Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 12-13 [END]

Yui is suffering.

And so the second coming of OregairuSNAFU TOO: The Snaffening, draws to a close.



A Valentine’s Affair

Who’s giving Hikki chocolate?

Episode 11 presents us with the typical pre-Valentine’s Day fervor. Love is in the air, and girls are preparing their various confections for the object of their desire. Under the guise of this unassuming theme, the show continues to build the foundations for the finale. It starts with a flashback all the way to the very beginning of the first season. For those who don’t recall, the first ever request for the Volunteers Club came from none other than Yui, who wanted to improve her cookie baking skills. Hachiman is reminded of this overhearing the bros in class discuss their prospects of receiving homemade goodies from the girls, though the significance of this flashback is made apparent only in the finale. Moving on, the Volunteers Club is visited by Iroha yet again, who stirs the pot by wondering if Hikki will receive anything for Valentine’s Day. Yui takes the bait and blurts out that he will. The obvious conclusion from this slip of the tongue is that Yui will make sure Hikki receives something by making something for him. And while Hachiman brushes it off as a statement that he can always fall back on Komachi to give him some courtesy chocolate, Yukino (and Iroha) definitely got the hint. The storm approaches.

Don’t get flustered!

In response to requests from returning customers Yumiko and Saki, the gang organizes a “cooking and taste testing” event with the help of Iroha and her connections. A variety of miscellaneous events take place during the event, including an encounter with Kaori which provides her with some character development. But the main attraction is the confrontation between the Volunteers Club and Haruno. Up to her usual tricks, Haruno first takes a stab at Yukino by revealing to everyone that her sister had given Hayato chocolate for Valentine’s Day before. Everyone is taken aback, and notably Yukino glances at Hachiman to see how he responds. Thankfully, Hayato steps up and quashes the statement by contextualizing it as courtesy chocolate given before the two even started grade school. Undeterred, Haruno proceeds to ask Yukino who she is planning to give chocolate to this Valentine’s Day. This gets the usually stoic Yukino flustered, leading to a blush-filled encounter between her and Hikki that is only broken up through Yui’s interference. At this point, it is unclear how much Yukino is aware of (or understands) her feelings for Hachiman. But it is fairly certain that both Yui and Yukino know that the other has romantic feelings for our lucky loner.

Overnight Stay

Haruno is disappointed.

Having weathered Haruno’s attacks, the gang carries on their activities happily. But of course, Haruno isn’t done without a parting shot. After witnessing Hachiman taste test the collaborative work of Yui and Yukino, she decides to ruin the mood by asking him if this kind of relationship is what he calls “genuine.” She goes on to call Hachiman boring and states that she preferred the “old Yukino.” Despite the apparent mean-spiritedness of her words, Haruno is definitely well-aware of the Volunteers Club’s current situation. She knows that both girls have feelings for Hachiman, and that playing friends as they are now cannot last forever. Inevitably, one of the two will make a move on the loner, or he will be stolen away by a third party. But no matter what happens, their current relationship will be destroyed as it is based on their refusal to acknowledge the feelings deep in their hearts. Though Haruno may not have meant for it, this if anything is probably the kick the starts the ball rolling for the finale.

Yui sinks her ship.

Before the episode ends, we also see an encounter between the Volunteers Club and mama Yukinoshita as the gang walk Yukino home. Given her manipulative nature and the fact that she essentially pulled the same trick at the end of episode 10, it is likely that Haruno arranged for this confrontation. The reason for it is simple. Haruno is losing her ability to control the Volunteers Club. And from her last words with the gang at the event, it can be inferred that she now sees Hachiman as a “bad influence” on Yukino. Instead of aspiring to be like her older sister, Yukino now has different goals of her own. Goals which revolve around Hachiman, even if she may not be entirely conscious of the influence he has on her. Haruno probably seeks to bring Yukino back to her old ways by forcing her away from her friends with the authority of their mother. Thankfully, Yukino is able to convince her mother to leave without incident. With Yukino safely at home, Hachiman offers to walk Yui home as well. However, he is rebuffed as Yui continues to struggle between her personal feelings and her desire for the gang to stay together.


Show ▼

Never Actually Fought

Cry for help.

Ah yes, the finale. The episode we have all been waiting for, yet simultaneously dreading. Though the cold open does not show it, we just know right from the start that Yukino has made something for Hachiman. More importantly, it seems that she has become much more conscious of the loner after their little intimate moment during the taste testing event last time. It’s still not certain whether she realizes that she loves him, but she is definitely aware that she is attracted to him. And unfortunately, this awareness just gets in the way of things as it makes Yukino extremely shy around Hachiman. It takes Yui’s encouragement just for her to share some homemade cookies with the loner, and after school she finds herself unable to present her Valentine’s Day gift. The desperate look Yukino throws at Yui as she attempts to make an exit is perhaps the best evidence that she does not know what to do. These are feelings new to her that she doesn’t know how to deal with. As it so happens, the situation is defused by an unexpected source: Haruno.

Haruno reveals her feelings.

Back for round two, Haruno announces that she has been dispatched by their mother to stay with and watch over Yukino. Furthermore, she goes on to reveal why she is so fixated on interfering with her sister’s life. And it’s surprisingly simple. Haruno is just jealous of Yukino. Being the older sister, Haruno has always been burdened with all the responsibilities of carrying on the Yukinoshita name. Meanwhile, Yukino has mostly been left to her own devices. But instead of forging her own path with the freedom afforded her, Yukino chose to emulate her older sister. In Haruno’s eyes, this was probably akin to throwing away a gift that she had been denied all her life: the freedom to be who she wants to be. Haruno goes on to berate Yukino, telling her that she has never made any decisions of her own and that her inability to act now in the face of a new experience is a result of always following in her sister’s footsteps. Honestly, this is something that Yukino needed to hear in order to fully move on from Haruno’s shadow. But regardless, Hachiman finally gets tired of Haruno’s attitude towards her sister and politely tells her to sod off. Way to go, Hachiman!

Yuigahamom too stronk!

Following the encounter, the gang take refuge in the Yuigahama household. We are introduced to Yuigahamom, who is very interested in Hikki, to Yui’s embarrassment. The gang also convince Yukino to stay the night to avoid the inevitable conflict with Haruno waiting for her back at her own place. Notably, Yukino copies the excuse Hachiman gives her, word for word, when she calls her sister to let her know that she won’t be home. Haruno picks up on this thanks to her keen observation, and has Yukino hand the phone to Hachiman just to let him know that. This little detail may seem trivial, but it actually provides us with great insight on how Hachiman has changed Yukino. Instead of encouraging Yukino to walk her own path, Hachiman has just replaced Haruno as the person she follows behind. That is to say, Yukino has merely become dependent on the loner instead of her sister. And this is something that very much plays a big hand in the later events of the episode.

A Date To Remember

Watching “fireworks.”

The next day, Yui invites Hikki and Yukino on a date. it’s a bit strange that Hachiman was so surprised at the invitation since he himself asked her just last episode if she was free someday soon. But to be fair, the meaning behind his question at the time wasn’t exactly clear since he certainly wasn’t implying a date. Anyway, the trio visit an aquarium, where the atmosphere lightens up a little thanks to some playful banter. But the cheery mood doesn’t last long, as Yukino is reminded of Haruno’s words while watching a fish swim alone. It is at this point that she starts to come to terms with the fact that she is dependent on others. There is also another flashback to the first season while the gang watch some jellyfish swimming, in which Yui recalls watching fireworks at a festival with Hikki. At the time, Yukino couldn’t attend due to family matters, so Yui expresses her happiness at the three of them being able to watch fireworks (the jellyfish) together this time. This moment captures in essence the path that Yui has ultimately chosen; the solution that she has reached to the Volunteers Club’s greatest problem.

Yui doesn’t want things to end.

Yui has chosen friendship between the trio over her personal feelings for Hachiman. Despite the highly symbolic Ferris wheel ride the gang just disembarked from, during which Hachiman noted the futility of going around in circles in an attempt to preserve some sort of status quo, Yui has still chosen to prioritize her friendship with Yukino and Hachiman over a relationship with the loner. And just like the Ferris wheel, the story comes full circle as Yui presents Hachiman with a bag of homemade cookies, recalling the request that she first came to the Volunteers Club with. Then she announces to the other two that she can offer them the status quo they have been clinging on to if they recognize her as the victor of the long-standing challenge within the club: whoever is best at saving others may order the losers to do anything. Of course, the astute will immediately realize that ordering the losers to do the very thing that would allows the victor win the challenge and gain the right to give orders to the losers is circular reasoning. It depends entirely on the other two agreeing to the terms in the first place. But I digress.

Yui’s solution.

Certainly, if Yukino and Hachiman simply let Yui “save” them by following her orders to bury their feelings, they can all continue being the friends that they are now. But is this really the solution that the trio are looking for? Yukino, being the dependent person that she is, is unable to come up with a solution of her own and starts to agree despite her own growing feelings for Hachiman. But as she is stammering out her response, our hero comes to the realization that leaving her future in someone else’s hands will not help Yukino. Remember how Shizuka entrusted Hachiman with breaking through Yukino’s shell in episode 8 and Yukino asked Hachiman to help her someday in episode 9? Thus motivated, the loner speaks out, denying Yui’s solution and reminding the other two that such a false relationship will not give him something genuine as per his own request to the club. Unsurprisingly, Yui admits that she had a feeling Hachiman would oppose her solution. Which brings into question whether she went into this knowing that she would fail but leave the Volunteers Club with a stronger resolve, or if she truly wanted to maintain a false status quo. But this question will remain unanswered and left to our imagination.

Yukino’s Request

Hachiman stops Yui’s plan.

With the climax behind us, we are left with one last development that simultaneously completes the story thus far and sets the stage for what’s to come. Both Yui and Hachiman have made a request to the Volunteers Club. So the time has come for the final member, Yukino, to make a request of her own. Recall that Yui’s request was fulfilled in the first season. This can be taken to represent the past. And Hachiman’s request, which the trio are currently working on, was submitted midway through this season. This can be taken to represent the present. So by analogy, we can take Yukino’s request at the end of the finale to represent the future. After all, solving it is what the gang can look forward to as they move on in their lives. Remember Shizuka telling Hachiman that the present isn’t everything in episode 8, and Hachiman’s own words about the past, present, and future in the previous episode? The show sure loves to subtly but consistently build up the story between these tidbits and all the flashbacks to the first season.

I have a request.

Anyway, we don’t actually get to hear what the request is, but we can certainly make some educated guesses based on the latest events that have transpired. My personal theory is that Yukino will ask the gang to help her become her own person. Now that she realizes that she is dependent on others, starting with her sister and moving on to Hachiman, she will undoubtedly want to start making her own decisions and stop relying on others. Of course, she will technically be relying on her friends to help get her there. But that is a contradiction for the Volunteers Club to solve. And once she is sure of herself, maybe then Yukino can think about facing Yui and Hachiman with her feelings. Even though we don’t get to hear Yukino’s request, the show has been gradually building up to this moment, as it is wont to do. So as disappointing as the cliffhanger ending may be, I still think it is a fairly good bit of writing rather than a slap in the face.


Show ▼

And there you have it. SNAFU is over at last. Well, at least for now. From what I have heard, the show has actually run out of source material to adapt, even overtaking the LN with these last two episodes (they are not anime-original, just aired before the latest volume of the LN was published). And studio feel has chosen to adapt the plot faithfully all the way to the end,1 deliberately avoiding an original ending. Hence the cliffhanger nature of this finale. So even though the stage is set for a potential continuation in one form or another, I suspect we will not see anything for a while if we do get anything at all. In any case, I continue to believe that a good anime adaptation should stand on its own. Not having read the LN, I am unaware of what might have been cut and what might have been tweaked slightly. But the anime itself certainly holds strong without any knowledge of the source material. SNAFU can certainly be tough to chew and digest, but if you do take the time to understand the story, it can be quite rewarding. So with that, I give this show (both seasons) a solid recommendation for anyone looking for a school anime with more depth than the usual harem hijinks.


See you next time?

1Edit 6/29/2015: I have been made aware that studio feel actually cut out a substantial amount of material in order to fit everything into one cour.


Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

17 Responses to “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – 12-13 [END]”

  1. Samsura says:

    Two things. First, did you notice Yui’s eyes when she was presenting Yukino with her solution? They were super similar to the look in Haruno’s eyes. I don’t think jealousy is the right emotion, it seems part pity and part contempt.

    As for my thoughts on the ending: I wasn’t expecting anything conclusive, so I was very satisfied. The club is in a super awkward phase right now, and something needs to be done. Yukino has dependency issues, Yui has some self image issues (she isn’t a saint but she is the most like-able of the three), and Hachiman has to trust in others more. As someone who has understood and genuinely liked the characters the whole time (especially this season) I feel the ending was true to the characters. And that is more important in this type of show than satisfying complainers. I care about, understand, and and interested in the well being of all these people, because they have developed far beyond being characters throughout the series excellent writing. If you have a tolerance for some ANGST, Snafu is a show you shouldn’t miss.

  2. amado says:

    nah they didnt faithfully adapt vol 11, they cut quite a lot of corners.

    for example: they missed the part where iroha gives hachiman chocolate/cookies and tells him to keep it a secret, who gets flustered with it.
    also remember her shoving the spoon of chocolate to hachiman? turns out she tasted the spoon herself BEFORE letting him taste it, so indirect kiss already.

    anime also cut off quite a lot of moments of hachiman’s thoughts about yui. apparently during that penguin scene, it was yui who told hachiman to go after yukino instead of him going after her on his own choice.

  3. zztop says:

    The question now is whether Snafu will still have enough hype in the future to warrant a Season 3 being made.

    The good news is that Watari Wataru wants to bring the story to a close.

  4. Cybersteel says:

    That Mamagahara :3

    To me Shizuka-sensei still the best.

    Rumormill suggest the story is going to end soon. Yui route?, Yuki route? or maybe neither? Maybe the author can surprise us with something different entirely. Hope for a continuation in a few years time.

  5. amado says:

    so anyways in summary, this is my ranking of girls who I would want hachiman to end up with:



    yui rose up quite a lot in my list ever since all the sacrifices she’s done that helped the club advance. arguably, id say she’s done the most as remember when hachiman went to them with a request for help with iroha, yukino turned him down and he was pretty close to leaving… but then yui called foul on everything. then she’s also gotten to be quite much more awareness than the other two in the end, showing she’s not that oblivious as people say.

    on the other side, yukino has plummeted quite a lot for me with recent developments, as she’s mostly been the biggest problem and bringer of drama to the club. all she’s really done is just look “moe” and “dere”, then the rest of the time she’s shitting on hachiman or everyone else really. she got bitchy at hachiman just cause he solved more problems than her, even telling him he can leave the club since he’s sooo good.

    as for how kaori is that high up, she’s one of the most genuine girls if you think about it. blunt and open to anything, she’s not gonna hide anything. this is actually pretty close to what hachiman wants, someone who wont try to keep secrets and hide their thoughts from each other.

    and for iroha, well, her and hachiman’s chemistry are just off the charts. both of them can really read each other quite well, enough that both sort of end up manipulating each other, or thats what they think at least. iroha also easily gets past hachiman’s usual guarded attitude, while hachiman surprises iroha with his earnest when she’s just kidding around. their interaction was also the most fun I had around in S2, both banter with each other. there’s a lot more if you read the novels, as the anime cut some parts off, and also vol 10.5…

  6. amado says:

    help, my comment got eaten.

  7. skylion says:

    Well, first, I have to extend a hearty handshake to .feel for not going for an anime original ending. In this marketplace that takes guts, as it’s probable that many folks that watched the show didn’t read the LN/source material. So many of them might have felt “cheated”; too which I say, “boo hoo”.

    As for the show itself, I could go on and on about it. But I’ll shorten myself and leave it as brief as possible.

    It reminds me of reading Jane Austen, which is an unforgivable crime. Because it is provable fact that Austen is crap.

    Now, that’s not saying that it’s totally or doggedly Pride and Prejudice. No one can stink like Austen. But the fact that everything in the show had to linger under a huge magnifying glass in an overlong manner, kinda killed what story they had to tell.

    The characters themselves were a bit overblown, but I still rather liked them, which caused a great deal of dissonance in watching the show. If that was the intent of the story, I didn’t feel that intent much.

    Ah, well, can’t win them all. For the sake of the fans, I do hope it gets the chance to finish in anime form, as people genuinely liked it, and I won’t give fault for that.

  8. Highway says:

    I was reading Yui’s intent quite a bit differently as far as what she would ‘win’ if she solved Yukino’s problem. It felt to me like Yui’s “everything” wasn’t just that they all stay friends, it’s that Yukino backs off and Yui gets Hachiman (at least if decided between the two of them). Whether that would have been a tenable solution is up for debate, but that’s what I felt her demand would be. And in that vein, Hachiman realized this as well, and that Hachiman wants to be with Yukino, hidden by his words that he didn’t want Yukino’s decision to be made by Yui,

    Essentially, I think that all three of them realize their feelings a lot more than is shown in their actions. It’s just that each of them are fighting their own battle inside against what their nature used to be.

    As for Haruno, and her interference in Yukino’s home situation, I think she’s definitely overstayed her welcome. I do wonder what Yukino’s mother thinks that Yukino should be doing with her life. We never get that (nor what Haruno thinks) just that she doesn’t think she’s doing anything.

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      I can see why you would think that but i did not get that vibe at all. Everything that happened in this ep points more towards yui pretty much almost throwing in the towel. All the hints towards depicting Yukino as a dependent person to Yui’s dialogue and her denying the affection of her present towards hachiman as nothing else but a thank you just tells me that she was ultimately trying to perserve the status quo, hence they tear of relief (kinda) when hachiman denied her proposition

      • Highway says:

        That tear, I didn’t get it as a tear of relief, but as one of sadness at her rejection. I certainly might have my shipping glasses on a bit tight here, but that’s one of the things that pushed me that way. I think it’s really stretching it to say it was a tear of relief (since noone would do that).

        I’ll admit I don’t quite get the problem with being a ‘dependent’ person. Everyone is dependent on others in some ways. I’ve always thought Yukino’s character development has been more of a “learning that it’s ok to be dependent on the people that you choose, and who choose you” rather than a straight up “It’s bad to depend on other people.” That’s who she was trying to be at the beginning of the story. It would be odd to me if the point of the story was to get back to that starting spot.

        • Samsura says:

          Well it is clear that Yukino has more of an over dependency problem. She uses other peoples words to deal with problems, she follows other peoples (harunos) path, then instead goes about following Hikigaya. These aren’t things that can be called a healthy development for anyone. It isn’t right to call her appearance of assurance and knowledge a facade, but I have always seen her as a person who knows a little but fakes alot

          • Highway says:

            I dunno. I think that it’s perfectly natural for someone who is 16 years old to not really be independent. Especially someone who has been in such a strict family for her entire upbringing. Plus you have the fact that Haruno has been trolling her for years. I don’t know if following in Haruno’s footsteps shows any sort of personal failing. It’s more that Yukino has felt she has to outdo Haruno, so up until we join the story, she’s been trying to do the same things Haruno does, but better (and not doing too badly, but always losing out overall because Haruno won’t give her the satisfaction of saying “You did fine.”). It’s only since getting captured in Shizuka’s orbit that Yukino has been trying to forge her own way, and that’s been difficult because, again, she keeps getting trolled by Haruno, who toys with her for pleasure. Now when Yukino is finally starting to break free, Haruno reacts disfavorably.

            I could be reading it wrong, but that’s the way the story has gone for me. As I said, a 16-17 year old finally becoming independent in thought and deed is perfectly natural, and holding the lack of such up to this point in her life against her as some sort of moral failing is being unrealistic.

            • amado says:

              the fact that she wants to outdo haruno shows how dependent yukino is on her sister as well as proving she’s following her path.

              if she wasnt followng haruno, then she has no reason to outdo her. hell, she’s pretty much given much more free reign than haruno, who as we saw in last season already has her own responsibility as a yukinoshita while yukino is pretty much free all by herself.

              this isnt quite obvious to anime viewers obviously, cause the anime cut off parts. but what we get is more on the implication that haruno pretty much wants yukino to stop following her steps.

              yukino’s dependency is also supported by hayama, who pretty much said to hachiman at ep 11 “you haven’t noticed yet?” when hachiman comments on how yukino has improved, when in actuality, she just changed her idol, again commented on haruno at the start of ep 12.

              and what haruno is doing is pretty much same as the others, she’s just doing it in a “nasty” kinda like how hachiman fixed problems before. if she didnt(and also if it werent for yui) the club would have went the same way as hayama’s group: they’d be lying to each other and ignore their personal feelings, just to stick together.

Leave a Reply