A very important theme I’ve never focused on when writing some several dozen articles about Oregairu is heavily emphasized in this episode. It’s also part of the series title.
When Oregairu (My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected) begins, Hikki is without a club, without friends, without prospects. He’s wasting away his youth. In fact, the essay he writes that opens the series begins like this (in the light novel version):
Youth is lies. Youth is evil. Those who incessantly celebrate their teenage years are lying both to themselves and to those around them.
Yikes. Of course, as we learn later on, Hikki’s just hurt, and he’s awkward and immature, too. But through the power of love (via authentic relationships, or at least those that are as authentic as you could expect out of teenagers), he comes to have a youth full of memories that aren’t fake, that aren’t “evil.” They’re truthful and good. Ultimately, even if you’re an awkward kid like Hikki, a popular but unsure girl like Yui, or a student who seemingly has it all together when you really don’t, like Yukinon, you still have a chance at living out a youth that matters.
That theme is emphasized particularly in this episode. But first, the romantic question marks continue, particularly through a scene in which Hikki admits to Yui that he lost the bet and that he’ll grant her wish as the condition of his loss. Yui explains that she doesn’t know exactly what it she wants him to, besides basically giving their all (in terms of friendship) until the end, and then to do something for him, to grant his wish.
The two later get together to bake a dessert for Komachi’s birthday (which can’t be a huge celebration, as Hikki tells his sister, because of the awkwardness of things between the service club members). And in comes Gahama-mama. FINALLY. And of course, she’s hilarious, and of course, Yui get jealous of her mom’s closeness to Hikki. It’s to be expected of Yui—her mom is definitely flirting with the boy.
As with almost everything this season, there wasn’t enough time given to these scenes, but I’ll take what we’re given nonetheless.
Most importantly, Gahama-mama provides some wisdom to the pair. As they search for canned peaches to bake the dessert, she explains that they’re creating a memory. One day, when Yui bites into a peach, she’ll remember this moment. That idea is so full of nostalgia and love. It’s wonderful, and impresses that theme I mentioned earlier. Just by caring for each other, Yui, Yukinon, and Hikki are making memories. They’re living out a wonderful youth.
Later, more memories are made when the graduation ceremony occurs. We continue on our goodbye tour by saying farewell to everyone’s favorite…Sagami!
Just kidding. We get one final goodbye for Meguri!
Meguri is often forgotten, especially since her primary role was so early on in the show. But she remains one of my favorites, and Hikki’s too. I love how her character is this balance of wisdom / motherly attention and one who pushes and moves others. She’s prim and proper without losing her sense of girliness and youth. When she does the back and forth call to the crowd, I was transferred back to my own high school experiences. The scene is a purposeful inclusion, yet another symbol of the youth the main trio has come to enjoy.
Next week, we’re on to the big blowout, which Meguri herself mentions: prom. I won’t say too much, but the light novels are like Lord of the Rings: There’s a huge battle / event, and then a long prologue involving another such battle / event.
I’m interesting in seeing how this all develops on screen.
- The streak is broken! No MAXIS COFFEE in this episode for the first time this season. We must be getting serious.
- Loving the comfort level between Hayato and Hikki! I get why people ship them so hard (and not just Hina).
- Miura gets some time this episode, too. Hikki again remarks that she’s a “good person,” which I guess she is, but I came away from this episode actually thinking that she’s the most awkward major character in the entire series.
- I brighten up whenever Irohas comes to the screen: She’s my favorite character in the show after all, and a really good balance for Yukinon, who is absolutely catatonic this season.
- MVP of this episode is…Kamakura! For once, he shows affection for Hikki, and it comes during a time of need. Good cat.
- Shiromeguri is really the episode MVP, but eh, we’ll give it to kitty. Though I’ll leave you, dear readers, with one final screencap of her:
Season three of Oregairu (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU CLIMAX) can be streamed on Crunchyroll.