Oregairu S2 – Episode 8

Hoooly shit this episode. This was the one we’d been waiting for – the one the whole show had been building up to, really. Sensei finally gives Hachiman a full diagnosis, and Hikki responds by doing what he always should have done, but never really could do until now – telling the truth. That second half was just a goddamn rollercoaster, employing all of this season’s heightened emotive storytelling tricks to hammer home the most honest moment in this friendship to date. This was definitely an episode.

My megasized ANN review is here. Plenty of notes below!


Hikki sitting and contemplating what happened. Then Sensei shows up

Iroha showed up in the club room at the end of the OP this time

Hikki trying to sleep in the car, Sensei humming to herself. This season has, in addition to Oregairu’s other strengths, also imbued it with lots of tiny intimate moments that feel almost KyoAni-esque

“You look kinda cool like that.” “Because I’m trying to look cool.” Sensei is great

Sensei trying to get him to open up about how it’s all going

“We were wrong not to decide who’s on top, and who bears the responsibility.” Loaded words. When the club is just a thing that happens to exist, it’s no one’s responsibility. When neither Hikki nor Yukino can express what they actually want, things dissolve. No matter how much they care, if they can’t own those feelings, they will be lost

“You’re very good at reading people’s mental states. But you don’t understand emotions.”

“People’s mental states and their emotions can be very different. That’s why they reach conclusions that seem illogical. That’s why Yukino, Yui, and you all gave wrong answers.” “They don’t have anything to do with this, right?” “They’re the ones I was asking you about in the first place.”

“Calculate it if that’s the only way you can do things. Figure out the answer.”

Oh no Sensei don’t fall for his flattery noo

Sensei basically shaking his shoulders at this point. “The fact that you’re distancing yourself to avoid hurting them is obvious. But why are you distancing yourself? What are you going to this length for, and what is it actually resulting in?” His dumb immediate answers are making him sacrifice what he actually cares about. He’s too insecure and too nearsighted

“You don’t want to hurt them because they’re important to you.”

“But you know… it’s impossible not to hurt others. People hurt others simply by existing.” The lesson he should have taken from his earlier “victories” this season. Not “people hurt others, that’s because people are terrible” – “people hurt others, and that’s okay. Even people who care about each other hurt each other. Sometimes we hurt each other because we care about each other, because we can’t help caring about each other.”

“Getting involved will hurt them, but trying not to get involved will hurt them, too.”

“Caring about someone means being resolved to the fact that you’ll hurt them.”

“I’ll be honest – it doesn’t have to be you. Someone will reach your friends eventually.”

“To you kids, right now feels like everything. But that’s not true at all. At some point, everything will balance out.” Damnit Sensei, you’re stealing all my lines!

“I just think it’d be nice if it was you.”

“Right now isn’t everything, but there are things you can only do now, and things you can only have here.”

The music this episode is really good. Light guitar, and now light chimes

Reflecting honestly on his actions. Why he worked with Iroha, how that was a mistake, what his real motives were

“Growing up is in many ways entirely unlike ripping off a band-aid”

And for once, Hikki sits down right across from them at the table

Also, we see that when Hikki isn’t there, Yukino is comfortable sitting directly next to Yui, as opposed to on the opposite end of the table

“I want to make a request”

He admits he wants their help. He admits he pushed Iroha in an unfair way. He even admits that his old actions didn’t actually help Rumi, they just solved one immediate problem

“My own actions are the underlying issue. But even so, I want to help”

“If you caused these problems yourself, then I think you should solve them yourself.” Yukino’s really mad

Hikki backs off. They’re both still easily willing to fall into pride

Yui wants to compromise, share the blame, and help her friends

“There are things you can’t learn even if you’re told, huh? Even if you’d told me, I wouldn’t have accepted that – I would have thought there was something behind it, even if it was my own selfish idea.”

“After things happen, there’s no guarantee everyone will understand if they talk about it.” People are just different

“I want to understand. I’m terrified of not understanding, and I’m disgusted at myself for that conceited wish. But if there were some way we could force that ugly self-consciousness on each other, and accept it…”

“I want the real thing!” HIKKIIIII

His expressions here are so good

“I don’t understand. I’m sorry.” Yukino runs away. She’s not ready for this kind of honesty

Yui pleads with him to act. More incredibly expressive animation

Iroha tells him she’s on the roof!

And of course Yukino goes to the roof. Because as much as she critiques these ideas, she lives in them too, and she wants to be found

“I didn’t understand either. But I think if we talk, we’ll understand more. But even then, we won’t understand, will we?” But she’s happy

“So we won’t ever understand. But we’ll understand that… or something.”

28 thoughts on “Oregairu S2 – Episode 8

  1. I liked the episode, but i dunno, I felt that last strech was way too much. The corny monologue, the flashbacks, the sappy song. The show was more subtle than this, and I understand that throwing that subtlety out the window was on purpose, but I would have liked a bit more restraint, this kind of stuff doesnt remotely happen in real life( i know thats the point, but this episode in particular shattered my suspension of disbelief). But other than that I enjoyed what it had to say, and the animation was good, I just wasnt expecting the usual sentimental expository flourished catharsis that is abundant in other high school anime shows

    • I’ve actually had this sort of thing happen in real life, at multiple times with multiples parties, so I wouldn’t be so sure! Particularly since these are high schoolers we’re talking about.

        • There is a reason why we don’t all have the same tastes after all, we do not have the same past, the same experience. Though one can make a close to objective judgement on the animation, the visuals, the characterization, the settings, etc., it will depend on your personal stories whether or not you will be able to relate to one’s story.

          (Unnecessary, but I did have my share of similar situations, one which was not resolved and ended up in the “what if Hachiman were to be not honest with himself there” kind of situation. Or “what if Yui did not give the little push Hachiman needed” kind of situation.)

      • Not sure what the best translation is, but other sub sites said “I want something genuine.”

        • I think “the real thing” is technically the most “accurate” translation, but the word “genuine” holds more weight in English and just sounds less cringy imo. It’s the same for a lot of other scenes, CR’s subs often just go for the most literal translation instead of what works best in English. It’s basically the difference between translation and localisation.

          • Yeah — I think I would have gone with ‘something genuine’ in the spirit of respecting linguistic idiosyncrasies. In context, ‘the real thing’ is really hard to naturally parse, and as a result kicks you out of the immersive sense that this is something someone might actually say in English.

          • even though its still cringy, its less cringy than “i want the real thing”

    • “Real thing” isn’t so bad, I knew one of the subs would use a different word that would still be synonymous with genuine. Sensei wishing for “Hikigaya and Yui to get inside Yukinoshita” instead of her wanting them to “break through Yukinoshita’s shell,” that’s the real moronic translation.

      • Lol, yeah, that’s pretty bad. I haven’t watched it on Crunchy, so didn’t catch that line.

  2. I think the whole episode swamped me in too many vague connections to the whole series for me to connect to the delivery of emotion. I knew the climactic second scene was coming out of somewhere deep, but I couldn’t get that deep myself.

    Your ANN touches on a lot of things I’ve missed, but the show is getting weaker for me because it’s handling massive emotional scenes while referencing the entirety of a show that I only watch for twenty minutes a week. I’d be able to follow it if it was a daily thing or if I rewatched certain episodes, but I can’t do the first and don’t want to do the second. I get how mimetic the dramatic second-half of the episode was – heck, the whole episode felt like it could happen to me tomorrow if I was in that sort of situation – but the indirectness of the characters that factors into said mimesis is pushing me away from the kind of empathy that I’m so familiar with.

    How am I meant to reconnect myself with this show? I miss the layers of clarity and intrigue that I always found in the first season. I love SNAFU, mainly because it’s such an enjoyable watch for a critical viewer like myself, but this episode seems to have gotten the better of me.

    • It might be easier to relate if you binge watch season 1 with the entirety of season 2 when released (or at least, watch both of them in a couple of days). A lot of things are missed by most viewers because the build up was long (8th episode), and add to that the fact that they also refer to their development from the first season and a lot of people gets confused.

  3. Personally I thought S1 was mediocre but it’s amazing how much better S2 is, not only animation-wise but writing-wise as well. Even the character designs have grown on me.

    • No way. S2 completely forgot what cynism is. I find both seasons to be great (about the same), each focusing on something else, but S2 isnt gem as the rare as S1 was.

      Sure, it is interesting to see Hikky tackle various problems, open up and grow. Sure the drama is actually good (no i dont find the melodrama is overdone). But better than S1? On paper yes. Realistically though… In S2 Hikky is just another character. Before he was so much more, he was a lone warrior, a comrade for those who believe in themselves and are not afraid to stick out. Was his worldview warped? Sure, but it was also true and worth it. Despite all the misfortune it has brought him down, he was still someone who was true to himself. Staying firm and always right.

      He is now becoming the image he despised. Maybe he grew, maybe he evolved, yes maybe it was a necessity, i mean who can survive like that, but – he lost. He is lost, he is part of it all now, he does what everyone else does, he is another idiot running around doing pointless things for pointless reasons causing pointless trouble.

      My point: S2 shows different version of Hikky, one that i believe is not really compatible with S1. S2 is the romcom everyone wanted, it needs some Anno touch. I had the same feeling when reading the novels. There is quality in S1 that isnt there now. Social commentary is largely over and the stuff now – it cant compare easily.

      Moreover, everytime i watch/read and see him help Iroha, i lose another nerve cell. Where oh where did the ‘i hate nice girls’ thing go? It sure did conveniently disappear. They have good chemistry? Uwaaaaaa… For starters Iroha has zero character. All we have is that she is sly and cute. Because show says so. All of a sudden he is doing whatever she wants him to be doing, and anyone else (mostly girls). Right. The reasoning behind his actions is weak and inconsistent. His reasons to save the Iroha election (Komachi gave him a reason) was ridiculous and one for helping Iroha now is as well. Chasing after her all the time makes no sense whatsoever, except for – yeah we need 3rd girl, but wait – why? No idea.

      Everyone’s character is being messed up – Yukinoshita is turning into damsel in distress, Hikkigaya into Emyia Shirou saving everyone because apparently it builds bigger harems, Yuigahama is ignored, because Hikkigaya can see through everything, except for her affection (turning her down would enrage the fanbase it appears), Hayama is there just so we can glorify Hikki even higher (notice how he constantly affirms Hikky as being the one truly nice guy – come on is this even a challenge!?) and repeats ‘im not such a nice guy’ over and over to make this really deep… Adding flashbacks wont help his character, he may not have been nice guy before, but he sure is now. Unless im missing something. I feel the Hkki-Hayama comparison is being milked too much.

      Basically, things are now the opposite of how they were. Before, when Hikki saved someone, he was punished. His desires to be accepted only caused him further alienation. Now any involvement with society results in gratification. It has become about rising in the social ladder. The ‘deep’ stuff is just a sugar now. Its a game, how he is secretly the best guy, and this a harem to satisfy everyone. Hikkigaya on the bottom of society? Dont make me laugh, he would get infinitely more girlfriends than Tobe. Out of the cast, more than Hayama even.

      Dont get me wrong, i love S2, i love S1 and i love the novel (and im not taking the word love lightly here). S2 didnt really lost the touch, but it did outgrow the initial idea somehow, im not sure i wanted for that to happen. And Iroha’s parts are – i dont care… So i think ill still prefer S1 over S2, it resonates some more with me than a romcom drama.

      To end on a positive note:
      – ep8 fully delivered, bravo
      – say what you want, Haruno and Miura best girls

      • S1 Hikki was a false idea, a defensive complex he created to justify incredibly naive and nearsighted beliefs, beliefs he constructed because he was young and lonely.

        The season two characters are the season one characters growing up. They’re not becoming entirely different people – they’re becoming the same people plus some actual life experience. I’m guessing you personally relate to season one Hikki a lot, but season one Hikki is not a sustainable thing. Season one Hikki was wrong – wrong for reasons that are emotionally understandable, but wrong all the same. Season one Hikki is a painful phase, and this show is too smart and too invested in its characters to pretend a phase like that can last.

        • I agree with you Mr Duh. But I would also like to add that he constructed these beliefs because people were being legitimately nasty to him. And still are (minus his small circle of friends), and probably will for the foreseeable future. Those defense mechanisms he built were a necessity. He needed to think that he was better or else he would believe he was worse. Hikki lucked into a great situation (with yuki and yui) but he’s too genre savvy to think its more than it is. He’s helping all these girls because of the conceit of the show. But why didn’t he help Tobe with his request? Why was Tobes crush so grateful to him for thwarting his confession? Now why should he inflict something like that on his own friends? Because lets be honest hikki is kinda lame dude. Why would he believe yui likes him

        • Bobduh, i understand all that. I said it myself: “Maybe he grew, maybe he evolved, yes maybe it was a necessity, i mean who can survive like that”. I didnt go any further because i felt we all get that at this point. But i also think that the ‘defensive complex’ wasnt a lie, that needs to be forgotten. Whatever.

          Some of my thoughts are something that i came to be aware of after reading the latest volumes – something that maybe will not even make it to S2.

          Anyway, i strongly believe characters are being warped in order to create situations and stories, that are not natural anymore. As i mentioned:
          – Yukinoshita I understand she came to understand she was acting out of conceitedness and sort of ‘resigned’, but at the same time it is undeniable how this is all set up for Hikki to ‘save her’. Textbook.
          – Orimoto. She acknowledged Hikki (Hayato’s ‘date’ was a good push) after she saw first hand in the meetings how Hikki is – so it was Hikki who ultimately was able to create better image for himself (Orimoto’s ‘growth’ is just a tool to show this…). When the two talked, she actually starts asking him about girlfriends and whatnot. I realize you tan take it as trying to confirm his social standing, but thats just it. Just by her asking that (even if it wasnt implying her interest in him, which it does to some extent) we get the sense that he is now socially accepted and has a ‘value’. In her face! Doesnt that feel good? Hikki is now ‘better’ than her (Hayama said so)? He won. She lost. The show is actively showing us Hikki’s growth not in terms of his changing personality, but in rise of his social level among his peers. The show should destroy such superficial things, not affirm them! This is just for viewer’s self satisfaction!
          – Hikki just bends over backwards for everyone, and for Iroha. Why? Because she sets off his Komachi thing. Right… And Yuigahama does not do that, because **** Yuigahama. Its totally not so we have bigger girl pool to choose from. Tell me you dont believe that….
          – Iroha She obviously is falling for Hikki, misinterpreting her fondness for Hayama, here. What exactly is the point here? Oh yeah, Hayato age is over, Hikki takes over.
          – Tobe Hikki is repeatedly making fun of Tobe and saying how useless he is. He is doing to Tobe exactly the same thing the gang was doing to Hikki. With the difference, Tobe is played for laughs, because Tobe is just that guy… shitting on Tobe and Zaimokuza doesnt count.

          I could go on. Hiratsuka blushing that hard, is a big red sign.

          Im not trying to invalidate what S2 is doing, more like saying that S2 invalidates some of what S1 did. It is not only adding to the characters, but taking away too. I agree that the messages and points are genuine, but i also think they are sometimes undermined by sketchy reasoning and by the inner dialogues taking a back seat in favor of other things.

          Well, in LN it all flowed much better, but most of the things i said apply there as well.

          • Here is a pitfall I find in most of the comparisons between S1 and S2.

            In S1, Hikki’s was introduced as a typical somewhat smart, defensive and socially maladapted teenager. The kind a lot of people relate with, sure, and I suppose that gives you a sense of realism, because the character ‘Hikigaya Hachiman’ was extremely generalized and encompassing to the point that he could, at any point, embody some traits of any reclusive teenager.
            The best example of this is the ‘nice girls’ monologue, it’s not that people always find themselves in his cynicism, but his self aggrandizing rationalisations are — without doubt — an affirmation of the weakness in many. His rationalizations applied to an eclectic fanbase, but as we move into season two, Hikki, Yukino and Yui, each of them are breaking out of their archetypes and establishing their own traits instead of continuing as the easily relatable every man (or woman, don’t want to be sexist now, do we?). In a way, S2 is shows the plot’s transition to a deeply intimate and personal zone, and I can guess how that would seem a slander of the values it conveyed in season one. But perhaps a different perspective can help..
            Why did Hikki jump in to save Yui’s dog first season? His selfless attribute was something present from the beginning, but it is only pondered and confronted at length now..this is not a fallback from what was established in the season one, it is an enunciation of everything season one implied and showed at length and depth.


            “‘Hikigaya Hachiman’ was extremely generalized… …could embody some traits of any reclusive teenager”
            Yes. H was more representative of attitudes towards society than an individual personality.
            True, its easy to find comfort in his character. It is virtually impossible to completely separate oneself from that. Thats the very nature of entertainment.

            ” S2 is shows the plot’s transition to a deeply intimate and personal zone”
            Yes, but that isnt what i meant by ‘ignoring S1’. Im saying the show is needlessly affirming MC for the sake of wish-fulfillment.

            “His selfless attribute was something present from the beginning”
            He was considerate all along, but he was never selfless.

            Addressed in S2E5 (or 4?) – the fallen bicycle scene:
            “I have my convictions, screw you, i wont let you call that self sacrifice.” H was never helping anyone, he was doing it all for himself.

            Also, saving an animal about to die and helping (potential girlfriends) with menial tasks are different things.

          • “Thats the very nature of entertainment.”Wrong.
            There is no intrinsic nature to entertainment, sometimes it can be relating or identifying with a character, but it can also be understanding how the mind works, knowing intimately and thoroughly how this person makes decisions, without necessarily identifying with those decisions at all. Imaginative empathy is a very important skill to avoid conflicts, and to enjoy Oregairu, as it seems.

            Wish fulfilment doesn’t have to be a bad thing, although here, Hikki and his views are trampled upon and his methods rendered moot..
            The only thing that happens with Hayama is that he is reassured of his self worth, same with Komachi too..but his views and methods remain under fire. In fact, the acceptance of his own self worth means the abandonment of his ideology and warped views.
            As for his getting a harem, that’s part of the package, though if its any consolation, girls who fall for him have clear, understandable reasons for doing so. If Oregairu was all about Hachiman being miserable and Hachiman continuing to be miserable, most would be turned. Who’d want to watch someone (the someone the viewer is supposed to self insert with) continuing to wallow in their own misery? Not me, but a masochist, certainly.
            “H was never helping anyone, he was doing it all for himself.

            Also, saving an animal about to die and helping (potential girlfriends) with menial tasks are different things.”
            Exactly. Saving an animal by putting his own life on line without ANY incentive is different from helping a girl with menial task. In a big way. But how that cannot be selflessness is beyond me..
            You could play on the words and call it considerate, say he was doing to for feeling good about himself, but does that invalidate the acts themselves? To the person who receives kindness, it is all the same, regardless of the motivations.
            In Iroha’s case, he pushed her to be president. In a way, he is responsible for her misery because he pushed a position and responsibility he did not want onto her. So even if he wasn’t selfless, being the considerate person he is, he opts to help her for the same reason he helped Yukino at the end of S1 (both with slogan and Sagami), the same reason he helped Saki, saved Yui’s dog or helped her bake cookies..

          • Yes, there is variety of things that entertain people. The nature of entertainment i spoke of was the impossibility of viewing one’s own entertainment objectively.

            “As for his getting a harem, that’s part of the package”

            “girls who fall for him have clear, understandable reasons for doing so”
            Irrefutably, many female characters’s ideal/only viable boyfriend is Hikkigaya. I think it is obvious what that means.

            “…being the considerate person he is, he opts to help her (Iroha)… ”
            So Iroha being the only girl setting off his Komachi sense is not a plot convenience?

            People save animals because they find it to be their moral obligation (and it is natural). Selfless person would do it even if he was sure to only lose from it.

            “To the person who receives kindness, it is all the same, regardless of the motivations.”
            Ignorance. If you complimented me and later said you only did that to maniacally laugh at me in your mind, it sure would put a sick twist on the kindness i received.

            PS: i feel sorry for hijacking this blog…

  4. I can see how this episode could polarize opinion. It is entirely dependent on deducing what the characters are expressing in oblique and abstract terms. As in characters generally know what is being talked about, but the audience must often infer it. The audience is given pointed hints as to their emotional state as well as the general undercurrent. But it is never spelled out. Is is not explicit. And as it progresses the dialogue mirrors the uncertainty of what these kids essentially don’t know themselves. That their desire for something unknown, something truer, is overpowering the fear of leaving behind the familiar. The turning point is played in a flurry of borderline incoherent conversation, but is fluent in its ability to transmit the emotions that underlie the movement. To me this ambiguity is very much part of everyday speech, and natural in a moment of passionate expression. The brilliant thing though is how these disparate conversations come together; a mortice that links hachimans evolving views on friendship and life, and the emotional confrontation that this shift in view forces. The calculated catalysis provided by hiratsuka sensei contrasts with, but also segues to that moment of collapse. It is apropos to the tearing away of veils cast by repeated avoidance and rationalization.

    Also this episode shows just how willing oregairu is to tread into the risky territory that is usually the domain of the maudlin. It flows on from the authors willingness to trust the audience and the characters.The risk being the appearance of indulgence for an expansion in dramatic range. Not just discrete reveals but a full bodied catharsis is targeted and even though it mirrors the range of a high school experience, it is beyond what the show had made us expect of it. I think Feel pulled it off though. The trick is to ground it in a consistent narrative and use it sparingly. It took two seasons to get here. This is no emotional rolercoaster dependent on repeated swings to lure the viewer. Sentiment in Oregairu is very much an organic product of the backstory; it emerges without it appearing forced. That is skilled writing.

    Anime is a fantasy, but as far as real life correlates go oregairu maintains a patina of believability and what is more an internal consistency that elevates it above everyday rom coms. And it trusts its audience to keep up. That alone distinguishes it from the usual anime that are celebrated for merely being different. Oregairu is different with a purpose. It is original.

    • I agree with the compliments, but:
      “The turning point is played in a flurry of borderline incoherent conversation, but is fluent in its ability to transmit the emotions that underlie the movement.”

      Is it really? Maybe its only minority being too vocal about the ambiguity? I think it causes certain disconnect of the audience with the emotions they are supposed to feel – particularly in regards to Yukinoshita. Her lines in the most important moments amount to one liners that dont say anything! And we are supposed to infer her entire way of thinking from that.

      The messy reactions on Yukinoshita started immediately after ep3. Its a long running problem. At this point they had 5 episodes to fix that. I do understand her behavior – on an intuitive level that is. Her reaction on Ebina confession stillescapes me. She went 180d in an instant! And that underpins the core of the whole conflict! I’ll have to reread that part…

      For instance, they were all trying to make the confession work so the group can stay as is, yet once Hikki pulls it off, he gets the flak. A what? I dont think it is important as the conflict makes a lot of sense if we consider the personalities, but the execution isnt flawless.

      I think it is impossible to build a satisfactory theory on Yukino’s attitude towards Hachiman from anime only. We can see how she feels, but people who dont ‘get’ her personality, cant empathize because they miss the explanation for her behavior.

      • Hmm i can see your point about Yukinoshita’s ambiguity. As a reader of the LN I wonder if that informs how i am viewing her in the anime. The upcoming arc should illustrate more of her thinking, so maybe that foreknowledge leaves me comfortable that the anime won’t be leaving us in the dark. Having said that the show does consistently use a physical and situational subtext to hint at Yukinons feelings. In fact i think that might be one of Feels greater accomplishments this season; to add that extra layer of implication using tools not traditionally used in anime. Whether that is enough to convey Yukinoshitas condition might be a matter of preference.

        I will say though that even in the light novel Yukinoshita is still the most enigmatic character. She is not complete and it leaves a lot of room for speculation and evolution. Her backstory, her motivations, her relationship with her family, Hayama, Haruno, etc while established, have not been delineated. She is still waiting for her moment in the spotlight. And the way Wataru has set it up it seems that that explication will coincide with the Oregairus climax. I do not want to defend any unnecessary ambiguity in the anime, but the fact that Yukinoshita is more unclear compared to other characters might just be a necessary evil at this point. Especially considering where the anime seems to be headed and considering how much the characters have changed, and will likely continue to change. Guess how the next arc plays out should go some distance towards confronting that criticism.

        • “The upcoming arc should illustrate more of her thinking”
          Yeah, looking forward to that. Wonder what effect it will have on anime-onlies. I feel lots of people is only taking the romantic subplot out of the whole thing.

          “Having said that the show does consistently use a physical and situational subtext to hint at Yukinons feelings.”
          Definitely. Just looking at her facial expressions… Her confrontational behavior in S1 made lots of her attitudes clear, now her expressions do that instead.
          I think her ‘thinking’ doesnt need to be reiterated in S2 and i find most of her reactions just a treat. She acts like one would expect of a meticulously principled person. I dont think we should be asking why she is acting the way she is at this point, more like how else could she act to achieve better results. That is – assuming the show is doing a good job. I think it is, but some people are obviously confused (and im too, regarding some things – but i pin them on ‘overdoing’ character’s responses to give a more tangible build up towards the climax.

          “Yukinoshita is still the most enigmatic character”
          In a way. However there are other characters that remain open to interpretation. If i were to nitpick (which i love doing), id say that our understanding of Yukino should not change drastically anymore, unlike Haruno for example. The mystery is in what set her off in the past, not in her behavior itself.

          But yes, Yukino is the one character whose threads will most likely all converge at the show’s climax, in some form, possibly through Haruno.

          “the fact that Yukinoshita is more unclear compared to other characters might just be a necessary evil at this point.”
          Good point. I agree. This work does a great job at not revealing too much prematurely and letting us construct characters’ personalities gradually, like a puzzle. I could argue thats what this is all about.

          Ep 8 reveals Hikki’s inner drive – to understand (not be understood, but understand). Im sure it feels confusing and out of place, and there is probably a great deal of autobiography here. But its like the work is done so we can take his position and try to figure out these characters ourselves.

          My point is that the whole LN work is build for us to observe and trying to understand the characters, for the sake of understanding them! While the work started with Hikki’s denfense mechanisms, his overly keen class observations were a big hint something else than that is going on. There were multiple instances of him going out of his way just to gain understanding. Occasions, where Hikki is literally just playing detective and i dont think its a narrative device. Good anime example would be attending Hayama-Orimoto date. Why would Hayama beg him to come? He went to find out (after Haruno made him aware of the question). Or his confession to Ebina. He basically wanted to see what kind of things would they be able to grasp by preserving their superficiality. He didnt give a damn about them in particular, nor about affirming their shallowness, to me it makes much more sense this way.

          So, a random theory:
          What if Hikki is driven by the fear of never understanding people completely? For a calculating mind, not understanding (not being able to) is the worst kind of despair. We could assume he wants to understand others, to understand self. What if he ‘cant’ act, until he understands completely? What if his loner status is not because of being afraid to get hurt, but because of being afraid to act? Sure he texted girls and reached out, but it was before he actually ahd an identity (it was just admiration, a preference, not love). Reaching out now still wouldnt result in a happy end (communicating your thoughts isnt enough to make people understand). If that is the case, what conditions would have to be met, so that reaching out would succeed? He needs to know first. I feel that may be the point of this work.

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