Seven things I liked about Oregairu

I had not expected to like Oregairu as much as I do. The low-key aspirations of the show proved to hide some really good stuff that rewards the astute viewer. Despite the questionable title and reputation of light novel shows, Oregairu turned out to have a bunch of things that pushed my buttons in the right way.

They are:

1. Making friends

Oregairu portrayed friendship arguably better than that Making Friends show. I read one post claiming how Haganai was better and I ended up scratching my head. Please. Haganai’s characters are caricatures, designed to play off on each other. Their setup is carefully construed to make you laugh, and that’s pretty much it. The weakness rears its ugly head every time Haganai tries to do something other than comedy, which comes out as trite.

I think it’s a blessing that Oregairu’s three main characters aren’t, well, made for each other. They aren’t finishing each others’ sentences or providing punchlines to them. When they interact, there’s a sense of restraint in their conversations. They sound like real people, who can bicker without sounding too loathsome.

Don’t you feel like that, sometimes? That you know this person and wonder how the two of you became friends, when at the first meeting it had seemed unlikely? The fact that our three main characters struggled together makes their budding friendship all the more beautiful. Hachiman still has a long way to go, but it’s a big, big start. They don’t cure each others’ neuroses right away, but it’s evident that they have each other’s back.

2. Handling rejection

The uniting experience between Hachiman, Yukino, and Yui is rejection. They’ve all been rejected by social cliques, so they take refuge among each other. (Of course there’s the accident that brought them together in the first place, but they thankfully don’t base the entirety of their relationships on it.) While Yui is sociable enough, her “friends” harass her too often that she finds herself gravitating to Hachiman and Yukino instead, who never go out of their way to hurt her.

I really like the story arc where Hachiman pushes Yui away. Hachiman did so by framing the situation in terms of his flawed value system. He doesn’t hate her, but he believes her kindness towards him is some way of atoning for getting him into an accident.

To Yui’s credit, she doesn’t erase Hachiman from her life, and they begin their relationship anew, having learned a little of each other. Rejections in anime are a big deal and are often final, but I’m surprised and pleased to see a character accept her rejection and in spite of that continue to befriend the very same person who rejected her. After the incident, Yui becomes warmer towards Hachiman, who begins to tolerate her.

3. Learning to live with other people

It’s a central theme in the show. The nature of the Service Club dissuades it from being insular–the show wouldn’t be half as fun to watch if our main characters weren’t running around and trying to help people with amusing results. True, you don’t need to harbor strong feelings towards everyone you meet. But you can learn to tolerate them, to maintain a sense of space wherein both parties could do what they like without getting in each other’s way.

Hachiman and Yukino are antisocial, and while the show often portrays this as a shortcoming, it’s precisely the reason why and how they help others. Hachiman’s experiences allow him to think in the place of people who are down and lonely, while Yukino’s distance from others allows her to make read the situation well. It’s the loneliest people who are also the kindest.

As a Service Club, they actually get shit done.

4. Being vulnerable

Doing good things makes us vulnerable. It gives other people the opportunity to take advantage of our kindness and generosity. Even so, I don’t believe we shouldn’t be good. People who are strong are aware of their vulnerability and still do good anyway. We are mighty, because we are not afraid of showing weakness.

Hachiman learns this at the cultural festival arc. He lets down his armor of loneliness and does something drastic, getting hurt in the process. In the end, what drove him to look for the errant Sagami was a sense of responsibility to Yukino. He couldn’t let her hard work go to waste.

Yukino understands this, and gains a better appreciation of Hachiman’s nature. And in learning about him, she also opens up. She also learns to rely on Yui, the first real friend she made. What is trust, but believing that the other person won’t let you down?

5. Nobuyuki Hiyama playing a character with every excuse to scream

Yeah. Wish he’d get more roles, though.

6. The Little Prince being turned into a BL play


It was a thing. But it’ll take more than that to ruin my childhood.

7. A little sister character who is kind, caring, and most importantly NOT A LITTLE BITCH

I really like Komachi and how she clearly cares for her brother without putting up some bullshit tsundere act. Makes up for the awfulness of Oreimo! (I love my Oreimo, but I’ll be the first one to admit that it is TERRIBLE)

* * *

So, what did you like about this show? Tell me about it!

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28 Responses to Seven things I liked about Oregairu

  1. froggykun says:

    I’m surprised at how well OreGairu managed to portray the human side of the story when its first and foremost intent was to be a self-consciously “clever” take on the romcom genre. It’s what I expected going in and I don’t have any qualms about that genre, but this was still an honest surprise on a number of different levels.

    What stands out to me the most is how Hachiman’s worldview was never outright condemned, nor was it glorified. It just… was. Some people are just like that and some people are who they are, for better or worse. What a fascinating note to end a story on.

    • schneider says:

      Oh, I think he was mocked throughout the show (most standout being Rumi Tsurumi’s unexpected rescue of her tormentors), but it never came across as overbearing. I’ll go out on a limb to say that the show is about his gradual rehabilitation, wherein he starts to trust and rely on a couple of persons. What’s well-done is how he remains himself and doesn’t magically turn into a popular guy by the end.

  2. Click says:

    On the topic of isolated or lonely people turning out to be the most kind, I’d have to agree in that a lot of people just want someone to talk to. I used to do a lot of volunteer work at a homeless shelter and there’s plenty of homeless guys out there who just want to have a quick chat and chill out, regardless of whether you have cash or not. It can be frustrating seeing people treat good folks as if they didn’t exist because they look odd or can’t pay rent, when we all just want to do is gab a bit.

    And about that post of mine you linked, hopefully you didn’t lose sleep over that. I’m still sticking to my guns (the two shows are ultimately about two different things), but you expressed that it made you upset over Twitter, so I’d just like to extend a sorry. Hopefully there’s no hard feelings.

    • schneider says:

      My friend, whenever I use the phrase “MAD ABOUT CARTOONS”, caps included, that means I am speaking in jest. I wasn’t upset at all, more like “felt the need to articulate my own opinions on my own blog”, and that’s about it!

      Oh, and I’m a bit like Yukino in the sense that my aura practically screams DON’T TALK TO ME. (But I’m a chill guy!)

  3. omo says:

    I’m not sure I agree with some of your points.

    The comparison with Haganai is difficult to make once you get beyond the superficial construction of the anime pacing/comedy/plot generator. That said at one point I thought the same thing as you. Now I think the comparison is just unfair to both shows.

    To me the main issue in OreGuile is learning how to deal with imperfect or obviously problematic situations and getting beyond them. Yukinoshita, for example, I would never consider as anti-social. But the problem is she shoots too straight (for Japan). But at the same time I can deal with people like her much better than people like 8man, because he is kind of a shithead otaku. Thankfully we look at the story from his POV so he is much more tolerable. At any rate, the story is largely about how Yuigahama and Yukinoshita deal with 8man, and in the process learning about themselves. 8man at the same time understands that while he does what he does, it’s not really the best thing he could do.

    Also, Komachi is a great imouto but I think she’s just a wonderful supporting character. For an imouto main character, it’s gotta be Kirino or else.

    • schneider says:

      Let me address your points in reverse:

      1. Kirino is TERRIBLE because her hatred towards her brother is overblown without explanation until the very last moment. Justified? Yes, but in hindsight. If they had chosen to show that right at the start then I would’ve genuinely liked her. As for Komachi, she’s great, and I’m content for her to just be a supporting character.

      2. I parsed Yukino as a bullied girl who built up a wall around herself so she could snark at lesser beings from her impregnable castle. Or maybe she’s a Colossal Titan in a cage of her own making? To me she has a good heart, but would rather not let herself hurt by people who never gave her a chance due to her status and abilities. Hachiman is repulsive and doesn’t even deserve the trap(!), but he’s more interesting to watch mainly because he sabotages everything.

      3. I believe the comparison is unfair, but this was only made clear to me once I reached the middle of the show. I got MAD ABOUT CARTOONS from to Click’s post before I reached that point. Ultimately they are different narratives (as you told me elsewhere), but I’d rank my enjoyment of I, Guile way higher than Hug An I. While I started this post to state a counter opinion, I didn’t end it by hammering that one point. (While we’re at it, why not compare Haganai and Haruhi with each other because it’s about a girl forming a club and dragging the guy along– NO WAIT LET’S NOT GO THERE)

      • omo says:

        Re: 2
        I think Yukino’s complex stems largely from her older sister. The theme lines it up that way, so does the plot, and so is uh my own anecdotal experience. It’s funny you mention Kirino in the same comment because it’s not too different than her complex with Kyousuke. It’s just that Kyosuke regressed to the norm while Haruno did not. And also Oreimo is incest trash light novel GUEHEEHEE.

        I wouldn’t say she is bullied as much as just socially isolated because she’s hard to deal with.

        As for 8man I think he is fun to watch, only because this kind of passive aggression is generally very unpleasant to “normal” people and pretty ugly in real life. Here it’s isolated in a TV show. In some ways he is the backbone Shinji Ikari never grew.

        Hug An I.

        That reminds me of Ryoki Shiki’s favorite. Something I’m sure Kobato and Maria would love to have: Hug An Dogz

  4. Saika was the best thing about this show. The show needed more Saika.

  5. sadakups says:

    I only watched this for Hiyama. Too bad there was less of him.

    I do agree though that this is way, way better than that Making Friends anime.

  6. ToastCrust says:

    I didn’t mind the show, but every time someone’s full name was said I had to yell at the screen and curse the author and his descendents to an eternal burning hell.

    The source is me.

  7. A Random Oregairu Poster says:

    What did I like about this show? I like how it essentially portrayed me, except with a series of events actually happening. Basically, being able to relate to Hikigaya.

    I also liked the ending. It’s rather satisfying (At least to me) to see that kind of ending. Whether the series is continued or not, I’m satisfied. I feel that the ending suggests that nothing too out of the ordinary happens and they just go about their high school lives normally and go to the service club every day. Of course, this is not true for the Light Novel Series, but I honestly prefer an open ending like that. However, I would like to see how Hikigaya progresses his life when he finishes high school and university. I wonder if he’s still planning to be a stay-at-home dad for his job. Funnily enough, I had that plan in mind as well.

    Finally, I also liked Hikigaya Hachiman. He is the best Main Protagonist of any anime, ever. At least, he is to me. The story being told through the eyes of our ever-so pragmatic loner, Hikigaya Hachiman, makes it really exciting to get to see what happens next. I could not stop watching this show (until It finished, of course) because of Hikigaya! That is what makes this anime awesome! If this anime was portrayed through the eyes of any other character, or just portrayed through our own eyes, with no inner monologue, this anime would never live up to the potential it has with Hikigaya being the protagonist.

    That is why, out of every other anime this year, and out of every anime I’ve ever watched (Over 300), Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru is undoubtedly, my favourite anime, of all time, and my favourite piece of media I have ever watched, of all time, and is unmatched by any other anime, but only beats Kino’s Journey by just that little bit.

    As you might be able to tell, I kind-of like Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru (Oregairu, My Teen Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected., My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected.).

    • schneider says:

      Thanks for reading! What I appreciated in Hachiman’s internal monologue was that he was authentic about it. Most light novel protagonists have an internal monologue, but it comes off as trying too hard to sound cool (frankly, as most teenagers are wont to). I never got that out of Hachiman. The guy really believed every rotten thought he was having.

  8. Blake says:

    Hey, I agree with all of your points. You did a great job breaking down the points of Oregairu. How do you feel about the opening and ending? What is the impression you got from them? What can you “get” from reading between the lines of the lyrics?

    • schneider says:

      The ED is easy. It seems to be a Yukino character song (never mind that Yui joins in sometimes) addressed to Hachiman. The OP is a little less direct (no seiyuu connection either), but both seem to be songs of bittersweet regret.

  9. captainwigglefuffles says:

    I really love this post. You explained why Oregairu is a great show. I felt similarities to Hachiman and myself throughout the whole anime. The negative thoughts, and loneliness is something him and I both have. And his inside thoughts or side comments remind me of me as well. Really well-written :3

  10. Zetsueno says:

    While you get the gist of the show, I think many end up interpreting OreGairu in the wrong context by relating themselves to Hachiman and trying to justify their own end turning his character into a pure self-insert fantasy, making belie to the show’s intentions. Thats calling for a lambaste on the level as the one Sagami received.

  11. GxR says:

    I-i-its not like i wanted to be you little sister…b-baka… Also yea Hiyama needs more roles in both this anime and his voice actor needs to be in more anime.

  12. I seriously think that there should be more episodes of oregairu and the proper ending on which the relation of yuki and hachiman is potrayed…… I really like this and want it to continue

  13. I also want to ask that is there any continution of anime in mamga or light novel form which continue the anime story onwards

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