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SNAFU - Did You Really Think That Nobody Would Notice???

My favorite anime (hands down) is Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru. (It's a long name, I know). It's more palatable aliases are "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU", "SNAFU", "OreGairu", and "Hamachi". It is also known by it's full English name: "My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected".

What's so great about this anime series?

Practically Everything!!! Plus the plot just got better and better.

(And the even the art improved over time!)

*Exits fangirl mode...*

But I guess if I had to narrow it down, I'd say that what I like most about the anime is the: a) HILARIOUS social commentary/interactions, b) the fact that I strongly identify with the experiences and personalities of 2/3 main characters (Hikigaya and Yukinoshita) and c) the fact the show required you to use your mind actively to keep up. It doesn't rely on cheap things like ecchi or troupes to keep your attention. It has real-world problems (in a microcosm) that draw you into the plot.

But alas, even my favorite anime couldn't be free of microaggressions (technically afrophobia/anti-blackness). It's like these people are addicted to it.

The scene I'm about to talk about happened in less than 10 seconds, but what was insinuated will last with me for much longer.

In season 1, episode 4, the protagonist, Hikigaya Hachiman, goes on one of his many internal social commentary rants about one of the cool kids he can't stand (Hayama Hayato, whom, incidentally, I can't stand either). As he talks about what he refers to as "The Zone", keep your eyes on the teen with the afro between 0:09-0:15:

Did you see it? I know it was fast, but check out the screen shots below if you missed it...


Let's break it down:

  1. No (Blonde) Hayama: Everyone's depressed, and in darkness. They all look emotionally dejected. Some of them are even injured (read this as "in pain"). And one of the guys has an afro for some reason...

  2. (Blonde) Hayama appears, and laughs: The room gets bright.

  3. As the room gets bright, the mood of everyone suddenly changes. All of the wretchedness is swept away.

  4. The guy's afro is swept away too. His hair in now straight and flowing...

I'm not gonna drag this out, but I'll leave y'all with a few questions to think about:

  1. Why was the afro hair depicted at all?

  2. Why was the afro hair depicted during the depressed (pre-Hayama) scene, but removed in the joyful scene?

  3. Why was the afro hair replaced with straight hair (out of all the options in hair texture and style that they could have used)?

  4. Why didn't they keep the afro hair in the happy (post-Hayama) scene?

  5. What were the creators of this anime trying to communicate with this series of events about their opinions or culture?

  6. Do you think they considered how someone like me (an African, whose hair is naturally like that), would feel seeing that? (And you apologists can STFU with your "tHeY dIdN't MaKe iT wItH yOu iN mInD" crap. They know that anime is global. Surely, they knew that someone like me would see it.)

  7. If they were contacted and told that this portion of the episode was offensive, how do you think they would respond? Do you think they'd give a response that would fall on tHe rIgHt SiDe Of HiStOrY?


Until Next Time,

-Head Cryptographer

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