My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 3 of
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax (TV 3) ?
This week's episode is centered around the preparations for the upcoming school prom. Hachiman has stayed out of it so far—letting Yukino do this on her own as requested. However, this doesn't mean he isn't a bit worried about her. After all, something all-too-similar happened before when a popular-yet-unexperienced student leader roped Yukino into helping with a major school event.
Back in season one, Minami, the nominal culture festival organizer, ended up dumping everything on Yukino—and Yukino, in turn, accepted all that additional work without complaint. Moreover, due to her refusal to rely on others, Yukino overworked herself to the point of illness.
However, this time, things look to be quite a bit different. Yukino is willing to accept other's help when it is offered this time around—thanking Hachiman when he comes to help with making the advertising video for the prom. More than that, she's willing to be proactive and ask those closest to her for help with the hardest jobs—like being the main on-screen characters in the commercial.
But perhaps the biggest difference is that, despite the workload being similar, Yukino looks far happier. She is in the midst of forming her own path. Not only is she doing something her sister didn't do, she's doing it because she wants to as well. No one guilt tripped her or pushed her into the role. And best of all, the prom will become something of a legacy that will leave a lasting effect on the school for years to come.
While many of the changes in how this event is being run come from Yukino's own evolution, there is one other major factor to consider: Iroha herself. On the most basic level, both Minami and Iroha are popular girls pushed into their roles by peer pressure as much as anything else. However, when Minami recognized her inadequacy, she ran away from it—pushing all the decisions and responsibilities onto others.
Iroha, on the other hand, has started to step up—especially after taking a leading role in the Christmas event and Valentine's Day event—and she's pretty confident that everything is going to plan with the prom. However, as Hachiman points out, just because it's is going well, that doesn't mean that it's going well because of Iroha. While it's important to rely on others, as Yukino has learned, it's also important to pull your own weight—especially when you're the one at the top.
So when Iroha notices she is making mistakes and relying a bit too much on others, she immediately reflects on this and vows to do better—and for the rest of the episode can be seen making the big decisions and playing crowd control while letting Yukino focus on implementing what she decides. She may be embarrassed by her mistakes but she is committed to putting on the best prom she can—partly because she loves the idea of a prom in general and partly because she wants to look good in the eyes of Hachiman.
Which brings us to Hatchiman's latest issue. In his attempts “to find something real” between him, Yui, and Yukino, he is subconsciously emulating the “realest” relationship he has by acting around the girls he trusts as if they are his sister.
Now, it's clear to anyone that Komachi and Hachiman have a close relationship. He can tell her his true, unfiltered feelings and she accepts them without judgement. For years she has been his safe space and the one member of the opposite sex he fully trusts.
So defaulting to this way of acting with Yui, Yukino, and Iroha is perfectly understandable. However, as Iroha puts it, most girls do not want to be treated like a sister—with the not so hidden implication “especially by the guy they like.” Without even meaning to, by treating the girls around him like his sister, Hatchiman is basically sending the message that they don't even register to him as datable women.
Now, of course, all this stems from Hatchiman's own deep-seated fear of rejection. He's afraid to view them as datable—especially as they've grown so close. Having Yui or Yukino reject him would hurt a billion times more than it did with his middle school crush. Yet, he hadn't realized that preemptively rejecting them could be hurting them too.
And so just as Iroha listens to his advice, he listens to hers. When Yukino is self-conscious about how she looks in a suit, he gives a heartfelt compliment. And when its later brought up that Yui may have trouble walking in her dress and heals, he lends her an arm (a classic romantic gesture if there ever was one).
All in all, this episode shows that our heroes are changing for the better—and through their interactions, they are helping each other grow. But as we see in the next episode preview, just because you're changing, that doesn't mean your old problems have gone away.
• Hachiman “asking out” Saika (even as friends) is a big step for him. It's great that he can put himself out there and accept a rejection like an adult.
• Just as Hachiman views himself as an elder brother, Saki views herself as an elder sister. So even though she has a little crush on Hachiman, she plays matchmaker a bit by pointing out to him that Yui will likely need help walking.
• I don't know which is cuter, Yukino hiding her smile at being complimented or her petting the cat photo on her phone.
• I love how the dance footage is stupidly dark and hard to watch as it wasn't lit properly at all—exactly how something like this made by high schoolers would look.
• Why isn't Shizuka as busy as all the other teachers? They're all prepping for the new year and she's leaving the school. In Japan, teachers are shuffled between schools by the board of education every few years—with the teachers having little to no say where they are placed. Of course, whether she is being transferred or is quitting teaching altogether is something yet to be revealed.
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