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Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 02 »« Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabukome wa Machigatteiru – 13 (END)

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「春擬き」 (Harumodoki) by やなぎ なぎ (Yanagi Nagi)

「何故、彼らが奉仕部に来たのか誰も知らない。」 (Naze Karera ga Hōshi bu ni kita no ka Daremoshiranai.)
“Nobody Knows Why They Came to the Service Club.”

Yahari stops for no one; the show keeps chugging through as if it had never stopped. After two years of absence, one of romantic comedy’s most awkward and uneasy works of art has returned for round two. Despite changes in the art, studio, and the budget, the show has kept up well for its first episode, maintaining the same dilemmas and subtleties that drew fans to season one. Now, the review in detail.

Leading up to the release, most people were worried–and still are worried–about the character design changes from season one to season two. Complaints were abound especially concerning Hachiman’s new look, which sacrifices his darker and awkward design for a more ‘pleasing’ one. Though I would agree with the audience based on pre-showing images, in practice Hachiman’s own appearance and others have not significantly affected the series…yet. In some ways it’s an improvement, with smoother animations and overall cleaner character designs for a better aesthetic experience. On top of that, it seems studio feel has managed to not lose much of each character’s core traits through their appearances. Hachiman still looks like he’s on the bottom end of the attractiveness spectrum, while also preserving the look of continual contempt that he wears on his face. Yukino is still just as able to exude a sarcastically friendly face just as well as her dere side, while also maintaining the aura of control that her physical appearance exudes. As for Yui…she’s still Yui! Now, this is not the first time that I’ve had to deal with graphical changes, with Moyashimon Returns under my belt, but this change seems to overall be for the better. Aside from the benefits mentioned above, it seems the new designs are close to the light novel material as an added bonus, staying more true to the source than season one. Although the continuity failure is a shame for those immediately coming off of season one from a re-watch or a marathon just-in-time, for the rest of us who have been keeping cool, the transition shouldn’t be too bad in terms of visuals. Studio feel is doing a great job, but now I hope those improved animations are something to stay, rather than a hook to dissipate from lack of funding.

Aside from graphics though, how is the season doing so far? Although I am worried about director Oikawa Kei’s decision to rush the series forward right out of the gate, the fast pace strangely fits with the overall theme of the show–a constant uneasiness pervading most of the characters, hiding behind the supposed ‘comedy’ of the series. One of the reasons why Yahari has appealed to me so much is its insistence on making its audience and its own characters uncomfortable. Hachiman says something edgy, yet brutally true. Characters show their fake selves and only momentarily let that cover crack. Whatever sweet moments of the show are quickly swept up by overarching consequences which transform them into bittersweet resolutions. There is no easy way in Yahari, especially under Hachiman. Today’s episode captured those season one sentiments perfectly and continues to be unrelentless in mixing cute romance with the brutality of a sharp tongue.

The best example from today’s episode was straightforward, coming from the absurdly impolite Tobe Kakeru attempting to pursue the fujoshi Ebina Hina. Already is this not a straightforward task as Hayama Hayato is already expressing his unease with Kakeru’s plan. Hachiman, being the sharp observer he is, already notices this unease and registers it in the back of his mind, to be brought up as evidence later as the plot thickens. Yahari is not content with making any plot pure, but rather implicating it in a battle where there WILL be losses along with the resolutions that will be made. After all, Hachiman made great sacrifices for people to succeed at the music festival, causing Hayato to question why Hachiman would resolve things this way. The same is unraveling here, as Hayato sees the potential consequences of Kakeru’s success. Perhaps its that if HIna and Kakeru get together, it will further splinter the ‘popular clique’ even more as members give more attention to each other? Or perhaps its a plot twist that we don’t know something about Kakeru that Hayato knows. Whatever the reason, Oregairu will ‘balance’ things out, where nobody will leave unscathed in the process. The show has done a great job keeping to its roots and as such, I’m excited to see what kinds of plot developments can result.

Of course, Oregairu isn’t all serious, with lots of enjoyable comedy in between. Totsuka continues to be one of the best traps ever, as her girlish charms continue to capture Hachiman’s heart as well as many others. Yukino still is a great character with huge potential for ‘dere’, with today’s episode end a testament to her power. The show is able to jump to these moments to the uneasiness smoothly, without a moment feeling out of place. Rather than avoiding awkwardness, Oregairu embraces it and tells a compelling story that hits hard to home. Although I have some worries about the pacing, so far the show is off to a great start, and every viewer of season one should definitely pick up this show ASAP. With character introductions out of the way, Oregairu has all the time to make this romantic comedy something that’s pretty much ‘all f***** up’.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「エブリデイワールド」 (Everyday World) by 早見 沙織と東山 奈央 (Saori Hayami and Nao Touyama)

Preview

April 6, 2015 at 2:20 am
51 comments »
  • April 6, 2015 at 2:29 amJawingforJaw

    Yahallo!

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:29 amBane

    Yes. The fire rises

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:31 amclamps

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:43 ambrajt

    I’ve noticed a slight change in the comedy aspect. Trying more tsukkomi/boke dialogues then in the 1st season, sometimes in a raw, what feels forced and out of place for me. But I haven’t rewatched 1st season nor read the novels, so maybe I’m wrong?

    • April 6, 2015 at 3:07 amDualash

      Yup, in the LNs there are actually a lot more of that kind of dialogue, which can be hilarious and interesting. For me, it doesn’t feel forced and it really helps to lighten the mood and spice up the conversation. Plus, I was actually partly worried how they use some of Hachiman’s monologues and the conversations between the characters, but I enjoyed their remarks and the discussions they had in the episode and I think they improved the dialogue from season one, letting Hachiman speak out more. (The pacing is my only worry since they skipped some pretty interesting details that would help add to the atmosphere and highlight some characters)

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:44 amShinwinds

    to be honest i watch yahari ore just for the trap totsuka saika. lol

    well the story did play out almost no introduction. and i didn’t really bothered. all hail trap. :D

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:48 amDoubt

    Enter 8man.

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:51 amAmiluhur

    The only saving grace of the premiere was Hachiman’s sharp and witty monologues, while everything else felt meh. The pacing in particular felt odd as the change between one scene to another carries almost no weight at all and sometimes felt too fast. Yukinoshita’s lack of sharp remarks towards Hachiman also kinda bothered me, as their verbal bloodsport was what made the first season’s sense of humor consistently sharp and funny. Lastly, i’m not fond of the new character designs. Just no.

    • April 6, 2015 at 3:46 amDualash

      I actually really like the characters designs, they look clean and clean (Hachiman’s design I think needs improvements like the hair, but they did a great job with the expressions and reactions). For the verbal remarks, if they’re consistent with the dialogue, there are going to be more to come. But arguably, if you see a dip in the remarks you also have to consider that firstly the upcoming trip and the recent request will make her preoccupied to just simply tease Hikigaya. The production staff might also play a might into the anime, possibly omitting parts to have enough time for the story, and finally (on an interpretative level) you can think that Yukino might be making less remarks because treating Hachiman more as a person so you can think of it as character development (of course that doesn’t mean she’ll stop making them but there’s a time and place for them in the story). The comedy though, I think Oregairu season two has improved from season one just looking at the first episode since in the volumes the comedy was more than just the remarks, some of them are actually very funny that reveal many things like how Hachiman thinks and his sense of humor (I could go into more detail, but if we’re lucky enough we’ll get to see it in season two).

      Unfortunately though, the pacing is kind of rough, its similar to season one’s pacing, though season one did an adequate job in setting the characters and at least the main points of the story. But in this first episode they didn’t go into detail with the ramen scene and the atmosphere after the cultural festival, so its going to be interesting how it plays out because season two is going to deal with very interesting material.

  • April 6, 2015 at 3:11 amGYUZ

    Awesome to see someone who likes the new art style. Reading all those complaints on other forums really saddens me. Some people even dropped Zoku because of that!
    As for the pacing, they did skip a lot of content but I can assure you that they didn’t skip anything really important (but not seeing the full ramen triple-date still kinda hurts), and the episode didn’t seem rushed for me at least.
    The anime will probably cover the rest of volume 7 next episode, which leaves a lot of space for volume 8 & 9 (and maybe some parts of 6.5 & 7.5). Hopefully they’ll stay away from volume 10.

  • April 6, 2015 at 3:20 amPatsuan

    Ah… Same snark remarks, same humour, same Yukino and Yui adorable moments and same Totsuka being the only one with a chance to win the 8man ;)
    Really smooth transition between the two seasons and two studios. Even the character designs aren’t that bad, though inferior.

    P.S. More Yanagi Nagi OP and Yukino/Yui Duo ED!!

  • April 6, 2015 at 3:39 amMakise Kuristina

    http://randomc.net/image/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Rabukome%20wa%20Machigatteiru/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Love%20Comedy%20wa%20Machigatteiru.%20Zoku%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    *Heavy panting*
    “So the teenage love comedy that is so broken is back! 8man x Hayato? 8man x Saika? 8man x Yuki? 8man x Yui? Or the forbidden 8man x Shizuka sensei??? 8man and Saika should totally check into a love hotel”
    *Heavy breathing*

    Oh yes, the very post that I’ve been waiting. Truth be told, I did have my initial apprehension about 8man’s new design but seeing how the debut went, I think I prefer this design. Now the question is, in a showdown between Archer and 8man, who would win?

    Anyway, is it just me or has Yukinon gotten more dere and more mellow this season?

    Before I go…

    http://randomc.net/image/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Rabukome%20wa%20Machigatteiru/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Love%20Comedy%20wa%20Machigatteiru.%20Zoku%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2016.jpg
    Saika – *Yatta~~~ Hachiman finally notice me”
    8man – “Saika smells really REALLY nice… I can’t control myself any longer…”

  • April 6, 2015 at 3:45 amjustfun

    The episode was able to cover all the things that made the first season such a good show – only the sharpness of Yukinoshita Yukino was put back a little bit too much. This could have to do with the new character designs, but could also be amended with the ongoing of the story. Nevertheless the first episode is a good promise for a great show.

  • April 6, 2015 at 3:51 amzztop

    Yanagi Nagi; good choice of singer.

    • April 6, 2015 at 8:08 amdanes256

      well i believe most of us still remember her first song in major indie named kimi no shiranai monogatari

  • April 6, 2015 at 4:02 amlel

    How I missed this SHOW!!! ^^ personally, I LOVE the new art style and Character Designs. I agree with you, Zanibas. The Character Designs ARE Cleaner than S1.
    What I really love about this show are the Characters. Not only is the Main Trio great, but This show also has the best Trap ever, the best Sensei ever and The best Imouto ever. I also like Hayato and Ebina because she’s so damn fun.

    And another Yanagi Nagi OP \O/

    I agree that this episode was rushed… But Season 1 Animated 6 Volumes (I think) of the LN in 13 episodes so…
    BTW: Sorry for My broken English, guys >.<

  • April 6, 2015 at 4:05 amWorldwideDepp

    Lately the Anime Industry build in some Boys that look like Girls. Is this Fanservice for the Otome fans?

    i noticed this trend since: http://randomc.net/category/haiyore-nyaruko-san/

  • April 6, 2015 at 4:34 ammetalder

    Hachiman is always torn between Saika or Yui’s breasts.

    By the way, their hair and expression looks so much better this season. hopefully not justa first episode budget thing.

    • April 9, 2015 at 5:02 amvrr4141

      Why Yui’s boob is looked smaller than in the first season? Is it caused by the uniform?
      Nope , I don’t think so. You can easily compared Yui’s boob in the first season with this one. In the 1st season, she cannot button up her blazer, now she can do it. Smaller boobs is one of cost saving factor, because no need for boob jiggling animation.
      Whatever , at least my favorite side character, Komachi is still here.

  • April 6, 2015 at 4:49 amRed HeartGold ZX

    I didn’t even realize it was Yanagi Nagi who sung that OP at first. Wow.

    When I first saw the PV and teaser pics, I was like very disappointed by all these studio and art design changes. But after watching this Episode, it isn’t so bad at all. In fact, I kinda like it. Art got better and more creative.
    http://randomc.net/image/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Rabukome%20wa%20Machigatteiru/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Love%20Comedy%20wa%20Machigatteiru.%20Zoku%20-%20ED%20-%20Large%2003.jpg

  • April 6, 2015 at 5:45 amMgMaster

    2 years and I still ship 8man & sensei.

  • April 6, 2015 at 6:49 amReikakou

    There were some angles that Hachiman looks like the protagonist in Persona 3. Heck! I thought I’m watching P3, actually with how smooth and silky the animation is especially the OP and ED which is similar to P3.

  • April 6, 2015 at 10:09 amSilentCid

    Brain Base had more vibrant colors. I why do get this FEELing that the colors seem washed out?

    • April 6, 2015 at 11:13 amdaikama

      @SilentCid: That’s something I noticed as well. I’m not one for nuclear, lurid coloring, but Ep. 01 did seem a bit faded/washed out to me.

  • April 6, 2015 at 10:34 amMisterMarty

  • April 6, 2015 at 10:38 amdaikama

    Yaharai Season 2 (S2) had a pretty strong start in my opinion. Frankly, I liked introduction with it’s succinct, efficient flashback to Season 1 (S1), giving S1 viewers a reminder about Hachiman playing the bad guy role (again) in order to resolve problems with the School Festival. For me it gave the episode a very “continuation” of the story type feeling rather than “recap” of old stuff.

    It also saved precious time which given apparent pacing, the show needs. S1 pacing was fast, faster than I’d like. S1 turned out good (IMO), but while some material can be cut, dialog is important here – it’s the heart of the series. A couple of times, I thought Ep. 01 skipped some dialog which I felt would have been beneficial. :/ I hope S2 slows down a bit from the torrid pacing.

    As for the character designs, they are closer to the LN (same thing as Log Horizon). Overall, I’d say I’d prefer them though not by that much. Varies from character to character. Production quality was a bit disappointing however. S1 visual quality wasn’t great either, but watching Danmachi right after watching Ep. 01 was a surprisingly different (and better) visual experience. Ep. 01 visual quality had its moments, but there were also some noticeable drops as well. :/

    On the whole, apart from inconsistent production, I’m mostly satisfied with Ep. 01. Hachiman is one of my favorite male leads, and I’m glad to have him and the rest of the gang back for another season.

  • April 6, 2015 at 10:48 amStranger

    Glad to see this at least is getting covered. Dunno why, but almost none of my shows were blogged on RC last year. The rest of the years were fine, but then 2014 came and apparently my tastes simply didn’t mesh with any of your team.

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:18 pmYanDaMan

    One of my favorite Slice of Life show returns! Heres hoping its as good a season 1 was.

  • April 6, 2015 at 3:18 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Hachiman is such a refreshing male MC (out of most I see). We need more MCs like Hachiman. Feels like a majority of male MCs these days are some combination of…

    Naive
    Over-idealistic
    Happy-go-lucky
    Goody-good
    Stupid as hell
    Dense as hell
    Prude as hell
    Perverted as hell
    Pretty boy

    …and/or all-around Gary Stu without much to balance out such qualities.

  • April 6, 2015 at 5:02 pmBlahto Blahtoto

    I wonder why they omitted the Ramen Scene with Shizuka. The conversation is very important for Hachiman and Yukino’s char dev. Hope they make it as a flashback.

  • April 6, 2015 at 5:58 pmmagoiichi

  • April 6, 2015 at 10:34 pmF2 1A 1T ggnore

  • April 7, 2015 at 4:05 amAizen-chan

    I don’t know why people keep complaining about the character design. It looks fine.

  • April 7, 2015 at 4:39 amRicky McRickster

    I didn’t even know that the art style changed until I read this post. Heck, and I marathoned the last season a week ago.

  • April 7, 2015 at 7:33 amOwaranai

    The Trap of all Traps is back.

    I can’t help but laugh every time Hachiman does a absurdly perverse yet humorous monologue about what he was thnking of Saika, and I really do like how they picked up right off where they left. The entire episode didn’t seem like it missed a beat at all despite what might seem to some like a fast start. the animation and art feels cleaner too, so that’s a plus in my book.

    It’s interesting to see how relationship dynamics have changed a little since the first season, even though S2 literally started straight off S1′s final episode. More dere Yukino is never a bad thing.

    Anything else added on here would probably sound like a mini-repetition of what Zanibas has mentioned, but on the whole I’m really glad to be catching season 2. I might just pick up the LNs too just for the heck of enjoying a fuller story. :p

  • April 8, 2015 at 11:31 pmewok40k

    If only Ebina knew what Hachiman thinks of totsuka…