Apparently OreGairu is a show that is often misunderstood. I was surprised when people told me that people think the show vindicates and validates the main character’s point of view, which I found surprising, as it depicts him as outright miserable. I’ve seen it is so, however, so while I usually don’t post first impressions on the main page, this is a good opportunity to elaborate on how the show’s main cast operates, and how they reflect one another. Also, the show’s full title is “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku”, or “My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Season 2”, in English. I hate Light Novel titles when it comes to post titles.
Art and character design: Hachiman sometimes had a way too long and old face, he almost felt like he came out of JoJo, at times. The blushes of most characters felt too “diffused”. Those two minor nitpicks aside (Hachiman is less minor, but he’ll probably grow on me, it’s more that he’s not really shown in the same manner consistently at all times), the show looks fine. Both “looks fine” in terms of what I expect from a show in general, and in terms of what I expect this show, as the second season, to look like.
OP – Nice tune, word has a hard time matching it, though doesn’t sound bad either. The lyrics strike a balance between pining and complaining about this unreasonable world. Very Hachiman. Minus the sarcastic exterior.
ED – Nice, overall. Not great, but also not bad. The lyrics tie into the themes, especially the first one I’ll soon discuss, speaking of them being scared to admit their feelings, feeling strong in their loneliness.
Themes / Plot:
The reintroduction of the club, as the club, was really well done. Sure, a lot of it was perhaps there to also cut down on the need to animate things, focusing on still moments, and moments without people, but you know what it reminded me of? It reminded me of Hyouka. It’s showing us how the club members feel comfortable together, how this is a “home” for them, a sanctuary. And as the previous season’s second half had shown us, the place signifies those present within it, because when they don’t feel comfortable together, then they avoid the place. Just as Yukinon commented on Hachiman escaping his room.
So, that theme I mentioned in regards to the ED, it’s hard to miss how much Yui wants Hachiman to notice she likes him. Yui is doing anything but say it out loud. Why doesn’t she say so? Why doesn’t Hachiman notice? Doesn’t Hachiman notice? Well, Yui isn’t saying anything because of the reasons Hachiman enumerated for why Tobe should fear his confessions, because she’s afraid to lose what she already has. There’s also her fear of disrupting the current status quo in their little triangle, a concern voiced by Hina. And of course, there’s something “romantic” about pining about someone, but that’s more Yukinon’s thing.
So, what about Hachiman? Have you not watched the first season? Hachiman will not allow himself to see anyone making advances on him until they do come right out and say it, because he fears the option of reading too much into things, then confessing himself, and getting turned down. Look at Hachiman’s internal monologue as Yui came over to see Mount Fuji, or the bit with the water at the shrine, he keeps looking at the subtext, but it’s subtext he sees with all females, and subtext that he knows is subtext, so even when it’s over-text, as is the case here, he wills himself to ignore it, to not see it for what it is. He’s too afraid of losing the loneliness by which he defines himself, even if it keeps him miserable. It keeps him miserable, and it keeps him himself. He also defines himself by his misery, unfortunately.
Speaking of which, we move to the last member of our unhappy trio, Yukinoshita. When coming back to the motel she seemed extremely weak, and “soft”. In other words, she didn’t seem like Yukinoshita, who usually seems cool, aloof, and strong, and sure of herself. Except Yukinoshita and Hachiman are essentially the same person. The only real difference between the two is that we get to hear Hachiman from inside, get to hear his loneliness, his misery, his self-loathing. Yukinoshita may seem different, but it’s only because we see her from outside. Yukinoshita is weak, and needy, just like Hachiman.
“Great, another Hikki flashback,” combined with all the Totsuka moments. Going back to the “sense of familiarity” embodied by the reintroduction of the club, this show is funny. Not hilarious in a laugh out loud sort of way, but in the manner where you keep chuckling. It’s funny not just because of comedic timing, but because these small jokes fit the characters, it makes you feel, “Oh, that’s just so X” – It’s the humor of familiarity, which is both born out of said familiarity, and a great cause for developing said feeling.
I really really like the disconnect in Yui and Hachiman’s relationship. There are actual in-character reasons why both of them are independently afraid to get together. It’s really refreshing when the usual bad trope is “they can’t get together because Japanese teenagers are nervous 24/7.”
I’d say the subtext here is that this is the subtext for all RomComs, and not just “Japanese Teenagers” – people are afraid of saying what they’re feeling, because they afraid to get hurt.
Yes, shows also drag it on, and have it first be one character and then the other, rather than both at the same time to pad things out, but, there’s a reason this specific trope is so ubiquitous and so resonant – because we can see ourselves in it.
Hits right at home to be honest. I think that is why the show is so popular. I “confessed” to a girl just a few weeks ago and lets say it didn’t go so well…
Just remember, Hachiman’s actions are a way to defend himself, but they only end up hurting him and those around him further. Good luck. I know how much it can hurt, and how it can hurt for a long time.
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Nice observation of the trio. I do recognize how Hachiman afraid to get hurt, but I never notice how, despite the fact that he do want friends, he doesn’t want to let go of his loneliness because it’s what defines him. Is it because he was lonely for so long?
Well, a large part of it is because he’s afraid to get hurt.
So he decided to define himself by his loneliness. As a rationalization for why he’s remaining loneliness, and as to why it is good.
At that point length of time is irrelevant, merely that he decided to define himself that way.
The OP imo really fits the content of the show. After looking at the light novels a little, I understood it even better.
The verse about the completed proposition has to do with differing solutions to a problem and the club not being able to agree.
Changing the path has to do with getting rid of the status quo as you stated in your post about the recent episode.
The verse about the replicas has to do with the search for something genuine. Both Yukinoshita and Hachiman are searching for something genuine.
This is my personal translation of the lyrics: http://pastebin.com/6B1QYJaF
In my opinion the fansub translation doesn’t do it justice.
I agree with your analysis about Hachiman and Yukinoshita. They are really the same person. We just see Hachiman’s thoughts. Well I’m also very similiar to both of them. I’ve tried to ignore advances because I’ve liked my solitude (being afraid to get hurt) so I can understand where Hachiman is coming from. It defined me. And I can understand Yukinoshita trying to be so perfect. Her acting indifferent and cool and strong is just that, an act. I know because it’s a persona I wore myself. She’s not strong. She’s really weak and needy; she’s just really good at hiding it.
Call me dense, but I completely missed the fact that Yui has feelings for Hachiman. Guess I’ll be reading your other write-ups after I watch the other eps.
Huh. I wanted to say something about how it wasn’t all that obvious, but I’d probably go with “Well, it happens to everyone, we all derp sometimes,” which is true. It is still in the realm of plausible deniability, as she never stated it outright, but that sequence with the dog in the first season was the cinch, for me. Glad to have you aboard! Aside from the episode 2 editorial, the rest are notes, thus far, which may be a bit less cohesive/easy to read, but cover more stuff.
I don’t think you will do this, but is it possible to summarize the first season as well and explain the main meaning of the happening. Reading you explanation i realize no understanding the first season completely. Or do you happen to know a website that did that already, as i can’t find any.