Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Zoku Episode 5

“And here I was sure you’d understand.”

Impression

I was hoping for a resolution to the conflict with Komachi, and I got what I wanted. It was beautiful.

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Oregairu 5 Img013I seriously want to protect that smile. Hikki is really lucky to have such a great imouto – and he was man enough to make the first move to end their cold war and try for some sort of reconciliation. Hikki is certainly calculating enough to be a Russia. I don’t think what Komachi said was wrong – if she wasn’t related to Hikki, their personality clash would most likely mean that he’d stay as far away from her as possible. It’s because their siblings that he can act as naturally as he does with her. But that’s only a hypothetical, after all – the fact remains that they are siblings, and for siblings they’re quite close. For Hikki’s standards in general, they’re surprisingly close. You know, he’s been searching for something real all this time, and I bet what he has with Komachi is pretty real. It’s not bad at all. That said, Komachi was the excuse he used to preserve the Service Club. I’m not saying that Komachi played no part in influencing him at all, but I feel like Hikki also wanted to preserve the club as it was, but needed a reason to act given his principles. It reminded me of how Kaiki from Monogatari tried to come up with numerous rational reasons why he should help Senjougahara and Araragi -beyond helping for its own sake, that is- and ended up deciding to do it for Kanbaru. Hikki is nowhere near as alone as he thinks he is, and beyond Komachi there are people like Zaimokuza, Sakisaki and Totsuka who are willing to help him immediately when he needs it.

A Yuigahama administration would implement no uniforms, no bag checks and unrestricted rooftop access. For the sake of the school, it was probably a good thing that Yui didn’t run – regardless of her own beliefs of her chances against Yukinon, those sorts of policies are likely to be popular. Hikki won in basically everything this episode though, from his methodology to his Irohasu impression. That was comedic gold. Hikki, you genius.

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Oregairu 5 Img022Hikki moved well. It was initially a matter of deciding who should take some sort of fall, as this was essentially a zero-sum game. He couldn’t say no to Komachi, and preserving the Service Club is the ultimate aim. If he shot himself in the foot again, he would probably make Yui cry. So the best candidate was Iroha, whom he doesn’t really care about either way. And choosing Irohasu is actually a good thing when you think about it – Yukinon initially accused him of merely operating on the surface and not truly resolving the problem at hand. But if Irohasu wins the election, then she can even get revenge, which is better than merely losing. Irohasu initially wanted to merely tank all the blows, but now she can get back at all the girls who nominated her as well, while getting closer to Hayato and maintaining her ‘brand image’. The situation thus goes from zero-sum to win-win, and all it took was a bit of online fraud that served two purposes: (i) convincing Irohasu that she had enough backing, and (ii) persuading Yukinon and Yui to drop out. The fact that the backing was fake no longer matters after (ii) occurs, because Irohasu is now left as the only candidate. Hikki took an outstanding course of action this episode, and he did so in a way that wasn’t as self-sacrificing as his methods were before.

Oregairu 5 Img027The icing on the cake was the hair-fixing scene with Yui. She hasn’t been of much use lately, and I think she even implicitly admitted this last episode when she said she was going to run for president as well, but Yui melts my heart and that’s enough. Her dazzling smile, coupled with “You did your best, Hikki!” and the soundtrack version of Yui Ballade made me feel all warm inside. The last time I felt like that was, well, during last week’s scene with Yui. This has to be the ultimate pairing, guys. Yui is so wonderful. It’s the first time she’s sat so close to Hikki as well – usually, Hikki and Yukinon sit at opposite ends of the long table, with Yui sitting close to Yukinon. I must admit that I began to waver ever so slightly when Iroha dropped her cutesy act – the fake version of her I can’t stand, but the real, bitchy Iroha has some fun banter with Hikki and I don’t mind her. Then the hair-fixing scene arrived, and I lurched well into the Yui camp again.

It is worth mentioning that Yukinon reacted completely differently from Yui. It’s hard to determine exactly what she’s thinking, partly because she gives almost no indication at all of her thought process or game plan. But I can guess. Hikki won yet again. And this time he did so in a way that Yukinon cannot complain about.

Oregairu 5 Img024But from her perspective, she thought she’d done it – that running for president herself would be the best possible outcome. I can’t blame her, because all other things being equal, it was the best outcome. Meguri hints that she had regrets too, and the implication is that Yukinon’s end game involves both Hikki and Yui joining the student council as well, so that all three of them would still be together and that the status quo would be maintained. What Hikki did to upset that was to change the goalposts entirely in order to succeed in his way – goalposts which Yukinon considered immoveable when she acted. So would the outcome have been the same if he reloaded his save data to change his previous choice? It wouldn’t have been identical. Hikki did something questionable, and Yukino fails in her aim to get an edge in her power battle against Haruno. But if Yukinon had gotten her way, then the atmosphere of their relationship would still largely be maintained – and preserving that is really what they’re after. Like Hikki himself says, it would not have changed their lives.

So if things would have stayed the same either way, and what’s now left behind is an ever-growing rift between Hikki and Yukinon, then… did he make the right decision?

Vantage

I love cute things.

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5 Responses

  1. Yithar says:

    Yeah it’s nice that he worked things out with Komachi. As he said to Hayama if that’s all it takes to break the relationship then they weren’t such good friends in the first place and that’s why he needed a reason to act. Well at the beginning he was pretty much alone, but now he isn’t alone.

    I agree. It was a win-win situation and not as self-sacrificing but Yui made a good point. Considering how she felt, he has to feel some guilt too. He still wonders whether what he did was right.

    YuixHachiman works out pretty well because Yui’s a pretty upbeat kind of girl compared to Yukino. With Yukino and Hachiman, the conversation just doesn’t flow very well most of the time.

    This is just a guess, but I think it’s what Hayama said. Despite Yukino sacrificing the club, she wanted to stop Hachiman from hurting himself. He needs to realize that the people around him care about him deeply.

    Looking at it, that was the best decision considering Hayama did not want to run for president. Well if they joined the student council then I think all bets would be off on the match/battle royale. But the overall atmosphere and group would be preserved.

    The rift would still be growing either way. I can’t say whether it was the right decision or not but it’s definitely not the wrong decision. Personally I think it’s a good thing she lost to Haruno. Haruno’s methods are questionable but I’m pretty sure there is meaning behind them. Haruno is the way she is because of her parents forcing their ideals on her, and I really think she doesn’t want Yukino to be the same way. I mean look at Haruno, she probably can’t fit in with people her own age.

    • Vantage says:

      I still wonder whether what he did was right. If he had not done anything, it would have been good for Meguri and good for Yukinon. It might not have been the best for Irohasu, but it’s what she wanted initially (and Hikki cares about her the least, anyway). Yukinon is also likely to have been a better president, and the current Service Club is already a poor man’s student council. But as you say, it wasn’t the wrong decision either. I think this arc has been pretty significant – I don’t think Hikki has ever questioned himself like this before.

      I suppose there’s meaning behind what Haruno is doing. As her sister, I doubt she’s messing with Yukino for the sole purpose of her entertainment, like she’s doing with Hikki. But even if there’s meaning, I still can’t call her a good sister.

  2. TheVoid says:

    Actually I think it’s very likely Yukino did want to be president on some level, and that was likely one of the reasons she was disappointed that everything was fixed.

    • Yithar says:

      I came across this post and I think it’s a good read. My translation is not 100% perfect but I think I got the gist of it. I didn’t translate the last part because he was comparing it to an anime called Penguindrum.
      http://tgrr-putan.blogspot.com/2014/02/blog-post_23.html
      http://pastebin.com/2nM62Cu4

      On some level, yes. After reading the post, it all makes sense. I was partially right at least. She did want to stop Hachiman from always hurting himself. But I didn’t truly understand what she meant by, “And here I was sure you’d understand.” until I read that post.

      • Vantage says:

        It was a very good read. Yukinon needs a big hug and some time away from Haruno.

        So her intentions were focused on helping Hikki, despite how cold she’s been to him lately – I had completely forgotten about that line from Haruno. But it doesn’t change the fact that there’s arguably even more tension between Hikki and Yukinon now, because Hikki didn’t understand. It goes back to what Komachi said about how Hikki needed to talk to Yukinon and Yui – there was a severe lack of communication on the things that mattered the most, and the rift between them is wider than the opposite ends of the table each of them sit at.

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