If I have to pick the best anime for this season, then Oregairu would be it, followed by Maou-sama. Viewers who loved the conversational insights from Bakemonogatari would find themselves enjoying the toned-down monologues of Hikigaya Hachiman.
One might say that I’m even in-love with how Hachiman’s mind works. I guess this is a feeling of sympathy and admiration born from a loner who sees the world from another loner’s perspective. It’s quite rare after all for fellow loners to compare works and share thoughts but having Hachiman expose his thought-process serves as a testament on how loners ought to confirm their actions with such models.
Of course, it would be rude to see Hachiman as the only role model a loner would have. Rude to the long line of philosophers and scientists, innovators, explorers, adventurers who shaped the world and became a symbol of change through their diverse and unorthodox way of thinking. It just happens that Hachiman is a model fit for the modern age. An existence that stands out based on how society acts and responds nowadays.
Despite having that filler-ish feel, I managed to like how this final episode hints of Hayama’s affirmation of Hachiman’s existence. Sure, they’re interactions before indicate that they are a foil to each other but for some reason, Hayama’s decision to mark Hachiman in this friendly game is a form of recognition between two opposites: Rivals.
Though they never compete for the same goal, the methods and intentions they have always clash and this gives off a feeling that future contests between him and Hachiman would be a battle of ideals in providing efficient solutions to whatever problems. Something I’m definitely going to look forward to should a second season gets lit.
As always, one can never enjoy a good character without a proper voice and Eguchi Takuya nailed this role really good. Hachiman’s pessimist and pragmatic nature really came out thanks to Eguchi’s acting. Of course, it won’t mean shit if he wasn’t backed up by two extremely talented seiyuu. I think Nao Toyama and Hayami Saori fit well with their roles as Yui and Yukinoshita.
I’m used to hearing Nao Toyama voice lively characters but her role as Yui required more than that. After all, Yui had an emotional attachment to Hachiman as well as a developing relationship with Yukino. I really like how Nao’s voice was able to stress the interactions her character have to do with both Hachiman and Yukinoshita and the same goes for Hayami Saori. I do love her voice work as Ayase in Oreimo but she did another good job in providing a distinction between Yukinoshita’s strength and uncertainty. Yukinoshita has been a strong-willed character but when push comes to shove, I love how Hayami emphasizes her fragile emotions.
I guess I’m not the only one hoping for a second season but with how the current series has managed to catch up to the novel’s pace, I guess we’ll have to wait for a long time before this series gets rolling again.