Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru – 12

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The festival is a huge success, but when the closing ceremony draws near, Sagami is nowhere to be found. Yukino, Yui, and Haruno perform an impromptu rock concert while Hikigaya searches for her, finding her on the roof sulking. Determined to “do things his way” like Yukino, he tells Sagami exactly what he thinks of her, and that they’re more alike than she’d care to admit. The vicious dressing down happens in front of others, and so after Sagami goes back down and gives the closing speech, rumors spread fast of how mean Hikigaya is. Hikigaya goes to the club room to work and finds Yukino there doing the same. Yui comes in and waits up for them to finish before going to the after-party.

Hikigaya can’t help but stand back and admire just how much Yukino did things her way as the shadow festival director. It was her duty to make sure a successful festival took place under the ceremonial leadership of Sagami, and she did it. Hikigaya wasn’t about to allow Sagami to jeopardize Yukino’s mission at the last second, so he had to find her and bring her back. Inspired by Yukino, he too does so “his way”, making life for Sagami so uncomfortable up on that roof that anywhere would be preferable to her, even on stage in front of the whole school, which is where she needed to be to officially validate the mission. He also succeeds.

So during this festival, both Yukino (at the beginning) and Hikigaya (at the end) help others by hurting themselves; Yukino because she won’t get the credit and esteem of having run the festival, and Hikigaya for making his already-tenuous reputation even worse by verbally unloading on Sagami with both barrels, despite, or perhaps because much of it was absolutely true, and Sagami knew it. In any case, after hurting themselves Yukino and Hikigaya return to the club room to be alone, but end up comforting one another with their refreshing banter, followed by Yui, who knows both of them are better people than they’d ever believe.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Hey, Yui and Yukino both took a dose of IMT (Instant Musical Talent) potion before taking the stage.
  • Hikigaya asks the most depressing kid he can think of where he’d go to cry, and finds Drama Queen Sagami right there.
  • Last week Hikigaya and Yui were very chummy, but this week it was him and Yukino. 
  • He goes about being chummy with them in totally different ways. For one, Yui would never be able to keep up with the haughty banter he and Yukino spew…and that’s not necessarily a mark against her!
  • Two possibilities next week: Hikigaya comes closer to choosing one of the two girls, or the status quo is maintained with some explanation about how that’s best. Frankly, we hope it’s the former, because, in honor of the series’ title, that wouldn’t be what we expected!
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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.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru – 10

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Club has become awkward between Hikigaya and Yukino, and with the school festival approaching, they decide to suspend activities. Hikigaya is named the boy’s class rep for the committee, while Sagami Hinami is chosen as the girl. She volunteers to be chairman after Yukino passes, but Yukino ends up doing all the work while Sagami slacks off. Hayama and class president Meguri believe she’s shouldering too much of the workload, and she reassesses the work assignments and accepts their help. The next day, she’s out sick, leaving a mountain of paperwork at her desk.

When we learned this would be yet another school festival episode, we pretty much made the same noise Hikigaya makes when he eases himself into the bath after a grueling day of committee paperwork. But this episode wasn’t so grueling, and it serves as a means to shake up the club status quo already shaken by Yukino and Hikigaya’s distance, and introduce new character dynamics. Sagami Hinami is a outwardly pleasant enough girl who likes to laugh at private jokes with her friends, and sees the festival as a chance to “grow as a person”. Yet she lacks confidence and drive to be chairman, a role far better-suited for Yukino, who’d once again be following in her perfect sister’s footsteps.

As her Haruno has mentioned before, Yukino can make insecure people hate her for her steadfast diligence and refusal to mince words or tell lies (the car accident thing notwithstanding). So the insecure Sagami, resentful of Yukino upstaging her, punishes her by giving her all the work, then ganging up on Yukino with Haruno when she shows up to volunteer. We can’t help but feel bad for Yukino in this scene, getting poked and prodded into fulfilling roles everyone else creates for her, be it classmates or family. Hikigaya doesn’t like what Sagami is doing to Yukino (or what Yukino is doing to herself), but his ability to act is limited by that cloud handing over their friendship. Regardless, it may be up to Hikigaya to come to her aid if and when everything comes crashing down.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Totsuka is going to play The Little Prince, because of course he is.
  • Hey, we’d nearly forgotten about Kawasaki…there she is!
  • Did Yukino get sick for real (from overwork or just chance), or did she call in sick to get away from the stress?
  • This series’ penchant for singsong names knows no bounds.