Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru – Episode 5

Welp, you all know how I feel and I’m late enough as it is. Let’s do this.

Episode 5

1:03 – Panty joke. I guess it’s kind of a tradition now for this show to start with a dumb anime-ism joke.

4:14 – Hikki’s surprisingly diligent about his studies… although now that I think about it, what with his ego being based on a sense of superiority towards high school things, it makes sense that he’s focusing on how awesome he’ll be once he isn’t surrounded by nattering fools.

4:51 – Sis is sure she’s seen her before, somewhere…

6:55 – A lingering shot and reaction face from Hikki is a lot of hinting, so it’s likely that Yuki’s home situation might be relevant to her own persecution complex.

7:29 – “So, what are you going to do with my cat?” I love how often Yuki’s high-minded explanations have to cover for fundamentally pretty stupid ideas. The distance between self-image and actual experience/understanding is so clear here… I’d assume anyone would get that, but I’ve heard of people dropping this show because they’re “tired of cynical genius characters,” which is kind of the opposite of the point

7:51 – Also, this convoluted scheme with dedicated roles makes me think Yuki has a bit of a Chuuni streak herself. Man, that period between a childhood of un-self-consciously accepting your love of drama and creativity, and an adulthood of self-awarely realizing you don’t have to give a shit about the opinions of everyone around you, really sucks

8:05 – My god that’s adorable

9:51 – Nooo, that conversation was going so well, too. Why does Japan find these stale-ass spinster jokes so goddamn hilarious?

10:40 – Ahaha, using Hayama like a guided VN adaptation protagonist missile. Cunning work

11:08 – When they say something like “there are only two places that fit that name,” I have to assume they’ve started with the wrong one, and it’s gonna result in a wacky misunderstanding. Let’s see how they handle this one

12:10 – “Girls welcome.” Oh god are we really doing this

12:57 – Alright, scene finally over. We shall never speak of this again

13:15 – Actually, that scene is retroactively almost worth it for the contrast between Hikki’s blasé attitude towards the pet-fetish stuff and immediately getting flustered when he sees them in actually classy, non-demeaning attire. You’re ahead of the class, Hikki. Also your hair looks ridiculous

16:18 – Holy shit, sounds like this girl has actually been dealt some shitty cards. She’s way out of their naïve little league

16:46 – WacNordo. That’s a new one!

And Done

Oof, Hikki fucks up royally in the end. I’m surprised I didn’t expect his reaction – his self-loathing is definitely strong enough, and his awareness of others’ motives and emotions poor enough, that he’d interpret things this way. This is how character dramas of this kind should be written – not based on random outward conflicts, but on the inherent ways different people bounce off each other and eventually come to some understanding. And I appreciate the more honest articulation of his viewpoint at the end there – to someone with few friends, the lightly intended kindness of acquaintances can certainly create some brutal expectations.

My feelings on the actual conflict of this episode kinda mirror the ones I had for this week’s Maou – it was one of the funnier episodes, and it used the side characters to great effect, but it wasn’t that focused on the things that make this show incredibly smart and unique. While the episode did finally push Hikki out of his new stasis, and resolve the dog thing in very solid fashion that leaves room for great dramatic possibilities, I don’t think it used Silver’s conflict to really illuminate all that much – the points about siblings just weren’t that insightful, and while there were a number of hints at Yuki’s family problems throughout (her discomfort at the study meeting, knocking over the glass, her ‘that I understand’ response to Hikki’s ‘siblings are like closest strangers’ line), they were mainly just setting the groundwork for dramatic turns to come. Like Maou, I think this episode just had too much larger storytelling work to do to stand perfectly straight on its own – but I also think we’re really in it now. The status quo of the first act has been broken; things are gonna start moving faster for our lovable misanthropes.

So yeah, not my favorite episode, but I think it was a necessary one plot-wise, and I get the feeling this was the last of the character-building, semi-autonomous weekly conflicts. It’s kind of funny, because at this point, the things I’m picking at are more flaws that might prevent it from being the best possible high school romantic comedy, and less things that impress me – the status quo is me being incredibly impressed at all times, and that’s a pretty great place to be.

5 thoughts on “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru – Episode 5

  1. Hikki’s saying “siblings are like closest strangers’ captured the essence of my relationship with my own older sister so much more accurately than any other description I’ve heard before, it’s a little scary. We’re close and will very much look out for each other, but the details of our personal thoughts are still secret, and we don’t show much more than our usual public self around each other.

    On an aside, did it seem like the animation and art quality were a little lower to anyone else? It’s still par for course on modern shows and quite good, but some scenes seemed a little more hastily drawn than others.

    • Yeah, honesty with siblings is a difficult thing to figure out. I think I’ve actually gotten pretty lucky in that regard, but it’s definitely a very specific dynamic, and I can completely see where these characters are coming from.

      Regarding the animation, I didn’t personally notice a shift, but it’s quite possible, and it’s not like these character designs are all that sharp/distinctive in the first place. This is another one of those shows that betrays my lack of focus on anime as a visual medium – its animation and visual design are completely middling, but because almost everything I get out of anime is based on the character writing, thematics, and storytelling, I’m perfectly willing to let shows get away with stuff like that.

  2. which sub group have you been using? i’ve heard talk about stuff being lost in translation. i’ve been using Commie subs so far, is there a better/more accurate group out there?

    • I haven’t actually been consistent in my sub choices; generally I’ve been using the first to release, because the majority of my feedback comes from Reddit, and they’re viciously biased towards early comments. Considering that isn’t an actual concern for anyone not specifically trying to build an internet community, I’d advise against Commie – they add far too much “flavor” to their releases, and a show as carefully and skillfully written as OreGairu only suffers from amateur translators trying to bludgeon their own personalities onto the original text. More generally, I find “accurate” to be a kind of tricky thing to quantify when it comes to subs – for instance, is it better to translate a cultural joke directly even though it won’t come across to a Western audience, or to replace it with a culturally meaningful equivalent? Regardless, my current preferred group is FFF, but I’m holding off on a final opinion until this series is complete.

  3. >>.1:03 – Panty joke. I guess it’s kind of a tradition now for this show to start with a dumb anime-ism joke.

    Judging by the LN translations I’m reading now, Hachiman is quite… well, hormonal teenager and is capable of see, derive or make sex references out of anything, even his own thought process. Reminds me of my own seventeen. So it’s quite appropriate.

    Best Regards, slowpoke.

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