After Hikigaya Hachiman writes an unpleasant essay detailing his antisocial views on high school life, his teacher conscripts him into the Volunteer Service Club, which only seems to have one member: Yukinoshita Yukino, whom he deems to be the most well-known student in the school, due to her good looks. It falls to her to solve his “problem”, even if he doesn’t think he has one. When a third student, the ditzy Yuigahama Yui, asks the club to taste her cookies, she is impressed by their honesty and the advice they give her, and inspired to try harder. After his dealings with Yukino, Hachi becomes open to the possibility of being friends with her.
– I’ll change the world and everyone in it.
– That’s a seriously crazy goal.
– Maybe, but I still think it’s better than being dead inside like you.
After OreShura, we’re kind of wondering if its worth it to delve into another rom-com focusing on “anti-love” characters who may well end up together in the end after much stress and strain. And Hachiman’s opening monologue about how he detests those who enjoy their youth is a bit doesn’t have nearly the punch it would if we hadn’t already heard a similar spiel last season. Still, after watching the episode there are sufficient differences between both obnoxiously long-titled to justify giving it a go, and so we shall. We’ll just have to resign ourselves to the fact comparisons will be often and unavoidable.
For instance, like Eita, Hachiman’s worldview is based upon a past trauma, but while Eita’s folks abandoned him, Hachiman has simply tried the normal school life, was hurt by the rejections of girls he liked, and scared of being hurt again. Like Masuzu, Yukino treats her beauty as a burden, creating just as many potential enemies as friends, so she stays above the fray. We even saw a little Chiwa in Yui-Yui, as they’re both orange-haired, bubbly, and comfortable around Hachi (or Hikki, as she calls him). But there’s not yet any indication of this turning into a harem; Yukino seems determined to maintain emotional distance. She will probably not succeed.
Rating: 6 (Good)
During lunch Hachiman observes how Yui’s more popular friend Yumiko treats her. He tries in vein to stop it, but it’s Yukino who arrives to put Yumiko in her place. Afterwards Yui finds the words to explain to Yumiko why she hasn’t been around. Chuunibyou sufferer Zaimokuza Yoshiteru comes to the Service club to ask them to read his light novel. Hachiman and Yukino get through it in a night (Yui doesn’t read it) and while their collective criticism is harsh, it ends up inspiring Yoshiteru to keep writing.
So it’s starting to look likely that each episode will open with a haughty monologue by Hachiman that looks down on society in some way in order to make him feel better about the fact he’s socially awkward. We weren’t big fans of the first monologue, and we don’t like this one that much either; something we and his teacher have in common! At any rate, while he may decry the pack mentality of high school, he can’t deny that he’s not alone anymore. He, Yukino and Yui have formed a pack of their own.
The episode did a fine job portraying the Queen Bee Yumiko as a self-involved bitch, but also the power of saying what you mean to say and not mincing words. When Yui keeps apologizing, it pisses her off, but once she speaks her mind, she’s at least somewhat receptive. The club’s next mission is rather underwhelming, involving giving a Chuunibyou (we’re a little Chuu-speak-ed out, frankly) their frank opinion of his light novel. But the mission does further underline the club’s commitment to forthrightness.
That can cause some prickly and even hostile interactions to occur. It’s also possible for Yukino and Hachiman to say bunch of stuff so the other will believe it’s them being forthright, when they’re actually concealing their true feelings. Yukino and Yui can’t possibly mean all the mean things they say to Hachiman, or why would they hang out with him?
Rating: 6 (Good)
Hikigaya meets the androgynous Totsuka Saika, who asks him to play a match with him and then asks if he’ll join the tennis club. Later, Yui brings him to the Service club so he can formally ask for help practicing, at which time Yui officially joins the club so the mission can be taken on. While practicing, the “it-crowd” led by Yumiko and Hayama asks if they can use the courts; Hikgaya bristles, but agrees to a mixed doubles match to deide who will coach Totsuka. Using the winds he knows from eating lunch in solitude and an assist from Yukino after Yui sprains her ankle, they win the match, but Yumiko runs into the fence and gets all the attention.
For all his proud internal monologue about living life the way he wants to – as a loner – rather than by circumstances, Hikigaya is not entirely content with his situation, which is why he actually welcomes the friendships of Yukino, Yui, and now the very girlish Saika (voiced by a girl; Komatsu Hikako). He curses himself for instinctively bowing submissively to Hayama, even though he gets his name wrong. He’s made do as a loner for years and tries to convince himself that’s the ideal state of being for him, he cannot deny a measure of envy towards “normal” or “popular” peers.
The thing is, Yumiko and Hayama are boring as shit, and two-dimensional. The friends Hikigaya has made are weird and socially awkward, like him. The fact is, he’s not alone. This week he learns that whether he’s alone and awkward or in a group and awkward, that popular clique will sill look down on him. And just because the unpopular people happen to get lucky and beat the popular people in a tennis match doesn’t mean they’ve magically moved up the social ladder. But as far as inter-group conflict goes, everything was pretty civil, which is about all you can ask for on the battlefield that is high school.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
- We challenge this series to avoid the temptation to put Saika in a maid outfit (though his seiyu was also maid/pirate Marika Kato). Bonus points if they can keep Yukino and Yui out of them, too.
- Her tsun-tsun moment when Yui calls her a friend: predicable, but cute.
- We also liked Yukino’s line about how in spite of all the insults and remarks she lets fly, she’s never once lied. And she doesn’t: Hiki does win the match.
- When the tennis match happened, we knew the “wind changing at lunch” remark Hikigaya made earlier would probably come into play.
As group field trips loom, hurtful chain texts begin to propagate, leading Hayama Hayato to seek the help of the Volunteers Club. Yui tries to investigate by asking girls, but gets severely sidetracked. Hikigaya is distracted by Totsuka, but realizes that Hayama’s three friends aren’t as close when he’s not there to anchor them. As such, he recommends Hayama decline to group with them, so the three of them will grow closer. Instead, Hayama groups with Hikigaya and Totsuka.
There are episodes that are “bad tidy”, resolving everything a bit to neatly and perfectly, and “good tidy”, in which multiple problems are solved in an elegant and satisfactory fashion. The club’s mission is to find out who’s sending mean texts around as a result of the tense situation in which groups of more than three friends will have an “odd man out” for the field trips. But Hikigaya forgoes that investigation altogether to resolve the underlying problem: Hayama’s friends are only friends with him, not each other.
Simultaneously, he solves the problem of who to group with. He has to group with someone, after all. Yui and Yukino seem like an obvious choice, but apparently the groups must be three people of the same gender, so Hikigaya does the next best thing and selects Totsuka (on whom he still has a serious man-crush) and, in the more inspired choice, Hayama, taking him out of the equation with his three friends and leaving them to their own devices. With this course, the texts should stop, eliminating the need to drag the original culprit into the light.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
- Naturally there has to be a fujoshi in the class, and Yui just happens to set one off: Ebina Hina.
- Yukino and Yui are pretty cute, but the only person Hikigaya has crushed on so far in this series is Totsuka, whose cuteness is enhanced by his kind personality and apparent vulnerability.
- We’re wondering if hitching his wagon to Hayama, who is far higher up the high school ladder, will result in social boons to Hikki, or if it will just be a hassle to him.
- We meet Hikgaya’s sister Komachi, voiced by Yuuki Aoi. Pretty standard fanged imouto.
Hachiman’s sister Komachi comes to him with a new mission for the service club: Kawasaki Saki’s little brother Taishi is worried about her staying out late all night. Her attitude has deteriorated to the point she’s labeled as a delinquent at school. Yukino, Saika and Yui’s attempts to try to get through to her fail. When they recieve a clue and find her at her late-night job tending bar, a job for which she faked her age.
Meeting up after her shift, Hachiman figures out that she’s doing it to pay for college prep courses and doesn’t want to be a burden to her family, but Taishi doesn’t want to be a burden to her either. Komachi recognizes Yui as the girl whose dog Hachiman saved. The next day Hachiman tells Yui to stop being nice to him if she’s doing it out of guilt, or just to be nice.
While episodes thus far including this one have been episodic in nature, focusing on the club’s mission of the week, it nevertheless has never neglected the development of Hachiman, Yui, or Yukino’s characters. Their experiences reveal more about who they are and what they’re made of. So far, Hachiman is the only one whose mind we can read, so we also get his analysis as he learns about Yui and Yukino in tandem with us. We liked the Kawasaki Saki mission, and how she turned out to be less of a bad girl than everyone thought, but as that investigation unfolded, something unexpected happened.
Komachi, the go-between for the mission, gave Yui a funny look, and tells the previously unaware Hachiman that she’s the owner of the dog whose life he saved. We hear his thoughts tell us Yui is merely being nice out of guilt or obligation, but that’s just Hachiman’s view, informed by his experiences being hurt by girls. He’s not necessarily right, and in any case, he hurts Yui with the accusation. We’ll see if he doubles down on his rejection of what he sees as her “hollow niceness”, or if he can get past his prejudice and open his heart to someone. In any case, it’s a great development that lends momentum to the narrative.
Rating: 8 (Great)
- Komachi was far more bearable this week.
- Yukino’s a rich girl with many dresses and tries talking to cats when she thinks she’s alone. She also still won’t call Hachiman a friend, nor does she pay for his drink at the bar.
- Con: they couldn’t resist putting Saika in a maid’s outfit, though mercifully it didn’t happen in real life, only in Yoshi’s mind.
- Pro: Yukino and Yui do dress as maids in real life, though we’re not sure why.
- Also Pro: Hachiman, Yukino, and Yui look pretty boss in their eveningwear.
- Apparently minors in Japan can’t work past 22:00.
- Wacnordo, eh?
- Hachiman’s final line is great: Yukino is the harsh mistress (the truth) while Yui is the nice girl (a lie). At least that’s how he sees it…the jury’s still out whether he’s correct about either.
Things between Hikgaya and Yui get awkward, and she stops coming to club. To bring her back into the fold and express gratitude for her help, Yukino suggest they celebrate Yui’s birthday. Hikigaya and Komachi go shopping with Yukino, but Komachi ditches them and Yukino’s sister gets the wrong idea. Yui is also at the mall and her dog comes off his leash. The dog goes to Hikigaya, and Yui sees him with Yukino and also gets the wrong idea. When she comes to club as requested, Yui finds out the real reason they were at the mall, and Yukino helps mend the friendship between Yui and Hikigaya.
High school is one of those crucibles where lifelong friendships and even marriages are formed. It’s where children start to become adults and form more complex relationships. That’s not to say the relationships are simply formed and remain static throughout; they go through phases. Hikigaya and Yui experience just such a phase change this week, as both of them entered their relationship with very different ideas about what it was. Yui can’t put it into words exactly what went wrong, but that’s what Yukino’s for: mutual misunderstanding led to the awkwardness, so she suggests a fresh start. In this new phase, Hikigaya is aware that Yui’s not just being nice out of guilt or pity, and Yui is aware that Hikigaya wasn’t trying to help her.
Thus the beginning of their friendship has ended and a new phase begins. Just as so many people mistook Hikigaya and Yukino for a couple (and we’re sure deep down they actually wouldn’t mind that), Hikigaya and Yui mistook the nature of their relationship. Yui genuinely wants to be Hikigaya’s friend regardless of debts or pretense, which should satisfy Hikigaya’s refusal to be pitied or patronized. And now, in spite of his antisocial ideals, Hikigaya now has two friends who want to be his friends, even if one didn’t make it immediately clear and the other outright refuses to.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
- Yukino has a big sister that everyone believes to be perfect and amazing, and she doesn’t even deny it. Still, Hikigaya thinks it’s all just an act. Just because he was wrong about Yui doesn’t mean he’s wrong about this. He prefers the tactless Yukino.
- We’ve never seen two people strain so hard to give the impression they aren’t enjoying their date, even if its a “fake” one.
- We welcome Yukino’s twin tails.
- Yui needs to control that damn dog.
Hiratsuka tricks Hikigaya in accompanying the rest of the Service Club plus Komachi, Totsuka and the “it-crowd” to serve as summer camp advisors for elementary schoolers. Hikigaya and Yukino notice one of the youngsters, Tsurumi Rumi, is being shunned by the others, and Yukino decides to expand the club’s mission to helping her out.
Hiratsuka Shizuka is, on the surface, your typical “pathetic young bachelorette teacher”, a common sight in school-based anime. She chain-smokes, dreams of being back at college, and the amount of texts she leaves Hikigaya in quick succession may indicate her luck with relationships. But she’s not one note. She’s brought Yukino, Hikigaya, and Yui together in order to try to improve their personalities. In a way, she’s trying to make sure they don’t repeat whatever mistakes she may have made in her youth.
That’s the job of any “elder”, and as this episode makes clear, “elder” is a relative term, and not one that describes an all-knowing entity. No matter how old you get, there is always going to be something you haven’t learned; something you don’t know. This episode was full of people trying to help those younger, while not themselves knowing quite what the answers are. As their teacher tries to get them to get along with the it-crowd, they aim to help Rumi get along with her peers.
This episode was full of a lot of subtle social interactions that really rang true across all levels of life. Rumi doesn’t know quite what happened or why, and is afraid to ask for help because she was once on the other side of the shunning, and feels she doesn’t deserve pity. Whether it’s grade school, high school, or adulthood, “humans are humans.” They can get along and all be happy, but it takes work…work that is never done.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
Hikigaya and his classmates plan to use the nighttime test of courage to help Rumi. Hikigaya’s strategy is to sic the popular kids on them, who act threatening and demand the group of friends choose three of their own to stay behind, essentially betraying them. They choose Ruri first, but have to choose two others, and they start to turn on each other. Before they choose the third girl, Ruri hits the older kids with her camera flash and saves all of her peers. At the end of the trip, Yukino’s sister Haruno picks her up, and Yui and Hikigaya both suspect her car is the one that almost killed Yui’s dog.
The saga of helping Tsurumi Rumi with her social problems wasn’t quite enough to occupy two episodes, so Oregairu pads part two with fanservice, first with all the girls (plus Totsuka) frolicking in the river in swimsuits, then with random cosplaying, Yui’s little Dominatrix get-up being the most egregious. In both cases Hikigaya has no choice but to commend Yui on her sexiness. But by the episode’s end he seems no closer to forming deeper bonds with either Yui or Yukino, aside from a few moments of interaction.
But while the mission to help Rumi was the primary focus of these episodes, it also offered an opportunity for Hikigaya, Yukino, and Yui to bond more with the “it” kids: Hayama, Yumiko, and Kakeru. They even join forces to teach Rumi’s friends a lesson, though they don’t have to complete the lesson, as Rumi seems to sorta fix things by saving her peers. Still, nothing’s wrapped up with a neat little bow, and in the end, it still seems like Haruno has a strange hold on Yukino – much like Masuzu and her sister/rich family. But it’s still too nebulous to make any judgments about it. That’s a bit disappointing, considering we’re more than halfway through the season.
Rating: 6 (Good)
Komachi gets her brother to accompany Yui to the Summer fireworks. The evening has all the trappings of a date and when they bump into Haruno, she gets suspicious. While offering them a ride home, she lets slip that Yukino was in the car when it hit Hachiman when he was saving Yui’s dog, something she never told either of them. While Hachiman is walking Yui home, she tells him how they would have met even if it wasn’t for the dog incident, and is on the verge of confessing to him when her mom calls, ruining the moment. The next day, back at school, Hachiman is cordial with Yukino, but believes he’ll come to hate himself for feeling betrayed by her.
The title of this series is long, but it is accurate: Hikigaya Hachiman has something of a teenage rom-com SNAFU on his hands. Think about it: one car accident brought him, Yui, and Yukino together before they even met at school. And however much he wants to stay out of the romantic games young people play, he can’t deny that Yui likes him, he at least kinda likes Yui, and he also likes Yukino, at least until he found out she was in the car that hit him while saving Yui’s dog, yet said nothing to him about it. That’s where the “AFU” really comes into play: up until this revelation, he had never known her to lie or withhold anything about him.
The ramifications of that will likely be explored next week, but the majority of this episode is all about Hachiman and Yui, who make a cute couple. Hachiman is fully capable of being a nice, considerate, attentive man. Moreso, while Hachiman still believes the only reason Yui talks to him is because he saved her dog Sable (and later dogsits), Yui tells him even if that coincidence didn’t occur, now that she knows him, she likes to think they’d have crossed paths anyway. It’s kind of lame she just isn’t quite able to come right out and say she likes him. Those unsaid words hanging out there will only add to Hachiman’s SNAFU.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
- Failed confession aside, the fireworks date was a success, with many cute moments. It not only confirmed to Yui how nice Hikky can be, and also allowed Hikky some valuable time interacting with women in a non-school or club setting.
- Hachiman may also be perturbed by the fact the Yukino her older sister Haruno knows is so different from the Yukino he interacts with. When he calls her scary, she laughs out loud. That being said, we also find her scarier than Yukino. Kind of a haughty bitch, too!
- There was less Yukino in this episode than any previous episode.
- It’s easy to vilify Yukino for never saying anything, but Yui has a point: sometimes the time you want to say something passes you by and you just can’t find another time to do it, and it never happens. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen with her confession. Make your feelings plain, Yui-Yui. He needs to hear the words!
Club has become awkward between Hikigaya and Yukino, and with the school festival approaching, they decide to suspend activities. Hikigaya is named the boy’s class rep for the committee, while Sagami Hinami is chosen as the girl. She volunteers to be chairman after Yukino passes, but Yukino ends up doing all the work while Sagami slacks off. Hayama and class president Meguri believe she’s shouldering too much of the workload, and she reassesses the work assignments and accepts their help. The next day, she’s out sick, leaving a mountain of paperwork at her desk.
When we learned this would be yet another school festival episode, we pretty much made the same noise Hikigaya makes when he eases himself into the bath after a grueling day of committee paperwork. But this episode wasn’t so grueling, and it serves as a means to shake up the club status quo already shaken by Yukino and Hikigaya’s distance, and introduce new character dynamics. Sagami Hinami is a outwardly pleasant enough girl who likes to laugh at private jokes with her friends, and sees the festival as a chance to “grow as a person”. Yet she lacks confidence and drive to be chairman, a role far better-suited for Yukino, who’d once again be following in her perfect sister’s footsteps.
As her Haruno has mentioned before, Yukino can make insecure people hate her for her steadfast diligence and refusal to mince words or tell lies (the car accident thing notwithstanding). So the insecure Sagami, resentful of Yukino upstaging her, punishes her by giving her all the work, then ganging up on Yukino with Haruno when she shows up to volunteer. We can’t help but feel bad for Yukino in this scene, getting poked and prodded into fulfilling roles everyone else creates for her, be it classmates or family. Hikigaya doesn’t like what Sagami is doing to Yukino (or what Yukino is doing to herself), but his ability to act is limited by that cloud handing over their friendship. Regardless, it may be up to Hikigaya to come to her aid if and when everything comes crashing down.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
- Totsuka is going to play The Little Prince, because of course he is.
- Hey, we’d nearly forgotten about Kawasaki…there she is!
- Did Yukino get sick for real (from overwork or just chance), or did she call in sick to get away from the stress?
- This series’ penchant for singsong names knows no bounds.
Hikigaya and Yui pay Yukino a visit at her apartment, telling her they need to talk, but Yukino needs more time to think, though promises one day she’ll be able to rely on Yui. The next day in committee, while the slogan for the festival is being brainstormed, Hikigaya uses the opportunity to protest how hard he’s working while others slack off, getting a rise out of Yukino, who is more friendly with him afterwards. The next day, as the festival begins, Sagami gets stage fright. After watching Totsuka and Hayama perform “The Little Prince”, Hikigaya mans the reception table and is joined by Yui. As thanks for the bread she shares with him, he suddenly agrees to take her out on a date.
When the slacking chairwoman suggests a festival slogan about “helping each other out”, Hikigaya can’t let it pass. In his distinctive pasive-aggressive manner, he suggests a slogan of his own: one that is actually pretty deep. Not only is it a statement challenging the commonly-held idea that the symbol for “man” of two people holding each other up represents equal sacrifice. In reality, one line is leaning on the other; one drew the short stick. It’s something you’ll only notice if you look closely, which also applies to Sagami. On the surface she’s involved in the planning of the festival, but in reality she’s foisted most of the work on to Yukino, and is in over her head: she freezes on stage and ends up cowering in the girls bathroom. Hikigaya rejects Sagami’s slogan not just because its hyprocritical, but because he feels it doesn’t apply to him, as he’s doing all the work while she laughs it up with her clique.
But that doesn’t mean he’s totally opposed to the idea of relying on others and in return letting them know they can rely on him. He tells Yukino he may not know the proper way to go about what she’s going through, but he knows enough to know she’s not doing it right. Yui is willing to wait and let Yukino come to them when she’s ready. But she’s not willing to wait for Yukino or Hikigaya; she’s the one who takes the initiative and finally suggests Hikigaya take her out. It was a sudden development, but felt very natural and unforced. But this is terra incognita for Hikky, who had been rejected in the past but never asked out. To his credit, once he realizes what’s going on, he doesn’t totally fall apart or retreat into cynicism, nor does he jump right in. He asks for time to think. Hopefully not too much.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
- Some awesome Yukino moments: laughing into her papers after Hikigaya presents his slogan, than cutely waving goodbye to him as they part for the day. What is with this girl?
- Hikigaya and Yukino are bantering again, and we see how much they both enjoy it.
- As the episode progresses Sagami’s face becomes less and less capable of containing the dread fear of failure that lurks beneath.
- We’re not sure Haruno’s presence at the festival committee really added much to the scenes she appeared in.
- That Honey Bread (whatever it was) looked tasty.
The festival is a huge success, but when the closing ceremony draws near, Sagami is nowhere to be found. Yukino, Yui, and Haruno perform an impromptu rock concert while Hikigaya searches for her, finding her on the roof sulking. Determined to “do things his way” like Yukino, he tells Sagami exactly what he thinks of her, and that they’re more alike than she’d care to admit. The vicious dressing down happens in front of others, and so after Sagami goes back down and gives the closing speech, rumors spread fast of how mean Hikigaya is. Hikigaya goes to the club room to work and finds Yukino there doing the same. Yui comes in and waits up for them to finish before going to the after-party.
Hikigaya can’t help but stand back and admire just how much Yukino did things her way as the shadow festival director. It was her duty to make sure a successful festival took place under the ceremonial leadership of Sagami, and she did it. Hikigaya wasn’t about to allow Sagami to jeopardize Yukino’s mission at the last second, so he had to find her and bring her back. Inspired by Yukino, he too does so “his way”, making life for Sagami so uncomfortable up on that roof that anywhere would be preferable to her, even on stage in front of the whole school, which is where she needed to be to officially validate the mission. He also succeeds.
So during this festival, both Yukino (at the beginning) and Hikigaya (at the end) help others by hurting themselves; Yukino because she won’t get the credit and esteem of having run the festival, and Hikigaya for making his already-tenuous reputation even worse by verbally unloading on Sagami with both barrels, despite, or perhaps because much of it was absolutely true, and Sagami knew it. In any case, after hurting themselves Yukino and Hikigaya return to the club room to be alone, but end up comforting one another with their refreshing banter, followed by Yui, who knows both of them are better people than they’d ever believe.
Rating: 8 (Great)
- Hey, Yui and Yukino both took a dose of IMT (Instant Musical Talent) potion before taking the stage.
- Hikigaya asks the most depressing kid he can think of where he’d go to cry, and finds Drama Queen Sagami right there.
- Last week Hikigaya and Yui were very chummy, but this week it was him and Yukino.
- He goes about being chummy with them in totally different ways. For one, Yui would never be able to keep up with the haughty banter he and Yukino spew…and that’s not necessarily a mark against her!
- Two possibilities next week: Hikigaya comes closer to choosing one of the two girls, or the status quo is maintained with some explanation about how that’s best. Frankly, we hope it’s the former, because, in honor of the series’ title, that wouldn’t be what we expected!
The Volunteers Club starts taking up “Cross-Chiba Counseling Emails”, the latest being one from student council president Shiromegumi Megumi, who wants their help planning the main events for the athletics festival. Hiratsuka shoots down everyones’ ideas, so Hikigaya recruits Ebina Hina and Zaimokuza Yoshiteru. Zaimokuza comes up with a “Girls’ Chiba Citizen Cavalry Battle” for the girls, which Team Red wins, and Ebina devises a pole-toppling contest, which the red team also wins, but is later disqualified for foul play.
Another day, another series wrapping up, and Oregairu does so on an ellipsis rather than a period, with the core of Yui, Yukino and Hikky tighter than they’ve ever been, despite the occasional barbs exchanged between the latter two. So confident are they in their bonds, they’re already looking forward to spending next year’s festival together, even if they’re not still on the same team. But while at first glance following up one festival with another seems like a bit of a dawdle, this series pulls it off admirably, holding our interest with plenty of peppy dialogue (some of our favorite exchanges are on our tumblr) and action.
The episode also gives pretty much all the side characters one last chance to shine before taking a bow. Shiromegumi, she of bubbly but inspiring energy and optimism (not unlike Yui!) requests the mission. Ebina and Zaimokuza play the important role of devising unique and ultimately fun and memorable main events, though both chose the events they chose for purely selfish, not altogether savory reasons. Hayama has the ladies in his thrall and knows it, while Totsuka inadvertently makes every member of the same sex melt because of his excessive cuteness.
We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we wouldn’t mind a second season of this, although we no of none in the works. After this season brought the three misfits together and threw challenges at them to strengthen their bonds, we’d like to see a season in which, now firmly established as their own little posse, face more challenges, such as the romantic tension between Hikigaya and the girls, while continuing their service work, perhaps with a fourth freshman member? But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Regardless of whether this story continues, it ultimately left us satisfied and glad we watched.
Rating:7 (Very Good)