「きっと、その香りをかぐたびに、思い出す季節がある。」 (Kitto, Sono Kaori o Kagu Tabi ni, Omoidasu Kisetsu ga aru.)
“A Whiff of that Fragrance Will Always Bring Memories of that Season.”
Let me get this straight. I’m not a fan of Yumiko. Despite being one of Yui’s very close friends, she’s been condescending and disdainful towards Hachiman and Yukino throughout the series. Her princess attitude rubs me the wrong way. But even a broken clock can be right twice a day – as she calls out Hachiman’s insincerity towards Yui. And she pretty much nails the crux of the matter. Yukino asked Hachiman to fulfill Yui’s wish – which he’s doing to the best of his abilities. But none of it is sincere. And it really pisses me off.
But Zaiden, you might ask. Hachiman doesn’t want to lose his friendship with Yui! I understand not wanting to lose a good friend. What I’m trying to say here is that it’s not a good enough justification. It’s not fair to Yui. She deserves way better than this. Stringing along anyone like that isn’t right. If the genders were reversed, perhaps I could understand that a girl might fear some kind of violent or unpredictable reprisal when she lets down a guy. As a dude, Hachiman doesn’t have that excuse here. Hachiman’s even the guy who cried out about his wish for genuine things. And if you ask me, there’s nothing genuine about what he’s currently doing. It reeks of hypocrisy.
Hachiman isn’t stupid – he knows that the secret ingredient in her baking is love. But he just provided evasive answers to continue dancing around the true subject matter. Don’t even get me started on him asking Yui what her wish was. He clearly knows her wish is to be romantically involved with him, but put her on the spot by reflecting the question for her to give a shy answer – which successfully deferred judgement day.
Lesson to be learned? Don’t go around making these kind of stupid promises then actually go through with them till the bitter end. Humans are not creatures who can deny the truth of their own emotions. It’s just plain sad to see, and pretending otherwise doesn’t change the reality of the situation. In my opinion, it’s just a massive waste of everyone’s time. Not to mention the resulting hurt will only be worse. Yui’s hopes and feelings grow by the day, and it’s pretty clear they will invariably be dashed. One final thing. My opinion of Hachiman hasn’t necessarily tanked. He’s a socially awkward guy and I guess this kind of behaviour is par for the course. I won’t deny he has grown as a character too – as could be seen when he teared up during Meguri’s graduation speech. But lord, this arc really reminds you of his deficiencies and it’s so frustrating to watch everything play out. As if he’s taken one step forwards and three steps back. Thank goodness for Mamagahama. Her vibrant cheeriness was needed to offset the sour impression this episode left on me.
Anyway, thanks for coming to my belligerent TED talk. Though I’ve been moaning a lot, I’m still hopeful that the ship can correct itself before the end. The sooner they resolve this situation, where Hachiman becomes honest with himself, the better it will be for this series.