Froggy’s Top Anime: #10 Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru

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When Oregairu first aired in the spring season of 2013, I don’t think anyone was expecting too much out of it. A light novel adaptation with a stupidly long title that translates to “My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as Expected”? What sparkling originality. I was looking forward to the show as soon as it was announced because of my partiality towards bullshit otaku romcoms, but I wasn’t expecting anything deep or profound.

I certainly wasn’t expecting this to be the story that would most perfectly criticise my outlook on life. It challenged my snobbishness, my elitism, my cynicism about teenagers. Oregairu is the story that made me respect teen lit.

An Autobiographical Aside

I was always a straight-laced student in high school – and I still am very diligent to this day. I have never smoked or taken illegal drugs. I have never gotten drunk. I have never been to a nightclub. To me, those things were distractions.

The one thing I always prided myself on since I was very young was my intelligence. I believed that, since my parents were not university educated and that I grew up in a suburb widely regarded as being populated by bogans (the Australian word for “idiots”), that I had taken my education into my own hands. I fancied myself superior to my less-educated peers, intellectually and morally. While they were getting drunk and rebelling against authority with no real purpose, I was focusing on the important things in life: education and family. I thought I had realised the life lessons that many only seem to learn in their twenties and even later.

As a teenager, I hated teenagers. I could never get into teen lit. I couldn’t relate to (what I perceived as) whiny protagonists and melodramatic love stories. My taste in literature consists primarily of works from the Western canon. I was reading Dickens and Hemingway before I was even a teenager.

This might come as a surprise to some readers of my blog. “Froggy? An elitist?” I know I’m known mostly for my passion for light novels these days, a form of literature that isn’t exactly high art.

But the thing is, a lot of my blogging is a deliberate attempt to move away from the snobbery that defined who I was for so many years. The biggest motivating factor behind this was going to university and realising I was never as clever as I thought I was, but it’s hard to move past that mentality.  I acknowledge that my writing has undertones of smug, self-conscious wit, even as I preach so-called open-mindedness. It’s something I still struggle with to this day.

Oregairu understands teenagers

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The great thing about Oregairu is that it understands the pretentious teenager, but neither condemns nor endorses their worldview. It understands that people are people and that there is no moral high ground. Rather than preaching condescendingly that “understanding the complexities of people” is the way to become a better person, Oregairu shows people as they are – we are always works in progress.

The conversation between Hachiman and Yukino in the first episode gets to the heart of this dilemma with devastating honesty. Hachiman argues that being self-aware is better than trying to lie to yourself about who you want to be, while Yukino, the idealist, argues that we should always be striving for improvement.

This overall conflict is much stronger than any of the individual conflicts the characters deal with because it’s so understated. The choice between “self-acceptance” and “self-rejection” is something that appears in many stories with various degrees of high drama. But Oregairu deals with that question the same way ordinary people deal with it – by not dealing with the question. There’s a motif in the ending of each light novel volume about Hachiman repeatedly returning to his original path. The character development in this story is “one step forward, two steps back”. While the characters do noticeably change, it’s never game-changing.

I can understand why some people complain that not enough events of substance occur in Oregairu and that it wastes its time on frivolous banter (a criticism I agree with, by the way), but Oregairu’s evasiveness when it comes to important issues is something I relate to very strongly. I wouldn’t have it any differently.

Oregairu is a generic romcom

Another common complaint about Oregairu is its reliance on anime tropes. As human as the core of the story is, it’s coated with smug, superficial elements. For a plot that so seemingly sets out to subvert anime romcom cliches, it embraces the generic romcom genre at heart. It’s very kitsch in that sense.

The trap doesn't really do anything besides look cute, for instance

The trap doesn’t really do anything besides look cute, for instance

I personally think that Oregairu embracing its inherent shallowness is a sign of its own maturity, if that makes sense. Rather than trying to prop itself up as high art and claiming special insight, it tries to play to its audience. It tries to understand them.

This is part of the reason why Oregairu really resonated with me. It pandered to my inner otaku, so I enjoyed it as shallow entertainment, but moments like Hachiman’s “Nice Girls” monologue in episode 5 were strongly reminiscent of the narrative style in The Catcher in the Rye. I can vividly recall that moment as the first time I sat up and took notice of the message this anime was trying to tell me. Oregairu tore apart my perceptions of high and low art with one clean blow.

The insufferable teenage voices, the overly simplistic prose, the endless pop culture references – these aren’t necessarily things that make light novels (and teen lit in general) trash that readers of literature must outgrow in order to truly appreciate literary craft. Now that I’m translating the Oregairu light novels, I realise that it displays many of the aspects I would normally find irritating in this brand of literature. But rather than being turned off, I find it quaint and charming. I find it true, even. (I’ll do a proper post of my experience translating the novel when I’m finished with volume 2.)

Thanks to Oregairu, I’ve gotten much more tolerant of teen lit. I read it quite voraciously now, in fact, and I find that I get a lot more out of it when I approach it with an open mind. Not all English teen lit novels are paranormal romances, and neither are all Japanese light novels about little sisters lusting over their brothers. I’ve found a new appreciation for the genre. Teenagers don’t suck. And generic romcoms don’t necessarily suck either.

Rewatching Oregairu

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I rewatched Oregairu as I was translating the novel, mostly for the sake of having a visual reference. I found myself appreciating the visuals much more this time around, especially the symbolism used to express the emotional distance between the characters. The anime elevated the source material in many regards.

Funnily enough, I think this is a series that resonates most strongly with viewers who are no longer teenagers. Like most teen lit, Oregairu attempts to capture the immediate experience of being a teenager rather than looking back on it with hindsight, but its criticisms and insights are a bit too deft and nuanced to notice when you’re too close to it.

For example, I’ve come across a number of people on MAL who claim that Hachiman’s insights about people are correct, or even that Hachiman isn’t cynical enough… which is pretty lol. I mean, in a sense Hachiman is right about human nature, but I think the reason why he resonates with audiences is because everyone is prone to immature cynicism to at least some degree. And we all try to convince ourselves that we’re not wrong, despite our insecurities. Hachiman knows his philosophy isn’t a happy one and the show knows it too.

I’ve changed a lot as a person since I first watched Oregairu a little over a year ago. I never actually identified with Hachiman since I’ve always had friends, despite my introverted nature. But now, watching the series when I’m no longer a teenager, I realise that I was always more of a Hachiman than I care to admit.

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That’s not a bad thing, you know. I think, maybe, I’m finally becoming a bit more honest with myself. For that, if nothing else, I’m grateful for having watched Oregairu and I’m proud to call it one of my favourite anime series ever.

Posted on July 5, 2014, in My Top Anime and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. I can definitely relate to your feelings on Oregairu. I’m also from a somewhat bogan area and neither of my parents went to university. I didn’t really get into anime and light novels until after I finished high school and entered university, not sure why but it just never grabbed me and I had lots of tennis to play. But I think a part of the reason i watch/ read a lot of school based anime/manga/Light novels now is due to the longing of what high school was or what it could have been. I definitely view it as a looking back on my years in high school through a heavily filtered lense.

    But yeah I loved Oregairu. I felt like I was easily able to connect with the protagonist because we seemed to have a lot of the same feelings in terms of hating pretty much all other teenagers a part from my friends obviously (back when we were teenagers). I should probably get around to rewatching this series…

    I haven’t actually read your translations of the light novels yet, but I certainly plan on it on my next uni holidays. Spent these holidays rewatching hyouka and sdf macross :D

    enough blabbering on though lol. great article.

    • Yeah, it’s funny how you miss high school after you’ve left it, despite not being too keen on the experience at the time. I wonder if teen lit isn’t secretly aimed at adults! Anime definitely plays on that, but with Western teen-oriented fiction I’m not so sure.

      In any case, I actually still prefer stories about early childhood as opposed to stories about high school. It’s much more nostalgic and I definitely look upon that time of my life with rose-coloured lenses. But like you, I think anime is a great way to experience high school again, except in a more idealised way.

      hyouka and sdf macross

      You have excellent taste, my friend! (spoilers for the rest of my top anime list whoops) I’m sure you had an excellent holidays :)

      • http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/53937-new-study-55-of-ya-books-bought-by-adults.html
        Over half of readers of YA novels are actually adults, so I believe this is a worldwide thing. We can relate to younger people because we were all younger once, and IMO adults really aren’t nearly as different from teenagers as they were always made out to be when I was younger. Immature teens don’t magically turn refined upon becoming adults, I was sad to find out. ;P
        The “high school experience” within anime is an interesting topic on its own. Last year there was a wonderful double-whammy against the medium’s pervasive notion of idealized youth, with Oregairu and Watamote. I found myself relating a lot to both Hachiman and Tomoko (more than I should care to admit), and I remember at the time wanting to do a write-up on the two characters and how I interpreted their somewhat similar circumstances. Never did though–perhaps I’ll look at the two series again some time and give it some more thought. For now it was nice to read your article here on Oregairu, and I’m looking forward to reading the novels.

  2. “Oregairu tore apart my perceptions of high and low art with one clean blow.”

    I think anime may very well be the premiere mixture of high and low art out there in the world, at least that I’ve experienced. There’s something to be said about presenting really meaningful, true ideas in an accessible manner that perhaps makes these shows more valuable than “classic literature” and the like. If people can’t understand your meaning, what’s the point? If your writing is so esoteric that only people who have read all the books you’ve read can understand, are you really adding anything to the world?

    Anime is a remarkably flexible medium in this regard, and pretty much every show I’ve watch and held in high regard is an example of this.

    • My experiences with anime fandom has led me to conclude that while anime as a medium straddles the line between exclusiveness and accessibility extremely well, there is a kind of hierarchy of anime held up as “high art” by fans. Those shows are obviously still way more accessible than most classic literature, but nevertheless, they can be daunting. I’m talking about stuff like Gankutsuou here. When you actually watch them, you realise that the distinctions between high art and low art by anime critics are bullshit – the show is pretty camp. But in general, anything “for otaku” is apparently on an inherently lower level than anything that isn’t. That attitude frustrates me a lot, I guess.

      • I do think there are some reasonable value judgements that can be made, although they are always subject to personal preference and priority.

        A show that is just “for okatu” in the most complete sense of the phrase doesn’t challenge the person watching in the slightest. And while I’m all for comfy entertainment, I don’t think it is necessarily as valuable as something that challenges you to be a better person (even marginally).

        But you could also argue that comfy entertainment is exactly what some people need to become a better person, so…it’s a matter of perspective. But more challenging things, perhaps have more potential to bring about good change, even if the potential isn’t fully realized by everyone who interacts with them.

  3. Just out of curiosity, Froggy-kun, do you have siblings? Or are you an only child?

    • I have an older brother :)

      • I see. I ask because I could relate to many of the things you wrote. I too hail from a small town and I pride myself for having a tertiary education and the chance to work in a foreign country. I guess I’m quite the elitist fag myself lol. And from what I’ve read, this is common among only child families (yep, I’m an only child).

        • Yeah, that makes sense. In my case, my brother was not the serious academic in the family, so my parents often called me the “good child”. So I guess I ended up in a similar place as many only children.

  4. Does this mean you’re writing a top ten list? I can’t even rate anime I watch, let alone arrange my favourites.. I’ll be interested in seeing where your list goes from here ^_^

    Looks like the time for me to sit down and actually watch Oregairu is fast approaching.

    • Yes, I’m writing a top ten list! But at the rate it’s getting written, it’ll probably take years before all ten shows make an appearance…

      And yeah, I had a LOT of difficulty writing out my favourites too. I just stuck with the series that had the strongest impact on me as a person, rather than going by some objective-sounding measure.

      You should definitely watch Oregairu :)

  5. What I like about Oregairu is that it’s using lots of clichés (imouto, trap, lonely teacher, genki girl, ice queen, otaku, riajuu, festival, field trip, etc…) but somehow manages to use them in a different way then usual and pushes the characters/plot forward. Or am I just imagining things.

    By the way I have a question that is irrelevant to this great analysis : How old is Shizuka?

    PS : thank you for translating this Light Novel

    • Yeah, Oregairu had a lot of neat little subversions of standard anime cliches, although in my humble opinion, subverting tropes doesn’t make a story more unique. Oregairu used its setup very well, though.

      Shizuka’s age isn’t stated in the novels (from what I remember) but I think she’s in her thir- *gets punched by sensei*

  6. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is actually one of my favorite anime of all time too! Funnily enough it’s a 2013 anime series that just got out there last year but the level of just how profound it can be makes me appreciate it.

    I really like my anime profound.

  7. The title is definetily misleading. I added LN to my bakareader’s watch list because of the 1st place in the “Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! 2014” but was never in the mood to begin reading some romcom. And then one day I did read the first chapter. And watched anime. And read vols 7 and 8. And rewatched anime.

    Froggykun, where would you place Oregairu in your LN top? For me anime is also somewhere in the second half of top10, but LN certainly the first. It’s obviously not easy to make a good adaptation of Oregairu. I see the structure of LN like this: Hikigaya’s thoughts which are sometimes affected by events and diluted with some fun stuff like batter and Totsuka related stuff, so after removing most of the thoughts problems mentioned in the post appeared. Also I personally think that better music would improve this anime significantly. Kenji Kawai would be perfect.

    Ligth novels may be not high art, but I think that it may be the right way to write novels of some entertaining-aimed genres. I dropped many fantasy novels I started reading because when when there are no events they are very boring and fell “empty”, probably because I mostly read russian and western classic prose. I may be mistaken, but anyway existence of Oregairu justifies existence of all LNs.

  8. nosohryuforyou

    “There’s a motif in the ending of each light novel volume about Hachiman repeatedly returning to his original path. The character development in this story is ‘one step forward, two steps back’.”

    I think this is what resonated most strongly with me. I’m really fascinated by self-defeating characters who have trouble reaching out to others, especially those who are aware of their self-defeating behavior but seem powerless to change it. Maybe they get discouraged easily, and so to avoid the sting of failure and rejection they’ve settled into patterns that produce reliable results, even though the results are unsatisfactory. Maybe they’ve rationalized everything away, defending themselves against the very notion that their behavior could be harmful. Or maybe they’ve just been doing it for so long that they don’t even know how to change — they can’t perceive any kind of path between where they are and where they want to be. Maybe that’s because they have a distorted, exaggerated idea of what “normality” ought to be like. I see this same behavior in Yozora from Haganai, and in Satou from Welcome to the NHK. And in myself, if the suspiciously specific speculation didn’t give it away already.

    I think Satou is closer to the age where readers struggling with these issues are likely to be. In fact, I think stories like these may actually be aimed at young adults — say, post-college and upwards (I myself am 30) — rather than teens. They’re presented in the settings and with the trappings of the fun, lightweight entertainment of your teenage years to make them more palatable: it takes a certain kind of disposition to pick up a book that you know is going to be about human suffering. I guess it could work the other way around, too, where the story presents itself as lightweight and then starts to reveal its profoundness and subtlety once it’s drawn you in. But honestly, though my teen self was already walking down the path of self-defeat, I don’t think I was open-minded or introspective enough at that time to recognize myself in these characters. I mean, it took me years to see past the mecha action and pseudo-religious symbolism and actually pay attention to the human relationships at the core of Evangelion.

    On that note, I think the distinction between “high art” and “low art” is worth addressing here, because it’s both relevant and not. “Good” art, I think, bridges the gap between high and low. Elitists might dismiss it as unsophisticated pandering, and anti-intellectuals might resent it as confusing and pretentious. But profound ideas are meaningless if you can’t communicate them effectively. The Matrix would have been a terrible movie if it’d been full of lengthy philosophical discussions that assumed the audience’s familiarity with the works of Plato, Baudrillard, et cetera. Instead, it integrated concepts from those works into its own easily-digestible story, which was also full of gunfights and sweet special effects. The result was “Good”: a wildly entertaining movie which left you with something to think about after it was over. (No comment on the sequels.)

    So, I guess Oregairu is sort of like a romcom version of The Matrix? Maybe Oregairu is a bit “lower” art than The Matrix, actually, since instead of broad, lofty concepts like “What is reality/What is free will” it tackles the more personal issue of “I’m alone, apparently by choice, and apparently I agree with my own reasons for making those choices, since I keep making the same choices at every opportunity, but it feels bad… What do I do?” On the scale from cerebral (“high”) to visceral (“low”), I feel this story with my heart. And to tie this response back in to where it started, that’s the kind of story that really resonates with me. I didn’t know what to expect when I started watching/reading Oregairu, but it’s earned its way onto my list of favorites.

    • Thanks for the great comment! I don’t have a lot to add to it, since I agree with pretty much everything. I’m getting the distinct impression that I am far from the only one who appreciates teen fiction more now that I’m not a teenager. I’m still very close to my teenage years myself, though. (I’m twenty.) I also think that (and maybe this was what you were getting at) the most powerful stories are the ones you approach for escapism but which hit you with a slap of reality instead. The high and low art labels play a part in building up one’s expectations of what the story will be like, but I find it’s the stories that defy one’s expectations that end up having the strongest impact.

      In any case, I’m feeling very inspired to work harder than ever with my translation, and to make sure the appeal of Oregairu comes through as strongly for others as it does for you and I!

      • nosohryuforyou

        I agree, I think I’m much more likely to remember a story that defied, or at least exceeded, my expectations than one that merely met them. And if you treat everything you watch or read as if it were truly deserving of your attention and serious consideration — because, after all, why else would you watch or read it? — then you’re likely to find something that elevates what otherwise might have seemed frivolous. That seems to be your aim on this blog, and I think it’s a worthy one.

        And I completely failed to mention it before, but I’m really glad that you’re translating Oregairu! I don’t always go back to the source after watching an anime adaptation, but so far it’s been a very rewarding read. I’m looking forward to what’s to come, and your appreciation of and commitment to the material is encouraging. Keep up the good work! I only wish I could contribute in some way.

  9. arbitrary_greay

    The comment about Gankustuou is funny, because it’s an example where the “high art” claims must stem from the visual presentation, because, well, it’s The Count of Monte Cristo! The epitome of juvenile revenge power fantasy, which countless fix-fics and pulpy Batman-variations unknowingly emulate! (Although, the case can be made that the true “original” example of the trope is the final arc of the Odyssey.) The plot and themes don’t get any more “low art,” so the perception of “high art” has to have come from execution, and specifically execution of its chosen medium.
    Your post on anime-Shakespeare focussed on how alternate settings are used to highlight certain themes that might not be as prevalent in a straightforward historical adaptation, but it also touched on how styles of adaptation and execution can affect how “low” or “high” it’s perceived, beyond basic content. Many would probably characterize Oregairu as higher-brow anime just because it doesn’t have fanservice and takes potshots at imoutocest.

    I find YA, even well-written YA, to be indulgent of emotions/character in a way I prefer to read in fanfiction, which is exacerbated by the amount of adapted fanfiction being published as original YA recently. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just prefer to read such prose in fanfiction form, (weird distinction, I know.) or to see it executed in a visual medium.
    My preferred section of literature nowadays is kidlit, or Juvenile Fiction, as its section is more commonly called. JF tends to be a little tighter on its themes and focus, usually tying its plot and character development together like good TV does, while adult literature tends to meander in its exploration of themes, because adult readers can better handle digressions and exploring themes away from the narrative. In addition, adult literature does also carry over some of the emotional indulgence of YA, stemming from teens and adults better knowing what guilty pleasures they like in their fiction.
    More than a few books I’ve picked up from JF these past few years, I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed reading as a kid, because they tell stories about how life doesn’t go the way we want. Many JF authors seem to want to impart lessons they wish they had learned as a kid, but that means a lot of lessons we don’t want to learn when younger. So when I read them as an adult, they resonate strongly, because I recognize that I can appreciate them as a more mature person.
    Of course, I read waaaaaay more fanfiction than any other form of literature, so yeah.

    Perhaps it’s my positive bias for the show, but other than trap, the service club set-up, and the jabs at sensei’s age, I didn’t feel that the show was that database-tropey? Rather, that they utilized the seeds of truth from which tropes/stereotypes come from. Kind of like how I didn’t feel that Asuna in SAO was a database tsundere, so much as trying to keep things casual, the way Yui in Oregairu notes that social circles in high school tend not to be able to be serious with each other. (And when they do, get passive aggressive about it, like Hayami’s friends) Okay, I’ll admit that the Kawasaki episode was pretty generic, and it’s my least favorite, but the other set-ups (minus the service club part) seem to be more Truth in Television. Compared to Monogatari, whose characters point out how they interact with tropes themselves, Oregairu’s supposed “subversions” didn’t seem like the author went in planning on subverting tropes, but that the differences organically sprung from basing events on how they’d play in real life as opposed to pulling their anime trope-ified forms from the database. The “sucky” art plays to this perception, as it refuses to impart a nostalgic or romanticized atmosphere to its touchstones of high school life, unlike, say, Toradora or Hyouka.

    • Junior fiction is great! I’ve been getting back into that too. Junior fiction is great at being simple yet profound and I feel many don’t give it enough credit!

      About Oregairu… I do think it is very trope-y and that, at heart it embraces the romcom genre. The LNs are more trope-y than the anime is, at any rate. For example, there ARE cheap imouto jokes, Hachiman is more of a siscon, and Zaimokuza’s chuunibyou is so VERY anime. So is the fujoshi character. Oh, and in the ending of volume 1 (or episode 3) the story does get very self-consciously clever by going on about the “romcom gods” and ending with 8man walking in on the girls getting undressed, blah blah. And yeah, the Kawasaki story is pretty weak.

      Of course, to the series’ credit, the narrative gets more confident and self-consciously subversive as it goes along. It ended so strongly I think it’s easy to forget that the series did have kind of a shaky start. The conflicts are based on organic human relationships, but slightly twisted to make more familiar to otaku audiences. (This is probably why Oregairu resonated with me more than average teen lit, because I had spent my teenage years immersed in the anime subculture and found stories about the mainstream teenage experience much more inaccessible.)

      So basically, what I’m saying is that Oregairu is trope-y, but it’s trope-y in a good way, and manages to straddle the line between truth and escapism extremely effectively.

      • arbitrary_greay

        I suspect more and more that I’m viewing Oregairu with rose-colored glasses, and forgetting about some of the more tropey parts. Completely forgot about the fujoshi girl.
        It seems like Brains Base did something similar for 2008’s Kure-nai, where I can see the database elements from the source material peeking through, but the anime itself puts the focus on character so that it feels more organic.

        Definitely agree about Oregairu resonating with the “geekier” teen life, as well. I think that’s another one of the reasons why anime appeals to certain types internationally, because while the characters themselves aren’t always geeks, the cultural background focus on academics does ensure that most high school setting anime focus on settings different from the touchstones of western teen media. (I’ve been watching an anime set in a New York high school, and it’s so amusing to see the contrast in student life and character design. And yet still more true to my experience of high school life than mainstream teen media.)

      • nosohryuforyou

        I’m often willing to forgive a series for being “trope-y in a good way”, or even outright forget about the tropes, as long as I have the confidence that the trope-y-ness isn’t all there is to it. In Oregairu’s case, the relationships between the 3 key characters develop quickly enough and seem genuine/organic enough that I totally buy into them. Consequently I tend to think of the supporting cast as mere stage-setting. So I can excuse them for being characterized a bit more broadly, and I can tolerate it when trope-y situations arise, because I don’t want the props and backdrops distracting me from the principal actors anyway.

  10. I’m going to chime in as another person who the series “resonated” with. Watching it made me realize that I wasn’t as over my “teenage troubles” as I thought I was, even at 29 (now 30) years of age.

    One of the things that I was always aware while watching the show was that Hachiman reflected what I could have been, rather than how I actually was. I ran into the same problem of trying to interact with people while constantly rejected before giving up. However, rather than rejecting people and looking down on the whole concept of friendship, I simply decided that friendship is all well and good but I don’t necessarily need to, that having or not having friends does not determine my worth. Of course, the idea that socializing is an important, that friends are important, is very heavily ingrained so it took a few years of effort (2nd / 3rd year of college) to get it even 70% out of system.

    After making this change, I stayed just as oblivious as to how to interact with people properly, however, I simply didn’t care. Similar to Hachiman I acted fairly open and honest with my opinions, argumentative too, but unlike Hachiman I never pushed people away or acted intentionally offensive. I actually had a number of friends; I just never tried to make friends with people, they just happened. Because I didn’t need them, I wasn’t insecure or self conscious about them.

    After reading your post just now, I started thinking of the show from a different perspective. Specifically, my current one. Right now I can get along with pretty much anyone. I am pretty sure people see me as polite, friend and considerate. I try to avoid upset people as much as possible. Dealing with people in this way makes things easier than how it worked previously.

    That I sometimes view the process of interacting people as “dealing with people” is a problem. The process is somewhat mechanical in that I constantly think of what I should / should not say and how I should / should not act. It means I’m not that different from Hachiman in that in the end, I am constantly maintaining a certain distance from other people. I am just doing it by smiling and nodding at people as opposed to pushing them away. As a result of this, most of my genuine friends come from my old personally (college) rather than my current self.

    Essentially, both my old (college) self and my current self both have aspects of Hachiman.

    By the way the last few paragraphs are phrased makes the thing sound much more serious than it actually is. It would be kind of accurate to say it’s exaggerated but just because I’m not sure how to phrase it in a less exaggerated fashion. I am a calm, rational person and think things through slowly.

    Oh wow. This ended up being much longer and more detailed than I intended. Probably off topic and TMI as well. However, I am trying to move away from worrying about what I should / should not say, as it limits my ability to connect with people. Not that I need friends obviously, it just that it would be nice. :p

  11. I think OreGairu is a show which seem to resonate with young adults, or perhaps on a lesser scale, senior high school students who had “seen and experience stuffs” firsthand. Or at least, that’s what I think. The issues that Hachiman always mentioned, seem like things which a teenager who had grown out of his innocence can sympathize with. I can’t really say his views are exactly correct (in fact, I find most views on human nature, while interesting as case-study, shouldn’t be taken as face value) so I kinda lol’ed at MAL’s misconceptions too.

    • Yeah, I’m getting the same impression about Oregairu – it needs a bit of perspective to understand its criticisms. I don’t think anyone ever really grows out of their teenage issues. We may move on to college and the workplace, but the change in environment can only sublimate our personal issues at best. So shows like Oregairu have the potential to hit really hard, no matter what age you watch it.

  12. reason i ended up liking this anime…..i can relate myself to the protagonist itself
    things and stuffs happened in hikigaya’s life kinda similar to mine
    specially when i confessed towards someone .got rejected and said can we just be friends?
    after that never talks to you afterwards
    btw the LN of yahari got released here right?if so hope you wont mind sharing the link

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