Some shows go out with a bang, and others fade out with a whimper. Sadly, My Teen Romantic Comedy takes the latter route for its swansong episode. To be fair, the show does follow the light novels, and as I understand it the show has pretty much caught up to the plot of the light novels at this point. While the show could have gone with an anime only ending, doing things this way does leave the show open for the possibility for a third season once more source material is available. Sadly, this means that we get what might as well be “just another episode” as a finale.
The episode begins almost as if it is introducing a new story arc—Yukino is faced with the fact that her sister will now be living with her. Hikigaya ultimately disarms the situation, and the three friends retreat to Yui’s house, where Yukino decides to spend the night per Yui’s suggestion. The episode does continue to explore the idea that Yukino is unable to think for her self, as evidenced during this portion, specifically when she uses Hikigaya’s exact words to justify to her sister why she is not coming home. Even the climax of the episode builds on this theme, as Yui confronts Yukino with a “solution” to all of her problems, one which will cost Yukino “everything”. Yet again Hikigaya has to step in for this, and while it seems to push Yukino into some kind of progression, we don’t get to see the fruits of this, as it is the very end of the episode.
To be fair, this was a good episode of OreGairu. It continued the focus on Yukino that had begun a few episodes ago, and made an effort to show evidence for some of the claims that have been made about her. Had this simply been another stepping stone in OreGairu’s second season, there would be no complaints, but it really does not do anything to wrap up the story or provide a satisfying end. The episode does present content that seems to further the possibility of romance between Hikigaya and either of the female leads, but again nothing definitive is put in place to suggest which route he will go. Yui’s statement at the end is probably the closest thing to a declaration that has been made throughout the entire season. Of course, there is also the reoccurring vague-speak for which this season has been notorious, making it difficult for the viewer to understand what is being discussed at some points.
Overall, this episode’s biggest weakness is the fact that it is the season finale. It would have received a much warmer review had it been a normal episode, but it does nothing to round out the season or provide a satisfactory conclusion to everything that has happened thus far. At best, it leaves the viewer with an imaginary “To Be Continued?” in his/her mind, and since there is no guarantee that a third season will be made (especially since more light novels will have to be written first), the fact is that we may never have closure. OreGairu was one of the stronger shows I reviewed this season, and I honestly wish it would have gotten a better send off than it did.
A Christian Perspective:
James 5:12 – But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (ESV)
So I’m not usually a fan of changing up versions for the sake of better wording (I typically post from the NIV only), but honestly this is how I know this verse moreso than the NIV translation (which is ironic, since the NIV is what I read during my own devotions, although maybe the version I read is older than the one online). At any rate, I found myself thinking about this verse in conjunction with this episode, and it occurred to me that you might be able to take James’ statement as, “Say what you mean.” Now, my friend tells me that this is a bad paraphrase, and that what James is saying is to not let your opinions be swayed by other people… but I really don’t get that from this verse, and I still feel like, “Say what you mean” is one way to take his statement to “let your yes be yes and your no be no”, so I will move forward with that train of thought.
In this episode, as with several others this season, we have the characters saying a lot of things that are less than clear. Whether the characters themselves understand what is going on or not is uncertain, but the viewers are certainly left confused (I felt better at my lack of understanding when I read similar thoughts in the Crunchyroll comments). One such example is Hikigaya’s statement that he wants the “real thing”, yet he never actually explained what he meant by that. Haruno even asks him if this is the “real thing” he wanted at one point. This episode ends with similarly vague statements by Yui—statements that at least seem to be understood by Yukino, if no one else.
Clear communication is important. In entertainment, it helps the viewer to understand what is going on with the story and what the motivations of the various characters are. In real life, clear communication is essential to making sure people understand pretty much anything. Just think about how hard explaining salvation through Christ would be if all we did was beat around the bush with vague terms. The point is, we need to make sure that we are communicating in such a way that others can comprehend what we are saying and, if necessary, act on it.
Spiritual Content: None
Language: 1 “Oh G*d”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None