OreGairu Season 2 Episode 7 – Missing the Point, but Trying

Let’s try something new, order-wise. I did consider just posting the “Post-Episode Thoughts” as its own editorial, and linking to the rest of the notes. Tell me what you think in the comment section!

Pre-Episode Spiel:

It finally hit me late last night, when last episode Yukino said that maybe they should stop taking new cases, and Hikki asked “Then what have we been doing all this time?” He was talking about his and Yui’s effort to maintain the club as is, and the rejection of it by Yukino. As a result of the deteriorating atmosphere in the club, and to still feel as part of it, Hikki has gone to help Iroha.

What did we have last episode? The funniest episode that most resembled the first season. A mostly setup episode, with an in-episode cloying atmosphere of dealing with soft social power, by Yukino on Yui and Hikki, by Iroha on Hikki, and Iroha and her Student Council getting absolutely crushed by the other school’s president. You don’t need to shout at people or use physical violence to control them, and the atmosphere. Then again, isn’t that one of this show’s main themes?

Now it only remains to be seen how much Hikki did or didn’t change since the Cultural Festival Arc last season. Will he help Iroha, or will he help her help herself?

Post Episode Thoughts:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Hikigaya Hachiman couldn't think of the right words

How this episode opened, and closed.

This episode opening and then continuing with banter, first between Hachiman and Komachi (I’d like to call him “Hikki” here, but they’re both Hikigayas), and then between Hikki and Iroha was a small little thing. It showed how Hikki can be when he doesn’t have his barrier up, when he has relations he doesn’t have to question why he has them and can just act secure in the knowledge they’d be there. But of course, as we’ve seen when Komachi was angry with him, it’s exactly this closeness that motivates him to work in order to ensure the relationships can keep on going.

The move to Totsuka and Yui is obvious, where Hachiman tries to help others, he’s unable to accept others’ offers to help him. He comes off as closed, as “cool”, but it’s masking an insecurity. He has a hard time opening himself to others, not realizing that others’ approaches are actually offers for aid, of the sort he himself asks for before stepping in, or even without them (such as taking the load off of Yukino in the Cultural Festival or helping the little girl who was ostracized in the first season).

But all of this quiet setup, of how Hikki deals with people, is a lead up to the double core of this episode, of Hachiman outright admitting for the first time that he’s not cool, he can’t necessarily solve others’ issues, but it’s only a mask, a mask that’s capable of effecting change, but not enough, and a mask that has responsibility – both for its successes, and its failures. Hachiman started the show “knowing who he is,” knowing his role in regards to the rest of society, as outside and above it, as one who isn’t emotionally affected, and who can pass judgment.

But now, Hachiman is lost. He’s lost because his actions hurt people he cares about, because as Hayama told him, those other people are just like him, unsure of themselves, with a difference between the outside and the inside. And no, that doesn’t make them liars, just people who are trying to do the best they can to help people while not being hurt, who help as much as they can, while understanding that both actions and lack thereof will lead to people being hurt. Is it your responsible to make your friends happy? And if you try to make them happy but it hurts them, is it your responsibility as well? This is where the reintroduction of Tsurumi Rumi mattered – Hachiman’s gambit should’ve worked, yet here is the yet lonely girl he “helped”, so what is all his effort for?

The other big part was where Yukino and Hikki talked past another, and all they needed to do was stop and listen, for a single moment. Each sees the other as capable, of being able to succeed on their own, as not needing emotional support. Each tells the other how they see them as an ideal, unlike their own weak selves. All they need to do is stop, listen, and realize how they are all too similar, how they need one another’s help and acceptance, how both of them seem so strong only because they’re afraid to break down. But admitting it, admitting that the other can’t help them more than they can help themselves (and they don’t see themselves as worthy of help, or of providing help), will be the final nail in the coffin of ideals.

Yukino throws back at Hachiman his old words to Hayama, of not needing to make the effort to repair a relationship, and that if the relationship even needs effort to be maintained, then perhaps it’s not worth saving. But the hallmark of a relationship isn’t what can strain it, but whether we’ll take the effort to fix it. The misguided idea that “a true relationship” is one that’s never strained and is always easy is how one ends up alone, and afraid to open up to the world. It is how one ends like Hikigaya Hachiman and Yukinoshita Yukino.

Both of them are so busy admitting how weak they are that they can’t hear the other side is asking for support, for warmth. In the wise words of Hikigaya Komachi, “In times like this all you need to say is “I love you””, but they’re not close enough to say such things, because they demand such closeness in order to say the words that can create it. A sad and lonely loop. Admitting their own weaknesses to themselves, and then to another are the first steps in maturing past this step, but it’s a long road yet. Now the question is whether Hikigaya Hachiman is willing to change, at long last, to take responsibility for his happiness, for his relationships with his friends. He’ll have to force himself, but not for the sake of others, but for the sake of others as it is for his own sake.

(Check out my blog or the specific page for all my write-ups on OreGairu S2.)

Thoughts and Notes (As I Watched):

1) Home, Sweet Home:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Hikigaya Komachi tells Hikigaya Hachiman he only needs to admit his love

1) “What I want the most is your happiness! And we’re out of detergent, so buy some on the way home.” This is the most cutesy sort of discussion, which I usually see in RomCom movies, between a married couple. Take it as you will. I’ll just take it as a way to show just how (not romantically) intimate Komachi and Hikki’s relationship is, and what people seek for in romantic relationships, for them to truly become your family.

2) “Oh right, mom wants you to order the chicken.” A rare reference to MC’s parents! No, it hasn’t come as far as either hearing or let alone seeing them, but a reference to parents beyond Yukino’s actually existing. Zomg. It’s so weird/sad that anime is this weird “parents don’t exist” sort of place. You could get a lot out of relationships with them. Then again, it’s a show about having to fail resolving your problems on your own, hee hee.

3) “I love you, Komachi.” Well, Hikki always looks like a creep. It’s those dead eyes. More seriously, note how he’s actively trying to cheer someone else up. Is this the real Hikki, as opposed to how he is at school, because he doesn’t have to hide himself in fear of being hurt? Nah, they’re both really him – the him he is when his guard is down, which is trying to cheer up close ones, and the him he is when his guard is up, which is trying to help others by drawing even farther.

2) Togetherness:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Yuigahama Yui speaks of her club's lack of cohesion

1) “Again, why did you ditch me?” after she specifically said “Let’s go to the club together.” Take a hint, Hikigaya Hachiman. Girl doesn’t want to feel her social connections growing apart.

2) “We should’ve taken this task together as a club,” Yui’s talking about Iroha’s current request, but perhaps also the old one, which the club took up, but certainly not together. Continuing with lines that contain more than one meaning, “Yukino is all about overcoming obstacles like this,” meaning helping others such as Iroha find their place, or over their own club falling apart? The two conflicts aren’t all that dissimilar, especially if you focus on how Iroha’s real issue is bonding with her Student Council and other people more than merely dealing with this specific event.

The most important part of this scene though is, as is often the case, dealing with how people actually change, how Yukino might have changed, or rather, how Yukino’s relationship with them had changed. There’s also realizing the fact they might have made a mistake before, that they might not have understood their friend’s desire as well as they would’ve wanted to. But of course, it’s not translated to actually realizing they should talk with one another, including her, directly.

3) “We can’t do much, so at least we can let Hikki do as much as he can!” – A mirror to what was said in episode 2, with how they let Hikki take it all on himself, and also references what Yui said back then, and earlier this episode – “I’ll let you do it, but I’ll worry.”

3) Helping Automatons:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Hayama Hayato tells Hikigaya Hachiman he never turns anyone down

1) Hayama is telling Hachiman he’s more than his image, that he actually makes decisions and isn’t some automaton who reacts to outsiders based on some given script, one decided by his social status. There’s a tendency to view ourselves as free agents and others as acting based on their “natures”. Hayama is saying that if anyone always helps others here, it’s Hikki. And then Hayama passes the baton of taking care of others to Hikki, another request, one that isn’t just about the school, but about helping a person.

Hayama is also saying he doesn’t stick his nose in if he’s not asked to, is he making light criticism of Hachiman doing more than he’s asked to, or is he insinuating that if Hikki asked him for help, he might give it? He did once, but because Haruno asked him to. Or perhaps, he’s just saying it because it came up, free of subtext ;-)

2) And in the end, Hikki still got the bag from Iroha, after running after her. A metaphor for cleaning up after someone else, of working to take their load, even if they don’t ask for it. Now you just gotta apply that to Yukino, and take the load off of her even without her asking.

4) Communal Stupidity:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Tamanwa tells Hikigaya Hachiman they need to work together

1) Yeah, asking the little kids over before actually deciding what you’re going to use them for. This really is how planning meetings go, wasting everyone’s time and patience ;_;

2) “We should discuss solutions where we can all contribute!” – “We’re running out of time.” – “You’re right, we should discuss that too!” GAH.

3) “Now that we’ve calibrated our expectations of the grand design, let’s have a functional discussion of the creative aspect today.” – Oy, mate, we here to run a Christmas event, or paint the friggin’ Sistine Chapel?

4) Right, incorporating all the solutions into one event, a jazz choir musical band event where the singers exchange presents between the audience sure sounds like it’d work.

Hm, it just hit me. Tamanawa is a kid, just like everyone else, right? He is afraid of making decisions. He’s afraid to shoot down ideas, and to have his ideas shot down. He’s afraid of the social conflict inherent in these situations, so tries to avoid any actual decision-making. Or maybe he’s just an ass who likes to hear himself talking. Who knows. Also, his “let’s incorporate everyone’s ideas”? Very similar to Hachiman’s “make everyone happy” solutions’ lip-service.

5) And here we see, again, the result of making the solution the goal, instead of actually thinking of what it’s supposed to be solving – a musical movie is a fine idea, but it’s no longer a community event for Christmas for the elderly. This is what happens when the method and the artifacts it generates become more important than the situation you’re there for.

5) The Mask:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Hikigaya Hachiman admits his ideal self is a lie

1) “Did something happen?” – Hikki is missing an offer for help, because it’s not phrased as one, and because it doesn’t come from the one person he can accept help from, his own sister. People don’t help when they’re not asked, and people also turn down requests for help when they’re not the one who did the asking.

2) “Cool? I only try to act cool. Stubbornly clinging to the ideal self I’d created in my mind.” And season 2 continues with actually spelling out what had always been there, and which people stubbornly clung to the surface ideas, to not see, Hikki’s insecurity. Of course, this is making Hikki more relateable, and in some ways, cooler – always doing the right thing naturally is much less impressive than throwing yourself out there and trying in the face of your insecurities and fears.

However, as seen by not taking Totsuka’s offer for aid, and every scene in the club this season show, Hikki’s not that good at acting cool either. Hikki, like everyone else, is all too familiar with shrinking in the face of tough decisions, such as opening up to others. It’s easy to see his aloofness as “cool”, but he’s just hiding. Hayama told Hikki something similar, that from within, people aren’t like that, it’s just a mask.

His final wondering about others’ faces, is he wondering whether having a mask rather than sharing his vulnerabilities is ideal, or whether having a mask that others can’t confide in, and which brings forth sadness in others, not ideal?

6) A Logic-Free Intermission:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Tsurumi Rumi passes by Hikigaya Hachiman

1) “If it’s that easy scoring points with you, then I don’t want them.” – Paraphrasing Groucho Marx’s “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”? Or perhaps contrasting it with Komachi, which helps further paint Iroha’s character as a younger-sister one, rather than a romantic interest.

2) Without Tamanawa, things actually progress, but it’s still Hikki who’s making all the shots, rather than Iroha and the rest of the Student Council actually stepping up. So much for being a “helper”. And then Hikki says as much.

3) “Are you into younger girls, senpai?” – A younger girl such as Iroha. Note that his focus is again, on the “younger sister” type, not romantically, but as a sort of relationship of guardianship and closeness. Not how Iroha hears it though. “Why are you treating me like a pest?” – Even the banter is reminiscent of Komachi’s banter with Hachiman. Then again, no one else banters with him.

4) Tsurumi Rumi smiled, when Hikki did nothing more than share space with her, but now that he’s trying to “solve her issues” for her again, when he sends her off to deal with kids her own age, she’s not happy. But perhaps it’s what’s needed. At least the lesson is that warmth can be shared simply by being next to one another. It leads to the following line, where he questions whether he succeeded, and whether he’s obligated to keep trying.

7) The Truth:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Yukinoshita Yukino and Hikigaya Hachiman cold correctness

1) “Even with my old methods, I managed to save some things, but it’s not enough. What is my responsibility? I still haven’t found the answer to that.” – This might be the most important line not only in this episode, but in the entire show’s run, in both seasons, up to this point. This is about Hachiman trying to find his place in the world, to find out who he wants to be, but taking into account how who he’ll be and the actions he’ll take will affect others.

Hachiman knows he can help people, but just getting things done is the equivalent to “acting cool”, it’s not enough. He can do things for others, while others get hurt, while those he’s helping get hurt, or that he himself gets hurt. He can help others, but he can mostly solve their superficial issues, their “acting cool”-level, without resolving the underlying issues, so they’re left with loneliness, with sullen looks when they think no one is looking, or forced cheerfulness when others are looking.

And he’s responsible. Does he wish to act to help that surface level, or would he rather do nothing at all and not take on the responsibility of having failed to help and perhaps having made things worse? Who does Hikigaya Hachiman wish to be? How much is he responsible for others when he fails to act, and how much when he does act? How much should he let others be their own people, and how can he interact with people without taking their agency away from them? Does he have to keep interceding on Iroha and Rumi’s behalf indefinitely once he intervened once? Hikki is asking himself the most important question of all, of who he wants to be with others. He’s not God, he’s not even cool, so who exactly is problem-solving Hachiman, if you take these away?

2) “You didn’t lie. I stand corrected.” – This is cold, this hurts. Yukino is telling Hikki he should’ve trusted her. She’s not saying, but she’s insinuating that he should’ve also asked for her help or input. His reply is one that is very rules-lawyery, “I didn’t lie, I just didn’t tell you the truth.” The reply you give a stranger, not a close friend. So Yukino responds in kind, and you can see how far apart they stand, two school friends, two club members, when there’s no one else around.

Also, remember how this episode opened, with Yui asking whether Yukino wanted to be Student Council President. Likewise here, it seems Hachiman has made the same mistake again, of leaving Yukino out when he thinks that’s what she wanted, but perhaps what she really wanted was to help, perhaps even work alongside Hikki.

3) Hikki doesn’t need Yukino’s permission, but he wants her approval. Being given the stranger treatment, about how she has no responsibility or control over him, how he shouldn’t ask her, is the result of him keeping her at bay (and thus what he deserves), and it hurts. It probably hurts the most knowing he’s responsible for this rift.

8) Mirroring’s a Bitch:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Yukinoshita Yukino throws Hikigaya Hachiman old words back at him

Remember when Hachiman said this very thing to Hayama in episode 2? Hurts, doesn’t it.

1) “I only do things alone because I’m alone (meaning, not because I had a choice), aren’t you the same?” and she tells him exactly what he said before, that she only acted as if she could do everything, like she understood everything. And here we see the final lynchpin for “Yukino is just like Hachiman.” Each of them sees the other as one who is self-sufficient, self-assured, who can do things. Heck, Yukino said to Hachiman he can do things on his own, and resolve everything. Except, right this episode, he told us he can’t, and it’s all a lie – both the alone, and the self-assuredness, and actually getting things done. Everyone sees everyone else around them as capable, and themselves as unsure, but everyone else is just as unsure. Even Hachiman, and Hayama, and Yukinoshita. They all need someone to lean on.

2) “If this is all it takes to tear us apart, then maybe we weren’t all that close to begin with.” This is terrible, because it’s exactly what Hachiman told Hayama in the 2nd episode. Hikki told Yukino he’s not in the club only to look over Yukino and Yui, and it’s true, he’s there because he actually cares about them, and the club – he’s there for himself. And now he sees what he couldn’t accept when Hayama came to him for help, that people actually want to be close to one another, and it’s the striving that is the true core of the relationship, more than over some nebulous “reasons” to strive.

3) “You don’t have to force yourself to come anymore.” – And this feeds into what I earlier referred to as the most important part of the show thus far – does he want to be one who puts in effort, or does he want to be one who’s “cool” and “unbothered”? Hikki’s forcing himself to come to the club, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to. That sort of false dichotomy is what he accused Hayama and others of before, not understanding that this is the true effort of relationships.

Not understanding? No, afraid of admitting it, because that wouldn’t have been cool, and would’ve forced him to open himself up. So, what responsibility does he have for his, and his friends’ happiness?

Shorter Notes / Asides:

OreGairu S2 episode 7 anime - Totsuka Saika's cute haiku

  1. Opening with a shot of the club, our home base, our home, or so we wish. And of course, each person being focused on their own thing.
  2. With the new character designs, ex-loner girl really looks like the youngest generation of the Yukinoshita family, eh? She’s also the only one here who frankly and directly asks for instructions, unlike all the older kids.
  3. “Doesn’t jazz resonate more with Christmas?” – I guess the Japanese know Christmas even less than my Israeli self.
  4. Yeah, someone sure did turn up the heat in here with all dat Totsukaservice, as far as Hikki’sconcerned.
  5. People learn. After Hayama dressed Orimoto down, she knows not to speak badly of people, to gossip about them, in front of them.

Return to the OreGairu S2 Episodic Notes page.

28 comments on “OreGairu Season 2 Episode 7 – Missing the Point, but Trying

  1. FusionC says:

    I was hoping for a little note on how Orimoto considers Hikki’s feelings when he is walking in the rain with Iroha and she just says the past is the past.

    I’ve become dependent on these analyses to complete my understanding of this Anime. Always interesting to read.

    Also, I do like you putting everything in 1 editorial rather than separating the post episodes thoughts.

    • Guy says:

      I was hoping for a little note on how Orimoto considers Hikki’s feelings when he is walking in the rain with Iroha and she just says the past is the past.

      But I did, the very last line in the write-up!

      “People learn. After Hayama dressed Orimoto down, she knows not to speak badly of people, to gossip about them, in front of them.”

      Is it a result of empathy, after Hayama put her at the position of being humiliated in public? That she’s suddenly been made aware of how she comes across to others? Shame while recalling that moment? Who knows, there are many options, and we don’t really know. That people can change their behaviour, not say the wrong thing, is the relevant takeaway for this episode.

      Also, I do like you putting everything in 1 editorial rather than separating the post episodes thoughts.

      Thanks for the feedback! Anything about having the “editorial” appear before the notes?

  2. I seriously love this episode. Best one yet.

    All the deep and emphasized pause on facial expressions, changes and revelations towards character development, the reminiscing reappearance and references and all the repeated humour that makes you smile outwardly but makes your heart cry inside.

    The deconstruction in this episode was so satisfying yet so beautifully delivered with such underlying meanings and utter sarcasm. the music also somehow played out well with the heart strings. I wonder if i could have even appreciate this show without having reading your blog at the start of this season, because it was really confusing at 1st not being able to see into details.

    Personally, I think there was more to it in this episode that what i can get reading this post, but its the entirety of all your episodic reviews that can explain more or less of this one episode. I also liked how you bundled it into one this time. keep it on.

    • Guy says:

      In this particular episode, I definitely had moments where I felt I couldn’t really say things clearly, where there was just too much to say, and you could take things in either direction and I wasn’t sure which was right.

      6.4 into 7.1 is the perfect example, “I could still accomplish some things with my old method. But it’s not enough. What is my responsibility?” – Is he happy with where Rumi is, and that he helped her, or does he see himself as having failed? Or does he see himself as having done some work, but not enough, and that he’d need new methods to actually make it all the way? I believe it’s leaning towards the last one, and that’s even before getting to the question of his responsibility after intervening, but I felt all options were important, and valid.

      This season in general emphasizes small tics and facial expressions a lot. I think in the first episode I likened it to KyoAni’s focus on small touches, and the environment they created in Hyouka. Checking the screenshots after every episode, you see this show is quite static, so some of it feels as if it’s a method of saving time, but you know what? It works, so I don’t mind. Heck, perhaps things would’ve been worse if they had more resources to work with, but maybe not.

      I do wonder what repeated humor in this episode you found noteworthy? What sarcasm? My take on “Anime comedy” is quite different from other people’s, such as when they tell me they found Welcome to the NHK to be funny and I found it to be anything but, so I’m curious what you mean. If instead of “sarcasm” you meant “irony”, then I definitely agree, but I’d rather ask than assume.

      This episode was certainly very interesting. It wasn’t as overt as episode 2’s finale, or Hayama’s day out with Hachiman and then his interactions with Haruno in episode 4 were much harsher, much more overt, but this episode, though it actually spelled everything out in its own way, felt much more touching, much more focused on “showing”, even by such small things as bringing back Tsurumi, or the contrast work.

      So, while I don’t feel this episode to be the strongest this season, it might actually be.

  3. Kyrukk says:

    “Oh right, mom wants you to order the chicken.” A rare reference to MC’s parents! No, it hasn’t come as far as either hearing or let alone seeing them, but a reference to parents beyond Yukino’s actually existing. Zomg. It’s so weird/sad that anime is this weird “parents don’t exist” sort of place. You could get a lot out of relationships with them. Then again, it’s a show about having to fail resolving your problems on your own, hee hee.

    Amusingly, Hachimom actually showed up in this scene (with speaking parts), but I guess Feel didn’t want to animate her or something. It was pretty minor anyway. She does have a character design in the manga adaptation of the LN.

    • Guy says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen the images over on reddit. I think they could do a lot with an actual parental character. Then again, Sensei is sort of that character, and she’s had about two sentences this season, thus far.

      • Kyrukk says:

        Oh, she’ll have more soon in upcoming episodes, don’t worry about that.

        • Guy says:

          Either she will, or she won’t. I’ll take the content as it arrives and judge it based on what’s there (I mean, OreImo cut out a pretty major character entirely from its second season) :)

      • Kyrukk says:

        Feel hasn’t flat-out omitted any Sensei scenes in this (frankly excellent) adaptation so far, so I don’t imagine they’ll start now. Kawasaki, meanwhile…

      • Kyrukk says:

        Eh, scratch that: Feel did omit a scene that noted Sensei’s involvement as a supervisor for the Christmas Event. So I’ll have to downgrade the odds of that thing I’m thinking about showing up to 99.99966%.

  4. TWWK says:

    Just wanted to say that a Tumblr friend pointed me toward this page after I posted about this episode of OreGairu, and he was write in telling me how wonderful your analysis is. I really enjoyed digging into your post, and I’ll be returning for your breakdowns of each future episode as well. Take care!

    • Guy says:

      Thanks for the kind words! It’s good to know that Tumblr still has an effect, because Tumblr reception (judged by reblogs/likes) had been much softer for episodes 5-7 compared to 1-4. So it’s good to know that the ripples are still playing out there.

      I did actually read your piece yesterday, after it went live, by the aniblog twitter account. I personally think the first season already began with Hachiman’s heart knowing his method isn’t correct, and now it’s his mind that’s finally growing to admit it, after his care has grown enough to peel the scabs he’s hiding behind. But yes, if some part of you knows what you’re doing is wrong, and you don’t admit it to yourself, and it doesn’t affect your actions, then it’s not very meaningful, is it?

      But it does feed into his “sudden change” in this season, because it’s, as I see it, something he was eager for before the season even began. But he’s still going about it slowly, he’s still pushing back when others try to help him along, because he still feels hurt, such as when Hayama tried to reach out to him.

      Hope you like the further pieces too, and thanks for dropping by :)

  5. CasualReader says:

    Hello! I’m back with some comments, if you even remembered me.

    As follow up to my previous comment in episode 6, the next post you made on the rankings carried certain changes, which i found imo to be a better ranking system. Sure, listing anime titles by their numbered orders gets your point across quick and clear, but I feel that by “grading” them, it serves a much fairer evaluation, and allows for your readers to make their own fair evaluation instead of just blindly nodding and thinking “yes, he’s right” without actually thinking about what you have just typed. (Sounds familiar to Tamanawa and gang, no?) As a fellow blogger/writer, i think that getting your point across should be one of any writer’s main goals, but also to not blindly spew facts that make their readers nod and agree like automated machines, but actually stimulate actual thinking like a person would in an ordinary discussion. Then again, some readers probably wouldnt really like that, huh?

    Overall with regards to the change on your ranking post, i like the change. Its fair, self-evaluative, and clear in its presentation. Not sure if others would agree with me on this. Keep it up. :)

    And to Oregairu now.

    Firstly, as always, great analysis to read, although most points have been glaringly obvious this episode. That, or you werent digging as deep into the scenes as you previously did.

    Secondly, my thoughts on your new layout. I found that putting the post episodic notes at the end makes for a better read. Heres why:

    If you wrote plenty of exam essays back in school, you’d know that the standard format is facts, example, and analysis. I found that this, albeit modified, has been the layout of your previous posts. (Please do correct me if I’m wrong)

    When you put the post episodic notes at the top, you’re putting analysis above facts, and that might lead to confused conclusions. When I first read this post, i wasnt sure what I was reading until I was done and went back to the top.

    The rationale is simple. Even if someone has just watched the episode and came straight to your blog, they might get bombarded by what was supposed to be the “final boss”, aka the conclusion, leaving them confused and perhaps even overwhelmed. After all, nobody is a mind reader, unless you have similar wavelengths.

    What are your thoughts on the episode? What message was the episode trying to convey? What was the episode even about?

    These stuff normally go into the conclusion imo.

    By listing the thoughts section first, you’re actually refreshing the reader’s mind by putting in facts, to which as you go along, you analyse them one by one to make the reader see the point you are trying to convey at the end of it.

    To sum it up, I would prefer the post episodic notes at the bottom, because I view them as a summation of your post; a conclusion. It clarifies what I have just read, so i can either choose to whole heartedly agree or disagree with you.

    You may disagree, but it’s really just a matter of opinion. The layout can differ according to what you want to convey and expect from the reader. Mutual understanding? Complete agreement? Or do you want an exchange of opinion? Either way, readers have the freedom to flick their fingers and scroll up or down to re-read it. Question is, do you want such unnecessary finger exercise? :)

    As i see it, putting post episodic notes at the very top screams “agree with me”. Then again, it has its own merits. One is for readers who simply scroll down your homepage where it may be easier to get the rough idea of what you’re trying to say without reading too much. Secondly, in a way, reading the post episodic notes from the get go also stimulates thinking, as in the beginning, the reader still holds his own views, and can slowly agree or disagree as they proceed reading on, but with additional brainpower because the reader dont know what led you to this conclusion. Then again, by the end of the post they will probably have forsook their own views to agree with yours, because you have such detailed analysis that it takes too much time and brainpower to rebut. But of course, this is just one guy’s two cents.

    I actually doubt most people will even hold such in-depth views when they watch the anime, so i feel that despite having its merits, your previous layout would be easier to read and understand.

    But like i have said, either way is fine. After all, everyone can just scroll back up to re-read if they dont understand/want clarifications.

    On a side note, I should probably change my name to TheWritingStyleCritic. If you were looking for opinions/scrutiny on your facts, i apologise in such that i can never provide that for i have no time to do detailed scrutiny. Being a blogger/writer myself however, i can provide a certain degree of constructive criticism on the things like I have just mentioned. After all, presentation of facts is as important as getting your facts right.

    Keep up the good work. :)

    Tldr; i liked your new rankings system. Great analysis as always. Would prefer previous layout (post episodic notes at the bottom).

    • Guy says:

      Hello! I’m back with some comments, if you even remembered me.

      It’s only been 5 days since the comment you made before this, and my memory is quite good, so yes, I remember.

      Week in review order.

      First, you shouldn’t discuss other posts which aren’t really relevant to this discussion in this comment. It just makes it a hassle to read and collate discussion, or for people who are interested in one topic but not another to pitch in.

      I’m also afraid to say you’ve misunderstood something. That wasn’t my week in review post, but the mid-season post. The mid-season posts on this blog were always carried out in that format. As they cover the entire show up to this point.

      I have no intention of covering each weekly episode like this, as I desire to neither rate where I think a show is at every single week, nor do I wish to give a score to every single episode. I much prefer my ranking version, where every single show can be great, or every single show can be good. The order was mostly added after Anime Power Ranking went on hiatus, and who knows, maybe I’ll go for an alphabetic order next week. I do usually at my “Overall impressions of the week” section say where I think each show/group fell on the “Great-good-average-meh” spectrum.

      it serves a much fairer evaluation, and allows for your readers to make their own fair evaluation instead of just blindly nodding and thinking “yes, he’s right” without actually thinking about what you have just typed.

      What? Users are going to have to make their own judgment either way. Saying Show A is “Good” and Show B is “average” is just as fair and subjective as saying “Show A is better than Show B”. There’s no real difference here, no increased objectivity, and no different action that should be taken by my readers, who hopefully come with their own thoughts and feelings to the table.

      If anything, I think my usual weekly posts do encourage more thoughts, as they point out topics to discuss, rather than some more distant overview.

      OreGairu post order.

      Thank you for the feedback! I actually think there is no “facts” and then “analysis” going on here. The “facts” would be the episode itself, and these posts assume you’ve actually watched the episode, as they’re entirely my take on things. If anything, I’d say my “thoughts and notes” is “analysis,” while the “post-episode thoughts” is a combination of summary and synthesis. It’s at the same time covering all the things discussed before and using it to make more concrete points. But it’s not based on “facts” per se, but on my analysis of facts already.

      Your reasoning though does make sense. The chief reason is that, well, most people come just for the final analysis. After all, the “facts” are the episode, and everyone already watched the episode. I’m also, in general, more prone to posting editorials on my blog. This method, or even posting the “post-episode thoughts” first, allows people to read just that and then skip all the words discussing the minutiae of everything they’ve watched. That’s what a summary is for. And then, if there’s a specific part they might want more elucidation on how I got there, they can read that section.

      That’s just my logic, but since I know in this part it’s only my own, I’m asking for others’ opinions.

      P.S. If you’re a blogger yourself, why do you leave the link to your site/blog empty while leaving comments? :)

      • CasualReader says:

        About the week in order, sorry i got it misunderstood. I wasnt really aware of its difference.

        And yes, i know i shouldve posted relevant sections in their appropriate posts, but I dont really want to leave my mark on every post. Plus, due to my time constraints i usually type out my comments on the go. It certainly makes things easier to type them all in one go and post it instead of risking losing everything with an accidental press of a button, but i guess ill try segregating my comments.

        About the part where you said readers will make their own opinions anyway, theres such a writing style where the writer can brainwash their readers using extremely persuasive arrangement of words. Formatting plays an important role too, like how one would list the advantages of an issue, and then detailing the disadvantages later because thats the last thing the readers will read and also agree with the fresher information in their heads.

        But like i said, it was just my two cents. Everyone has their own style that distinguishes them from other writers. Not all readers will think like i do, but i generally believe that writers like you and i will know this better because well, they write, and when they write, they think about nitty gritty things like word placement and vocabulary which ordinary readers probably wouldnt even notice. Your new format has its own merits and demerits, only I happen to prefer the previous one.

        As per your final paragraph, i dont put in my website because the main ‘blog’ that i post in is pretty much a privatised site where only its community of members can view. Secondly, even if the site wasnt a privatised one, i didnt see the need to publicise it.

        I always seek constructive criticism rather than baseless praise/criticism. As such, if you’re ever hearing from me again, expect a long essay. ;) Sorry if reading and replying to it is a chore though.

        • Guy says:

          Sorry if reading and replying to it is a chore though.

          It’s fine. I could always reply more tersly if I felt the need, or tell you to knock something off, so it’s fine. Believe me, I’m not shy about telling people off on my blog.

          About the part where you said readers will make their own opinions anyway, theres such a writing style where the writer can brainwash their readers using extremely persuasive arrangement of words.

          While this isn’t false, you’re presenting a very extreme read of things. I give more credit to the people reading this blog to be able to make their own minds. You’re actually seeming to operate under an extremely common cognitive bias, where we ascribe free will to our own decisions, but a mechanical nature to others’ actions, where they’re merely carrying out their innate nature or are controlled by people from outside. That’s a very Hachiman thing to do, in light of episode 8 ;)

  6. tankyrase says:

    This episode review was too good! Until I read your post, I couldn’t see how everything in the anime could be related to someone like me, but then I read your post, and I was like, “damn, how did I miss all of that?”. I think I am going to re-read your post to get a better understanding of what’s going on, cuz my current personality is exactly like that of Hachiman, and I am literally facing the exact same issues that Hachiman is experiencing.

    • Guy says:

      my current personality is exactly like that of Hachiman, and I am literally facing the exact same issues that Hachiman is experiencing.

      Well, that’s not a good place to be at, though accepting this fact is a large part of the challenge, so good luck with getting to a better, and happier place!

  7. dj7 says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this. I loved the first season, and I couldn’t wait for the season to come out. When it did, a few changes, in particular the voice acting and mood, made this second season feel a whole lot darker to me than the first. I found it more difficult to piece together the true feelings behind all the words that every character says. These analyses are spot on and certainly help to clear up all the lines I don’t quite understand. I look forward to these weekly posts about as much as I do the episode itself. Thanks!

    • Guy says:

      Thanks for the kind words! The last time people told me they looked for my write-ups as much (or more) than the show was in Spring 2013 with Gatchaman Crowds, which incidentally, is getting another season next season (hype!).

      What you’re saying is actually a bit surprising to me, because it feels this season is much clearer about what characters think and feel. But, that means that you’ve had an image in your mind during the first season, and that what happened in the second season didn’t exactly match that, which hindered your understanding. I am curious then, what did you think of the characters, what did you think they were going for, in the first season?

      • dj7 says:

        Perhaps the abundance of jokes and amusing dialogues in the first season helped to create a lighter mood. The show knew when to create serious situations to drive a point home, and the humor never got in the way. I liked the way in which they presented character changes. One particular scene that stood out was when Yukinon and Hiki were wrapping up a conversation about the slogan that Hiki had come up with during the cultural festival meeting. Yukinon said, “sayoonara” and turned to leave. One expects her to coolly and confidently walk away towards her next destination right? But instead she stopped midway, turning around to awkwardly wave a hand goodbye to Hiki, and uttered a very unfamiliar sounding (her expression was priceless) “mata ashita.” The flashbacks that the characters recall to prove a point, under the premise of “I am the source on this matter,” or “I am the world’s leading expert on refusals,” were interesting ways of shedding light on how the casts’ past experiences shaped the beliefs they have now.

        However, past the second episode of the first season, it became entirely dark. This is understandable, as we now approach a phase where the cast is finally forced to confront their problems face on, problems they have been lying to themselves about all this time. It’s supposed to be dark. But also, the music in the background is also noticeably more eerie, the voices sound less alive to me (change in voice actors, I don’t think I’m used to it), and the overall structure feels different (director and studio change I suppose). This shift in mood probably threw off the way I was used to processing this show, and, like you said, some of what I had in mind for this second season just didn’t line up with what I expected.

        However, I like this season too. While the first season felt like it aimed to be a lighthearted, comedic slice of life focusing on the developing drama of Hiki and his belief system, the second season really narrows it down to examining the human condition. It forces me think a lot more haha. So your explanations have been super helpful.

  8. lijenstina says:

    Thanks for the very nice review.

    There are additional meanings to some of the sentences.

    Some spoilers for the story so far.

    The most obvious one is “I didn’t lie, I just didn’t tell you the truth.”

    That’s the ending of Volume 6 or the first season. The whole issue that span from the ending of volume 2 to 6 concerning the accident and Yukino being silent about it. It’s a rationalization previously used by Yukino (“…I’m not lying. I mean, I didn’t know you at all.”). Also it shows up in Hachiman thoughts about Yukino from time to time afterwards in the LN.

    “You don’t have to force yourself to come anymore.”

    The spirit of Hachiman words to Yui when he gave her a birthday present in vol 3.(“You don’t have to care about me anymore.”)

    Hachiman stopping Rumi of saying thanks is a parallel to the scene at the end of ep 9 from the first season. (cutting off Yukino to say something about what happened). The sentiment is similar (Hachiman knowing that he is reponsible why the things turned up to be like they did).

    The whole talk is like a big Deja Vu.:)

    • Guy says:

      Interesting. The replication with Rumi to me seems basically meaningless, the “You don’t have to come” is obviously a repeat to every single conflict they’ve had in the past. That’s basically the explication of any conflict in any relationship – “You don’t have to patch things, you can break apart the relationship, but do you want to keep going though you don’t have to?” – It’s easy to see this as a contrast to his relation with Komachi, but as Haruno and Yukino’s strained relationship shows, even there it’s very much a decision.

      That bit with Yukino and the car though, that’s good. Thanks for reminding me. I could see all the usual suspects going, “Yeah, serves Yukino right! She gets her own words thrown back at her!” but if anything, I’d have to shake my head at Hachiman here. Hachiman knows how much it hurts to get a “proper response” when you want to be trusted, when you think of someone as your friend. And yet, he gives her said response even though he knows how much it hurts.

      There’s a reason I opened this post with the “I couldn’t think of anything better to say” image, where Komachi gives the proper sentence instead.

      Thanks for pointing it out, certainly something of note!

  9. […] since season one, with his heart even then realizing what his mind couldn’t, that his way isn’t necessarily the right way.  It’s nice to see him slowly changing through the course of the series – it reflects […]

  10. Marty Mcfly says:

    Sorry this is confusing for me lol. So are we basically saying that Hikki is always trying to help others alone but Yukino wants him to receive help too?

  11. YandereSimmy says:

    can anyone explain the haiku for me?

    • Guy says:

      It’s keeping alive the “joke” of how Totsuka Saika is cuter than any girl, and how Hachiman has to stop himself from falling for him. Unless you meant something else, in which case, for an episode that aired about a year ago, it’d help specifying.

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