On Nice Guys and Nice Girls; My Youth Rom-Com is Kawaisou

OregaKawaisou

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).

From one of my favorite monologues in anime ever.
Hachiman

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)

In comparison with Ricchan’s thoughts towards Usa
Ricchan

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.

sad

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.

yuigahamaAs 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.😀

4 thoughts on “On Nice Guys and Nice Girls; My Youth Rom-Com is Kawaisou

  1. Nice article and tie-in of the two series, since I also thinking of similar. Although, in the case of the “nice” girls and guys – Usa and Yuigahama also just had a problem expressing themselves (like a few teenages do) in comparison to Ritsu and Hachiman. If I remember correctly, that was one of Yuigahama’s main shortcomings during the beginning of the series, but she does improve upon it as things go forward. Usa on the other hand, his kindness was just mixing signals, so even from Riichan’s perspective, it wouldn’t be hard not to get the wrong idea.

    (Also, I appreciate Yuigahama, but not as much as “Yukinon” ^_^)

    • Thanks😀 I thought I was reaching quite a bit trying to relate Oregairu with Kawaisou, lol, nice to know we shared the same thoughts on that.

      Very true. Yuigahama came across earlier on as a “pushy” aloof girl with good intentions; which just so happens to clash magnificently with Hachiman’s personality. Had she chose to avoid Hachiman because of the accident involving her dog, the rift between them would never have resolved. Evidently it was because she was as pushy as was that they reconciled with each other.

      Yeah, lol, in Usa’s case, it was really just him (as you said) giving off mixed signals to Ricchan who’s not at all familiar enough to differentiate between those signals.

      Aww. Well, appreciation is enough.
      I’m rooting for Yukinon in the end anyways xD

  2. “From one of my favorite monologues in anime ever.”
    Hachiman always has one of the best anime quotes😀

    I personally am not too sure if you are pushing a bit hard drawing in parallels from both shows, but it’s hard to comment on since I chose not to watch Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou myself^^” But in contrast, I would say Hachiman’s character is actually harder to sympathize with. His character was definitely constructed on introversion, and he seems indifferent of trying to connect with people, but you can see he’s actually sociable, although quite crude and pessimistic. If I were to make a real-life comparison, it’s like Hachiman’s character is based on a young adult who had lost all of his “high school innocence” and had faced countless issues when maturing into adulthood, which in turns, resulted in all of his pessimistic and realistic views. Another friend of mine (and fellow aniblogger too, I might add), stated that his realistic views is just a facade to hide his inferiority complex, and is definitely another interesting take on his character.

    • Very true. He’s like the Koyomi of Rom-Com xD

      Kawaisou is satisfyingly good if you choose to watch it, but yeah, as for trying to tie-up the two shows it really was just those lines talking about nice people (aside from both main characters being introverts) that made the bridge for me,

      I wouldn’t say it’s hard to sympathize (although his cross-grained personality can be hard to relate to) but I suppose it’s definitely easier to empathize with him, I mean, at the end of the day, Hachiman deals with very common high school problems. I agree that Hachiman lost his “high school innocence” by being exposed to the reality of the world early on; but his own views, I think, comes from him trying to justify why people act the way they do and why he does what he does. Hachiman having an inferiority complex is something I’ve never thought about really. It’s definitely interesting how that changes the motives of his actions (like constantly comparing himself with Yukinon) throughout the show.

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