Hachiman Hikigaya is incredibly pessimistic to the point that being cynical is a core aspect of his character. He considers the majority of human relationships, those involving youth especially, a complete farce and something he wants no part of. While a core aspect of this could be how he’s had dead eyes that other’s have found disgusting since he was a kid, once the ball got rolling it grew to him coming to accept being seen as a disgusting loner being as a part of his character.
After writing an especially cynical essay, his homeroom teacher Shizuka Hiratsuka, ends up requiring him to join the Service Club, a club dedicated to the nebulous purpose of helping others. However, the only other member of the club is Yukino Yukinoshita, a girl who may well be just as strange as Hikigaya, in that while she is incredibly talented in pretty much everything, she can be very blunt, and has absolutely no patience for nonsense. She immediately and continually hits Hikigaya with a series of biting remarks, awful to the point that anyone without a care at all in the opinions of others like Hikigya would probably be scared off. But as required of him, he continues in the club. Eventually another girl joins the club, Yui Yuigahama, who is incredibly different from the other characters, in that she acts completely normal, but has her own reasons for being in the club.
With such a situation, Hikigaya is thrown into a number of situations where he needs to help people: teaching someone how to bake cookies, providing feedback on novels, playing tennis, acting as a detective, acting as a counselor for an elementary school camp, helping organize a school festival, trying to win a sports festival, and even writing a bridal magazine. This is all a very strange situation for him, however, but nevertheless, he deals with the tasks required of him, generally in a unique way only possible because its him.
Oregairu is quite unique. It has a lot that’s similar to a lot of other animes, such as being centered around a club with a nebulous purpose that mainly just serves as a meeting point for the main character. But it is incredibly refreshing in that two of the main characters, Hikigaya and Yukino, while are high school students, they are unlike any others, and hence the problems they encounter and the methods they use to deal with them are different, and hence incredibly unique. The strong contrast from how they deal with situations as opposed to other series, with some key moments such as Hikigaya’s speech in episode 12 especially standing out, are downright amazing just to watch play out. Even the less epic moments are also interesting, in that they’re often centered around aspects that the viewer isn’t even considering, and hence while being incredibly unpredictable, feel right once they occur. Furthermore, this leads to a branch of comedy that is unique and also quite hilarious. There is also an overarching story centered primarily on the development of and relationships between Hikigaya, Yukino, and Yui, and while there is some subtle progress, it isn’t very much on the forefront.
In terms of production values, the art and animation are lacking unfortunately, not terrible, but not great either. The OP and the EDs are nice and fitting. The soundtrack is decent.
An incredibly unique story of a cynical high school student solving others problems in interesting ways.