Oregairu 2 – 11

ore2111

Okay, so last week we weren’t quite witnessing an omiai, but rather a party for Yukino, with family and friends old and new assembled. But it still creates the rumor that she and Hayama Hayato are going out. And Hayama Hayato is supposed to be “Everyone’s”, in the way exceptionally handsome and talented school idols are.

Iroha knows such rumors could open the flood gates of girls “testing” Hayato for openings, as she most effectively demonstrates on Hikki. But Miura Yumiko is not amused. If Hayato is the King of the School, she’s the Queen, and while to a degree a king belongs to his subjects, Hayato is hers, and she wants to get to the bottom of this upsetting rumor.

ore2112

Only all they can get out of either subject of the rumor are unsatisfying answers. While the idea of these two going out feels ludicrous, it’s not like are privy to their every move, either. But let’s say they’re not and move on, because that’s what everyone is going to be doing soon, either to liberal arts or sciences.

Which one Hayama chooses could help everyone figure out what he’s going to do with himself, and who he’s going to do it with, but he volunteers no information to Hikki upon being asked. Turns out Everyone’s Hayama is No One’s Hayama.

ore2113

When the Service Club shows up to help Iroha rearrange a room, Yukino and Yui don’t only see how Iroha acts towards Hikky when she thinks they’re not behind him (they are), but the alumnai who show up to help include Haruno, who doesn’t know anything more about Hayama’s future plans.

Making Hikki walk her home (not a bad deal for Hikki, really), she shares in the growing frustration with not knowing the path Yukino and Hayama will choose. But she does know Hayama was hoping Hikki would ask him like he did.

ore2114

The next day there’s a marathon, and after we see Yui’s adorable “Ganbatte!” face, we see what Hikki planned with Saika: the tennis club holds the field back to let Hikki run alone side by side with Hayama. Hikki tries to capitalize on the emotionally vulnerable state of someone at the halfway point of a long trial to get more out of Hayato…and he succeeds!…sort of.

Faced with Hikki’s smug assertion Hayato has been using Yumiko as a shield against other girls, and telling him if his goal is to keep them away, he should choose the Sciences, Hayato tells Hikki he doesn’t like him, and they could never be friends, because as much as he’s tried to be equals with him, he can’t help but feel inferior to Hikki.

ore2115

Hayato may be able to find another gear and win the footrace, as the setting of high school is his wheelhouse, but he doesn’t think he’ll win the battle he wants to against Hikki. Not necessarily the battle for Yukino’s heart, but something more abstract: the battle to find “The Real Thing.” High School is ultimately just practice for such a thing.

In thanking only Iroha and Yumiko in his victory speech, Hayato quells the rumors about him and Yukino. Then Hikki heads to the nurse’s office to tend to his skinned knee, and Yukino is there, having forfeited her race. She insists on dressing his wound, which puts the two in direct contact and even within kissing distance at the perfect time of day, but understandably (and somewhat infuriatingly), neither can pull the trigger.

That’s not all bad though, because these two, plus Yui, are in a good place. And it seems all three will be going into Liberal Arts, so they’ll be together at least a bit longer.

ore2116

At the after-party, Hayato formally apologizes to Yukino for getting her mixed up in the rumors, and when he has him alone, Hikki declares he doesn’t much like Hayato, either, something hardly anyone’s ever said to his exalted face, and almost seems to make him happy.

But Hayama Hayato, the one with seemingly all the choices in the world, stalwartly refuses to choose anything, no matter who it may confound hurt, calling it his “self-satisfaction.” It’s a fence somebody like him, with his particular lot in life, has decided to continue standing on, and it’s hard to judge him for it.

8_ses

Jinsei – 01

jin011

Like another very similarly-animated school comedy directed by Kawaguchi Keiichirou, Sket Dance (which I enjoyed quite a bit, though it didn’t need to run for 77 episodes), the premise of Jinsei couldn’t be simpler: three very different people form a club whose job is to help others. In the case of Jinsei, all three are girls, and the club is headed up by a guy, Akamatsu Yuuki.

jin012

The personalities of the girls match their respective fields: Endou Rino is highly scientific, Kujou Fumi a master of human interaction, and Suzuki Ikumi is a hyperactive jock. If nothing else, they’re easy to keep straight, but they’re also rather one-dimensional. As for Yuuki, his most distinctive feature is his eyebrows, and the scenario has the floral stench of harem written all over it.

jin013

That suspicion grows closer to fruition when the response inaugural question is inexplicably settled by a water balloon fight that turns the gals’ shirts transparent. I swear, when I first saw Fumi’s boobs, I had a feeling they’d either get a close up or get fondled, and both happened. So not an auspicious start, considering how full my plate is right now.

jin014

I didn’t mind the general format, though: three questions in all were asked, and each question raised equally contrasting answers (revealed Jeopardy!-style) that would be difficult to combine into a coherent response. Rino and Ikumi clash the most here, while Fumi, the humanities buff, is content to float above the fray.

jino15

In addition to the silver-haired newspaper president Ayaka and the pink-haired art club president Emi, it’s 5-to-1 girls, something like the golden ratio of haremry, but both the OP and the episode’s final act seems to suggest the only legitimate love interest is Rino. When they end up on a tacked-on date at a cafe as a favor to Ayaka, Yuuki listens to her ramble about random science stuff—but he doesn’t have a bad time.

jin016

So, yeah, not all the girls are clawing at Yuuki, which is good, because there’s not much to him…I guess he’s a good listener, like Fumi? At any rate, at this late stage in my Summer watch-through, I have to be judicious; one can’t watch too many shows at once and expect to properly enjoy them. While it’s a promising vehicle for discourse on a diverse array of topics, nothing about Jinsei particularly wowed me, and at times, it bored me. Life may be full of surprises, but there weren’t any here.

6_ses