20/20 in 2020 Article: Our blog’s theme for this year is “20/20 in 2020: Setting Our Vision on Christ.” Throughout the year, we’ll post articles which relate to this theme, which encourages you, our readers, to turn away from the world and toward the Holy One. Enjoy the post below, which is part of our yearlong series.
Finally, after a three month delay, the final season of Oregairu is almost here. This latest setback was par for the course for fans of the franchise, though. Last week marked five years since the conclusion of season two, and readers patiently waited years, as well, for the last couple of light novel volumes from Watari sensei. Heck, we even allowed him to get Girlish Number out of his system to that he could focus again on this series. So another three months? No big deal.
Of course, I’m saying that from the perspective of someone who already knows how the season will turn out, who already knows how the story ends.
The truth is, I wasn’t patient at all earlier this year, reflecting how I felt during many stretches since the end of season two. I’d been waiting to see how Oregairu concludes, and the nature of the story—which to me is not particularly far from that of A Song of Ice and Fire—leaves an uneasy feeling. The three main characters are all in uncomfortable places until near the very end of the tale, while season two, which didn’t end with an uplifting scene like genuine moment, concludes on an a bit of a cliffhanger.
So even though we continually encourage our readers to watch anime and read manga and light novels through only legal means, and I’ve been purchasing this series from Yen Press (which releases Oregairu under the series title, My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong, as I Expected) as it comes out, I went a bit rogue on this one. I read everything that was available through fan translations before it was licensed, and then the remaining volumes again even after. My brain wouldn’t let it rest. I just had to know the ending.
Right now, that same twisty feeling I had with Oregairu is here for reasons completely different reasons than needing to know which anime character ends up with who or if Yukino can find her way. When season three of Oregairu was originally supposed to premiere, COVID-19 had just begun to wreck havoc outside of China. And even now with the delayed premiere date around the corner, COVID-19 continues to ravage the globe. Meanwhile, the pandemic has recently been paired with social unrest in the United States.
To be honest, I’d rather not think about viruses and racism, but I have nowhere to run: These two issues confront me all day long. A vaccine may arrive by the end of the year to help with one and the country may work toward resolution with the other, but the truth is, there’s so much uncertainty right now that I can’t be sure how it will all turn out. And that twists me up as much as if I’d embarrassed myself, like crying in front of the two girls in my service club.
But if I have eyes to see, looking into the distance rather than just immediately in front of me, I should realize this: As with Oregairu, I already know the end of the story, and in that I can find comfort.
As Christians, we need to get into the habit of considering the long game—the really long game—in how we approach life. 2020 is one year in a lifetime that goes by quickly; if we’re only looking at this year or even at this life, we miss what’s in the distance. We miss eternity. And that’s a shame, because that’s where the answer lies.
Understanding that by grace we are both walking in eternity now and toward it can diminish our differences and help us resolve them. The gap between us can often feel like an impassable wall, but when considering the world that’s to come and the purpose of our lives, we can find strength to carry onward despite the psychological and physical burden of living during a pandemic, and reach out to one another in empathy and understanding rather than push back and let our very earth-based beliefs run through and over those that oppose them. God’s love is offered to all without prejudice. God’s love endures even in the midst of chaos and sickness. And God’s love should define how we approach one another, tearing down these walls in love rather than fortifying them with justification.
So this story isn’t as scary or overwhelming as I sometimes make it. And there’s also no need to wait years to see how it ends, or take extralegal means to figure it all out. Even in the terrible and the uncomfortable, there’s peace, because the author of our salvation has written it all out. And I know this: The ending will be just right, for he has proven faithful time and time again.
Read the Oregairu (My Youth Romantice Comedy is Wrong, as I Expected) novels from Yen Press.