Ahh…what a lovely way to end such a wonderful series.
Many of you know that Oregairu is my favorite anime series, and though I’ve sometimes been critical of this season’s progression (and that in the light novels), I still love what was transpiring, and particularly this final episode—I would say one of the best last episodes of a multi-season anime. And so instead of delving in too deeply in this episode, I just want to celebrate it.
The beginning was a perfect transition from the episode eleven. Yukinon and Hikki are looking for a place to have prom #2, and their search involves a beach area—a perfect working date!
In the between all the flirting (squee!), the two identify a great spot for the party. More of a beach park, the venue will work well for what they’re planning. They don’t even really need to envision it much—a wedding ceremony being held in the location gives them all the vision they need (and leads Hikki to confuse Yukino’s decision with one of their future wedding rather than the party at hand).
Afterwards, the two sit and have a super cute exchange involving their first voluntary selfie (remember Yui’s forced one?) together.
Here’s the entire scene. It’s super cute and filled with boba:
If that scene put a huge grin on my face, the one that moved me most—what got those tear ducts starting to work a bit—was the following scene where Yukino and Hikki call all their friends in. With two notable exceptions, one being Rumi who, as an elementary schooler, has been all but forgotten this season, the major characters all show:
Of course, the other character conspicuously missing is Yui. But she shows up at the last minute, running into the room. Ah, my heart!
Pretty much everyone agrees to help with the beach prom, even Hayato, and then we get a couple more shots of the crew. It’s pretty much required to include these multi-character shots in final episodes, which are celebrations of the shows themselves. There’s creativity here in how the shots are included, however, with a sauna (once again, this scenes isn’t as long as I would have liked it to be, but I’m glad we got it!) scene featuring the boys and then a few precious seconds with the four most major characters, with each walking off according to importance: Iroha, Yui, and then Yukino together in hand with Hikki.
Again, being a final episode, you get some fanservice—in this episode, it comes in the form of character dynamics, particularly with two characters that shouldn’t get along get considerable time together in Komachi (more fanservice at the end of the episode in school with the crew and in her uniform!) and Iroha. They both get along well and don’t get along at all, and it’s just about perfect because as I mentioned before, Iroha is a girly, popular version of Hikki, and the snarky relationship that Komachi is already developing with her is similar to that with her brother, including calling her new “onee-chan” out.
Following Hiratsuka’s goodbye after the prom event, which is almost an afterthought in how quickly it’s conveyed both in the series and light novel, a proper confession finally takes place: Yukinon again confessing to Hikki. This didn’t pull at my heartstrings like it maybe should have, but I like this scene because it’s a bookend to Yukino’s growth arc. While Hikki tells Hiratsuka-sensei that the two will surely continue to grow over the years and aren’t in some sort of conclusive place right now, they have “concluded” a major period of growth in their lives, with Yukinon’s involving leading efforts during the first prom and her new relationship with Hikki. “I love you” ends that arc properly.
Yui, who’s been hurt all season long, gets her own proper ending as well. With Iroha teasing her earlier in the episode about how she can continue to try to win Hikki, she chooses a different route. All along, while she’s harbored love for Hikki, her relationship with Yukino has been most important, and it’s that which she’s been worried about irreversibly damaging all along. But after a period of pain, Yui is able to give her own confession, in a sense, telling Yukinon in front of Hikki (as well as Komachi and Iroha) that she does like him, but wants her friendship with Yukinon to go on forever (Hikki will be included, of course, if he remains in a relationship with her). And so, as the episode ends, she receives a consultation toward that end with Yukinon, as the Service Club begins anew, including a new member (Komachi) and approved by the Student Council (Iroha).
What a lovely way to end.
- Final MVP? Yui cause that girl suffered so much this season and then came back after all that. What a wonderful arc for the the #2 girl.
- At first I thought MAXIS COFFEE might not show up, getting swapped out for Monsters…
- But then it did!
- Hayato also showed up for one more diss.
- Look, I love the scene where Iroha is telling Yui she should let a drunken Hikki take advantage of her, but I get that it’s problematic. However, it’s just SO Iroha haha, which partly means it’s more of her expressing what she wants Hikki to do (which Komachi catches btw).
- Also, this isn’t quite the end. It’s already been announced that a bonus story will accompany the BD release, though whether that also means an OVA is apparently yet to be determined.