Starts off with a little flashback about Komachi handing him a list of presents, #1 obviously being the most important. By the way, they had a nod to the UNO match that was supposed to be in episode 1. Found it funny some people’s pants were pulled down, how does that work?
The haunted mansion scene depicted as in the LN with some extras. Hachiman’s automatic gesture there was supposed to be one of his onii-chan skills which they omitted. They also kept the little rub from Yui when she smashes his head from fright. Also, Tobe pls.
Their visit to the Nanzen-ji Temple. Yukino showing off her obsession with cats as usual, I guess tigers count. Hachiman takes note that Hayama seems to be up to something regarding their attempts at getting Tobe and Ebina some alone time, which he keeps to himself. Yukino isn’t able to help as much directly, but she did some research for possible locations that girls would like, sasuga Yukinon. All of this smiling Yukino, it hurts knowing what’s going to happen for a few episodes after this.
Two important conversations that give you an idea of what Miura and Ebina think of the group they’re in. Miura in particular is a bit more vocal about what it is she wants to remain the same while Ebina leaves it up to Hachiman to figure out her request. Their group is treading on a fine line between staying together and breaking apart, especially with Tobe’s upcoming confession. This also goes to show the other characters are a lot more observant than they let on, at least when it comes to their own surroundings. So it turns out they’re a group of characters with more depth than your average popular groupies.
I see a lot of people thinking Yukino’s “out of character,” but apparently people forget what happened in the Cultural Festival arc in season 1. This scene in particular is pretty representative of how much development these three have gone through. Though, exactly how much closer they’ve gotten is up for debate given what’s going to happen in the next volume. The trio’s a good parallel to Hayama’s group. Also, Yukino drinking tea after getting tired from the hike, funny. It does make me wonder what they could possibly be thinking as they watched him eat the meat buns. Yukitoki in instrumental form, how nostalgic. They also omitted the breakfast the three had together at a Nagoya cafe, their visit to whatever temple to pray for Komachi’s exam success, and so forth. My Service Club slice of life, no!
The background scenery is pretty fucking sugoi. They stick out in every picture and it’s nice to show how much care they’re putting into it. Destinyland’s going to be a treat. That said, they picked out the bamboo shoots as the place for the inevitable confession. Yui clearly liked the place.
Clash of ideals. Hayama likes his group the way it is, but Hachiman sees it nothing more than a facade of superficiality, something that he hates the most. What’s so fun about pretending to be friends? Who knows, but Hayama doesn’t think of it that way. In the end, Hayama can’t decide on anything and leaves it to Hachiman to keep his group from falling apart, which is in line with what Miura and Ebina want. Hachiman isn’t exactly pleased by this either.
Time for the confession. Tobe’s on his way to being turned down for sure, but Hachiman has a plan. The two leave it up to him since they trust he’ll do something about it. Hayama’s expression says quite a bit about what he’s thinking. And also Hachiman’s stream of logical thoughts leading him to his plan to keeping Tobe from getting hurt–rather, Hayama’s group from being destroyed internally. Yukino and Yui are completely unaware of this, evident by how surprised by his sudden dash towards Tobe.
Instead of Tobe confessing, Hachiman steals the spotlight and does it instead. Everyone’s surprised save for Hayama; he had an idea Hachiman would do something like this. He knew, but he still chose to let him do it, just so he could keep his group together. Fortunately for Tobe, he didn’t get directly rejected and they were able to establish the fact that Ebina wasn’t looking to date anyone. He’s effectively allowed them to continue their group charade for a little longer. Tobe’s a good guy, a bit annoying though. This self-sacrifice is a bit smaller in scale compared to his verbal abuse of Sagami, but the actual side effects run a bit deeper. We got to see Yui’s expression, but Yukino’s mostly obscured from the viewer, a good way to indicate how she’s feeling regarding the matter.
Yukino’s upset about his way of doing things. What exactly was she upset about? We wait a few more episodes to find out. To me, I think this marks the conflict that’s the heart of the series. The series started off with a match between the two, “Whoever can serve the most people win.” So it’s essentially a competition between their approach at problems and it’s really only until this scene in particular that how they handle things start to run in parallel to each other. This conflict also builds further on the dynamic relationship that exists between Hachiman and Yukino that I honestly think doesn’t exist with any other character. And this is also the first time in which Yukino directly and active shows her dislike for his methods. Just to add regarding to Yukino’s reason for being upset, consider the theme of superficiality in this series. You can also call it deception, lies, sophistry, whatever. Which two characters hate these things the most? Our duo protagonists, of course. Obviously, this isn’t the only reason since Hiratsuka-sensei’s sage advice during the Cultural Festival also comes to mind. “Just because you’re not hurting doesn’t meant others who are watching you aren’t.” And if you take into account their slowly, festering relationship as represented in their time alone together from earlier in the episode (sharing food), there is (are) someone (people) who is (are) bound to be hurt/upset. Yukino may have said no to his +Facebook Friend Request, but they really are friends at this point in the story which by the way, is a good segue into introducing romance elements into the story–Not Yui related, of course, but that’s another story altogether.
Great music here. So Yui didn’t like what he did either. His excuse, it was efficient. It’s efficient, but it wasn’t very considerate. Considerate to who? I wonder. Notice how he was rubbing his fingers as he was making up excuses to why he did what he did. He also realizes that he was doing what he hated: deception, trying to rationalize something that isn’t true, sophistry. Protip: this ties in with the reason why Yukino’s upset from earlier. I think it’s pretty obvious why Yui wasn’t okay with it, crushing on him and all.
Ebina’s heart-to-heart talk about how rotten she is, and by extension, Hachiman. It turns out these two might be able to get along better than you’d expect. And the final three shots gives you an idea of the effects of Hachiman’s stunt on the three of them. Yukino still seems to be brooding over the matter from last night, Hachiman’s alone on the roof of the station, and Yui’s still in her living group. Hachiman’s final line of him being the biggest liar is an interesting one, too.
So let’s talk a little about Hachiman (and Yukino).
Just reading around and it’s kind of scary how off-base a lot of people can be, though I can easily be as well.
First, let’s start off with some details regarding Hachiman. He’s rotten, he’s a very logical (important) thinker, has a bad history with girls, has low self-esteem, supposedly loathes superficiality, and hates the idea of changing to fit in with others. These are all things we understand about him or get an idea of as early as the first volume. So it’s easy to get an idea of why he does what he does; it’s because he really doesn’t have all that much to lose which isn’t a very healthy mindset for a boy in high school. That said, he gets by in life just fine.
The problem now is that really isn’t true anymore. Currently, there are two people who are steadily climbing up his “things to treasure” list: Yukino and Yui. Obviously, the same applies to those two in regards to him. He may not realize it, but that’s their relationship now.
So let’s make some parallels of the Service Club with Hayama’s clique. What’s the difference? The former lacks the superficial shackles that plague the latter. Rightfully so, since Hachiman and Yukino won’t have any of that when they’re around.
Consider the conversation Hachiman and Hayama had at the riverbank. Hayama thinks his group dynamic isn’t superficial, Hachiman does. This is representative of their polar opposite ideologies. It’s also a good parallel to their two groups (again).
Fast forward to the confession in episode 2/end of volume 7. His impromptu solution is a fake confession to Ebina to avoid Tobe from getting rejected that could potentially cause their group to explode internally–This was what Ebina, Miura, and Hayama wished for. So what does this solution of his ultimately solve? It allows him to fulfill Ebina, Miura, and Hayama’s request as well as sidelining Tobe’s request for x number of length. Now let’s look at the deeper implications. He chose to protect the shallow bonds of a group that he honestly didn’t really care all that much about. He chose to place value on things that he was supposed to hate and loathe. And these are all the things he hated straight from episode 1 of season 1/volume 1. He essentially changed his ideology in order to protect something superficial which was ironically, the very first thing he argued about when he met Yukino.
For Yui, it’s understandable to see her get upset; she likes the guy and she has an idea of what kind of things he does to get things done. But for Yukino, it goes a bit deeper than that. The fake confession really wasn’t the issue to her, but the implications and aftermath of it. I don’t think Hachiman was hurt as much some people seem to imply from the rejection. One thing the anime kind of suggested at was Hayama’s pity for Hachiman, at least, that’s his interpretation of it. He’s more hurt by the fact that someone else was looking down on his way of life, pitying him because he’s this way. Of course, I’m sure he was hurt by how Yukino and Yui reacted as well.
So let’s talk about Yukino. She’s honest, the type to tackle things head-on, she always takes the straight path, confronts anything she sees wrong, absolutely loathes superficiality, and dislikes people who pretend to be something they’re not, that is, acting fake. This, just like Hachiman, are things we get a notion of as early as volume 1. So our two protagonists, while at different starting points on the map, are walking on the same road to the same destination.
Then we have Yukino’s position in regards to Hachiman. She shares the same idea that superficiality is pointless and that they have no value. While Yukino may be harsh to Hachiman, she recognizes and appreciates the honesty that Hachiman has. For dumb things, he gives the dumbest excuses, but when it comes to problems that matter, he solves them honestly and brutally; regardless of the outcome, he doesn’t make any excuses. He upholds this attitude as early as their first meeting to the solution with Sagami during the Cultural Festival. And this is where he is essentially constructing this image to Yukino whose too honest. It probably wasn’t intentional on his part, but that’s exactly what side effects are; Yukino now has this constructed notion that Hachiman is the way he is and that there really isn’t any reason why’d he suddenly do a 180 on his ideologies and she certainly does appreciate this. So in the same way Hachiman held her in a pedestal, it’s very like Yukino does the same thing with him.
Now consider the request. Just by nature of the one who asked for help, Yukino is already limited to what she can do to contribute, but she does whenever she’s able. She’s also kept in the dark most of the time since Hachiman typically doesn’t really consult with her or Yui all that much about anything except for simple things. So they end up leaving Hachiman in charge of getting the job done when he stated that he had some kind of plan to get the problem resolved. So there is some level of trust between the three of them, at least, that’s what the two think. Of course, little did they know that he’d actually do something that was completely out of left field, both as a solution and for his entire character.
And then, the sudden fake confession. Yukino’s confused. Why would you do something that went against your very nature? Weren’t you supposed to be someone who wouldn’t change, especially not in the face of superficial nonsense? What does that say about our relationship then? Were we, ultimately, just two strangers in the same clubroom, connected only by the title of the Service Club? (This is actually more volume 8-ish, but I’ll add it here anyway). How would prolonging something brittle that will end eventually help anyone? If you’re going to contradict yourself this way, are you going to continue doing that for every single thing in the future? (A cycle of regret and self-abasement).
Yukino (apparently people are too busy generalizing her character as a unkind bitch or something when it’s the complete opposite) isn’t upset because she’s selfish or anything of the sort, you could even say she’s upset on his behalf; you can also say she was hurt which I believe she was, maybe not to the extent as Yui, however. As I mentioned above, Yukino had expectations of him, an idealization of him even. But that was instantly dashed with just this single confession; he went against everything he stood for as well as destroying this notion she had of him, the notion that was solidified by their interactions together, his behavior, his attitude, and so forth for the past six months, the notion that made them similar and represented what they mutually shared. And perhaps, her relationship with Hachiman wasn’t as genuine as she had thought it to be because she just doesn’t know Hachiman anymore.
It’s because Yukino’s too honest, kind even, that she can’t stay quiet about what he did. She isn’t able to sweep things under the rug if she sees that they’re wrong like Hachiman can. Her confronting attitude may be annoying to some people, but it’s because she’s like this that she can affect Hachiman in ways that Yui (or anyone else for that matter) can’t. People who have a single-track mind in things they do will continue to be that way until told otherwise. But that’s not to say they can just outright tell him, “You’re doing everything wrong because x.” It’s because they don’t understand everything. That’s exactly why Yukino finds it frustrating when she isn’t able to put her dislike of his methods into words. It should’ve made sense, but yet, it didn’t. Factor in the fact she’s growing closer to him, it makes it even harder to accept (a lot of people seem to be ignoring the last arc of the first season for some reason). I’ll also add Hiratsuka-sensei’s line about how “getting scolded means someone is watching you.” So Yukino does care about him, to what extent, we don’t really know, but she cares enough that she would blow a fuse over something he did, which is a 180 from who she was 6 volumes (1 season) ago. So, yes, character development for both Hachiman (crapping on his way of life for the sake of others) and Yukino (showing concern and anger for someone she truly believed she could genuinely get along with over that single thing they shared).
There are some people who find it strange that Yukino gets angry here, but not during the Cultural Festival when his reputation plummets. For one thing, Yukino wasn’t there to see what he did directly, the only thing she could do was interpret what happened based on what Hayama and Sagami were like when they went back. But the confession was the first time she was able to see in-person what his methods do and accomplish. An even bigger issue is how fundamentally different both solutions are. One was for the sake of getting the request done, no superficiality. The confession solution was the same except with the superficiality. It’s kind of like the difference between seeing what happens in front of you versus hearing about what happened, you react differently; the severity of your reaction depends on the situation. Season 1 omitted the scene, but Yukino did have a chat with Hachiman about what it is that he did after the rooftop scene. She tells him that “he tries to save anyone,” something which he denies. But I think this scene in particular shows she has a grasp of what he’s like, though she didn’t think he’d actually do that fake confession of his to preserve Hayama’s group.
I’ll also add something from volume 10. Yukino doesn’t mind being hated as long as there are people who can understand her. Even if it’s just one individual who genuinely understands her, it doesn’t matter what the world says about her, rumors, etc. Very important when you realize her life in elementary and junior versus high school. The former without the Service Club and the latter with them. But I digress.
Ultimately, Hachiman’s confession was able to solve the issue with Hayama’s group, but consequently and ironically, ended up fracturing his own. What’s important is what the implications of his act were, not so much the idea of turning down implied confessions or whatnot, though I won’t argue against or for regarding those points.
Anyway, I think I’ll do something like this for Yukino when the anime finishes volume 8 though most of the above interpretation has volume 8 details in it already. I also wrote all the above in a hurry, so I don’t think I have everything right. Will add or fix later, I guess.
Oh, and here’s a random update on chapter 2: It’s in the middle of editing. Irohafags need to wait just a little longer.