「そして、それぞれの舞台の幕が上がり、祭りは最高にフェスティバっている」 (Soshite, Sorezore no Butai no Maku ga Agari, Matsuri wa Saikou ni Fesutibatteiru)
“Thus, The Curtain Rises On Each of Their Stages, As The Festival Reaches a Feverish Pitch”

After nearly a whole season of watching Hachiman take the route less taken, I’m impatiently waiting for him to go into full OREMAN mode and uppercut some sense and humility into all of his spineless peers who refuse to question the gigantic problem staring them right in the face.

But before any of that, was I the only one who thought this episode felt a little rushed? Maybe it’s because there’s only one episode left but this week’s episode reminded me of the unpleasant pacing toward the beginning of the series. I may be committing a recency bias here because of all the amazing things that we’ve seen from the past few weeks but after taking the time to build up all this tension between Hachiman, Yukino, and Sagami it felt like a letdown to see things seamlessly fall into place — especially with Sagami! What happened to that blind determination she had? Last week she was literally prancing around a stressed out Yukino without a care in the world and yet this week she’s like a lost puppy who just got uppercut in the face.

At the same time, while I may be criticizing the pacing, I have to admit that I loved how it made Hachiman seem like he’s finally kicking things into gear. Instead of being the complacent and outspoken guy we’ve come to know, the small changes he’s going through make it seem like he just may end up being the hero we need. I mean, that mini speech during the committee meeting would have had such a strong impact had Haruno not randomly burst out laughing!

Which in turn leaves us at what I believe is a great place for a finale. We’ve seen most of the cast grow slightly here and there but the icing on the cake is definitely going to be watching how Hachiman handles things next week. Between Yukino, Yui, and that stupid committee chair Sagami there’s more than enough for Hachiman to end things with a gigantic bang. That, or at least he’ll maybe make up with Yukino and the two will grow a little bit closer (:

 

Preview

73 Comments

    1. Well in a way, ever since seeing that wave from Yukino, it indicates that she may finally acknowledge Hachiman as a friend because among the people around Yukino, Hachiman can see what some people fail to see why Yukino acts the way she is.In a way, its nice to see how they’re getting along better 🙂

      Dualash
  1. I like to see the thing with Sagami as…how should I compare…perhaps like How The Grinch Stole Christmas?

    The Grinch planning on stealing Christmas from Whoville by taking all the presents and decorations in order to try to make the citizens miserable and unhappy as a result so that he could revel in all the negativity from a normally completely happy town. But what happens? Unless you had no childhood (lol j/k), obviously, the plot ends up failing and the Whos remain completely happy and content as usual. They didn’t get angry, they didn’t come hunting him down for revenge, or anything. They basically defeated him without raising a finger.

    In a way, I like to see that as to why Sagami has such a sudden mood change.

    Despite her earlier “successes” at more or less forcing Yukino into her own position and making Yukino visibly hesitate when it came to comparing herself to Haruno and Haruno even being there herself, the fact that Yukino still went with it and is, in fact, doing a great job at it, especially when compared to Sagami’s own obvious lack of care for any of the real work or whatever else is actually going on (and others now clearly seeing it too, but won’t say anything out loud), her own plan, in the end, seems to be having little to no actual effect, and is even backfiring on her.

    Like how victims of bullying may get advise on simply ignoring the bully and they’ll lose interest because they’re not getting a reaction from you, that’s sort of how it feels Yukino has done with Sagami (as I’m sure she wasn’t blind to what Sagami was doing). Rather than turn to her and yell in her face about what she’s doing, showing that Sagami has clearly gotten under her skin and showing what buttons to push, Yukino calmly goes along with it and barely gives Sagami an inch while Yukino herself takes several feet from Sagami by essentially showing more and more how good she herself is at the position as opposed to Sagami’s own incompetence.

    HalfDemonInuyasha
    1. For me, I see it as Sagami wanting to shine in the spotlight, but wanting to put in the effort to do so. Kinda like that other kid at the grandpa’s funeral in Usagi Drop. Selfish and immature, wanting to take credit for some achievement without sweating for it. She loses the respect of the committee although she is Chairman, and should be a role model for them all. No matter how smooth her speech would sound to the audience, to her it would have been just empty words.
      And she realises that. She realises that she doesn’t actually do any work at all for the festival as she gets up on that stage. And I don’t think Sagami consciously remembers it, but Hachiman’s words probably strike a chord somewhere inside her too. That sudden realisation makes her embarrass herself on-stage, but even if she doesn’t, sooner or later she’d realise that it was an empty victory– no, that it was someone else’s victory entirely. After all, she is just a figurehead who didn’t do anything useful. She even gives her seal — the symbol of her authority — to someone else.
      It is Sagami’s own decisions that cause her to lose the respect of so many people, and she realises that.
      Oops, sorry to ramble on when I don’t even know what happens next. However, these are my honest opinions on how Sagami is shown in this episode. Thank you for your patience in reading this.

      ReverseTales
      1. Alright, just re-read the ANN article. Seems yes, there are two other episodes besides the OVA, though the last one is anime-only spin-off. So I’m half correct…I think…

        Kevin Yamagata
      1. It’s about time someone spoiled this. This IS an absolute fact. Why is so many people doubting her character when she has ALREADY proved this by her words & actions so many times over.

        Megas
    1. and I’m talking about Hachiman..
      Haruno only did that to, either force a move from Hachiman or she just wants her sister to experience something like that for her to know (herself) what to do in such situations..
      I think I can relate with what she’s thinking cause I, too, treat my siblings that way.. the only difference is I’m not that rotten to the core to let my sibling suffer before acting..

      m0ng
  2. Hmmm I wonder, Haruno just made an interesting development…
    Making herself into villain in order to make Yukino stand up for herself?
    A bit strange way of doing things, but I must admit pretty much in line with Hachiman’s unorthodox methods.
    Last but not least…
    Ebina has ruined one of my fave childhood fairytales making it into Yaoifest.

    ewok40k
    1. I’m the only one that thinks that Haruna is just a b***h who’s doing whatever she can to mess with her “luckier” sister?

      Everything she has done has made things worse for Yukino.

      Every time I see her I get the “she just want to make her sister miserable” feel.

      Yuu
      1. I don’t think you’re the only one but that’s just wrong thinking..
        I understand very well that she’s a B**ch for making her sister suffer a little for her to grow up.. But don’t forget that she does not want Yukino to follow her footsteps or something like that.. I think she wants her sister to grow up by her own decisions, achievements, etc. and not just by copying someone.. That’s why she added some twist in Yukino’s role as a Vice-Chairman.. It’s just so happened that she has a Knight in shining armor (Hachiman)..

        m0ng
      2. They’re just giving her the benefit of the doubt. It’s all fine & good to do that but that doesn’t change the circumstances or the results. In my book, if they go through the trouble to introduce a side character as a bitch then they aren’t going to waste valuable time shifting her from that, especially to develop a main character who already has so many other outlets for development – such as the other main characters.

        It’s nice to think that they would actually develop Haruno like that but the side characters in this show only exist to let the MCs shine.

        First impressions are everything when it comes to side characters. She’s just a bitch.

        Megas
    2. Yes, she is as an unorthodox as Hachiman could be. While hikki is the definition of selfless, Haruno would be for selfish. She goes around, doing what she want, getting what she desire, and get off without problem. She is very manipulative and very capable at it. You could call it bitchy, but in the end don’t think she is a bad person. Probably chaotic neutral.

      There are a lot of interpretation about her plan this ep, but I think it’s a form of though love. In one side, she didn’t want Yukino to follow her path (refer to previous arc). However, she know that Yukino is capable at it if she changes her rigid personality a bit. In the same time, Sagami appeared, and she purposedly use her as her own tool to create a kind of trial for Yukino.

      It’s clear that Sagami is not capable for the leader, and Haruno know about that. That’s why, she set Sagami as a scapegoat. If Yukino managed to develop as a true leader, it’s good. If not, the team will slowly seek something to blame, and it will be Sagami. It could still revover due to common enemy theory, but I think Haruno didn’t care at all about the actual result of the festival.

      However, Hachiman suddenly appeared to the stage and put all the negative attention to himself with his infamous social matyr technique. It’s totally out of Haruno’s plan, but it works since it cause a common enemy, help Yukino’s improvement and indirectly hit Sagami HARD without the need to humiliate her directly. That’s the reason of Haruno’s laugh. She purposedly create a common enemy for them, yet there’s a person who purposedly took it for himself. Only Hachiman who could do that and get away with no noticable problem, since his social status is already at the true bottom anyway.

      zeroyuki92
      1. You pretty much summed up everything I had to say. Hachiman is the selfless nice guy whose good deeds – consequences – go unnoticed behind the mask that is the means.

        The only reason why most people can call Haruno bitchy is because they’re watching her from Hachiman’s perspective, hearing his thoughts and commentary. I wonder how many of us would have been deceived by her kind of character in real life. Even I’m not confident I could get away from that. She also comes across as bitchy and manipulative because she doesn’t take on the responsibility that comes with her actions, instead we see Hachiman on the receiving end of the students’ (can be extrapolated to include society as a whole) disgruntlement. I would say that’s incredibly cunning and smart, being able to set up something like that without seeming responsible at all, probably something you learn after being exposed to the kind of world that their family lives in though obviously adults aren’t generally as easy to manipulate as highschool kids (though they may surprise you sometimes).
        I don’t really see Haruno’s as a bad person, probably a selfish person at most; still doesn’t mean I like her though. She doesn’t seem cause chaos for petty reasons (revenge, amusement etc) alone, I’ll admit they were part of her decision but there was also that love you mentioned and the fact that Sagami was actually deserving of that humiliation (she pretty much set herself up for failure when she agreed with what Haruno said).
        As you mentioned, Haruno couldn’t care any less about the end result because it doesn’t affect her and her image in anyway because she put her hands into the whole thing and messed around without anyone realising (Hachiman, teacher and perhaps Yukino being exceptions of course).

        Basically, I think Hachiman knows what Haruno was doing (he chose not to intervene earlier on) because they effectively have the same lose-lose means, except Hachiman makes himself one of the losers compared to Haruno who makes anyone at her whim the loser instead of her. That’s not to say there wasn’t any gain, just a lot more loss.
        (I guess Hachiman with apparently nothing to lose, made a net gain thanks to those Yukino flags.)
        Also, by no means is Hachiman at the bottom with regards social status, perhaps at the school but not everywhere (the Chuunibyou comes to mind, I still reckon EP2 shouldn’t have existed as it was shown).

        NanoNano
  3. I think I need a bit of help (seriously): I do not understand how laughing at Hachiman’s speech made Haruno the villain.

    I got that she said so, but, the way I saw it, she only reinforced Hachiman’s point, by calling him a fool and laughing his speech away.

    Moreover, I did not see anyone get angry with her, but I did see guys leaving the classroom mouthing him (Hachiman) off.

    Thus, my question: What did I miss?

    Again, this is a serious question.

    Cheers!

    fluca
    1. Um,she was referring to HIM taking the role of a common enemy,not her.Haruno was pretty much an outsider here,someone watching from the sidelines and acting on her hard-to-predict whims but never going in to deep herself.

      MgMaster
      1. Thanks for the reply,

        That’s what I gathered from the episode as well, but what she actually said (or was dubbed, IDK) was that she made herself the villain.

        ewok40k just above seems to confirm that, and this is why I got confused.

        Cheers!

        fluca
      2. Cut my post too short…

        Anyways, thanks for confirming my initial view. It really does seem to make much more sense.

        Again, thank you for helping me out 🙂

        Cheers!

        fluca
  4. I have no idea what to say about this post, Takaii. It’s almost like we’re watching two different shows o______o

    First of all, the pacing. I didn’t feel that it’s rushed compared to usual. In fact, this arc is adaptation of the sixth volume, crammed to 3 episodes. While it’s pretty fast for other LN standard, the previous hanabi festival is one volume crammed into one episode. So in fact they are taking their time to adapt this arc, not the contrary.

    The other part is the discussion of actual content. While you have mentioned about Hikki’s speech, it’s actually related greatly to his tendency of social matyr and there’s a lot of things that could be not clear for other people.

    Haruno’s actual plan last episode, the reason of why Hikki’s speech could cause three way attack as a critical hit to Sagami, a boost to the team overall performance and a help for Yukinon simultanously. There are a lot of things which weren’t mentioned explicitly by the characters, and I was hoping that you could at least wrote some of your interpretation of this episode.

    Anyway, good episode and good Yukino flags there, as many people have mentioned in comments. I would like to add that Yui also put a cute, nice “date trap” to Hachiman, and Hachiman who ended up didn’t reject it may be a small yet important step for Yui. I liked a girl who fight for her own love although her chance is very slim :3

    zeroyuki92
    1. As a non-LN reader I actually felt it was a bit rushed too.Last week,the whole episode seemed to focus on setting up the stage for how that Sagami would fail – basically I was expecting for shit to hit the fan this episode but it kind of didn’t(the bitch didn’t get humiliated enough!).However,I do wonder if this scene is an indication that it’s not really over and the bitch is gonna try & pull something off.If that’s the case then naturally,I can’t claim that the episode felt a little rushed at all.

      MgMaster
      1. One thing for sure, this episode actually stay faithful to OreGairu’s “no overbearing drama” policy. When the situation start to escalate quickly, Hachiman always managed to solve the problem before all shit hit the fan. I find that thing to be refreshing, especially after you watch some other romcom/drama written by some other person such as this lady.

        However, Oregairu actually always managed to do something different than what was expected before. Since this episode ended at semi-conclusive note, I think we could expect something happened, although probably not a very dramatic one.

        P.S To be fair about Sagami, she’s just an ignorant and incompetent girl. Haruno and Hikki are the one who fasten her fall, albeit with different methods and purpose.

        zeroyuki92
  5. One scene that hasn’t been mentioned, and I think is very important, is where Hikki and Yui are leaving Yukino’s apartment. Yukino touches Yui’s shoulder and says “it might be impossible to do so right away, but someday I’ll rely on you”. It’s not just what she said but the way it was said. For a girl like Yukino to reach out like that is a major breakthrough.

    The second event was Yui trapping Hikki into a date with the honey toast. Hikki is losing his resolve. He actually may be looking forward to a date. Yui is just…a wonderful sweet girl.

    Bear
    1. I personally loved this particular scene even more.

      While it’s good to be on friendly terms with as many people as possible,a person will usually just have a few actual friends and Yui’s the best example for that.She was introduced as that cheerfull character that wants to fit in as much as possible but for a while now she seems to have given up on that in favor of deepening her bonds with whom she consider’s to be her true friends.I honestly wasn’t even expecting much out of her from the 1st episode besides a happy-go-lucky addition to Hikki & Yukino to lighten up the mood but I got pleasantly surprised as the series went on.

      MgMaster
      1. I liked the scene too, but Yukino’s reaction was something that must have taken a lot of willpower for her to make. Yui said what I expected Yui would say. That is what is special about Yui. Friendship is important to her and she is even willing to risk rejection to support her friends. Yukino’s response was significant step forward for her. Small in overall terms, but for her an admission that she does value Yui and wants to be her friend even if it’s hard for her to allow herself to be vulnerable to someone else. Yui is a major force in breaking both Hikki’s and Yukino’s shells.

        Bear
      2. I don’t think Yui has given up on anything. She has definitely learnt how much more valuable it is to have those true friends that rely on each other and treat each other on the same terms but at the same time she still wants to fit in as much as possible. It really is thanks to the latter that allows her to become the bridge between Hachiman and Yukino, and more importantly between those two and the rest of the world.
        I wasn’t expecting much out of her either, and really, I still don’t (so when she does do something it’s becomes all the more impressive).

        NanoNano
    2. The second event was Yui trapping Hikki into a date with the honey toast. Hikki is losing his resolve.

      This never would have happened had she confessed (supposedly) after the festival and the inevitable rejection by Hachiman. Her affections may have looked convincing to us, but to Hachiman, the cynic, it’s not enough. To my surprise she came back from that stronger, now she’s really forward with Hachiman making her feelings apparent to him without actually saying it.
      Give it your all and hope for the best Yui.
      (Honestly though, not really fond of this RomCom development personally – it’s good, I just don’t like it that much.)

      NanoNano
      1. I don’t see Hikki breaking his resolve. If he does, the story is pretty much over. I think it is shaken though. Deep down he’s a romantic, but his failures have turned him into a cynic. He’s afraid of losing that shell and being hurt again. It’s going to take a lot to get to him.

        Bear
      2. Yeah, not saying that he will break his resolve (was quoting the you) but Yui is managing to shake him now because she’s more forward with her feelings towards Hachiman. She’s learning and that is what is important here, both for Yui’s development and the people around her.

        NanoNano
    1. I’m mostly sad about this show ending because as I fear we won’t be seeing anything about it animated again and there’s we probably won’t be getting any romantic conclusion between the Hikki,Yukino & Yui(after all,it IS still a RomCom).

      I really,really hope it’ll sell enough for an s2…

      MgMaster
      1. I feel your pain, but can’t help thinking that this is all the yahari we’ll get…
        This show bends or break many standards and clichés, enough for it to fall into a
        niché sub-genre.
        Better hit the LN, I guess.

        P.S.
        Don’t get me wrong, this is a fantastic series.

        Helvetica Standard
      2. As far as things goes, we probably won’t see S2 for a while even if it is greenlit. Because so far it has already covered 6 volumes while currently the LN only has up to vol 7. So yea there won’t be enough material for season 2 until more coming out. Ah well, sad.

        Takurannyan
  6. The way she’s worry for him
    The way she bully him
    The way she talks with him
    The way she looks at him
    The way she changes for him
    So, Yukinon, accept you love for him.

    Frakyo
      1. That would actually be something pretty realistic albeit it might be Hikki and not Yukino.Depending on what kind of school their in,it wouldn’t be surprising for Sagami to gather some boys and make them gank up on him as he DID become their “common enemy” after all.

        MgMaster
      2. If that did happen I’m fairly curious as to how Hachiman will handle it. He does have Yui and Yukino looking out for him, even Hayama is behind him.

        I too think that Yukino won’t get bullied by conventional means, she’ll just be ostracised as she has been (I think everyone knows her position as daughter of an influential person too).

        Sagami might pull something really stupid though given her state of mind so I wouldn’t be surprised if she tries to take someone down with her.

        NanoNano
    1. yeah that wave was soooo cute! , she looks so innocent in that scene and it’s so cute
      that it manage to make Hachiman smile, you never see Hachiman smile in any situation

      lol

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