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AngryJellyfish

  • Wales
  • Joined Aug 2, 2007
  • 35 / Other

Secret Santa Review - This youth romantic comedy was boring as I expected.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru was a series I dropped when it first aired, as the first episode didn't stand out to me. But after hearing positive things and seeing it highly rated on this site and others, I was optimistic when it came up as one of my three Secret Santa picks. In future, I'll trust my first impressions a bit more.

Story

I've seen a lot of 'high school club with a poorly defined purpose'-type anime series over the years, to the point where I’ve grown a little tired of them, so this one was going to have to have something good going for it to stand out. Haruhi Suzumiya for example had the sci-fi/paranormal element, while others like Haganai made me laugh so much it hurt. But unfortunately, Oregairu didn’t have many new things to offer. If it was supposed to be a comedy, it didn't appeal to my sense of humour. And the attempts at drama didn't impress me either, as the situations and misunderstandings they made such a big deal over were so small and insignificant! I mean sure, I've lost sleep over stupid little things in the past, but that doesn't mean I'd want to watch a series about it.

Still, I give it a 5 because while it didn’t do anything to impress me, it didn’t leave my blood boiling with rage either. There was virtually no fanservice throughout, aside from one moment when main character Hachiman inadvertently walked in on the two girls changing, commenting that this is how a high school rom-com should go (one of the few jokes that did bring a smile to my face).

Characters

I get the feeling that the characters were supposed to be the show’s most important feature, with the episodic antics there to force them to interact with each other. But, they weren’t exactly original either. Yukino was a ridiculously wealthy ice-woman, Yui was airheaded but optimistic, and Hachiman an internal monologuing Kyon wannabe. The side characters featured a generic perfect and popular bishonen, a generic popular girl who bullies and isolates those she doesn’t like, a generic delusional chuunibyou-sufferer, a generic fujoshi, a generic otokonoko … okay, ‘generic’ doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Saika and Ebina are largely to thank for pulling this series up from 5 to 6, it’s just a shame they didn’t get more screen time.

Though Hachiman’s monologues and discussions with others about the benefits of being a loner weren’t exactly riveting, it was obvious that a lot of thought had been put into the dialogue. Sacrificing his own popularity to unite the rest of the group in hatred against him... that’s something I don’t think I’ve come across in anime before, and possibly the one original thing this series had going for it. So while I didn’t particularly LIKE his character, I’ll bump my rating up further to a 7.

Animation and Sound

This wasn’t an action-packed series, so the animation didn’t have to be great, and it wasn’t. Average at best. Character designs were nice, if not overly original, but Saika was quite the convincing trap… okay, have a six.

Voice acting was competent, though none of my favourite seiyuu worked on this series. I tend not to pay attention to a series’ BGM; if it’s particularly awesome or particularly inappropriate, it’ll force me to pay attention, but as it didn’t, I assume it was either fitting, average, or non-existent. I’ve already forgotten the OP theme, wasn’t my kind of music, and the regular ED was only slightly better. However, I really liked Yui’s version of the ED that played at the end of the episode which focused on her. Again, if only they’d used it more!

Overall

It’s possible I may have enjoyed Oregairu more if I hadn’t watched so many similar series in the past. Or maybe since comedy is subjective, I just didn't ‘get’ its style of humour. As it stands, it was fairly boring, but otokonoko and fujoshi have the uncanny ability to make anything better in my eyes.

5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
6/10 overall

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