「今日まで、その鍵には一度も触れたことがない。」 (Kyou made, sono kagi ni wa ichi domo fureta koto ga nai.)
“That Key Was Never Handled Until Today.”
Best girl is back! Unfortunately, the episode wasn’t about Iroha. But any screentime is still a win in my books.
Continuing from last week, Yukino is stuck between two places – the weigh and expectations of her parents and what she actually wants for herself – which isn’t too clear at this point in time. Especially since the household circumstances regarding Haruno aren’t particularly transparent either. That said, I get the impression Haruno attempted to rebel against their parents. Her wistful expression when conversing with Hachiman indicates that she views it as futile, suggesting that she’s never been able to truly break free of their parent’s influence. So she’s not too optimistic about Yukino’s chances. However, what we do know is that Yukino is determined to demonstrate that she can do something by herself, of her own volition, without burdening her friends at the Service Club. It might be small steps. But they’re in the right direction – she wants to help organise a prom and I imagine this event and her subsequent character development will be what the final season is constructed around.
Also, the jig is up. If it wasn’t obvious at this point, Yukino clearly views Hachiman as more than just a friend – a discovery Yui makes when she moves to playfully stroke a plush, only to discover Yukino’s hidden yet treasured photograph. And if Yui’s reaction is anything to go by, she’s actually known this deep inside her heart for a while. Key takeaway from this episode. Remember the moments when Yui acts clingy towards Yukino? Whether it’s intentional or subconscious, she’s directly placing herself between Hachiman and Yukino. Stymieing any possible romantic progression these two could have. Not going to lie, I’ve been there and done that before. And interestingly enough, I’ve had that happen to me as well. Only questions is – will she continue to be a thorn in their side? Because let’s be honest, in trying to maintain the status quo, she’s only delaying the inevitable here. It would be easier to cut her losses short. But emotions are a fickle thing – so I expect Yui to struggle till the very end.
I do want to draw attention to what Haruno whispered into Hachiman’s ear – specifically what she said about how she could tell he’d never been drunk before. I did not think she meant it in a literal sense. Or Hachiman certainly took a figurative interpretation given his reaction. Rather, when consumed by a drunken stupor, people lose sense of their bearings and relax so to speak. She’s suggesting here that both herself and Hachiman are persistently uptight. Unable to lay back in the emotional sense – with Haruno’s cheerful exterior concealing the fact she’s been smoking cigarettes and extremely stressed by work. I don’t think she’s actually interested in Hachiman, rather, she’s perceptive enough to tell that both Yui and Yukino have feelings for him. When she sidles up to him, from my perspective, she’s messing around with him and trying to get a grasp of why he’s such hot stuff among the girls. As for him, I’m not too sure about why he’s bothered about what Haruno whispered to him. My guess for now is that he might acknowledge it as an obstacle to be overcome – in lowering his barriers towards others, so that he can attain the genuine something he’s always been looking for.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you next week to see how Yukino’s prom preparations come along!