This all takes place before season 2. Before getting to season 2, let’s take a look at something else.
If you remember from the beginning of this analysis, I said how there’s a connection between Sensei and Haruno. I’ll address that right now.
>Volume 2, LN exclusive; moments before Hachiman gives Yui the “nice girl” speech after finding out about her involvement with the car accident, Sensei tells him that if he wants to make a new Service Club, it’s alright with her. To Sensei what’s most important is that Hachiman (and Yukino) gets fixed, whether Yui is part of the Service Club or not. It could be that Sensei knew that Hachiman had found out about Yui’s involvement with the car accident, however that raises a bunch of other questions, so let’s just assume that she didn’t know and she said it just because.
“Oh, that reminds me, Hikigaya. About your hypothetical contest…”
“There was too much interference from outside factors.(!) The current framework is unable to cope with that. In lieu of that, I propose we alter one part of the system.”
“I don’t really care either way…” I muttered.
No matter what I did, the rules of this contest were written by Hiratsuka‐sensei. She’d change the rules on a whim regardless of what I said. The conditions for winning and losing were decided according to Hiratsuka‐sensei’s biased judgment in the first place. Resistance was futile.
“In reality, it’s already decided, isn’t it?”
“No…” Hiratsuka‐sensei said as she scratched her head. “There’s still one person who’s hard to handle.”(!)
Hard to handle. When I heard that, Yuigahama was the first one to spring to mind.(!)
She was the one girl who had joined our club after it had started ‐ the club meant only for Yukinoshita and I.(!)
You could call her an irregular existence.(!) An outside factor was fitting too. Without being part of the original plan, she had snuck her way into the heart of the current Service Club.(!)
In that case, perhaps it was a contest among the three of us: me, Yukinoshita ‐ and now Yuigahama.
“If you decide to make a new Service Club, be sure to let me know.(!) Come now, I won’t do anything evil,” Hiratsuka‐sensei said with a grin, but it all sounded like a villain’s stock lines to me…
>Volume 3; Sensei knows that Yui’s friendship means a lot to Yukino, so she instructs Hachiman and Yukino to go and get her back.
>Volume 4; Haruno comes to pick Yukino up in the car that hit Hachiman. Sensei knows that Hachiman is now aware of Yukino’s involvement with the car accident.
>Volume 5; Sensei asks Hachiman if he’s attending the fireworks festival. She tells him that the Yukinoshita family is attending as well. Whether this is Sensei nudging Hachiman to go to the fireworks festival so he can meet up with Yukino is up for debate.
“It sounds like you won’t be attending the fireworks festival then.”(!)
Hiratsuka-sensei’s words cut my train of thought.
“Yeah. You know about it, right? It’s the one being held at the port tower. Aren’t you going?”(!)
“I don’t have any particular plans on going(!), but what about you, sensei?” I asked.
She let out a long sigh. “I suppose you can call it my job over summer vacation. But it’s more accurate to say I’m going to watch people instead of the fireworks…”
I gave her a look requesting an explanation as to what in the world she was talking about.
“I’ve been put in charge of watching over students. That includes during festivals and the sort. But actual jobs like these tend to be left to the young folk. Gosh, there wasn’t much I can do about that, hahaha. After all, see, I’m young.”
“Why do you look so happy…?”
Hiratsuka-sensei was in a good mood and continued as if she didn’t hear my mumble.
“If any of our students happen to get out of hand, that would be a problem. Since the festival is a municipal event, there’ll be quite a few VIPs present as well.”
“That’s right, families like the Yukinoshita should be attending.”(!)
Indeed, the Yukinoshitas were essentially local celebrities and were a family of a high pedigree. They had a seat in the prefectural assembly as well as owned a local business. So it’s possible they had provided assistance with the event. In that case, it wouldn’t be out of the question if they were invited.(!)
>Volume 6; Hachiman and Yukino have their first falling out. Hachiman doesn’t allow Yukino to explain the situation.
>Sensei knows that Hachiman found out about Yukino’s involvement with the car accident and that there’s now a rift between them. Sensei forces Hachiman to be on the planning committee as well, hoping that this will serve as a catalyst for them to make up.
At some point before I made it back to class, I had been forced into the planning committee for the Cultural Festival.(!) On the blackboard was written “Hikigaya”. And it was under planning committee no less. Gwaaah! Dis’ some kinda conspiracy!? I mean, granted, I did say to toss me whatever position that was available. Regardless of what I’d be tasked to do, nothing would change, so I was ready to accept any kind of work no matter how mind-numbing it’d be. But, but, even so, didn’t any of these guys feel any kind of guilt from pushing a job onto someone because they didn’t want to do it? Wasn’t it common sense at times like these to assign loners harmless jobs? As a matter of fact, that was always the case up until now. The “we made you the committee chairman because you were resting (lol)” method was conceived primarily because the leaders of the class could get a kick out of it by forcing each other to do something hilarious, so if you imposed that onto an individual belonging to another cultural atmosphere…! Then that was pretty much a war…! No count…! No count…! I stood in front of the blackboard in dumb amazement until my shoulders were tapped.
“Do you need an explanation?” It was obvious who it was without turning around.
Sh-She’s here~ the female teacher near thirty who can’t get married, Hiratsuka Shizuka~
I wordlessly looked at her for an explanation. Hiratsuka-sensei briefly sighed and glanced at the clock.
“It’s almost time for the next class, yet everyone was still dawdling around. That’s why I chose you Hikigaya.”
Hold it right there, Japanese teacher. You can’t be using “that’s why”.(!) There’s no logical connection here. “Sensei, what are you trying to pull…?”(!)
“What are you talking about?”(!)
“Don’t give me that… Just what do you take loners for, sensei!? Forcing loners into things like class events only brings about tragedies, you know!”
These types of events were meant primarily for people who were friendly with each other to enjoy themselves in. If I was there, then they’d have to be considerate of me! Had I been given a worthless position, where my presence had absolutely no influence, then both parties could take it easy and do our own things in peace! While I may not advocate Ghandi’s nonviolent civil disobedience doctrine, I did support the nonintervention unnegotiable doctrine, you know!
“I was going to check with you on the matter, but… I believe you’re the one that said anything was fine though?”
>Hachiman and Yukino aren’t on speaking terms. There’s tension between them. When Yukino tries looking at Hachiman, she quickly averts her gaze on several occasions.
The second person that comes in is Sensei. Sensei smiles at Hachiman for “reasons”.
But when the next person came in, it was a far cry from that. The instant the door opened, the boisterous chatter immediately ceased. Walking through the abruptly set stillness, her footsteps hushed, was a girl, Yukinoshita Yukino. Her usual overbearing attitude was nowhere to be seen. Every single individual’s breathing had stopped, like that of gazing at thawing snow that continued to dissolve. When Yukinoshita noticed me, she stopped for just a brief moment.(!) But she quickly averted her gaze(!), and took a few steps, and even took a few more as if rethinking her decision and sat at the nearest seat to her.(!) It was only a short amount of time for her to arrive at her seat, but time in the conference room had definitely been frozen until then. Although I should’ve been used to seeing her already, my eyes were still taken in by her for just that moment. Was it because this was the first time I had seen her outside of where we’d usually meet?(!) Or was there was something surprising about her participation in this Cultural Festival planning committee?(!) Time was already moving. Though there were hints of restraint, reserved chatter started up again like a sea roar. Just a little longer and the hands of the clock would turn to the commencement of the meeting.
The door of the conference room opened once again, simultaneous to the sounds of footsteps and conversation. It was a group of students with a sense of solidarity holding printouts. Entering after them was Atsugi, the physical education teacher, and Hiratsuka-sensei.
Why is Hiratsuka-sensei…(!) I thought, finding it odd(!), and looked at her. When our eyes met, she smiled at me.(!) That smiling face of hers made her appear younger than her actual age and cute. In other words, there was some ill will underneath it. I really did get suckered, didn’t I…?(!)
>Yukino finds it strange that Hachiman was in the committee as well. Hachiman says he was basically forced (by Sensei).
Yukinoshita slowly lifted her face, looked at the door as if it was bright, and reluctantly opened her mouth.
We exchanged our typical greetings, and went to our seats after answering appropriately.
“So you’re in the planning committee too, huh?”
“Yes…” Yukinoshita replied succinctly without removing her eyes from her book that she was holding.
“It’s kind of surprising to see Yukinon doing something like that.”
“Is that so…? Well, I suppose so…”
She wasn’t the type to stand in front of people. The Yukinoshita that I knew wasn’t someone who didn’t have the assertiveness, but rather, she was someone who didn’t like to stand out.(!)
“If anything, I find it more surprising to see you on the planning committee.”(!)
“Ah, I know, right? It totally doesn’t fit him.”
“Hey… I was forced into it in the middle…(!) Well, if it means not having to participate in that musical, then doing some grunt work isn’t all that bad in comparison. All is well in the end.”
“That reason is very like you.”(!)
“I can’t say the same for you though.”
Embedded in those words were prickling thorns. They weren’t directed at Yukinoshita. They were thorns directed at myself. Again, I became aware of how I was forcing my image on other people, making me feel disgusted.
Yukinoshita completely ignored my words and her gaze didn’t move from her book at all. It was a silence where even time had coagulated.
>Sensei sends Sagami to the Service Club.
After repetitive, polite farewells, everyone gradually dispersed. Yukinoshita was the first to leave. I tried to get on board with the flow and leave the conference room, but it was that moment. At the corner of the conference room was Sagami Minami, sitting in dejection. Was she depressed over her first job as the planning committee chairman didn’t go as well as she had hoped? Next to her were the two other girls she had been with, and for some reason, Hiratsuka-sensei and Meguri-senpai were present as well.(!) It looked like they were planning to discuss what’s going to happen from here on.(!) The moment I had passed them, my eyes instantly met with Hiratsuka-sensei’s.(!) She sent me a sparkle ☆ wink and waved her hand at me, indicating nothing but “bye-byeeee”.(!)
…Let’s go home quick.
“Ah… I’m sorry, for suddenly showing up here,” said Sagami, adjusting her etiquette while slightly fidgeting. “I’m, actually here for a consultation…” Without directly meeting Yukinoshita’s gaze, Sagami exchanged glances with her friends to the side and continued further. “Like, I’m kinda the committee chairman now, but I’m not super confident about it, you see… So, I’d like your help.”
I wonder if this was what she was talking to Hiratsuka-sensei about after the meeting yesterday.(!) So that’s why, again, she referred someone who looked like he or she would have problems to this Service Club.(!)
>Haruno is invited to the festival by Meguri. She realizes that Sensei had a hand in getting Hachiman in the committee. Haruno starts chuckling when she realizes how Haruno’s actions (revealing the car) have made the atmosphere in the club uncomfortable.
Haruno-san walked in my direction and deliberately took a seat next to me.
“Are you making sure to work, young man?”
“…Yes, for the most part.”
“I’m a teeny bit surprised. Hikigaya-kun, your big sis totally thought you weren’t the type of boy to do these kinds of things.”(!)
“Haa, that’s what I thought too.”
“Uh huuh… Instigated by Shizuka-chan perhaps?”(!) Haruno-san nodded, grasping the situation.(!) Though, there was another individual that we should’ve directed that surprise for being present in this committee.
“If there’s anything unexpected, then wouldn’t that apply to your little sister?”
“Really? I thought she would do it.” I tilted my head not grasping the meaning of her words. Looking into my face, Haruno-san added, “I mean, I bet it was too hard for her to stay in the club(!), and not to mention, I, her older sister, was the chairwoman back then. Those are enough as reasons for her to do it.”(!)
Her tone was tinged with ridicule and I reflected on the meaning of her words little by little. I was certainly hesitant to call that current mood in the club to be anything but good. Beyond that, to Yukinoshita, just what kind of existence was Haruno-san to her, I felt I could understand that just a little.
“Though, it didn’t look like the former turned out so well, huh?”(!) Haruno-san added, chuckling as if she was looking at something charming.
>Haruno proceeds to sit next to Sensei.
>After Hachiman’s way of dealing with Sagami, both Sensei and Haruno come over to Hachiman and they’re both aware of what he did. Haruno says that Hachiman’s heroic actions may be wasted on Yukino. She then turns to Sensei to confirm, as in: Haruno knows what Sensei is and has been doing.
So, just a brief summary of everyone’s intentions:
>Yukino wants to help Hachiman. During the first 3-5 episodes she wants to help him because she feels concerned/sorry/responsible/guilty for the car accident. She believes that him ending up a loner in high school is somewhat her fault and she wants to fix this. However, she eventually starts warming up to him and actually starts to like being around him.
>Haruno wants to help Yukino. She wants Yukino to lead her own life and decide for herself what she wants and to actively pursue the things she wants. She thinks Hachiman can play a big part in that. She ships HachiYuki.
>Sensei wants to help both Hachiman and Yukino. Both of them probably remind her of herself when she was younger. She understands that both of them have had a rough childhood, but she believes that they are good people. She wants to help them grow into becoming better, more sociable human beings. She believes that by forcing them in the same room and having them spend time with one another for a long period of time that they will eventually achieve that. While Sensei ending up alone without a life partner often times gets played as a joke in the series, it’s essentially the thing Sensei wants to prevent happening to both Hachiman and Yukino. She also ships HachiYuki.
>Do you have a girlfriend?
>Haruno wants them to be a couple, Sensei tells her to knock it off.
>Letting Yukino have you might be a waste, right Shizuka-chan?
>Sensei playing matchmaker, lending Yukino her coat.
>Hikigaya-kun, have you made any progress?
>I want to know everything about Hikigaya-kun’s love life. I wonder what Yukino’s reaction would be if she hears about this.
>Sensei wants Hachiman to be the one.
>Sensei playing matchmaker.
>I can’t keep watch over you guys forever.
Which brings me to the final point I would like to make and be warned, this is speculation on my part, so don’t read too much into it.
In-universe, the first person Hachiman ever mentioned the word “genuine” to, was Haruno during their phone call (S2E4). (Takes place in Volume 8)
Now I don’t want to call Sensei an uneducated dummy that doesn’t know what the word genuine means or that she can’t come up with the word on her own, but it is quite peculiar that not only is she the first person to bring that word up to Hachiman, she specifically chose to say that word to him. (You can see that it stirs up a reaction in Hachiman as well.) (Takes place in Volume 9)
The question becomes: how does Sensei know about “genuine”? Was it just a coincidence that she used that word? Or did someone tell her that this was something that Hachiman wanted? If so, then who could it be? Certainly not Yukino, Yui or Iroha, because during this conversation Sensei was trying to convince Hachiman to go tell Yukino and Yui how much they mean to him.
(Taken from the drama CD: We will… We will rock “you”!!)
>The gang decides to go celebrate their hard work during the Cultural Festival. Since this takes place after Hachiman’s confrontation with Sagami on the roof, Yukino suggests they go to a place where there aren’t a lot of students from their school. Sensei takes into account all of the food the gang wants to eat and decides to call a certain someone that is familiar with popular places where people hang out. She calls Haruno. The point is: Sensei and Haruno have each other’s phone numbers and can call each other if the need arises.
Haruno is the first person to hear Hachiman use the word “genuine”. Sensei is the first person to say the word “genuine” to Hachiman.
Essentially, Sensei and Haruno’s interactions can be summed up in this one imgur link.
Look at Hachiman’s face in the last picture: “Eh? How does she know about genuine?”
Then of course there’s the conversation Haruno and Sensei have during Volume 11. You’ve either already read that during Part 4 or you’ll read it here once we get to it.
Once again, this last part about the possibility of Haruno telling Sensei that Hachiman wants something genuine is simply speculation, however I did want to bring up the possibility.
Anyway, the point is: both Haruno and Sensei ship Hachiman and Yukino. Both believe that Hachiman and Yukino ending up together would be incredibly beneficial for the both of them. However there’s a difference in the way the two of them approach that.
Sensei is simply guiding Hachiman and Yukino in the right direction, hoping that one day they will be able to cross the line with one another. Volume 9, Chapter 5: That future is what Hiratsuka Shizuka wishes for.
Haruno on the other hand knows that Yukino has been abandoned/rejected by all of her friends. She also wants the HachiYuki relationship to succeed, however she wants to test the limits of just how meaningful their relationship is. Haruno’s memorandum from Volume 10 reveals that she doesn’t believe in “genuine” things or love. By constantly stretching, tearing and testing Hachiman and Yukino’s relationship, she hopes that the two of them can overcome all obstacles and prove to her that something “genuine” does exist.
Moving on to season 2.
>Haruno makes her next appearance in Volume 8.
>Komachi is still angry at Hachiman for the way he reacted to her. Unable to face her, Hachiman decides to go kill some time (LN exclusive). He enters a donut shop and encounters Haruno.
>Hachiman and Haruno talk to each other for a while. Hachiman notices how Haruno is much different than when she’s around Yukino. Basically Haruno acts much differently around Yukino and overdramatizes Yukino’s problems to get a reaction out of her.
But my impression of her was completely different from back then.(!) This may have been because she was acting more docile than she was before.(!) No, maybe I should say acting more like an adult. Apparently, as long as Yukinoshita wasn’t around(!), Haruno wouldn’t act so cheeky.(!) Instead, she was really calm. Then again, how much does she love her little sister anyway? I mean, I love my little sister just as much too, you know? Well, I guess she probably hated my guts now from this morning though…
>One of the topics brought up is if Haruno has any “real” friends because of the situation she is in, which makes Hachiman consider if that’s the reason why Haruno goes out of her way to involve herself in Yukino’s life, since Yukino is in the same position.
“Do you not have very many friends?”(!)
“That’s right and the only person who really ever gives me the time is just Hikigaya you see…”(!)
She purposely pretended to break into tears. Whoaaa, she’s so bothersome. Still, it was kind of hard to pass it off as just a joke.(!) Haruno was the type who’d be fine even if she was alone.(!) Besides, considering that she was Yukinoshita’s older sister, for her to be isolated would be expected. She was idolized and because of her excellent outward appearances which also had a completely black side to it, she garnered respect.(!) With that in mind, there were probably a lot of people who approached her with the objective to get along with her.(!) It was true that I’ve seen her hanging out with friends before though. But I imagined there weren’t very many people she had established an equal relationship with.(!) Maybe that was why she was always so persistent with her little sister who was nearing the same position.(!)
>They start talking about Yukino. Haruno asks Hachiman if he has made any progress with Yukino.
“Is Yukino doing well?”
Haruno reached for her coffee cup. As she rubbed the rim of her cup, she asked a question.
“…Well, nothing too different from the usual, I suppose.”
“I see. That’s good.”
Haruno faced my way and cleared her throat intentionally.
“So… How was it afterwards?”
Not mentioning a subject made it hard to understand what she was saying. As I replied with vague responses saying “what are you saying?”, Haruno sent me a dubious look.
“Didn’t you have a field trip?”
(This takes place after Hayato shows up and Haruno is just about to leave:)
“If there’s any progress, let me know okay~!”
It totally sounded like she was talking to me, but there’s no progress here, you know! I wasn’t invited, after all! Or so I thought as I nodded to her as she left.
>They start talking about the student council election and Haruno finds out that Yukino isn’t going to run. Haruno says it’s “lame” that Yukino isn’t trying to surpass her or trying to obtain a position that Haruno never went for, because Haruno sees this as an opportunity for Yukino to distinguish herself from Haruno in the eyes of their parents. If Yukino had taken the position of student council president, she would gain more administrative and managerial experience (even more so than the experience she gains from helping people in the Service Club), which would give Yukino more credibility (in her mother’s eyes) to succeed her father with their family business.
>Orimoto and her friend show up, Orimoto reveals how Hachiman used to have a crush on her. This piques Haruno’s interest.
“You don’t say, Hikigaya confessed huh~.”
Haruno spoke with a surprised tone. But those amused eyes of her were dyed with a sadistic color. It made me suspect she wanted to know what happened between me and Orimoto after seeing my reaction to her.
>Orimoto’s friend has a crush on Hayato. Haruno sees this as an opportunity to get to know more about Hachiman’s love life, so she invites Hayato. Hayato immediately comes over because this is the type of relationship Haruno and Hayato have. Haruno resents Hayato for not standing up for Yukino back when they were younger and she takes advantage of Hayato’s guilt to order him around. Hayato accepts this as punishment.
Haruno twisted her upper body and took a peek in the direction of the stairs. When she did, Hayama Hayato appeared and finally arrived. It looked like he stopped by right after club activities. He was still in his school uniform with his enamel bag hanging from his shoulders. When Hayama noticed us, he loosened his bolo tie with a tired expression.
“Haruno. This is?”
Hayama looked at Haruno followed by Orimoto and Nakamachi. And then, his gaze shifted over to me to which he stopped.
“There was a girl who wanted to be introduced to you, Hayato.”(!)
Haruno spread both of her hands and lightly pointed at Orimoto and her friend. Not even in their wildest dreams did Orimoto and her friend think the actual Hayama would make an appearance(!) as they giggled to each other excitedly. They huddled together while whispering things to each other.
Hayama let out a very short, short sigh that could easily be overlooked.(!) But he quickly gave a perky smile afterwards.(!)
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Hayama Hayato.”
He showed the usual Hayama Hayato expression as if a switch was flipped on.(!) From there, he introduced himself naturally and began chatting with them. Orimoto and Nakamachi began speaking as well, looking much cuter than they were earlier.
The conversation had become quite pleasant for a moment. Although it hadn’t been fifteen minutes yet, Hayama tactfully avoided going along with the two girls and skillfully managed to create the chance to leave.(!)
“Well, it’s about time for me to go…”(!)
“Okay. See you again Hayama! We’ll mail you okay!”
They waved their hands and Hayama responded by raising his. As they walked to leave, Orimoto and Nakamachi were talking to each other saying “oh my gosh”, “he’s so cool”, “this is so bad”. When they disappeared to the lower floor, their voices couldn’t be heard anymore.
As I looked at them until they disappeared completely, Hayama who had a smile the entire time made a cold expression.(!) He then glared at Haruno.
“…Why would you do this?”(!)
“It looked like it’d be fun.”(!)
Haruno smiled without a hint of shyness. This wasn’t anywhere near the innocence of a harmless prank.(!) What I could see was nothing, but ill will.(!) Hayama made a threatening sigh.(!)
“That again(!)… So, why is he here? It doesn’t look like he has anything to do with it.”(!)
Hayama turned his head towards me as he said that and Haruno responded immediately.
“That’s not true! That girl, ah, the one with the perm I mean. That girl was someone Hikigaya liked a long time ago apparently!(!) Isn’t that really interesting? I wonder what kind of face Yukino would make if she knew about this, hmmm… Right, Hikigaya?”(!)
>I wonder what Yukino’s reaction would be if she heard about this. Haruno sets the four of them up on a date.
>Hayato tells Hachiman how Haruno shows interest in Hachiman. The implication being that Hayato is someone Haruno doesn’t show interest in anymore.
“…Haruno seems to be quite fond of you.”
Unthinkable words caused me to turn my head. When Hayama’s eyes met with mine, he let out a smile. It felt like that smile had seen through something and as I spat out some words, I turned back towards the front.
“Don’t be an idiot. She was just messing around.”
“She looks interested at the very least though.”(!)
Hayama’s voice made it past my back. The tone of the voice quickly changed.
“If she doesn’t have any interest in something, she wouldn’t act so cheeky like that(!)… She wouldn’t do anything.(!) She’ll meddle so much with what she likes to the point of killing it. For the things she hates, she’d go the extra mile to crush them.”(!)
Was that advice or a warning? Hayama’s words were definitely sharper than usual. I was really curious about what his expression was like at this moment, but even so, I didn’t turn around.
“…Oh, how scary.”
That was just my honest opinion and although I was already well aware of the truth, I stayed silent and left.
>Due to Haruno’s meddling, Hayato invites Hachiman out on a date with Orimoto and her friend. Hachiman declines. Haruno calls him later and insists. She lets Hachiman know that Hayato, for some reason, really wants Hachiman to come as well, implying that Hayato is planning something Haruno isn’t aware of.
>Proud Hayato bowing and asking Hachiman for a favor.
>I wonder why Hayato insists on taking you along?
>They go out on a date. Orimoto and her friend treat Hachiman poorly throughout the entire date. Hayato smiles all the way through.
>I don’t like the way you’re acting. Hayato has been keeping quiet throughout the entire date while the girls were mocking Hachiman. Hayato stands up for Hachiman, just as Yukino and Yui are about to show up.
And in that silence were the sounds of footsteps. The sound came from the stairs and it was heading in our direction.
“…Looks like they’re here.”(!)
Hayama muttered and stood up.
>If Hayato has no intention of running for SCP, then what was Hayato’s real reason for calling Yukino and Yui here and for forcing Hachiman to go on a double-date?
>“I just wanted to do whatever I could.”
>“Oh? Is that so?”
As expected, Yukinoshita and Yuigahama planned to nominate Hayama as the candidate. That decision itself wasn’t all that mysterious. You could even say it was correct. But it was odd for Hayama to actually accept it.(!) Regardless of how much of a “can’t refuse someone if they asked for help” personality he had, Hayama was in a club. On top of that, he was the club president. If he was
half-hearted about either one, he’d cause trouble for both. Hayama should’ve been well aware of that.(!) So there was no way he’d be able to accept the offer so easily.(!) As I stood there not understanding what Hayama’s real intent was(!), I looked at Hayama. When I did, Hayama who took on my glare responded in a weak voice.
“I just wanted to do whatever I could.”(!)
>Haruno enters the scene and confronts Yukino about how she doesn’t want to run for StuCo president. She compares Yukino to her mother: “Always forcing work on others… You don’t even have to lift a finger. Others always get their hands dirty for you.” Yukino slaps Haruno’s hand away. Yukino replies with: “So, that’s what this is about.”. (It’s possible that this is about their family business.)
After that she throws a quick glance at Hayato. Yukino leaves. (You could say that in the anime she throws a glance at both Hachiman and Hayato.)
>“The way you go about forcing work on others is just like mom. You don’t even have to lift a finger, others always get their hands dirty for you.”
>“So, that’s what this is about.”
“I was told we were having a meeting regarding the election.”
As she said that, Yukinoshita sent Hayama a sharp glare. The glint in her eyes directed blame at Hayama more so than words could. Hayama couldn’t think of how to answer and looked away.
“Hmmm, I see, I see.”
The woman who had been sitting at the seats for smokers in the corner the entire time stood up. She took off her hat and walked up to us.
When Haruno appeared, for the first time, Yukinoshita was trembling. She probably wasn’t expecting to meet her in a place like this. When Haruno saw this, a malicious smile formed on her face.
“So, Yukino, you’re not going to run for student council president, huh? I was totally under the impression you were going to.”(!)
She took one step after another, closing the distance between her and Yukinoshita before eventually standing in front of her. Yukinoshita bit her lips and softly casted down her eyes. But even if she averted her gaze, she couldn’t keep her ears from listening.
“You’re exactly like mom in the way you push someone to do things for you.”(!)
Those words were words Yukinoshita couldn’t respond to and all she could do was strongly clench her fist. Haruno moved her face closer to Yukinoshita and softly rubbed her nape.
“Well, I guess that suits Yukino-chan just fine, though. After all, it’s fine if you don’t do anything. I mean, someone’s always going to do it for you, right?”(!)
She traced her long, supple fingers smoothly across her pale nape. She continued on as if she was tearing out her arteries and as if she was gradually strangling her neck. When her fingers reached her throat, Yukinoshita brushed off Haruno’s arms. For several seconds, Yukinoshita and Haruno stood off against each other. No one was allowed to come in between them.
“I see, so that’s what this is about…”(!)
Yukinoshita murmured and then shot a glare at Hayama.(!) Hayama made a deep sigh and closed his eyes while Haruno fearlessly smiled. Yukinoshita adjusted her bag on her shoulders and turned around.
“If there’s nothing else, I’ll be leaving…”
She turned half her body to say that and began walking.
“Just why would you say things like that to Yukinoshita?”
When I asked, Haruno’s cruel smile she had the entire time disappeared and she let out a small sigh.
“Do you really have to ask? It’s just the usual.”(!)
“You’re going a little overboard if you’re just trying to meddle with her.”
Up until now, Haruno had always meddled with Yukinoshita in some way. But today, there was clearly a difference.(!) Those supposed words of provocation had a hint of lukewarm aggression.(!) Curious about the reason, I decided to ask, but Haruno tilted her head in a sweet fashion and played dumb.
“You think so?”
Brothers and sisters were, no, it was exactly because they were brothers and sisters that there were things that just wouldn’t work well together. It was especially even more apparent when these two sisters were continuously compared for their excellence.(!) That’s why, it was reasonable to see why Yukinoshita would think a particular way towards her older sister. At the same time, Haruno was also subjected to this comparison. Then from just that alone, it wouldn’t be odd to think Haruno thought the same way towards her younger sister.(!)
>“People who can handle everything flawlessly are boring. I got what I came for. Someone rained on my parade, anyway.”
Hayato outplayed Haruno. Haruno sees there’s nothing to be gained from this “date” anymore, so she makes her exit.
This is where we’ll be entering copy paste territory (as in: things that you’ve already read from Part 4), so if you don’t feel the need to read the same things again, you can stop reading right here. The only things that are “new” are the things taken from ANOTHER. You can just press CTRL+F and search for “Taken from ANOTHER” and read those excerpts. There’s only four of them, so I’d advise you to only read those and see what info they provide and then just move on. If not, you can just continue reading.
>Haruno doesn’t show up in Volume 9, however Hachiman and Yukino do have a conversation where Yukino talks about her relationship with her sister.
>Yukino talks about her past with her sister. Haruno’s “love” for her sister has not always been healthy.
“Um… We’re not going to drop yet, so you’ll be fine even if you don’t hold the bar.”
“Y-Yes. I, guess so…”
Yukinoshita finally let go of the bar. And she then let out an exhausted sigh.
“You’re really not good at this, huh…?”
While I did ask her, I didn’t think she was this bad at it. When I told her, Yukinoshita had a self-deprecating smile.
“Yes. Long ago, there was, something with nee-san…”(!)
“Hm? Aah, your sister, huh?”
That person again…(!) Yukinoshita Haruno. She was Yukinoshita’s older sister who was a perfect, super human demon that surpassed her little sister. Then again, you know, Yukinoshita-san, you didn’t seem so absolutely perfect recently…(!) It looked like Yukinoshita was able to calm down after talking as she looked at the attraction. And there, the frogs would frolic around with spurts of water. I mean, you’re still by far above the rest in excellence though.(!)
Yukinoshita slowly spoke as if she was matching with the slow progression of the ride.
“It was something back when I was younger. Every time we came to places like this, nee-san would always act so meddlesome.”(!)
“I can kind of imagine that…”
Haruno-san was already active since then and even now she would meddle with her little sister.(!) Since this was back when they were kids, it was no doubt that it was on the level close to bullying when she played around with Yukinoshita.(!) When I said that, Yukinoshita chuckled. This was probably the first smile she had shown after getting on this ride.
“Yes. She would shake the Ferris wheel, take my hands off the bar on the coasters, and she would do a lot of other things while going ‘now, now’.(!) There was also the time when she would keep the coffee cup spinning even when I stopped it… Nee-san looked like she was having lots of fun that time too…”(!)
Yukinoshita’s expression would gradually grow dull as she spoke.(!) Just listening made even me feel disheartened too. Wasn’t Haruno-san pretty much the main reason why Yukinoshita was bad at the things she was?(!)
“Nee-san’s always like that…”(!)
Yukinoshita said briefly.
>After the ride, Hachiman and Yukino have a heart-to-heart conversation. Yukino talks about how everyone always used to love Haruno because of her outgoing personality/charm. Yukino always followed in Haruno’s shadow, tried to be like her, but she only succeeded academically. Yukino has never had the social graces Haruno has and this this is the origin of all of Yukino’s problems: she wants to live up to Haruno’s image, because she believes that’s what everyone wants her to be/being like Haruno will make others happy/make others like her, but at the same time she also wants to stay true to herself.
Hayato on the other hand not only successfully became like Haruno, he also accepted or came to terms with what his parents want him to be/society expects from him. The key difference between Yukino, Haruno and Hayato is that Yukino could never fully commit to becoming this:
“Yes. Nee-san was there at the time too.”
If I remember correctly, that should’ve been the first time I met Haruno-san. Speaking of which, that time was when I forcefully pushed the plushy I won from the crane game onto Yukinoshita. We encountered Haruno-san immediately after that.
“I was really surprised because you suddenly pointed out accurate things about nee-san…”(!)
She made an abrupt ironic smile as if she was laughing in reminiscence as she spoke.
“It’s just what I thought after looking at her. Besides, she doesn’t smooth it over even when she’s being obvious about it.”
“I suppose so. But I think that’s also nee-san’s charm.(!) Since back then, nee-san was always loved by a lot of people. Even with that personality… No, it’s because of that personality(!) that she was expected of many things as well as being loved and doted on(!)… And she answered to all of that.”(!)
Yukinoshita spoke with a voice that was somehow enthusiastic and depending on how you listened to her, you could’ve thought that she was proudly boasting of her older sister. But that enthusiasm quickly sizzled away.
“I conducted myself like a doll behind her. Because of that, I was told I was obedient and a good, unproblematic girl, but… But I knew… That they were saying a lot of things like how I was unsociable and how I was lacking in charm underneath it all.”(!)
As I made short agreeable responses to Yukinoshita, I sipped my coffee again. It warmed my body, but it tasted awfully bitter. Obedient, not problematic, and a good girl. Those were probably words that trapped her.(!)
“I was told that too. Unsociable and charmless… Actually, I still get told that even now. By Hiratsuka-sensei.”
“Aren’t you more along the lines of impudent or cheeky or garbage or so?”
“Hey? Wasn’t that last one kind of different?”
When I told her, Yukinoshita cheerfully laughed. Before long, that turned into a gentle smile.
“Both you and nee-san are consistent in your actions(!) and that’s why I think you’re seen like that… But I just didn’t know how I was supposed to act.”(!)
>While Hayato fully accepted/came to terms with the life that was laid down on him and continues to meet everyone’s expectations, Yukino has tried to meet everyone’s expectations (including being socially charming among politicians and other important people during the important family meetings among other things), but for some reason she couldn’t. Something inside Yukino resisted the notion to conform to this superficial life style. So while Yukino wanted to, she couldn’t, because she’s not that type of person.
Yukinoshita quietly looked up at the sky. And up there weren’t stars, but the orange light emitted by the lamps. Numerous of them lined up one after the other and were danced from the blowing wind.
“I think in that sense, Hayama-kun and I were definitely the same.(!) It’s because we’ve always been watching nee-san.”(!)
I was surprised when she suddenly brought up Hayama’s name. But Hayama was someone who had known the Yukinoshita sisters far longer than I have and probably even on a closer level too.
That was a domain that I still had no knowledge of.
It’s just even so, Yukinoshita Yukino and Hayama Hayato. I was aware that Yukinoshita Haruno was always at the place where these two would arrive at.(!)
One who continued to project her admiration and enmity to this day. One who tried to get closer from admiration only to be assimilated to this day. Just how was Yukinoshita Haruno reflected in the eyes of these two?(!) And just how did those two see each other? I started wanting to ask her about it, but even so, I didn’t. I washed away the mouth that was about to say something with the black coffee and jumped into another topic.
“Do… you still want to be like her?”(!)
At some point during the Culture Festival, Yukinoshita mentioned she held admiration of her in the past.
“I wonder. I don’t feel that way right now(!), but… I think it’s because nee-san has something that I don’t.”(!)
“And you want that?”(!)
Yukinoshita quietly shook her head.
“No, it’s just I wondered why I didn’t have what she did. And then, I became disappointed in myself for not having it.”(!)