Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru – 11

Yukinoshita Yukino, Hikigaya Hachiman, Yukinoshita Haruno

Hikigaya and Yui pay Yukino a visit at her apartment, telling her they need to talk, but Yukino needs more time to think, though promises one day she’ll be able to rely on Yui. The next day in committee, while the slogan for the festival is being brainstormed, Hikigaya uses the opportunity to protest how hard he’s working while others slack off, getting a rise out of Yukino, who is more friendly with him afterwards. The next day, as the festival begins, Sagami gets stage fright. After watching Totsuka and Hayama perform “The Little Prince”, Hikigaya mans the reception table and is joined by Yui. As thanks for the bread she shares with him, he suddenly agrees to take her out on a date.

When the slacking chairwoman suggests a festival slogan about “helping each other out”, Hikigaya can’t let it pass. In his distinctive pasive-aggressive manner, he suggests a slogan of his own: one that is actually pretty deep. Not only is it a statement challenging the commonly-held idea that the symbol for “man” of two people holding each other up represents equal sacrifice. In reality, one line is leaning on the other; one drew the short stick. It’s something you’ll only notice if you look closely, which also applies to Sagami. On the surface she’s involved in the planning of the festival, but in reality she’s foisted most of the work on to Yukino, and is in over her head: she freezes on stage and ends up cowering in the girls bathroom. Hikigaya rejects Sagami’s slogan not just because its hyprocritical, but because he feels it doesn’t apply to him, as he’s doing all the work while she laughs it up with her clique.

But that doesn’t mean he’s totally opposed to the idea of relying on others and in return letting them know they can rely on him. He tells Yukino he may not know the proper way to go about what she’s going through, but he knows enough to know she’s not doing it right. Yui is willing to wait and let Yukino come to them when she’s ready. But she’s not willing to wait for Yukino or Hikigaya; she’s the one who takes the initiative and finally suggests Hikigaya take her out. It was a sudden development, but felt very natural and unforced. But this is terra incognita for Hikky, who had been rejected in the past but never asked out. To his credit, once he realizes what’s going on, he doesn’t totally fall apart or retreat into cynicism, nor does he jump right in. He asks for time to think. Hopefully not too much.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Some awesome Yukino moments: laughing into her papers after Hikigaya presents his slogan, than cutely waving goodbye to him as they part for the day. What is with this girl?
  • Hikigaya and Yukino are bantering again, and we see how much they both enjoy it.
  • As the episode progresses Sagami’s face becomes less and less capable of containing the dread fear of failure that lurks beneath.
  • We’re not sure Haruno’s presence at the festival committee really added much to the scenes she appeared in. 
  • That Honey Bread (whatever it was) looked tasty.
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Valvrave the Liberator – 10

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As Module 77 nears the neutral Moon, Nanami decides to hold elections for the new Prime Minister of JIOR. Entrants include Yamada and the presumptive victor, Renbokouji Satomi. However, after talking with Haruto, who learns her father may still be alive, Shouko decides to run, and makes an impassioned speech that wins the crowd and the election. During this speech, however, Haruto suffers another attack, which had been gaining in regularity. He jumps on Saki, who is aware of the severity of his “curse”, and they have sex on the ground.

We’ve only seen occasional bursts of the price Haruto paid when he “resigned as a human” in order to pilot Valvrave and save his school from the Dorssians, but we see more of it in this episode, and he’s scared that he may not be able to control it. No biggie, says Saki; if he becomes the wild beast he fears he’s becoming, she’ll kill him, and he doesn’t have a problem with that. Being around attractive women seems to bring on the attacks; he almost jumps a scantily-clad Takahi in the elevator, and Saki is there (just in time!) to stop him.

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This is the first time his “curse” has come across as uncontrollable lust, but it justifies his decision at the beginning to give up on a relationship with Shouko. He considers himself a monster now, after all. But Saki feels she’s a monster too, and when he jumps her, she doesn’t fight him. We don’t wish to take this lightly; the show went into very dark territory here, and it’s not clear Saki would’ve been able to fight Haruto off if she’d chosen to reject his advances. But whatever Saki’s mindset, what happened happened, and there will be consequences. Haruto will surely hate himself even more and find it more difficult to interact with Shouko, Saki, or anyone else.

Meanwhile, Shouko hasn’t given up on Haruto and plans to confess to him once they get to the moon and have a school festival. She shows she’s her prime minister father’s daughter and upstages Satomi the technocrat by reaching out to and connecting with people, making them feel like she’s one of them (since she is!), and appealing to their desire to continue being kids who goof off and enjoy the little life they may well have left. Little does Shouko know that while she’s giving this rousing, hedonistic YOLO speech, the guy she loves is coming very close to raping Saki barely ten feet from where he nearly confessed to her.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Yamada tries to get Haruto and Kyuuma on board with “hijacking” the bodies of hot chicks. Yikes! Little does he know.
  • Takahi is still uncomfortable around Haruto after Saki hijacked him and toyed with her.
  • For the record, Satomi seems like the most sensible choice for prime minister, seeing as how he has a practical plan for the country’s survival. Shoko, on the other hand? YOLO!
  • The Dorssians are planning one more attack before the schoolkids reach the moon. Oh, and one of them gets the jump on the second-in-command woman, though we’re not sure why.
  • L-elf, ever the useful defector, helps run the elections.