All about the character interactions.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru (REVIEW)
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (REVIEW)
(THERE ARE NO MAJOR SPOILERS)
(WARNING: NSFW PICTURES BELOW!)
NOTE: This review does not meet my standards any longer and will be updated sometime in the future.
Its name is absurdly long like many light novel adaptations, but underneath that behemoth lies something that is entertaining, enthralling, and insightful. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru (OreGairu) (Careful of spoilers) utilizes one exceptionally intriguing character to create situations that are often unfounded in terms of depth compared to other school slice of life romcoms out there. Indeed, this may be one of those few shows that one needs to stop, rewind some scenes, watch them again with each character’s personalities in mind to fully understand the connotations of sometimes fairly profound scenes.
I didn’t have much hope for Yahari Ore no Seishun in the beginning, and that feeling was not limited to the initial premise, but also for the first few episodes. I barely got by watching the episodes much less review them. Initially, the only thing that stood out to me was some of the comments thrown back and forth and the main protagonist, Hikigaya Hachiman. So what is the premise anyways? Well, Hikigaya’s a lazy asshole with a pessimistic outlook on the world forced to join this club that Yukinoshita Yukino the, you guessed it, an attractive female that is apparently astounding at what she does. Sounds typical right? Yep. Nonetheless, I persevered even with Yuigahama Yui’s, the typical lively girl, appearances not changing the anime by a whole lot, but after the introductory episodes were out of the way, OreGairu began to shine.
Plenty of similar anime also put heavy emphasis on characters, but Yahari Ore no Seishun does things… differently to say the least. This is mostly because of Hikigaya Hachiman as his actions can easily confuse as much as it can astound if one does not pay close attention. Close to the middle of the twelve episode series (I consider episode 13 to be a bonus), he starts giving out monologues to how he views the world around him and the certain predicaments he’s put in. With his pessimistic, weird, but also strangely confident nature, he puts a spin on some normal to-be-taken-for-granted situations and twists them to bring in some ideas that we may have overlooked in our own lives. That is not to say that the subjects are truly groundbreaking for this is someone still in high school, but it’s worth crediting the anime for making such situations many people face or have faced play out in a different light.
If we are to consider characters on the whole, they are definitely fairly good. One in particular has her own hidden agenda which brings about some interesting discussion on the character in question and you’ll often find that there’s more than meets the eye for most of the cast. Before we move on to character interactions, I must commend how a certain scene in episode 2 manages to connect with one of the last few episodes so as to make the characters even deeper. Usually, with slice of life anime, you don’t see something seemingly insignificant become something that leads to the main character’s renewed understanding of others.
Of course, we can’t go on far in this review without talking about arguably the most critical component of Yahari ore no Seishun which has to be the character interactions themselves. This aspect is heavily dependent on the characters as bland ones will be unable to make good interactions, but it’s possible for there to be good characters and not so great interactions. Thankfully, this anime excels greatly in this regard. It’s difficult to describe in detail exactly what I mean without spoiling anything. But I can say that the word jabs between Yukino and Hachiman are especially entertaining and make me smile while also keeping a level of profundity within their verbal
abuse exchanges. And heck, some moments are just cute as hell.
What’s truly incredible is the way that Hachiman deals with the various situations that arises throughout the show and his viewpoint on the given scenarios. How often do you see a main character completely debunk and disparage other people’s ideas without a second thought while being considerate towards them, and being an asshole all at the same time? Wait, what? He’s an asshole and he’s considerate? What’s going on? Let’s just say that he has a unique way of going about settling things which makes the overall experience that much more satisfying. From words of wisdom to psychological tactics to philosophical ideas, Hikigaya Hachiman can do some extraordinary, albeit callous feats in ordinary situations. After watching some of the episodes again, I can’t help but smile at his words that ring so true and be baffled at his unconventional approach to situations.
As this is a romcom, we can’t go and forget the romance and the comedy. Let’s just get comedy out of the way and say that it’s not the greatest, but there are moments here and there that are actually quite well done. It’s definitely nothing as incredible as the character interactions though. Then again, after watching a few more episodes again, I found the first few episodes a lot more entertaining than when I first watched it. I’m guessing it’s the result of seeing it once already as I got attached to the characters. You also won’t be seeing much of romantic developments until near the end when the characters’ feelings towards each other are more consolidated. Even so, there is some serious potential for future seasons in terms of romance as seen by the last few episodes. Let’s be real here. Who wouldn’t want to see more of Hachiman and Yukino
flirting arguing with each other?
If I had to say something negative about the show, it has to be the visual quality. The character designs may be fitting, but I definitely did not like them when I first saw the anime as it felt just… off. Of course, that’s just my personal opinion, and as the story progressed and I grew attached to them with how awesome they are, I became used to the style. The animations overall, however, are quite average, and I definitely couldn’t remember any point that made me go “wow” (some fanservice parts are nice though). Regardless, as long as it doesn’t take away from the interactions, which it didn’t, then it’s perfectly fine. With the great sales so far for this first season, if they do intend to make a second season when the light novel has enough material, there better be improvements in the animation department.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review Recommendation
If you have even a passing interest in slice of life romcoms then watch this anime. Just be warned that the beginning few episodes are slow and you should wait until the monologues come into play if you are considering to drop the show before that. People say that it’s similar to Haganai and Hyouka, and while I wouldn’t disagree, it’s in a league of its own with regards to character interactions. Again, the humor isn’t exactly the strongest, and the romance isn’t really displayed firmly until later so keep those two points in mind. However, if you want something far more thought-provoking than the average slice of life romcom, then Yahari Ore no Seishun is the way to go. And who knows? You may even learn a thing or two from the cruel, realistic, eccentric, but ultimately enlightening individual known as Hikigaya Hachiman.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review Conclusion
Much like how I underestimated Hataraku Maou-sama! I would say that I underestimated Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru even more so. Heck, I didn’t even start reviewing until episode 10 which is the latest entry into an anime I’ve had so far. It disappoints me that I didn’t pick it up earlier, but at least I was there for perhaps the best developments in the entire anime and one of the best of the season. Just like how Hataraku Maou-sama! excels in humor, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru excels in character interactions and making a point without slipping into being pretentious which is quite a feat in and of itself. After all the character’s struggles and especially the last scene in the twelfth episode, I’ll be sad to see it go, but I’m more than glad to have stuck on for the ride for it was a damn great one.