Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Anime Review: Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku, Oregairu Zoku in short, may be one of the most awaited sequels in anime world. I began to watch this sequel that has been long awaited with a hope that I would see more of Hikigaya Hachiman’s epic wisdom as an outcast. I had been waiting for quite a long time that I forgot where it had left off. Thankfully, this sequel began by refreshing our memory on how the prequel left off. Some unpleasant talk with Hayama, I see. Not something too noticeable not to forget, I see. So the sequel began.

It began with the Service Club having its usual rhythm: Yuigahama enthusiastically talking about her day, Yukinoshita calmly listening, and Hachiman sitting from a significant distance to where his club partners usually sit. Then a request would come, and they would be discussing on whether they should take the request or not. If they agree to take the request, they would immediately set a preliminary discussion on how they would solve the problem.

Unlike the episodic nature of the prequel, this series consists of three main arcs, two of them ended with love confession attempts. Maybe three. I am not really sure about the last arc though. Does that make romance more prominent than the other elements such as comedy and friendship drama? At least I did not see it that way, and this series remained to be more about high school life as a whole rather than one specific theme or two.

Anyway, all of the arcs drove me quite mad. Not because the confession results or whether any ship becomes canon or not, but more because of the majority of the characters inside. Some of the characters are openly plain annoying, some are bloody indecisive and change their mind every few days to hours, some are simply pretentious, and the usually calm and collected Yukinoshita was acting like she expects everyone (Hachiman especially) to read her mind. In the first season, I had an impression that Yuigahama was among the less likable characters because she seemed flat (character-wise... *coughs*) and just went along with the flow. However, she is among the characters I truly respect now. She always try her best in her role as a bridge between the characters, and between the groups.

I guess that is indeed relevant to the central theme of this series, though. And it is completely realistic, I assume. At least I remember encountering similar treats during my junior high school to college days. In some cases, I found some of those traits in my past self. In some other cases, I found some in my peers, making me an annoyed or possible troubled outcast like Hachiman.

I wished for Totsuka and the chuunibyou guy (he was not shown much that I keep forget his name!) to show more. But now I realize that their appearance may would not contribute much to the story since on the contrary, they seem not to have much issue about themselves and their peers. They are doing fine with their quirks and how people perceive them. They have nothing to pretend.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this series. As how I mentioned earlier, I got annoyed by many of the characters. In addition, I feel quite clueless about the open ending. My reaction when I saw the last seconds of this series was pure "????? is that it? what". Will this series continue so that I can see how they will go through such communication problem? Or should we read the light novel that has no official English or Bahasa Indonesia translation yet? Personally, I would rather read the printed copy if there is any that I can read.

Despite being annoyed many times with this series, I like how its speaks for many audiences, whether through Hachiman or through other characters such as Hayama or Yuigahama or anyone else. It speaks for different types of outcasts (cynical type, too-perfect-to-be-true type, chuunibyou type..). It speaks for popular guys who can get tired from living up people’s expectations. It speaks for the clique of averages who want to maintain the status quo of their group friendship. This is why this series is so much celebrated among its viewers.

According to my attitude towards selfies and group-fies, I have to say that I am more like Hachiman. 

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