My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected, Vol. 7.5

By Wataru Watari and Ponkan 8. Released in Japan as “Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabukome wa Machigatte Iru” by Shogakukan. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jennifer Ward.

There are quite a few .5 volumes in Japan, but whether they get licensed or not is another issue. They’re almost always short story collections, meant to be read but not affect the overall storyline (hence the .5), though this is not always the case (Rokujouma’s .5s are not skippable.) There are a lot of DVD/Blu-Ray sets in Japan that come with extra stories or novellas by the author that are lately published by the original publisher (see Devil Is a Part-Timer or this series) and some are expanded and turn into genuine later volumes (Baccano!). Sometimes the rights (given they were written for the anime production company) may make it harder to bring out over here… and short story collections also might not sell as well to begin with. To sum up, sometimes you’ll see these licensed and sometimes you won’t, but we can be grateful to have this collection, which takes place at various points between Vols. 1-7 and (mostly) has Hachiman behaving himself.

Miura’s on the cover, but does not really feature in the story, except to get really jealous of an underclassman who seems to be in Hayama’s club and is also cute. I suspect we’ll see more of her later. In the meantime, the wraparound stories involve the club answering Dear Abby-style questions, all of which are from “anonymous” people whose identities are nevertheless very obvious. The larger short stories involve the club having to do a magazine special on weddings, which ends up having Komachi run a bride competition among Yukino, Yui, and Shizuka. (By the way, if “I am an unmarried teacher” jokes are not your thing, feel free to skip this entire volume, as they’re omnipresent.) We then get an adaptation of a Drama CD story that continues after Vol. 3, showing the cast partying at an arcade. The longest story involves the cast helping the Judo Club, whose have a now graduated member returning and abusing the team. As often happens, Hachiman immediately sees the solution. As always happens, Hachiman makes sure everyone hates him in solving it.

There’s a lot of Komachi and her Komachi Points in this, and it’s clear that she’s shipping Hachiman with Yui – not that this is really going anywhere. Honestly, Yui and Yukino is the ship which gains the most ground in these short stories, but the author’s not going in that direction either. Instead this seems to be a pretty leisurely look at the character tics we know and love. Hachiman is cynical, Yukino is… well, also cynical, Yui is shiny. The drama CD one may be the weakest, partly as adaptations always tend to suffer a bit like this, and partly as I don’t care about Chiba Prefecture. The Judo story reads most like the novels, and is the best, though also relied a bit too much on “Zaimokuza is gross” for my tastes. Hachiman[‘s solution is excellent, and his implementation is equally awful. It’s the series in a nutshell, really.

The 7th volume ended on a cliffhanger, and it’s annoying that we aren’t getting that resolved. But I’m happy to read about these characters, and as I said, till the very end Hachiman seems to actually be fairly tolerable. A good read.

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