Hey guys. OreGairu time! But before that, let’s talk about… romance.
In many of my rants, I’ll talk about how characters lack chemistry, or how they have an unequal relationship, or whatnot. This is honestly a pretty big problem in anime – if we’re not being told-not-shown characters are in love, we’re often getting those unequal, moerotic-based relationships between a man and a mental child .
OreGairu says Fuck That. We’ve seen Hikki and Yuki grow to respect each other through actively helping and supporting each other. Their banter has always been strong, and reveals the many places their philosophies match or compliment each other, as well as their clear status as intellectual equals . And the reasons they respect and even admire each other are perfectly clear – Hikki’s bluntness, insight, and ultimate loyalty, Yuki’s ambition, confidence, and refusal to back down. Romance doesn’t exist in a vacuum – you can’t just create two characters and add romance by saying they love each other . OreGairu knows this, and really couldn’t be handling it better.
That said, last episode definitely went a little too well for Hikki and Yuki, and I have a sinking suspicion this episode’s going to break my heart.
…fine. Let it be done!
0:41 – OreGairu once again writes the book on actual sibling dialogue. His sister’s deadpan ‘wow, so cool’ is pretty perfect
2:51 – I’m not the authority on OPs, but I really do love this one. Great wistful tone, perfectly appropriate lyrics
3:50 – “I’ll have you know I rate Sis quite highly. I wanted to be like her after all,” Well jeez, isn’t Yuki acting self-confident and honest all of a sudden. It’s almost like the last couple episodes have directly focused on strengthening her trust in Hikki and developing their relationship in a completely organic way or something
3:55 – “You’re fine as you are.” YES HIKKI GO
Sorry. You know I’ve always been a sucker for this show, and it hasn’t even focused on the romance before now, and good romance is actually my great weakness, so not just giggling and clapping here is gonna be pretty tough
5:07 – “Could you perform one more song?” Hayama’s a goddamn superhero. It’s funny that this show is accused of pandering to people who relate to Hikki, because Hikki and Yuki are the ones being regularly portrayed as immature, and Hayama’s the most realistically flattering portrait of a put-together popular guy I’ve seen
5:38 – “I’ll go look for her!” “That’s a terrible idea, and it won’t help anyway.” Nice little jab at the classic “oh jeez, we need to find them – let’s run around and search randomly!” anime trope. I’d call out a specific example, but I think this writeup’s already had enough Sakurasou-bashing
5:55 – “But you didn’t say it was impossible” while actually smiling. I told you, you guys. These two…
6:24 – They’re wrapping up a lot of character conflicts here – Yuki asking her sister for help is a big step (and her kinda dickish sister lets her know it)
7:10 – Aw man, God Knows-ing it up. Goddamn do I hope Hikki gets to see it
7:47 – Speaking of resolving character conflicts… “Yui, can I rely on you for vocals?” Ba-dum-psh.
8:37 – I mean, she’s gotta be on the roof, right? They’re always on the roof
9:00 – “Roof of the special wing.” Some things never change…
10:09 – And now Hikki’s doing his best to live up to the trust Yuki’s put in him. They grow up so fast…
11:02 – Oh my god, that’s fucking brilliant. Hikki can’t be someone other than himself (kinda neatly foreshadowed with Yuki’s ‘that’s who I’ve always been’ and Hikki agreeing with her earlier), but Hayama is the perfect man for the job
11:22 – “Everyone’s waiting! Don’t worry – they all did their best for you!” God, could you imagine Hikki trying to handle this role?
13:03 – Man Hikki, you are so damn mad . Normally he doesn’t care this much – is he just furious at what she put Yuki through? Or is this him actually trying to be his most true self, to match up to Yuki’s example
13:50 – “Why is that the only way you know how to do things?” YES. FUCK. YES. DROP THE FUCKIN’ AXE, HAYAMA. ‘Yeah, you may see the worst instincts in people – but you don’t have to fucking work that way. It doesn’t make you special or insightful – it just makes you alone. Grow the fuck up, Hikki.’ Hayama for president.
17:37 – “There are people who’d get hurt by watching you get hurt. You’d be wise to realize that soon.” You’d be wise to realize a lot of stuff soon, Hikki. You need to hang out with Hayama more often
18:16 – “You pickin’ a fight?” Pretty close to the first thing he said to her, right?
19:07 – “Great minds think alike, huh?” Oh man, these two are so adorable it’s almost insufferable. So much love
20:02 – “Nah, feel free to lie. I lie all the time.” And that concludes our last narrative thread, right? Oh god.
22:00 – “Even this pointless chapter is one I’ll someday lose.” Oh man, getting super-overt about the intended audience for this show
Oh GOD DAMNIT. The last one is gonna be some bonus episode one-off or something, isn’t it? You know, considering this episode resolved every single conflict perfectly and whatnot.
So yeah. Fantastic episode. Hikki sticks to his guns on his personality but directly expresses his admiration for Yuki, Yuki gets ridiculously overt in her flirting, and Hayama lays down the fucking law. The drama is resolved handily, we get resolution to Yuki’s conflicts with Hikki, Yui, her sister, and even kinda herself, all the characters seem much more comfortable being themselves, and it ties it back around perfectly with a return to the initial dynamic, even making callouts to their very first conversation. The main relationship progresses in a way that remains true to the original characters while reflecting both their growing maturity and clear mutual affection. Hikki gets one more absolutely brutal analysis takedown. There are more honest smiles than in the rest of the series put together.
In other words…
Oh my god you guys this show is so good. So, so good. That was perfect. Holy shit. So happy. Love these characters, love this writing, love these ideas, love this bulletproof narrative structure. The source material is obviously fantastic, and this series composition guy clearly outdid himself as well. Goddamn. So satisfied. Nice job anime you did it A+.