Hachiman Hikigaya is an apathetic high school student with narcissistic and semi-nihilistic tendencies. He firmly believes that joyful youth is nothing but a farce, and everyone who says otherwise is just lying to themselves.
In a novel punishment for writing an essay mocking modern social relationships, Hachiman's teacher forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club, a club that aims to extend a helping hand to any student who seeks their support in achieving their goals. With the only other club member being the beautiful ice queen Yukino Yukinoshita, Hachiman finds himself on the front line of other people's problems—a place he never dreamed he would be. As Hachiman and Yukino use their wits to solve many students' problems, will Hachiman's rotten view of society prove to be a hindrance or a tool he can use to his advantage?
Yahari Ore isn't the first anime to tackle the anti-social protagonist, but it certainly captures it perfectly with its characters and deadpan writing. Like others have said before, you may go into this expecting a typical rom-com but will instead come out of it lashed by the harsh views of our characters. This however, is why this anime stands out from so many in the genre. It's charming, funny and yet bluntly realistic. Far too often rom-coms get stuck in the fairy tale realm of romance stories, or get too wrapped up in the emotional drama/turmoil that can be present in youthful romance. Those
elements are fine. But what about the bitter, and rejected? Or those that aren't allowed to fit in, or who choose not to fit in.
Not everyone of course has had this experience, but it's certainly something that people experience. And so this is what Yahari Ore does best, it gives us a perspective of those in school who have been rejected so much, they decide to play by their own rules, and that of course is excluding everyone else from the game. Afterall, it's much easier to get on by when you only have yourself to rely on.
This anime doesn't preach to the audience. And certainly, the view points of these characters are sometimes flawed. But it's an interesting look at how some people deal with their failure to connect to others (or rather, what can happens to someone when people reject and shut them out). Yahari Ore also looks at it from the other perspective, and isn't trying to paint one side as the victim/aggressor. We get a look at how mean and cruel we can be to each other when trying to fend for ourselves by fitting to the status quo. But this is true of both the rejected and those that reject.
At its core this show is very funny. The MC's biting sense of humor and harsh views of the world is hilarious (even if it always has an underlining seriousness to it). And to be clear, this isn't a serious drama. However, my praise focuses so much on the serious elements of the show, because I think that is what elevates this to a truly great Anime vs. a typical comedy. There is a lot of truth to this show, and it feels very realistic. Through the lens of the MC's harsh view on the world, we get a deep look at social behaviors and how often everyone is just trying to be something that won't be shunned from the pack.
If you are someone looking for a romance anime to watch, this might not be it. The romance in this anime isn't non-existent, it's actually well written in a realistic manner (it doesn't fall into the typical tropes). However, if you are looking for romance with a lot of action, then you might be let down. The romance in this anime is more about feelings, and how they can grow towards others. This is to say, the romance feels like something special here, but you will not get any closure or sweeping action between specific characters (maybe later in the LN or if we get a season 2). Although I don't think that's what this anime is about, as ultimately its focus is more on how people internally deal with their emotions, and the fear of sharing them with others.
Yahari Ore is an example of why comedy is such a great asset to art. Comedy allows us to look at aspects of life that aren't always good and allows us to examine the darker aspect of our humanity, and laugh while also getting a better understanding of it. Yes, this is a comedy that is for the most part, snarky, sarcastic and deadpan. But it's also a very interesting perspective on how we treat other people, and how those that don't fit in, (or those that choose not to play the game and try to fit in), deal with a world that heavily relies on being social.
Somewhere along the way, I read that quote. The source is unknown to me, but I found that it struck key point in life. Well, I guess I can't generalize and say everyone's life, but I would say most people have had times they felt they couldn't count on anyone. Life is full of things that make us want to isolate people we don't understand and make us want to quit life. High school is full of those moments, those "emotional roller coaster" kind of moments. Basically, it can be related to my understanding of Oregairu, I'll kind
of explain...kinda later on. Maybe. Derp.
Story - Meet Hikigaya Hachiman, pessimistic protagonist. Alliteration wins the day. Just kidding. Basically, this romantic comedy is centered around this social outcast. Along with Yuigahama and Yukinoshita, these three characters make up the main cast. Of course it's easy to start assuming and stereotype this as the "usual" romcom. I beg to differ. The premise for the story isn't super original. I'll admit that. But again, most things aren't. What might have been another generic and boring romcom with mediocre ratings actually was just a disguise. After watching the first episode, I began looking forward to the next week. As I sat myself down each week to watch Oregairu, I realized just how well done the entire story was. Pacing-wise, I thought it was perfectly fine. There are minor issues, but none that truly sparks any debate.
Characters: Here was the biggest "fuck yeah" moments I've ever had. The characters in this show were phenomenal. Let me explain: from start to finish, how they started off as, how they developed, and the amazing interaction between the characters, especially Hikki and Yukinoshita, were just amazingly done. There really isn't a show I enjoyed more than this based solely on character development. Gotta love the bantering back and forth.
Truly, there are some gems of knowledge we can all learn from. Hikki, pessimistic and messed as he may be, truly understands the world far better than most of the other characters in the show. Despite his twisted views on life, he tries his best to help others. Not always in the nicest way, but definitely in a way that is effective. Throughout the show, there was nothing more captivating than listening to Hikki's thought process and views on life.
I won't go into too much details about the others, but know this: the premise for each character is nicely brought out and it truly was the highlight of the entire show. The characters I mean. Interactions were perfectly portrayed and drew us in. How nice of them. I laughed my ass - pardon my language - off so many different times throughout the show just because of how well the interaction of the characters. Truly a masterpiece.
Art - Ah, I really was a little turned off by the art. Throughout the entire show, there was some episodes where it just didn't look great. But it isn't so bad to the point I wouldn't watch it. Somehow, as I watched more and more, I cared less and less. It was quite colorful, I'll admit. All in all, it wasn't something bad, I just thought they could have done better. But really now, who cares about some subjective views of a random young adult? Probably not you.
Sound - Well, I must admit that the opening was something I never skipped. I really enjoyed listening to it. And throughout the show, the soundtrack really fit well for the mood. I have nothing bad to say about it. Though I must confess I never stayed for the ending.
After finishing the show, that quote really hit me. Not so much about what it meant, but that quote truly was something that describes Hikki so very well. He truly understands the meaning of "walking alone" and just doing what needs to be done.
Basically, I gave this show a 9/10. I couldn't part to give it anything higher because despite how much I liked it, there were some parts that I couldn't enjoy (like my subjective views on the art and stuff but anyway). Despite all that, and minor details, it was a show I thoroughly enjoyed. Don't let the long name fool you, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru, or "My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected", or Oregairu. Whatever you may call it, this show truly is one worth watching.
Recommended. Highly. Yeah. Awesomeness. Now go watch.
What do you think of when you hear that 6 letter word? Some people think it's a place for education to secure a future. Some people think it's a place to hang out, make friends, and enjoy the experiences there. Then, there are some people who absolutely loathe school and think it's like prison, a place for people who are forced to go there because their parents told them something along the line of “it's for your own good!” Well, I'm not sure what category I belong to along those options but for a certain young man by the name of Hikigaya Hachiman, he
takes distortion to a whole new level.
The series is called My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU in English terms. The SNAFU part is an abbreviation for “situation normal: all fucked up”. No, I didn't make that up. On the other hand, the Japanese title is Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru that can also be abbreviated simply as Oregairu for easier writing. Regardless though, the series is adapted from the light novel of the same name written by Wataru Watari.
I have to admit, this series took me by quite a surprise. The first episode took off with a rather blend start from my point of view as the series seemed to follow more of a slice of lifish style of narrative. As mentioned before, the series stars a cynical and anti-social young man by the name of Hachiman Hikigaya. He is in his second year at high school but unlike most people who thinks about sports, girls, or academics, he seemingly rejects reality so much that he wishes his existence was never present. He maintains his life as typical with no friends, associates, or a girlfriend. This could be a understandable given his past with how he is often made fun of by his classmates and peers. Even the teacher never stood up to him when the time calls. Poor kid...
However, this is about to change because Hikigaya meets a girl who by the name of Yukino Yukinoshita. Unlike him, this girl is completely out of his league. (typical for him huh?) Yukino is seen as a girl who is admired for her beauty, academics, but also with a cold personality. Thus, she earns the title of “Ice-cold beauty”. At the same time, she plays the role of the president of a club known as the “service club”, a club created to help others in need. But of course, a club is difficult to run with just two people right? Well, that's where Yuigahama Yui comes in. On a completely obstacle scale, Yui is cheerful and often puts on a smile while enjoying the times of her life at school. Together, these three forms the trio of this series in a romantic comedy that's depicted as a complete “illusion” under Hikigaya's eyes.
In this series, I find perhaps the character interactions to be one of the strongest points of the show. In fact, our three main characters gets seemingly gets off to a rocky start in the beginning. Hikigaya stands isolated at many occasions in events while voicing out thoughts in his own mind. He seems to detest romance and likely reality itself. His 'deadfish eyes' represents a physical side of this because in essence, fishes have no personality. In other words, Hikigaya plays the role of a cynical man. Yukino on to other hand seems to have a similar personality and at the same time often makes sarcastic remarks to Hikigaya's responses. Her way of speech mannerisms shows why she earned the nickname “Ice-cold beauty”. This side of herself is further illustrated through her brutal honesty. In fact, Yukino is someone who goes against lies and speaks the truth at times no matter how forceful it may be. However, Yukino and Hikigaya does occasionally interact in agreement with various people. This usually relates to their 'love life' where the either of them immediately declares themselves as 'nothing more than friends'. Finally, in my view, Yui represents the middle girl of the trio. She is neither cold or cynical. Instead, she is cheerful and often brings a bright smile to the gloom and doom of the club.
The pacing of this series seemingly becomes a problem at first but then, I realized it's not about romance but rather the way these three characters live out their lives through young in their school lives. I'm sure some of us felt this way one point or another in our lives as life seemingly moves way too slow. For Hachiman though, he just wants it to be all over. At the same time however, Hachiman does seem to have some interest in his life. He does seem to find both Yukino and Yui to be attractive in physical terms. However, he doesn't seem to actually want to date them because from his perspective, romance is a false reality; a lie.
The romance in this series is actually presented in a different way; no random fan service or breast groping. Rather, there's more of a slice of life pacing that depicts our three main characters' daily lives around others and around school as well as other places in later episodes. I personally find the romance in this series to be unique and even at times realistic. Although there's some obvious hints, it's rather presented in a conceptual style through its dialogues. Rather, the dialogues of this series also remains one of the strongest points in all of its episodes. Hachiman reflects them in his mind with his thoughts on the world and those around him. At one point, he goes over a long monologues that depicts his way of thinking against a certain type of girl. It's realistic because it can be related to anyone at school. Yes, I do mean ANYONE.
Throughout the series, there's also seemingly development with all three of our characters. Hachiman seems to change outlooks on himself while also influencing others. Yukino's cold heart also seems to melt at various points as she reveals more of her vulnerable self. Additionally, Yui shows more of her fragile self as well. The dynamic trio plays out their roles in a recognizable way that depicts their characters throughout each episode.
Of course, high school always has to drama to complete the formula right? The drama sometimes comes from the trio of our main characters. At other times, they are influenced by outside parties such as Yumiko Miura, a popular student at school. She and Yukino are like oil and water as the two never seems to get along. Among other factors, there's also drama involving Hachiman and his interactions with others that seemingly puts others in an uncomfortable zone. It's a zone of drama and in this series, it's definitely there.
Perhaps one of the strongest points I enjoyed in this series is Hachiman's character. His personality is the type of “I don't give a damn” about anything, whether it's himself, others, or even the world around him. At the same time, he has strong opinions about the world. Like I mentioned before, this is usually expressed through his monologues. They have a reflexive sense of language that is philosophical, deep, but at the same time to the point. It illustrates the fact that Hachiman is cynical and at times even mean as demonstrated in one of the conversations he has with Yui. His view on his family also seems to be indifferent as shown through her interactions with his sister. The way Hachiman describes her as “brat” and “annoying” again reflects his personality. However, I find this to be very well done because it is realistic. It is how siblings act in real life because who am I kidding, no brothers and sisters can get along perfectly. Don't believe me, just take look at Oremio.
Throughout the series, there's also a visual sense on how lonely people behave. The interactions that Hachiman goes through seems to be forced by himself as often or not, he is unwilling to participate unless asked for. Even then, he concedes in a reluctant way. It's not always easy to relate to him but there at many times I find his personality to be refreshing, realistic, and in the way of how his character is portrayed right. He isn't the typical harem protagonist who can't decide on what's right or wrong. Rather, Hachiman is an opinionated young man with his own views on the world. Those views are in the words of his dialogues that makes up the humor and personality of his character. (oh and who am I kidding here, who can ignore those deadfish eyes and antenna like hair?)
The series does fall under some common themes though despite its refreshment. The concept of 'students forming a club' is not a new idea. Anime series such as Medaka Box, Haganai, and Okami-San and Her Seven Companions has this idea of students coming together at school to form a club to help others or for their own purposes. It's been done before. At the same time, there's also the common sister trope used in this series. Furthermore, this series doesn't avoid some fan service or the 'festival' mood. Although the fan service is toned down, it's still there with the swimsuits, cos-play, and even maid outfits. There's even a trap in this series that distract the viewers and who am I kidding, Hachiman as well with his thoughts. The poor kid sees everything as an illusion and almost at times can't tell differences between fiction and reality.
As regarding artwork, this series has some generic visuals. However, I find it to fit within the themes of the series by the way it's drawn to be simple and to the point. The most obvious that stands out is Hachiman and his deadfish eyes. In fact, his eyes are never portrayed as normal but rather as the type that stands out the entire show. Am I surprised? Of course not. It fits him perfectly with his cynical personality. Then, there's cold beauty Yukino who is drawn with electric blue eyes and long hair; a true beauty indeed. It's definitely memorable because of how they look so differently from others in the series. It's also important to note that because of their looks, they are different in general. I felt that the mood of this series was achieved with this portrayal of visual artwork. It sets the realism and style of our main characters that are easy to be told apart. It's appealing and this series pulled it off right. There's no stupid deformed characters or inconsistency. It's down to the point and I'm grateful for that.
The soundtrack of the series has a light touch to its themes. I felt that the voice actors and actresses did an outstanding job with their performances in their roles. Hachiman's tone is completely straight forward with no hesitation on what's on his mind. His monologues are from his personal thoughts and I felt that Eguchi Takuya did a great performance. The cold tone and brutal honesty is also reflected in the voice of Hayami Saori. Finally, Yui's voice actress protrays the cheerful voice to balance out the trio. The atmosphere of the show is lighthearted and thus the OST remains so as well. It's orchestrated with slow pace and connects everything well. There's that sense of realism to go along with it with that pacing and soundtrack makes it match. The OP song, "Yukitoki" by Nagi Yanagi shows montages of the characters and how they come together as the Service Club. Similarly the ED song, “Hello Alone” shows more of a bonding that is memorable at heart.
All in all, My Romantic Comedy SNAFU was a refreshing show for me. It's like taking a deep breath and thinking back about youth and school life. It can also be related to many of us who has gone through the high school years along with those experiences of youth. Whether you were the popular kid, the loner, or somewhere the middle, there's always something you can dig out from this series related to school. The main character Hachiman is one of my favorites from the Spring 2013 lineup with his personality. Whether it's his character, his dialogues, or just himself, I loved the way he is portrayed in this series. Of course, I do feel a bit sorry for him as well at various occasions.
Regardless, this series stands out as something that definitely in my estimation to spent time on. Even if you don't like the idea of the typical school life setting where a group of kids are in a club doing stuff to help others, I think this series right here may change your mind a bit. It may start off slow paced but that's also how life is. For Hachiman, youth is an illusion. For me, this series' illusion is reality that has been quite an enjoyable experience. After all, we all been through youth with a different outlook, no?
My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected. But my expectations were not.
Spring “blesses” us with yet another highschool anime about a guy who comes into contact with a bunch of girls in a school club.
What started out generic also ended generic and nothing of value has been gained.
It’s not only sad for the industry but also sad for Brains Base to produce such a subpar work, when in the past they were responsible for great shows like Baccano and Mawaru Penguindrum.
“Yahari” has no overall story, it’s just about a boy named Hikigaya and his school life. The show goes in no direction, builds
up no goal to aim for, no romance no drama, no big lesson. While other slice of life school romcoms have at least something to aim for like, graduation, a romantic relationship or a different goal in life, Yahari stays true to slice of life and just shows us character interactions and some events.
If it doesn't have a story, does it have anything else to offer?
Yes and no.
While shows without story have normally things like, great artwork, soundtrack, interesting characters, settings or concepts. None of this was found in Yahari, the jokes were sometimes funny and sometimes you didn’t care. I was wondering why I am even watching this anymore as it was clear nothing was going on. It revolved around the same thing the entire time without any clear path to go. Stumbling from one boring school event to the next it felt so dragged out and couldn't keep me interested.
Even for its genre it did nothing new or groundbreaking. There are a lot of better shows similar to Yahari that were at least enjoyable to watch.
It all boils down to Hachiman, the anti-social protagonist with witty comments on the insignificance of school life and school friends. While at first I liked his cynical view on his surroundings as it reminded me of my own view on school life, it became very dry at some point as it was the same thing over and over.
He showed no real progression and he alone is not enough to save this anime.
Yukino was the other half decent character, she also had a very cynical outlook on life but was a more honorable student than Hachiman. Her personality though stagnated and became boring after a while. Besides being cruel and insulting she had nothing else to offer.
Yui was a possible love interest for the MC but the show decided to just leave that alone and make absolutely nothing with it. She is just a naive girl and totally bland and boring. Like the rest of the support characters.
Saika was the only one who had an entertaining interaction with the MC but only because of the homosexual tension. Besides that he was a personality less trap just for fan-service.
You know, if you have no story to offer then please offer an interesting cast. Yahari has only one interesting character and that is not enough to keep me interested and entertained for 13 boring episodes.
Art and Animation:
You know how well Baccano was animated? The surreal art style Mawaru Penguindrum had? Or the pretty colors in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun?
Well Yahari had absolutely nothing like that.
It looked so cheap, the character designs were pretty generic and bad executed. The surrounding were so boring to look at, it had no special effects or interesting artistic treats for the eye.
Yahari looked just really really generic to borderline bad. I’m confused how Brains Base could produce such a cheap looking show.
Really it fails already in 3 categories, no story, boring character and cheap look...
But it doesn't stop there. The overall soundtrack in Yahari is so forgettable, even bad at points. It’s just such run of the mill music that plays in the background without sticking out for a second.
The voice acting is good as usual, I would have face palmed if they would have fucked that up as well.
The opening is terrible and I always skipped it, the ending song is just as bad.
Four Strikes... Yahari what are you doing?
As you’d guess from my previous sections, yahari couldn't keep me enjoyed through the course of 13 episode.
While I didn't hate it (because then I’d have dropped it without a second thought). I just felt really bored at some point and just finished it so I had it finished.
Here and there it was funny and even entertaining. The start was pretty okay as well, but around the middle it just dropped deeper and deeper into insignificance. Such a boring show, it didn't even had potential it wasted, it was wasted right from the start.
(Story) Content 3/10
Premise and Setting -1 (highschool boy with highschool girls in a club...)
Genre Execution 0 (sometimes funny but mostly boring)
Dialogues and Cleverness 0 (some good dialogues but overall too mundane)
Interest Keeping -1 (nothing was happening!)
Personality 0 (weren't too bad)
Behavior and Chemistry 0 (very generic)
Development and Progression -1 (absolutely none)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (simple)
Likability -1 (even tough 8man was good everyone else as terrible)
Art and Animation 5/10
Artstyle 0 (generic and boring)
Quality 0 (not impressive)
Background 0 (boring backgrounds)
Character Designs 0 (bad executed and bland looking)
Visual Effects 0 (simple)
Art and Animation -1 (bad)
Sound -1 (bad as well)
Story and Content -1 (boring)
Characters -1 (annoying)
Value -1 (an anime without any significance)
Yahari does nothing new or good in the romcom genre. it’s yet another school anime with an antisocial main character forced to interact with a bunch of girls. The events were mundane, the side characters annoying, art and sound below average. Truly a show not worth of any ones time.
If you want to watch an enjoyable RomCom try Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun made by the same studio last year. It’s not really great or anything, but by far better than Yahari.
Or why not try out really good ones like ToraDora or Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojou by JC Staff. Even Kyoto Animations Hyouka has more to offer and a similar cool main character.
Don your wizard cape and grab your mystical staff of unmentionable powers! It's time to learn about the most fascinating chuunibyou characters in anime who suffer from "middle school 2nd year sickness."