Oregairu S2 – Episodes 1-3

My first Oregairu S2 post is up! Don’t have much to say here that I didn’t already say in the piece – I love Oregairu, the new season is so far even better than the old one, and I wish we got more shows that were nearly this sharp in their character writing. I really hope it stays this good!

My full ANN writeups is available here. Notes below!

Oregairu

Hikki’s sister can immediately see through him, and how he’s feeling down about the whole recent adventure

“You always say all that hopeless stuff, but when you’re down, you sound even more hopeless.” Yep. Hikki’s normal attitude is its own kind of chuunibyou, but people can tell when he’s actually upset

And here it’s clear. Not only is he unhappy with himself, because he was forced to act in a way that both made people dislike him and made it clear he cares about others, but he hurt the people he actually cares about

And again, he pushes someone away to avoid dealing with the hard emotional stuff. Hikki’s solutions aren’t based in being smart, they’re based in being safe

Great parting shot of Hikki isolated in his huge, empty kitchen – the first time the scene has drawn back this far. This season has way better staging and shot framing than the first one

“A world that wants nothing to change… that wants stagnation, huh?” Hikki scoffs at their desires, but he does the same thing

The body language remains great

Oh god, this scene of Hikki just sitting in the stairwell, checking his phone as he waits to go to club late. So painful

And conversation stops when he comes in

Again, more great shot framing. Hikki just barely at the corner of a frame that’s dominated by the empty table, an angled shot that emphasizes the vast distance between him and Yukino

“I don’t know what you’re thinking anymore.” “We could never know what he was thinking. Even if we know one another, understanding each other is a different matter.”

And now Yukino directly pierces the truth of it – “that’s what’s normal for you, then? To not change?” Always speaking her mind

Shiromeguri and Iroha Isshiki

Isshiki got put in the student council president running, but doesn’t want to win

“She does seem the type that other girls would despise, though. I knew girls like her in middle school… girls who would play guys like some kind of juggler.” Damnit Hikki

Hikki’s first strategy is “I’ll give an awful campaign speech, taking all the blame onto myself.” As he always does. His superpower is pretending not to care how much people despise him. It’s a pretty shitty superpower

Yukino doesn’t approve. “Because it’s too uncertain of a method” plus a million other things, but it’s really “goddamnit Hikki, stop doing this. How dare you do this.” Yukino is now much harder on Hikki because she cares about him. She wants to be able to rely on who she wants him to be, but Hikki intentionally refuses to be that reliable

Oh god, is Yukino going to volunteer to be president just to prove Hikki wrong?

Yukino asks what the standings are in their forced club, and then suggests using separate methods. She is furious at Hikki, and so is back to treating this as forced community service

“I thought that kind of deception was what you and I hated the most.” Yukino sees Hikki as like herself, but he’s not. He’s not totally dedicated to his values, he’s just scared – in fact, it’s the fact that Yukino’s so dedicated to her values that makes him so impressed by her

Sensei being nice to Hikki, as ever

“With the way you do things, when you meet someone you really want to help, you won’t be able to.” Yep

He thinks about texting his sister, doesn’t. Great little moments

And he runs into Yukino’s sister

“She hates us, but she doesn’t want us to hate her.”

“Knowing Meguri, I bet she’ll ask Yukino to be the next student council president.” Oh ho. So was this actually a plot aimed at Yukino, knowing what she’d do?

And now Orimoto shows up, a girl he knew from middle school

Oh god, this is so awkward. Now they’re chatting about his old life, and he even asked her out. jeeez

“I never even talked to him before!” I talked to you. I emailed you, too. I remember bouncing between depression and elation, waiting to see if you’d respond

And then Yukino’s sister introduces them to Hayama

“Well, that was great for killing some time.” She’s a sadist

And now we see Yui waiting sadly at the start of school, alone. Doing the same thing Hachiman was. They do share things in common, but they’re not happy things

“I’d feel better if I lost to someone really amazing.” Yeah, this seems like a trap

“You’re not thinking of the present case. You avoided the problem last time, too.” Yukino wants him to grow up

“You’re the one who said there’s no point in something that superficial.” Not letting it go

9 thoughts on “Oregairu S2 – Episodes 1-3

  1. This new season is heavy. S1 had breathers, banter, or comedy bits interspersed through every episode, but S2 is on a mission it seems. I wonder if its trying to fit in more material from the LNs or just decided to take a new approach to the story.

  2. Yukino sees Hikki as like herself, but he’s not. He’s not totally dedicated to his values, he’s just scared – in fact, it’s the fact that Yukino’s so dedicated to her values that makes him so impressed by her.

    But isn’t it the other way around? That Yukino is just like Hachiman, and thus, also not fully dedicated to her values? See also not wanting to be seen with Hikki, to admit she’s close to him, her and her family, and the whole business last season with the dog? Or saying she doesn’t wish to do things and then does them, when the show’s telling you she really does, such as guiding the Cultural Festival?

    I think Hikki puts her on a pedestal, which the show pretty much said last season, because she’s basically him. No, not entirely, but very close.

    • True, Yukino’s not really any more real in her “beliefs” than Hikki is. I was considering rewatching the first season just as a refresher on all the moments the characters have had so far, but never found the time for it. Hmm.

      • Unlike plenty of shows, it sort of feels rewatching OreGairu’s first season before S2 is sort of mandatory.

        I mean, you can avoid it, but those episodes are very much standing on the back of the prior ones. You can still understand everything, but in a show all about the small moments, what you lose is perhaps even more important, it’s the nuances.

    • Nice one!
      As you say, they are both hypocrites, but still not exactly the same. Yukinoshita does not perceive herself as a one and hides behind overcomplicated fallacies if confronted. Hikigaya admits being one, yet he still believes in himself. It is because Hikigaya can so openly affirm his weaknesses that he is so strong ( he isnt constrained by having to play along fake believes) and also a thorn in Yukinoshita’s eye, since she can not do the same. Doing so would invalidate her past behavior, which she wants to prevent at any cost.

      In other words, Hikigaya is able to successfully operate based on a faulty logic/beliefs, because thats how humans behave and Yukinoshita can not stand it, because it corrodes her perception of herself. I suppose.

  3. “His superpower is pretending not to care how much people despise him. It’s a pretty shitty superpower”

    Teehee. Now I’m imagining the show reframed to present all the characters as having really terrible social superpowers. Yui has the power to crush on poisonous jerks, Hayama has the power to suppress all negative expressions, etc.

    Anyway, that was a fantastic first review! It was because of your recommendation that I’d watched the first season. I didn’t really get it until the 8th episode or so, but when it did finally click, I was hooked. So I’ve been quite eager for the new season, and I’m glad you got your (I assume) wish to write ANN’s reviews. You nailed the character summaries. It’s going to be especially interesting to see if people are still able to idolize Hachiman to the same extent as before if the show keeps highlighting his flaws this brightly.

    I’m pretty stoked at how strongly the show has started out, too. So painful to watch, but also so brilliant.

  4. I’d like to see your thoughts on my impressions of Hachiman:

    He was bullied/ostracized a lot in elementary/middle school, which was really painful for him. As an outsider, he had the unique perspective to see a lot of superficiality in the relationships he couldn’t have. Those on the “inside” were either too content or too busy preserving their relationships to be objective. Deprived of friendship and respect, he developed two defense mechanisms:

    1) Dismiss all relationships as superficial and claim that they’re worthless, because it’s too painful to admit that he was never able to have he desperately wanted. Essentially throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    2) Commit himself to self-abasement in order to create a sense of control. He gets the initiative in hurting himself, and if he gives off the impression that he’s content being lowly then nobody can hurt him pushing him down.

    When he decides to save Hayama’s friend-circle with the fake-confession, it’s because he does seem some value in the friendship despite it’s blatant flaws/problems. He can logically explain what’s wrong with relationships, but he can’t quite put his finger on what makes them valuable. Mixed into all this, however, is his pride.

    He knows that some aspect of wanting to preserve relationships is good, but because he can’t explain it well, his pride causes him to hide these thoughts from Yukino/Yui/Imouto completely. He only wants to talk when he’s sure he can’t lose an argument.

    With all that said, here are my thoughts on Yukino: my impression is that she likes #1 about Hachiman, but doesn’t like #2. Her disappointment with #1 causes the flaws she already saw (#2) to become “too much,” and now she’s punishing him. This is what she’s referring to when she asks him, “so you won’t change (#2) then?” Hachiman’s pride plays into this part as well, and he becomes stubborn.

    In actuality, #1 AND #2 need to be addressed (not completely reversed, but have parts fixed) for Hachiman to mature. Yukino probably needs to mature in #1 as well.

  5. This is my second time watching this entire show (season 1 and 2) because it’s so good.
    But I have a question: what is the deception Yukino is talking about? The one that they both hate. (I’m not very good at reading between the lines and finding implicit messages)

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