As some of you know, the upcoming PSVita visual novel adaptation of Oregairu Zoku will be bundled with an OVA focused on Iroha’s story from volume 10.5 (likely the “Surely, Isshiki Iroha is made of sugar and spice, and something nice.” chapter). With Oregairu A or ANOTHER (an alternate storytelling of Oregairu by Watari with some different points) ending last month with the release of Zoku’s final BD, I feel like the series has come a long way and that the end we have all been waiting for is just over the corner. Since the final BD was released on April 28 and the visual novel will be released on July 28, so I figured I would schedule this post to be available for public starting from May 28, just to match. =)
Oregairu ANOTHER turned out to be a decent complement to the series, although I have to say it’s not as well-written as the original novels are. You can think of it as an “official fan-fiction” that shows how different things can turn out with several changes. It might kinda fall flat compared to the main series because most things are recycled, but I guess it can’t be helped.
To recap, some of the differences include:
- Yukino doesn’t elicit a romantic feeling towards Hachiman
- Yukino’s main problem didn’t arise, so Yukino doesn’t become “weak”; there is no encounter with Yukino’s mother on New Year.
- Yukino is being supportive of Yui, and the monologues show Hachiman being conscious of Yui’s feelings.
- Iroha indirectly referred to Hachiman & Yui’s relationship.
- Miura & Tobe are probably aware of Yui’s feelings; Orimoto (the “sore aru” girl) seemingly supports Hachiman.
Volume R is the last volume of ANOTHER, and with it comes a romantic resolution; the translation should be up sooner or later, so this is only a short outline of what happened. Spoiler alert here.
Hachiman & Yui went on a date together to Destiny Sea for Valentine following the event from volume 11 (the promise in volume 6). On the way, after awkwardly taking photos, Yui suddenly put her left hand inside Hachiman’s right pocket and whispered, “this is kind of warm…” (This scene seems to be a reference to BUMP OF CHICKEN’s song, “Snow Smile”, as the band originates from Chiba and Watari-sensei loves making references to Chiba.) Hachiman took her hand from his pocket, and as if to get away from her hand, held it tightly. “It’s cold, after all,” he said.
After spending their time on the attractions, the night approached. As they gazed upon the night sky dyed with the colors of fireworks, Yui handed out cookies to Hachiman. That is the answer that she came upon after she struggled and hesitated over it—her true feelings.“…It’s not ‘gratitude’ this time.” This is a direct contrast with the cookies that she gave to Hachiman in volume 11, when she said it was a form of her gratitude.
Hachiman’s reply is something we would expect from him:
“Things like feelings or relationships, I can’t really find the right way to describe those kind of things; and if it were to be named, I feel that it’s going to become something different entirely.
…That’s why, whatever the way it is said, I think it’s wrong.
But, one day I will say it. Just a little…”
To Hachiman’s answer, though, Yui declared: “I won’t wait, I will start from myself.” This is the same「待たないで 、…こっちから行くの」 that Yui once said to Hachiman in the first Cultural Festival arc (first season’s episode 11), which made this scene have the necessary magnitude to convey her feelings.
“Will we come here next time, I wonder…” Yui asked with a whisper.
“We will, maybe.”
“Then, it’s a promise.”
Yui extended her pinkie finger, and the view of their shyly interlocked pinkies changed into holding hands, as the story came to a close.
Without the influence of Yukino’s mother’s scene, ANOTHER’s conclusion pretty much turned out as a straight romantic comedy that is “not wrong as expected”. Still it begs the question: how will the main series end? Whether the original novel will feature the anticipated true end for Yukino or not is yet to be seen, but I certainly cannot wait to see Yukino get the spotlight she deserves. Watari-sensei is currently busy with Qualidea Code (a joint project with Date A Live & Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko’s authors) and his new light novel, Gi(a)rlish Number which tells the story of an aspiring voice actor tackling the harsh reality of entertainment industry. With both series getting manga and anime adaptations, we will see more of his works this year, although I do hope he doesn’t forget to work on Oregairu volume 12.