OreGairu Season 2 Episode 13 (Finale) – A Selfish Sacrifice

Pre-Episode Spiel:

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.

Post-Episode Thoughts:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Yuigahama Yui tried her best to no avail

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.

And that brings us right back to what is being built up as “The Yukino Arc”, which is purportedly doing her own thing, living life as she wants it, but actually being given that option had made her lonely, and weak; weak enough that she can’t actually do what she’d like to and fits in just as much as she would’ve in the situation she rejected previously, because she can’t handle it otherwise. Haruno resents her for throwing away the “choice she never had”, which she did have, and not understanding that Yukino is facing just as many external pressures.

And here we have Yui, who’s willing to make the first move. Because the one willing to make the first move in a situation where no one is willing to gainsay anyone else, for fear of hurting them and being hurt, wins it all. But Yui’s “win it all” speech is actually one she knows will end with a poisonous atmosphere, but she’s willing to take the blame on herself, to be the pariah for her friends. Yui knows that when you act first, it might be “win win”, but it’s also “lose lose”. Either she’ll get her group to stay together, or Yukino will be forced to move forward. She wins either way! But also the reverse, either Yukino ends up being hurt, or the group ends up being hurt. And this is the Hayama+, or Hayama with a sprinkling of Sensei understanding – knowing that you must hurt those you care for, and/or be hurt yourself, but still trying to maintain the present, and your friends’ happiness.

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Hikigaya Hachiman reflects on Yui's mindset

Was Yui “nice”, in being willing to sacrifice her own desire to end up with Hikki for the sake of the group? Were she “mean” in trying to force a decision out of Yukino, or in trying to force the decision out of Yukino’s hands? I don’t think this applies. Yui tried to do the right thing. It might not have been the thing that’d make any of them happy, and it could backfire, and it’s lying to herself – she’s saying clearly what she “wants”, and she truly wants it, but in so doing she’s also hiding everything else that she wants. She’s prioritizing one part of herself over another. She says she’s being greedy, but she’s not. To be greedy would be to wish for the party to remain unchanged while also wishing to end up with Hikki.

Speaking of Yui as a “nice girl”, and of how people have multiple selves, and they define themselves, and make choices, based on what others expect of them (Hikki is deathly afraid of others recognizing him as weak, but is also acting as Hachiman to a large degree because others expect him to solve issues for them, by sacrificing himself. Something for which they blame themselves later), and Yui’s “I value the group over my own self” is her acting as is expected of her, as is expected of Hayama. Unlike Yukino who was being forced out of her decision, Yui supposedly made this decision on her own, but as Hayama has said, if it’s the only decision those around you will accept, will accept as your decision, aren’t you also forced into it? And so, if Hikki is unwilling to be “understood” and dictated to, he can’t do the same to others.

You might notice in the write-up how I think Yui is doing one thing while she’s doing another. And that makes sense. Because Yui wants several things that contradict one another. Her words say one thing, but are still references to other things she’s not saying. Just like everyone else, Yui wants someone else to solve the situation for her. But we can’t wait for a hero to save us, can we? We have to take it on ourselves, to become villains, and heroes, try to havesomething.

And here is a small note that may have flown under many people’s radar: If Hikki no longer thinks of Yui as “a nice girl”, that means she’s not nice to him just because she’s nice to everyone, and he has to accept that she’s nice to him because she likes him.

Hikki is trying to liberate his friends and himself out of the paralysis that comes out of fear of losing what they have. He’s telling them it’s okay to be greedy, but more than that, it’s ok to make mistakes. And they’ll be able to keep trying. But they have to try.

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Yuigahama Yui knows it's not always fair

Now, about this season as a whole. It’s important to start by noting that while I liked the first season, I didn’t love it. It was pretty standard, but nothing extraordinary, as far as I’m concerned. Rewatched the first season in February and my opinion didn’t change. But this season, man, I sure loved this season. It took a lot of what the first season kept as subtext and undertext and made it explicit. That in and of itself isn’t “good” if you just flat out say what’s there, but since the show deals with characters saying it out loud after coming to terms with what they did not say before, and as an outgrowth of all those events where they did not say things having ramifications, both for their relationships and for their personalities, it all makes sense.

The character designs in this season took a while to grow on me, and the show often was very minimally animated, and characters often appeared off-model, but the focus on the small touches and the facial animations when they didmatter enhanced the show greatly, giving it a very deliberate, very intimate atmosphere. This season sure was heavy on the drama, but it felt earned. This show as a whole, and this season in particular might have leaned a bit too heavily on mirroring as a way to explain characters (Hayama and Hachiman, Hayama and Yukino, Yukino and Hachiman, etc.) but it worked, adding some depth to the characters even when less time was spent clearly spelling out everything. Even “I hate you” as code for “I’m jealous of you” brought us back to the first season all but saying Hikki is miserable, but leaving it for the second season to say it plainly, and keep hammering it in.

What do I think of how the series ended? I don’t really feel it’s a cliffhanger. Following this arc, it’s going to be about Yukino finally finding her legs, standing up to her family, as her own person. There’s nothing with “tension” in how the show ended. Yui tried to keep things normalized, and Hikki rejected it by offering a “normalcy” that keeps striving forward. Yes, things will keep on changing, but just like Yukino’s arc, this is reflective of a show about people growing up. It’s not a cliffhanger, but inevitability. I’ll give this season somewhere between 8.8/10 and 9.1/10. Good stuff.

Return to the OreGairu S2 Episodic Notes page.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Uncomfortable Silences:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Hikigaya Hachiman, Yukinoshita Yukino, and Yuigahama Yui are uncomfortable

1) “That’s what mothers do.” I was all ready to say how Hikki, just like in Komachi’s case, is at least willing to admit his care for families, but then he goes on to say “They live to nag and complain.” In the eternal words of Yui, “Hikki!”

And so, we return to Komachi, the “comfortable side of family,” and the situation has been defused, without us making much of Yukino’s family situation, because everyone in this scene knows it’s a metaphorical minefield that their (relation)ships might not be able to navigate unscathed.

2) “Just me? What about Hikki?” combined with “I too have been trying my best” brings us back to “The Shipping Wars” that truly went on in earnest last episode (especially with this light music playing), but as I said, everything there was about what people expect of us, and here it’s the same, trying to navigate between what people display and what they want. Is Yukino expected to give Hikki some cookies, or expected not to give him some cookies, and is Yui to take the lack of cookie-giving as “permission”? And is she trying to create a wedge between Yukino and Hikki with her question, or trying to bring them closer together? She’s acting as expected of her, though.

3) Everyone’s getting crushed once more under the weight of unsaid things. If they keep not saying it, while everyone knows they have what to say, things might yet again end where they’ve been in episode 3, with them unable to face one another, even if it doesn’t come following an outright argument, because it shows the same thing, that they are unable to face one another, to go the distance to bridge the gaps in communication. Though, it sort of did come following them feeling bad about their engagements with one another, and wanting to sidestep around Yukino’s “situation”.

“What do we do about this?” What a candid question. Yui wanted to leave, as expected of her, to let Yukino have a chance at Hikki, but then Yukino is horrified by the gesture, and Yui no longer knows what’s expected of her, what she’s supposed to do, who she’s supposed to be. They don’t know their roles in this relationship, there’s no map to chart their course.

2) Ripping Off Yukino’s “Mask”:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Yukinoshita Haruno tells Yukinoshita Yukino she has no

1) Here we are. Haruno saying what she’s thinking, straight out. And since this is a story told from Hikki’s perspective, this means she says it where others are present. Here we see Haruno’s resentment, “You’ve been left free to make your own decisions, but you’ve never made any, just following others’ decisions. Do you even have a self of your own?” And Haruno feels herself to be in a situation of one who always had to follow others’ decisions without even being given the option of making her own, so resents Yukino who had the opportunity and threw it away.

This also provides another possible read to last episode’s “It’s not trust, but something more sinister,” not merely relying on Hikki to solve her issues, but copying Hikki’s life, to avoid making her own decisions. Of course Haruno ascribes to the same wrong ideas about “selves” as the rest of the cast, thinking there’s a “non-decision”, and “fake selves”. No, it’s all masks, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s fake, but that the masks are all our real selves. But since Yukino and Haruno don’t understand this, it is meant to hurt, and it does.

2) “It’s not like you’ve got anywhere else to go,” the unspoken part of that sentence could’ve been “Because that place is your home,” but it sure didn’t sound like that, did it? Sounded more like, “You don’t have the ability to make your own choices.” Is it that Yukino can’t stand up to others (according to her sister) because that’d require making a decision, or that she can’t make a decision because that’d require standing up to others? Also, back to Yukino’s “house”, she’s got her apartment, right? Unless that’s where Haruno is waiting for her.

3) And of course, Yui understands what Haruno is talking about, what she said last episode, that they have to make a decision and be honest about what they want. It’s all revolving around Hikki. He always thought everything in the world revolves around him (not really, I joke), and now it does. Life is hard as an LN protagonist.

4) The shock over Yukino repeating Hikki’s words verbatim, because this is exactly what Haruno accused Yukino of doing, of repeating others. “You’re so nice, Hikigaya,” from Haruno obviously wasn’t a compliment. She’s saying he’s letting Yukino be un-genuine, helping her even.

3) Maritime Metaphors:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - metaphorical penguins

1) But of course, this is Yui’s choice, and how she’s similar to Hayama. She doesn’t want Yukino, she doesn’t want Hikki. It’s not even that she wants both of them, but that she wants the group, and she wants things to stay unchanged or as close to for as long as possible. She wants to have fun with both of them, and to be with them as they’re having fun with one another. She’s having a date with both of them. Is this really what she wants? Yes, it is, it just might not be what she wants the most, but I think it is. Does she knows it’s somewhat futile? Sure, but she’s going for what she really wants. She’s being true to her self, or the self that others see her as.

2) “It says they live in muddy waters and don’t swim much.” A metaphor for all of them, and especially Yukino, eh? Unwillingness or inability to move on, living in the murky waters of youth and indecision. And bad home atmosphere.

“Gobble up prawns and stuff that passes by, living the dream!” Sitting by (at the edge of the class), and sniping easy targets, eh? Sure sounds like someone’s dream, but the one he purported to have, not one he actually enjoyed living.

3) “I don’t know if you can call them cute, but they certainly are endearing,” and “They live life as best they can, don’t give them such a hard time.” Awww, the fish metaphor is so cute.

4) “That’s just like you,” and here it is again. Is this the consideration for others, or keeping her distance so people will not be worn out, not willing to keep wearing down their defenses? Both meanings work, but it’s like a slap in Yui’s face. What did Hikki always have the most reaction to? When others understood him, when others definedhim (to him), such as when Hayama pitied him, or when Haruno called him a self-consciousness monster. Here too, being understood by others is scary, especially when their understanding can “define” you.

5) “I’m not the nice girl you think I am.” Similar to Haruno’s assessment of Yukino, but coming from Yui’s own mouth here.

4) Lack of Progress:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Yukinoshita Yukino describes herself

More maritime metaphors.

1) “I lock away the feelings I want to express.” The song is telling us what’s going on in case we missed it. Yui offered to leave Yukino alone with Hikki multiple times before, and last episode ended with Yui unwilling to stay alone with Hikki because it wouldn’t be nice and fair. But after admitting she’s not so nice, maybe she’ll be willing to make her movenow.

2) Right, romantic penguins. And Hikki leaves Yui there alone, because he’s not ready either.

3) “Unable to find a place to belong without a pillar of support.” Another song callback, to the ED this time. But hey, season finale is indeed the spot for insert songs. “Hiding in the crowd, going with the flow, and following in others’ footsteps.” Fitting in, because one is lonely. Following others’ footsteps, because one is lonely. Ironically, you need support, to not be lonely, to be able to walk your own path. Without support, you’re more likely to follow others. Sounds funny, but it’s actually true. No one is really alone, and there’s only so much hardship one can take on. If you can handle some of it by sharing, that means you can handle some more elsewhere, such as going against the grain. Of course, you usually go against one grain while following another. Support is all about following those who’d walk alongside you the path you want to walk.

4) “There’s no point in going to the same places again.” Again with great metaphors. Revisiting past decisions is something Hikki and the others have far too much experience with. The struggle is making new decisions, experiencing new things. But revisiting the past isn’t meaningless. Some would say friends are all about new experiences, but it misses the point that long-term relationships (childhood friendships, families, etc., not just romantic ones) are also a bridge to the past, and yes, the attempt to try and not let go of “those same places”.

A Ferris wheel obviously runs counter to that idea, of not revisiting the same places again, as it keeps treading the same pathway. Another analogy to the wheel would be a swimmer, or someone drowning – every so often you get to see the light, you get to be at the top of the world. It might not be a new experience, but it’s still good when you get to break past the waterline and take a breath of fresh air, even if you’ve done so before.

5) Facing the Situation:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Yuigahama Yui wants it all.

Yui’s turn to pull both a Hikki and a Hachiman.

1) Yui is about to cry. Look at Yukino and Hikki’s faces, this is exactly like the scene in episode 8, where Hikki was breaking down, and the two girls stared at him speechless. It’s hard to know how to react to someone in an emotional turmoil, especially if you care for them.

2) Interestingly, even on her date with Yuigahama, Yukino brought her cookies for Hikki. It’s because she’s been carrying them with her ever since she left home, and hadn’t given them to him yet. “This is as thanks to you,” meaning it’s being offered as “Courtesy Cookies,” but also as a sign of progress, and a reminder of where they used to be, the only way to track progress. But this scene is really directed in a way that promises more than simply “courtesy”.

“I want it all,” another callback to episode 8 with Hikki’s “I want it, even if it’s impossible” speech. “I want what we have now, and what we’ll have in the future.” Yui wants to save the present, to not do anything to risk it, but also wants the future that requires giving up on the present. Yui wants to have Hikki all to herself, and still have her uninterrupted friendship. She knows it’s impossible, but that’s what she wants. So what will she be willing to sacrifice? The present, the future that mimics the present, or the future that’s unlike the present? Hikki’s example helped her realize she’s allowed to try and be greedy, and hope for support from her friends. Except her greed might cost her at least one friend. And it’s greed because she wants to keep the friend, and get it regardless. But it’s alright to want it all. You just need to know it doesn’t actually happen.

3) “If we figure out how each of us feels, I don’t think we’ll be able to stay the same.” Such a good line. A verySensei-line, isn’t it? Of course they all know how they feel. What they haven’t figured out is how to act on it. She’s saying they’re lying to themselves so they won’t have to actually face their desires. Because if they face their desires and act on them, their situation will change, and if they face their desires and don’t act on them, then they’ll come to resent themselves and one another, which is where they’re at. Right now they’ve been trying to keep everything “normal”, and episodes 3-4 had been all about how “everything is normal” is a bandaid to hide how everything is not.

4) “The final request, our final task, is to fix our own problems.” Oh shit. This is another theme that was unspoken in this show, which episode 8 did something with, how Yukino and Hikki need people’s requests in order to help them, but they can’t help themselves, and no one (but Sensei) is asking them to help themselves. So here we are. Not helping others in order to avoid facing our own issues. Yui knows she might lose more than she’d gain, that she could lose it all, but she’s making the request because she’s true to herself, because she cares about her friends. And because she cares about herself, and the current situation is untenable. You can’t force stasis.

6) Forcing the Decision:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Yukinoshita Yukino gives in, crying

The absolute defeat, the willingness to say a brazen lie for feelings.

1) Here we are, the dramatic piano. “I know the solution to your problem, and it’d resolve ours as well.” Yui who’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, having the solution that Yukino can’t see, or won’t admit to seeing. As Hikki says, they all know what they’re talking about, but not saying it outright allows them plausible deniability. The way this scene is going though, it’s all about Yui mustering the nerve to actually say it loud, so no one will be able to sidestep the truth any longer. She’s going to smash their group in order to forge it, and its constituent relationships anew.

As Sensei said, and as Hikki said of Tamanawa and Iroha, and as was the case with Ebina and Hayama as opposed to Tobe in the first arc – they all think the present is everything they have, and they can’t imagine the future, so they’re unwilling to risk the present for a better future. They think they could lose it all. Yui though made a reference to the future. She’s showing a willingness to risk it “all”, for something better. But she’s still one of them, she’s still deathly afraid of risking what she already has. Meaning that like the others, Haruno’s words hurt her, hit her deep, as if they’re saying, “What you have isn’t all it’s supposed to be, it’s a false front.” Yui, like Hikki, just wants something genuine.

2) Huh! Yui is saying the exact opposite! She’s saying “I want us to stay this way forever.” Yui is saying that the present is the optimum scenario. Not for her, but for everyone as a group. She’s putting preserving the group ahead of everything else. Such a Hayama thing to do. “It’s not fair, but it’s the only thing I could think of.” That line puts it as if she’s being unfair to Hikki, who might want to go forward with one of them, and Yukino, whom she knows has feelings for Hikki, but what of herself? No, it’s not fair to her either, and to her own feelings.

But she did say “I’ll take it all if I win,” so is she trying to not win, to not have it all, or is she saying that her “take it all” would be the decision to keep everything as it is, to stop Yukino from being able to act on her desires? I think Yui is going to say something more, do something more.

3) “I’m playing unfair”, Yui said. Back in episode 8 Yukino said Yui is unfair, and when asked what she meant, my answer was that Yukino can’t say no to her friend, to her emotional friend, and can’t refuse her appeals, or handle appeals to emotions (also because she can’t accept her own emotions). Hikki is saying that Yui is playing dirty here because she’s asking and relying on Yukino not making the decision, but letting someone else decide for her, again.

Me? I think Yui is pushing Yukino, and is making a gamble where she’ll win either way. Either Yukino will give in and the group will remain “normal”, but which would actually be a pus-filled wound that’d slowly sour, or Yukino will be forced to reject it, stand strong on her own, and say what she desires. For Yui, who is Yukino’s friend, that’d be a victory as well. Of course, just as Yui will win either way, she’d also lose either way.

7) Doubling Down On Past Decisions:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Hikigaya Hachiman will keep searching for the right answer

1) So much growth! Yes, Hikki had an idealized version of Yukino and was jealous of that, just as Yukino had an idealized version of Hikki with which she was jealous. That’s not what I meant. It’s the theme of “Which is our real self?” I’m talking about – if we understand how we react to the concept of others deciding for us who we are and how it affects us, the next step is to realize how that image we have of others might shape their actions. Yui’s “proposed solution” is the epitome of “The Nice Girl” (sort of, as she could also just bow out and let Yukino have Hikki (and what of Hikki’s wishes?)), which she’d been pushed into because that’s what everyone expects of her. But this is what happens when you don’t act based on what you want, it’s easy to twist it.

2) Hikki repeating his episode 8 mini-speech. “Let us suffer but find the truth, have genuine relationships.” The opposite of Yui’s speech, supposedly, since he’s willing to risk it all and end with nothing so long it might actually give him what he wants. It’s not actually the opposite of Yui’s desire, since they both want the same goal. It’s just the method they might differ on.

3) “We’re allowed to be wrong, because we can keep searching for the right answer.” That’s what Hikki’s little speech said. Fits into “This isn’t the final anything,” as there’s no decision you can’t get past. Rejecting the idea that the present is everything and if you lose it, you end without anything

4) And of course, “I have a request, would you listen to it?” and here we end. Coming right on the end of “Don’t tell me how I feel,” I think it’s finally time to address Yukino’s home situation, which is related to her coming to terms with her “self” being her self.

Shorter Notes / Asides:

OreGairu S2 episode 13 anime notes - Hikigaya Hachiman is the Batman, the 8man, Commie Subs

Oh, Commie. I laughed.

  1. LOL, Commie adding an 8man-Batman mask onto Hikki in the OP :D
  2. “Tomorrow, we’re going on a date!” – Well, Yukino did give Yui cookies. It only makes sense. The best couple of the show, at long last, together! (Well, they are the best couple of the show.)
  3. Hikki does care for Komachi, wishing her off, asking worriedly if she has everything she needs. This would’ve been a good shot to show their mother, too.

Return to the OreGairu S2 Episodic Notes page.

50 comments on “OreGairu Season 2 Episode 13 (Finale) – A Selfish Sacrifice

  1. puncakelover says:

    Hey, i’m kind of new on the LN stuff here and got a question: Should we expect season 3 of OreGairu?

    • Guy says:

      Unclear, not necessarily likely. It depends how many more LNs are projected. Some people say he’ll wrap it up in 1-2 more books, and 2 is kinda dicey for a show, and an OVA might not make fiscal sense. If there are at least 3 more volumes, an anime might very well coincide with the release of the last one.

      But it seems one shouldn’t count on it, as things stand right now. But keep an open mind and see how it goes. No one but the author and the publishers can really tell. Even if there are enough volumes, it might be decided to not make sense, from the publishers’ perspective, to make a show to increase LN sales.

      Sorry for the lack of a conclusive answer, but there are too many variables which we’re not aware of, especially at this juncture.

      • puncakelover says:

        Oh God. Senpai noticed me!!! I’m liking your blogs, keep it going. Great Job

        • Guy says:

          Thanks, and I plan to keep on keeping on! And though sometimes I don’t reply, I read every comment on this blog.

      • Sephyxer says:

        A movie could be the right choice.

        • python490 says:

          This is what I am hoping. People who have followed the LN closely believe the series will end fairly soon. So my hope is that it gets adapted to a movie or 2-3 OVA’s. Only time will tell.

        • Guy says:

          I’m not so sure. An OVA might not make financial sense, but a movie could be the wrong choice in terms of composition, you can’t just squish together 4-6 episodes’ worth of content into a single movie, it needs to flow differently, feel somewhat self-contained, and having multiple arcs which might happen or not having “the right emotional conclusion” could all work against it. A movie is usually also accompanied by even higher investment, money wise.

          Due to all of the above, if a movie fits, I’d take it, but I’d take an OVA over it, because it’s likelier to flow as the studio would wish it, it just feels extremely unlikely considering the realities of the situation :-/

        • Anongamer5 says:

          Yes indeed (Hachiman the 8man knight) bringing justice to this world.

      • Daniel Reid says:

        I want to continue the LN, but I took a break to fiish the anime. Where in the LN does it pickup where this episode left off? Thanks!

  2. Watari watashi puts it beautifully regarding the title, My Teenage RomCom is wrong as expected. You don’t always end up with what you expect in life. In their case, it always ends up wrong. But it does not stop them from finding the right answers. The author is a genius.

    Btw,just realise that the anime only show the characters mothers(not hikki) but what about the father’s?

    • Guy says:

      I assume the fathers are too busy doing what Japanese men often do, working way too many hours, so we don’t see them. It’s not like we really see the mothers either, as anime often does away with parents to give more agency to the characters, in making their own decisions.

  3. To cliff or not to cliff says:

    I personally didn’t think all thematic threads were tied up; I would have preferred an ending that does the following:
    1. Provide some closure on Yukino’s arc. Maybe I just don’t see how Yukino making a request for herself demonstrates emotional growth that is consistent with how the show has been portraying her problems (and I’m not even quite sure what her “monsters-in-the-closet” are).
    2. Provide some closure on the future of the group. Because the ferris wheel beautifully but painfully illustrates the group’s inherent instability. I guess the most realistic (albeit bittersweet) way for this conflict to resolve is for them to go to different colleges and slowly drift apart.
    Otherwise, I agree that Hachiman’s arc was closed off nicely, and he seems much more at peace with himself now (it’s nice to see him almost reminding me of a post-Tiger Hanekawa). And Yui, in a way, has always been the most mature of them all.

    • Vern says:

      They’ll probably finish Yukinos arc in the next volume of the LN. Also I liked how you referenced Hanekawa, never thought of it till I read your comment.

  4. Oddly, I thought you would rate this series a 10/10, like I did. I’ve been reading your blogs along the way and felt like you were the only other person besides myself that really understood what was going on. 10/10 Reviews.

    From my perspective it was a masterpiece of an ending. I loved it. I was really close to tearing up. I’m incredibly depressed now that it’s finished, it’s the best fictional piece of work I have ever had the opportunity to have been a part of and I don’t ever seeing anything else top it.

    Three questions.

    How do you see the future of the group ending up?

    I’d like them to all stay together in the future, but it’s not possible. I think Yui will eventually leave the group, with Yukino ending up with Hachiman. I think the author will never touch up on that because it would be too heartbreaking.

    What are your plans for this anime summer season?

    What are some other anime like Yahari? I was going to watch Hyouka but I prefer something more 12-13 episodes.

    Thanks, in advance.

    • Joe says:

      Anohano

    • Cliff-angler says:

      Speaking from personal experience, these people might end up going to university, finding different groups of friends, or including new friends into their friend circle, and then the drama and conflicts suddenly don’t seem so significant anymore. Kind of bittersweet.
      Monogatari does deal with characters with deep personal baggage and growing out of them, but that stuff only happens in the “Second Season”. Same with Tatami Galaxy, but it’s bleak for like 9-10 episodes before delivering a happy ending. Evangelion too but you’ve probably already seen that. If you want to watch Hyouka for its gorgeous visuals and character moments, you can also try the currently-airing Euphonium.

      • Cliff-angler says:

        ” and then the drama and conflicts suddenly don’t seem so significant anymore.”
        To clarify, I meant the drama and conflicts from high school.

        • Nevermore93 says:

          I’m looking for an anime that really goes in-depth in social psychology like Yahari does. I think Hyouka is close, but is I think probably more slice of life orientated.

        • Guy says:

          @Nevermore93, definitely Neon Genesis Evangelion. Not many shows like that. Gatchaman Crowds works differently, and Durarara!!x2 Shou might also give you somewhat of what you seek.

    • Guy says:

      Ratings.

      Ratings are quite arbitrary! One of my top shows of 2013, the one that ended 3rd on my list received “only” 8.9/10. I rate more similarly to movie reviews, where an IMDB score of 8.3 is one of the top 150 films of all times, than the gaming reviews. I think this was a great show, which is why it received 9/10. Don’t put too much thought into scores, and be happier for it :)

      Also, try to understand and empathize with why people don’t understand the show, or disagree with it, don’t be a Hachiman, be a Sensei! ;-)

      Ending.

      The scene up to it was very heartfelt. The last minute or two hit me less. And still, past episodes hit me much harder. So it goes, maybe I was expecting something more rather than being repective to what is, but it sort of felt like a point that comes mid-episode, and Yui’s non-speech was a bit muddled, so it lost some of its impact.

      Future of the group.

      That’s a big question, because how it ends up ends up as an author’s message, and he’s likely to go for a specific message rather than what would be realistic. He could also end the show as the school ends and they’re all together and not show how they fall out of touch as they go to college afterwards. I think they’re going to grow up, stay together, and then the final conflict will be sort of like what you depict. More realistic would be all of them going in different directions or remaining friends without romance, but I doubt we’d get it.

      Summer Season plans.

      Check the post immediately under this one, my Summer Season Preview :P I’m gonna be sort of busy, but post-episode write-ups for Durarara!! and thematic breakdowns for Gatchaman Crowds Insight seem like the current plan.

      Shows like Yahari.

      Sorry, not going to give you short shows, because the ones I’m thinking of aren’t :P OreGairu reflects a lot of the ideas found within Neon Genesis Evangelion. Rewatched NGE (again) in January, and OreGairu S1 in February, and all the similarities really hit me. The other one, especially to OreGairu S2 and the whole concept of jealousy and expectations is very much Hyouka. Both shows are very much worth watching.

      • Nevermore says:

        Guy,

        Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. You’re the first blogger i’ve actually been interested in following. All your ‘episodic notes’ and analysis for Oregairu were absolutely incredible. I wish my deduction, analyzing, and writing skills were as good as yours. I’ll be checking your blog out every so often.

        I hope you continue to do more in-depth SoL in the future, I didn’t know anyone who understood Oregairu as much as me until I found your blog, and didn’t have anyone to discuss it with either, so i’m glad there’s someone like you who shares a greater understanding of the depth of social dynamics and psychology out there.

        It drove me insane when people didn’t have the same understanding as I did regarding the episodes. To think there’s so many people out there that don’t understand… people. I find it both ironic and tragic.

        I think I’ll go with Gatchman Crowds, Nagi No Asukara, and Hyouka.

        Thanks, for replying and for your Oregairu thoughts and analysis.

        Nevermore

        • Nevermore says:

          No–…To know that there’s so many people out there that don’t understand… people… It’s both tragic and ironic. An ironic statement in itself.

          Nevermore

        • Guy says:

          Nagi no Asakura will be interesting, it sort of fits, but I’ve had issues with it, but I think aside from Hyouka it might be the closest, good luck!

          Is OreGairu a slice of life show? I know you don’t mean “moe slice of life”, but I’d just call it a drama, you know? Genshiken is what I think of more as “slice of life”, and yeah, the thing is that those write-ups take way too long, maybe just take a scene or two and break them down instead? We’ll see, this season is gonna keep me busy with both Gatchaman Crowds and Durarara!! as is, heh.

          Glad you like the blog, hope you keep liking it! And yes, people told me I’m wrong about the show, and while it’s possible I am wrong, or that we both have our equally valid reads, what of it? Sometimes people are wrong, I think they are, they think I am. Our reads often say more about us than the show, so I know where they’re coming from, I’m just in a different place.

          Not understanding people isn’t tragic, it’s the human condition, the question is whether you channel it to put them down or to try to understand them better, a question that OreGairu poses, and it definitely has an opinion on what the correct answer is.

    • I highly recommend Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. an original series expanding to only 11 episodes and deals with relationships and how people behave around them. The main theme though is about dealing with the loss of someone you cherished with a bit of supernatural elements inserted. The show has seriously heavy moments and feels and has a most satisfying ending without a rushed plot or pacing at all. Its a masterpiece and a must watch for anyone and everyone as it is a major tearjerker, an honest and realistic show, excellent animation and soundtrack, but not as much complicated as oregairu and may be closer to Plastic Memories’ romance/life and death theme but rich and complex nonetheless.

  5. […] search for identity, the pivot point of the episode comes from airheaded Yui, who demonstrates both a sacrificial heart and a wisdom that she’s hinted at all along – a deep knowledge of who she is, faults […]

  6. Loved your review and episodic reviews on oregairu! If it’s alright with you, I’m making a review on oregairu as well, and I would love to reference your work for the review. You can respond via email at markmgarcia93@gmail.com

    Than you!

    • Guy says:

      Hope you read it here, because your wordpress should tell you when your comments are replied to and asking for an email is a bit of a hassle, but sure, go ahead! So long you link to the posts you’re referencing, or the page with all of the OreGairu write-ups, it’s all cool.

      Have fun, and glad you liked it!

  7. This shows reflects to a lot of people who understands the show. Especially for those who find a hard time dealing with others and not understanding emotions and or the atmosphere. Its about growing up, becoming mature, making decisions for the future, overcoming past mistakes and present problems. This season was a masterpiece, though with some flaws and that being quite complex. the ending was spectacular in that it left us feeling that a sequel was not mandatory, but very much anticipated indeed. I really look forward on how Yuki’s arc wraps up and how they as a group end up like.

    • Guy says:

      The interesting thing is that while the show reflects a lot to some people, it does so and then they miss it, because as you said, they have a hard time understanding others and atmospheres, and I’ve seen people who reacted to Yukino and Yui as Hachiman would’ve in the beginning of the first season, and likewise to Hachiman :-/

      It’s also important to not overstate the characters’ progress though! They keep not being able to make the full progress, they’re not ready yet, and keep hiding. But they keep trying, at least, the essence of “genuine”.

  8. sonicsenryaku says:

    quick note in regards to the animation this season: while both seasons had minimilistic animation, season 2 was definitely the better one visually in terms of art and animation direction. Your analysis of this final ep was spot on to the way i perceived things. Ive always thought that yui was the best of them and based on an interview of the director of this second season, he sounds like he feels the same as well (i think the author feels this way as well)

    • Guy says:

      I’m not sure the animation this season was better. There were a couple of scenes that were wonderfully animated, but nearly nothing moved otherwise, characters within scenes, or cameras within them. It worked, but I hardly agree this season was well animated.

      And well, it’s not surprising that I agree with the director, because what I read is obviously mediated through his eyes, and if it were in disagreement with his read, it’d have been interesting. Is Yui always the best of them? I’m not sure, but when it comes to them, as a group? Then definitely.

      • Alaska Slim says:

        Two words: mood lighting.

        S2 is swimming in it. S1 makes me think of merchandise vehicles with minimal budgets. The lighting in that show is almost always the same bright palate you see right there in the OP.

        • Guy says:

          It’s a much more sombre show in season 2, and honestly, there’s not a lot of animation going on there, but it works, because it also fits the mood of the show, and it’s a, well, “talk-based show”.

  9. AnimeSays says:

    TBH, this season doesn’t feel like a cliffhanger. Personally I really like how they ended this finale. Well hope they will create another season for it.

  10. Shigeru says:

    I just really want this to end and not have any holes like heavens lost property. Its so hard trying to not read the light novel; I feel like it would ruin the anime, movie or OVA if we even get one….

  11. gpower000 says:

    Sorry for commenting so late. I want to ask you what do you mean by “No, it’s all masks, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s fake, but that the masks are all our real selves”? The way I define it, a mask is something you pretend to be but do not truly belief yourself, while the self is what you believe about your own identity. So if we go by these definition, if a person wears a mask for long enough, it can merge into the self, or if a person’s self change, their previous self became a mask. But a mask can never be also be a self at any given point of time. Do you agree? Or perhaps you think about masks and self differently then I do?

  12. magnum says:

    I don’t know if the comparison has been made already, but I think Shirou’s dilemma in Fate/stay night UBW is an interesting complement to this season of Oregairu. Both Hachiman and Shirou realize where their ideals ultimately lead them to and don’t like what they see, but Hachiman accepts change while Shirou keeps going. What’s intriguing is that the underlying thought process is actually very similar, despite the opposite outcomes.

    By noticing where his ideals come from in the first place, Hachiman hits upon his desire for genuine understanding and realizes that he can’t have it without being willing to take and receive “damage” and challenge his preconceived notions about people. His ideals were inadequate to fix his actual problems, predictably leading to him not getting any closer to his goals but rather becoming more isolated instead. He might have thought this was a perfectly reasonable outcome before, but the club has changed the situation, though he is reluctant to accept it.

    As for Shirou, he thought that becoming a hero of justice was the reason for his existence and that’s the end of that, but what he actually wanted was the bliss he thought Kiritsugu might have felt while saving him. He then decides to live in a way that leaves no regrets and thus chooses to follow his ideals as opposed to having no choice in the matter and ending up in a terrible situation brought by being blindly led by his ideals and feeling betrayed (like Kiritsugu). This paves the way for his choices in Heaven’s Feel, when he decides to act not because it’s the right thing for a hero of justice to do, but because it’s what he feels to be important as a person.

    They both show a fascinating outlook on growing up and particularly how one handles the clashes between one’s ideals and reality, so for people asking for something similar, I think the UBW anime might be worth a shot. Ideally, I would recommend the full visual novel, since we see Shirou facing increasingly complicated conflicts that shape his character throughout the routes, but I understand that the whole package is way better than the sum of its parts (and it has lots and lots of not so great to terrible parts; its scale is both one of its merits and one of its flaws).

  13. aqua11alta says:

    Sigh… I really hope that this series won’t be just your average lovecom. Apart from the psychological arguments thingy (this series’ best selling point), in the end, like the typical lovecom story goes: The MC guy will get together with the MC girl, and the second girl was just there to be a sidekick without any character developments. Or at least, that’s what I see after watching all the episodes.

    I think Yui character is lovely, but poorly made. Not so much character development, even her role/involvement in the story is somewhat insignificant. Very opposite with Yukino. The writer emphasize lots of things in Yukino’s side. I bet she’s the MC girl. Thus you can’t really say that regarding who end up with who, Yui ever had a real chance in the competition.

    However even so I was hoping she’d get more the attention and developments she deserves. Even without ending up with MC guy, things like significant role in the story, or character developments can be a good redeeming points. However so far, I felt her most significant role was in the last episode, when she confronted Yukino just so they can do something about the all-fake status quo between the Trio, especially Yukino’s being wishy washy about her true feelings. Soon it strucked me,” Hey, isn’t this what the second character often do? Be the sidekick role, to trigger the tension between the MC characters. Like…that’s the only role or importance they have in the series.”

    Please prove me wrong.

  14. fan of hachiman says:

    Will there be third season? There is just so much more that I need to learn from this anime.

    • Guy says:

      No one knows. There might, or there might not be. A lot depends on how many more novels are planned, which again, we don’t know at this point.

  15. Guys pls share of when release the oregairu season 2 episode 14 pls pls pls everyone

  16. bateria rosa says:

    I’ve just finished watching this last episode of oregairu zoku a few minutes ago, and I couldn’t understood it very well so I ended up reading this review. Thank you so much for making this man 10/10 fucking great review. Helped me a lot to understand all their speeches. Thank you again and I hope we get 3rd season with more Iroha development haha

    • Guy says:

      It’s not a review, per se, but I’m glad you liked it and that it proved useful to you! I really enjoyed writing about the show.

      Iroha, well, does she need to develop more? She feels relatively sure of herself and well adjusted, compared to everyone else. And yes, I know she’s a fan-favourite, but I see less of her simply because, well, this is all told from Hachiman’s perspective, and she spends less time with him, but she might become even more like a little sister to him, so who knows. And the author might give fans what they want, unlike S2 which shook fans and told them “Being Hachiman isn’t good, it is suffering!” :D

  17. Oh….., come on….
    Going to be individual is the best.
    I don’t know about socialize, but to be individual is easy way, some called it hikikomori.

  18. Kinda late for a response, but…

    I’m leaning more towards Hayato/Yukino and Hachi/Yui pairings. They’ve effectively been forcing one of them since the beginning, Hachi and Yui, and developing their relationship. They had Hachi slowly realizing Yui’s intent throughout the last episode up until the climax and remembering genuinely fond memories with her and what they meant.

    They’ve also been giving hints and somewhat secretive backstory of Hayato and Yukino being together in the past, but Hayato failed Yukino in someway and became superficial, probably by abandoning her to remain with his friends. Why she admittedly hates superficiality, albeit hypocritically.

    The ending I saw was more of Yui pulling an “Old-Hachi-Meneuver” and not caring about her self-image so that the problems can be abruptly solved. This also implying that, Yui/Yukino may have talked things over further the night before without the viewers attention and Yui taking the steps to resolve the issue herself. She refused to let Yukino walk away, since Yukino saw herself as third wheel in their relationship. Yui also felt comfortable leaving Hachi and Yukino alone, despite whenever seeing Hachi with pretty much any other girl made her jealous, and put Yui into a confused state when she (probably) misinterpreted Yukino’s intentions with the cookies the day before.

    She knew from the very beginning what was going to happen, and may have even planned it out all along, possibly with Yukino even, albeit Yukino tried to go back into her shell if that’s the case. Yui planned to use her speech as a last-ditch effort to entice the results she wanted. Which she admittedly did with tears of joy. Being that either she would try and force Yukino to move on in someway and Yui with Hachi… or for “something” to happen which would bring true happiness to all of them.

    Yukino finally stands up for herself for the first time in the series, instead of being pushed around by as little as the mention of a person. She also finally builds up her trust in other people at this point. Her last request, which was to both and Hachi and Yui, was probably her requesting help from them repairing her past with Hayato, most likely romantically. It is clear and inferred at this point that they had a relationship in the past, but something very bad happened and Hayato is willing to do just about anything by the end to prove his worthiness to Yukino. Even following her to University.

    And I like your interpretation of Yui also using the speech to throw away Hachi’s notion of her being nice to him simply because she is just a nice girl, it fits nicely with the theme of the last episode of Yui trying to convince Hachi of her true feelings.

    I’m not part of the shipping wars… I’m just looking at the hidden backstories behind the pairings they legitimately hinted since the first and/or second episode. It all makes sense at that point when other things are factored in. Yui’s fake “nice-to-everyone” attitude, Yukino’s false independence, and Hachi’s purposely bad view of the things around him.

    Hopefully a Season 3 comes sometime down the road, and they resolve Yukino and Hayato’s emotional strife backstory and cement Yui and Hachi’s budded romance. Or at least a Novel afterstory/Anime OVA that clarifies the ending, heavily implies what happened next with a timelapse and the events of the past behind them, or what is going to happen next/is already starting to happen. Like Oreimo’s afterstory confirmed that Executive meddling cant stop your story from being the way you want it.

  19. Santouryuu says:

    so glad i found this.it’s like you put into words what i though about a lot of things.
    and finally am i reading something sensible about the ending,as all the other stuff people have written suggests thatyui is actually proposing that she says her feelings.
    really good write-up

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