I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they made something good out of it!
The credit here goes to the original light novels this was based on, because for once, this show aims to stray away from mindless fluff, even though it may not seem like that at first. The lead character at first seems like the umpth snarky male lead, but eventually he sets himself apart to be different by actually using the weaknesses in his own personality as a weapon. This gives him wit that leads to some very insightful character-development, and the great thing is that this series never claims that he is just right, but instead it provides multiple viewpoints at the same issue. The original source material was very well written, and thankfully the creators of the anime managed to carry that over in their adaptation.
The side characters also surprised me. They range from intelligent to… not so intelligent, but I was quite impressed with how so few actually try to play up their own stereotypes. For example, you have the typical blond girl who is the most popular girl in the school, and while she acts cocky, she actually has more to her character than that, and she never really just starts acing like a complete spoiled princess. The lead female at first seems like a Senjogahara-clone, but quickly develops her own traits that make her far less one-dimensional than what you’d expect.
There is a lot of standard high school fare, and this show does linger along at places, not to mention that I feel like its ending is quite rushed and inconclusive. The visuals also aren’t anything special: they are adequate, but the animation never stands out nor falters. Still, for a high school “romantic comedy”, this was pretty damn good.
One-Sentence Review: Takes the generic high-school love-comedy set-up, and makes it good with some deep characters.
– Umi ga Kikoeru
– Hana-Saku Iroha
– His and Her Circumstances