Screenshot taken from: http://www.crunchyroll.com/my-teen-romantic-comedy-snafu/episode-5-the-scent-of-tea-doesnt-fill-that-room-anymore-678747
This episode finally brings to a close the Student Council President arc. Upon reconciling with his sister, Komachi, Hikigaya finds himself in a bind: how does he stop both girls from running and ultimately breaking up the club, while simultaneously handling the issue of finding a student council president? While initially feeling like there’s nothing he can do, Hikigaya eventually finds inspiration after Komachi rounds up some support (in addition to Zaimokuza, whom Hikigaya had already recruited). Ultimately, he realizes that there is no way for him to both fulfill his sister’s request to keep Yui and Yukino in the Service Club, and to also keep Iroha from becoming the student council president. Komachi declares that Hikigaya’s first priority has to be to his little sister, which he agrees to. From here, the group hatches a plan that relies heavily on deception and reverse psychology to convince Iroha to accept the role as president, while also convincing Yui and Yukino that they cannot win.
On the one hand, this episode is a nice change of pace from the recent tone of things. Hikigaya is shown with a much more positive attitude (well, in terms of Hikigaya moods, at least), and the overall feel of the episode seems much lighter than it has in a while. At times, Hikigaya almost seems friendly. On the other hand, much of the plot’s resolution relies on deception and the manipulating of Iroha’s desire to maintain her self-image. It certainly doesn’t leave a lot of room for pulling a Christian message from the episode. As things wind down and wrap up, we also see a brief scene between Hikigaya and Yukino that suggests things aren’t exactly fixed between them with Hikigaya’s solution.
Overall, the episode is enjoyable in terms of the story and seeing how the situation resolves. It certainly requires the viewer to actually pay attention, because the exact details of Hikigaya’s plan aren’t spelled out step-by-step—you have to really observe what he is doing to connect the dots. Unfortunately, when you stop to think about the episode from a morality standpoint, you realize that the direction the plot takes leaves a lot to be desired, even if the ending is as close to a “happily ever after” as we could possibly get. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t watch the episode, or that you should disown the show, just that you shouldn’t necessarily expect a positive message in the end.
A Christian Perspective:
In keeping with the general conclusion of my review, the focus here is on integrity. While Hikigaya does manage to bring about an agreeable solution to all of the problems presented, his solution isn’t really moral. He relies on deceit (creating multiple support accounts for various ghost candidates, before changing all of the names to Iroha’s) to convince Iroha that she has a lot of support for the presidency (hence why she should take it) and to convince Yui and Yukino that they should just give up. A popular saying is that “the ends justify the means,” but I personally don’t see that as a biblical concept. True, a lot of bad stuff happens in the Bible, and God uses them for good things (see Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20), but that doesn’t mean that the people who did the wrong or bad things were justified in doing what they did.
A couple of examples: Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. Now, God ultimately used this to bring Joseph into power in Egypt, so that he would be able to prepare Egypt for the coming famine and ultimately save his family (which would ultimately lead to the Israelites living in Egypt, as well), but that doesn’t mean that Joseph’s brothers got off scott-free for betraying their own flesh and blood. If you recall the story, Joseph punishes them quite a bit for their treachery.
Another example is Moses. If you recall, he kills an Egyptian who is beating a Hebrew, only to later be found out, which ultimately leads to him living in the desert for 40 years. Again, God used Moses for great things: he lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he spoke to God as a man speaks to a friend, he was given the Ten Commandments, he wrote the first five books of the Bible, etc., but Moses was still punished for the wrong that he did (not to mention the fact that he was ultimately denied the right to see the Promised Land because he disobeyed God and struck the rock instead of speaking to it).
The point is, let us consider the whole of our actions, not just the end results, because while dubious methods could produce favorable results, they may also come with undesirable side effects. Instead, we should seek to employ methods that uphold the values and integrity that we, as Christians, claim to believe in, so that we keep our consciences clean throughout our entire ordeal(s).
Spiritual Content: None
Language: 1 “p***es”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Other: The methods by which Hikigaya solves the problem of who will be student council president involves a lot of deceit
Christian, anime fan, and gamer are a few words you could use to describe me. I've been a Christian since 2012 (and thought I was one prior to that), although I'm far from having the Christian walk down pat. At one point I started thinking about how I could use various things for Christ, and eventually put my thoughts to action, resulting in Cosplay for Christ (my attempt at a cosplay ministry) and Christian Anime Review (my review blog). As you can imagine, I enjoy playing games, watching anime, and going to anime conventions. I also like to build Gundam models, fiddle with the guitar (occasionally), and listen to music (mostly Christian rock and metal).
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