Instead of a love comedy, mine seemed to resemble more of a tragedy instead. *Erhem I digress* Despite appearances, Oregairu managed to surprise me because it exceeded my (moderate) expectations in a simple way – there were valuable snippets of life lessons to take away from this particular opening episode.
As expected, even the character names are a mouthful to read
Hikigaya Hachiman (Eguchi Takuya) is your average (depending on how you see it) school student who doesn’t give a damn about “youth” and the concepts that revolve around it. In the real world, we call him an apathetic hipster. As Oreki Houtarou (from Hyouka) would say so himself, this is what he defines as a grey-coloured school life, no fun and
girls games, just the monotony of studies and grades. One would think that hippies like HH (I’m just going to abbreviate his name), are destined to be #foreveralone since they have forsaken the teachings of the light – the path of the rose-coloured school life – right? Except in love comedies, the opposite only happens. (Why you so cruel, reality?)
On the other end of the spectrum, Yukinoshita Yukino (Hayami Saori!) is what everyone secretly wished they were – talented, with looks to boot (minus the chest), well-known and well-liked. So what happens when you put two polarizing personalities together?
A) A love comedy – because opposite ends attract.B) Members of the Volunteer Service Club.
PS: The correct answer is C. ??? -> A+B
Like most cool beauties out there, most of them possesses a venomous tongue
and rotten personalities that is potent enough to inflict caligynephobia on their poor victims should they overstep their boundaries. However, there is a difference between being mean and straightforward and YY (Yukinoshita Yukino) clearly belongs to the latter. Her no sugar-coating way of speaking is something that not everyone would be comfortable with. Beyond the harshness of her words, no malice is actually intended and on the contrary they are actually filled with goodwill – albeit one that is hard to swallow.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, because the cover can be changed
Frankly speaking, before I went into this episode and while I was watching this episode, I wasn’t expecting all too much. The animation looks average, the premise seemed to be a generic RomCom setting, which is the case. The character designs look a little bland. As I expected, isn’t this a recipe bound for disaster? Almost.
When I started hearing HH and YY talk about their different stances on “change”, my ears perked up. Indeed, both views have their valid points. As it turns out, HH isn’t a totally dense male protagonist (the ones that we hate so damn much), as he managed to deduce accurately that YY herself doesn’t have friends like he does – simply because popularity incites jealousy. The side effects of fame also includes a psychological barrier in terms of status differences, in which people tend to be intimidated due to the “difference in scocial levels”. As such, even though HH and YY belong to the different halves of the school, they are both on the extreme ends in that regard. The fact that Oregairu made me put on my thinking cap is a feat in itself, because I wasn’t expecting myself to do so.
To expand on the thinking cap point, this is where Yuigahama Yui (Touyama Nao) comes into the picture, along with the whole cooking cookies session. Yui is a person who believes that talent is inborn and that hard work is futile if one doesn’t have the innate potential in them, which is a self-defeatist attitude (though not entirely false too). I can go on and on about this whole “talent vs effort” topic, but I’ll reserve that for another day. YY being YY, gives Yui a piece of a mind (plus cookies) and instead of creeping Yui out, she’s amazed by the manner YY gets her points across (aka telling them straight to your face).
Sometimes it’s the thought that counts, sometimes
Even HH has his part to play when I said there was life lessons to learn earlier. Sometimes it is the thought that counts when it comes to gifts and presents. It doesn’t have to be the best tasting cookie out there, as long as it isn’t as hard as a rock or taste like some mushroom, the other party
will should appreciate your efforts.
To put it in another light, it can be said that it is the thought that counts when it comes to Oregairu. Sure it may not look or taste great (in reference to the animation and plot), but when the main characters talked about thought-provoking topics such as the aforementioned, I can certainly appreciate the thought behind it. That being said, this may or may not have been a one-off thing, since premiere episodes should have this kind of impact in order to keep viewers watching. As a bonus, Nagi-sama sings the OP, plus having Hayami Saori on board is never a bad thing in my book.