This whole show is about Hachiman coming to terms with his misery and growing up, and growing out of it. Episode 7 finally had Hachiman not just knowing this, but outright admitting it, that his actions don’t lead to desirable results, and that he’s maintaining a façade, rather than presenting his true face. Internal words are cheap though, so then we had episode 8, where Hikki had a long chat with Sensei, who explained to him how the world works, and how relationships work. Pain is a natural part of relationships, and people aren’t always rational agents, including Hikki and his friends.
And then we had the episode’s second half, which was less than clear for many people (see an explanation for various points here), where Hachiman and friends finally made the first step to a great friendship, where they’ve had a fight and told everyone how they feel, and what they want, and what they want is to have friends, and to be less afraidtogether. This isn’t “the end”, because as last episode told us, it’s all about constantly trying to overcome challenges together, about dealing with hurting your friends, and being hurt with them.
Let’s see how Yukino and Hachiman, far too used to “logic” and being resplendant in their loneliness, take to the new environment, but first, let us deal with Jazz Hands. I assume.
Post Episode Thoughts:
This episode was pretty light and enjoyable, especially in its first two-thirds. Everyone’s avoiding touching the real issues. Yes, it means we’re not really getting into it with jazz hands, but more importantly, the characters are dancing around what happened last episode. It’s still raw, and they need to find a new balancing point. It’s not “everything’s normal” as we’ve had it for most of the season, where everyone’s trying to act as if nothing has changed because if they fake it, they just might make it. No, here everything exists between them and they acknowledge it, but they’re too self-conscious to put it out there in words, lest it breaks apart, or they end up crying again. So they spend time together, not to hide away the past conflict, but to try and build up on it. It’s a fine difference that’s hard to put into words, but it’s meaningful. It’s genuine.