My thoughts on the thirteenth episode of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku.
Well this episode was a bit of a roller coaster. Going into this week, after last episode’s near lack of progression outside of the end, I didn’t think we would travel nearly so close to an ending as we did. Furthermore, it didn’t feel like a significant jump in pacing either and the progression of things came quite naturally to the show which I thought was interesting. While I didn’t think we would truly wrap up the show in one episode after last week I also didn’t think we would be ending on a cliffhanger of this level – it makes me wonder what the future plans are for the light novels and the show and whether or not the actual ending will get an adaptation. Given the enormous popularity of both of those things I can only imagine that it will however I feel doubtful about a full season given that there are likely only 2 or 3 light novel installments left and so perhaps we will see the closing of the show manifest as an OVA somewhere down the line.
As for the content of the episode, I first want to again acknowledge the fantastic expression work that has been done in these kinds of episodes throughout the course of this season – their implementation has created a great deal of subtext and the need for interpretation has risen considerably in comparison to the first season of the show however it felt like an incredibly emotional and intelligent way of going about these dramatic scenes and I think they really strengthened this season.
There were a bunch of really interesting moments such as Hachiman’s interruption of Yukinoshita’s reply to Yui – Well acquainted with the concept of self-sacrifice, he could see what Yui was trying to do and while the ultimate result would have inadvertently resolved the issues within the group it was also built on such a premise and so he couldn’t accept it as a genuine conclusion. On top of that, perhaps my favorite part of the episode, was Hachiman’s inner monologue concerning how he had built Yui and Yukinoshita up to be the ‘nice girl’ and the ‘strong girl’ in his mind and these depictions were being contrasted right before his eyes – Yui sacrificing herself as Yukinoshita grappled with her feelings. The way they went about showing this contrast visually was excellent and the expressions used (Yui’s pained yet stalwart face opposed to that of Yukinoshita’s wide-eyed confusion and guilt) were amazing.
I couldn’t tell you what the end of this show would look like based on the events so far however I hope that we show watchers do eventually find out without having to resort to the light novels for closure. Here’s looking forward to an announcement in the future.