「それぞれの、掌の中の灯が照らすものは。」 (Sorezore no, Tenohira no Naka no Akari ga Terasu mono wa.)
“The Thing That the Light in Each of Their Hands Shines On.”
Oh Hachiman, if anyone is deserving of a harem, it’s probably you.
It’s been a real treat seeing Hachiman grow like this. Without discarding the straightforwardness and sugar-free speech that we respect Hachiman for, he’s discarded the pariah mentality in favor of something more honest to his desires–a desire for something genuine. What that genuine is can’t be specifically pinned down, though I’m sure most of us can feel what Hachiman means. If Yui, Yukinon, and Iroha can be moved and understand Hachiman’s raw intent, then so can we. It takes guts for Hachiman to have really put himself out in the open, in such a vulnerable manner, but it is paying off tremendously. By solving the root cause of his problems–finally being true to one’s desires–a huge number of issues resolve itself in the process. A lot of these effects get glossed over due to the show rushing through the conclusion (presumably to make enough time for the next arc), but the fact that we do get these conclusions after all is a great reward after the fiasco that was a stumbling and pensive few episodes. Iroha has gained confidence in her abilities (and in others), Yukinon is slowly discovering her purposefulness, the Christmas party is a success, Rumi finally gets the attention she deserves, Orimoto is being way more respectful of Hachiman, and as a cherry on top, we get a few seconds of Kawasaki and her cute sister. I am saddened that all of these conclusions had to be glazed over, but given how well the show has played through the actual conflicts themselves, I can forgive the show for not having enough episodes to fit everything in.
It’s also saddening that this season is coming to a close, since I feel like I haven’t had enough Hachiman and friends to really feel satisfied. In fact, I would’ve gladly welcomed a two-cour for this series, if not to just continue the show even longer, but also to make sure that this next arc concerning the Yukinoshita family doesn’t either end on a cliffhanger or is concluded in a rushed manner. However, considering the amount of source material available (or so I hear), this isn’t a feasible wish. It’s just that in all of my years of blogging, it’s been rare to see any show approach the levels of carefully crafted drama and simultaneously realistic and deep commentary that Yahari has had to offer. It’s been such a ride that at times, it is both hard to write about the show’s complexity, yet engaging enough to want to overcome those barriers. Perhaps that’s also a consequence of a show that touches on subjects that even we do not have the answers to. A charm that Yahari keeps close to its heart is the willingness to engage that it won’t have a perfect solution or a grand insight in the end. It is a show that, even in episode 10, admits fully that there is still so much to be fought through and resolved, that no answer that will come up will be easy. Yukino is still struggling with her self-identity and family issues, Yui struggles to get closer to Hachiman, and Hachiman himself is still on the lookout for his genuine connection. We’ve got a few more episodes to go, but it looks like one of these three will be dealing with their issues sooner than the rest.
Comments are always appreciated and thanks to everyone for putting up with my tardiness once again! Here’s to enjoying those last few episodes in what has been one of the most engaging series this season.