「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.

Unlikely Allies

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.

Hachiman’s Procrastination

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.

Concluding Thoughts

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.

Preview

13 Comments

  1. I just cant get behind yukino and hachiman being together. The way that they are both so philosophical both would have to be on guard day and night for the next debate. When hachiman is with yui you see different sides to him like this weeks rap battle or his love of a coffee brand. I think that hachiman simply being best friends with yukino would be the best for their future.

    Zoneflare
  2. This episode proves that the author and the studio actually knows why we likes this show.
    8man unchained and not weighed down by trauma is really fun to watch while the sudden rap battle and his comment on Iroha made me laugh really hard.
    On the other hand Yui covering Hachiman’s weak points, while having a fun barter was heartwarming. The suble/organic way of showing their growth reminded me why I liked this show in the first place.

    Sadly they had to include an obligatory downer Yukino part, but fortunately, before they sank back into the drawn out emotional swamp this season insist on residing, Yui shown up and – kinda – saved the situation.

    All in all, It really feels like we are getting close to the end, even though (as Zoneflare stated in his comment) Hachiman and Yukino has absolutely no chemistry beyond friendship, and at this point there’s absolutely no reason for forcing that relationship beyond the “first girl rule”.

    Arken
    1. I agree they have no chemistry. And that contributes to the feeling that this finale is getting dragged out. We know Yukino is the inevitable outcome – and it’s not particularly pleasurable for a good segment of Oregairu’s viewership.

      1. You guys both lost me there. How in the world have you come to the conclusion they have no chemistry after watching this of all episodes? The whole point of the bench scene is because they definitely have chemistry. So much chemistry that other people get jealous of the way they banter with each other (Like when Iroha got upset about 8-man’s “I want to save you” confession, or when they first met Yui, etc.) If you don’t get that I think you are missing a big part of this narrative.

        I think the reason you don’t feel like their’s chemistry is simply that Yuki hasn’t had a ton of screen time recently to even make her case for best girl. But isn’t that pretty normal considering these kinds of shows save the main girl’s arc for last? Am I wrong? I’d argue that the bench scene was sufficient in and of itself but I’d wager we’ll be seeing a lot more of Yuki in the coming episodes if that wasn’t enough.

        Anyways, after binge re-watching all of season 1 and 2, I can’t say I’m feeling like this show is dragging for me, but I’ve been on the Yuki x Hachi-man ship from the beginning so maybe that’s why I’m enjoying it more. To each their own I guess.

        Golden Boy
        1. I’d mostly agree with this. While I’m (always) in the don’t know/don’t care camp when it comes to the source material for anime, I do believe that the anime has been neglecting Yukino, preferring to treat her as a wan, sickly, compulsive martyr, who knows but one approach (delegate nothing, work until breakdown) and who is oppressed by issues with her mother and sister. Since these characteristics apply both to who she is and to what she does, there really isn’t any time left over for our entertainment or for her to actively develop her relationship with Hikki. This was part of her character during the first two seasons but it’s been all-consuming this season.

          That said, I think she and Hikki do have their own peculiar chemistry which other characters have noticed (and which has driven Yui to despair). I think this season has been suppressing it though. I’ll add that twice so far (that I can recall), Hikki has tried to offer himself as something Yukino hasn’t had — a friend — and was cut off each time. I don’t know the extent of her feelings towards him yet as she’s rather close-lipped, but she definitely isn’t interested in joining him in a formal friend zone. Really, her lack of chemistry is with the viewer.

          FWIW, I don’t think this season has been very good so far but I like the show and hope they have something interesting up their sleeves.

          Mockman
    2. Sorry, I completely disagree.
      Your ‘lack of chemistry’ idea is simply an outcome of anime studio’s directional choice. You can blame it or continue to blame the ‘no chemistry’ pretext. Or you may think to read the @comic manga or the novels for to have a look less biased on the Yuki-Hachiman relationship. Your choice.
      Anyway, beyond anything we’ve ever seen, the HachiYuki love is true, deep and unrivaled. But you can’t understand it if you have a partial look at things.
      Or if you prefer a nice lie.

      Niky
      1. From what I’m seeing, Yui and Yukino has better chemistry. 😛

        Anyway, I’d like to ask what you mean by “anime studio’s directional choice”. Do you see the chemistry in this anime? Or was the disagreement based on the manga/LN?

        I personally would like Yukino to get more screen time.

        theirs
        1. “Yui and Yukino has better chemistry.” … It’s accurate, indeed…^_^

          Yeah, I think this season needed 24 episodes… And more bold choices in animating the ‘nice girls’ (not angels) dark thoughts and manipulative tendencies.
          But I can agree that the harem undertone and waifu wars get more sales.

          Yes, my disagreement is based on the LN and, to a lesser extent. on the @comic manga version (the best manga version in my book despite the drawing style).
          In the anime Yukino’s side of the things and how she’s feeling during all this hasn’t been showed yet at all (in the next episodes, maybe?).
          Even Hachiman’s monologues of thinking about Yukino during these times and how desperate he is… Nothing’s shown. -_-
          Actually, I am waiting for the Hachiman – Hayato scene… I am hoping for the best.

          Niky
  3. The background music from Tamanawa really reminds me of Stan from the Monkey Island series. More so than the first time he showed up. Was it always that similar, or was that nostalgia. Haven’t played those games for a long time.

    theirs

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