Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 07-08


Somebody take that sensei home already!

Well, these two latest episodes have certainly been quite eventful.


Bad Day


Rumi’s lonely frame.

A lot happened in SNAFU lately, so let’s take it from the top. Episode 7 shows us perhaps the first time that Hachiman really starts to question his ideals and ways. This is a big deal because we’ve always wondered when he would start to change his methods. And it looks like coming into the second half of the season is the time. As the Christmas project continues to stagnate, Hachiman is hit with a blast from the past as one of the grade schoolers roped into the project turns out to be a former recipient of the Volunteers Club’s aid. And said young girl, Rumi, is still as isolated as before. This, in combination with his inability to communicate with Tamanawa to move the project along in the face of the ever-looming deadline causes Hachiman to reflect upon the effectiveness of his ways. And the cold, hard truth that he arrives upon (with some help from the always beguiling Saika) is that his ideal self is not as ideal as he thought it was. The people he helped didn’t really end up better off in the end. And the only people he shared a semblance of friendship with, he drove away with his selfish selflessness.1 Then along comes a chance meeting with Yukino which changes everything.


Yukino tries to disband the Volunteers Club.

The truth is laid bare as it is revealed that Hachiman’s recent covert activities have been plain as day to all members of the Volunteers Club (yes, even to Yui). The real shocker though, is when Yukino goes on to say that what Hachiman does in his own free time is none of her business. Sure, this is technically true. But the big implication here is the suggestion that Yukino might not have thought very much of their relationship. Even if you can’t control what someone else does in the end, that doesn’t mean that you can’t try to weigh in on their decisions if you care for them. But of course, Yukino isn’t done. She continues by refuting Hachiman’s claim that the two of them operate the same way: they work alone because they are alone. No, she instead tries to do everything alone because of her arrogance. And before Hachiman can come up with a response to her nonstop blows, she delivers a one-two killing strike by telling him that he doesn’t have to be considerate by showing up to the Volunteers Club anymore if it just gets in the way of his work, and that the trio’s relationship never meant much to begin with since they were torn apart so easily by the recent events.

Hachiman’s failures (mouseover to play).

This is perhaps an all-time low that the group has reached. And thankfully, it’s just what Hachiman needs to finally acknowledge the errors of his ways. Though he may not have been solely responsible for the Volunteers Club’s falling apart, he has to rethink his values and how he interacts with others. After all, these are the underlying influences on his decision making. And it is these bad decisions that have led him to where he is in life now: unable to make a real difference for the people he had resolved to help, and unable to connect to the people closest to him.



Best teacher.

It is while Hachiman is in the dumps after his run-in with Yukino that none other than Shizuka appears before him. Despite her lack of substantial appearances so far this season, the teacher really has a knack for stepping in at the right time. What follows is one of the most meaningful heart-to-hearts I’ve seen in anime. Shizuka explains to our hero the difference between understanding people’s thoughts and understanding people’s feelings. While it may be easy to discern someone’s thoughts at a glance, it takes more to uncover what someone’s emotions. One must first find the right perspective to look at things before realizing what exactly lies within the heart. And to begin understanding what Yui and Yukino feel, Hachiman must first understand what lies within his own heart. Additionally, Shizuka teaches Hachiman that caring for others doesn’t mean trying not to hurt them. Since people get hurt inevitably from things that you might never be able to anticipate, caring for others really means being prepared to hurt them.


Hachiman comes to a realization.

So far, the loner has lived by the creed of shouldering all the blame alone so that no one else has to suffer. But this has had the ironic consequence of hurting those close to him because he was unwilling to let those very same people look out for him. In attempting to preemptively solve a problem, Hachiman has managed to create a more severe issue that hits closer to home. And so after his very revealing conversation with Shizuka, Hachiman returns home to mull over his own desires and how they affect his decisions. And the answer he reaches is a rather abstract one. In fact, it may be one that he himself doesn’t fully understand. In a highly animated and emotionally raw sequence, the Hachiman comes to the Volunteers Club for help and reveals to Yui and Yukino what he found in the depths of his heart: the desire to understand others and the desire for “something genuine.”


Baring it all.

Episode 8 is really shaping up to be one of the most significant explorations of the human psyche and social interaction in anime between Hachiman’s earlier conversation with Shizuka and his baring it all to his fellow Volunteers Club members. Really, a bravo to SNAFU for masterfully building up to these two moments. Anyway, what exactly does “something genuine” mean? Both Yui and Yukino don’t fully grasp Hachiman’s words. And Yukino even storms out, frustrated at her inability to understand a friend even when he’s trying his hardest to show his all to her. Unsurprisingly, it is Yui who seizes the initiative in the moment and spurs Hachiman into motion to pursue Yukino. We’ve really come to see the role the seemingly ditzy girl plays in the trio of friends from the more recent episodes. And it is apparent that despite not being the brightest light bulb, she really is the one who holds everything together in the end. Long story short, the trio reunite in the sunset, tears are shed, and it seems that at least for now the Volunteers Club was able to overcome its greatest challenge yet: dealing with itself.

So now that we’ve set the events of both episodes behind us, what was Hachiman really trying to say about wanting “something genuine?” I think Yui’s words during the climax of episode 8 provide the best description of the concept. Though the three friends may not fully understand each other now, they can spend their time together talking over and over in an attempt to figure each other out. They may not actually achieve their goal, and in fact it is unlikely that they will ever know each other inside and out. But that doesn’t really matter, because it is the very process of trying to understand each other and not the final destination of knowing each other that Hachiman longs for from the bottom of his heart.


Tears have been shed, but the Volunteers Club remains standing.

1Ostensibly an oxymoron.


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4 Responses to “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 07-08”

  1. Samsura says:

    I can’t say this enough: episode 8 was a thing of beauty. I can’t imagine the things done in these episodes done in a better way. I think what really made it for me was the flashback to all the people hachiman has met and interacted with. I sometimes have trouble buying into motivations and beliefs of characters in anime, but for sure I understood what hachiman felt and desired. this was an amazing episode in every sense

  2. HannoX says:

    Hachiman is right–the men Shizuka knows have terrible taste. How else to explain why one of them hasn’t snatched her up and married her yet? Unless it’s that she has terrible taste in men and has been dating a string of losers only to realize in time to dump each one before marrying him.

    This was an excellent episode. Some deep understanding of the relationships among people and Hachiman finally coming to realize that he must change his ways. Now Yukino must come to the same realization. But things seem to be setting up for this season to come to an ending that will give the viewers a big, satisfying payoff.

    Yui may not have brains smarts, but she does have emotional smarts. She is by far the best of the three when it comes to reading people and their emotional states. Furthermore, while she couldn’t articulate it well, she was the first to realize that things couldn’t continue the way they were going in the Volunteers Club.

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      my thoughts exactly. Yui isnt dumb, she’s just not as witty as hachiman or Yukino. She can be an airhead but she very perceptive and keen; the difference being she cant articulate as well as the other two

    • Joojoobees says:

      Shizuka = Best Girl

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