Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru [Overall Review]
Animation Company: Brains Base
Airing Date: April 5th 2013 – June 28th 2013
Genre(s): Slice of Life, Romance, Social Psychology, Comedy
Summary: Hikigaya Hachiman is a high school boy with twisted character. He prefers to go against the trend and refuses to make friends with anybody. In order to get Hachiman back the right track, his teacher forces him to enter ‘Public Service Club’.
If there’s anything to be said about Oregariu’s plot, it’s that it’s not what I, or anyone else expected. Honestly, I’d assumed that we’d be getting another harem-esk show with some subpar comedy thrown into the mix to liven things up. What we received was an explicit criticism of society and societal values, mixed in with an interesting but somewhat passive romance… and it was good. It was new. It was fresh. And I loved it. Now before I get carried away I’d just like to put this out there: I am in no way saying that this is some ‘revolutionary’ anime that will blow your mind and redefine the genre forever, no. What I am saying however, is that it’s something new and something that you should experience if you’re a fan of the cliche romantic comedy genre, not because it’s cliche, but because it’s new and because you’ll still be able to associate with it. All of the atypical foundations are there, a cute female lead, another cute female character trying to butt in on the action (even though in Oregairu there really isn’t any ‘action’, per say) and other anime ‘tropes’ that’ll tide you ever through the entirety of the series.
I guess you’re wondering why Oregairu only scored a seven after all that praise? Well… allow me to explain. Oregairu’s plot is in no way perfect, sometimes episodes would feel disjointed and uneventful, at other times they would be pointless and or ‘filler’ episodes. The romance was nonexistent (this one isn’t so much of a bad point as it is a gripe (and so I didn’t lower the score because of it), after all, the English translation of the title is: My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected) and the ‘main plot point’ actually became some kind of underlying issue that was never addressed and left the viewer feeling a sense of emptiness as we realized that absolutely nothing was resolved in the 12 episode run… Hachiman get’s hit by a car and then it turns out that it was his ‘friends’ car… nah, we won’t address that, it’s not that important…
Hachiman. Oh, I do indeed love him so. He’s snarky and sarcastic and it’s great to see a main character who tries to redefine the status quo. He’s likable. He’s not spineless and his cynicism’s add greatly to the humor. He’s Kyon (from ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’) amplified, Super Kyon, if I may. Hell, he even has a cute younger sister… That aside, I feel as though it’s Hachiman who makes this show, the show is his bitch and so too are the inhabitants of his school… All of whom apparently hate him… I think the reason Hachiman is so likable comes down to the fact that he’s a straight talker, not only does he offer insight into the human mind, delving into complex societal and cultural issues, he also offers a comical portrayal of the male protagonist, surprising the viewer at every turn with his inability to change.
In an attempt to avoid writing an essay on Hachiman I’ve decided to move on. Yui and Yukino! Our two female protagonists. Yui is your typical ditsy airhead character who, for some reason, falls in love with the male protagonist. Of course we later fine out why she’s fallen for him but I digress… I don’t like ‘ditsy’ characters. Did Yui change my opinion on ditsy characters? No, but she did come the closest to being accepted into my heart out of all the ditsy characters so far (I say before I realize how much I love Kumin from ‘Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai’… although Kumin doesn’t really fit the establish archetype? My bad). Yukino. So that’s where Yozora (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai) ended up after the end of season two! Wait what? It’s not Yozora? my bad. Yukino is an awesome character because she has a feisty edge that I can’t help but love. Obviously she doesn’t offer as much insight into the world because we don’t spend as much time with her character as we do with Hachiman’s, but I’m almost certain they share similar views… just saying…
To finish off this section I’d again like to explain why I can’t give this a perfect 10. Character development. Oregairu tried, it really did, but in the end nothing changed and, whilst that was the point, so much more could have been done. Sure, Yukino can now wave cutely at Hachiman but does that mean she’d really developed? Well… yeah, I guess. *Sigh*, I don’t know anymore, what am I even doing? That aside, and, going back to an earlier point, the lack of real plot is ultimately responsible for this. Some great development could have come from the car accident confrontation (that never happened) and they missed the opportunity. Everything was left unresolved.
And what even was the point of introducing half of the side characters that they did? That silver haired chick did f*** all throughout the entire series and the spent an entire episode dealing with her characters issues! What an ungrateful bitch…
Animation Quality: 7.5/10
Was it good? Yes. Did it blow my mind? No. The art work was… meh and I think that’s ultimately down to my personal preference… I guess that’s why I don’t like rating the artwork (unless it’s blatantly shit), it’s all down to a persons subjective viewpoint. But I digress, Brains Base did a good job of producing a consistently well animated show and I have to give them at least some credit for that. Good job guys!
Original Soundtrack (OST): 7/10
It was… appropriate… The OST suited the shows tone perfectly, thing is, it wasn’t mindblowingly good. It’s the kind of music that you listen to subconsciously whilst watching the episode, it didn’t stand out… What did however stand out was that opening! Not once did I skip the opening because it was awesome… here, have a listen:
The ending however, was nothing to write home about…
Overall Score: 7.5/10
In the end Oregairu was a good show bordering on the line of being great. Some lackluster episodes and some unnecessary characterization let the show down, and an ‘alright’ OST didn’t do anything to bolster the score. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and the character Hachiman was on his own enough to convince me of this shows worth.
Recommendation: Yes! If only for the experience of viewing the world through Hachiman’s eyes…
This is a show that I’m hoping, with all my heart, will get a second season, if only for the reason of completion… I must see Hachiman confront Yukino! Don’t give me any of that passive B.S! Hachiman, grow some balls! Ehem, that aside, I thought that Oregairu was an enjoyable experience, not the best, and not a show that you’re going to be staying up to watch all night by any means, but it offers something new and refreshing and that is all we can ask of anime as viewers. Thank you Brains Base.