Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru – Episode 7

Only a quick prologue today, on these persistent, entirely bewildering Hikki-Araragi comparisons. I’m probably gonna get a little heated here, because I find this so ridiculous. There’s just something about this show that always makes me spill a little too much blood on the page[1] .

The only thing Hikki and Araragi have in common is they’re both snarky and articulate. That’s it. Hikki is not a pervert, he is totally insecure (especially with women), he has no savior complex, he is totally introverted and internally focused, he’s incredibly uncomfortable in his skin… outside of them both being well-written , they have almost nothing in common. Is that it? Is good writing enough to make two characters knockoffs of each other when it comes to anime?

Listen. “Snarky and articulate” is one of the base archetypes common to all media. Have people somehow missed this? Because if you’re going to point to Araragi, you might as well also be calling Hikki a Rosalind[2] , Viola[3] , or Falstaff[4] (or hell, even Ignatius Reilly[5] ) knockoff. Or a half of all Quentin [RES ignored duplicate image][6] Tarantino [RES ignored duplicate image][7]characters [RES ignored duplicate image][8] knockoff. Or an every-character-in-Scott-Pilgrim knockoff [RES ignored duplicate image][9] . Or a Bill Murray in every role he’s done since 1988 [RES ignored duplicate image][10] knockoff. Or hell, even a fucking Gandalf [RES ignored duplicate image][11] knockoff – it’s not so strong in the films, but he was a big ‘ol snarky asshole in the Hobbit.

So please. Can we quit it with these silly, reductive claims of Hikki being a derivative character? Because honestly, even if this weren’t one of the most common character types of all time, it’s also just a very misguided read of Hikki’s personality. He’s not a happy or confident guy. He’s dealing with some stuff. Get off his back.

Alright. That’s enough of that; OreGairu, you have the floor.

Episode 7

0:30 – And we’re back to OreGairu frankly dictating the terms of my life. If I spent half the time I spend rationalizing my not responding to texts actually responding to them…

1:20 – Holy shit, did OreGairu just manage a spin on these awful spinster jokes that actually works? This text-stalker gag – distinctive… relatable… actually reflective of character… kinda funny… yep, it checks out. Impressive work, OreGairu.

2:58 – Hikki finally expressed curiosity about that book that ends the OP last episode. I wonder if we’ll get back into that now that we’re in the back half


5:12 – Aw man, Yuki almost doing that stupid greeting in spite of herself made me laugh out loud

6:03 – When did the teacher turn into Frau? [RES ignored duplicate image][12]

6:58 – Hayama: charming, genuine, and even good with the kids. Hikki has every right to resent this guy

8:54 – Hikki’s attitude towards Yuki has definitely changed since last episode – he’s picking up on her emotional cues now, and so they’re also being made visible to the audience. Dear lord, does this mean there are ways to depict character growth visually? I thought only KyoAni knew that secret!

9:13 – “’Sharing a secret’ must be one of the techniques he uses to get along with people” – Funny, appropriate to character, and also just kind of psychologically true. All my love, OreGairu

10:31 – Ahhh so great. Hayama is pretty much a natural at diffusing social situations, but his view of people (and understanding of how they naturally react, being himself someone who has no trouble integrating into any social situation) means he just leads the loner to the other kids and assumes that will fix things. And of course Hikki and Yuki now actually getting along (in a way that doesn’t even slightly resemble the Araragi/Senjou confident, antagonistic flirting AHEM) is just awesome to see

11:32 – “Yeah, it’s got all sorts of weird stuff!” I love these moments where Hikki accidentally realizes he’s not actually that different from anyone else, and it freaks him out

18:20 – I think this show’s just fucking with me now. That conversation where all of them have such specific, individual perspectives on how social situations work was going so well, and Hina’s point about finding people you relate to through your hobbies is actually entirely true, and then… well, each episode’s gotta have one stupid joke…

18:58 – Damnit nice people, don’t diffuse the situation! They must fiiight

19:20 – “You know you’re inferior, so you feel like you’re being looked down on.” Is it wrong of me to pretty much assume this is a big part of the actual motivation behind American anti-intellectualism?

19:40 – Man, they really do only use that guy for gay jokes, don’t they? I’m pretty damn happy Brain’s Base cut out whatever their “date” from the third LN would have entailed…

20:38 – “I took 30 minutes to defeat her, and ended up making her cry.” Man, this is so damn good. First, it’s great that they know they don’t need to show any of this – we can pretty much visualize that entire conversation. But mainly it’s great to see Yuki’s deep-seated anger express itself in such harmful ways, and show that while she’s definitely smart, she’s still at a point where she can’t use it productively, and lashes out at people for their weakness because she’s not mature or confident enough to accept them or herself. She sees people’s shields, but she can’t empathize with them, and only hates them for it

And Done

Aww. I think that at this point, since Hikki and Yuki are actually pretty close friends by now, I’m just going to like the show more and more going forward. I know, it seems impossible – but smart characters having such full and honest conversations is pretty much everything I want out of this genre. This episode also had a ton of great social commentary, and finally pitted the two most naturally antagonistic characters against each other, with a wonderfully understated and totally believable result. Also, the way this show handles romance is so damn good – so many (bad) shows just have characters antagonize each other or avoid talking honestly for endless sets of episodes, interspersed with maybe a few random moments of honesty, and then bam they wuv each other. But here? Yuki and Hikki started out as pretty defensive but already complementary people, and over time they’ve come to understand and obviously respect each other, even valuing the other’s opinions. But there’s still barely any romance there – they’re still just good friends. However, between the last episode and this one, Hikki has begun picking up on Yuki’s emotions much more sharply, and Yuki has begun trusting Hikki with her own personal problems and questions – finally, at the end of this episode, Hikki directly asks what her relationship with Hayama is, something he wouldn’t have cared about in the slightest a few episodes ago. All these small pieces build off each other wonderfully, and everything else is so smart, and the writing is so good, and, and damnit OreGairu I’m doing it again…

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