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.