Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Zoku Episode 10
Irohasu best girl.
A massive war over best girl is pretty much what this episode was. All the potential contenders got a pitch, from Rumi to Haruno – if anyone even thinks that Haruno is best girl, for some strange reason. I liked what we saw of Komachi (“You dumbass! Nitwit! Hachiman!”) and Yukinon got a few great shots in, as she always does. I’ve been on SS Yuigahama for a long time now, but that has now changed. I now firmly believe that Irohasu is best girl. I tried to resist, honest. But I can’t lie to myself any more. I gotta be genuine, you know?
It’s been a long time coming now, and the gradual shift in focus towards Irohasu and away from Yui has had its impact. I mean, we went from ‘Sorry, I already have someone’ to ‘Sorry, you’re not my type’ to ‘Sorry, I am into older guys but still’ to ‘Sorry, but I need more time‘. I think we’re getting there. Irohasu has serious layers to her, but playing the affectionate kouhai is part of her charm – and my heart melted when she started tearing up and tried her best to put on a brave face despite her rejection. And then she whispered her ‘take responsibility’ line and I caved completely. Irohasu, don’t do this to me. It’s bad for my heart. Actually, please keep doing stuff like that it was super erotic
In retrospect, the issue over the event was an easily solvable one: all they needed was someone who could verbally slap Tamanawa to his senses. I was incredibly proud of Yukinon for saying what she did when Hikki failed to bring about the required impact – the pair of them really did that scene justice. Hikki identified the core problem before, when he spoke to Shizuka – Tamanawa was scared of taking responsibility and wanted to avoid admitting any and all fuck-ups as far as possible. In that sense, the words ‘consensus’, ‘synergy’ and ‘grand design’ basically translate to ‘spreading risk’ and ‘collective responsibility’. In essence, he’s a pretty shit leader – he wants only the benefits of his position, and refuses to take any risk or take the fall if anything goes wrong. And his lackeys are honestly not much better, being totally against any opposition to their way of doing things – whenever any dissent is voiced, they try to dispel momentum by asking them to cool down in a really passive-aggressive way. So what they needed was someone who was willing to put their foot down and call them out on their bullshit, and Yukinon did just that. I love how she too is keeping Hikki on her mind – she doesn’t want a sham either, she wants something genuine! Irohasu did not look impressed, but I bet she was secretly pleased – I mean, something like that is exactly what she brought in Hikki and Yukinon to do in the first place. I doubt the vice-president or anyone else would have been tough enough to bring about a result like that.
I feel like the arc actually ended at the halfway point of the episode. It was a wonderful conclusion to have Yukinon and Yui buy Hikki his own teacup to use in the club room, and we got something resembling a conclusion with Orimoto and Rumi as well. I feel a lot less hostile towards Orimoto now – I still don’t like her by any means, but she’s not antagonistic now and has almost been reduced to comedic material. I guess she got her own form of character development in acknowledging Hikki as a friend – after all that she’s seen of the current him, she’s realized that she can’t simply think little of him like she did back in middle school. As for Rumi, I think we were supposed to infer that her role in the play improved her social standing. At any rate, she was really cute – she first brushes off Hikki and refuses his help, and when he gets up to walk away she stares at him so wantingly.
It was a very eventful episode, as always. I think the splintered remains of SS Yuigahama were found in the sea after they glossed over Hikki and Yui going shopping together. Long live Irohasu! It would have been a perfect episode, had it not been for Haruno. At the start of the season, what Irohasu, Orimoto and Haruno had in common was that I wasn’t fond of them when they were first introduced, with my level of dislike ascending in that order. I’d like to think that time has revealed that the first two mean relatively well, even if they are kind of rotten. But Haruno is evil. I mean, if there’s anything that can imbue the remaining few episodes of the season with even more tension than what’s happened so far with the Service Club, it’s the Yukinoshita family relations. I’m not even sure what happened at the end there, so if you’re after an answer to that then unfortunately I don’t have one – the fuck did Haruno do? A birthday party for Yukinon? I know Hikki was used as bait to lure Yukinon out, but what was up with her mother?
I know that Hayato is involved, and this is probably when all those hints about his relationship with Yukinon and Haruno will be cashed in. All that stuff about being childhood friends with Yukinon, being submissive to Haruno, liking someone whose name started with ‘Y’ – it’ll all be important in the episodes to come. I mean, ‘Yukino-chan’? Are you serious, Hayato? It actually does sound like he would be in an arranged marriage with either Haruno or Yukinon – probably the latter, given the authority Haruno holds with her status as the eldest daughter and her general flawlessness. Hence all the tension. But I do hope we get more development for Hayato, which has only come in bits and pieces so far: lines like “When I praise you, I do it for myself” are pretty cryptic, although in that context it’s probably something about making himself feel better for not being as great a guy as Hikki is, because he’s incredible. If we disregard all the subtext though, one important thing remains: Hayato ended up hurting Iroha. You made her cry you bastard, I’ll never forgive you.