「だから、彼らの祭りは終わらない」 (Dakara, Karera no Matsuri wa Owaranai)
“And Their Festival Doesn’t End”
For a bonus episode, I’m a little ashamed to say that this may have been my favorite episode out of the whole season. Amongst the stellar pacing, really good art at times, and reintroduction of some sorely missed characters there was still enough room for the Hachiman we all known and love to shine. It makes you wonder — why couldn’t have all the other single-story episodes have been this good?
Before we get started, don’t be fooled! Even though this episode occurs chronologically after last week’s episode, it doesn’t do anything about that giant hole last week’s ending left with us. That and what happened to the fact that everyone should have a shared hatred for Hachiman and the way he handled Sagami?
But brushing all that aside, this episode was just plain fun to watch. Not only has it been ages since we’ve seen Zaimokuza but when you pair him up with someone just as crazy as him like Ebina the two bring a whole new energy to the show. Chuunibyou or BL, the integration of their two passions turned the normally boring athletics festival into something totally awesome. From anime-inspired armor to dirty BL jokes, there wasn’t a dull moment in sight. But the kicker in this last episode was definitely watching Hachiman use Zaimokuza’s over-exaggerated personality to his own gain. I mean, a chubby guy who’s acting like he’s a power ranger getting beat up? Who wouldn’t be distracted by it?! But then to actually become the decoy while giving Zaimokuza the cover he needed to get passed enemy lines was probably even better. Sure Hachiman’s tactics may have been borderline cheating but you have to give it to him with how clever he was!
All in all though it was a great episode in my opinion. Even though there wasn’t anything too serious going on, I’m sure everyone got a laugh out of it somewhere. Be it Shirashi Minoru taking the role as an announcer once again, Saika getting guys left and right to fall for his looks, or Zaimokuza becoming one of the manliest guys in the series — the writers somehow managed stuffed everything you’d want into a single episode. Now where’s that OVA?
Boy, where do I start on this? After a season of shows like Shingeki no Kyoujin and Railgun S2, who would have thought that one of my favorites would end up being Oregairu? While it may have had a rough start in the beginning — be it the derp pacing or the janky art during full body scenes — the series made a big comeback once it got passed all those basic stuff.
Enter, Hikigaya Hachiman, the hero we deserve but not necessarily the one we need right now. Corny batman quotes and gifs aside, he is probably one of the most complex characters I’ve watched in quite a while. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to say that he’s the most realistic character I’ve seen (because I don’t think even the most cold hearted of us can go to the lengths he does), I’ve probably sympathized with him more than anyone before. He’s been in all the awkward situations where he ends up the loser. He’s been the butt of jokes and the outcast that no one likes. He understands that the world is not a friendly place nor is it one that will reward you for simply getting results even though that’s all it asked for. All of which were things that I personally tried to foolishly hold onto when I was back in High School.
At the same time, he’s also shown that even after having a rough childhood and choosing to life a certain way, that he’s capable of still changing and adapting. Comparing his attitude toward everything from episode one to episode thirteen, it’s clear that he’s slowly opening up to those around him. Be it trying different things like acknowledging that nice deeds may not only be just out of responsibility or just plain asking someone to be his friend — it relieving to know that he’s grown somewhat throughout the season. Because even though some of the more cynical watchers out there may believe that him staying true to his original path would’ve been the best choice, I’m a firm believer in learning from your experiences. And if there ever was an example of someone continually learning from their past, Hachiman would be it.
But without a strong supporting cast, I’m sure that Hachiman wouldn’t have been as awesome of a character as he’s become. And while you could argue that almost everyone in the show has served a bigger purpose than just being someone to populate the background, I’m sure most of you would agree that Yukino and Yui are the two more important. While Yui may have been there just to make it feel like someone in the show still has some sort of emotion within them, she did play a huge role in helping Hachiman understand certain things that words alone would never explain. In Yukino’s case, you could say she’s the one who instigated everything. By being someone who could share his point of view yet still have a completely different outlook, she was like the guide who helped Hachiman escape the hole that his pessimistic thinking dug him into. And with the two of them serving as completely different ends of the spectrum, I whole heartily believe that together they have the ability to really enlighten Hachiman.
Seeing how I’m reaching close to a 1,000 words, let me end on this — you should watch this show if you haven’t yet. It’s not a show that’s going to change the world nor is it one that’s going to take the anime of the year. But it is a show that will really get you emotionally involved because of just how close it resembles that inner you who tries to keep you as safe as possible. And when you really start to think about it, how would your life be if you tried living like Hachiman?
tl;dr – Give this show a shot and you’ll make yourself and Takaii happy. Hachiman is anime’s Dark Knight. Yukino and Yui are awesome. Don’t fall for traps even if they’re beautiful. Imouto in this show is awesome even though she gets no air time.
tl;dr because the first tl;dr was too long – I want a season two! Hachiman is batman.