Original Story: Wataru Watari
Art: Naomichi Io
Character Design: Ponkan8
Translation: Jennifer Ward
Lettering: Bianca Pistillo
Cover Design: Hiroyuki Kawasome
What They Say:
Hachiman Hikigaya’s travails in the Service Club continue! When his younger sister Komachi comes to the Service Club with a problem involving Hachiman’s stoic, intimidating classmate Saki, he’s faced with a challenge. How’s he supposed to break through Saki’s unflappable and frankly frightening demeanor? Is it possible that Hachiman’s notorious cynicism is actually going to be good for something, for once?
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
When we last left off, the Service Club (Along with Zaimokuza and Totsuka) were brainstorming ways to figure out where Saki Kawasaki works. Needless to say, this volume picks up exactly where the last one left off. And after a few panels of fan service revealing Yukinoshita and Yui in maid costumes, we’re ready to get back to business! Oh, also, Saki doesn’t work at the maid cafe. No surprise there.
Where she does work, however, is a high-class bar on the top floor of some fancy hotel in Chiba. After our lovable team of protagonists throw on their best dress clothes and head up there, it is revealed that Saki has slipped into delinquency due to the sheer fact that she needs money. That reason winds up being revealed not that night, but the next day when she meets with everyone at your standard McDonald’s knock-off. Apparently, Saki only got this job because she wanted to go to college and didn’t want to burden her family or her brother. What’s even crazier than this is that Saki Kawasaki has managed to make it all the way to high school without ever hearing about scholarships. So, with some help from 8man and the gang (Which could totally be their band name if they ever started one), Saki decides it’s best to focus on school. And, suddenly, everyone is happy….Until they aren’t.
See, this is the part of the manga where Hachiman finally learns that Yuigahama was the ‘sweets girl’. And after hearing about this, he doesn’t thank her for her continued attempts at making him feel human, he basically tells her to go away. Being head over heels for the guy, Yui breaks down and runs away, making things awkward between the two from that point on. In fact, she even stops showing up to club meetings. Of course, Yukinon and Hachiman need to figure out how to get her back, but what’s more important right now is going to a freakin’ pet expo because penguins.
Komachi (Also known as best-girl) and Hachiman apparently go to this expo every year. Yukinoshita, on the other hand, really just likes cats. So when the dynamic brother and sister duo unexpectedly run into the cat-loving ice queen, they all decide to hang out for a bit and, what do you know, there’s Yui. Of course, this is a manga, so Yuigahama interprets the chance encounter as an admittance to Hachiman and Yukinoshita being a couple and storms off once again, albeit right after Yukinoshita makes the poor choice of having, “I need to talk to you about us” being her last words of the meeting — which, in hindsight, was a terrible move. The only way to fix this now is obviously by buying her a birthday present because, as it is right now, Yui is on track to have to worst birthday ever. Queue the mall trip!
Fortunately for us, best-girl Komachi tags along again, making this the most appearances she has had in a volume yet. Unfortunately for us, she immediately leaves and forces her brother and Yukino to go on a sort of semi-date without her. This, of course, results in Yukino fawning over stuffed animals and Hikigaya just being awkward and uncomfortable. As the “date” inches closer to its end, Haruno Yukinoshita makes her first appearance of the series as she bumps into our fake couple at the mall. If you aren’t already familiar with Haruno, she’s essentially the polar opposite of Yukino — outgoing and bright. But, according to Hachiman, it’s all just a front that she puts on. Eventually, Haruno leaves and we time-jump to the designated meeting time for Yui and the others. And, in an unexpected turn of events (Which is becoming an expected turn of events with all of the terrible timing these characters have), Zaimokuza shows up right as Yukino is about to spill her heart out (Or at least what’s left of it) and the volume ends.
Oh, and there’s also an arcade trip with Totsuka somewhere in here, so that’s cool if you’re into traps.
OreGairu continues to impress in every form of media. And while the anime had significantly more success with conveying emotion, the build-up and overall feel of this entire manga is easily still enjoyable after three volumes. You really have to give it to Watari for fleshing out such enjoyable characters. The comedy in OreGairu hits hard and the word count is rather impressive for a book of its size. Even though the art could be a bit cleaner as far as I’m concerned, this is an excellent rom-com/melodrama that only gets better from this point on.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B-
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: December 13, 2016