much an impression this time around but they did often bring him into contact with more people that are more comfortable with his particular presence and style at this point so there was less tension going on. The small evolutions like that are interesting but at the same time it kind of pulls a bit away from what makes Hachiman who he is. Some of the supporting characters from the first season largely disappear as well, though they make a few very small appearances along the way, and it comes with an increase in Komachi’s time as Hachiman’s younger sister. She definitely needles him the right way and I find their entire relationship to be charming and all too familiar with my own kids.

The biggest change with this season for me was the larger role for Iroha. She gets help with the whole student council thing early on after being pushed into it and then accepting the idea. It’s a kind of convoluted sequence that doesn’t do anyone any favors but it keeps her coming back to Hachiman and the club for help in dealing with council activities. What I like about her as it progresses is that she’s the one that I think has real chemistry with Hachiman whereas Yui and Yukino end up feeling more forced because of their simply being in the same club together. The course of the season puts them together in interesting ways, though it avoids her being in the key sequences at the end, and the more time she spent on screen the more I liked her than any of the other girls at this point. Something about her just clicks for me and has me ready to roll on to some fanfic that might be more interesting.

In Summary:
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! has a lot of the elements of the first season that I liked and continues to run with them but it also feels like a lot of more unique elements were cut back or mostly eliminated, both in ideas and characters. I like some of the expansions but I know the real focus is on the core trio so it’s hard to become too invested in anyone else as they’re mostly props to motivate the leads. This release definitely looks great and hits the right notes on presentation, making it a fun and engaging experience as a view, albeit one that wishes this did well enough to merit a dub. The show is one that I’d definitely be game for a third season for but it’s also left me a bit more curious to try the light novels to see how it handles the characters in there compared to here in the meantime.

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: October 18th, 2016
MSRP: $59.98
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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