Yes, OreGairu Zoku gets its own post. I waited a long time for this delayed episode (seriously, no-one has officially licensed this yet?) and I grabbed it as soon as the fansubs went up and I got all excited and stuff after watching it.
I will be linking to this in my Spring 2015 First Impressions post, as what I am writing here is a replacement for my entry for it there, since I ended up writing a lot more than I thought.
Hurray, OreGairu is back! This show is kind of special to me, because I wouldn’t be here to start this blog in the first place if I hadn’t got into online anime discussions, and this anime was one of the primary motivators for doing just that (a story for another time). I also rewatched the first season in preparation for this.
The first thing that was abundantly clear to me was the updated character designs, they are much more detailed and make the characters look slightly more mature – fitting, but it will take some time to get used to, the hair especially. Turns out my fears about the change of studio (Brain’s Base to Feel) were unfounded, this season is a complete visual upgrade, all you need to do is look at the redone concert scene at the start of this episode, along with noticing the subtleties in how the characters were walking towards the end to be sure of it. I hope they keep up this quality.
The other most notable thing about this premiere was how… it didn’t really feel that different from the show I already know and love, at all. I got the same fundamental feelings and sense of immersion that I got out of season one, which shouldn’t be a surprise really, while there is a new director, series composition is still under the watchful eye of Suga Shoutarou, who made his presence known in this episode. I could tell they skipped straight past the ramen session with Sensei, which would have likely featured some marriage and alcohol jokes otherwise – it kept the episode focused. Suga is one of the key reasons the first season worked so well (Also, credit where it’s due to Watari Wataru for writing this story in the first place!), so it’s good he is back.
The current arc is centring on the Service Club trying to facilitate Tobecchi’s confession to Ebina, this seems like a good opportunity for the series to bring the unresolved romantic feelings between our main trio to the forefront. I almost could not recognise Ebina til I saw her glasses and her fujoshi tendencies play up – I expect some people will lament the presence of these jokes, as well as the repeated Totsuka ones, but this really is what the first season was like, I just saw it recently, and I don’t take much issue with it here either.
To round out the post, I’ll comment on the OP/ED. Yanagi Nagi (who is one of my favourite singers) returns for the opening, while Hayami Saori (Yukino) and Touyama Nao (Yui) sing the ending as per usual. The ones from the first season are iconic to me both visually and musically, but I liked these a lot too, they might grow on me even more as time passes. I will say that I prefer the ED to the OP song by a large margin.
Winter 2015 Final Thoughts part 2 is already done. I will be publishing it later today, but in the case that I feel that the output of this blog is too quick to keep up with, I may delay it to Saturday or Sunday.