The Yahari express is still steaming ahead. The latest stop? Well… To steal a term from talented comedian and talk show host John Stewart… We’ve definitely arrived at none other than “Bullshit Mountain”. Heh… All jokes aside, it really does amaze me how much this series continues to just ride the momentum it has got going. Its not really losing any steam with each new arc, but rather continuing to pile on a wealth of character development, plot advancement and just general entertainment.
Everything from the last two arcs, for instance, comes into play in this week’s episode. Its rare a compliment to give, but I feel that Yahari just nails the pacing and spreading of content as a weekly episode TV series. Each episode has just enough to make you feel satisfied, yet still hungry and excited for the next week. This is something that some of my favorite series have been able to do well, and do it consistently, and Yahari definitely joins the ranks of series like Fairy Tail’s first series, Durrara!!’s first season and Code Geass, just to name a few.
So Last week, it definitely seemed like while Hikigaya had been able to somehow prevent his club from folding, things weren’t exactly going to go back to normal any time soon.
A lot has indeed changed. Yui and “Hiki” continue to get closer. The scene last week in the empty club room, the talk in their own classroom and then walking to the Club together. Yui continues to drive herself into Hiki’s inner circle, and it seems like she’s winning the battle of love before its even begun in its earnest.
Yukino on the otherhand? Man…. She looks utterly and completed defeated. I definitely expected her to put some distance between herself and her friends after the events of last week, but this week showed us just how damaged the whole student council ordeal was for her.
Its pretty heartbreaking, not only for Hikigaya and Yui, but for the audience as well. Gone is the firey and somewhat pretentious young woman, and replaced with a quiet, dazed and aloof shell of her former self. Yukino’s hit rock bottom it seems, and become someone who doesn’t see the point in doing anything at all.
I do sympathize a bit with Yukino, but her reaction to all that’s happened is a bit disappointing, if I were truly honest. Its almost like she’s bowing out of the story herself at this point, which is kind of weird given how the story actually started with her and Hikigaya meeting for the first time.
Its disappointing because while I was never a fan of a Yukino x Hikigaya pairing, I still liked her as a character and a foil for both Hikigaya and Yui. Instead of moving forward like her other two friends, she’s shown the least growth out of everyone at this point. And while that is a darn shame, what it does do is at least highlight how much Hikigaya has changed since the series has started. He’s gotten warmer, kinder and he generally cares about the people around him a lot more than he used to.
Its beyond fascinating seeing him struggle with trying to repair what he’s undoubtedly lost with his two friends. The Service Club is, for all intents and purposes on its death bed, given that its most frivolous proponent now feels like “It’d be better if the requests don’t come in at all…”.
Hikigaya, in classic Hachiman fashion, notices that Yukino isn’t ready to help anyone when the sleazy Iroha comes to the Service Club to
use… Err… Ask for their help again. Instead of putting a battered Service Club through another request, Hikigaya does the only thing he can, he decides to refuse her at the club and then help her out as a personal favor.
His reasons for doing so aren’t exactly completely selfless this time though, as he largely feels responsible for both making Iroha Student Council President and for Yukino’s current state of mind. That, in my mind, really highlights how far Hikigaya’s come, where his older self would’ve probably shrugged it off and not really cared.
And I must confess, I am quite liking this warmer, kinder Hikigaya. Its pretty obvious that Iroha is completely taking advantage of Hikigaya, but at least he’s a willing participant and doing it for some of his own reasons as much as to help her. And boy does she need the help! XD
In a lot of ways, Iroha’s incompetency with the student council really shows what a bad move Hikigaya’s little play from last week was. Its no secret that Yukino, himself and Yui would’ve done a much better job, and this episode is a stark reminder of all ofthat.
That pretty much brings us to our latest arc, and Bullshit mountain. XD
So Iroha’s first task as Student Council president is to organize a Christmas event, with another school at that. She’s clearly way out of her element, and thus wisely drags Hikigaya along to the first meeting.
What proceeds, is the most stupid, pointless and unproductive meeting ever. Its clear that the other student council from the other school is far far worse, and is more about trying to use fancy English words to mask the fact that they’re just wasting time.
Simply put, this is the worst kind of mess for Hikigaya to deal with. The bullshit just keeps piling and piling on top of an already unmanageable pile. The other school’s student council just makes things more and more complicated, with Iroha herself just agreeing to every outlandish proposal they present.
To make matters worse, her communication and relationship with her own subordinates and council members is pretty spotty as well. This all has the makings of a gigantic disaster, one that Hikigaya’s been put in the middle of, and responsible for cleaning up.
Its interesting to see Hikigaya function as a solo unit, because he’s clearly not as effective on his own. One of Yukino’s strengths in times like these, is to cut through the bullshit and be pretty blunt. That’s what made her, Hikigaya and Yui such a good team; the fact that each brought something to the table that filled in for the other two’s weaknesses.
Unfortunately, while Hikigaya may well be one of the few sane people in the room, he’s not outright confrontational, and his passivenss is letting things continue to spiral out of control. It’ll be interesting to see how bad things get, and whether Hikigaya can even handle this all by himself when things do go wrong.
The odds are definitely stacked against the guy, and to make matters worse, Hikigaya’s middle school classmate/crush Orimoto Kaori makes a return in this episode as well. As luck would have it, she’s helping out the other school’s student council, and just adds the stupidity factor in the whole room.
The episode actually ends with her, or rather a conversation between her and Hikigaya. Things are definitely kind of awkward and weird with the whole exchange, and most of it is because of Kaori herself. Its not clear what exactly she’s hiding behind that super cheery, ditzy facade of hers, but she’s definitely got something on her mind.
Is it regret for what happened in middle school? Unlikely. My personal guess is that she’s just surprised at seeing Hikigaya clearly not giving as much of a crap about her anymore as he did in middle school. Her prodding questions about Hikigaya’s love life definitely seem to reflect something close to that idea.
While I don’t exactly like Kaori as a person, I’m not entirely detesting her just yet. If Yahari’s proven anything, its that even its two faced characters can have a decent side to them, and be endearing. It took all of one episode for me to start to feel a bit sorry for Iroha for example… even if it is just a little bit.
If nothing else, it’s hard to deny the chemistry between her and Hikigaya for purely entertainment purposes There’s nothing remotely romantic about it for sure, but the two play well off each other. Their back and forth banter was definitely one of the highlights of the episode for me and given how much there was in here, that’s no small feat!
With this latest episode, I’m more of the mind that Iroha isn’t completely irredeemable, and that the first impression of her may not be an entirely accurate one. I definitely wouldn’t want to hang out with her, or be her friend, but she’s an entertaining character to watch, much in the same vein as Doctor Gregory House from House MD (if you’ve seen that show).
So in short, yes Yahari is still going good and solid. Its got a good flow going, and things are continuing to build to something interesting, on multiple fronts. What’s perhaps most entertaining is how much progress we’re seeing in this show, and how everything that happens matters. It matters to the story, and its not being reta-conned to pad out the inevitable. Everything seems to be going somewhere, and somewhere good at that.
All that’s left to do is to kick back, and enjoy the ride.
“However, That Room Continues to Portray An Endless Everyday Scene”… Oh boy. You can probably guess where this is going. See you all next week, as Bullshit mountain probably gets even bigger XD
Posted by setsuken
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 6:19 am
Tags: My teenage rom com SNAFU TOO!, My teenage rom com SNAFU TOO! episode blog, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku episode blog, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru zoku screencaps
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