Komachi’s Christmas wishlist was technically supposed to be before the last episode. The beginning of chapter 1 in particular. What the anime misses out on is Hachiman’s questioning of what his “happiness” is. The following Komachi scene after the opening is from the end of chapter 2 which should’ve been in the last episode as well. We’re also supposed to get an appearance from Hachiman’s mom too. What a shame. Anyway, the point is that she asked him to order a party barrel from OFC (KFC) which incidentally results in the meeting with Yukino later.
Yui discusses how it would have been better for them to take up Iroha’s request with the Christmas event. They’re both unsure if Yukino really wanted to be the president and she certainly did, though that wasn’t all there is to it. It’s because she hoped Yukino would be able to get out of her rut and focus on something else. They’re both at a loss about what to do which ultimately could be solved with some communication between the three, but well, that’s the problem. Turns out Yui knows that Hachiman is helping Iroha, but what about Yukino?
As usual, Yukino greetings them like normal, going with the flow. Her smile isn’t as genuine as it appears to be. This scene’s important for Yukino and Hachiman’s talk later. The novel showed it more often, but Hachiman makes excuses so he can leave the club early. Seems simple on the surface, but from Yukino’s point of view, it sounds like he’s just forcing himself to be there. He might as well not come if he has to make up these excuses, right?
Some things I felt Feel should’ve emphasized more here. Particularly, Hayama’s line about how he’s not as nice of a guy as Hachiman thinks he is. It’s a good indicator of the dynamic they have and what they’ll have assuming volume 10 gets adapted. Essentially, Hachiman is still has this fixed image of Hayama being this “nice guy who does everything for everyone’s sake.” It’s similar to his idealization of Yukino though that was long done with in volume 6. As for Iroha, she’s actually pretty mentally exhausted from all the work. And Hachiman’s onii-chan skills are fully active at all times when it comes to Iroha.
And Rumi’s back! Feel even redid some scenes of the camp trip over summer, too. Nifty. Rumi’s appearance here is important for Hachiman since she’s essentially the result of his method back then.
Totsuka’s single scene in the whole volume. We learn that Totsuka looks up to Hachiman quite a bit, him being cool and all. One detail Feel glossed over was how Totsuka was jealous of Zaimokuza for being the one Hachiman turned to for help. Shows a bit of development for Totsuka and also shows that there are people who can see Hachiman for what he is. And the final segment ends with Hachiman questioning what he’s doing is the right thing. With the Christmas event collaboration not going well, he’s starting to doubt himself and what he’s doing. What is it that he wants and what is it that he wants to do?
Some development on Kaori after getting told off by Hayama in the earlier episodes. Instead of freely using her past with Hachiman as a topic starter (and to make fun of him), she’s acting more considerate this time around. Surprisingly, I know.
So we get a look into the situation of the Christmas event and they have about a week left and nothing has been done. Also, instead of just helping Iroha, he’s more or less giving out directions and do mostly everything. Everyone relies on him including the rest of the Student Council. This is supposed to be beyond the jurisdiction of the Service Club. Important since he still thinks of the Service Club and the creed that Yukino made for it; that is, they merely act as support and induce growth in the individuals (to teach how to fish, not provide the fish). Unfortunately, there isn’t much Hachiman can do to get through Tamanawa since he’s too focused on doing everything “together.” For what reason, we don’t know. In any case, the situation is pretty bad, emergency level even.
That hat looks awfully familiar! So we see Rumi’s alone like always; nothing has changed since the last time they met. Hachiman gives her a hand with making stars for the Christmas tree which goes a long way for Rumi as a nice gesture. This part’s important since it ultimately shows Hachiman that what he did back then might’ve not been enough. He isn’t sure what his responsibility is in regards to the result of that nor does he know the right answer to it, or anything at all.
On another note, Rumi’s Yukinon, but her loli version. Also, I want to make RumiRumi an idol!
Also, this is Iroha’s 4th rejection, or maybe it was the fifth.
First, bravo for Feel’s rendition of this scene. It’s more than perfect, I’d say it’s more powerful than its novel counterpart even with the monologues factored in. Though, I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t add the whole present box monologue afterwards, but that’s fine. We also get treated to the piano version of the opening. Very atmospheric and thematically beautiful, transient, and sad. Hayami Saori’s kind and soft voice acting and Takuya Eguchi’s hesitant voice work really made this scene, too. Really gives you an idea what they were feeling that’s hard to come across in written format.
So this talk between Hachiman and Yukino is crucial in what’s coming up. Starting with Yukino, we learn that she did know Hachiman was helping with Iroha, but she stayed quiet about it. It ties in with how she views him now; that he’s someone that can solve problems on his own. This is reinforced by what he’s done in the past: Rumi’s incident, the Cultural Festival, the confession, and the election. However, she doesn’t feel the same way about herself; at least, not anymore. She’s no longer confident in herself; before she thought she knew what she was doing and she felt she could do everything, but that all came tumbling down with the recent events of how powerless she ultimately was in the grand scheme of things. This reflects her feeling of being unqualified to say anything about what Hachiman does on his own anymore and her inability to do anything about it. Hachiman winces to this, noticing her self-deprecation. So when he tells her she’s similar in being able to do things by herself, she rejects the notion. A good hint of what’s to come regarding herself and her “admiration” of Hachiman.
Next, when Yukino tells Hachiman he doesn’t have to force himself to come to the club anymore, this is an ultimatum. As to why, remember how Hachiman would make excuses to leave the club? To Yukino, he might as well not come to the club anymore since it looks like he doesn’t want to be there, what with his excuses and all. But it’s also her saying that there isn’t much she can do for him anymore, so he doesn’t need to show up to the club; he can do everything by himself, after all. This is compounded by the fact that he’s been acting considerate towards them ever since the confession during the field trip because he’s afraid of stepping on potential land mines; so this might be another form of superficiality on his part. Though it hurts, Yukino’s trying to push him away so the both of them don’t have to go through any more pain due to their seemingly superficial relationship; both aren’t going to be happy with what they have, so there’s no point in trying to keep it going. This does strike a nerve for Hachiman though because he definitely does agree with Yukino that their relationship isn’t all that it’s made out to be if it’s enough to be destroyed by him no longer attending the club. Unfortunately, the both of them aren’t really sure if there’s anything they can do about it hence his hesitation and her pushing him away. So basically, she feels he’ll just be hurt more if he stays in the club any longer. It’s a cruel kindness, to say the least. But if he chooses to continue going to the club, that shows that he does care about the club, a feeling he’s been trying to hide away under layers and layers of logic. She’s essentially forcing him to look at himself over again and really come to terms with what it is that he really wants with Yukino and Yui.
Highlight would be Feel’s ability to show how fragile Yukino really is especially with the way she smiles. Same thing to Hachiman’s hesitation and consideration towards her. Again, this developing dynamic is really something.
Also, another interesting interpretation thanks to Watari, Hachiman’s confirmation with Yukino is his roundabout way of getting “permission” from Yukino when she asks him if he needs that from her. So while he rejected the notion, it turns out he may have been trying to get it anyway by apologizing to her.
Just my initial thoughts, I’ll refine this later. Some stuff sounds off.
Solo ED by Yukino (Hayami Saori). Very fitting, though it does make me wonder what they’ll do for episode 8 and especially 9 since that episode should be all her. Looks like Yui will get a ballad, too.
- The Yukino ultimatum was brilliantly done coupled with the piano piece and the scenery.
- A shame they cut out Keika as well as Totsuka’s moment of jealousy. Hopefully, Keika gets her appearance in the next couple of episodes.
- The ED done by Yukino was a great touch. Yui might get hers next week?
- Genuine scene next week and Destinyland the following week. Yes. Yes!