First Impressions: Oregairu Zoku (Episode 1 + Overall Adaptation Thoughts)
Pretty good stuff. First episode of Oregairu S2 covered the first six chapters of volume 7. Judging by the preview at the end of the episode, episode 2 will cover the rest of the volume.
I doubt I’ll be blogging about every episode, so I’ll just post some brief thoughts about this episode and the adaptation in general.
As I hoped, the anime skipped a lot of scenes in the LN. Don’t listen to the LN readers complaining about the cut scenes. Some of them are amusing, but they are still utterly irrelevant. Including them would have made the anime feel much more tedious, because despite the art upgrade, most of the episode consisted of talking heads. The missing ramen scene felt blatant, though. (SEE END OF POST FOR A TRANSLATION.) Otherwise, good job, series composition dude (Shotaro Suga, fyi).
I think that in general the anime is superior to the LN. I spent over half a year translating the LNs, and at this point I feel like I know them inside out. There is a lot of superfluous crap in the LNs. The anime took what was great about the LNs and made it shine.
The intra-episode pacing in the anime really works. The episode builds two stories simultaneously: Tobe’s quest for Hina’s love, which serves as a comedic foil to the more understated story of Hachiman and Yukino’s relationship after the school festival arc. Every scene in the episode builds up to that strained moment at the ending, where Hachiman and Yukino awkwardly part ways, realising perhaps for the first time that they have become too close for comfort. The school trip is a time for romance – well, at least in anime it is. In his awareness of this, Tobe actively tries to become close to Hina, while Hachiman and Yukino retreat from each other yet again.
As amusing as the cut scenes from the LN are, they would have detracted from the main focus of the episode. I’m not looking for a page-by-page adaptation from Oregairu Zoku. I’m just looking for a good story. If you want the behind-the-scenes stuff, you can read the LN later.
Still, the anime’s habit of cutting stuff did come back to bite them in the bum later when it referenced the scene where Tobe first admitted that he likes Hina. I do recommend you read this scene in full because it contains important foreshadowing for this episode and later events (translation here).
Speaking of translations, Commie’s translation of this episode was pretty snappy for the most part. I really like how they translated Tobe’s slang. Still, be warned that the script is not entirely accurate to the Japanese. As much as I prefer liberal translations that capture the intent of the original over stiff, literal translations, this scene in particular struck me as flat out wrong:
What is a ‘subottom’ even supposed to mean? A sasoiuke is supposed to be an uke character that “invites” the seme to “attack” him. You could work this out from context, but in any case Hina doesn’t talk very much like an authentic fujoshi in their translation of this scene.
Man, I know that most fansub groups are sausage fests, but Commie really needs to brush up on their fujoshi slang :P
There were other lines I would personally have translated differently, but I honestly don’t mind Commie’s overall approach.
(EDIT: FFF has a better translation of this particular scene, though still a bit awkward.)
tldr; I approve of the principles behind the adaptation and the translation. Don’t take the purists too seriously.
Get your friendzone bullshit outta here, 8man
In conclusion, the new Oregairu anime is good. I’m kinda burnt out on the series after working on it for so long, so I probably won’t cover each episode unless you guys really want me to. I’m still as big a fan of this series as ever, though!
(Also, not to blow my own horn or anything, but draggle had the best opinions about this episode.)
Addendum: The Ramen Scene
Here is a fresh translation of the ramen scene – or, to be more precise, the conversation afterwards between Hiratsuka-sensei and her students that was severely cut down in the anime.
“I question whether a teacher should be doing this.”
Hiratsuka-sensei remained calm despite my words. “Of course not. That’s why I’m paying for your silence.”
“Isn’t that even less appropriate for a teacher…?” Yukinoshita said dubiously.
But Ms. Hiratsuka went on eating, unperturbed. In fact, she seemed more at ease than ever.
“Teachers are human too. The same goes for all adults. We make mistakes. Whether we realise it or not.”
“Won’t you get reprimanded if you’re caught?”
If that happened, I’d probably get dragged into it as well, though.
“Not in the least. They’d just call me in as a formal measure and let me off with a slap on the wrist.”
“I wonder if that can really be considered reprimanding…” Yukinoshita said. I couldn’t help but agree with her.
Hiratsuka-sensei drained the remaining soup in her bowl and wiped her mouth neatly with a napkin. With that, she turned to face us.
“It’s different. Being ordered not to create problems and being asked to fix them are completely different things.”
“I don’t see how,” I said.
“…indeed. I wonder if it’s because I’ve never been reprimanded.” Yukinoshita pressed her lightly clenched fingers against her chin, deep in recollection.
Hiratsuka-sensei watched her do all of this and nodded solemnly. “I see, then I won’t let you off easy. I was planning to scold you quite thoroughly but it looks like I was being too soft.”
“No, that’s quite all right.” I waved my hands in polite refusal. If she inflicted any more damage on my body, I’d become damaged goods, and then she’d have to woman up and take me for a groom. Huh, not a bad idea…
As I agonised over various things, Yukinoshita sat nonplussed beside me. “I don’t mind. I’ve never really done anything worth being scolded over.”
“Yukinoshita, being scolded isn’t a bad thing. It’s proof that someone’s watching out for you.”
Yukinoshita’s shoulders dropped slightly upon hearing Hiratsuka-sensei’s words. She lowered her head and cast her eyes down. She seemed to be fixated on the floor for no reason I was aware of.
Gently, Hiratsuka-sensei patted Yukinoshita on the shoulder.
“I’m watching out for you, so make as many mistakes as you like.”