What an episode.
Hope you don’t mind the 8,000+ words.
OreGairu Zoku / Season 2 Episode 8 Analysis
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku / Season 2 Episode 8 Analysis
If there is any episode worth writing about after nearly five months of not writing a single episode review, it has to be this one. What was my number 4 pick for the top 10 best anime of 2013 became even better than that this season. This is one of the only times that I found it truly worthwhile to look deeper into an anime like this.Â It is so rare for an anime to do characterization in this manner, and I thought I would regret it if I didn’t at least try analyzing it in order to try and truly appreciate what the writer, and the anime staff have done to create this experience for us. I cannot assure you that this analysis will be accurate, but hopefully you will find this at least thought-provoking and somewhat insightful. Of course, I love doing the captions, so those will be coming first. As usual, if you want to read the real meat of the post, please click the button belowÂ and skip to the analysis. There’s a lot here. Let’s get started!
Note: I have not read the light novel. This is an anime-only perspective.
WARNING: RANDOM BULLSHIT AHEAD UNLESS YOU SKIP TO THE ANALYSISÂ SECTION.
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE ANALYSISÂ SECTION.
OreGairu Zoku Episode 8 Impressions
My silly captions aside, wow. What an episode. How great this episode really is becomes more apparent the more you look into it. I know some of you are probably wonder what even happened, and I don’t blame you. It is confusing. It’s supposed to be confusing. Still, you can’t fully appreciate this episode/anime if you don’t at least try to understand things a bit more. So, let’s get started with the analysis.
OreGairu is the type of show that you cannot analyze well without looking at the show overall. The episodes leading up to this climax are all critical in order to understand, and appreciate this episode.Â As such, I will be dividing this up chronologically starting from the beginning of the secondÂ season. I’ll be starting with what has happened before this episodeÂ that has led to this turning point, then I’ll move on to each of the major sections in this eighth episode.
It’s beyond me to look all the way back to season one and analyzeÂ everything, but I re-watched episodes 1-7 again, and more seriously tried to figure things out. I have to admit that I was not really watching this show with an analytic frame of mind prior to this. After re-watching the episodes, I realized just how much I missed, and just how dependent I was on those damn reddit threads to explain everything to me. WELL, NO MORE. I’ll be giving you my perspective, which will probably be either be completely wrong or just kind of wrong. Either way, you’re kind of screwed if you believe all my interpretations because I don’t think I completely understand it all, especially since I forgot much of what happened in season one. REGARDLESS, LET US LOOK INTO THE PAST AND FIND SOME ANSWERS.
The first scene of note is the river scene where Hayama and Hachiman are talking to each other about the confession. This is the scene where Hachiman says the lines, which will be mercilessly used against him by Yukino in episode 7, “If this is all it takes to tear you apart, then maybe you weren’t good friends at all.” Hachiman views their relationships to be shallow, and doesn’t understand, or even minds that he doesn’t understand, what Hayama is trying to protect. This scene is worthy of note becauseÂ that shallowness he sees in Hayama’s group will not look so different from his group in future episodes. He’ll also try to protect the Volunteer Club, in his own way, just like what Hayama is doing in this scene. More on this later.
Then we have the confession scene where Hachiman once again sacrifices himself in order to make his super keikaku doori plans work out. Well, they are fucking awesome to watch… Until you see the pissed off Yukinon face and you just want to stab your heart because that would be less painful. Much like how Hachiman always does things, he doesn’t explicitly tell Yui and Yukino what he’s going to do. He just handles it all by himself. He doesn’t really seek their advice. He thinks he is doing absolutely the right thing. Before the confession, Yui and Yukino both say that they’ll “leave it up to him.” TheyÂ believe in him to solve this and make things right even though he doesn’t say anything. Then, he makes the confession, and that belief in Hachiman almost turns into the realization of just what they have been letting Hachiman do all this time.
There are a few facets to this. Firstly, Hachiman is not solving anything with any sort of definiteness. He is merely delaying the inevitable to keep Hayama’s group alive. He’s allowing the superficiality go on. Yukino hates superficiality, and didn’t like that. But that’s not the major thing she has a problem with. She hates how he’s abusing himself. He’s essentially disregarding Yukino and Yui’s feelings. It’s as if to him the two of them don’t matter at all. She’s pissed that after all this time, he would still view himself, which in turn implies that he views them, this way. He still views Yui and Yukino in such a distant manner. She doesn’t want that. Not after she has grown somewhat fond of both him and Yui.
Shortly afterwards, while Yui is talking to Hachiman when they’re walking back, saying that he should make this the last time he does something like this However, Hachiman resorts purely to logic. This is the problem Shizuka talks about in the eighth episode. He thinks too logically and not with his heart. Hachiman hasÂ always been to focused on logic instead of the human heart. To understand why, you must first understand his character. As Hachiman himself says in the middle of episode 7, he was “stubbornly clinging to the ideal self I’d created in my mind.” This ideal self is a result of his past. I highly recommend going back to the first episode of season one to see his frame of mind, and his perspective of friendship, youth, and being a loner. He became a loner because he wanted to stick to this ideal image of being a loner after being rejected by people, and essentially being a social outcast. He handed in papers to Shizuka that talked of the benefits of being a loner, and why being a loner is justified. It is this ideal self that tries to figure out everyone, is always watchful of people, and is emotionally distant from everyone that is the thing which will change. More on this soon as it develops more fully as the episodes pass.
In the third episode, after the confession incident in the club room, Yukino confirms with Hachiman that what he did was what he considered to be “normal.” She struggles. She doesn’t accept this. She won’t accept this is how he will continue to be. It makes her feel powerless. After all, she’s supposed to be this “blessed” figure (refer to the beginning of season one for where they explicitly state this) that understands it all, and can do anything. But she can’t overcome the obstacle known as Hachiman. (But let’s beÂ honest who the hell can mess with 8man? Do you even dark knight?) Anyways, Isshiki comes in, and to resolve the election Hachiman is going to try and sacrifice himself yet again. He’s going to use the same method he just used for the confession. Obviously, Yui and Yukino don’t approve of it, and Yukino can’t explain that well herself and resorts to strange reasoning in order to stop Hachiman from doing this. She just ends up sounding desperate. Hachiman doesn’t look the least bit convinced, and her rejection of his idea becomes even more pronounced as a result.
She tries to offer alternatives, but Hachiman shoots them all down. She becomes more pissed off seeing that he’s still viewing how his methods are superior, and not valuing her opinions at all, which means he hasn’t changed at all from the beginning. Then, Yukino and Hachiman basically enter into a contest to see who can solve the problem better instead of working with each other. This is the most pronounced disagreement they’ve ever had. Here, it really begins to fall apart. Yukino wants to prove herself since Shizuka herself says there is no clear winner as to who has been doing the best in the club. She wants to give Hachiman the concrete proof he likes so much in order to convince him that his methods aren’t necessarily the best. They are now conflicting with each other. One side has to give. It’s either the ice queen Yukino or the hardcore sugoi batman loner Hachiman. Well, going by those descriptions you probably already have an idea who’s going to come out ahead.
After, Yukino says, “I thought we both hated superficiality more than anything,” and that Hachiman has always been avoiding the problem at hand. Once again, she asks him if he’s willing to change. Batman says nope. The thing is that Yukino doesn’t understand that Hachiman values the status quo even more than superficiality. HeÂ thinksÂ his idealized loner image he’s acting as is flawless, so there’s no need to change it. Also, interestingly enough, when he’s on the phone with Haruno about the bitch fucking woman saying “SORE-ARU!!!” (GO FUCK YOURSELF, ORIMOTO) he says, “That was just a selfish, one-sided fascination, or, well, just a misunderstanding. It wasn’tÂ genuine.” If you actually look back to season one, that’s how he viewed Yukino as well. More or less the same with how Yukino used to view him. The car incident partially crippled his image of her, and in episode 7 where she basically gives up, the image of the flawless Yukino completely crumbles.Â However, this also creates vulnerabilities in her character that allow Hachiman and Yui to crack open her shell.
And then we have the cafe scene in episode 4 where Haruno shows up and tells Yukino that she’s just like her mom forcing work on others. “You don’t even have to lift a finger. Others always get their hands dirty for you.” she says, but then Yukino got her hands dirty by slapping Haruno’s hand away, so there you go. Jokes aside, this is a sort of reality check for Yukino and what she’s been doing in the club. She denies that it was because of what Haruno that she’s becoming president, and she’s not lying. Haruno merely brought her inability to do anything, or better yet, to change Hachiman, to her attention. Her saying it is merely a reminder.Â It is nonetheless still something she wants to do by herself. Actually, if you look at Haruno’s character, she is the one who sees through the major characters. She’s like the voice of the writer when it comes to the inner-workings of a character. Take what she says to Hachiman for example: “You can see through everything, huh? You’re such an amusing boy. Always trying to read between the lines. I quite like that, you know? I mean, it’s adorableÂ how you’re constantly living in fear of malice.” And living in fear in malice is precisely why he has created the idealized loner version that he is currently trying to stick to.
This becomes even more pronounced when he’s talking to Hayama and how sacrificing himself is “perfectly normal,” and that, “I’m always alone.Â Other people don’t factor into what I do. The things that happen in front of me are parts of my life, and my life alone.” Hachiman is desperately trying to stick to his idealized self. Constantly denying Yui and Yukino’s involvement in his life. He thinks he understands everything, and distances himself so he can never truly be hurt. He doesn’t mind because he thinks he is never truly close to anyone else, and so even if he does something absurd it doesn’t matter. But as Hayama says, “Don’t you help people because you want someone to help you?” Deep down, Hachiman does want something to change. What exactly he wants to change will become evident in his confession in the climax in this episode.
After Hachiman convinces them that they don’t need to run for president because Isshiki is going to, Yukino says, “And here I was sure you’d understand.”Â Okay, I think this is a good time to emphasizeÂ one very important point.Â If you note the character interactions between Yukino and Hachiman, it’s always been like this. Yukino and Hachiman are assuming that the other side will just understand them without needing to express themselves explicitly. They’ve always implied, and implied, and implied. That, or they’re just not honest. Why doesn’t Yukino just say exactly why she wants to be president? Why does she assume that Hachiman willÂ just understand? It’s both arrogant of the person assuming this, and also arrogant of the people who think that they know the other inside out. Hachiman too, never truly tries to understand Yukino. He simplyÂ thinks he does. He has always observed others from the outside. He has always thought he understands others well enough. But he never really tries to explicitly confirm that fact. He’s always this cold, calculating machine that doesn’t even factor in the human heart, as Shizuka says this episode, so how can he really understand people as well as he thinks he does? He can’t. Both Yukino and Hachiman have never really tried toÂ understand each other by taking more than just their own perspectives into account. So even though they’re continuing the club, the club members are starting to realize that they don’t really understand each other, and yet they’re continuing to pursue this relationship in the same way as they always have where they pretend everything is just normal. But again, as Hachiman says in this episode as well, things aren’t that simple. Spelling things out won’t exactly mean that the other person will understand. I’ll expand on this when we get to the climax, but hopefully, you are beginning to see why their relationship until this point can be seen as superficial, and why Hachiman wants something genuine.
In these episodes, Yui have been critical for the club. If she weren’t there to confirm that Hachiman did the best he could, then who knows how it would have gone immediately after the disagreement Yukino just had, saying that she thought he’d understand? It’s important to note that Yui is not saying that he necessarily did the best thing, but she realizes how difficult it can be for Hachiman. As she says, “You probably can’t change your methods that easily. And that guilt won’t go away.” Yui actually realizes, perhaps even before Hachiman accepts it, that he may not be feeling the best about what he’s doing anymore compared to before. Indeed, he says himself that, “All I was left with was a sinking suspicion that I’d gone horribly wrong.” But he clings on to his idealized loner persona. That’s how he’s always been sticking himself at the end of the table, acting like he’s just by himself. That’s his way of life. That’s his philosophy.Â Thatâ€™s what he has to do after the misunderstandings, rejections, and other things that happened prior to meeting Yukinon and Yui created this lone, pessimistic figure that will not bend to any individual. There are things he can do that no one else can because he looks at himself in this way. But this is all changing because this idealized self would never have people like Yui and Yukinon at the other end of the table. He wouldn’t be feeling the way he is now. The doubts, the worries, and how he’s beginning to care aboutÂ those who he is still instinctively rejecting… he knows deep down that itâ€™s not the same anymore.
At the start of episode 6 is where Yukino smiles that resigned smile. Again, you can see how Yui is critical to at least keeping everyone together so they have the opportunity to make up in the future. Without her trying to make things work out, the club would have been long gone. Everyone tries to act normal. They all pretend that nothing is wrong, but everything is wrong. It’s an act of desperation to delay the inevitable.Â You know how bad it is when Hachiman is looking at Hayama’s group for answers. This means that not only does Hachiman have no idea how to handle this, but he is now seeing his group in the same light as Hayama’s. Him calling Hayama’s group shallow has now come back in full circle. Just like I mentioned before, Hachiman is, by showing up to the club and pretending everything is normal, trying to protect what’s left of his group much like what Hayama was doing. I mean, Yui even breathes in and out to prepare to act all cheerful to keep the club afloat. That’s what you do when you prepare to see your boss about a raise or something, not how you should act when sharing time with people important to you.
You can see how dejected Yukino has become when she says, “Perhaps it might be better not to get any requests at all–for time to pass without any trouble.” Can you even imagine Yukino from season one saying this? Absolutely not. What happened to the person who thought she had the responsibility ofÂ changing people, and even the world? (She actually says this near the beginning of the first season.) That adamant attitude is nowhere to be seen. Only a resigned smile remains. We know that Yukino is “all about trying to overcome obstacles like this,” as Yui says, but she’s changed now because of Hachiman. Because of her previous inability to do anything, letting Hachiman handle it all, and Hachiman not changing one bit, she’s lost that part of her spirit. She’s lost her sense of purpose in the club.
The ending part of episode 7 encapsulates Yukino’s feelings exceptionally well. Moreover, it is the major catalyst for Hachiman’s actions in episode 8. To remind you all of what happened, here’s their conversation:
Y: Youâ€™re helping Isshiki out, arenâ€™t you?
H: Yeah. Not like I had a choice.
Y: You didnâ€™t have to lie about it.
H: I wasnâ€™t lying. Komachiâ€™s exams really did play a part in it.
Y: Right. You didnâ€™t lie. I stand corrected.
H: Sorry I took Isshikiâ€™s request up by myself.
Y: I donâ€™t really mind. It isnâ€™t like I can control what you do in your free time, nor do I have a say in it. Or are you saying you need my permission?
H: No. Just wanted to put it out there.
Y: I see. Well. You donâ€™t need to apologize. Iâ€™m sure Isshiki finds it much easier dealing with you. You could probably resolve things all by yourself. Thatâ€™s how itâ€™s always been.
H: I havenâ€™t really resolved anything. Also, I only do things alone because I am alone. Arenâ€™t you the same?
Y: No. Iâ€™m not. All I ever did was act like I could do anythingâ€”like I understood everything.
H: Look, Yukinoshitaâ€¦
Y: How about taking some time off from the club? If youâ€™re trying to look out for us, then youâ€™re wasting your time.
H: Iâ€™m not, really.
Y: No, you are. You have been, ever since then. Thatâ€™s whyâ€¦ But you can stop forcing yourself now. If this is all it takes to tear us apart, then maybe we werenâ€™t all that close to begin with. Am I wrong?
NOTE: YUKINON LOOKS LIKE SHEâ€™S ABOUT TO FUCKING BURST INTO TEARS AT THIS POINT. FUCKING HACHIMAN JUST HUG HER OR SOME SHIT. COME ON WHEREâ€™S THE MELODRAMA I NORMALLY SEE?! STOP DOING THIS TO ME.
Y: You donâ€™t have to force yourself to show up anymore.
Damn, that is painful to watch all over again. The number of times I watched this scene made me question ifÂ I am actually masochistic. Anyways, it’s extremely critical to take a closer look at this. I’ve put the most critical lines in bold to make things easier.
Hachiman was forced into this club since the first episode of the first season. Yukino was given the task of changing him, and now she gave up. YukinoÂ realizes that she doesn’t have to be alone anymore.Â In that respect, I suppose you can say she’s one step ahead of Hachiman, but she still hasn’t completely broken out of her shell yet. Not after such a long time. It’ll take a while before she can, and it certainly won’t any time soon if Hachiman continues to act distantly, which is what almost everyone else has done to her up until this point. At the very least, she acknowledges that Yui is important to her, and I’m sure she knows to some extent that Hachiman is too or else she wouldn’t be on the verge of fucking tears breaking my already crumbling hearto. She doesn’t have the same kind of idealized loner image that Hachiman does. Her solitude does not push people away like Hachiman’s. It’s more like it’s the product of the people she’s met. No one has really closed the gap until now, so she was alone. If one approaches and tries to get closer to her, she won’t reject that. You can check back to season one and how almost right after meeting Yui, she accepts Yui’s proposal (it was behind the scenes) to eat lunch with her. She even goes to Yui’sÂ classroom to check up on her, which ended in her completely verbally abusing YumikoÂ (something I very much enjoyed seeing). Hachiman would have just said no to the proposal right off the bat.
Now that YukinoÂ has people closer to her, she acknowledges that, and she really likes it. The club is like her home. Her family situation is terrible, and she literally has no friends aside from Yui and Hachiman.Â Think about it. Who else does she have? No one. Even Hachiman has that crazy chuunibyou dude. She doesn’t have anyone else. So it’s even more brutal for her when Hachiman does all that shit to hurt himself. She’s the one hurting the most from his actions, not him. And you know, she thought she understood Hachiman, but she was wrong. Her powerlessness to change him made him realize that she really didn’t understand everything. She may have also felt that Hachiman just views her asÂ a nuisance this whole time.Â SheÂ doesn’t know.Â Yukino now understands that she doesn’t really understand Hachiman, so she might have just resorted to taking Hachiman’s idealized loner image at face value. If this is how he is, seemingly uncaring of them, forever unwilling to change, then this is just how it is. With this, she gives up.
Now she’s saying to Hachiman that he can do whatever he wants. Here’s the important thing. He has all the excuses available to him to take time off the club. Komachi’s exams, helping Isshiki out, etc. If he is to stick to his idealized loner image that he has always stuck to for every single episode up until this point, then he won’t show up. He should view the people in the club to have nothing to do with him. Furthermore, Yukino explicitly says that he doesn’t have to look out for them, which means that he’s no longer obligated to show up every day to the club. He wouldn’t, that is, if he wants to maintain his idealized self. However, if he does show up, then that means he wants to show up to the club. HeÂ wants to be with the people in the club. If that’s the case, he can no longer maintain that idealized loner image because he would no longer be the loner he thinks he is. If he shows up, he is essentially saying that Yui and Yukino matter to him, he’s not a loner anymore, and that he has changed.
For further reference, you can look at the lyrics of the ED. They contain the most important general ideas of the show so incredibly well. Here are the lyrics:
Be it our uniforms, or our textbooks
They wonâ€™t be changed on a whim
These times are fun, if a bit hollow
Weâ€™ll keep swimming through them
But to preserve this sense of calm
We keep trying to solve the equation
Of the perfect act
Solitude used to be our pillar of strength
But it started crumbling down once we found love
Our everyday life could fall apart in a flash
So we remain cowards
As our overflowing emotions
Continue to hurt us forever
Hopefully after reading the buildup portion of the analysis you can now almost fully understand the meaning behind these lyrics. It first notes that people don’t change easily, which is especially pertinent to Hachiman’s adamant attitude to maintain his loner image. They want to maintain these fun times, but to preserve those times they have to keep trying to act as if nothing is wrong. Yukino and Hachiman both found strength in solitude. Yukinon in thinking that she understood everything, and how the show itself even said in the beginning of season 1 that she was â€śblessed.â€ť She was different, it was difficult for people to understand her, and so she walked the solitary path. People looked up to her, but they never walked beside her. To her, them looking up to her, and her being so different (in a superior kind of way), was part of her strength. For Hachiman, people didnâ€™t look up to him, but rather looked down on him. He found peace in solitude as it was very clearly illustrated in the beginning of season 1. His papers to the teacher regarding how itâ€™s good to be a loner. He doesnâ€™t have to deal with all the nonsense. He found it to be his ideal self. They both went forward in life with solitude as their strength.
But after meeting each other, and Yui of course, they slowly started to change. This change was nothing like they ever experienced before. (By love, it obviously doesn’t mean the romantic kind of love. At least not yet. It’s wanting to be around someone, etc.) Their pillar of strength that they relied on all this time began to fall apart, and they didnâ€™t know how to handle it. They relied on solitude as their source of strength for so long that they didnâ€™t know what to do when it no longer existed. There was no new pillar to replace it. Their everyday lives, as you probably saw in just the previous few episodes, fell apart extremely quickly. But still, they â€śremain cowards,â€ť trying to maintain what they have with the already destroyed pillar of solitude by pretending everything is normal. They continue to hurt themselves in the process by not progressing beyond that and accepting something else as their pillar of strength.
Okay, so that’s a summary of the major buildup events that happened in season 2. I skipped some parts because we’re 4000+ words in, and I didn’t even start talking about this episode yet. Nevertheless, the prior analysis makes understanding what happens in this episode much easier, so it’s worth it. And dammit, you have to do this to appreciate this anime properly. It would be a shame to not think about a story that an author has actually put some serious thought in. Anyways, let’s get started on episode 8.
OreGairu Episode 8 Analysis
Firstly, Shizuka-sensei is too stronk. We really need some alternative timeline retelling with Shizuka and Hachiman getting it on. Hachiman’s suavest lines with Shizuka’s dere… my fucking heart. Sadly, this isn’t the universe where Hachiman is born 10 years earlier and met her 10 years earlier. So, time for some advice. We’ll be starting off very briefly on her talking about the human heart. We’ve already discussed Hachiman’s tendency to lookÂ at things purely from a logical standpoint instead of considering the human heart.Â He’s always thought he’s done the right thing, and his results do prove that he has solved problems. That is, until now.Â As Hachiman reflected on the people around him… “Rumi’s solitary figure, Yui’s forced smile, Isshiki’s occassionally sullen expression, and most of all, Yukino’s resigned smile.” He wonders if his ideal self is really all that ideal. For the first time, he doubted his logical approach. Was he missing something? Why did the people around him end up showing those kind of emotions when he should have solved their problems? The thing is that he didn’t really. He distanced himself too much, and was too used to his cold, calculating methods that he didn’t pay attention to the human heart. This shortcoming isÂ not just him not realizing other people’s hearts matter, but also his own. I’ll touch more on this last point in a bit.
Shizuka then talks about hurtingÂ people. Okay, that sentence came out kind of wrong, but you get the point. It is indeed impossible toÂ completelyÂ avoiding hurting someone else close to you. The very fact that you’re close to that someone makes them vulnerable. Whether you act or do not act, your action or inaction can hurt that someone.Â I’m sure all of us can relate to this on some extent. Whether it’s a lover or close friends or family members, we think about how our actions will affect them before we take that action. We avoid making certain decisions because of them, and we make certain decisions because of them. Sometimes, weÂ will make a choice that will hurt those people, but we are aware of that fact. That very awareness is what “holding people dear is all about.” I wouldn’t take everything she says too literally, and say that we don’t take those we don’t care about nearly as much into account at all. It’s just that we think about those closest to use first, and they are of primary importance. The line, “But if it’s someone you don’t care about, you won’t even notice that you’re hurting them” may sound kind of psychopathic, but it’s obviously not meant to be taken out of context. It’s not like the show is saying you can just murder a person unrelated to you in cold blood and not give a damn. Nothing psychopathic going on here. Shizuka is simplyÂ talking about the things that have happened in the show. You know, like those kids that were bullying Rumi and crapped their pants when they got scared in season one? Who really gave a shit about those little fuckers? (Yeah, yeah. I know I was probably like that at some point. I’m just sayin’. Some of us were little pieces of poop.)
The last thing Shizuka says is, “The present isn’t everything, but there are things you can only do now, things you can only find here. It’s now, Hikigaya. Now or never. Think, writhe, struggle, and agonize. If not, what you’re going through isn’tÂ genuine.” If Hachiman continues to wait, it may be too late for him to make the most of this situation, and this temporary weakness Yukino has in her heart towards Yui and Hachiman, in order to break her out of her shell. If Hachiman leaves her, she may just find herself thinking that maybe she really will continue to be alone like this. She’ll be the way she was before. That’s why he needs to act now. Now is the time. Now is when he can make it all work out. Something superficial is easy to get and maintain. Something genuine isn’t. HeÂ needs to really struggle to pursue something beyondÂ the currently superficial relationship he has with Yui and Yukino. (And you may also call his idealized self superficial as well.)
While staying up all night thinking about what he should do, he thinks about how he acted during the student council election, and how Komachi gave him a reason to act. Komachi saidÂ that she wants Yui and Yukino to stay among other similar things in support of keeping the group together. I personally view her words back then to be a proxy for how Hachiman feels deep down. Komachi was saying the words Hachiman is supposed to say himself. After thinking about it a great deal, he realizes that there was something he wanted, which leads us to the climax of the entire show where he confesses his feelings to Yui and Yukino for the very first time.
Firstly, HachimanÂ begins by admitting that his methods may not be so good after all as they have been the root cause of all these problems. Although he asks for help, Yukino still rejects this. As for why, it could be because how she feels that it may not be enough. That is, this isn’t a big enough of a change for Hachiman for her to be involved. She’s still stuck in this state where she thinks she’s powerless. Hearing this, Hachiman is of course shocked. He’s beginning to open up to her for the first time, and yet she’s rejectingÂ him. He’s probably thinking at this point, maybe like his old calculating self, that logically speaking it really was his fault, and it’s not his place to ask her of a favor like this when he’s shut her down so many times.
Again, we see how crucial Yui is to the whole group. She is the one who’s persistent. She’s the glue that keeps things together. She says the words that Yukino cannot say. She says that they are just as responsible as he is, and pushes this idea. Now, I’m actually not sure about the part where Yukino says, “You bring that up now?” to Yui, and Hachiman says, “Hang on. That’s not what I came to talk about.” I’m not sure if they’re talking of a specific event, or if they’re talking about Yukino denying Hachiman just before, or if it’s something else. By the way they’re talking afterwards it kind of sounds like it was when they were trying to act normal. Whatever the case, I don’t think it’s that important in the grand scheme of things, so I’ll just skip that portion.
They talk about pretending to be normal, and how they didn’t truly communicate with each other, which goes to my original point that I bolded above regarding them having superficial relationships with each other and just arrogantly assuming that they understood, and that they were understood. But like I mentioned above, it’s not that simple. Firstly, like Hachiman says himself, he “probably wouldn’t accept anything anyone said at face value. I’d fall back into my habit of reading between the lines and think they had ulterior motives. Or selfish reasons for telling me.” There’s no way someone who has stuck to this idealized loner persona would be able to change the way he thinks so easily.
Secondly, like Hachiman says, even if you were to be perfectly honest, said things straight, and talked more, “It’s arrogant to think just saying things out loud is enough. Self-gratifying on the part of the speaker, and conceited on the part of the listener. You won’t always come to an understanding by talking things out.” I think this speaks to the way we are as people. We are different. It’s difficult to understand someone else. Incredibly so. Just when you think you understand them well, they might just do something that surprises you. You think you know someone inside out, but you almost certainly know just a part of them. You don’t know how they would act under all circumstances. You only have a small sample size. Heck, it’s difficult to even know yourself, and you’re feeling things first-hand. The observer doesn’t have the privilege of feeling what you feel. No one can really feel what you feel. We can only relate. I’ll touch on this more in a bit. We need to get through the climax for me to pull up a very relevant quote without repeating myself. So, let’s just start with Hachiman’s confession.
â€śItâ€™s not empty words Iâ€™m after. There was something else I desired all along. Not mutual understanding, friendship, companionship, or anything of the sort. I donâ€™t care about being understood. I simply wish to understand. Understand, know, and rest easy in that knowledgeâ€”gain some peace of mind. Wanting to know people inside-out because being in the dark terrifies me is an awfully self-indulgent, egotistic, and arrogant wish. Itâ€™s downright despicable and disgusting. Having a desire like that makes me sick to the stomach! But if itâ€™s at all possible to share that desireâ€”if itâ€™s possible to have a relationship where youâ€™re free to burden one another with that repulsive self-gratificationâ€¦ I know that itâ€™s out of the question! I know that itâ€™s out of my reach! Even so! Even so, Iâ€¦ Iâ€¦ Iâ€¦ I want something genuine.â€ť
Alright, that is a block of quote that’s so dense that I’m not sure if I can even interpret this properly. I will just make this simple and discuss what I think is the main point of the passage.Â Hachiman acknowledges that the kind of person he is, him wanting to understand and all that, is self-indulgent, egotistic, and arrogant. It disgusts him, butÂ that’s simply the kind of person he is right now. He is his idealized loner self that’s not really so ideal. Keeping his distance, pretending to understand, pretending to know it all while calling others superficial even though he can be seen as the most superficial of all by maintaining this persona while thinking he understands others even though he has barely even truly interacted with anyone… But that’s just who he is. Now, he realizes, and says, what he truly wants. He wants Yui and Yukino to help him. He wants to be able to share this despicable side of him with them. He wants them to accept this persona that he finds so disgustingÂ so thatÂ maybe… Just maybe he won’t be this kind of person anymore. It’s also interesting that he doesn’t say everything out loud. He only says that he wants something genuine out loud. But remember, that’s just the kind of person he is right now. He has kept to himself all the time in the past. It’s difficult for him to change and suddenly say all of these things out loud.Â However, he saidÂ somethingÂ about what he truly wants, which has never happened before.Â This is a phenomenal change in his character.
At this, Yukino says she doesn’t understand. I know some people are probably very confused at this. Why did she say this after Hachiman basically confessed his true feelings? Well, it could be because he was so unwavering before, and all of a sudden he just broke down. She’s… shocked. She really justÂ doesn’t understand. (And remember he didn’t say everything out loud so it’s even more confusing for her.) I mean, I think the viewers can relate. I don’t think any of us fully understand everything that’s going on 100%, and I thinkÂ it’s meant to be this way. This is one of the major themes of the show. The fact that we can’t fully understand another person, whether it be through words or other means. Again, Yui shows how much of a badass motherfucking glue she is because she’s literally been carrying these two noobs who won’t just fucking kiss holyshitIswearifthatdoesn’thappenbytheend… She doesn’t get it. Yukino doesn’t get it. Batman doesn’t get it. I don’t fucking get it. But Yui gets that they don’t get it, and I get that. It’s not their job to figure it out right this moment.Â As a famous novelist/poet once said:
â€śBe patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.â€ť (Rainer Maria Rilke)
Slowly but surely, they can unravel this question of what it really means to have somethingÂ genuine. It’s supposed to be confusing. The characters are confused, and we’re left confused. It’s confusing because no one really understands. Unlike how they thought they understood each other before, they finally realized that they really don’t, and that’s the understanding that matters. As Rainer Maria Rilke says:
â€śThe point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.â€ť
You may think I’m tripping balls for quoting marriage. “ENTRAV, THEY AREN’T THAT FAR ALONG YET. AND WHO WON ANYWAYS?” was probably what you were thinking when you read the first line to which I answer, “
SENSEI DOES IT’S A HAREM ENDING, DUMBASS.” Even though it’s a quote about marriage, it’s more importantly about the distance between people. You should probably read it a few more times and let it seep in because this realization is what I think Hachiman, Yui, and Yukino are going through in this climax. Or at the very least, I think that’s what will matter going forward. They have to accept the distance between them if they are to pursue something genuine. Previously, they just saw idealized versions of each other, or in themselves. It was when those images began to breakÂ down within themselves and with each other that their relationships began to break down. To make things genuine, they have to realize the limitations of their understanding. It was arrogant of them to assume that they would understand others so fully, and that others would understand them, especially when you take their lack of real communication with each other into consideration. They have to talk things out, struggle, be confused, to not understand, and be aware that they don’t understand.Â Of course, it’s not pointless to try to understand someone more. You should, but you should also remember that you willÂ always have something left to understand about that someone.Â And that’s fine. That’s the way it is, and there’s beauty in acknowledging that fact.
Combine this realization with talking things out, and not just thinking that others would just understand them, they can go beyond the superficial relationship they currently have. Looking back, it’s incredible how much character development has actually happened, which is why I don’t have a review section for this episode. There is no real need. It should be clear after this episode (and hopefully after this analysis if you were confused) how good this anime really is. I just want to emphasize how great it is for the author to progress Hachiman’s character in such a direction. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was a bit apprehensive at the potential prospect of Hachiman sticking to his loner image so that he can be a prime target for otaku self-insertion. Thankfully, the opposite happened. This is a coming of age story where Hachiman throws aside his idealized self, and matures as a human being. The person that looked down on friendships, or just relationships in general, thought himself to understand others, and stuck to this idealized, glorified image of a loner, is no longer who he is today. Admittedly, it was a very interesting image that I enjoyed seeing, but I’m very, very glad it didn’t stick to just that. Now, he’s interacting with people. The little things like him catching up to Isshiki and greeting himself, admitting his faults to Yui and Yukino… He has grown up!
I mean, wow. It’s really difficult for me to fully comprehend how amazing this actually. After all this buildup… All these episodes… This is really how you tackle the loner personality in a meaningful way. This is how you do it! I’m sure there were people out there, otaku or not, who found solace in Hachiman’s character. They could relate, and they probably also thought that, “This character knows how I feel.” Perhaps they even justified their perception of their world, their current social relationships, and who they are, because of Hachiman. Now, of course, Hachiman wouldn’t be the only thing that would help those people justify their character and position in life. But how glorious it is for that to turn completely around? For the show to basically say, “No. This is not okay. You need to grow up.” It never says such a thing explicitly, and great stories almost never do state their themes in such a way.Â They just tell a story that will guide you towards such an answer naturally. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fantastic example of an animeÂ that absolutely nails thematic portrayal and thematic importance.
Maybe, just maybe… Someone out there who’s similar to the old Hachiman is now inspired to think differently. That thought sends shivers down my spine because it really isn’t so far-fetched. Someone may really change because of this show. That, to me, is as thematically important as it gets. Personally, I think that while it’s nice to have deep themes that are interesting to analyze, the most significant, and well-done, themes are those that affect us in real life. Whether it be through changing how we think, how we act, or how we live. Almost all shows have themes, but I’m often left thinking by the end, “Okay, butÂ so what?”Â For example, we get plenty of shows with themes about the importance of family, friendship, and so on. But often the way they’re done are too distant from our everyday lives, or are simply not relevant enough for the themes to resonate with us so that they affect us in real life. As seemingly spectacular as they may be, after watching them they may have absolutely no effect on us. I’m not trying to say that all shows need to be super duper important. Absolutely not. A show just being entertaining with themes spread throughout to make it not immensely shallow is perfectly fine. It’s just that when there is a show that manages to be entertaining, and also portray themes in such a meaningful mannerÂ thatÂ can truly affect people in real life… I have to express how rare thatÂ actually is.
There’s so much more to say about this show, and I could go on for another 5,000 words about how fantastic this anime is in a whole bunch of ways, but at this point, I’m almost certain that I made something quite simple into something quite complicated, so I’ll put a stop to it here. Sasuga me. I must warn you again that I have no idea if my analysisÂ is even remotely correct. And I also realize that I did miss some parts as well simply because I didn’t understand them well enough to explain. This is simply my interpretation of what has happened. At least, I do think very strongly that we’re supposed to understand that we’re not supposed to fully understand what’s going on. It’s supposed to be confusing, which makes this post extremely ironic. Nevertheless, I wanted to at least try to clarify some things and provide some insight because I know I was more confused than I am right now after thinking things through more thoroughly. If you’ve read this far, may The One True God Tatsuya Stu bless your soul because you sure endured a lot of rambling. Hopefully, you’ve gained a bit of insight from this post as to why this show is so damn good. I heard the light novel shows this even more clearly, especially this climax and the next few bits. I will most certainly go and read the light novel after this show ends to get a better understanding of this show. Oh, and of course, feel did an absolutely amazing job animating, and executing this season so far. Did not expect them to do this well at all. Fantastic work.
Thank you very much for reading! Feel free to write down your interpretations in the comments and tell me how much of an idiot I am for misinterpreting something. Regardless of my abilities, this was probably one of the most interesting posts I’ve ever done, so if a show manages to captivate me and portray things meaningfully like this again, I’ll most certainly do this again. Thanks again! I’ll see you next time.