So, last episode was, rather than a return to normalcy, our cast taking their first step on their renewed path of togetherness, friendship, and willingness to be hurt, it also had a lot of fun and shipping-ammo moments. Yui told Hikki she wants to spend time with him, Yukino told him she was envious of him, and Iroha confessed to Hayama who turned her down. All the girls revealing of themselves and trying to bridge the gap. Now we still have a party for the elderly to organize, and the party and emotional repercussions of Iroha’s confession – let us see what Hachiman deprived Tobe and Ebina of in the 2nd episode.
Post Episode Thoughts:
The post-ED segment dovetails perfectly into what I wanted to open this discussion with. In my weekly round-up where I covered episodes 8-9 I pointed out that in most movies, series, and books, episode 8 would be either the final shot, or the one preceding it and the denouement, if it weren’t one that actually came up early. It’s the conclusion of a long journey Hachiman has been undergoing since before the series even started, from knowing he’s miserable to admitting it and then acting on it. But it’s also the start of a new journey, because as the final catalyst for the change and the episodes since have kept pointing out, it’s the actual effort you make that brings about change and is worthwhile. “Yay! I need to change!” is only the start.
Episode 8 felt like a season finale, and this episode’s first half, ending with the conclusion of the most momentous arc, even accompanied by an insert OP song, felt like the real end of the show, that “denouement” of Hachiman’s change that could’ve come. And yet, we keep on going. Which brings us to what I’ve constantly been repeating this season – it’s not just Hachiman who’s afraid of being alone and not understanding people, who can’t throw himself out there, and who takes on himself blame for others’ sake, including when he fails to act. This is true for almost every single character in the show. Yes, Hachiman and Yukino lead this charge, but Iroha, Hayama, and even Ebina are there with their self-loathing for chasing something “fake”, and for not being as strong as they could be.
The same idea is expressed by the post-ED segment, where every single character, almost, blames themselves for being cowards, for hiding the truth within themselves, and now they are ready to face the truth, and try for something genuine, even though it will hurt. You can’t rely on others doing the work for you, understanding you without you speaking, without you making a move, because, as this segment says, as I said, everyone else is waiting for the same thing. And when everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move, nothing gets done.
This realization is dispensed by Yukino in the meeting. It’s also given by Iroha, with her willingness to be hurt in order to have a chance at attaining happiness, after being inspired by Hachiman. And so, Hayama gave us in this episode’s first section the direction the show is taking from now on, with Hachiman who now knows the way being aided by his friends in actually transforming into someone who can rely on others, and them being inspired by his willingness to open up to them and rely on them into trying for the same goal. Everyone’s changing, together, because changing on one’s own is too hard. Hayama is still missing half of it, that Hachiman is changing and inspiring everyone around him, but Hachiman is only able to do so because he’s inspired and aided by those around him in turn.
So long things are allowed to change, allowed to grow, then everyone can change. And this is why Hachiman had to be the one who changed first, because up until now, he made sure to give everyone their wish, as a malevolent Genie, the wish that resisted change. And when no one changes, and when you don’t tackle your problems head on, they can only fester, and everyone can only hide by masks, as Yukino and her family does. And perhaps that is why Haruno moved the linchpin that is Hachiman first. It is time to wake up. It is time to accept our inner warts, and one another’s, and continue onward to a wart-filled future, where being loved and loving others is actually an option, because self-loathing can be let go of.
One more thing I want to think of, pointed out in the notes, which I almost forgot, exemplified by Hachiman’s “anti-wish”, and also seen in Yukino’s statements. They now know and accept that hurt and effort are what actually makes something genuine, and only waiting for things to occur on their own is how things stay the same, but now they look on their newfound insight and use it to decry others’ relationships as “fake” once more. They’ve grown, but not completely. They still lack the maturity to understand not all relationships are the same, and you cannot decide for others whether their relationships are real or not.
Return to the OreGairu S2 Episodic Notes page.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Rejection Hurts Both Sides:
1) “I ended up hurting Iroha.” But he did it nevertheless. Hayama says it’s because he’s not that nice, but accepting Iroha’s confession when he doesn’t actually care for her would’ve been crueller, unless Iroha only wanted to date Hayama for the social status, which might be part of it.
Hayama did say “There was more to it,” and “Her words were actually meant for…” the first and obvious meaning of the first part is that Hayama actually loves someone whose name starts with “Y”, but the second part’s obvious meaning is that Iroha actually likes someone else. And then when we add Hayama’s line about how Hikki changes those around him, they all point out to Hayama saying it’s Hikki whom Iroha has feelings for. But there’s another possible read, an interpretation that is not nearly as nice, which is again, that Iroha was taught by Hachiman how to manipulate those around her, and her words, like Hayama’s, are self-serving, and designed to boost her popularity. That’s probably a bit too mean, but it’s still a cute read, so I’m throwing it out there.
2) “When I praise you, I do that for myself.” This makes sense alongside “I’m not as nice as you think I am.” It’s what many people who are in the Hachiman way of thinking use to declare “There are no nice people”, because everyone who’s nice only does it to feel good about themselves, as “nice people”. It’s similar to “People hurt one another in relationships, so relationships aren’t worth it.” The maturity comes when you realize that this might be all “niceness” is, but it’s enough. Also, Hayama taking some credit for helping Hachiman grow? Perhaps.
3) After the show made so much of Hikki having to ask for Iroha’s bag (offering his support), and then her giving him her bag without mentioning it (getting used to leaning on him, but also a classic Iroha moment), here we have her actively seeking help. The “fun times” at the amusement park have been too much for her to carry on her own. She needs help with the burden. And she trusts Hikki. That might’ve been the change Hayama spoke of, from a girl who was fearful of rejection (and thus didn’t want to run for Student Council Presidency), to someone who’s actually willing to confess, to take that risk.
2) A Brave and Tearful Face:
1) “I expected something unflappable, but instead I got this. How could I not be moved?” A nice mirror to the waterfall moment last episode, where you can’t help but fall in love as you fall down the waterfall, looking into another’s eyes. Iroha might not have fallen for Hikki, but seeing an emotional outburst from the most unexpected of places moved her to believe she could do better, similar to how people report being moved to do better by good stories. Especially when the person she sees is someone she also sees a lot of herself in – scared of being hurt, manipulates others, but actually desires acceptance and relationships.
2) “I won’t let it get me down, in fact, this is the best move! Now everyone else who likes Hayama will be unable to make a move!” Oh, that sure is Iroha. It also doesn’t work, because it might work with your friends who will not want to make a move after you made your feelings known (which is how anime usually paints this sort of thing), but it doesn’t work with your senpais who look at you as a cute and helpless kitten, and who probably knew how you’ve felt from the get-go.
3) “Besides, wouldn’t you think of someone you rejected? Feel sorry for them?” It works when you’re already friends with them, as with Hayama and Iroha. But Orimoto probably didn’t spare much more thought to Hikki. And there we go, Iroha is only putting on a brave face, she’s still sad. She was still rejected.
4) “Take responsibility” with misty eyes and a foxy look on her face, after “You made me change.” Oh my, this sure is Iroha, and she sure keeps switching between the sad and the forward-looking outlooks. Of course, “Take responsibility” here has two options. The first is to help her land Hayama, as he had to take responsibility for making her Student Council President. The other is to date her.
The real issue is he has to give her something genuine. Maybe friendship will do. I mean, that’s what Iroha wants – she wants genuine relationships where she won’t feel lonely. Many people think romantic relationships are the best way to get there, the ones where you’re “most sure”. But it’s not true, and it doesn’t matter. So long as Hikki gives her something genuine, or tries (which is enough), it doesn’t have to be romantic.
3) Preparing for War:
1) “The problem is in the meetings. Everyone gets their say, but nobody’s actually making any decisions.” DICTATORSHIP AHOY! And that’s why in workplaces there’re people who are paid to take responsibility and make final calls.
2) “Let’s stop trying to make friends, and have a meeting full of rejection, opposition, and confrontation, but with a clear outcome.” That sure sounds like old Hachiman, doesn’t it? Well, only somewhat, because old Hachiman tried to make sure everyone else remained as friendly as possible. The question is what is the actual goal, and not harming people for the goal. But if people might get harmed, it’s fine? Nah, there is quite a bit of old Hachiman here too, because you don’t change completely overnight, but he’s letting others pull their own weight. Also, he’s right, no one wants to feel lonely, but never objecting to anything is just as likely to get you friends, especially real ones, as always objecting to everything.
3) And of course, Iroha immediately turns and asks for another’s opinion, rather than face the difficulties of making the decision on her own, or even just voicing her own stance clearly and then asking another’s opinion. People are confrontation-averse. So yes, they raise good points, but these good points are how we got to this bad situation.
“You’re right, but we’re still gonna do it!” Nice! Not as good as saying you plan to do it before simply rejecting feedback you asked for, but this works too, especially narratively, it means, “All your points are good, but even though I’m aware of them, I’m still going ahead,” which gives it more weight and conviction. Showing Iroha striving for “something genuine” in her own way, and not just in relationships. Though still hiding behind her “name”, her appearances.
4) Hachiman’s Never-ending Sacrifice:
1) “Why are you opposed to a two-pronged approach?” Such a great question. It sounds like something wise, but the key word is “opposed”, as Tamanawa tries to shy away from conflicts, so painting him as opposed to anything, as an individual, puts him in a rough spot. It’s forcing him to say what he wants, so they might get somewhere.
“Is there any need to work together at all?” That was the thing I noticed most about Iroha’s suggestion, it’s essentially, “We’ll each do our own thing in the same place. Each will own their success and failure,” an attempt to leave this sinking ship.
2) And here we have Hachiman saying it as it is, blaming it on inflated ego, scheming, trying to have others take the fall. He’s looking down, because he hates it, it’s him reprising his role from the Cultural Festival arc, with Yui and Yukino looking on in horror as Hachiman (especially as he’s saying how easy it is to let others take the fall) is throwing himself under the bus again. Well, Hachiman might know this is not the best way to do things, but he still doesn’t know any other solutions. Time for Yui and Yukino to shoulder some of it on their own. I mean, Hachiman could somehow turn it around on his own, but I don’t think he’s ready just yet.
3) “This just feels like a breakdown in communication to me.” No, this is the result of said communication being the goal rather than the method, which is a form of breakdown in communicating how to actually achieve the goal. Take that, lingo-monster.
5) It’s S-S-Smackdown Time!:
1) “You’ve done nothing but spout meaningless prattle. If all you want to do is play pretend, please do it elsewhere.” Yukino rising to the challenge of putting the smackdown!
2) “Is pretending to be [upper management] with words you just picked up that much fun?” Anime tells us it is. It’s just another form of chuunibyou, of dreaming you’re a writer, or gonna be an astronaut, etc.
3) “Mistaking vague statements for actual communication and understanding, while never lifting a finger.” Yukino is also talking about Hachiman and herself, here. Yukino who had expectations of Yui and Hikki to tell her their thoughts, without actually making an effort to find out. Or Hachiman who sat outside society looking in, mocking others while not trying to take part, and thinking he understood others and the subtext of their interactions.
Yes, most communication breakdowns are the result of people not actually taking the effort to communicate clearly, and in an emotionally open manner, which is an effort. “It will never create, improve, or help anything.” Help is a key word considering last episode. Yukino is doubling down on her willingness to reach out, to act.
4) And so it goes, Yui raises an idea, Iroha agrees, and now Orimoto does too – because shooting down ideas, especially after being dressed down, is hard. Besides, an opportunity to run away from Yukino, Hachiman, and further dreaded confrontations. In the end, Hachiman said they’ll try to reach one vision, but his method turned out to be a way for them to stop having to deal with the other school entirely.
6) A Fun Respite:
1) “I hate to break it to you, but a voracious reader like myself can also read between the lines.” Hikki, stop hitting on me. Also, Iroha, they already told you that “ruining the mood” is what’s necessary beforehand. Guess it’s still hard to go against your nature, and what one’s been raised to do – avoid conflict.
2) LOL, “She just said my words are justified, why would she yell at me after that?” – That’s exactly what Sensei said, that they agree with your thoughts doesn’t mean that they agree with you emotionally, or think you missed the emotional impact of your words.
3) “You’re friend material. You’re funny.” And then another “It’s hilarious” replied to by “No, it’s really not.” Orimoto, again, hiding behind “funny” in order to avoid putting herself out there, behind her own opinions. Everyone’s afraid of being hurt. But also, her words, that Hikki is “no longer boring,” as if he’s just a monkey to amuse her. What a friend.
4) “I don’t need your help,” but hurt when Hachiman moves to act based on her words, rather than her feelings. She expected him to help her anyway. But hey, she’s a kid. “I could do it myself” – “That’s stupid” is the real discussion between them, saying there’s no reason/way for him to do it on his own, and thus, also not for Rumi. As far as she can go to say she’d actually like the company/help.
7) The Results of Growth. Also, cakes!:
1) OP-insert time! Time for stuff to happen!
2) Oh right, Yui originally came to Yukino and Hachiman for help baking cookies. She’s trusted making cookies now, which is progress, but still not allowed by the cake :P
3) Cake-bearing angels. I could get behind such a world.
4) “Good luck, Prez,” Iroha, finally leading her Student Council, taking the lead, and the responsibility. The school is safe.
5) With all the shots in the club focusing on the tea-kettle, and with all the small Hyouka-like moments, this is a really nice moment, especially with, “Why must you be the only one drinking from a paper cup?” This symbolizes Hachiman’s permanence in this club, that he’s not here only for his “bet” with Yukino. He can no longer be told to just not arrive, that it’s not his place.
6) “I figured it out, but you might be better off not knowing.” After all, Hikki made two requests on that day. The first was to help Iroha, and the other was, “I want something genuine” or “I don’t want to be afraid anymore.” And that’s the request that wasn’t yet fulfilled, and might never be fully fulfilled. The effort, remember?
7) “If wishes could be fulfilled, then I wouldn’t wish for anything. The things you’re handed on a silver platter are never genuine or everlasting. And that is why I will always keep searching.” See, the effort I mentioned. Of course, Hikki is as silly as ever. He replaced one set of restrictive goggles for another. Yes, this set is better for him, so it’s progress, but he’s still such a kid. Sometimes you can be lucky enough to be handed something and lucky enough for it to hold, but it’s rare. At least he’s aware now that “Relationships that aren’t hurtful because no one ever disagrees and nothing arises that may break them up” are untested, and much less “genuine” than ones which made it through disagreement and hurt. But they’re still real, little Hikki. And it’s fine to wish for relationships that were real and didn’t come with hurt. It’s not a bad thing to desire, just to think this is the only real thing.
8) My Teen Romantic Comedy Can’t Be This Lovey-Dovey:
1) Those two. Nothing’s without subtext in relationships. First she asks him to join her for gift-buying for their mutual friend, and then when he accepts it’s as if they’re going on a date. Such dorks.
2) Speaking of which, “te-he! Komachi” using her forgetfulness as an excuse to leave Hikki alone with Yukino. Shipping subtext over the last two episodes has been reaching an all new high.
3) “Hachiman is not even an insult!” – LOL, rather than ask why he’s being insulted to begin with. And yeah, Komachi is working overtime on shipping her brother.
4) Yukino grabbing onto Hachiman’s shirt, just as Iroha had done this arc as well. They’re all clinging to him for support, in hopes he’ll pull them ahead. Also, more shipping ammunition. And as with the cup, awaiting their joint future.
5) And here we have Hikki’s eyes focus on Yui’s yuis, as they say, as he did in the first episode as well. Well, it’s realistic. And it’s something she has over Yukino, definitely. Yui is so excited. That’s for sure. And yes, glasses Yui is cute.
And of course, she too clings on to him.
9) Families are Hard:
1) Hikki is making a nice point. “If it doesn’t matter whether you go or not, you may as well go.” No fear of messing things up, as has paralyzed Iroha and Tamanawa, or fearing he’d poison the club atmosphere, himself. But this is Yukino speaking of her loneliness, because part of the “I want something genuine” is not just wanting to understand others and to be able to rely on them, but also them understanding you and relying on you. Yukino does think of her relationship with her family as the most fake thing of all, it’d seem like. Hikki is pointing out that without pretense of closeness, it might be more genuine than it seems? Perhaps.
2) Man, that cold treatment between the Yukinoshita sisters. More interesting that Yukino is coming. Yukino knows Hachiman exists during vacation, but doesn’t feel the need to spend time with him. But she’s coming when he’s there with his sister. To save him from her evil sister’s clutches (and to make sure some incriminating information isn’t given). Also note, this whole scene also means Hayama and Yukino are childhood “friends”. I think it was mentioned somewhere in the first season.
“I was shopping with Hikki when we were captured.” No one can escape Haruno, thus Yukino coming to the rescue.
3) Talk about an awkward moment, of Yukino’s mother noticing her almost like an afterthought, and then that pointed lack of warmth between those two, “Oh, you came.” You know what it’s like? It’s like Yukino, Hachiman, and Yui after Hachiman found out about the car accident in season 1, after the school trip arc, and after getting Iroha elected. It’s people who don’t know how to interact with one another and are very afraid, of being hurt, and of hurting the other. Not internalizing, or not accepting, Sensei’s teaching. Ok, that’s a bit unfair of me, even if you know relationships can hurt, you can still fear the pain.
4) Oh man, so many meaningful glances. Here’s mother, making the invitation for Yukino. What was Yukino about to do, which her sister cautioned(told?) her not to? Accept it? Deny it, and rebuke her mother? It seems as ifYukino is looking at Hikki and Yui, seeking help, or fearing their reactions? And Hayama looking both uncomfortable and sad, with Hikki glancing daggers at him, for not helping Yukino, for having pity for her?
Who knows, but meddling with a family’s relationships, when you don’t know the backstory is a source of intense unease for everyone involved. Yes, there are volumes of subtext and background here to which Hikki, and us, are not privy to. All we can do is look on, and hope they resolve it on their own, or for Yui to cheer them on. I don’t think Hikki pulling his Hachiman act in a family’s internal working will pan out well.
Also, that post-ED segment. Well, we’ll talk about it soon enough [In the post-episode section, above].
“The same idea is expressed by the post-ED segment, where every single character…”
Actually, there’s only four of them: Hachiman, Yukino, Hayato and Haruno. Those things that being said during the preview was from 3 memorandum with unknown owners in volume 10.
You should read this in line of the last sentence of the preceding paragraph, and not be so literal:
This episode was kinda rushed making me worried if they’ll adapt the rest of Volume 10 in the next two episodes already. So they might include some scenes from Vol 10.5 or even Vol 11, seeing as it gets at the same time released as the last episode or even make an anime original episode like last season… At least I hope that they rushed this episode only to have more time for the rest of Vol 10..
But I love how they included Season 1’s opening for the christmas montage, All in all Iiked the episode despite being rushed a little, as they didn’t skip any major scenes^^
About the post ED scene… I’m not sure how to think about that as they kept it very short but I guess that would be the only option besides having a random narrator reading them but then 3 episodes wouldn’t be enough: Basically there are 3 memorandums throughout Vol 10 without stating to which character they belong though one can guess from some lines :)
So now to the question I had in mind:
Do you consider reading the light novels after this season is finished? Or at least reread some major scenes? I would really like to see some more in-depth character analysis of you with some ‘additional’ info you got from the novel as I really like your reviews! :)
Not really. Part of it is time, and part of it is not really caring for the way most light novels handle narrative structures and the prose, and such. Then there’s the fact that I liked season 1 alright, and the 2nd season that I’m liking so much more are in part because of how much it cuts off from the LNs. I’ve seen people mention things the LNs changed, and most of them were either stuff I didn’t care for/felt extraneous, or which just spelled out things that the show was sufficient for me to pick up on.
I’ll likely pick up the LNs if the show goes for an anime-original ending, or if it’s guaranteed we won’t be getting a third season (such as if book 11 finishes the series and an OVA covering it isn’t announced immediately), and I’m not likely to read over adapted material.
About the post-ED bit, who knows. Maybe this is the only place they’ll be mentioned (as most post-ED “preview” section wasn’t truly reflective of the episode about to come next), maybe they’ll be next episode. As an anime-only viewer who’s liking what the show’s been doing thus far, I’ll take it as it comes.
Someone asked me about it on Twitter. Here’s the nuanced answer – I felt it was rushed, but that it was fine. One part is that it felt as if Rumi’s scene, her final few scenes and time with Hachiman on the bench needed more time to breathe. More actions or just let them spend more time together doing nothing? Unsure. It also felt as if Hachiman had 4-5 “dates” crammed one after the other without letting the material or characters breathe. Or how Orimoto’s scene felt tacked on.
But none of it was about a core part of the show, so it’s sort of alright. Part of the “rushed feeling” to me seems to come from actually trying to put in a lot of material that “should” be there but which they don’t actually care for, so they’re trying to get it out of the way.
Nothing felt skipped, if anything, it felt as if they should’ve cut a scene or two entirely to make the others feel breezier. Making each of these scenes longer would’ve probably been too much for me, an entire tension-loss for the show.
Glad to hear it.
Volume 11 is unlikely last one, unless Watari has plans on surprising his readers horribly, which is he, again, unlikely does. Although it was volume 9’s afterwards with the first mentioning of the approaching end, and next one’s with the “…we’re finally at the final stage of this story and although we’re wandering off course like always, we’re steadily making progress towards the goal”, so we probably won’t be made to wait for too long.
It’s funny how you answering questions that have been bothering the fanbase for months in a few hours after watching the actual sequences for the first time, it’s wonderful. All those theories and speculations… Makes me wonder what would have happened with Yahari threads if you had been around.
That anime-only view of yours is indeed a unique one. Like, we always have been stuck with the idea, that each of memorandums (yes, those post-ED pieces) belongs to someone specific, either one but still some certain character. And now you are saying that’s just all of them. And while it might be so and might be not, here is the memo titles:
1) Possibly, it’s no one’s monologue.
2) Or, it can be anyone’s monologue.
3) If so, just whose monologue was it?
And it’s only one point, there are plenty of others. Deconstruction intensifies.
We are on volume 10 by now and some moments in adaptation are missing or changed a bit, which is reflected in your write-up of this episode (unlike the rest). Perhaps, that’s due to possible original ending. I still want to read your thoughts on those final three episodes, but if that’s the case, your insights into LN final volumes would be a great reading as well, to say the least.
But oh well.
how about Iroha having feelings for Hyama’s facade, his fake self, not him. Though it’s a bit of upcoming events, but you should have the right idea about his personality already.
Isn’t Hachiman reflecting on himself there, followed by Yukino answering him without actually addressing him? They did similar thing during Cultural Festival arc too, those two. Or so I thought before actually confirming it with the novel. Guess I’d better go and hang myself somewhere, yay.
Nevertheless, I’m genuinely glad I’m reading your blog. Genuinely.
I’d actually like to discuss this, because there are plenty of different things going on here, and it’s a bit unfair to the light novel readers.
First, we’re not actually consuming the same content. I’m already consuming content which is focused on specific issues, to give more credence to certain answers and theories and less to others. I might be picking up more on things the director wants us to see, but it’s not the LN itself, and it’s possible some of those directions may not be 100% in agreement with the author’s.
Second, it’s somewhat easier, again, as part of it being an LN, and that it’s cutting out material. One of the reasons it’s easier to get emotional over a story in a movie or a book over real life is because it’s usually telling one story, and everything is focused on it, whereas in real life there are so many storylines that it’s hard to focus on but one, to even perceive it as one story. The anime adaptation cut out a lot of those distractions.
Finally, as a result of all of these, and interacting with them, is the fact that once most people (myself included) have a theory, we’re more likely to treat any upcoming material as fitting the old theory, focus on what fits and discard what doesn’t. My place in life and my read of Hachiman and the others in the first season probably helped me with the material to come. Reading it as critical of him. So I’ll take some credit, but it’s important to remember the material I’m consuming is already once-adapted, through someone else’s critical view.
I’d rather not get too much into it, since it’s material yet unadapted and you guys are talking of something I don’t know, potentially providing spoilers. But even if all these memos are one character’s, many of these characters are similar enough that you can also read it as others’. Also, who knows, it’s possible the post-ED section is the only place we’ll hear them, as they’re only “telling” what the show had been “showing” throughout the entire run of this season. So are they even needed?
I’m going to pull two Sensei-like moments on you.
First, of coure she’s in love with his facade. None of us are mind-readers, and we can only see what’s on the surface. Even the “underneath the surface” we sometimes think to see is another form of facade. Even what we think we are like is often a facade (as Hachiman rightly realizes as the show progresses).
Second, there are no fake selves. Each of us has multiple selves, and they’re all “true”.
The “Sensei-act”, the maturity that separates maturity from Hachiman. Those things aren’t “bad”, they’re the reality we live on. That’s how all of us fall in love, because there’s no other option. It’s even more pronounced in anime “confessions”, because most characters seem to confess and be confessed to by people they don’t really know, because of what they look like, or the impression people have of them.
I’ll also be answering System’s comment below here.
First, if we go by my usual answer/opinion that the characters in this show are similar to one another, and especially Yukino and Hachiman, then it becomes both harder and less meaningful to distinguish between “They are talking to one another” and “They are describing themselves” in these instances.
Let’s tackle Hachiman here. What he’s doing here is first and foremost saying the same thing as always. Blaming people for their unwillingness to face problems, and running away from them. He’s saying so because he still believes this is what people are doing. It also mirrors what Hachiman was told at the end of episode 2 that he’s been doing himself. Is he also blaming himself here, finally? It’s possible, perhaps even likely. But do note that “It’s easier to sit behind and do nothing as everything goes to shit” is mirroring Yui’s words when she described her actions and Yukino’s, and Hayama blaming himself for letting Hachiman sacrifice himself before. So there’s definitely a bit of talking to the others, blaming them, going on here.
Though perhaps also telling himself off for not actually taking on Tamanawa up to now as he’s done in the Cultural Festival, which feeds once more into finding justification for blasting others.
Now Yukino, which I addressed in 5-3. Is she talking to Hachiman? I guess. But the words Hachiman says are much more similar to what she told him earlier in the season. What she says sounds much more like what she should tell herself, after she sat back and did nothing because she thought that’s what her friends wanted, how she relied on their vague statements instead of asking them clearly what they wanted, led to this situation. I like this read better, of her talking to herself here, which also fits her actually changing from that path and asking for help last episode, and how it feeds into the scene with her mother that followed.
Isn’t it great how this show is inspiring such deep readings and conversations! Anyway, this discussion was kind of interesting so I thought I’d share my two-cents (for better or worse)
Perhaps I’m reading you (or sohemo) wrong here, but I think while what you are saying is correct, you’re mistaking what is meant by the word facade. Hayama’s or Haruno’s facade seems to me to refer to the disconnect between what people think is going on in Hayama’s or Haruno’s mind vs what’s really going on. It is not referring to how people behave differently in different circumstances or environments, which is what your comment seems to be talking about. These two are totally different issues.
For example, the facade that Haruno showed Sagami in season 1 made Sagami think Haruno respected and supported her, when the reality was the opposite — she looked down on Sagami and, ultimately, destroyed her by deliberately giving her horrible advice. Haruno’s facade, her fake self, was a personality that would agree with and support Sagami. Haruno’s “real” personality is one that would use such a facade to manipulate Sagami for her own purposes.
Hayama’s situation is more complex. Is the “nice guy” personality that others associate with him a reflection of how he really is? Again, I think your point is spot on here, — even Hayama doesn’t truly understand himself and the reality might in fact be that both selves are real. But, that’s not the real issue here. Because, whether or not a part of Hayama really is the nice guy he claims he’s not, the specific image of the straightforward, put-together nice guy that everyone believes in definitely is false. I feel this is what Hayama is talking about when he says Iroha is not in love with him — she is in love with the facade of an always strong and self-confident Hayama, when the reality is that he is (more often than not) afraid and deeply unsure of himself. Of course, it could just be that he thinks Iroha’s in love with Hachiman, but I hope not since it would pretty much ruin what I love most about the Iroha-Hachiman relationship as it’s been portrayed so far. The point is, though, as things stand, both are reasonable interpretations.
Hmm, well…okay… I mean technically you’re right, all we see are what’s on the surface. But that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t try to understand what’s going on behind the scenes.
I’m not saying we should be like how Hikigaya was, seeing subtext in everything and presumptuously claiming to understand people that he barely just met. But we shouldn’t be like Orimoto either, who judges people based on just immediate, superficial appraisals. If Iroha fell in love with Hayama just based on a surface appraisal, can we blame Hayama in rejecting the value of her feelings?
Or, consider Komachi — the intimacy and time she spent with Hachiman allows her to immediately see past his “I don’t care about anything, I’m a cool loner” front. That’s what allowed her to make her request and help him try to salvage the club he was unable to admit — even to himself — he cares so deeply about. That scene worked as well as it did, in a large part, because of how well it demonstrated Komachi’s deep understanding of Hachiman. Don’t you think the relationship she shares with him is special in a way that the others are not (yet)? Of course you’re right that no relationships are fake and all relationships are valuable — even the so called “superficial” relationships Hayama is accused of maintaining. But does that mean that all relationships are of equal value or that there is no such thing as progress and regression? Now, I get that what people value and look for in relationships (romantic or otherwise) differs — and that’s perfectly okay. But, that doesn’t mean you have to agree with or affirm them, right? Maturity isn’t thinking “everyone’s right, everything’s okay” — it’s okay to disagree. What maturity is, though, is tolerance, understanding, and empathy, even in disagreement.
Or, perhaps I’m just completely misunderstanding everything you’re saying — totally a possibility
I think you missed something important under “Hachiman’s Neverending Sacrifice” that you briefly touch on under “It’s S-S-Smackdown Time!” (note #3):
Hachiman and Yukino are addressing the board, but they’re speaking to eachother (and Yui), and at the same time they’re speaking to themselves. Hachiman is the inflated ego that refused to admit any mistakes and was content with sweeping things under the rug. This is also probably referring to what Hayama said earlier in the episode and maybe even Iroha asking him if he would take responsibility. Yukino sees herself as the one that was playing pretend, spouting prattle about nobile oblige while never lifting a finger. You could see it in their faces when Hachiman is speaking and Yui’s “Yukinon…” solidifies it in my book. Yui stays Yui.
The Kaihin Sougou High School representatives are funhouse mirrors of the Service Club. Tamanawa is their Hikki, that one guy (his vice president? the one with glasses that has a shirt tied around his neck) is Yukino, and Orimoto is their Yui.
Oddly enough, during the “smackdown”, Iroha walks away as a sort of synthesis of all of them – the fulcrum on which they are balanced.
NOTE: After writing this, I see sohemo made a similar observation, but I’m still going to post mine.
I answered above. While it’s certainly true that they’re talking to one another to a degree, I think they’re mostly talking to and about themselves, due to the specific lines said and how they mirror their past lines. Also, to reiterate this point again, Yukino and Hachiman are often similar enough that “Talk to one another” versus “talks about oneself” is a meaningless distinction, from our perspective.
Yui saying “Yukinon” could also be read on a more surface-level read. In episode 2, and episode 8 as well, Yui made a point of how everyone lets Hachiman be the bad guy, sacrifice himself, while they sit back and watch. Hachiman said just before Yukino how easy and unfair that is. So here is Yukino, being the bad person, so Hachiman will be spared to a degree. A form of “growth” in their relationship. Also, Yui knows being the bad guy hurts, so she feels for Yukino’s suffering as it.
A cute idea, but I’d say Tamanawa is Hayama(‘s facade), that just wants everyone to get along and avoid anyone being hurt.
Though you say Hachiman’s request for something genuine may or may not ever be fulfilled, Yukino disagrees with you. She says words that are cryptic to Hachiman, that the request isn’t fully fulfilled yet. Hachiman is only thinking of the committee goal, but she means the request for something genuine, “I said I would accept it”. In fact, by recent actions it almost seems if Yukino has made up her mind about him, that she likes him. Maybe we’ll hear the words, “I said you it’s impossible for you to be my friend, and that is true. However, you can be my boyfriend if you choose”.
Yes, but as Sensei and the show in general have both told and shown us, Yukino isn’t an adult either. She doesn’t necessarily understand how the world works. Also, if you read me a bit more carefully, especially my write-up for episode 8 or the FAQ for it, it is the striving for something genuine that is the genuine thing/that makes a relationship genuine. There’s no relationship that is genuine in and of itself.
The shipping is strong within this one! She likes him alright, but she also likes Yui. Liking someone does not necessarily require it to be romantic. In fact, if you only “liked” people whom you were romantically interested in, this “like” would be much cheapened. It’s almost as if romantic blinders > like and not vice versa. Which happens, sure, but eh.
I actually discussed this, in this piece and previous ones. Yes, Yukino is willing to make the effort, and the effort is the something genuine, the real thing. But it doesn’t mean that it’d succeed, or that they’ll keep at it, or that Hachiman will be able to recognize it for what it is (genuine, not romantic). That’s the entire point, that it’s not guaranteed, even if they do strive for it.
The last line you chose is the opposite of Orimoto’s, “You can’t be my boyfriend, but you can be my friend.” Yukino already extended the friendship stick to Hikki, and they’ll have to be friends first and foremost. That’s what he’s looking for. Pinning it all on “I can’t get a girlfriend, woe be me!”, that only a girlfriend could truly “heal the hole in Hachiman”, which is the subtext of your message, is exactly the wrong-headed sort of stuff Hachiman was saying in the first season with his “I Hate Nice Girls” speech.
..You really like the word “maturity” huh? Oh well, forgive me if I couldn’t finish all the text, I’m usually excited about reading anything after I see an Oregairu episode so when I saw someone linking this place in a blog I had to go for it, but one phrase threw me way to off on how much what I take from this show is apart from you or maybe even most in other people in foruns (including the one linking this post).
“It’s the conclusion of a long journey Hachiman has been undergoing since before the series even started, from knowing he’s miserable to admitting it and then acting on it. ”
I started to skim a bit the rest and the comments after I read that but I just can’t go on reading something so out of synch with me. Let’s start with the maturity one… why is it so important that they aren’t adults, that they are growing up? Anyone involved with psychological work would understand that the questions one may have about socialization and one’s desires are not exactly dependant on age. And maturity itself is a concept way too complex for one wanting to claim to have a definition for it. Adults that question how the world works are imature? That is nothing but imposing on others what one’s view on maturity should be.
(And yes, most people question such things by comparing themselves to others so “decide for others whether their relationships are real or not” is sometimes more about questioning what you accept for yourself than actual not understanding that all relationships aren’t the same. Basically, they might say it’s not genuine only because it isn’t what they want for themselves).
Btw, as someone who just admitted to not have read it all, I hope I won’t be held accountable for that and be told that “I’m just not reading all you said right”. Up to a point to get a strong adversary reaction from not reading much of a text should be considered a flaw of the writer, not of the “lazy reader”. Bear that in mind when you write.
To be growing up is not the same of “not beign mature enough to not see the unquestionable truth”. Growing up is a constant thing that happens in life, and of course it’s a big theme in this show, but if I have to guess, the japanese “group culture” and it’s tendency of putting up fake smiles and try to read the climate around to keep the group in good terms are much more important here than the fact that this is a romCom. It’s not like Western places where individuality and speaking up is well regarded. These characters in the post-ED aren’t as much of a cowards as they are just way too swept into the social pressure that comes from all around of a culture like that, with their families as a bonus. And the whole talking about “genuine” and “fake” seem to be more of a social commentary about this than anything else. Hell, forget about other cultures, sociology speaks about “social theather” for a while, like look at this book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Presentation_of_Self_in_Everyday_Life and just try to imagine the metaphor of the theatre and the lenghts people go to “save face” just being a big bigger in some other cultures even though it exists in Western ones too, and how Yukino and Hachiman ride so much against that tide.
And finally, about Hachiman being miserable… that are things we might deeply want from the bottom of our hearts and that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re miserable. I can’t see anything he might have done so far to make it look like he is miserable. He kept saying in S1 he loved himself, but at the same time he considers himself “the worst” but as far as I can see, it has always been in a social viewpoint, because he won’t follow those façades to keep the apparent superficial wellbeing of a group that society around him expect so. He wants something genuine beyond the theatre. Of course he will be troubled about it. Of course it’s hard to get. But he demonstrate a whole lot of self awareness by talking on how he knows just talking about it isn’t enough, or saying in this episode how he thinks he will never get it because this is something one needs to keep striving for to make it genuine. If he’s changing at all it might be because he’s putting himself in situations where he’s getting more social, actively trying to help people like Iroha, not because he wants that and he’s walking towards “changing himself to get that”. Any other change he undergoes are more about not hurting the people around him than “to stop being miserable”.
To put at him all the onus and saying “he’s a pitiful guy that is miserable, doesn’t love himself, he’s mean and should change” is just a sad way of seeing things that I saw in many other places already while trying to read about Oregairu, and you seem to be really close to have that opinion. It is just disappointing to see so many people going for it; are you all really thinking that he getting mad at people thinking he was sacrificing himself was just denial of his “misery”? I think he has been going against the flow all along and pulling his mean Batman stunts all this time because he has been the same all along. The guy going against the façade to find something genuine beyond it. If anything, episode 8 was just him finally finding words for that and the courage to open up. But nothing changed. That was nothing like a season finale at all. If anything, it was a climax of opening up his true motivations so far, in order to lead us to a proper finale.
Oh well… I could go on for hours and I still haven’t even read it all. But I guess that’s good enough for a venting. It is just really sad to me to see someone dismissing so many valid ideologies on socialization and personal philosophies as “lack of maturity” and people’s general conception of Hachiman as a “miserable poor bastard” instead of a guy with a tough-luck-past that just has a different way of dealing with stuff. Not wanting to impose those visions as the right way to act, but you lack a hell of a good deal of perspective into knowing that some things matter personally to someone and aren’t just “to be grow out of”. Restrictive googgles are something you are putting up yourself too. Which is fine, if you feel he’s wrong for thinking he won’t find anything genuine without struggle you are entitled to do so, but you can’t call it kid’s stuff. That’s just conceited. Yes, it all boils down to opinion, but it’s easy to lose sight of the complexities of human experience by being so black-and-white and putting all in the “kids” or “adults” limitated templates. Try to think more of what is teenage angst and what of it is common to follow through to adulthood >>for others<< and broaden a bit more your concept of maturity, or at least try to raise your awareness of the pointlessly derrogaroty tone of that thematic.
Somehow, I get the idea that you’re coming at this from a totally different point of view. And that’s good as a good change of pace. However, speaking of maturity, it’s not really whether or not you understand or care to but more of whether or not you’re willing to accept what you think you understand. Personally, I think this is what the show has been trying to portray through the MCs. Knowing versus accepting. On another note, perhaps you’re just underthinking or overthinking but that’s not really for me to say is it? Anyway, I doubt both of you are fully right or wrong; just that you’re interpretation is different. Having said that, you should consider opening a blog of your own rather than bashing someone else at his own blog. Again, my opinion comes from above the fence so just keep in mind that I’m neutral on this.
Hmmm, I don’t use here too much so I’m not trying to start a debate or anything (it’s really lucky I noticed this reply only a month later) but I think it’s important to mention I wasn’t intending on bashing anyone. I was just a bit annoyed at how our POVs differ and maybe I sounded more abrasive than I thought, but I assure you it’s just appearances without ill intent.
Some certain degree of conflict avoidance must exist in an enviroment like the internet, where no one knows who’s a troll or who is just someone trying to express disagreement. I get it. But I did consider opening a blog of my own, I did so way before knowing this place, and I still think there’s value at pointing out a different opinion to someone else in his own blog, if only because maybe it’s not a matter of agreeing with each other, it’s maybe a matter of showing someone else a yet-not-considered way of thinking. If your opinion is that I was too harsh at doing that, again, I apologize. You’re free to still nonetheless disagree to my comment or to me having made that comment, of course.