Feelings are hard
Having complicated feelings is hard. Having to speak about complicated feelings is harder. Having to watch people speak about their complicated feelings is painful. When I say painful, I’m not necessarily talking about the bad kind. Some people are into this sort of thing and want to watch people suffer. If this is your thing, then by all means Oregairu is excellent.
Let me clarify. What I’m saying is that Oregairu is painful to watch because the feelings of the characters are so well thought out and fleshed out that the viewer can get second-hand psychological trauma. Some people have a way with words and can freely express their feelings, perhaps even possess an intuitive understanding of other people’s feelings. They are lucky and rare. Most of us might find situations like those found in Oregairu difficult to deal with and perhaps daunting to even think about. Thankfully, Oregairu knows this. It’s not presenting this difficult, dramatic situation as a walk in the park. It’s accurately and painstakingly painting an animated picture of what real-life conversations, soul-searching and interactions are about.
Yes, obviously anyone who has followed Oregairu so far would want to watch its end. Even if you didn’t like it as much as most of us did, you are still interested in finding out how the characters move on with their lives. That would be reason enough to watch this last season. However, Oregairu has this way of pulling you in while you’re watching it. Personally, I find it tiring. I feel like I’m actively doing something. And what I’m doing is not sitting through each episode but constantly reacting, questioning and interpreting the characters’ words and actions. Oregairu is not some dumbed down love comedy where the plot and the script are merely there for some comedic relief. You need to actively watch this anime. If you actually do, you will appreciate it for what it is. And what it is, is a perfect package of nostalgia, what ifs, teenage anxieties and clumsy but honest human emotions.
This is a fine story. Yes, it’s different from the average anime. There are no super powers, monsters or the like. There are just people coming to terms with their feelings and that is enough to captivate an audience if done right. Oregairu is doing it right.