「しみじみと、平塚静はいつかの昔を懐かしむ。」 (Shimijimi to, Hiratsuka Shizuka wa Itsuka no Mukashi o Natsukashimu.)
“Shizuka Hiratsuka Deeply Longs for the Days Past.”

When the SS Yui went down last week, I was expecting for Hachiman to make a beeline for Yukino. Nope. Turns out he needed to take detours along the way, destroying the reamining hopes and dreams of fans who were shipping other girls. Myself included.

The Great Shipping Crash of 2020

God damn it. That was one hell of a SNAFU. On top of Yui from last episode, more characters continued going down as Hachiman showed no signs of relenting from causing collateral damage in his single-minded determination to save Yukino. To be honest, I couldn’t care less about the sensei – and it would be pretty criminal if she hooked up with Hachiman. But as a proud member of Team Iroha ever since she popped up in Season 2, I saw this coming from miles away. But it still hurt nevertheless. As Iroha noticed, Hachiman essentially confess his feelings for Yukino in a roundabout manner. Not as much as seeing Yui break down last week, I’m still hurting over that one. But Iroha’s internal monologue was well written – subtly hinting at her internal state of affairs without outright giving away her crush on Hachiman – which can be gleaned from her deflated reaction to witnessing their chemistry. And it made for a nice contrast from how Yui wore her feelings on a sleeve, whereas Hiratsuka-sensei’s thoughts remain shrouded in mystery. Sometimes it’s better to leave behind some clues then let the audience fill in the blanks.

Finding the Third Path Between Two Choices

So, what next? Yukino rejects Hachiman’s help – which was within the realms of expectation. But Hachi decides he must shake up the odds and proposes a challenge – as a way of circumventing this limitation. Where both of them would come up with alternative solutions, to see who can come up with the best one. This will allow him to ‘help’ her out without breaking her independence from him. Also, it would be foolish to go at it alone. Hachiman’s assessment is correct. Yukino’s mother is intentionally finding any faults in bad faith to try and cancel any premise of prom. She’s without question the most formidable adversary to have appeared thus far – with other difficult characters being small fry compared to her. And if allowed to do as she wishes, I don’t doubt that prom will be donezo. However, Hachiman can always be counted upon to be a dark wild card who can throw a wrench into those plans. So with Yukino and Iroha being clear about their strategy for prom, it will be really interesting to see the approach Hachiman will opt into – as well as how it influences their plans. And whether it can be made to succeed against Yukimom.

To conclude, I actually have one more side note. I don’t usually mention it, but I particularly enjoyed the voice acting this week. The emotions between Hachiman, Yukino and Iroha were sublimely portrayed. And what made it exponentially better was the way in which Studio Feel subtly animated slight shifts in facial expression, to convey the internal paradigms of each characters. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post – and see you all next week!



  1. I’m getting really confused about the actual relationships here…
    Yui lost without a fight… This is after the show regularly framed her as a main heroine. She’s not even helping them now cause doing prom is somehow become all about Yukino even though she probably does not give a damn about the actual prom.
    Next the dialog suggests that Hachiman and Yukino has some deeper connection on married couple level, but to be honest I can’t feel anything romantic between these two.
    And then there’s Iroha having almost couple-like scenes with Hachiman to a point where they actually make each other better, while the dialog constantly suggests that Iroha was never even considered as a herione.
    Please someone help me untangle this mess…

    At this point I have an omnious feeling we will get an asspull ending for “subverting expectations”.

    1. Uh? Yui was indeed A main heroine but not THE main heroine.
      I agree that the animators loved more the Yui or the Iroha types and they pushed very much these characters… Indeed they are more emotional and more ‘easy’ to animate and to use for drama., I suppose…
      For example, Iroha is here strongly hinted as in love with Hachiman, but in the novel her character is clearly shown as predatory, spoiled and manipulative. Iroha doesn’t love Hachiman but, at the same time, she doesn’t like that HE’s NOT interested in her…
      Yui… Let’s just say that she is codependent from Hachiman like and more than Yukino but in the case of Yukino they directly addressed the problem.
      The anime is not very clear, indeed… To me it’s a directorial choice but makes the story not very comprehensible. They made the story as more oriented toward an harem undertone… But Hachiman is NOT an harem protagonist.
      He loves ONE woman. And now he accepted the fact he’ll pursue her.
      PS For understand a bit more this story without reading the novel I recommend to reading the TWO manga versions: monologue (very similar to anime version) and @comic… This can make things clearer. 😉

    2. Yui is one of the main heroines. But so is Yukino. They are equally the main heroines and have always had similar amounts of screentime – though it looks like Yukino’s beginning to pull ahead. In fact, since S1, I’d say most people had a strong feeling that Yukino was most likely to win the harem ball.

      I also wouldn’t judge Yui too harshly with regards to prom. Organising it and having the intelligence to overcome conniving adults doesn’t suit her repertoire of skills. So it makes sense she’s left the logistical operations to Hachiman/Yukino for now – and I expect her to support them in other ways that don’t come down to brainstorming.

      Iroha was also never a heroine. She was an important character for one or two arcs in Season 2 – but generally faded into the background once her problems were given closure.

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