OreGairu Zoku To The “Casual Observer”
I will be the first to admit-I’m poor at noticing character’s subtleties, which is a big part of why I rarely talk about OreGairu if any of you noticed, though I had my fill of it just reading people’s analysis of each episodes from reddits, MAL and blogs. Of course, I like the show though, and if anything, OreGairu Zoku had been stellar each and every single week.
I started watching the first season back when it aired on 2013, and while I like it, I personally think marathoning kinda ruined it for me. I didn’t have time to digest every characterizations properly. Also, this may be me, I always felt guys like Guy (pun unintended) and Frog-kun were over-analyzing the characters in the show. At times, it felt like there was a discrepancy in perspectives between me and the fandom.
Unfortunately, that still hasn’t changed much in OreGairu Zoku, but my perspective improves a lot, it took me awhile but I finally noticed things, as compared to when I was just glancing everything over the surface like I did with season one. It feels great just to be able to follow the gradual character development each week and checking up the analyses of them, it’s honestly something I wouldn’t be able to do if I were marathoning-so that certainly helps too.
Also, each episodes/arcs are close to Sagami-level in season 1 so in terms of drama and feels. Also characterizations had a lesser subtle approach but now, they feel more exposed, and at the same time, still brilliantly concealed several layers of characterizations not easily noticeable at first glance. It just seems like OreGairu Zoku bolstered the characterizations, or at least the important ones, while still managed to possess the same flair as the previous season by keeping things subtle.
Indeed, there is an immense change in atmosphere from season one. I was lurking at Random Curiosity the other day, and while this is from an impression of an older episode-Zanibas described it perfectly from said post:
“it has been a treat to see Oregairu slowly deepen its conflicts from petty romantic comedy to a complex social web of lies and fears.”
OreGairu as a series evolved from just a deconstruction of romance comedy to genuine, intensifying drama. And great drama it is, especially considering how well-written the characters are (dat “batman” segment in episode 2). I think last but not least, it also helps that the series had already got most of the introductory episodes out of the way in season one-Characters were introduced, and we are shown their personalities, interactions and philosophies on life. Season two took the formulae developed there, and dissects the characterizations even further-there are a lot of plot points to consider, Hachiman’s self-sacrificing altitude, and how the other characters are actually feeling for him, and how Hachiman rejects change and how Yukino acts as the foil to that philosophy of Hachiman. Aforementioned, OreGairu Zoku no longer play these characterizations subtle-all these character flaws are exceedingly emphasized; and quite frankly, I’m just barely scratching the surface here-I really appreciate the depth emanated from the show.
So yeah, despite being just a “casual observer”, I like OreGairu, even more so than before. I still need to check how OreGairu Zoku ends, but I’m seriously considering adding the series to my favorite list of anime. What do you think of OreGairu Zoku so far?
Oh, before I end this post…
P.S: Here’s a plug-Guy over at Geekorner wrote great notes/analyses on each episodes for the show, so go check them out if you haven’t already.