「最後まで、由比ヶ浜結衣は見守り続ける。」 (Saigo made, Yuigahama Yui wa Mimamoritsuzukeru.)
“Until the End, Yui Yuigahama Will Continue Watching Over Them.”
Causing a ruckus doesn’t work if you lack the clout to provide any kind of feasible threat to the establishment. To that end, Hachiman seeks to form alliances that would give more credibility to the possibility that a prom beyond the school board’s control which would offend the sensibility of parents could take place. So we get to see Hachiman team up with a cabal of quirky, disenfranchised nerds – and reunite with the Student Council from that other school they previously worked with.
Winning over the nerds came along easily. Hachiman is able to evoke a sense of kindred outcast spirit and shares their jaded perspective. The prospect of having some degree of control in bringing about a more accessible prom event also encourages the nerds to provide free labour and contribute towards Hachiman’s ‘Psycho’ prom project. But I don’t think anyone could have anticipated that a rap battle was going to be Hachiman’s angle of attack against President Hand Motions. I’m not really an aficionado of rapping, and it’s not a genre of music I’d listen to if given the choice. But seeing Hachiman awkwardly trying to put on a rapper impression, with Orimoto ad libbing ‘sore aru’ was quite an entertaining one time experience. And his swift and smooth hand motions certainly put the Student Council President to shame – even if the proposal was rejected in the end.
Only that’s the issue. Hachiman’s half-assed the conceptualization of his idea a bit too much. Perhaps his goal is to make a rubbish plan that makes Yukino’s look better. But it’s a fine line. If he can’t convince a potential collaborator, then how will he convince the Parent’s Association that his plans pose a credible threat? He needs to make it good enough so that it can be put onto the table in the discussion alongside Yukino’s plan in the first place, for any comparisons to be made by teachers and parents. So some work in progress will be required for his plan to be realised.
As usual, Hachiman procrastinates too. Instead of talking to Hayama and sorting things out regarding the Captain Committee, he sees Yukino sitting in the courtyard and sits down to share a coffee and talk with her. Worse still, Yui finds them together in the courtyard. Instead chatting face to face with Yukino and Yui, Hachiman enjoys spending time with both of them in seeking to maintain the status quo. One where all three co-exist without outward strife. Nevertheless, he clearly has feelings for Yukino, but can’t bring himself to hurt Yui. And it looks like Yukino feels the same way. She even positions herself to make the sacrificial play by saying she knows they share a wish (being with Hachiman) but she would rather see Yui’s one come true.
Even though the trio have desperately avoided direct engagement with the topic, Yui is still getting hurt. They can’t keep running away from this forever, and eventually these three will have to acknowledge the truth and move forwards. No doubt they all harbor sincere feelings of love – platonic or romantic – towards each other. And they care about each other so much. Yet that’s the inevitable paradox of human relationship. They’ve been trying to remain apart, as they cannot avoid hurting one another. However, because they all share the intention of a close reciprocal relationship, this cannot occur for reasons they cannot avoid.
While I still enjoy Oregairu, the dialogue, its characterisations and the social commentary it happens to provide, this specific situation has dragged on for too long. Sure, it’s true to life that teenagers will awkwardly skirt around direct engagement, and procrastinate over proper resolutions like we’re seeing here. But it makes for a less interesting watch – and I think it would be on production or the source material writer to accelerate the pace of the story. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post – and see you next week where we’ll witness the continued evolution of Hachiman’s prom plans.