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Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 04 »« Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 02

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 03

OP1.1 Sequence

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

「静かに、雪ノ下雪乃は決意する。」 (Shizuka ni, Yukinoshita Yukino wa Ketsui Suru.)
“Quietly, Yukinoshita Yukino Makes a Decision.”

I was geared up to post this earlier to garner earlier discussion, but this episode thwarted those plans in a cruel fashion. Things like Hayama’s relation to the Yukinoshita family, Komachi’s somber tones, and the overarching bet that unites Yukino and Hachiman flew over my head my first watch through, mainly because my memory of the second season has been blurry. I thus took it upon myself to rewatch the entire first season in full as a refresher. Since today’s episode was mainly a setup to set the stage for Isshiki Iroha (Sakura Ayane), who we will discuss in greater detail next episode, today’s post will focus on the transitions we’ve seen between the first and second seasons.

Aside from the change in animation quality and art styles, it has been a treat to see Oregairu slowly deepen its conflicts from petty romantic comedy to a complex social web of lies and fears. We could go on about how each character has deepened yet remained remarkably static, but the key point is that Oregairu has a special knack for connecting our characters in meaningful ways, despite clashing ideals. Without being too overt, the characters notice these subtle and implied cues from each of the characters, often using that knowledge to influence their actions.

For instance, let’s consider Komachi. The greatest wingman if I ever saw one. Her perceptiveness combined with her initiative has moved the plot for quite the resilient cast, guiding them into scenarios they’d never initiate otherwise. Beyond that cheerful face of hers is someone who really cares about her brother and his ‘friends’, genuinely wishing the best for all of them. Consequently, when we see that cheerful cover lower itself, even for a brief moment, it’s a window into Komachi’s unfiltered feelings at that moment. Season one provided only brief glimpses, yet each revealed Komachi’s ability to see through Hachiman’s smoke and mirrors. Today’s episode marked a turning point and displayed her true colors in full force. For Komachi, all she’s wanted is Hachiman to have good memories and share them with her. The snacks, the souvenirs, all of it is a convenient front for cheering Hachiman on from behind the scenes. Thus, when Komachi’s one desire is denied–an explanation of what happened–she’s reasonably frustrated. All that work since season one for nothing. Without remembering season one the message would still be there, but taking into account how much Komachi has done for Hachiman thus far, the feeling intensifies; Hachiman is most likely aware of what he’s doing to her efforts as well, given how much he’s acknowledged the slyness of his own sister.

Another great example arises from the types of issues that the club started to tackle. Episode one of the first season started our characters off seemingly disconnected from each other, working on fairly simple and straightforward tasks. As the season progressed, there was your typical character development, but the bonds that connected three seemingly unrelated characters together revealed itself. With the second season in gear, these trends are beginning to change. With the connections firmly established between the characters, development is taking center stage, as perceived failures seem to take center stage. Hachiman can no longer just be Hachiman without hurting the people he cares about, while the people around him cannot stand by any longer and let him take the fall for everything. Hachiman’s own skills of perception from season one have become his own burden in season two, as he deals with more people who care about his wellbeing. Today’s episode featured so much of Hachiman’s suffering solely because he understood exactly what was going on, yet lets it affect him out of fear of change and a desire to protect himself from further shame. His wit may have got him through the easy trials, but now the real deal begins, where a tradeoff between fulfilling wishes and protecting feelings comes into play.

Only having gone through 3 episodes, we can already tell that Oregairu Zoku. is a keeper for now. It’s simply impossible to fit all of the subtleties that the show has fit in so far, as well as the growing dynamics between more of the characters. I hope that going forward, we can approach all of these issues collectively as blogger and commenters. I’ve been reading your guys’ posts from the past two episodes and I’m thoroughly impressed. I hope to see more of it in the future, and in return I hope to post earlier so you guys can share your thoughts in a fresher package as well!

 

Preview

April 20, 2015 at 8:30 pm
54 comments »
  • April 20, 2015 at 8:36 pmSilentCid

    I bet he wouldn’t want to go there again after hanging out with the Onee-chan and ex-classmates.

  • April 20, 2015 at 8:42 pmanon

    thank you for the insightful review.
    genuine tension like this episode is rare in anime.
    i hope they see this through in a realistic manner (which includes not resolving anything).
    the characters here feel developed enough to be real people, and more real than many teens.

  • April 20, 2015 at 8:56 pmNadester

  • April 20, 2015 at 9:31 pmkasrkin519

    Gotta give the show credit – that scene with the girl he had confessed to was one of the most remarkably painful and cringe-inducing things I’ve seen in an anime

  • April 20, 2015 at 9:44 pmRed HeartGold ZX

  • April 20, 2015 at 9:52 pmlotus

    I like Haruno new color of eyes and hair hightlights they’re look EEEEVIIIIL!!!

  • April 20, 2015 at 10:04 pmDualash

    I think what makes the request one of the Service Club’s biggest challenges among the known requests, is that Yukino and Hachiman’s modus operandi are shown to be both flawed (And this will test the bond of Hachiman, Yukino, and Yuigahama as a whole); the arc so far shows that Hachiman’s way of doing things only provides a fast, temporary solution or façade(For example, at the camp Hachiman was able to stop Rumi’s ex-friends from excluding her but at the same time Rumi was never able to get back with her friends because Rumi and her friends’ relationship was broken). In contrast, though what Yukino has every right to hate Hachiman’s methods, she herself doesn’t have all the answers. Her way is too idealistic, as portrayed when she wants to nominate another person so that they can fufill Isshiki’s request. It doesn’t completely solve the problem because then even in the long run when they get Isshiki to lose the election, they bring all the trouble towards their nominated person and they’ll have to help that person when he/she becomes student council president. Its a long term solution compared to Hachiman’s, which ultimately is not great either.

    Yukino’s solution is too idealistic but ethically right, while Hachiman’s solution is efficient but is only superficial and also doesn’t completely solve the heart of the problem. Its an indication that both are not completely right. As all part of the Service Club, their biggest problem is how to approach requests from now on if they want to properly complete them. And for Hachiman, he needs to figure out what he wants and if he wants to change, for the Service Club and for himself.

  • April 20, 2015 at 10:18 pmPancakes

    You ain’t the only one there Zanibas, I’m having to rewatch the first season during breaks in between finals to get a better grip on this season so far. Even with all the ominous teasing from the LN readers and hints of the “catastrophe” yet to come it’s easy to see sh*t will hit the fan pretty damn soon.

    Yukino for all intents and purposes was not invested in many of Hachiman’s solutions in the previous season. Yeah they were detested, but the excuses here show a not subtle shift in her opinion and (likely soon to be) behaviour; she has to a degree become smitten with the proclaimed devil incarnate. Yui remains Yui, but how Yukino goes will be how she goes too IMO; Yui only snaps back into line due to Yukino never “giving up” on Hachiman in the fallout of his social self immolation. Without a foundation to guide her choices, Yui will jump to the next rock able to do so. It’s going to be very interesting to see what scenario will finally cause the explosion we all know is coming.

    Also that doughnut shop scene hit slightly too close to home, that is nostalgia I’d rather not have :P

  • April 20, 2015 at 10:33 pmDaBanzaiFish

    Mmmmm I just realized. Is Hachiman the only school-life genre MC who doesn’t sit by the windows?

    • April 21, 2015 at 3:38 amCybersteel

      He sits near the doors like an unMC. Hayama sits near the windows.

  • April 20, 2015 at 10:56 pmGeomchi

    He doesn’t need to do so because he’s already cool .

  • April 20, 2015 at 11:09 pmGYUZ

    As Wataru Watari said : “Haruno-san is erotic, cute and scary. I want to be bullied by her.”

  • April 20, 2015 at 11:14 pmSynic

    http://randomc.net/image/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Rabukome%20wa%20Machigatteiru/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Love%20Comedy%20wa%20Machigatteiru.%20Zoku%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2033.jpg
    I think watching Yukinon rip into Hachiman during the last few minutes of the episode was the most painful part of this episode. Yui’s concerned blank stare had me frozen as she had realized Hachiman was planning to throw himself under the bus again for the sake of solving this problem.

    http://randomc.net/image/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Rabukome%20wa%20Machigatteiru/Yahari%20Ore%20no%20Seishun%20Love%20Comedy%20wa%20Machigatteiru.%20Zoku%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    This scene in particular makes me curious about Hayato’s relation to Haruno. Did i forget something during the first season or is there a backstory we haven’t learned of yet? Seems to me that Hayato is a little jealous of Hachiman.

    • April 22, 2015 at 11:08 amFrakyo

      a little jealous? Hayato is about-to-kill Hachiman anytime soon. He already lose Yukinon to 8man and now lose Haruno. A new killer has born.

    • April 22, 2015 at 1:13 pmBear

      Families are connected socially IIRC.

  • April 20, 2015 at 11:18 pmewok40k

    things left unsaid hang heavily in the air…

  • April 20, 2015 at 11:49 pmflCer

    That new girl gives off a bad vibe. Reminds me of the similar premise that played out in White Album 2, where Setsuna had the same dilemma where she had been nominated against her will to be the next student council president; On the surface, she looked troubled, but she does like the attention.

    I think Hachiman picked up on that too.

  • April 21, 2015 at 12:03 amDuzz

    I don’t get the tension, I still don’t. It’s like it’s forced to be there. I’m lost. On the flip side Love Hachiman interaction with Haruno. Is it me or did they give her red tips on her hair? It work’s. And that girl he confessed too… seems pretty damn annoying! He’s hanging with hotter bitches now!

    • April 21, 2015 at 12:22 amDualash

      I disagree, I think the tension is appropriate, especially when its sort of like a confrontation on Hachiman’s way of thinking and a test if the Service Club can stay together and solve their internal problems or break apart and lose something important in the process. The series does make you think though, so not all of us are going to fully understand the story, but the atmosphere and story is so well done, that you can really feel the emotions going through the characters.

      I recommend just rewatching the episode, and try to look into the tiny messages they’re sending in the details (like how Yukino made those excuses to refute Hachiman’s plan, it shows how desperate and against she is to how Hachiman operates, and it exemplifies what Hiratsuka-sensei and Yuigahama said to Hachiman prior to the events when he “solved” the cultural festival and confession situations).

      • April 21, 2015 at 12:28 amDuzz

        I think that is where I am lost on. What problem was there? They solved that girl dilemma nicely, and Hachiman have always been the bad guy to solve problems all through the first season. So this new tension that just arise out of no where confounds the hell out of me.

      • April 21, 2015 at 1:23 amzeroyuki92

        Then rewatch the first season. There’s a big gap between S1 and S2:
        - The closest ‘Matyr’ scene which Hachiman did is in school festival arc, where some of the nastiest parts didn’t being known by our two heroines. Before that he use unconventional, brutal-yet-effective-to-core-problem method, but not a self sacrifice method.

        - His last act was also very different. Please note that:
        1. Yukino and Yui didn’t know about Hayama, Ebina and other hidden “requests” to Hachiman. That’s why they trust that Hachiman already got a solution to solve Tobe’s request and got genuinely surprised by Hachiman’s “confession”.

        2. Thus, Yukino ultimately betrayed by her own idealized view of Hachiman. Especially when early on, Hachiman proclaimed that ” he didn’t like fake relationship” and now he sacrificed himself just to save the relationship which he hated.

        3. Yui is obviously not going to accept a solution which involves Hachiman doing social suicide.

        4. Please note that while his solution somewhat “works” (at least in short term), it’s unnecessarily risky both to the result and himself (e.g Tobe probably will not like Hachiman interrupting his confession like that, causing an immediate spark which could evolve to larger conflict).

        Hachiman solution on this episode is even more flawed. Making Iroha doing a speech THAT bad to make her eliminated will not prevent her image to be destroyed, no matter who write the speech. At this point he is just used to select an easiest method which involves destroying himself, which are very risky and obviously won’t works forever. The girl obviously were concerned about that, especially when they already have a tight bond with hachiman like now.

      • April 21, 2015 at 2:30 amc2710

        3. Yui is obviously not going to accept a solution which involves Hachiman doing social suicide.

        Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we may have coined a new term to vividly describe an action that thoroughly destroys your social life… Social suicide…

        I believe, 8man is the very first male anime lead or character, to ever be hell bent on committing a social suicide.

        As it is, he’s already a ticking social time bomb

      • April 21, 2015 at 6:26 amBob

        @C2710, “Social suicide” is not a new term http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=social+suicide (entry is from 2006 but I’ve heard it before the )

    • July 19, 2015 at 3:10 pmStranger

      For Yui, she doesn’t want to see Hachiman hurting himself again. Painting himself as the bad guy to solve other peoples’ problems.

      For Yukino- it’s more the act of painting itself. She cares for Hachiman, too- but it’s also the fact that his methods require some smoke and mirrors. Superficial. Surface value. The same sorta shallow worldview that Hachiman hates. So she spots that Hachiman has somehow managed to paint himself into a corner and ended up a hypocrite.

  • April 21, 2015 at 12:49 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Man, I felt bad for Hachiman at the doughnut shop with his former crush talking about his confession as if they were old friends who could laugh it off like it ultimately meant nothing when, for Hachiman, it was a huge life-changing experience that shaped him into who he is…

  • April 21, 2015 at 1:44 amzeroyuki92

    From seeing discussions in various places, I think currently Hachiman is a victim of his own brilliance in S1.

    I have no idea if the “batman” thing went viral in Japan or not, but Hachiman action in final S1 arc created a small “cult” in the fanbase. While yes, one could see an analogy in Hachiman and Batman’s method, it’s a problem when this cult create a bias which made people felt that Hachiman’s method is flawless and Hachiman is actually OK with his own solutions.

    In fact, Hachiman solutions actually could gone wrong in many ways, and he probably was lucky that they haven’t backfired up till now. Getting used to be a ‘matyr’, especially when now he was rather obsessed with being matyr compared to actually solving the core problem, obviously is not a good thing for everyone and especially himself. Yukinon solutions were also flawed, but no sane friend will agree to Hachiman current tendency on “problem solving”. She and Yui has every right to be angry.

    TL;DR Hachiman is no batman, he is a smart but socially awkward teen with unusual problem solving methods and a tendency to prefer self defeating acts. He is not the hero we need, nor the hero we deserve. However, that what makes him a realistic and awesome character, just not in a batman way.

  • April 21, 2015 at 2:01 amAndmeuths

    The simplest, rational solution would be the entire club running for the Council. This is not that kind of show though, and with Yukinon and Hachiman so polarized, this isn’t going to happen.

  • April 21, 2015 at 2:24 amc2710

    From what I see, the ties that bind the 3 of them may have just been a superficial marriage of convenience right from the start.

    From what I recalled in S1, I don’t think Yukinon or Yui knew about the social grenade called 8man since the bulk of the problems that the Service Club had to deal with was done mostly by 8man, away from Yui and Yukinon. Hardly I ever recall the bulk of the problem solving were done in the presence of both Yui and Yukinon.

    I do vaguely recall that somewhere in S1, both made a declaration to their detest to superficialarity and facades. I believe right now, the supposedly “out of character Yukinon”, may actually be a manifestation of her disgust against 8man who, in her opinion, now is a hypocrite

  • April 21, 2015 at 4:15 amJuan

    This show is testament to the fact that you don’t need superpowers, contrived plot lines, mysterious sicknesses or even strange personalities to have an interesting story line. Stories like this and Hyouka a few seasons back are great stories that capture the attention of the audience with purely slice of life senarios that while maybe embelished to a degree they are easily relatable and very character centric

    • April 21, 2015 at 4:20 amJuan

      Another show that has a similar impact in recent seasons is White Album 2

      • April 21, 2015 at 6:14 amGYUZ

        Weirdly enough, I didn’t enjoy White Album 2. The characters didn’t click with me at all and I got irritated by them rather fast.

        Hyouka is a good recommendation for someone who wants something similar to Oregairu.

  • April 21, 2015 at 6:18 amHakuma

    In ep 1, Hachiman couldn’t buy his max coffee -> forced to change. This ep, he chose to to get black coffee -> trying to change. Can’t wait til he tries boss coffee.

  • April 21, 2015 at 6:48 amzrnzle500

    Something Haruno says to hachiman made me think. She asks hachiman if Shiromeguri, the current president, asked Yukino to be her successor. This is just speculation on my part but, What if this request is a roundabout way to get Yukino to run as her successor? If she asked her directly she would likely say no. But if it were a request to get someone not interested in running to lose, she might do so of her own accord, especially to prevent hachiman from taking the bullet. If making the platform and agenda for the candidate would make them a puppet, making one of them the candidate solves that problem. And naturally, that candidate would be Yukino as the most qualified among them.

    • April 21, 2015 at 7:18 amMagewolf

      I thought of that as well. But I think people are not giving Hachiman enough credit, I think he saw what the other solution was and who would end up President and then decided to throw himself on the grenade.

      • April 21, 2015 at 7:40 amzrnzle500

        That’s true. I think they both saw through each other and want to go with their own solution, not only for themselves but also to prevent the other from taking the burden of their solution

    • April 21, 2015 at 2:37 pmJuan

      I’m thinking on a different line a bit from what you are. I don’t think it’s because she was offering a solution to the problem they are facing. I doubt she even knows about the problem at the moment. I do think though that she is asking more out of concern for her sister. She remarks how “boring it is” since she wasn’t SC president either. I think she actually wants her sis to do things differently from her and to “forge her own path” since she is basically just following in Haruno’s footsteps

  • April 21, 2015 at 7:16 amOwaranai

    Just wanna give a shout-out to Zanibas and you commenters who took the extra effort and time to re-watch the whole thing. While it may be intended to benefit oneself personally, your views have been really insightful and make reading this so much more fulfilling.

    Don’t think there’s really anything much more insightful I can offer than what has already been written, but I did enjoy the episode with it’s atmosphere and building up of tension. I feel for Yui as despite her lack of ability in solving problems like 8man or Yukino, she is the understated glue of the club and desperately wants everyone to get along, and is very earnest in her interactions with both 8man and Yukino. I’m really liking her a lot more now as a character.

    It’s lovely to see the struggles as much as it is hard to watch in the sense that you feel for the characters, yet know that this development is concrete and probably getting somewhere instead of them throwing a Reset scenario and everyone remains the same. 8man in particular is forced to come face-to-face with his past at one point and also his present, which are the changing relations he has with the people around him.

    Lastly, I really, really love the OP and ED. Damn songs were stuck in my head whenever I listened to them for a week at least. :)

  • April 21, 2015 at 8:59 amReikakou

    Oh boy… It’s becoming more painful bit by bit watching this series every week…

    I feel like the main trio are about to go on their separate ways down the line…

    The fact that this show is so close to real life experiences doesn’t help in dampening my perception of Hachiman count down to self-destruction as he tries more and more to protect himself and everything that he holds dear with his self-sacrificing ways…

  • April 21, 2015 at 9:02 amkeiichi

    Angry yukinon is hot too

    • April 21, 2015 at 1:23 pmGYUZ

      A dere Yukinon is so much better, though. Trust me.

  • April 21, 2015 at 11:47 amSilvia

    Man this episode was hard, I felt quite somber after watching it.

    What I really would have loved was for either Yui or Yukino to motivate Hachiman that he can change.
    I really like Yukino, she is a wonderful strong character, but in this episode her reactions made me feel for hachiman. Hachiman is who he is because of certain trauma, enter highschool girl. And to be stuck in such a destructive survival patern is very lonely as we see.

    It takes real courage and hard work to let go of such old paterns. I can speak out of personal experience that even in a warm helpfull envoriment it can be really hard. It is al you know and it is something that if you want to change have to let go of. I wish that hachiman gets the support he needs to eventually change.

    I also realy felt my heart tug when Yui tried to be the better person and she reached out to hachiman. She may not be the amazing problem solver, but she is the amazing warm friend. I still root for Yui like i did in season one. Not because I don’t like Yukino, but because Yui is much closer to her emotions and speaks from the hart (episode one, new season). And that I think something hachiman needs.

    • April 21, 2015 at 4:38 pmsonicsenryaku

      You’re last paragraph put into perspective quite nicely why i root for Yui even tho i like them both; some say that Yui doesnt challenge hachiman like yukino does but ill get more into why i completely disagree with that next episode for the sake of discussion

  • April 21, 2015 at 3:30 pmRukia

    Yukinon was way too harsh this episode. What goes around comes around. I can’t wait to see her go through a rough patch.

    • April 21, 2015 at 7:31 pmDuzz

      The thing is with Yukinon is… I don’t think she care if she goes through a rough patch. Pretty much no one have made themselves indispensable to her yet. So if she does go through one, she can just amputate and be fine.

  • April 21, 2015 at 4:46 pmMike

    I did not like the first season as much as many of you, I liked the idea and characters but the stories were often pretty banal.
    This second season though has been superb. This and the second episode were just mind blowing.

    I don’t even know what to write, but the characters having all of their moe and saccharin and happy faces stripped away to see their real selves full of all of that doubt, anguish, insecurity etc that we all really faced in school was amazing.

  • April 21, 2015 at 8:32 pmDuzz

    For those sick of the tension: PS Vita game of Yahari

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGgcbdtfH8w

    He marry the Sensei, and according to the comment. This is the Bad end.

    Ain’t not bad end for me!

  • April 21, 2015 at 9:01 pms_w

    It’s a little sad that 8Man tried so stupidly hard to fulfill the request and save Hayama’s group, and wound up ruining the relationships in his own group in the process. Kinda dumb on his part. Don’t poop where you eat, son. Then again, his self-esteem is so low, he doesn’t realize he’s hurting other people when he takes the hit for Tobe.

    Cutting off Komachi and essentially telling her to “butt out” was pretty awful, too. They’re VERY close as siblings, and that was a gut punch for her, considering she’s been in his corner all this time. That’s like having your dog bite you.

    I think that with Haruno, what’s boring to her about Yukinon not running is that Haruno wants Yukinon to NOT follow in her footsteps and NOT try to do everything she did. It’s boring if Yukinon just tries to copy her in everything, so it would have been much more interesting if Yukinon ran for StuCo Pres.

    The worst was Orimoto. She’s terrible. Awful. Horrible. Of ALL the characters in this show, I can’t stand her the most. She tries to cover everything over by laughing, but she’s laughing AT you, not WITH you. It may very well be some kind of horrible social anxiety or awkwardness, but it comes across as someone who’s LOLOLOLing at your painful memories or w/e. She’s just a troll. Total troll.

    Not much to say about Irohasu. Not yet, anyway.

  • April 22, 2015 at 12:29 amechykr

    Poor 8man, he was clearly traumatized at having to see Orimoto again. Her obnoxiousness was most likely the direct cause for his current snarky and cynical attitude. Particularly the callous way she treated his confession. If she didn’t like him, just reject him and that’s it. Instead she had to go and tell the whole world and destroy what little self-esteem 8man had left after the rejection.

    Worse off, Haruno had to go and fan the flames for the lulz.

    Jury’s still out on Isshiki, though she’s at least more likable than Orimoto.

    • April 22, 2015 at 3:47 pmDuzz

      Isshiki probably the next Sagami base on what I saw. I don’t expect we see her much but seriously, I want to see Orimoto get put in her place somehow…but I learn from this anime to expect disappointments.

  • May 2, 2015 at 8:02 amHedgedog

    i think that this is more than just your average ‘romantic comedy’genre, it psycological and drama should be added in instead…