Another week, another SNAFU. Last time, we left off with Hikki being awfully inconsiderate to poor Yui. Let’s see if he can do better this time around.
Oh boy. This episode is absolutely full of misunderstandings; most of which stem from Hachiman and Yukino’s little “date”. Again, this is nothing new to anime, but I’m just beating the dead horse here so I’ll shut up about it. First, we have Komachi playing the wing man as the bro-est little sister ever. I hereby coin the term “bromouto”. And it was good of her to accompany the awkward couple, because those two obviously have no concept of what a date is, even though they weren’t “technically” going on a date. “I’ll go this way and you’ll go that way”? Yeah, they were definitely doing it wrong. After pushing them in the right direction, Komachi stealthily takes her leave only to be replaced with Yukino’s older sister, Haruno. Haruno certainly is quite the character, coming across as hyper and overbearing. But Hachiman isn’t fooled and sees through her adorably playful facade, a moment of clairvoyence that impresses even Yukino. But only ever so slightly.
But of course, no false date is complete without the rival coming across the unlikely pair and making the obvious misunderstanding. So this is exactly what happens when Yui’s dog gets loose in the mall and leads her straight to Hikki and Yukino. The irony here is that the two are only going on a “date” to try and cheer her up later. And they’ve only managed to bring her down even more. Luckily, Yui doesn’t take the blow too heavily and leaves the two to their devices without much incident. She doesn’t even break down into tears, which surprises me as she’s constantly depicted as being obviously in love with Hachiman. I figured this, if anything, she would do something about. But maybe her lack of protest is due to her soft-spoken nature, compounded by the “disagreement” she had with Hikki last time. In any case, SNAFU takes this misunderstanding to the limit, but subverts it at the very last moment with a sharp observation that we might not have expected from Hachiman. In spite of Yukino’s intelligent air and Yui’s attempts at socializing, it’s kind of hilarious to think that the unsociable loner Hachiman is more perceptive at human interactions than either of the girls. I guess his spending all his time observing others does have its benefits.
As far as misunderstandings go though, the long-standing one between Hachiman and Yui takes the cake. Not to mention, it’s been the focus of the latest episodes. On one side, we have Hachiman, who doesn’t see his saving Yui’s dog as an importanct act and believes Yui is pitying him insincerely. On the other, we have Yui, who genuinely cares for Hachiman and doesn’t understand why he’s trying to distance himself from her. This “dispute” is finally laid to rest with a few wise words from Yukino for the two to let bygones be bygones and start over from here. And so this arc finally comes to an end and the Volunteers Club regains a lost member.
I’ve been touting Yukino as the main romantic interest for Hachiman all this time, but this episode has me scratching my head a bit. Technically, Hachiman and Yukino were the ones on the date. But it really felt like Hikki and Yui made more progress relationship-wise instead. Perhaps this is due to their relationship worsening previously though. So I guess if you think about it, Yui is only now back on the same level as Yukino. The two are special friends to Hachiman, even if he doesn’t want to admit it, and I really hope that one of them becomes something more. Hachiman could certainly do with a special someone, even if he is more than a little socially awkward. He just needs to figure things out and become more considerate.
Fun with Haruno
With the conflict between Hachiman and Yui finally resolved, it’s back to business as usual for the Volunteer’s Club. There was some talk of Sai-chan joining the club as a new member, and I’d love to see that happen just so we can watch Hachiman deal with the delicious trap. With all this drama going on though, SNAFU is still able to slip some comedy in for us. Yukino’s inability to rebut Hachiman insulting Yui’s intelligence is one notably entertaining example. And there’s also the usual Hachiman catching Yukino fawning over cute items and Yukino verbally abusing Hachiman. Oh, and Yui’s closing goof of mistaking the dog collar for an accessory? Priceless. She really isn’t making a case for her intelligence.