It’s a fairly tired trope in anime and manga these days to have a woman who is approaching or above 30 years old and is still unmarried. Oregairu‘s Hiratsuka Shizuka is yet another one of these characters. Yet, anyone who knows my opinions on this show will know that I believe she is the best girl in the whole thing.
The first half of the 8th episode is pure magic in my mind. It’s up there with the last episode of the first season of Monogatari in simply talking and have it be important and heart-warming. Basically, the setup is like this: as the Christmas setup is going wrong and Hachiman has no idea what to do. So Hiratsuka-sensei pulls up like a boss in her left-hand drive Aston Martin and takes him to an overpass to talk.
The conversation really focuses on how Hachiman struggles to take into account the emotions other people are feeling in situations, which means that the logic of his decision-making breaks down. I mean this is a character who chose to utterly torpedo his own standing within a group so that the group harmony would be maintained.
The best part of the whole conversation for me was when she was doing the usual complaints about how her own decision-making had left her single and that her friends were all getting married. Hachiman interjects by saying that her male friends have terrible tastes in women. He delivers this amazingly casual line that hits its mark, yet, all he thinks about is how great it would have been if they were the same age.
That’s simply loser talk, Hachiman. That just means he’s going to go back to Iroha who interprets everything he does as some sort of pickup line while rejecting him outright. Or he can go to one of the other two I suppose. The ones that are the real main characters within the club, but what fun will it be when Yukino eventually wins this anyway? Confess to the best girl, and if she rejects him because of the age difference, at least he tried. That’s all I ask from this show that is lacking a romance or comedy to have messed up beyond all recognition.