It’s been quite a season for OreGairu, hasn’t it? But here we are, 8 AM on a Saturday morning, all ready to watch the finale. I’ll leave talk of the season as a whole for the post-episode/season write-up, but man, this is the season where all the things left unsaid in the first season were said, and acted upon, and drama and the quest for maturity were embarked upon in earnest.
So what did we have last episode, that was filled with notable scenes? I’d say the most common refrain was Haruno’s jealousy of Yukino (because “I hate [x]” in this show is now code for “I’m jealous of them”), and how she kept meddling. That’s on the plot-level. Thematically, it was all about how we handle our self-image in the face of expectations, how we think others expect us to behave, and trying to navigate between our image for ourselves, and the image we think others have for us.
Yukino, Hachiman, and the rest, are all dealt a blow when they realize they’re “not being genuine,” by their own definitions. And it seems as if Yui is going to take matters into her own hands, one way or the other. She’s always been the one driving everyone forward. We’ll have to see how it shakes out, and at what cost. Everybody hurts, and that’s what relationships are like.
Ok, we’re going to start with the post-episode write-up and then a short something about the season as a whole. Just so you’d know how this section is going to be organized.
This episode was relatively quiet, as many of this show’s second half has been, with one half being relatively light and quiet and “easy”, and the other half being more “impactful”, or “heavy”, if you wish. But while nothing much happened on the surface, the whole water park trip was fraught with constant allusions by the characters to themselves and one another, by way of the marine animals. This isn’t something that was just “happenstance,” not even merely the author using this angle to have the characters comment on things. No, it’s the characters trying to act as if everything’s “normal”, and as episode 3’s write-up spent a lot of time talking about, it’s a lie, and when everyone knows it’s a lie, then everyone is uncomfortable, and things leak out. There’s also the other side of it here, which is that the characters want to be understood (while also fearing it), so they keep dropping hints and waiting for someone else to make the first move for them.