For general information on this novel: My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected entry
This review is for the third volume of My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected, AKA Oregairu. This series is written by Wataru Watari and features illustrations by Ponkan8. So far there are three volumes available in English, with the next set to release January 2018. There are 12 volumes in Japan at the moment, plus three side story volumes.
The third volume of Oregairu is quite possibly the least consequential of light novels I’ve read. This isn’t something I’d say is necessarily bad, but it’s perhaps something to be aware of to keep your expectations in check. Volume 3 is very “slice of life,” and focuses much more on the comedy than the drama.
The main plot involves Hachiman and Yukino trying to bring Yui back into the Service Club, and since it’s her birthday soon they decide to buy her a present and in the end throw together a small party. (The last chapter is from a drama CD that came with the book in Japan; I thought it was nice of Yen Press to include the translation for us.) Along the way though there are other bits of filler, such as Hachiman going to an arcade with Totsuka and running into Zaimokuza, who later needs a favor in the form of winning a nonsensical card game. It’s all rather silly, but at this point the humor is really the main draw of the series anyways.
And I suppose that’s the bottom line of this review — this volume is entertaining enough, assuming you’re still enjoying Hachiman’s dour quips and random observations. It’s a funny book, and the illustrations in particular stand out in this one for showcasing some of the volume’s more absurd moments.
Speaking of Hachiman though, I feel like I got to see a whole new side of him in this volume? He didn’t do anything particularly terrible this time, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for him when people kept treating him poorly at the arcade and mall. And then there was the whole thing with him–completely out of the blue–getting very excited about seeing animals at a huge and lively exposition. I had to read the scene a couple times just to be sure that it was actually Hachiman being so passionate about something that really shouldn’t appeal to loners.
“K-Komachi! Look, look at this! The Tokyo Cat and Dog Show is happening now!” I snatched (the flyer) up and thrust it high above my head. It was like a scene from some lion-related musical, so I let out an appropriate roar.
Well, I guess you can just say Hachiman has a soft spot for animals? Or he just wanted an excuse to spend the afternoon with his sister. I kind of hope we get more moments like this though, if only to reassure me that this scene did actually happen.
Perhaps the only other scene I should mention is one in which Yukino’s outgoing older sister appears. The scene is brief, so there isn’t much to comment on — but it does at least foreshadow possibilities for future volumes. Hopefully there will be more in the way of plot developments in the next book, because for the most part this one felt a bit too much like a retread of the first two.
Cho’s Rating: Maybe Recommended