Hachiman Hikigaya, a student in Soubu High School, is a cynical loner due to his traumatic past experiences in his social life. This eventually led to him developing a set of "dead fish eyes" and a twisted personality similar to that of a petty criminal. Believing that the concept of youth is a lie made up by youngsters who face their failures in denial, he turns in an essay that criticizes this exact mentality of youths. Irritated by the submission, his homeroom teacher, Shizuka Hiratsuka forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club—a club that assists students to solve their problems in life, hoping that helping other people would change his personality.
However, Yukino Yukinoshita, the most beautiful girl in school, is surprisingly the sole member of the club and a loner, albeit colder and smarter than Hikigaya. Their club soon expands when Yui Yuigahama joins them after being helped with her plight, and they begin to accept more requests.
With his status quo as a recluse, Hikigaya attempts to solve problems in his own way, but his methods may prove to be a double-edged sword.
* * * *
now, i know what you are thinking after reading that sypnosis. Another generic mediocre romcom, isn't it?
WRONG. Sure, the plot line is nothing new and it's just like most other LN's. So what sets it apart from other LN?
First, this is one of the most realistic LN out there (pretty rare).
And Mainly, the difference lies in characters.
Hikigaya, is, a loner. It's not like he wanted to be one, but he had some mental trauma from junior and middle school and other circumstances forced him to be one. He tries his best to distant himself from others. He
tries to read between words. Plus, he has dead fish eyes that makes people not to approach him.
Then, he meets yukinoshita, she's a loner too but a complete opposite of 8man. Excellence at everything she does.
And then yui yuigahama. She's total opposite of 8man and yukinon. Popular, good looking and a nice personality who wants to get along with everyone.
These three make make up the service club.
The story moves along with the requests the service club gets.
Now most anime watchers say that Oregairu doesnt have a story, but, is that true?
It does have a story. It's a character driven story, and a good one at that. We see how Service club tries to solve the request they get.
Again, so what? What's so good about those requests?
NOTHING. The request are simple. What matters is how 8man solves it.
And more than that, we see the psychology aspects of high school students and the philosophy of today's society with those requests.
Hikki's view on other people, the society, is harsh. It's crude. (lets just say cynical, k?)
Yet, none of it is wrong. Instead, his view is so accurate that you cant even refute that. And it's thought provoking.
As i said, this LN is realistic, so even you, the reader, have to agree with his views even if you dont want to.
Hikki is called monster of logic. Why? Because he has a logic for everything.
Hikki's thoughts are contradictory. It's full of sofistry. Yet, you agree with him.
Yukino & yui, both try to solve the problems. But for some reason, 8man is the only one who solves it.
But his methods are not complementery.
Anime watchers, who saw those methods, said, " HIKIGAYA IS BADASS ".
But no, he's not. It's just that hikigaya doesnt have other options.
This series, has an amazing writing style and narration. You relate to the characters, you cheer for them, you feel sad with them.
The character development is also good, something you should look forward to.
The story, as I said, is character driven. There are plot twists, there are some sad moments, some cheerful moments, some satisfactory moments.
The art illustrations are good too. Especially the color illustions. Those are beautiful.
But hey, is this really a love comedy?
Yes and no. It's like 25% comedy, 10% romance. But the rest of it, is the reality described in a cruel way, harsh words.
Now, something about yukinoshita. She's an ideal student, but even she has her problems. She has a bad tongue, plus she's beautiful. Also she's a cat lover.
Makes her a good character.
Yuigahama, is someone relatable, for me personally. Someone cheery and who wants to get along with everyone. Reminds me of my highschool days.
The thing is. Every character, including side ones, are people you'll find around you. The atmostphere, is exactly like a high school.
It doesnt feel artificial or fictional, like most LN's in market.
About romance angle, it's there. Yui and yukino, both have shown an interest in hikki. (Plus 2 more characters, but that'd be spoiler)
and finally, a minor spoiler.
" I want something genuine. "
when hikki says that, he cries. The badass, cries. And at that moment, your heart warms up.
But what does hikigaya want? What is that genuine thing?
It's something you, the readers have to find out.
Overall score : 9/10
If you liked the anime, then you're gonna love this LN even more.
In Eastern countries, the culture there is always not as highly-opened as Western countries like America or European countries. Therefore, an increasing number of introverted teenagers emerged in Eastern countries like Japan nowadays. The relationship between people has become an issue concerned by the society. This novel's author, Watari-Wataru (渡航), was motivated by previous famous light novel "Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai" (僕は友達が少ない) and wrote this novel. Unlike "Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai", which has shown a lot of harem plots, this novel does really try to go deep into the topic of "interpersonal relationship". Revealing some fact of the real world and the true
thoughts of the lost childs in a pretty humorous way. As another author of "Haiyore! Nyaruko-san"(這いよれ！ニャル子さん), Aisora Manta, described the novel in exactly same way.
This kind of novel has always been a mainstream in Japan. When talking about school and love story or what, they are the most common type for the new authors to choose. Because they are very attractive to the teenagers. This novel follows the same way. It's no doubt that an inexperienced author should do this. The main character, Hikigaya Hachiman, is portrayed as a cynical guy against those who enjoy the youth. Another main character, Yukinoshita Yukino, has the personality of calm, smart and cold. Though her personality is different from Hachiman, they have exactly thoughts on interpersonal relationship. These settings don't set apart from other novels. But it has a really rare style of storytelling. The flowery words in a few parts also makes readers revolve.
Collision of thoughts plays a main role of the story. But at the same time, the characters make complement with each other in personalities. Though we can only read the thoughts of Hachiman, it's still interesting to find out what gags he brings and what concept he teaches the readers. But not all of these things are truth. Eventually, you might discover that it still has some elements of love comedy. As the title suggests, there's something wrong, for sure. And these mistakes may accidentally turn out to be the major factors of innovative story.
Every sentences are full of subjective thoughts of the main character. It may upset you, bother you or lead you. After the story going on, some outstanding characters would suspect these sentences. No matter the idea of the characters is acceptable or ridiculous. But the sentences are right there. Some puzzling thought of the book emerge and stimulate the readers. At the end, the idea of the book would be expressed. Not in the novel, but in readers' hearts.
If you ask me, it's an anti-hero's modern fable.
But somehow unpredictable, amusing and serious.
I was promised a masterpiece. A novel full of well crafted dialogue and deep story with a social commentary. Needles to say I got none of that.
I have finished the 11th volume, which as far as I know is the latest translated one. The whole time I was waiting for the breaking point, the part when it gets good, the big twist or something, as I couldn't believe this is what the huge amount of people are praising. Yet here we are.
In other reviews, you can see "this isn't your typical romcom novel" being noted a lot. That's a lie. This is your typical romcom
novel. The only difference there is is that the protagonist is (self)described as a loner and loser. A loner and loser yet he gathers supporting characters around and 2+ girls hinting theirs interest in him (this is a romantic comedy after all). You guessed it, it's just a self-insert character at his core. A character for the unpopular folks to identify with and to fantasize how they'll get surrounded by girls too. And Hachiman is self-insert not only for the reader, but also for the autor, as the autor himself even mentioned that in the afterword. Everyone else is just a background character for the MC to interract with, really. Yes, even the secondary lead consisting of the two girls. And have I mentioned about a fifth of the whole content of the novel is the MC fawning over a trap? If that is your thing, good for you, but otherwise be beware you might cringe a lot.
The social commentary, the belowed philosophical and psychological aspect of this franchise. It just turns out to be a shallow "people are bad and people in a group are even more bad" rambling. The philosophical level of Oregairu is unironically on par with "We live in a society" memes. It brings nothing new to a table for your understanding of society if you made it through a higschool.
As usual with light novels, unless I'm reading an official translation, I'm unsure if the writing style is a fault of the author or of the fantranslation, but I'll have to make do. The writing is bland and there are almost no descriptions, just a string of dialogue and inner monologue of the protagonist - even more than usual with light novels. Contrary to what ther recommendations might try to convince you of, the style is in no way similar to Monogatari series. If anything, it's more Hyouka-tier, and that is no compliment either. Popculture references are springled over the novel in attempt to make it more interesting, yet (especially in the first few volumes) the references follow the pattern of "What am I, X from Y?!" or "I see, you know about X as well". This is not a hyperbole. The beauty of references is that you get them only if you know what it references, this is just smashing them in your face.
The illustrations are amateurish and unimaginative mostly just the characters, well, standing there. As if to complement to writing, the art style is also bland. And just a little pet peeve and again mostly in the first few novels, the boob physics are hideos and on the level of bad ecchi.
But in the end, there seems to be a lot of readers enjoying this, so you might very well become one of them. Just be warned that there is a chance you might be unpleasantly surprised.
"If wishes could be granted, if desires could be fulfilled, then I wouldn't wish or desire for anything after all. The things you're handed on a silver platter are never genuine, and never everlasting. And that is why I'll always keep searching." - 8man
After getting disappointed by the ending of the first season of the anime, I decided to pick up the novel, for the anime had made such an everlasting impression on my mind and also for it had so much more to answer for. It was such a treat to read this gorgeous piece of work, I highly recommend everyone to at least
give it a go.
STORY :- 8
Story is a very strong aspect for a novel to be interesting and Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. certainly does not disappoint in this very category. Its title "My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected" is very misleading and stupid yet it is the most suitable one for this series. This is a story surrounding an average looking, fairly studious, anti-social loner Hikigaya Hachiman (8man).The story tackles the very common high school problems which almost everyone, at a certain point or time, faces. It kicks-off with a very lighthearted comedy but with every next chapter tension starts to grow. Even though, as I said earlier, its title seem to give a hint that it is just another typical harem/romance novel, it has very little do with romance. It is a very realistic story to the core.
Art :- 8
It has some very good and cute illustrations, job well done Ponkan8!!, which pour some good spotlight on many very important scenes. I totally wish that it contained more illustrations but, well, it is not a manga, I suppose. I totally agree with Watari that 80% of people buy Light Novels for illustrations and that the story writer's job is to create cute scenes for illustrator to illustrate.
Character :- 10
The MC is totally completely absolutely A+ material, ain't so sure about the novel but Hikigaya Hachiman is a masterpiece inspired from the ugly high school years of Watari. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. contains almost every character of the spectrum, from Blonde Bitch to Dumb Bimbo to Mr. Perfect. Suferrings and the problems of each and every character is portrayed perfectly and you can't definitely ask for more. There is in-depth knowledge of characters in the the Novels which Anime version of them totally lacks in. Character development is so strong and tasty that you will be left dumbfounded in the end. Strongest aspect of this series.
Enjoyment :- 10
One moment you will be laughing your ass off, the other moment your heart will be beating so hard as if it were to rip your chest apart. It is a total roller coaster ride which will definitely leave you in awe.
I am so thankful that I discovered it, indeed, one of the best novels I've ever read.