An asocial (which shouldn’t get confused with an antisocial) is a person who doesn’t wish to get involved with society or other people in general. Similar to introverts (I guess you could say all asocials are introverts), they would rather be left alone with their own thoughts. This is a behaviour that is often seen as negative by society. They will say you’re just being boring, grumpy or ruining the mood for everyone.
When I first read the synopsis for My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU I thought that it would be your average school-based romantic comedy. I mean, it’s in the title itself.
This romantic comedy revolves around an antisocial high school student named Hikigaya Hachiman with a distorted view on life and no friends or girlfriend. When he sees his classmates talking excitedly about living their adolescent lives, he mutters: “They’re a bunch of liars.” When he is asked about his future dreams, he responds, “Not working.” A teacher gets Hachiman to join the “Volunteer Service” club, which happens to have the school’s prettiest girl, Yukinoshita Yukino. (MyAnimeList)
It seems like we have seen it over and over again, right? An attractive tsundere male characters ends up being changed by a lovely beautiful girl. Little did I know that the title was being sarcastic. Or that it is actually subtitled ‘My Teen Romantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected’.
No, this is not the case of a character that gets introduced and whose introversion has to be “fixed”. Sure, Hikigaya evolves during the series and many people agree that he was more interesting during the first season, but Hikigaya never loses his point of view or his opinions about the world.
Hikigaya has been alone pretty much all his life. This has made him able to depend on himself and only think about himself (and his little sister). For that reason, he is very logical and reasonable and he doesn’t understand (or care for) others people’s feelings. This is one of the reasons why he’s hated by many of his classmates. He’s also considered “disgusting” by many girls he’s approached. Since he’s aware of that fact, he prefers to be a loner and to not to engage in social activities or just stay quietly in a corner to avoid being a burden to anyone because “there are people who ruin the atmosphere just by existing, you know”.
Hikigaya is not the only interesting character in this story, though. As a matter of fact, what makes this story so interesting is its characters and how they influence each other. Each one of them is different, complex and unique in their own way. And the series doesn’t even try to push these personalities down your throat or make their thoughts and feelings too obvious. In fact, 90% of the time you don’t even know how the main characters feel. That is why I find this series to be so realistic. You keep learning about the characters just like you would in real life. This allows for characters that you had previously categorised as “the typical character who…” to end up surprising you as the episodes go by.
The romantic factor works in a similar fashion in this story. In fact, romance is barely noticeable here. Again, this is a story about individuals living in society. The series explores what it is that creates friendship and what being friends implies, whether it’s good or bad. It’s also about sacrifice and about helping others even though you don’t really care about them. It’s about wanting to be alone, but not lonely. Romantic elements might come up every now and then, but that’s because love is a part of life, not because it’s the main focus of this story. Or at least it’s not in the surface.
In fact, this series has so many brilliant conversations (the majority of them are quotes belonging to either Hikigaya or Yukino), that it almost feels like you are going through a psychological journey in which you begin to understand yourself and your life a little more. Or at least that is the effect this series had in me.
At the end of the day, the degree in which you grow attached to a series depends on your personality and your taste. If you’re an outgoing extroverted person who is looking for an entertaining romantic story, you could still enjoy this series but I’d recommend you’d go watch something else. On the other hand, if you consider yourself to be an outcast, asocial or even a person suffering from social anxiety, this series will speak to you on a spiritual level. Promise.