Well, not my Youth Rom-Com though.. I think.. hopefully….
Now that it’s officially over, I felt like writing about my favorite Spring 2014 feature after a certain scene from its tenth episoode struck me for a fairly specific reason; and if you’ve seen Oregairu, you’ve most likely figured out what I’m talking about. If not, then allow me to simply ramble about (as the post title would have you) nice guys and nice girls, and what we can take away from lines of Yahari Ore no Seishun Rom-Com ga Machigatteiru (My Youth Rom-Com is Wrong as I Expected) and Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou (We are all Pitiful/We are all in Kawaisou).
I hate nice girls. Just exchanging pleasantries with them makes me curious, and texting each other makes me feel restless. [..] But I know the truth. They’re just being nice. Anyone nice to me is nice to others too. But I always find myself on the verge of forgetting that. If the truth is a cruel mistress, then a lie must be a nice girl. And so, niceness is a lie. [..] That’s why no matter what happens, I will always hate nice girls.
(translation c/o FFF)
Usa is just, well.. He’s used to taking care of people who are a little strange. He could let them be, but he doesn’t. He gets stuck on them, and he takes care of them. That’s just what Usa always does, since he’s so nice. [..] I’m not special to him or anything.
(translation c/o Commie)
I did say “what we can take away” but all I really have to point out really, is the slight similarity in the two statements – non-acceptance, if not an outright rejection of unrequited kindness. Well, Hachiman’s words are indeed more worldly and harsh, and really more or less reflect his true feelings, whereas Ricchan is might only just saying these things out of stubbornness and/or jealousy.
However, what if that is not the case, and that this is how Ricchan sees the altruistic Usa. If there was a milder word for cycnicism, I’d gladly use it here, but alas, there’s no way I’m calling Ricchan a cynic; it has such a negative connotation (even its direct meaning is a bit rash). That is to say, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with their ideas here. At the very least I believe everyone feels that way at one point in time, to a lesser extent.
In the romantic high-school-love-love setting, that up there is usually the base idea of having these thoughts, but a more root cause is surely something close to introversion. People averse to openly communicating their feelings tend to question the intentions of others out of instinct. Self-defense. Like how they taught you in values class (if you had that in your elementary years) about people developing defense mechanisms to stray from being hurt emotionally. Hachiman and Ricchan, although a bit differing in some areas, share this. It’s not weird; and it’s surely not a problem worth immediate action.
This was Usa’s approach for the earlier half of the series, which in reality, was doing more harm than good with his relationship with Ricchan. However, with Yuigahama’s similar approach towards Hachiman, you could see that that wasn’t entirely the wrong approach. Conversely, there being nice guys and nice girls wasn’t the problem for both cases either. Sure, Ricchan lashed out on Usa; and Hachiman cut ties momentarily with Yuigahama as a result, but ultimately, that led to a bit more clarity from both sides (with Usa finally understanding Ricchan’s nature, and Yuigahama learning about the peculiar circumstance she shared with Hachiman)
The point I’m trying to make then? Well, as easy it is to sympathize, and even empathize with Ricchan and Hikki (especially those still in school I recon), it’s nice to be reminded at times that as they are in these specific moments of their respective stories, they are not role models. I’d even go so far as to say they aren’t made to be that at all. Which then arbitrarily makes nice guys like Usa and nice girls like Yuigahama, get the shorter end of the appreciation stick, from an audience perspective. On the other hand; it’s of course fiction, and characters are designed to act a certain way for the convenience of the plot.
As I mentioned earlier though – yes, people who behave like Ricchan and Hachiman aren’t really a problem; but, something about the rather pessimistic view towards nice people was, for the most part, fun to ponder about (and write about, for that matter)
That, or I just want people to appreciate Yuigahama more. 😀