May 22nd, 2015.
Note: This piece’s post-episode notes is posted in the form of an editorial and can be read here.
The Ineffability of the Human Experience
Remember my write-up for the first episode of this season? I discussed how for all of his pithy lines and self-assuredness of his way, Hachiman is not only miserable, but actually knows that he’s unhappy, both in general, and with his own actions. I also insinuated the basis for the claim that the Yukino adoration and hate groups are both equally weird, because she is just like Hachiman, lonely and miserable.
Well, last episode certainly made all of that clear, with an understated episode that called back to various moments from the show up to now, with Hikki not knowing what to say, and being unable to simply say he cares for others. But he’s finally ready to admit, both to himself and to others, that it’s a mask, that he’s really not cool (he’s not), and that he’s also unsure about the efficacy of his methods. Yukino admitted the same. Both were so wrapped up in their own confessions they couldn’t hear the other’s, and simply say “I love you”, as Komachi suggested. In fact, both actually rejected the other actively.
And now we have two lonely teenagers who wish for the other’s comfort and unhappy with themselves, how will they manage?
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Fear of Failure:
1) Opening with the scene immediately following the double-confession of weakness, and double rejection (“I never lied” was a form of rejection, of stressing the distance, which mirrored Yukino’s same phrase back in the first season regarding her car hitting Hachiman), Hikki’s mind focuses on the rejection. Understandable. Especially for one so scarred and fixated on every time he’s been rejected (“I hate nice girls”, years after a rejection).
2) A detour with sensei? I can already hear all the shippers going wild, but me, I’m happy for another reason. Sensei has always been the one who had shown the most warmth and empathy for Hikki. I’d say she hurt even more than Yui for the pain she saw inside him, because she saw much clearer than Yui. Well, Hikki definitely needs some of that warmth now.
3) Sensei, not coming with demands or claims, just asking questions to get Hikki to open up and speak his own mind. Well, she has experience with this sort of situation, she’s an actual adult. The only one in the show, in fact.
4) “Tamanawa and Isshiki are both scared of being the cause of failure.” Yes, yes! I said this in my write-up about last episode (point 4.4), where I mirrored Tamanawa with Hikki, and pointed out he’s afraid to make any decisions. His “let’s accept everything and not shoot anything down” is because he’s so afraid of shooting down ideas (and his being shot down in turn), of conflict, and of actual decision-making. Hikki realizing this might mean he realizes how similar to himself Tamanwa is, and perhaps, how afraid of decision-making he himself is. That’s what this entire arc and season are about.
2) Understanding Before Solutions:
1) “You have a keen eye for what people think, but you don’t understand how they feel.” That’s a very cool line, and generally true, but you’re going to have to show us how it applies here, Sensei. Understanding the reasons for people being afraid of decision-making is accompanied by knowing they’re feeling anxiety and fear, here.
2) “People’s decisions don’t always reflect their thoughts, that’s why sometimes their decisions seem nonsensical.” Are we still talking about Iroha and Tamanawa, or Hikki and Yukino? :P
Ok, we’re definitely talking about the club. Sensei does want to help the students, thus she sends them to the Volunteer Club, but she wants to help its members first and foremost. And who was the first person Sensei tried to help, the first member of the club? Yukino, of course.
3) “The root cause is the human heart.” Sensei, you’re really coming off too cool here, you better stop, you’re the one closest to my age in the show, and aside from smoking, you’re basically my type. Okay, this is important though, there’s one more thing underlying this whole conversation – Hikki has a very keen into others’ issues, but he’s incapable of looking at his own situation in the same way. And that’s the purpose of Komachi, and Sensei, to point him at his own issues, and give him the tools to tackle them. He just needs to summon the willingness himself. The willingness to change.
4) I feel there’s a bit of a disconnect between what Hikki and Sensei are saying, and insinuating, here. Sensei says that when Hikki has his solution, he’ll also obviously understand, or rather, she’s implying that understanding the situation is a necessity for actually resolving it (it can actually go both ways, it’s possible to have the solution which you know is “true”, and then from it backtrack and try to figure out what are the conditions for it, to understand the involved people). Hikki is saying something else though, which is especially true if you have an instinctive and not entirely explicit understanding of others’ reasoning, he might arrive at the solution, but he still won’t understand the feelings involved. Especially since he might arrive at an incomplete solution, as he always has, up to this point.
5) Interesting. Human feelings aren’t the data, they’re the answer. This brings to mind Komachi’s line last episode, “Just say I love you,” as an answer, not merely as an act, but as feelings.
3) Being (A Social) Human is Hurting:
1) “If you came to the same realization [as Yukino], then it’d make sense for you to try and avoid hurting your friends by pushing them away.” Wow. Just wow. There are two things going on here, one that’s obvious (to me), and one I haven’t considered up until now, but makes perfect sense, and so this is similar to Meguri’s talk with Hachiman as episode 5 ended after the elections arc ended.
Ok, let’s run it down. First, with the obvious, that Hikki had accepted the task on his own to try and help the club, by removing his presence from it, by not pushing more strain onto Yukino by trying to avoid having her help people. This is also not the right call, because just as Meguri said, Yukino actually needs the excuse to go and help people, as that’s what she really desires.
Second, notice Sensei’s words, “Same realization,” meaning Yukino, who is just like Hikki, is pushing Hikki away not because he’s hurting her, but because she’s aware she’s hurting him. This means that last episode when both of them “rejected” one another, it’s not because they did not hear the other’s plea for comfort, but becauseof it, because they feel the best thing they can do for the other is to stop hurting them by pushing them away.
Of course, as Sensei said, it’s important to focus on the right point, and both Yukino and Hikki focus on how they hurt the other by their presence, and more than that, on how they themselves hurt, by the other’s closeness, and by hurting the other. They’re doing the old Hachiman, where they sacrifice themselves for the sake of another. And we all saw how well that worked out thus far in the show.
There’s also the fact both of them hate themselves to a degree, and seek to punish themselves for being who they are, so they hurt others, which causes them to seek to punish themselves even more.
2) “But that’s not what you should be thinking about, but why you don’t want to hurt them.” Whether or not you’re hurting people answers the question “What is the problem?” but it doesn’t answer “Why is it a problem?” and even more importantly, it doesn’t deal with “Why do I want to solve this problem?” – So that’s the point Sensei wants Hikki to focus on, on his feelings. Of course, Sensei is back to what she said earlier, what Hikki doesn’t understand, and what she needs him to understand – that with an understanding of the emotions involved, he’ll be able to solve this situation, by acting on said emotions, said feelings.
3) “You don’t want to hurt them because you care for them.” Sensei, so much for giving Hikki a “hint”, you just gave him the whole thing! Of course, the real test isn’t knowing what one should do, but actually acting on it. Good luck.
4) Man, Sensei is full of truths for Hikki this episode. Now we have the other half of The Hedgehog Dilemma – people hurt one another not only when they are close, but when they ensure they’re not close as well. People hurt one another by just existing in relation to one another. And if that’s the case, may as well also comfort the other, rather than only hurt them. If you hurt together and you hurt apart, may as well hurt together.
“Caring about people is preparedness to hurt them,” as in, you’re going to hurt people anyway, but only for people you care for you’re aware of it, and care about it. And caring about it means a willingness to not only be hurt by them, but willingness to keep on hurting them. Well, no wonder Sensei’s alone, and no wonder Hikki feels she’s a kindred spirit, heh. This is one of those lines that has some truth, but sounds better in a fortune cookie. It’s not the truth, but it points as the truth, because the opposite of this statement is equally untrue, but it points to a nuance that’s often ignored.
Also, this statement mirrors what Hachiman told Hayama in episode 2, and what Yukino told him last episode, “If this is all it takes to break us apart, then perhaps the relationship wasn’t that strong to begin with.” It’s about a relationship that’s incapable or unwilling to keep going after one side hurts the other. Not necessarily because the one being hurt breaks it off, but because the one doing the hurting does. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Relationships are about both sides working and fighting to keep it going.
4) The Genuine Article, The Real McCoy:
1) Yes, Yuigahama’s shell, being misunderstood, the need to change. Everyone focuses on Yukino and Hachiman as the obviously miserable and lonely, but as this show keeps hammering home, this is the human condition. Everyone is suffering to a degree. Everyone’s caught lonely inside their own minds. Everyone, and that includes Yuigahama of the Cheerful Façade, whom the last few episodes keep reminding us is suffering as well, and feels as if her friends keep her closed off. Or, she means Yuigahama might help Yukino as well. Well, it doesn’t matter, they’re all hopefully going to help one another, including Yukino breaking through Hachiman’s shell and understanding him.
2) “The present isn’t everything, but there are things you can only do here. The time is now.” Fortune Cookie time with Sensei.
3) “If you don’t suffer, then what you’re going through isn’t the real thing.” More Fortune Cookie lines! “Genuine” is something Hikki deeply strives for, ever since the first episode, but the quest for “The genuine article” is itself the biggest lie of all. It assumes there are “fake relationships”. There aren’t. The relationships as they exist are always real, even if the things they’re based on are lies. The relationship, not things like “love”, but the interaction, it actually exists.
Also, two more things I find problematic about this statement. The first, it’s the very thought that some feelings and relationships are fake that lead you to question what you have and look down on others’ relationships, as Hachiman has done before, and it also paints a picture that’s very romantic, “The true artist will create no matter what, even if they starve for it!” Please. That everything in life involves suffering doesn’t mean you actually have to glamorize it. It just is.
4) And yes, Hikki’s right, there’s also the logical aspect – that everything that’s genuine makes you suffer doesn’t mean that everything that makes you suffer is genuine.
5) The Dark Night of the Soul:
1) “Why am I already turning to rely on others? Human relationships are a kind of a drug.” – Hikki is still resisting the siren call of change. He’s got a point, though, to a degree. You can’t rely on others all the time, or use it as the first and final answer to any situation, or you end in Iroha and Tamanawa’s situation, of wanting someone else to solve your problems for you, and being unable to solve things on your own. The real issue is coming up with a solution, and then getting the help you need to make it come true.
2) “I need to find a reason for myself, and act on it.” Again a call back to what Meguri said in episode 5, with Yukino needing excuses given by others to act. But the real reason is her desire to act, and the cause for said desire, the care for other people.
It’s interesting. Hikki isn’t trying to find an answer to the current situation, but to find out why he acted last time. It’s not just because of the “hints” Sensei has given him, but because he realized he was wrong before, so he’s second-guessing himself, he wants to make sure he makes the right decision, based on the right reasons. This is a dangerous time, as Hikki can either use it to grow, or he can use it to regress into loneliness and “cold logic”, and sacrificing himself for whatever “answer” he finds.
Yes, humans lie all the time, to themselves more than others, but focusing on it doesn’t actually yield much, except more Hachimans.
3) Hikki’s final realization in the night, “I wanted something.” Hikki wants a lot of things. He wanted Yukino and Yui to be happy, or at least to not suffer. He wanted to help people. He wanted to not feel lonely himself. So here’s part of the answer to everything – he wants his friends to help him, he wants his friends to help him achieve all that he wants, and he wants them to be happy as a result of it as well. He wants to fix all the things Hachiman has done (yes, Iroha ending up as the President but without the conviction to do so herself is a mistake he made as well), so he could be Hikki on the outside as well.
6) The Blame Game:
1) “Are you saying this is your fault alone?” Yukino asked this twice, “Then perhaps you should solve this on your own.” Before watching forward, I could notice from the first time what Yukino was going for. First, I’m going to mention Meguri’s line again, of Yukino wanting to be relied on. Hikki is deprotagonizing Yukino here, saying every choice is his alone, that him pushing her away and her standing to the side has nothing to do with heragreeing to stand aside, that her not speaking up is not a decision she’s made. It also feeds into the self-sacrificing and self-flagellating Hachiman act, where now he takes all the blame, and also into keeping things “proper”.
Friends can shout at one another, and be angry with one another. Part of what Yukino referred to last episode with “If our relationship can’t survive this,” and what Sensei referred to with “A genuine relationship is one where you hurt” is that a real relationship can sustain anger. The only relationships where people never get angry and are always proper are formal ones, “fake” ones. It’s not just that Yukino wishes to be blamed, or for Hikki to be angry with her (but it might be a part of it), but that she wants to share the responsibility with Hikki, she wants to be a peer, and she wants her decisions, including those for inaction, to be recognized as such. As those of an active agent.
2) And here comes Yui! Willing to call others to task, to say she’s hurt, and to tell others they’re the ones who hurt her and they better cut it out right now. An emotional outburst that is the symbol of maturity, and friendship, rather than their lack.
3) “We’re just as responsible for leaving it all up to you.” Episode 2’s lines, both from Yui and Hayama. The shared responsibility for the acts of the martyr who carries everyone’s wishes. Yui is also not afraid of telling Yukino she’s to blame as well, while Yukino, like old Hachiman, ascribes the blames on others. That’s what shells are for, for blame to slide off of.
7) Trying to Understand:
1) “Hang on. That’s not what I came to talk about.” Silly Hikki. Sensei told you, and the way your thoughts turned out last night was also you knowing the truth, even if you’re unwilling to admit it. The whole Iroha situation isn’t the real issue. It’s never been. It’s all about you guys. Then again, isn’t Hikki also trying to use the Iroha situation to help with the club situation? Which is of course the wrong order of things.
2) “But sometimes you can’t get through to people even if you spell it out. I probably wouldn’t accept anything anyone said at face value.” There’s a reason my first episode writeup is titled “Willful Blindness.” If a girl were to confess to Hikki (say, Yui), he’d just ascribe it to getting it wrong, and them just being nice. And if they said so again, he’d just ascribe it to them wanting to play with him. This line hurt, because I know what he means, and because, well, it hurts. It hurts to be like that, and it hurts to admit it. This is the shell of cynicism Hachiman constructed, the one he was hiding behind, and blocking anything anyone said, because no one but himself was genuine, right? Of course, this is the most disingenuous position of all.
3) Oh man, Hikki tearing up, and Yui and Yukino looking up, as if seeing some divine manifestation ;_;
4) They’re both right. This is part of what Sensei spoke of. You can’t understand people if they don’t speak, but them speaking out doesn’t guarantee understanding either. There are no guarantees, only the constant effort to understand and be understood, of being together.
5) “I never cared about being understood, but about understanding people completely. Not understanding, being in the dark, terrifies me.” This is why Hikki is acting out as a Monster of Rationality, while truly being a Monster of Self-Consciousness, and why he keeps reading between the lines (episode 4), because he’s afraid of missing things. His cynicism is an attempt to explain people entirely, because no matter what it is they do, he can ascribe it to ulterior motives – they’re being self-serving? Good! They’re being non-self-serving? It’s only because they’re actually self-serving! At least Hikki knows his shell for what it is now. He knows it for an armour protecting him against the darkness of not knowing, the darkness of being a human, of being hurt by relationships.
And here is the final kicker. His wish not only misses the point, but is self-focused, self-serving, and deprotagonizes others. It’s everything Hikki criticizes in others. He’s not trying to understand himself, but ascribing reasons to others so he won’t have to actually try to understand them, so he won’t have to bare his own soul in order for them to bare theirs, without even the assurance anything is genuine.
8) I Want the Impossible:
1) “Even though it’s impossible, I still want something genuine.” Don’t we all, my boy. I actually expected him to go farther, to spell it out, but I guess it’d be meaningless, after saying that guarantees nothing :P So what did he say? He said he wants to try. Even if the words won’t guarantee it, it can’t be any more fake than reading into others’ lines, of ascribing one’s own motives onto them.
Still, Hikki is saying he wants, and will speak up. No guarantees, except that of trying.
2) “It’s now or never!” The repeat of Sensei’s words. No, Yui doesn’t know what to do. None of them do. They, that is to say, us humans, just make it up as we go along. Of course Yukino doesn’t understand, because Hikki is saying he wants something he can’t have, but will try getting it anyway, or will act as if it’s true. Yukino is also not yet ready to shed her shell. And most importantly of all, Yukino doesn’t understand what she can do, what they want her to do. When you’re told things directly, if you keep relying on reading between the lines to keep people away, you just don’t know what’s expected of you when people tell you things outright in ways you can’t ignore. People are demanding closeness from Yukino, who doesn’t feel very close to the people she’s obligated to feel close to, her own family.
3) Yui is explaining what the genuine thing is. Yui is saying she doesn’t understand it, but they’ll talk about it, and then spend all their times trying to understand what it is others told them, and what they told others. The understanding isn’t the point, it’s the trying to understand, that the relationship can withstand the not-understanding, but that they keep trying that is its genuineness. That’s what Yukino intimated without fully cognizing it last episode. “I don’t understand what it is that is alright,” and that’s part of it. It’s all very schmultzy, but you can’t really explain at all times why you like or dislike someone. We come up with reasons after the fact. It is what it is.
4) “You really do play dirty.” Using emotions, saying things clearly. Very dirty. Yukino has two options, to either tell Yui she’s trying to emotionally blackmail her, or to give in. But since she cares for Yui, she only really has one option. Yui has a point, “We might not get anywhere, but what we have right now is terrible, so let’s try to find something else.” This is why Hikki’s willing to change as well, because he’s at the point where no matter how bad baring his soul might be, not doing so is even worse. Of course, he’s young and stupid, things can always be worse ;-)
5) Yui and Yukino close together, and Hikki a bit to the side. Sure is the Volunteers Club. Back to normal. And yes, that’s an intentional lie, as I belaboured discussing in episode 3.
Shorter Notes / Asides:
- Hikki fell asleep, was the ride that long, or is it from the emotional exhaustion of the day?
- “Well, I am trying to act cool.” Note, not that she’s cool, but trying to act that way, just like Hikki himself said recently.
- Hikki standing by the bridge’s rail. They’re really pushing a cool loner look for him this episode. Looking fine.
- “Logic your way out, think of every possible solution and eliminate them one by one.” In before “I can see the ending!” (Keima Katsuragi, The World God Only Knows reference).
- Hikki saying Sensei’s alone because men don’t have taste, and thinking he’d have fallen for her if he were older? Man, I can hear the Sensei-route fanboys. I’ll admit it was a cute moment, but Sensei blushing and going allteenager anime-stammering was a bit out of place for her character.
- Komachi sleeping with the cat, so cute! I hope she brushed its teeth, cat-breath can be terrible :P
- Hikki, his whole manner, he’s coming to the club not as a member, but as a supplicant asking for help, isn’t he?
- “I don’t understand it,” and all the talk of “Can’t understand people if they don’t speak” makes me think of Hayami Saori’s monologue in Inou-Battle, heh.
- Man, that tiny piano soundtrack playing as Yui is talking to Yukino is doing real work, not just for how little presence it exerts, but because of it.
This episode hit home for me way too much. Reminds me of my high school days.
Anyway, your write up this time was spot on as usual. Posting here because I couldnt grasp your conclusion for two reasons; the beginning part was so deep i got a little lost, and that as i have said, i had no idea how you came to that conclusion and hence i didnt exactly understand what you were trying to say.
But for a long post like this, i think that was the right choice.
Also, i like how you poke fun at your readers; us, saying “I told you so!” that you’d seen it all coming. Makes me wonder if you’re either the scriptwriter or just someone of very similar wavelengths with Hikki, given how you’d commented Sensei was your type of girl, which coincidentally happens to be Hikki’s cup of tea too.
My only gripe was on how you kinda skipped past that one scene where everyone was blurting out they didnt understand something, and the two girls hugging each other and crying. In that scene i could see some light shedding onto the whole drama, but it was a very dim light. I was hoping you couldve read more into Yukinon because thats where i needed your in depth analysis most; I couldnt understand what she couldnt understand.
Putting the blame on others, then running out of the classroom. Even slamming the door. Thats something we rarely see from Yukinon. And then we see her crying with Yui. Why is she crying? I get why Yui is crying, but with Yukinon getting so little screen time as of late, her character felt detached despite being one of the central characters.
Perhaps you did mention it, but even then i still didnt get it. Please do enlighten me.
Well, other than that I agree whole heartedly with you.
Good work as usual. Probably one of the few blogs i enjoy for its quality content and language/vocab.
Everyone parses text differently, since you know you’re both willing to read the notes and it makes it easier for you to understand the conclusion, why not simply read the notes first? Yes, it’s a bit of a scrolling/clicking, but it’s a small price to pay for increased enjoyment!
And yes, the notes here are 4k words long. The editorial is another 1k words long. It’s way too massive for a single post.
I find those moments to be more about the script than about myself. If things come at you from left field, it often means they weren’t properly introduced or built towards in the text. Yes, you can have a moment that in retrospect makes perfect sense and you’ve just missed all the tales, but it’s much harder to pull off well. There is a thin line beyond which it turns into “stating the obvious,” and OreGairu sometimes goes there, but it’s fine, because it’s obvious to us watchers, not the characters, because they are really teenagers.
I do sometimes get onto the same wavelengths of various shows and make predictions that usually come out true about themes/interactions, and once I do, I usually ride it until the show ends. Happened with Gatchaman Crowds in 2013, for instance.
As for Sensei, she’s a mature character, she’s shown empathy, she’s smart, kind, she’s good looking, whose taste is she not? There are two characters standing in for the idea of “mature femininity” in this show, Haruno and Sensei, and Haruno is not there to be loved, which leaves Sensei. It’s not even about romantic, she’s just a good person within the show.
Yukino doesn’t understand many things. The easiest way to begin explaining would be to remind you to read her as if she were Hachiman, plus-minus some traits.
Yukino doesn’t understand how to react when people are asking for her help, demanding it, by crying, and she can’t turn them away because she cares for them. Yukino doesn’t understand how to make it clear to others that she cares for them, or how to deal with caring for others. All of this is also tied to her telling Yui who relied on these things to exert soft pressure on her that she’s playing dirty.
Yukino doesn’t understand striving for something even though it doesn’t make sense, of being greedy and seeking relationships that should supposedly be superficial. She doesn’t understand the pain within her and from others, she doesn’t understand why they acted as if everything were normal when it wasn’t, and then blame her for not solving the situation they did not make clear to her.
Yukino doesn’t understand the same things Sensei told Hikki, that people don’t always act rationally, that their feelings, thoughts, and actions don’t always match, and that hurting one another doesn’t mean you don’t care for one another. She doesn’t understand how others feel, why it leads them to the actions it does, and why it also works on her.
I’ll start with a small tale. Two young boys fight. Neither of them cries. Then an adult comes and asks one of the kids why they were fighting, and the kid starts crying. You don’t cry because you’re sad, you cry because you’re overwhelmed by emotions. Yukino is overwhelmed by emotions she doesn’t understand and doesn’t know what to do with. She’s crying because she’s scared, and because she hurt her friends, and they hurt her, and because Yui and Hikki crying is enough to overwhelm her with sympathetic emotions. I mean, we get emotional over characters such as Hikki and Yui crying, so imagine their friend who’s there right in front of them.
Also, she showed weakness by saying she doesn’t understand, and that also led to her running away, which is another show of weakness, and so is being hugged. And everything just comes together to one big moment of being emotionally overwhelmed.
“i want something genuine.” hikki probably wants all three of them to be true to each other? no more hiding about anything. no more lying.
“If this is all it takes to tear us apart, then maybe we weren’t all that close to begin with.”
-maybe this line what made hikki realize that he wants something “genuine”
That’s part of it. That’s the way to get what he wants, a genuine understanding, something he can be sure of. And that can never truly be had, but you can get there by saying how you feel.
I’d say “Yes and no” about this one. Hikki always wanted something genuine, which is why he scoffed at everyone’s relationships as being superficial and fake. He just said, “If all relationships are superficial, then I may as well remain alone.”
Which brings us above to him saying he wants something genuine – he always did, so what’s the difference?
The difference is what Sensei said. What Yukino and Hachiman had said was half right, but missed the actual point. Yes, if this is all it takes to break down the relationship, then it wasn’t this strong. But “breaking down the relationship” isn’t the issue that comes up, but the failure to actually make the effort to bridge over it and keep going.
Hachiman and Yukino saw each relationship where people try to avoid issues as proof of its fakeness, rather than proof of those people working hard to keep their genuine relationships going. So now Hikki is saying he’s going to fight for it.
well that reminded me of someone. anyways cool thoughts bro. been a fan of yours ever since season 2 episode 1 of oregairu. keep up the good work and lets wait for the next episode.
Hi! Great review as aways. Could you explain to me this point in a easier way? (Consider that my english understanding is not that great)
He’s not trying to understand himself, but ascribing reasons to others so he won’t have to actually try to understand them, so he won’t have to bare his own soul in order for them to bare theirs, without even the assurance anything is genuine.
So the wish he explained is actually pointless?
I’ll try! If it’s still unclear, feel free to ask for further clarification.
This is how he was up to now. Yes.
This is where it’s complicated. The wish is “pointless” because you can never avoid hurting and being hurt, and you can never truly understand others. But the wish is not pointless, it’s the wish itself that is meaningful, even if the goal is impossible. The attempt to understand, the constant willingness to bare your soul and have others bare theirs is meaningful.
Then even if what he is trying to accomplish is impossible, but the effort he puts in is meaningful, why does he still miss the point? Maybe wishing to understandin people inside-down is not that selfish, it shows how much we care, our insecurities and fear of hurting others.
Does he miss the point? He missed it until now, but it seems he no longer misses it. But, he might not be able to realize it explicitly yet. He now knows though that those are his feelings, and that he should follow his feelings and not his thoughts, but he might not be able to think about it just yet. Why? Because he’s still young and didn’t live through it.
Wishing to understand others can be selfish, and it can be unselfish. The question is why we wish to understand others (some do to hurt them, or to be able to put them down, as Hachiman has in the first season, where he judges them and uses his incomplete understanding for that purpose). That’s the simple answer. The better answer is that like most things we do when we interact with others, it’s a bit of both. And the most important lesson, the one Hikki is only now learning, the one Yukino still rejects, and which only Yui has mastered is this – that something is a bit selfish does not make it wrong.
Especially when your happiness can make your friends happier too.
First of all, I want to apology for my English. I know how bad it could be at times.
The way Oregairu is, there always is some reason for every little thing happened so far. I believe it was that way up to latest volume, at least. So, what reason do we have for Hachiman being so afraid of him not being able to understand? To the point, where he builds up his whole self-defense mechanism just to seal that fear. To avoid getting involved with people in the first place. When it’s about the closest ones, it’s sort of understandable. Sort of. But it’s only now that we can talk o about those who is actually close to him.
In my native language you could just say “Because”, and that would be all to it. Perhaps that’s not the case though. We were shown already that only a year before the story takes its start, Hachiman still had a hope to get along with someone, enrolling into new school and stuff. And for him it probably was more or less the same even earlier, with those sincere, if a bit naive attempts to get closer to a girl.
So basically, what is so scary about inability to fully understand someone, and how did Hachiman ended up with his entire personality being wrapped around that within a year?
Farther, he is saying he has no need in being understood by someone else, what he desires is to have that understanding, to have a relationship where it is possible to burden each other with that understating, but isn’t it the same?
Also, you said that the very notion of genuine is a lie itself, since there’s no such thing as fake relationship. I’m not sure whether you actually meant it, but this genuine is not about “true of fake” in its initial idea. Hachiman once himself tried to put in words, what is genuine for him:
“Even if you didn’t voice your words, they would still reach; even if you didn’t do anything, you would still be understood; even if anything happened, nothing would break.”
Two things here. The first is about “no fake relationships”, there are definitely relationships that appear one way but aren’t. But you can’t say your relationship is not a relationship. Lying to someone, hating someone, these are “relationships” as well. That’s trivial, let’s get to the other side.
Yes, that is sort of a lie, a wish that can never be real. This is what Yukino and Hikki want but can’t have, because it not only doesn’t usually work, but if you do get there, it’s because people did do things, over and over again, they fought hard to get there. Those two want to get to that spot without having to suffer on the road to it, and seeing any suffering on the road as proof this relationship isn’t good enough. That can’t happen. That’s a romantic myth that glorifies not trying, and results in being alone.
I discussed this more in my episode 3 write-up, which discusses “scarring”, and projecting past grievances. “Because” is the simple question all answers come back down to, but there’s a thing or two on the way there – Hachiman wants to understand, and Hachiman is lonely, so he keeps seeking relations, and closeness. He’s not internally consistent, because this is what he wants, and everything else is just trying to hide it.
So how did he end like this? Because he’s been rejected a time or two and it hurt. By girls, by other people. He’s rejecting others and his own desires because he has enough insight to see that people are superficial and people hurt one another. Maturity isn’t assuming people don’t have ulterior motives/won’t hurt you, but realizing everyone does, and that’s fine.
So Hachiman got burnt, but because of how focused he is on the now, and how overwhelming those small pains are to him made him react reflexively, more than is necessary from the external and older vantage point of some of us watchers.
It’s scary because it means when it comes down to it, you’re all alone, you’re never truly “not-alone”. And Hachiman didn’t end up like this over a year. Tsurumi Rumi is there to show us he’s been like this since grade school. But he’s never stopped trying entirely. Not even in high school. But each time the scar-tissue gets thicker and he tries less. Also, that’s the age we come up with those “insights” and act out on them more.
He spoke about his past desire. And he’s still Hachiman, who’s only a half-baked adult. And no, you can understand others without them understanding you, in principle, it just doesn’t work that well in real life, unless you’re really good.
I don’t even know whether I liked you reply or not. It doesn’t really have answers, but it actually does. Even more so than in the write-up. Jeez.
Russian forums? Just how multilingual you are?
I used google translate and asked for some native speakers to help me with some unclear passages. I only speak two languages at native level, and a smattering of words in a couple others.
By your mention of “Russian fora”, I take it you saw my tweets?
As for “answers” and “non-answers”, I guess so. In my write-up I alluded to many of these things, that are more my own understanding of the world, and of people, but focused more on how the characters see/fail to see things. Here, in this answer, I spelled these things out. Or perhaps because some of it is actually spread over multiple episodes, and here I grouped it together.
But in the end, as I said in my editorial, you can’t really “say the truth” for people to pick up. You can only try and point. We only accept the things we’re ready for, which we already believe in.
Also, some of these things I said seem pretty stark, pretty Hachiman-like, so it’s natural to not like them. Except the difference between me and Hachiman in this aspect is I append to most of these “And that’s fine,” rather than “And that’s why other people are despicable.”
Yep. It piqued my interest.
I also just found my answer, thanks to the HS translation. It’s about his excessive self-awareness/-consciousness. I can relate to this, and so I can understand why is it so crucial for him to know what’s going on in others’ minds.
Like a missing puzzle piece, it was right under my own legs, not in the box, not amongst the other pieces or anywhere else.
Yeah I think I misunderstodd what you wanted to say :) Thank for clarifications ;)
after hikki said he wanted something genuine,
i kind of thought yukino might understand him…
i mean hikki and yukino being pretty much the same under their masks…
and hikki just dropped his gaurd, hachiman is out and hikki is in…
and after his awesome monologue, i was pretty sure thats exactly how yukino felt but when she said she didnt understand… that left me speechless and culdn’t keep with my thoughts…
but after i read your reviews, it slowly started getting more and more clear.
awesome notes dude
helped me out a lot!!