Its been agreed upon all over that Yahari is really bringing it with the second season, and this episode only further cemented the fact. There was so much interesting stuff in this episode, and all of it pretty tense and depressing, and still darn engaging.
Its worth stating that the teenagers in this show are pretty glum, regretful and just dark characters. Every character has some regret, some hidden side to them that they hide behind a facade of whatever they think seems socially acceptable.
Its not exactly the most feel good outlook I’ve seen from a series, but it definitely feels like these characters are more real than most characters in this sort of RomCom Light Novel adapted genre.
What’s even more interesting is how the focus is squarely on Hikigaya still. The central conflict is pretty much all centered around him right now, and how everyone else’s motivations rest around whatever he does.
The first of these people to make a move, is none other than, Hayato. Hayato’s been a character that’s been hard to get a handle on. He’s supposed to be the guy who not only is purely a good guy, but wants to do things in the right way. Yet, as the episode showed, he’s got his own regrets and hopes.
The whole double date with Hikigaya and the two girls from last episode was in one word… tense. I’ve never felt quite so anxious watching four people interact, as I did here, which is a testament to how well written everything is. All the while, throughout the date I wondered what Hayato’s end game was, and why he had dragged Hikigaya into the date against his best resistance. I mean, he clearly talked to Yukino’s Anee Haruno and got her to basically force him into it. That takes some dedication.
As the date unfolded, I got consistently more and more uncomfortable. Calling the two girls jerks is exceedingly understating things, and I’m surprised that Hikigaya took it all. I guess he’s just so resilient and has such low opinions of people in general that he can take anything. Still, it was tough to watch how the girls constantly compared him to Hayato and threw insults at him, some subtle, some not so much.
The fact that Hayato just broke down and let them have it was…. cleansing and a relief. It was painful to just watch all that go down, but the complacency was even more disturbing. Only at the end of the so called date, were Hayato’s true intentions revealed, how ever misguided they were.
It cannot be overstated how weird, awkward and out of place Hayato’s little plan was. I don’t doubt the guy’s intentions. He clearly wanted Hikigaya to understand that there are people that value him, and that he should probably value himself too. Using Yui and Yukino as props to prove his point? Not cool, not cool at all.
I’m surprised Hikigaya took it as well as he did, but I suppose that’s a theme at this point… I would’ve been friggin embarassed if someone called two of my female friends over to tell two other girls that I wasn’t a loser. I really do want to know what part of this plan sounded like a good idea to Hayato, or what exactly he was hoping to achieve.
What we do know about Hayato, and its pretty pretty plain at this point, is this: He clearly has/had a thing for Yukino. Its not just suspicions anymore, its clear as day. I had thought that he had been good friends with Yukino at some point, and simply regretted ruining things but… It seems that there was more to it than that; Hayato clearly cares for her, a lot.
The shipper in me really wants a Hayato x Yukino ending, if only because I’m so pro HikixYui. But… leaving that aside, the truly fascinating thing that happened, was after the two jerk girls left, and Yukino and Yui arrived.
If this situation wasn’t extremely awkward as is, Haruno-san decided to make an appearance. As usual, Haruno had nothing good to do, and baited her sister with the whole student council situation, telling her to run. Comparing her to her mother, and telling her that she never really does anything else was just spiteful, something Hikigaya picked up on.
It was interesting seeing Haruno’s reaction to that, and she proceeded to cut deep into old Hiki. She brings up some interesting observations. Is Hikigaya constantly living in fear of malice? Is that the reason he can identify people’s intentions as well as he does? I’m not sure that’s it, but its clear that Haruno is a bit on edge by how well he reads all the situations.
What I am truly curious about is what Hikigaya talks about in reaction to Hayato’s whole self-sacrifice spiel. It clearly offends him, but beyond that the truly interesting thing is the whole “convictions that he lives by and lost”. What that means is a mystery, one that I’m sure we’ll see answers to at some point down the road.
What we do see immediate results to though, is Haruno’s little spat with Yukino. Yukino goes and tells Shizuka-sensei the very next day that she’s running for the student council position.
Shizuka-sensei then goes onto to tell Hikgaya and ask him what he’ll do about it. What indeed? Oh boy… Things are a changing, and Hikigaya can’t remain indifferent for long, as much as he tries.
For its Yui that announces that she’ll run for student council president too, albeit when she’s alone with Hikigaya. I don’t disagree with her prediction that their little trio of a club would cease to exist should Yukino win the student council election. But I also think there’s more to her motivations than simply preserving that.
Its clear that Yukino and Hikigaya are at a turning point, one that could lead to them pretty much becoming strangers. Yukino is clearly not taking Hikigaya’s methods well, and her reaction is to simply distance herself from him, to prevent herself any more hurt. Hikigaya, being who he is, is pretty much okay with that. He doesn’t even realize that Yukino actually values him, so there’s that too.
And amidst all of that we have Yui, fighting desperately to help her two friends, one of which she’s in love with. I think the most telling thing she said was: “I’m going to work hard myself”. I think Yui’s had it with seeing Hikigaya constantly work hard and put her and Yukino (and really everyone else) above himself. There’s that for sure, but I think she also wants to grow and become someone that can “beat” Yukino and properly take Hikigaya for herself when the time comes.
It’s interesting that the so called rivalry between Yui and Yukino over Hikigaya is going to manifest in such a way, during a time when things are so tense. Everything’s just boiling up to the point where the pot bursts open… And its just, so enthralling and exciting to see it happen.
This is good stuff, great stuff even. It feels like this season, with its 13 episodes will definitely deliver on the promise that many of us saw in the first season. I for one, can’t wait for more of this. If Ore Monogatari is the adorable, feel good show of the week, then Yahari is the angst ridden, cynical dose of contemplation to compliment it, the Yin to this season’s Yang.
Seems like Hikigaya is going to start moving behind the scenes now too? Things will continue to heat up. Also we have an actual preview this week? Weird. In any case, see you all next week!
Posted by setsuken
Posted on April 25, 2015 at 8:52 am
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