- Writing style10
Novel Name: Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru (My Teen Romantic Comedy Is Wrong as I Expected)
Author: Wataru Watari
Genre: Drama, School Life
“Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru” (hereafter abbreviated as OreGairu) is a series of light novels following the enigmatical and self-proclaimed loner, Hikigaya Hachiman, who bears a cynical outlook towards life and everything that comes with it.
He also bears a grudge towards his fellow students who have what might be classified as a ‘good life’ – a girlfriend, lots of female admirers, a varied assortment of friends, a time-consuming and energetic social life and so on. This grudge comes from, as we would come to know in the later volumes, a rather unfortunate event where Hachiman was rejected by a girl he confessed to through a text message.
While nothing is explicitly said about where his loner-personality came from, it is implied that it came from his lack of presence and also the lack of effort to make friends on his part.
And this enigmatical loner, who abhors every sort of amicable exchange with his fellow human beings, (a notable exception being his intense and rather weird love for his sister without any lolicon intents) somehow, after angering his homeroom teacher, Hiratsuka Shizuka (who is single, a tad too violent, and an avid fan of shonen manga), got recruited in the mysterious Service Club alongside with the school’s number one beauty and one of the most brilliant students, Yukinoshita Yukino.
Though the club’s functions are mysterious at first, it is revealed later on that the club’s purpose is to help them who comes to it in need for help. And the club gets its first ever “client” in Yuigahama Yui who needs them to help her bake cookies – yes, pretty mild to start but the story is thoroughly intense. Circumstances evolve and Yuigahama ends up joining the club. And from that point onwards, the trio work together in solving the troubles of the students who come to them for help.
OreGairu is one of the very first light novels that this humble reviewer was truly impressed with. It still remains the very first novel that I would recommend to anyone who is new to light novels. Quite frankly, I was blown away by Hachiman’s initial life and how similar it was to my early life. Once upon a time, it had been me who couldn’t talk to other people, who would often be uninvited to certain cliques in the playground and who sought excuses to stay at home all day long because nobody wanted him outside. (However, unlike Hachiman, this did not continue till high school. By the time I graduated elementary school (Class V), I had friends scattered throughout the whole class.)
Though it hits quite close to home, that wasn’t the only reason why I would recommend this story to everyone. This story is a masterpiece in itself. The characters that the author created were all carefully designed and they evolve throughout the story. By the end of the story, it would be quite weird to call Hachiman a loner anymore because of his increased communication skills. There is a slight hint of romantic interest shown by multiple characters (the list of which includes Yui, Saki, Iroha and perhaps Yukino too) towards Hachiman.
Also, things that deserve a mention include the wonderful writing style of the author which often includes high level philosophy that has become quite popular with the world as Hachiman’s quotes keep appearing on Tumblr. But what sets apart this series of novels from the rest is the main character, Hikigaya Hachiman himself.
The novel is written in first person. This helps as we can see the effect of Hachiman’s cynical and warped way of solving things and also take a peek into his thoughts from the best seat in the house. Though Hachiman never discloses his plans beforehand, owing to the first person narration of the novels, we can see them unravel from his point of view.
And such brilliant plans they had been too. The way Hachiman helped Tsurumi Rumi in the Summer Camp in Volume 4 or how in Volume 6 he protests against Sagami Minami’s worthless leadership of the Cultural Festival committee and how he manages to save Minami from reproach and completing the Cultural Festival at the same time – all this was utterly brilliant.
Also worth mentioning are the illustrations. The artist Ponkan8 has drawn the illustrations which are quite incredible to say the very least. They had been drawn exactly as they were described by the author and are indispensable for fully enjoying the story. I know that this has been quite popular and quite a lot of people have already read it. But if this review influences someone who hasn’t yet read it to pick up this story, it would please this humble reviewer greatly.