OreGairu Season 2 Episode 4 – Being Understood is a Fearful Thing

What do we have? We have another breakdown between Hachiman and Yukino, over some disagreement in how they do things, in how Hikki hurts himself and everyone around him to defuse the situation rather than actually resolve the underlying issues.

But what Yukino and Hachiman do isn’t too different on some level – Hachiman is going to try and make Iroha lose by shouldering everyone’s hate, and Yukino is going to make Iroha lose by shouldering this responsibility she doesn’t care for, by becoming the next student council president. They both make themselves into martyrs. “Nothing changed,” but they only hurt further and further, and everyone around them knows it.

(This might be my longest episodic write-up yet. It’s long. It might also get a tiny bit rambly at the end.)

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Hayama Hayato, Hachiman’s Shiny Mirror:

OreGairu S2 episode 4 anime - Hayato Hayama asks for help from Hikigaya Hachiman

Hayama’s “Is that so?” could refer to any and all of Hachiman’s statements, let’s go in reverse order, because the reasons became less revealing and incisive as Hikki kept bringing them up, “I’d like to at least chill during the weekend” shows that Hachiman doesn’t want to help, and engage with others, that he’s an introvert and that helping others comes at a cost to him, or rather, that he finds it stressful.

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OreGairu Season 2 Episode 3 – Scabbing Normalcy, Scarring Unchange

So, we’re already past an arc! The first arc doubled down on reminding us why the characters work as they do, and gave us insight as to their characters – they’re lonely, even as they cling to others. They’re suffering, and they hate themselves. But they, like everyone else, has to make do with the situation they’re in, which includes lying to themselves about their suffering, and thus, hating themselves even more.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Keeping Up Appearances:

OreGairu S2 episode 3 anime notes - Hikigaya Hachiman is running away

1) “But I think any news is better than no news.” – Hachiman is bored. You know why he’s bored? Because he’s alone, because no one will interact with him, or make him part of their activities. Though it goes both ways, it means he’s not going out of his way to interact with others. As he keeps demonstrating, he thinks his only real strength is his loneliness, so he will not let it go.

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OreGairu Season 2 Episode 2 – Protective Self-Loathing

So, what did we have this episode? What did we really have this episode? First of all, we’ve had “someone acting strange.” Hachiman was speaking of Hayama not being his usual effusive and helpful self, and rather being unhelpful, but watching the episode you also have Ebina acting somewhat weird and giving off “sad vibes”, and Miura actually being aggressive for the sake of others. And you have Hachiman and Yukino hold onto the note they pass for too long.

OreGairu S2 episode 2 anime - Hayato Hayama fears change

That last one seems irrelevant, but that is the point. Everyone is acting “weird”, because everyone is trying to deal with the tension of desiring for the status quo to remain, because everything else is scary and you risk losing what you already have, and the constant desire to have something better, something more. In terms of a community, this struggle is a bit more complex, but still similar, and ranges the gamut from desiring your friends to be happy in the status quo, to them being happier if things change, to the risk that not only your friends will not be happier if things turn out badly, but that as a result everyone else will suffer as well.

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OreGairu Season 2 Episode 1 – Familiarity and Willful Blindness

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.

Production:

OreGairu S2 episode 1 anime - Hikigaya Hachiman's inner thoughts

The fujoshi’s anthem. Also, who’s this much older dude with the super-pointed chin?

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.

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