The episode kicks off with Komachi noticing that Hachiman’s acting weird after the field trip. She realizes that it has to do something with Yukino and Yui, but Hachiman tells her to buzz off. This sibling conflict is important later. Also, this indicates Hachiman isn’t particularly feeling good about what he did either if he can’t open up to his own sister. I wasn’t expecting Komachi to yell out at the end though, a bit different from the light novels.
So new opening animation. Basically a collage of what our three protagonists do on their off-time, yes, Yukino stares at cats. That said, there are some shots of volume 9 stuff like the car and Rumi. Though, that snow segment raises a few eyebrows from me, but that’s probably just volume 9 related, it takes place during Christmas, after all. That final shot of the teacups is a nice touch to what’ll happen near the end of the season. It’s possible volume 10 might be adapted if volume 11’s release date and the pacing of the episodes are any indicator. This episode adapted up to chapter 4 of volume 8. Presumably, the next episode will do up to chapter 6.
The aftermath of the fake confession an episode ago. Everything’s “normal;” Hayama’s group, Hachiman’s greeting to Totsuka, and the Service Club.
Instead of picking his usual favorite sweet MAX COFFEE, he goes for the bitter Black Coffee. A good reflection of the current situation. Him looking out the window and checking his time shows how awkward it is for him to be in the clubroom, so he waits until the very last minute to show up.
The awkward tension in the clubroom. Hachiman uses the book as an excuse to avoid having to deal with the awkwardness, but he’s not actually reading. Yui brings up how everyone’s normal like before. Now she’s not sure what everyone’s thinking anymore. Yukino adds as a follow-up that knowing each other doesn’t really mean understanding each other; a statement to the Service Club’s relationship, Yukino and Hachiman’s in particular.
Yukino finds issue with Hachiman’s notion of “normal” when he says they should just act like normal (like always). He shows a small reaction in response, a good detail by Feel. By context alone, what Yukino points out as what’s “normal” to him seems to be referring to Hayama’s group; keeping up their shallow friendships for show. This correlates with the whole fake confession incident. On the other hand, she says again, “You haven’t changed” or something to that effect. To be honest, still unsure on this line in both the anime and the LN. But anyway, there’s also another time where she said something similar and that was after the slogan proposal meeting in volume 6/Cultural Festival (the scene with her first awkward wave). At least, that’s what the LN seems to be pointing back at (correct me if I’m wrong). There’s a stark difference between the two though; she was much more accepting of his “unchanging” nature back then, but now after the fake confession, it doesn’t seem like she can accept it anymore, at the very least, it’s something much more fundamental in his unchanging nature that she’s upset about. Her hesitating and being conflicted over what she wanted to say afterwards, evident by her squeezing hands, was a good detail by Feel and great work by Hayami.
So Hiratsuka-sensei comes by with a new request. And the person is, ta-da, our resident comfy Megu Megu ☆ Megurin! And a new character, Isshiki Iroha. You should be able to tell already that she’s a very cutesy-type person and one to be hated by girls. Hachiman’s warning sensors are pretty much going off at this point.
So the request in a nutshell: Make it so Iroha loses without damaging her reputation. Being the master of psychology that is Hachiman, he proposes that she lose by external means similar to what happened with Sagami. Instead of placing the blame on the person herself, they can shift the blame to someone else and keep the original person from public scrutiny. Of course, this is where Yui and Yukino come in with their objections; in the case of Yui, she’s concerned about who has to take up that role, obviously realizing that Hachiman’s probably the only viable candidate. Yukino likely acknowledges that too, but doesn’t approve of the method at all; she’s essentially showing open hostility towards him. We also get a rare burst of emotions from Yukino, our supposed ice queen, that we’d normally never see from her. I think the most emotional she had been was her first meeting with Hachiman when they had a little argument over their ideas on changing. Anyway, regarding what she said, notice that she pauses quite several times in her explanation when Hachiman asks her reason; it indicates that she’s likely thinking up reasons randomly on the thought to justify herself which is pretty rare for someone like her. It’s showing that while she doesn’t like his method, she doesn’t exactly have a real valid justification to why and a good alternative to his. The little segment at the end was actually quite rude to Meguri-senpai when she retracted her words, a detail not noted in the anime. Essentially, the idea was to let Meguri-senpai and the student council handle everything afterwards once they manage to drop Iroha from the running. So this was a bit out of character for her (evident by everyone’s else reaction), understandable since she’s really emotionally volatile right now. Good music and I really appreciate Hayami’s acting here, she’s definitely bringing out how much Yukino is struggling to interact with him.
So Yukino asks Hiratsuka-sensei to stay and she brings up the contest she forced them into when Hachiman and Yukino first met. The one who serves the most people will get to order the loser to do anything. Leave it to the teacher to forget about it. Anyway, Yukino bringing this up actually raises a few questions, ignoring the fact that she’s a sore loser. It’s likely that she wants to win to show that her way of doing things is right, but it’s possible that she wants the reward of that absolute order. I imagine this whole contest will come up again near the end of the story, but we’re left with this mystery for now. So now, Yukino and Hachiman are at odds with each other regarding how to handle the request. There’s no need to cooperate since it’s pointless which means there’s really no point to attending club if everyone’s working separately, hence the freedom of participation. Now, for the last thing Yukino says before Hachiman leaves, Commie uses “superficial” for 馴れ合い (I translated it as “the act of getting along,” maybe I’ll change it) which works since it means “getting along just for show” and that’s what superficiality is, but I felt that was a bit too direct. So this is proof #1 for my long rant in episode 2 about what Yukino is upset about. Pretending to get along with people, or being superficial, was something they were supposed to hate, at least, that’s what she thought. I think it’s a shame they didn’t add the detail where Hachiman turns his head after hearing her say that.
A little more advice from Hiratsuka-sensei. When it comes to Hachiman and Yukino, she’s very observant. They’re both too honest and nice for their own good. She also tells him that continuing to do things his way will eventually catch up with and he’ll be unable to save anyone he meets in the future (or anyone at the moment). Something to keep in mind in the next few episodes.
Interesting segment that reviews a little about Yukino’s relationship with Haruno and her family. Haruno’s trouble and Hachiman tries to ignore her. Too bad, though. Anyway, on to the Yukinoshita family dynamic starting with Haruno and Yukino. So it should be pretty clear from the first season that Yukino wanted to be like Haruno, as in chasing after her shadow, after the events of the Cultural Festival. We also know they’re not on particularly good terms since they never really act all nice when they meet (Yui birthday present date, the end of the summer camping trip, and the Cultural Festival arc). There’s also Haruno assuming Yukino would run for committee chairperson during the Cultural Festival and the same applies to here for the student council president; the common thing here is that Haruno did the former while she ignored the latter. So one thing evident in this relationship is that Haruno assumes her little sister will try to do things that’ll one-up her. When Haruno finds out that she isn’t trying for position, she finds it “boring,” stating it a cold and ominous matter, something Hachiman notes that contrasts between her usual happy act. It’s possible that the relationship between the two sisters isn’t exactly a one-way street, it seems like Haruno has her issues with Yukino as well. What it is, we won’t know just yet.
An interesting line by Haruno demonstrating Yukino’s relationship with her family, “She hates us (it), but she doesn’t want us to hate her in turn (doesn’t want to be hated).” The line’s ambiguous in the original Japanese line since Haruno doesn’t really indicate anything specific regarding what it is she “hates” but based on the context, it’d be her family. That said, this line does speak volumes of Yukino’s character which don’t become all that clear until later. Actually, if we think about how she hates superficiality, it’s possible she “hates” the obligation of sending souvenirs to her family. This makes sense with what Haruno saying it’s not the case that she’s being “proper” or “honest.” Essentially, the idea is, I think, that she hates doing something like that because it’s superficial, but she doesn’t want her family to hate her. Sending gifts to her family for the sake of not being hated I imagine is pretty superficial in itself. Anyway, this line in particular is still confusing to me, so I’m not really sure what to think about it. An interesting parallel would be her relationship with the Service Club for volume 9.
And comes the appearance of the girl that possibly traumatized Hachiman in the old days, Kaori Orimoto. Turns out she still has a pretty bad image of him even after all those years they haven’t seen each other. I can only imagine what Hachiman’s actual eyes were like when he was younger since I’m assuming they shadowed them out for that reason. That said, Haruno manages to hear some spicy details regarding his confession which becomes the source of his trouble for this episode and the next.
Haruno calls up Hayama and to the viewer’s surprise, Hayama does as she say. This gives you an idea what’s going on between these two. Season 1 completely missed the scene during the Cultural Festival with these two interacting after Haruno eggs on Sagami in front of Yukino. Anyway, this segment gives a glimpse regarding how Hayama sees Haruno and even gives an idea of what she’s really like. He may be the nice guy everyone sees him as, but he’s much more observant than he lets on though everyone should know that by now after last episode. But to summarize what he said about her: Haruno screws with you until she gets bored of you and tosses you aside or destroys you if she doesn’t like you. Unfortunately, they kind of skipped the segment with everyone chatting. They also set up a date that should be the focus of next episode, but I imagine they’ll do a flashback thing for this.
Their first meeting was redone by Feel which was a nice touch. Goes to show you how far (or maybe, how little) they’ve really progressed, at least, when it comes to their fundamental ideologies in getting things done. Hachiman actively avoids the club when necessary and only goes to the club after hearing Yui out. As Hachiman said in his monologue, nothing’s changed, so there’s no problem. That’s how he sees it, at least.
So here’s proof #2 as to why Yukino is upset with Hachiman’s fake confession. Hachiman’s methods are ultimately only temporary, they don’t exactly solve the heart of whatever problem that comes up; he essentially avoids them for as long as possible. On the other hand, Yukino’s methods are very brute-force, but theoretically, they are solutions that will be long-term. The problem, most of the problems are solved by Hachiman, so while she accepts how effective they are, she can’t acknowledge them; this becomes a focal point in this arc.
She then explicitly mentions that Hachiman was the one who said he hated superficiality. This conflicts with his fake confession solution. Add in Yukino’s line from earlier in the episode, “I thought we both hated superficiality (pretending to get along).” This should be evident that she had her own image of Hachiman. Now it’s pretty much broken. And Hachiman doesn’t plan on changing and he doesn’t seem to find anything “wrong” with his solution; a good indication of how his mind works.
So all in all, reasons why Yukino was upset: 1. He’s betraying what he stood for (ultimately, hurting himself), 2. His solutions don’t solve anything, 3. The one thing she had in common with him no longer exists and now she’s completely in the dark about how to interact with him. TL;DR: She’s unknowingly getting closer to him, and is finding it difficult to express herself with just logic alone. Hachiman, on the other hand, is supposedly pretending as if nothing’s wrong (when he knows subconsciously that there is) and continues or tries to act like always. Little did he know, he’s becoming the very thing he hated. Yukino openly objecting to his nature is, I’d say, the solution to getting him to break out of his shell.
Good episode, they’re pretty much condensing the books of all the fluff and stringing together the important scenes in the novel. Removing the Hayama/Orimoto/Haruno store scene is a bit questionable though, but I’ll assume they’ll make that up in the next episode. This arc’s pretty much the arc most people will end up disliking Yukino, but for me, it makes me like her more. She’s really the only one who will openly butt heads with Hachiman while everyone else kind of pussyfoots around him. Yukino showing so much emotion despite being the supposed ice queen is a good testament to her character growth considering how she didn’t like him at all when they first met. Same thing with Hachiman.
Orimoto’s VA definitely gets you irritated and Iroha sounded a bit too high for my liking. I’ll get used to it, I guess.
As I mentioned before, this episode adapts up to chapter 4 of volume 8. Next episode has the title of chapter 6, so presumably it’ll be two chapters for the next episode. And as stated in the other news post, volume 11 is going to be released on the same day as the last episode. It’s very possible they’ll adapt volume 10 which I hope they don’t, but there’s more evidence pointing in that direction than not. Episode 5 and 6 will be the ones that determine this, I think.
Here’s another good read from ANN.