My thoughts on the eighth episode of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku.
The first thing I want to go over from this episode is of course Hachiman’s request(s). Everything else aside for the time being, the animation and music were in point. Hachiman’s expression when tearing up and eventually crying differed from what I think might be the typical face of the sobbing protagonist. There was no dignity in this approach – his face was screwed up and it really did look like he was in pain as he came forward with his sentiments. On top of that the voice acting was just as good as the visual delivery on each characters part.
It feels like we’ve been building up to this point for a long time and frankly I wish the first season of the show was sharper in my mind so that I could better account for Hachiman’s actions in the past outside of this season however I think its safe to say we have reached a turning point with the group. At the time of his breakdown, we are looking at an entirely different person than the one we started out with; this is what makes for such great character development.
Hachiman is so wrapped up in his own head half the time and operates in such a specific way that on the outside he doesn’t appear to differ much however his actual beliefs have changed drastically along with his own ability to present himself in a vulnerable way. He has subtly changed over a long period of time and this scene served to show us how far he has come – no longer someone who actively avoids social situations but someone who would be desperate and invested enough to come forward in such a defenseless way to repair the schism between himself and his would-be friends.
The episode talked a great deal about how words can only convey so much and a lot of rather loose concepts regarding that idea and I don’t entirely feel confidant enough to delve into all of the stuff the episode brings up however I think I can speak to one point. The phrasing of ‘something genuine’ that Hachiman wants to obtain within and by means of the group I think expresses just how out of his comfort zone he is when he comes forward. His own vagueness speaks to how he himself doesn’t quite know what he wants but he knows he wants it. Yukinoshita and Yui as well both state that they don’t entirely understand what he means and we are left with kind of an incomplete goal at this point however they all understand the implication of what he/they want.