A social outcast with no friends is thrown into a club against his will in an attempt to change his fortunes in the first episode of Oregairu. Hachiman writes a story of what his take on school life is about and that immediately gets his advisor’s attention. She puts him in a club with a girl, Yukino, who also seems to have no friends. In order to get them to do something, the advisor, Shizuka, challenges them to help more people than the other in order to have the winner order the loser to do something. The club begins activities by helping a girl called Yui to make some cookies. A love comedy breaks out.
Inevitably, the point of comparison with this show is going to be Haganai; as much as people want to throw in Toradora, it doesn’t work. To start with you have to look at it from the male protagonist’s character. Kodaka from Haganai is thoroughly likable and helps people out his appearance creates all sorts of misunderstandings. Hachiman, on the other hand, doesn’t even try to do anything to improve his situation, and his cynicism about life improbably leads him into three women who want to improve his lives. It doesn’t matter what Shizuka, Yui and Yukino do, if the main character doesn’t deserve what is happening then it all falls apart.
The direction this story is heading in is pretty obvious as well, as some sort of love triangle forms between Yui, Yukino and Hachiman forms. They will do their story of the week while growing closer all the same, before finally they come to a non-ending. All the while, Hachiman will remain a cynical bastard who pretends not to give a shit. This was never going to be the most complex example of storytelling. It’s merely, the main character lamenting about how much his life sucks and yet having all these romantic comedy moments. We should all be so lucky, that inconsiderate asshole. I didn’t even care about the conversation about talent versus effort because you are so inconsiderate of others.
As for the production quality, it was really poor here. The minimal animation budget seemed to be wasted on that wind effect on Yukino’s hair in the beginning. If it can maintain this level of quality through the end, that won’t be too awful, but given the amount of time they had to focus on the first episode, I’m expecting Akikan level animation by the middle. At least there shouldn’t be anything like an action scene in this show.
Reasons to Continue Watching: The chance at redemption for characters without friends and innocent comedy
Reasons to Drop: The main character is a cynical asshole and the scenario has no foundation in the real world
My Verdict: This is the destitute man’s Haganai, which is reason enough for me to drop it.