Localized with the title of “My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected,” Oregairu centers on Hikigaya Hachiman, a prideful cynic with nothing to be proud of. Together with Yukinoshita Yukino, a meritocratic idealist; and Yuigahama Yui, a naive optimist, they form a club that provides help to anyone who asks. While Yukino often wishes for others to solve their problems purely through hard work, Hikigaya often cuts to the fact that their problems aren’t isolated from social contexts:
And the best part is that he’s so right. The entirety of the first season simply is essentially him proving to Yukino that she can’t build a purely meritocratic world by helping to maintain the social status quo that he himself despises. He’s so right, and yet it doesn’t do anything for him. Half of the time he solves problems by becoming the scapegoat. It’s no accident that the second season starts the same way, hurting himself and those who care about him.
Season one breaks down all of the facades associated with superficial relationships and happiness in hilariously cynical exploits that make the second season seem kind of lackluster at first. But season two asks and answers the important questions that come after: What now? What happens after you fully understand the status quo and descend into cynicism? What do you get out of being right that the world is awful if you don’t do anything to change it? Even with the story conveniently providing people for him to become friends with, it doesn’t mean anything so long as he doesn’t try to build more genuine relationships.