OP: 「芽ぐみの雨」 (Megumi no ame) by Nagi Yanagi
「やがて、季節は移ろい、雪は解けゆく。」 (Yagate, kisetsu wa utsuroi, yuki wa toke yuku.)
“In Due Time, the Seasons Change and the Snow Melts.”
I have to admit – as much as I love Oregairu, it’s been so long that I have no idea what’s going on. Yukino wants to move on from relying so much on Hachiman so that she can decide things for herself – and finally gain the resolve to properly communicate with Haruno. On the other hand, Yui’s intentions are two-fold. She wants Yukino to give up on Hachiman because she loves him and for the service club to continue. In short, she wants to maintain the status quo. Unfortunately for her, the writing is pretty clearly on the wall – Yukino’s looking like the clear favourite here, so I don’t blame her for trying to run intervention. But I can appreciate that she’s a caring friend towards Yukino and isn’t egregiously scheming or seeking to undermine her. I have no doubts that if things don’t work out the way she wants – not farfetched considering Hachiman didn’t even eat her cookies and stuff them into a drawer – she will continue to support Yukino nonetheless.
We had a really nice short featuring Kawasaki – who’s dealing with her burgeoning feelings towards Hachiman. And it was nice to see Hachiman spoil Keika – even if some of the undertones were rather questionable. Most importantly, this episode focused on the wholesome connection between Hachiman and Komachi – in the context of Komachi feeling well placed in succeeding on her highschool entrance exams. As an older brother, this episode really got to me. Sure, Komachi might tease and verbally brutalise Hachiman every now and then as the playful little sister. But it’s really clear their sibling connection is really strong. She’s also recognised Hachiman’s sacrifices and truly appreciates him for it – with her heartfelt gratitude moving Hachiman to tears. Throughout this series, Hachiman has been an underground operator who does things from the shadows – never getting any recognition and often sacrificing himself to resolve issues. Or being criticised for his cynical approach. Although he acts cold and aloof, he must have wanted to hear that acknowledgement for such a long time – and it must certainly come as an emotional relief, some form of validation from one of the few people that he cares about in life. That makes me feel really happy for him too.
While the start was slow by Oregairu standards, and a miniature recap actually would have been useful (for once), it was a really nice episode settling us into expectations for the final season – capping off the coming of age and resolving the remaining questions left regarding our cast of beloved characters. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post. Welcome to the final stretch – and let’s hope this series gets the ending it deserves.
ED: 「ダイヤモンドの純度」 (Diamond no jundo) by Saori Hayami and Nao Toyama