AAAAA: Oregairu – Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Her Kindness Must Be A Lie

If the truth is a cruel mistress, then a lie must be a nice girl.

Hikigaya Hachiman
Kokoro Surechigau – put it on loop.

Youth. It is time when young teens experience and are forced to deal with a variety of emotions and situations thrust unto them. Their awareness grows, their relationships change…

It is a turbulent place where we each look for something to grab on to. Friends, hobbies, aspirations…no matter what it is we find, there are bound to be times when the ledges give out beneath our feet. There are times that we decide to let go of one handhold to hold onto another. And there are times that we refuse to move from the ones we are holding onto.

I think that Hikigaya Hachiman’s iconic “I hate nice girls” speech stems from such a situation. He rejects Yuigahama’s friendship in order to stay true to himself and his rejection of superficial relationships. Thus, in the final scene in episode 5, Hikigaya cuts off his relationship with Yuigahama, under the pretense that she was forcing herself to be kind to him and that Hikigaya did not want such a relationship.

This was one of the most important scenes in the story, as it showed how Hikigaya afraid of kindness and friendship. Using this scene, I will be exploring Hikigaya’s personality and his ideals at this point in the series.

Hikigaya’s Misunderstanding

Before we explore Hikigaya’s monologue further, let’s talk about context. The monologue takes place soon after Hikigaya learns from his sister that Yuigahama was the owner of the dog he had saved on the first day of school. Sable, Yuigahama’s dog, was nearly run over by a limousine but Hikigaya protected the dog, getting injured in the process.

Having learned this, Hikigaya connected the incident with Yuigahama’s kindness towards him. Due to his injury, Hikigaya missed the first two weeks of school and was unable to fit into the class. He believed that Yuigahama had only befriended him because she felt that she was responsible for Hikigaya’s lack of friends.

At least, that is what Hikigaya believes Yuigahama’s motivation is.

We don’t actually know why Yuigahama decided to befriend Hikigaya. It was likely a multitude of reasons, and Hikigaya is probably right, to some extent. However, it is hinted that Yuigahama may actually have romantic feelings for Hikigaya. In the very first episode of the show, we saw that Yuigahama wanted to make cookies for ‘someone’. We never found out who this person was exactly, but we do see her give heart-shaped cookies to Hikigaya. Maybe I’m grasping at straws here, but at the very least, it hints that Yuigahama thinks of Hikigaya as a friend. Or maybe she was trying to poison him.

Well, the show is quite subtle about these kinds of things. But ultimately my point here is this: I don’t think Yuigahama was kind to Hikigaya simply because she felt guilty or because she felt like she owed him something, but rather, she thought of him as a friend.

And So I Will Forever Hate Nice Girls

I hate nice girls.

Just exchanging pleasantries with them makes me curious, and texting each other makes me feel restless. If I get a call, for the rest of the day, I keep checking my call history with a stupid grin on my face. But I know the truth. They’re just being nice. Anyone nice to me is nice to others too. But I always find myself on the verge of forgetting that. If the truth is a cruel mistress, then a lie must be a nice girl. And so, niceness is a lie. I would always hold expectations. I would always misunderstand. At some point, I stopped hoping. An experienced loner never falls for the same trap twice. A lone warrior, surviving hundreds of battles. When it comes to losing, I’m the strongest. That’s why, no matter what happens, I will always hate nice girls.

Hikigaya Hachiman

This quote tells us a lot of things about Hikigaya; it further develops what we already know about him, and shows us the experiences that made the Hikigaya we now know.

In the past, Hikigaya appears to have fallen victim to his own delusions. A nice girl talked to him, or called him, and he immediately became unable to control his excitement. Even if he knew it was nothing to be excited over, he still held onto that hope, that maybe that girl really did like him.

Hope is something that humans desire. Some humans will leap across canyons just to make that hope into reality. Hope is the root of motivation, but also the mastermind behind delusion and desperation.

And Hikigaya, after seeing his belief in that hope fail over, and over, and over again, became afraid to hope that someone would treat him in a special way. That is why Hikigaya gave up on others, and became a loner. That way, Hikigaya would only rely on himself (and his trusty imouto, Komachi). Believing in others was too unreliable—that is the conclusion I believe Hikigaya came to.

Thus, Hikigaya hates nice girls, although to no fault of the girls themselves. It is simply that nice girls give Hikigaya hope, and Hikigaya has experienced this hope be crushed many times. Hikigaya doesn’t want to be hurt again, and so he is afraid of hoping that he’ll be liked by a girl. So instead, he slowly builds a new way of living in which he convinces himself that he doesn’t want friendships, love, or any kind of relationship with others.

And yet Yuigahama continues to talk to him, wait for him, and even try to help him to interact with others. Yuigahama, to Hikigaya, might be a little like an apple to Tantalus (a mythological character). Having failed to reach the apple for as long as he has tried, he knows that it is hopeless. Yet the apple dangles a mere centimeter away from his fingertips, as if mocking him. Telling him to hope, inconsiderate of the pain he’s felt, and the wall he erected around his heart through his experiences. It must be frustratingly annoying for him.

If the truth is a cruel mistress, then a lie must be a nice girl.

This one line, one of my favorite quotes of all time, sums it up. That girl’s kindness is not kindness, because she is acts that way with everyone. She’s not acting this way because of who I am, she’s acting this way because of who she is. I’m sure that’s the kind of idea behind this quote.

I love this scene because it simply shares so much about Hikigaya, gives him so much depth, complexity, and relatability (is this a word?). Not to mention the soundtrack (I put it at the top of the post) describes that lonely, melancholy feeling perfectly.

It is probably one of the only reasons I didn’t drop this anime during my first watch through, and it while I didn’t understand it all when I first watched it seven or so months ago, as I finished the anime, and then read it from the beginning in the light novels, I found that this scene really resonated with me, and helped me organize and understand some of my own feelings.

And that just about concludes my analysis.

I’ve now come to really love Oregairu for its naturalistic depictions of relationships between teenagers, and its meditations on friendship, dependence, aspirations, and various other things, all of which resonate strongly with me.

That’s it for today, and sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been busy this summer, and I also worked really hard on this analysis to make it more suited to the kind of content I wanted to post on this blog. But ultimately it was my own laziness that I haven’t posted. Gomen’nasai! I hope it was enjoyable to read! Thanks for your time.

WhoAmI, signing off.

P.S. Not set in stone, but I recently watched Madoka Magica and K-On, so I might review those sometime?

P.P.S. I am keeping up with the current season, and it’s a pretty good season so far. I’m keeping up with Vinland Saga, Dr. Stone, Fire Force, El-Melloi, and I might watch Given too. I’m also watching Demon Slayer from last season. I’ve gotta say, that last episode of Demon Slayer was amazing!

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Kaimetsu no Yaiba First Impressions!

Previously, on this blog…

I’ll put out a first impressions post for Kaimetsu no Yaiba tomorrow, so until then!

WhoAmI

That, was on Saturday. Today, is Thursday, and I’ve finally decided to give my long overdue first impressions of Kaimetsu no Yaiba! Yaaaay.

Anyways, my first impression of this show is that it feels super shounen-y. By this I mean there seems to be an overwhelming amount of monologue and dialogue that just seems to drag on, and on, and on…….

Random screencap to make this post less boring. Btw, is this guy CG cause he looks really CG. His eyes are also very dead.

There’s just so much exposition on the protagonists thoughts straight in the middle of the action, and it just feels really awkward watching a fight scene move so slowly because the main character is just monolguing the whole time.

And I mean…I guess its fine, since its shounen…? I mean, I’m pretty sure Naruto and One Piece did the same thing, and I somehow wasn’t bothered when I watched those…I guess my tolerance to filler dialogue really went down. But well, the dialogue wasn’t meaningless or anything—it just felt like there was a lot.

Other than that, the animation is quite solid, although I’m still not a fan of the character designs, since all the characters look really short for some reason, which feels kind of weird. But ufotable’s animation is really good.

The plot seems like it’ll be going in a shounen-like direction, with our protagonist getting a mentor figure soon, and a few adventures are probably planned, along with some additional friends to add to the group…

Conclusion: Feels very shounen, but looks really good.

At the moment, I can’t really say I’m too excited for this one, but hopefully this anime turns out to be a blast.

WhoAmI, signing off.

Spring 2019 – Will I Be Watching?

Yes, I will be watching! However, because last season didn’t work out too well for me, since I fell behind on all the shows I was watching once my school homework starting piling up, I’ve decided to lessen my anime load this season. I didn’t really find any of the next season’s anime to be particularly interesting either. I’ll definitely be watching Kimetsu no Yaiba, mainly cause ufotable is awesome, but also because it seems pretty interesting. A lot of people are comparing it to Dororo…and I’m not quite sure why, although I guess the premise is somewhat similar?

Another really awesome thing about Kimetsu no Yaiba is that the OP is by LiSA, and based on what I’ve heard from the trailer, I think I’m going to really like this song.

I’m not too keen on the character designs at the moment, but the animation looks very promising.

Other than Kaimetsu no Yaiba, I’ll follow Dororo and Shield Hero and the other leftovers from the last season. I might also take a look at One Punch Man season 2, but other than that, I’m not going to be watching many seasonals. I do want to work a bit on my growing to-watch list, though, so I’ll still be watching lots of anime.

I’ll put out a first impressions post for Kaimetsu no Yaiba tomorrow, so until then!

WhoAmI, signing off.

AAAAA: Oregairu Episode 4 – The Friend of My Friend is Not My Friend

I’m back with another An Attempt At Analyzing Anime post on Oregairu, after I had so much fun writing the post on Episode 1, looking at the themes and characters which were introduced in the episode. I’m skipping episodes 2 and 3 because frankly, I don’t think they are important episodes and they really only serve to introduce minor characters. Episode 4, however, is our best introduction to Hayama, who is actually somewhat important later on. I also thought that it had some messages about friendship that deserve to be explored.

So here’s a summary, ripped straight off the Oregairu Wiki.

On the way to school, Hachiman and Komachi talk about his bike/car accident.
At school, Hachiman is reprimanded by Shizuka for his “Workplace Visit Survey” where he tries to justify becoming a “house-husband”.
At the Service Club, Yui and Hachiman receive a mysterious chain text spreading vulgar rumours about Hayato’s clique. Hayato requests that the Service Club stop the text from circulating.
They realize that the texts are connected to the upcoming three-person-per-group Workplace Visit. Hayato’s clique has four people, one of them is spreading the rumors to get someone knocked out of the group. After some observation, Hachiman explains to the Service Club that he doesn’t know who the culprit is, but solves the case by suggesting that Hayato have the members of his clique group-up and get to know each other better, which seems to work.
Hayato groups with Hachiman along with Saika for the Workplace Visit.

Oregairu Wiki

The message of this episode was pretty clear: Friendship cannot be brought about through the presence of a mutual friend; rather their own bonds need to be developed.

Continue reading “AAAAA: Oregairu Episode 4 – The Friend of My Friend is Not My Friend”

F/SN Heaven’s Feel – Presage Flower Review

Note: I only spoil the very beginning of the movie, but I slightly hint at things to come.

Genres: Action, Dark Fantasy, Romance

Summary:
Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel: Presage Flower (wow what a mouthful) is the first part of a trilogy of movies adapting the Heaven’s Feel route of the Fate/stay night visual novel. Emiya Shirou is pulled into a supernatural war, in which seven masters summon seven different servants to fight to the death, in order to win the Holy Grail, an omnipotent wish granting artifact. The last Holy Grail War had resulted in a devastating fire that burned down the entire city—in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, Shirou decides to fight in the war with his servant, Saber.

Review:

Intro:
Yes, it’s been a year since this came out. But I’ve only just watched it recently, and it was pretty good, although you definitely should NOT watch this if you’re new to the Fate/series. The story can go by pretty fast at times, and the movie also skips a huge chunk of the prologue, which means that you need to watch Unlimited Blade Works (at least) to watch this movie. But well, I heavily recommend that you watch Fate/Zero as well, because it will help flesh out the story a LOT more, and also shed light on a lot of different things that are going on in the story. So basically, you don’t want to be watching this if you haven’t at least seen UBW.

Rin is always best girl.

Story: 7/10
It was interesting. I already knew what would happen, of course, but seeing it animated was a completely different experience. The movie also skipped past the prologue, which is the same among all of the Fate routes, so that we wouldn’t have to see the same things happen again, and the movie also barely gave any description about the Holy Grail War—also good, since I’ve sat through enough of those (but also another reason why you shouldn’t watch this if you’re new to Fate). However, there were some things that the movie did skip, that they shouldn’t have. For example, the movie should’ve added a word or two about Sakura going to and helping out in the Emiya household. It was kind of strange seeing Sakura go to Emiya’s house every morning and afternoon to cook with basically no explanation whatsoever, even if I did know the reasons behind it. There are some other scenes that don’t feel like they’ve been fleshed out, but then again, the Heaven’s Feel route is by far the longest Fate route and also the most complex. Since they have to fit it into 2 hours, it’s understandable that a few things might be lost.
I also had a very slight problem with some of the pacing. A lot of the movie sort of felt rather slow, with some awesome fight scenes fit between these parts. But I felt that some of these scenes sort of felt like they were being dragged out a bit too much, as if the movie wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of the allotted time slot for the scene.
This movie also felt a bit empty, as it didn’t really have a significant, thematic conflict. Of course, this was expected, since there are two more movies to come, and this first movie is very build-up oriented. It is setting up the characters and their relationships for the various, important conflicts to come, so it doesn’t ever reach a climax. The title of the movie alludes to this as well: Presage Flower. ‘Presage’ means means to warn or to be a sign of warning that something bad is going to happen. And indeed, things take a grave turn at the end of the movie.

Characters: 8/10
So far the characters haven’t been fully fleshed out, but they’re getting there. Emiya tends to be dismissed as a bit boring and bland, but I’m actually quite fascinated with his altruism, his complete disinterest in himself and his own needs. I felt like the VN showed this side of him a lot better than the movie did. This altruism, this desire to be a completely selfless superhero is an important part of Shirou’s character and it’s very important in Heaven’s Feel later on, so I think the movie should’ve showed that side of Shirou a bit more.
Something the movie did well was the development of Sakura and Shirou’s relationship. This is good because, while Sakura is essentially a side story for the entirety of this movie, her relationship with Shirou is the catalyst for the most development Shirou is ever going to get as a character, and she will also play a major role in the story later on, so it’s good that the movie paid attention to building up the relationship between the two, preparing it well so that things don’t feel rushed later on.

Due to the nature of the movie medium being a lot shorter than the visual novel, we weren’t able to learn anything about Sasaki Koujirou (Fake Assassin), Caster, and Souichirou Kuzuki…all of which get a good amount of screen time in UBW, so I guess it’s okay.
In general, most of the main characters got a decent amount of development, and even if they didn’t, if you’ve already seen Unlimited Blade Works then it’s fine. But I think if you watched this movie without having seen any of the other Fate anime, then it won’t be as good of an experience.

Art: 10/10
What? Makoto Shinkai? WHO DAT?
Heaven’s Feel looked so amazingly good. Virtually every scene was wonderfully animated. I’ve always loved Ufotable’s smooth, crisp, vibrant animation style, especially from Fate/Zero and UBW, but Heaven’s Feel was truly amazing, especially the action scenes. The animation quality on those fights was top-notch, and I’m really hoping that I can see the next movie in theatres. Here are some more screenshots:

Sound: 10/10
The sounds were pretty good. The OP really fit well with the dark fantasy theme of the movie, with it’s dark and melodic chorus, and all of the voice actors were great as well—which is expected of them, since they’ve legit voiced these same characters ever since the VN came out in 2004….that’s like, 15 years voice acting the same characters! They probably know them inside out.
My only problem was—and this might sound weird, but—the characters didn’t talk enough. Like, there was a lot of talking sure, but, idk, it just felt like there should’ve been more! Or maybe I’m just so used to Talk-no-Jutsu in anime that it’s somehow distorted my view of things, but there would be large expanses of time when the characters just didn’t say a thing!
The bright side of this was that I, being a reader of subtitles, was able to really take a lot of time just watching the beautiful animation instead of having to take time to read the subtitles, and this was great because usually when the characters weren’t talking, a really awesome fight scene would be happening.
The ED was Hana no Uta by Aimer, a lovely song by one of my favourite songs. The song would’ve been a lot more effective if it had followed a stronger moment of emotional impact in the movie, but it’s a really nice song nonetheless, and the ending of the movie was in no way a let down.

Conclusion:

Final Notes:
We have Ufotable to thank for an absolutely gorgeous and epic movie adapting the darkest route of Fate/stay night. While this movie wasn’t the best by itself, I think it was a good set up for the next two movies, which I am highly anticipating.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Other Information:
Source: Visual Novel
Length: 2 hrs
Studio: ufotable
Rating: R – 17+ (violence and profanity)
(Info from My Anime List)

I don’t own the pictures – they belong to their rightful owners!

The Dark Mysteries of Konobi

I ended up not posting for….two weeks…? Sorry about that! School’s been busy and I’ve been lazy. But, now it’s March Break, and I shall return by taking a look at in Episode 2 of Konobi! If you don’t know what this is all about, this post is part of a WordPress collab that Yomu started a while back.

So yes, I’m doing the same thing as last time—exposing the dark underbelly of everything in This Art Club Has a Problem! This is Detective Y, on the case!

Wait wait wait! This is a romcom anime! There aren’t any crimes being committed here.

Hah! Naive, you are! In episode 2, the darkest of crimes has been committed in the club room. Just look at this photo:

Did you even watch the beginning of the episode? The president
 is lying there because—

Because he is dead! Yes, I know. I have seen many a dead body in my career. I know when somebody is dead!

In order to solve this crime, one must take into account the victims enemies. Remember episode one, when the president took a panty shot of Usami? And you remember Usami’s psychopathic tendencies being revealed there, as she attempted to murder the president right then and there with a baseball bat?

Yes. We all learned that Usami was a psychopathic killer. So coming into this episode, we knew she wouldn’t be averse to getting a little bloody.

It’s just there for comedic effect! She’s not actually trying to kill the
president!

Ha! Once again, you are looking at things much to shallowly! In this day and age when blood and gore are all over the internet, it appears the average human fails to realize what a murderer is! Oh, how I lament this new generation!

Fine. Then how do you explain this: Usami can’t kill the president
because she was walking with her friends at the beginning of the
episode! So even if we pretend that the president is dead and play
murder mystery, your entire case falls apart!

Why, how perceptive of you! I was just getting to that!

Huh?

Although Usami seems the most likely to commit the crime, having a strong motive, she also has a strong alibi. From the warmth that still radiated from the body, and the freshness of the blood, a great detective such as I can surmise that the president must’ve died immediately after classes ended—Usami was with her friends at the time!

It’s paint! It’s freaking paint! Ugh, I give up.

However, shortly before the body was discovered, Subaru was in fact standing outside the club room, suspiciously covering the door.

Why, a coincidence indeed! Subaru just happens to be standing awkwardly in front of the door to the crime scene, as if he doesn’t want anybody to see it! Now, allow us to do a quick background check of Suspect no. 2, Subaru:

He’s known to be a pedophile, with a penchant for tricking young girls to follow him with his drawings. He is also well-known to have a taste for drawing young girls in a suspiciously suggestive manner:

Obviously, an extremely suspicious person. And yet, still, we are uncertain; what motive would Subaru have had to kill the president, a panty-shot dealer who we know that Subaru depended on for a continuous supply of underwear design ideas.

So a great detective such as I has to beg the question: why would Subaru kill his supplier? The answer?

He wouldn’t.

Which leaves only one conclusion. If both Usami and Subaru didn’t commit the crime…It must be suicide.

The president isn’t even dead!

Think about it! The president has been depressed for a while now. He spends most of his time sleeping, and he’s lost interest in all of his hobbies…two symptoms of depression. He’s lost all hope in life, and now he’s finally ended it. Farewell, president. Sleep well ;-;

He didn’t commit suicide and he’s not depressed!

This case was tough, but I, detective Y, with my amazingly sharp intellect, has solved yet another crime!

You didn’t solve anything!

Detective Y, the best detective in the world, even better than Hercule Poirot, signing off!

Hercule Poirot is so much better!

Winter 2019 – Mid Season Rambings

I am really enjoying the winter season so far! There are so many great anime, and a variety of them! Mystery with Boogiepop, comedy with Kaguya-sama, awesome action with Dororo, interesting world-building in Shield Hero….this season’s definitely bursting with great anime! People were saying that Fall 2018 was a really good season, but the way I see it, this season is better in almost every aspect.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019)

Boogiepop continues to be extremely cryptic, mysterious and completely out of order, yet still manages to keep my attention with every episode. I can sorta piece together what’s going on just by going through the episodes, but there are still a few things I am confused about (well, obviously). I am mostly enjoying its non-linear story-telling though. It is definitely a very unique way of portraying the story, and although you don’t quite get the same climaxes as you do in linear stories, the non-linear story telling offers a bit of a different climax, being the point in time when we as the viewers piece together each piece we’ve received into a whole picture. Still, the characters seem to be very bland, although the characters aren’t really the driving force of the show anyway, but rather the mystery.

Continue reading “Winter 2019 – Mid Season Rambings”