#12DaysOfAnime – As someone who is still a year before graduating high school, discovering the anime series Oregairu has been quite entertaining for me. It is a show that focuses on a high school setting with a much deeper lens, in comparison to other shows set in the same place. Thus, let me tell you how Oregairu has been unique and interesting for me.
Oregairu is an anime series that is set in a high school and focuses on three main characters. These characters are members of the Service Club whose goal is to lend a helping hand for students in solving their problems.
A simple mechanic and yet an interesting watch – Oregairu is one of my most favorite anime series of all time for the following reasons: first, it delves into the human psychology surrounding interactions present in a typical high school and second, the characters are written to be almost real.
The story is told through the perspective of our main male character, Hikigaya Hachiman, a high school student who is considered to be anti-social and loner in personality. Thus, he easily blends into the background and is generally ignored most of the time by his peers.
This kind of social status within the school gives him flexibility to help out people in their problems without worrying about the consequences of peer perception. His “outside of the pack” status has also enabled him to be somewhat of an observer. With that, he has learned by himself on how everybody in the school interacts, what the social hierarchy is and people’s relationships.
In completing requests from his clients, he tends to use harsh and unorthodox methods that might come off as cruel or inhumane for the people around him. But everyone in the school, again, cares little of what he actually feels and does – apparently, this works well in his favor.
This is where the entertainment of this show comes in: Hikigaya‘s unorthodox and somewhat cruel methods of “solving” problems. He does his job in a way that the problem is given a band-aid rather than a proper solution. Although he does argue that it is efficient to do so, it doesn’t really work in the long run and at times, comes biting back at him.
His motivations for doing such things are born out of his own belief that everyone has an ulterior motive and its a man-eats-man world out there. With that mentality in mind, he tries to make sure that both parties involved in the problem are in a compromise rather than a proper solution.
An example of this is when the club’s task was to help out a middle school girl to get accepted by her peers during camp. His solution was to put all of the kids into a life-or-death situation where they would have to sacrifice one of their own to escape. Being kids and all, they believed it.
This kind of situation is what makes Oregairu so appealing to people who, like me, are still experiencing high school. In that scene, the kids try to sacrifice their middle school girl client and some other kids. However, what astonished me was the girl’s response: to save all of them despite how badly her peers had treated her.
In the words of Hikigaya, she was the “true friend.”
It was an accurate depiction of how crowd psychology works especially during life-or-death situations where people had to sacrifice one person to have everybody live. The show is explicit in showing that aspect of human psychology and that makes it entertaining – its portrayal of real human behavior appeals to the audience because we know what that situation feels like.
The same scenario happened when a fellow student of theirs wanted to confess to his friend. However, due to fear of the group breaking up, another client came in to ask that whatever happens, the group must remain intact.
You know what Hikigaya does? He interrupts the confession and makes it appear as if he’s the one confessing. A clear rejection was given and enlightened the original confessor on what his crush felt about having a relationship.
He killed two requests with one act but at the cost of his own pride and status – much to the annoyance and anger of Hikigaya‘s fellow Service Club members, Yukinon and Yui, who tells him to stop hurting himself.
With that, here’s another reason why Oregairu is such an enlightening show for me: it tells the audience the important of self-worth. In the course of two seasons, the main character Hikigaya Hachiman has always used himself as bait or sacrifice to ensure that every client request was done despite the consequences it had on him personally.
But as he strengthens his relationships with fellow Service Club members and completes new tasks, he slowly reveals his intentions of actually having a genuine relationship – no matter what kind of relationship it is.
A relationship wherein he and the other party understand each other completely. There would be no reason to hide any ulterior motives and they could all shamelessly show their hideous sides – a selfish yet understandable dream. However, it is impossible.
Not only Hikigaya but other members like Yui and Yukinon have also revealed their own flaws too.
As each episode progresses, we understand that despite Yukinon‘s image of being a model high school student, she has one major flaw: her inability to decide for herself. Thus, she relies on the decisions of others and mainly her family. Never has she tried in being herself and is afraid to do so.
For Yui‘s case, we understand that despite her “nice girl” personality, she also has a selfish side by wanting to manipulate Yukinon and having Hikigaya all to herself. At least, that is what she implied in the show.
Overall, Oregairu is a wonderful and enlightening show that depicts high school students helping out each other in finding themselves. It is an anime series that talks about high school interactions and the psychology that runs along it.
Most of all, it is a show that taught me that even if people might not see eye-to-eye in what you believe or rejects you entirely, what’s important is that I value myself as a person.
I think what made Oregairu such a great series for me, and others, is that it tries to be as real as possible. It tries to drop lines that can be applied to real life situations and lastly, it is, almost, everybody’s high school story.
A high school story not about forming one’s harem, fanservice or filled with magic – but rather, a story set in high school filled with simple concerns that deeply plague the mind of a normal high school student.
That is why I will always put Oregairu on the top of my anime list – for the entertainment and profound realization that it brought within me.
Did you have an anime that affected the way you saw things? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading the second entry for this year’s twelve days of anime. Be sure to check out stuff related to this ani-blogging challenge by searching #12DaysOfAnime on Twitter.
While I am at it, try reading some entries from my pals from OWLS. For the month of December, we are discussing about the portrayal of warmth in our favorite titles so be sure to check them out!