I really enjoyed last episode, where the focus was on Hayama, with his own troubles, with his own humanity, and dignity, and trying to do the right thing where everyone, including himself, is happy. He knows there are no magic solutions, but he’ll try. He knows who he is, and he owns it. He’s more mature than most of the rest of the cast, but he’s still trying. Hayama is jealous of Hachiman, just as Hachiman is jealous of him. It’s much easier being jealous of masks when you don’t see the situation from inside someone’s mind. We all have our crosses to bear. Heck, last episode was filled with moments of people carrying their own crosses, full of great scenes, with Miura’s confession of weakness and caring, to the Haruno scenes, to Iroha and Yukino.
But where are we now? Well, done with novel 10, so no more LN-reader spoilers/teasers/complaints. New material for everyone. So, what are we going to have? Hachiman is still growing up, he’s still using his Hachimanism to get things done, but he knows it is a tool, and a dangerous one at that. We have the group of friends living life together, and we still have Yukino’s home situation, looming around behind every scene, every moment where she’s shown for the last 3 episodes, and also in the background of much more content. Will we keep exploring Hayama’s “arc”? I suspect not, his thematic arc feels “done” for the moment, but we’ll still see its ramifications, because that’s life.
Before this episode was over I was going to comment on how this episode continues the trend of most episodes since episode 8, where one half is pretty light, but then there’s one half, or at least parts that are much more light-hearted. Well, it’s certainly true, and the Waifu Wars or Waifu Bowl had certainly had a go at it this episode, with Yui, Iroha, and Yukino all acting seemingly protective over Hikki, and Hikki showing some purported interest in Iroha and Yui, and of course Hayama and his followers, and the two “anime-ism jokes” thrown in for good measure (Ebina and Totsuka).