Last week set up the ideal conflict for our There’s-no-way-I’d-fall-in-lovebirds. Concealing her previous run-in (lul) with Hikki pretty much puts the lie to Yuki’s entire philosophy – if she’s not above lying about that, her bluntly honest persona and declarations of moral superiority are dust. The acknowledgment of both how artificial her standards are and her own inability to match them would be quite the blow to her – ostracized by her own lack of social grace and living in the shadow of her sister, she doesn’t have a whole lot else to lean on.
Meanwhile, Hikki’s doing his best to revert back to his callous and well-defended initial self, but his own respect and feelings for Yuki are definitely going to make that difficult. In spite of his own “better” judgment, he values their time together – but forgiving her and accepting her lie would mean breaking with his own angry and self-satisfied view of human interactions, and the power balance between them has always relied on each of them maintaining their own brittle confidence anyway. Forgiving and forgetting would involve a lot of honesty and trust that I don’t think either of them are really ready for.
Fortunately, we have Yui there to break the ice and trample headlong through their silly little psychological games.
This one’s gonna be good.
0:40 – Just sitting in silence at opposite ends of the table. Yeah, seriously, you two are super mature
4:28 – Hikki’s certainly much more negative than he was at the start – he’s taking things much more personally. I also like Yui’s jerk friend still sticking up for her
5:30 – “You’re Haru’s sister, right? Her festival was amazing” Man, this episode is laying on the wound-salt like crazy
6:56 – God, their interactions are just painful to watch. If neither of them actually cared that much, there wouldn’t be any problem – but they’re both so proud, and they really do value each other’s respect, and the power structure of their banter is just way too fragile. FIX THIS OREGAIRU
7:32 – “I’ve decided to suspend the club.” Nooo! NOOOO! This is how it happens! Not with a big cathartic fight – you just let that waiting argument simmer, but you never address it, so you avoid interaction altogether and the relationship just fades away
8:19 – “Working together is a part of growing as well.” Yuki sits, staring downward, hand on her chin. She keeps her thoughts to herself
10:15 – Man, it is just painful to see Yuki’s confidence this damaged. From her perspective, taking this job is great, though – she can avoid coming clean with Hikki by avoiding the situation entirely and recovering her ego elsewhere – by directly competing with her sister’s legacy
14:21 – OH GOD HIT THE BREAKS WHAT IS HARU DOING HERE
14:30 – “She put on a concert. It was amazing!” ”I. Know.”
15:57 – What’s Haru’s game here? Is she really just that cruel?
16:29 – Or is she trying to make it impossible for Yuki to run from the situation?
17:20 – Nope, pretty cruel!
18:40 – “You should rely on others before it gets to that point.” They’re really emphasizing that theme this episode, which makes sense for this conflict, and hopefully is the reason Haru chose to isolate Yuki – she wants to force her to approach people from a position of mutual support and some degree of trust, not just leadership/superiority. And of course that kind of admitting your own fallibility would certainly resolve this Hikki situation quickly, too
It’s certainly not out of character for Hikki to remain on the sideline through all this, but it’s still kind of sad to watch. Not that Yuki would be interested in anything she could construe as pity from him right now
20:33 – Aw man, and just as I say that, he decides he can’t take it any more
Well, that was painful. They’re setting the tension as high as possible for this last act, and even introduced a character basically just to make life horrible for Yuki. The show itself is being pretty damn merciless here – she was already trapped in a lie regarding her philosophy, and now the festival is making her defend that philosophy in the face of basically everyone around her, with no support from Yui or Hikki. Well, until the end there, when Hikki’s empathy and obviously still-present respect for Yuki made him finally speak out and take the fall for what she really wanted to say. I think this is the longest the show has ever ridden some particular emotional status quo, but it’s not wasting time – it’s building tension towards some (likely horrible) breaking point. I’ve kept saying I want more Yuki development, and we’re certainly getting that – vicious, paradigm-breaking, Shinji Ikari-style Yuki development.
Fortunately, that happens to be my favorite kind.