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Yahari Analysis

Character analysis: Hayama Hayato


Before you start reading this, I know it may seem like I have something against Hayato and that I’m portraying him as if he only cares about making up with Yukino, but that isn’t my intention. He has other things going for himself. With that said, him having “betrayed” Yukino is something that has been weighing on his conscience ever since he was little and making up with her is incredibly important to him. I am specifically going to focus on how important this is for him (while not so much focusing on other parts), since this ties into the overall story: Hachiman and Yukino’s growth as people. However, I don’t think anyone in particular is very fond of Hayato in general, so this analysis should be safe.

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What is Hayato’s purpose in the story?
To serve as an antithesis to Hachiman in some ways. There are also a lot of comparisons and differences that can be made between Hayato, Hachiman and Yukino (and Yui as well actually).

>Hachiman being Hayato’s antithesis is one of the reasons why Yukino likes Hachiman.



Yukinoshita lightly coughed. Then, she turned her face away and added hastily. “…But, it’s exactly because you’re his antithesis that I believe it will serve as a reference. If you take the exact opposite of the view of an antithesis, that can be said to be nearly the correct answer. The opposition of opposition is agreement, right?”


For Hachiman:
The contrast between Hachiman and Hayato is very clear. Hachiman, who thinks very little of himself, has the ability to go the extra mile in order to help someone out at the expense of himself. On the other hand, everyone expects Hayato to be “perfect” at all times. He is everyone’s Hayato Hayama. He can never put himself out there to help someone because he’d be putting his social standing at risk in doing so. Specifically in Yukino’s case. In less than a year, Hachiman has been able to help Yukino grow as a person far more than Hayato has been able to help her in years of being in the same class as her/being her “friend”.

It’s why Hayato feels inferior to Hachiman, however ultimately he still chooses to remain everyone’s Hayato Hayama. Hayato chooses to remain in a world where he keeps up appearances, while never making choices/pursuing the things he wants for himself.

For Yukino:
Ever since they were little, both Yukino and Hayato have looked up to Haruno. In some way, both of them have been chasing Haruno’s shadow.

Both of them have been born in wealthy families where all sorts of expectations have been placed on them of who they should be and how they should act. Both of them looked at Haruno as the person they should aspire to become. The difference between Yukino and Hayato is that while Hayato fully embraced this life and succeeded at becoming like Haruno, Yukino tried to, but she couldn’t. It’s just not in her nature or the type of person she is.





He sure was something to be in the mood for talking. Just when I thought he was going to speak his mind, here he is, having a perfectly fine expression. I couldn’t understand how he could keep those two separate. Or could it be that he possessed the same qualities similar to Haruno?


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 and make others like her, but at the same time she also wants to stay true to herself. 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.”
“…Aah.”
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.”(!)
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.”(!)

(Hayato has been looking up to Haruno as well.)

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.”(!)


Yukino is disappointed in herself because her “inner self” prevents her from becoming as sociable and fake as those two.

It’s this struggle of “do I want to be myself” or “do I want to be what everyone wants me to be” that is the core of Yukino’s problem.
(But this isn’t a Yukino-centric analysis, so I’ll leave it at that.)

Hayato’s entire group serves as a parallel to the members of the Service Club to showcase how one group decides to take the easier route and keep superficial relationships, while the other decides to take the difficult route in the hope of finding meaningful long lasting relationships.

What is Hayato’s goal in the story?
One of Hayato’s main goals is to restore his relationship with Yukino/get Yukino to forgive him/make amends for not standing up for Yukino when they were younger. This has been something that has been weighing on his mind ever since he “betrayed” her.







“I…” Someone spoke up.
It was Hayama, who had shut his mouth so heavily before.
“I’d like to do something to help her if I can.”
It was a very Hayama‐like expression. They were kind words.(!) They were unkind only to Rumi. To those close to Hayama as he spoke, they were very kind words indeed.(!)
A kind lie that would hurt no one.(!) It would only make hope flicker, although the despair was wrapped inside the roundabout phrasing. The possibility that it could not be done loomed unspoken, and everyone was free to interpret it as they wished.(!)
“It’s impossible for you. That’s how it was, right?”(!)
It was Yukinoshita’s voice that cut through those vague and comfortable words. In the dead of the night, a lantern light illuminated her features. As she flicked her hair behind her, her cold gaze pierced Hayama.
She had made that assertion as if it was a patently obvious fact, not bothering to seek an explanation. I wondered if she was talking about what Hayama had said to Rumi earlier.
For a moment, I caught a glimpse of Hayama’s pained expression, as if his very insides had been set afire. “That… might have been how it was.”(!) For a moment, he couldn’t speak. “But this time, it’ll be different.”(!)
“I wonder about that.” Yukinoshita shrugged at Hayama’s answer. It was a cold dismissal.
As we watched this unexpected exchange, a heavy silence hung over the proceedings.
Just like the others, I kept my mouth shut as I peered at Hayama and Yukinoshita. I’d sensed it that time when Hayama came to the Service Club room(!), but the hardened attitude Yukinoshita showed towards him now was different from her ordinary self.(!) Her usual coldness was merely an expression of stand‐offishness, but there was a definite sense of forcefulness in Yukinoshita’s words just now.
It was clear as day that something had happened between the two of them, something I didn’t know about.(!)


However, Hayato can’t approach Yukino directly to make things right with her, because she’s keeping her distance from him.

>Hayato’s character bio:
“So far his attempts to mend his relationship with Yukino failed.”
https://vndb.org/c23636

So, this then raises the following question: Why would a person like Hayato Hayama, the most popular kid in high school, want to befriend someone like Hachiman Hikigaya, some random no-name loser? Is it because Hayato is such a nice guy?


>You would have helped as well, right Hayato?




-

Let’s take a look at Hayato’s introduction in the series.

(Yukiko is their version of Yukinon.)


Miura wants Hayato to come along with her so they can go eat ice cream as a group. Hayato says he can’t, because of club activities. Yumiko starts talking about Yukino. Suddenly Hayato does want to go with Yumiko. What you should get from this is that Hayato knows Yukino and doesn’t want Yumiko talking about her (possibly in a negative way).

>Yui wants to take time off from Hayato’s group, so she can spend time with Hachiman and Yukino. Miura thinks Yui doesn’t want to be her friend anymore and confronts her about this. Yukino steps in and they start to bicker. Then Hayato steps in to calm them down.


If Hayato didn’t know who Yukino was, then where would he get off telling her to calm down? Also why would it be this effective? You can deduce from Yukino’s expression that something is up.

Now why am I pointing out these seemingly pointless things? Because from this point onward Hayato knows that Yukino and Yui are “friends” in some way.

The tennis episode happens. Hayato deduces from this, that for some reason, Yukino (a person who has constantly kept people at a distance from herself) is spending time with Hachiman and Yui. Clearly these two must be of some importance to her.

>Thus our days passed, implying that they’ve been practicing for quite some time, enough time for Hayato to see this group together.


>You guys are club members?


>“They’re pretty close… You as well, Hikitani-kun.”


Then we get to the episode with Hayato’s request: he wants the Service Club to help stop the harassing messages.

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So, Hayato wants to restore his relationship with Yukino, but he can’t approach her directly because they’re on bad terms with one another. He knows that for some reason Yukino hangs out with Hachiman and Yui. The harassing messages happen. He uses this as an opportunity to approach not only Yukino, but the Service Club as a whole, without any interference from his group.



So, what is the point to all of this? What am I trying to get at?



Hayato wants to use Hachiman as a bridge that will help him restore his relationship with Yukino. By being close with Hachiman, being nice to him and helping him and Yui out, he hopes that Yukino will see that he’s not so bad and that he’s willing to stand up for others and help others out. Back when they were younger, Hayama didn’t have the guts to stand up for his friends. He wants Yukino’s forgiveness and the only way he can achieve that is if Yukino hears him out. A way to achieve that is if someone close to Yukino convinces her. This is what Hayama wants from Hachiman, he wants his help to somehow make Yukino listen to his plea for forgiveness or he wants Yukino to see how much he is willing to stand up for others and help others out (especially Yukino and her two friends Hachiman and Yui). If Yukino can see how much Hayato has changed and how much effort he is putting in, then perhaps she will be able to forgive him.



>However, Hayato’s first attempt at reaching out to Hachiman gets cut short because everyone wants to go where Hayato goes. Hayato being everyone’s Hayato Hayama gets in the way of his first attempt at connecting with Hachiman.


>Hayato does know Hachiman’s actual name.


-

So, why does Hayato want to restore his relationship with Yukino?
It’s either guilt for not standing up for her when they were younger and choosing to protect his social status over her, because he’s in love with her (which doesn’t make sense, if he was in love with her he would’ve protected her, but then again maybe he loved himself more than her/maybe he didn’t love her enough to protect her

), because he needs to be on good terms with her because his family wants that (long lasting relationship between their families or even an arranged marriage?) or because he’s in love with Haruno and to get to Haruno (she lost interest in him) he needs to first restore his relationship with Yukino. Or maybe an entirely different reason. Either way, it’s clear that restoring his relationship with Yukino is very important to him. He succeeds at this in S2E11.

(LN exclusive, Volume 10, chapter 8)
>Yukino is telling Hayato here, that he doesn’t need to force himself to chase after her anymore, that he shouldn’t be tied down by the past anymore.



Yukinoshita breathed out as if smiling and turned to Hayama. “You shouldn’t let the past tie you down anymore… There’s no need to force yourself to chase after someone.”


Why is he using Hachiman and not Yui to get closer to Yukino?
Simply put, Yui is a girl. If Hayato tried getting closer to her, a lot of people would start getting the wrong idea (see the rumors that happen after the marathon event in ANOTHER).
It also doesn’t help that Yui is part of his group and Hayato does whatever he can to minimize the chances of his group falling apart. With that said, while he prioritizes getting closer to Hachiman, he does help Yui out on occasions. He needs to be on good terms with both of them to get to Yukino.

In that sense, Hayato and Yui are similar.

Whereas Hayato approached the Service Club and acted nice towards Hachiman, so he could get to Yukino, Yui joined the Service Club and was overly nice towards Yukino from the start, so she could secure her place in the Service Club, so she could be close to Hachiman. (See Yui’s analysis)




(Speculation)
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As you may have noticed, I’ve drawn red circles around parts here. As you can see, Hayato REALLY doesn’t want the person that did it to be brought out to daylight and he gets pretty nervous about it. Hachiman points out that if he were an evil mastermind, he would have intentionally left one of them out to single them out for suspicion. Which person in Hayato’s group has been left out? Hayato himself of course. This makes Hayato look away with a rather shifty looking face.
What I’m trying to say is, I think that Hayato was the one that posted those messages.
He chooses to create a chain mail, knowing full well that it will pique Yukino’s interest (because she has experienced the same thing) and make her accept the request, despite it being Hayama. Not only that, but by putting the three guys from his group in the same boat, he could find an excuse to create a new group with Hachiman during the field trip.

However, I know I’m reaching here, so I’ll leave this open to everyone’s interpretation.

It’s Hachiman that comes up with the solution, so it’s hard to say how far Hayato planned ahead, if he even planned it in the first place. That’s why I know that I’m reaching.


Hayato did, at the least, come to the Service Club with the intention of getting closer to Hachiman and subsequently Yukino. It could also be argued that Yukino saw through all this and that’s why she pushed to find the culprit, unlike Hayama wanted, in order to test his reaction.

“Coincidentally”, the chapter (in the LN) where all of this takes place is called:
Hayama Hayato Is Always Behind Everything
--

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The follow-up to that is pretty interesting. This takes place after Yui’s birthday, but before the summer vacation, so somewhere between S1E6 and S1E7.

>Hachiman lets Yui try and recruit Hayato for the judo request (LN exclusive, Volume 7,5), because Hayato’s popularity will draw in a crowd. Instead it’s Hayato that turns it around and goes directly to Hachiman and says that he wants to be on his team. He also knows who Zaimokuza is and what his name is.



(Yui:)
“Ah, that reminds me. I hear the judo club’s going to host a tournament soon.”
“Like, like, they’ll decide on who’s the strongest at school, or something?”
“Aah, speaking of which, I did see that on the flyer.”
Immediately jumping into the conversation was Hayama. As you’d expect, Hayama made sure to listen to what other people were saying and behave accordingly so he could regulate his surroundings. Yuigahama may have been aiming for this. She quickly redirected the conversation towards Hayama.
“Hayato-kun, you look like you’d be into that, why not try participating?”
What the, talk about a careless way to invite him… Hayama didn’t look anything like that all…
“Eh? I-Is that how you see me?”
Oh, see. I totally knew it. He’s sort of confused now. Hayama was established as someone who was refreshing and judo’s image was completely opposite. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who had thought that.
“Doesn’t suit ya at aaall, Hayato-kun, like judo, no waaay!”
Tobe was laughing out loud. Laughing along with him was Yamato and Oooka.
There, Yuigahama made her move.
“Ah, how about Tobecchi too? You seem like you’d be strong, not that I’d know. Why don’t you try doing it together with Hayato-kun? It’s a team tournament of threes anyway.”
“Eh… Naaah, judo’s just a bit…”
Fumu. So it was a strategy to remove the obstacles around Hayama, huh? Seemingly, it wasn’t that Yuigahama started the conversation without a plan; instead, she was being daring by mentioning absurd things in a way that would easily sweep Tobe into participating… Probably. No, that might be wrong. I get the feeling she’d say that kind of stuff regardless. Just how far did she plan, I wasn’t sure. It was then a person who couldn’t be calculated reacted with a twitch.
-
In the time my eyes were averted, the negotiations regarding their participation continued steadily. When I turned back towards them with shivers, Tobe began to overflow with motivation and tapped Hayama’s back.
“Let’s do this, Hayato-kun!”
“Mm. Well, we don’t get too many opportunities like this after all.”
With Yuigahama and Tobe encouraging him in succession to participate, Hayama couldn’t refuse them as you’d expect and was gradually leaning towards entering. Was this also the fate of those who were in possession of THE ZONE? If they were asked to build the atmosphere, then this time, he was requested to act without destroying it. There, the final push was added.
“If Hayato’s going to enter, I guess I’ll go and watch?”
When Miura who had absolute no interest up until that point spoke, Hayama seemingly made his decision.
“Okay, I guess I’ll participate.”
Hayama made a refreshing smile and answered. With this, our objective was achieved. Now once we made Hayama’s participation known through word of mouth, then the gallery of people would increase and if we increased the scale, then we’d also see a rise in participants who’d want to enter.
“Alright, we should enter too…”
“Right on.”
As if the ripple effect began to take place, Yamato and Oooka declared their entry as well. It was standard for boys to like martial arts. No, not like, but to have an interest in. The title of strongest attracting a boy’s attention at least once was certain. That’s why, as long you had the trigger, it probably wasn’t difficult to have them call forth those feelings. So at this point in time, the Hayama group, Hayama, Tobe, Yamato, and Ooka, was confirmed to be participating in the tournament. Adding to that, since Miura was going to be in the gallery, as far as Sobu High was concerned, that was plenty. It was then Hayama suddenly realized something.(!)
“But it’s only three people per group huh…”
When he murmured in a small voice, he quietly stood up. From there, he started walking. Somehow, when I trailed the direction in which Hayama’s gaze was facing(!), oddly enough, my eyes had stopped moving. Huh, he’s coming my way, wasn’t he…?(!) In the several seconds I was thinking whether there was someone in my vicinity that Hayama had business with, Hayama made it up to me.(!) Once he stopped his legs, he made a smile that displayed his white teeth.
“Hikitani-kun, do you want to enter the judo tournament with me?”(!)
This guy, what was he blabbering about out of nowhere…? I could understand his words, but my heart couldn’t. Still, since I was invited, I had to respond back somehow.
“Eh, no, I mean, it wouldn’t work for me. That stuff is just a little out of reach for me.”
If I get invited, for now, I’ll say no. This was the correct response to lip service.
“I see. Well, since Tobe and the other two are in a group of three, I’m kind of the odd one out.”(!)
“Ah, right. Well, I guess so…”
Because he sent me a gaze that was strangely straightforward, I replied back with vague words and Hayama drew back his shoulders.
“So, how about it…? You’re the one who suggested doing things this way, right?”(!)
Haa, so that’s what you’re playing at.(!) So he came over here so he could bring up that time when we broke up in to groups for the workplace tour.(!) But he was right. I was the one who suggested how to divide Hayama and Tobe into different groups. If he was going to be consistent with that, then that meant he wouldn’t group up with those guys this time as well. That being the case, just like last time, speaking of it being obvious, then it was natural that it would be my turn. I had no choice, but to accept his proposal. Above all else, losing Hayama’s participation just because of this would inflict a fair amount of damage to us.
“…Though we’ll still need one more person.”
I gave my consent with those words and Hayama made a sudden smile.(!)
“In that case, could you invite one more person?”
“No, I don’t have a single friend to invite.”
No matter how you thought about it, it would be quicker to have Hayama invite someone. I looked at him telling him to do it, but he avoided that as well.
“You have one right? That guy, I mean.”(!)
That guy… I wonder, was there someone like that? I went into thought. I-I see. Totsuka, right!? Having been convinced, I also spoke up.
“Aah… Him, huh?”(!)
“Right, right, Zaimokuza-kun.(!) He seems pretty strong and this seems like a good opportunity.”
Ah, you meant that… If that was Hayama’s one and only nomination, then I had to talk to Zaimokuza. Right now, Hayama was an important factor. I needed to follow through with whatever demands he had in order for his wholesome participation in the event. Not much I could do… When my shoulders dropped in despair, Hayama nodded back as if he saw that as a form of nodding.
“Okay, I’ll leave it to you.”(!)


(In the final judo round, Iroha barges in and says Hayato needs to come back to the soccer club. Iroha and Miura get in a “fight” over Hayato. Hayato rushes after them. Once again, being everyone’s Hayato Hayama gets in the way of connecting with Hachiman.)

-

>S1E5, Hayato gets rejected by Saki. Prideful Hayato says it’s no problem.


-

>S1E7, Hayato and the gang are also invited to the camping trip.

>My parents wouldn’t drive us all the way up here for a barbecue, but they would do it for unofficial credit. It definitely has nothing to do with Yukino being here.



“Hi there, Hikitani‐kun.”
“…Hayama?”
I was surprised - Hayama was part of that group. Actually, Hayama wasn’t the only one I recognised. When I looked closely, Hayama’s group had assembled: Miura, the ditzy blonde Tobe and the hardcore fujoshi Ebina‐san. …huh? Where was the virgin fence‐sitter Ooka?(!)
“What are you here for…? A barbeque?” I asked. “In that case, I recommend the sandbanks as a good spot.”
“Nah, we’re not having a barbeque. If we were just having a barbeque, my parents wouldn’t drive us all the way up here.”(!) Hayama smiled wryly.
-
Hayama smiled. “I heard we were getting unofficial extra credit for this…” he said with a strained laugh.(!)



>Why are we invited? Yukino knows. Hayama says it’s for extra credit. Why doesn’t anyone else know about this extra credit?



“Now then, you guys know why I invited you here?” she asked us. We exchanged glances.
“You’re asking us to stay over and perform volunteer activities,”(!) Yukinoshita said.
Totsuka nodded at her words. “Yep, we’re helping out, I guess.”(!)
Beside them, Yuigahama cocked her head in puzzlement. “Huh? It’s not a training camp?”(!)
“I heard it was a camp,”(!) Komachi said uncertainly.
“I never heard anything in the first place…”(!) I said.
Hey, which one was the right answer?(!) These guys would suck balls at Chinese Whispers.
Hayama smiled. “I heard we were getting unofficial extra credit for this…”(!) he said with a strained laugh.(!)
“Huh. I just came ‘cos I heard, like, there’d be a camp, y’know?”(!) Miura played with her curls.
“I know, right? But man, it sucks if that’s the only reason.”(!) Tobe scratched the back of his neck.
“When I heard that Hayama‐kun and Tobe‐kun were camping together, I hrnnngged.”(!)
Only Ebina‐san had a weird reason. Also, what was she even saying at the end there?
Hiratsuka‐sensei face‐palmed and sighed. “Geez. Well, at least you got the gist of it. I’m having you do volunteer activities for a while.”
“Um, what would that entail…?” I asked.
“For whatever reason, the principal instructed me to direct the Service Club’s regional activities… and so I brought you here. You guys will be working as a support staff for the elementary kids in their outdoor education camp. You’ll be Chiba Village personnel, teachers on standby and support for the children. To put it simply, you’ll be doing the odd jobs.” She paused. “More to the point, you’re slaves.”
I wanted to go home… she might as well have called this a sweatshop. I mean, sweatshops make you sweat, after all.
“This counts as a training camp for the Service Club(!), and I’m more than willing to give you extra credits for your work as Hayama mentioned.(!) You’ll also have some time for yourselves.”
Aha, I see how it is. Everyone could understand when it was laid out for us like that.(!) We had only heard about the things we were personally interested in, that’s all.


>Why are Hayama and the others here? Is it because Hayato likes helping out, because he’s such a nice guy?



An asphalt path guided us from the car park to the main building. Along the way, Yukinoshita spoke up, a gloomy look on her face. “Excuse me… why are Hayama-kun and the others included in this, may I ask?”(!)
“Hm?” Hiratsuka‐sensei looked over her shoulder. “Oh, you’re asking me.”
-
“Right, you asked me the reason why I invited Hayama’s group. It looked like we were understaffed, so I put up a recruitment notice on the school bulletin board. You guys probably didn’t see it(!), though. Not that I honestly thought anyone would apply for something like that…”(!)
“So why did you put up a recruitment notice then?”
“It’s a matter of formalities. If I just watched out for you guys, it wouldn’t be terribly interesting. So I went to those lengths for appearance’s sake. I mean, handling those good‐looking popular students is not my strong suit. Looking at them makes my heart ache.”
“But although that may be the case, I am a teacher. I must treat everyone as equally as possible.”


>Yukino, you don’t have to be able to handle Hayato right away, but at least try.



As she looked over her shoulder at Yukinoshita and me, Hiratsuka‐sensei smiled gently. “This is also a good chance for you. You ought to learn how to handle people from other communities.”(!)
“Nope, not gonna happen. I can’t get along with those guys.”
“You’re mistaken, Hikigaya. There’s no need to get along with them. I said handle them. Learn not to antagonise or ignore them but to get through the experience intact in a casual, businesslike way. That is what it means to adapt to society.”(!)
“Easier said than done.” If even ignoring them was off‐limits, then I was a goner.
Silence.
Yukinoshita said nothing upon hearing those words.(!) She made no reply or rebuttal - not even a murmur of agreement.(!) Hiratsuka‐sensei smiled wryly at our attitude. “Well, you probably can’t do all that right away, so just keep it in mind for the future,”(!) she said to us.
Once again, we walked along without saying anything.
Handling people, huh…



(Speculation)
--
(The point I’m trying to make is that it’s very possible that Sensei knows that Yukino and Hayato are on bad terms with each other. Sensei knows way more than she lets on. Then there’s of course the connection Sensei and Haruno have (see Haruno’s analysis). Now, Sensei may not know the entire story behind all of it, but she may know enough, that she thinks that it would be good for Yukino’s growth to at the very least learn how to be able to handle Hayato (and others like him).

Hayato may have either told Sensei about how it’s important to him to make up with Yukino himself or Haruno may have told Sensei back when she was in high school or after Yukino and Hayato entered the same high school Haruno had entered.)
--

>Hayato tries talking to Hachiman about Yu-
(LN exclusive)



Only, my eyes began to water from the heat in the fire and the sky. When I rubbed my eyes with my cotton gloves and lifted my face, my gaze met with Hayama’s. That meant that he had been looking at me.(!) If Ebina we’re here, we’d be in trouble.
“…what?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” Hayama said evasively.(!)
Silence.
Without stopping my work, I glared in Hayama’s direction. That prompted Hayama to open his mouth and utter those slippery words again.
“Really, it’s nothing.”(!)
It’s nothing, it’s nothing, he says. What was he - a broken record? I’ve never seen anyone who actually had nothing on their mind insist so much that it was nothing. As I was performing the rather irritating action of glaring at Hayama every five seconds, Hayama shrugged and spoke up resignedly.
“…Hikitani‐kun, about Yu‐”(!)
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Hachiman.” Totsuka pressed a chilled paper cup against my cheek, interrupting Hayama’s words. My heart jumped at the cold sensation.
-
As I slurped my barley tea, I had my eyes on Hayama’s crouched back. I wondered what Hayama was trying to say to me earlier. Well, I could think of about two things. Still, I couldn’t figure out exactly what Hayama was about to ask.(!)


>Yukino wonders what’s up with those girls. Hayato immediately rushes to the rescue to show Yukino how much he has changed and is now willing to help others.



>During S1E8 Hayato reveals that he is aware that Yukino is looking out for Hachiman.




>We learn a bit about what happened in the past in regards to Yukino and Hayato.





>After the whole Rumi thing takes place, Hayato makes a second attempt to reach out and get closer to Hachiman. He opens up to him about his and Yukino’s past.

>I don’t think I would’ve been friends with you Hikigaya-ku- err, Hikitani-kun.





Well, there was probably no way anyone could sleep easy after being made to do what he did today. I’d only watched from the shadows and I didn’t feel too good about it. “Sorry I pushed the villain role on you.”(!)
“I don’t mind, really. I don’t feel that hung up about it. It just brought back some memories… a long time ago, I did nothing when a similar scene played out in front of me,”(!) Hayama said, not jokingly or dejectedly, but with something like yearning.
Knowing nothing of Hayama and Yukinoshita’s past, I had no idea how I was supposed to answer that. Instead of make some generic response, all I could do was simply pretend to be asleep.
“Things would probably have turned out better if Yukinoshita‐san had been like her sister.”(!)
Ah, so this guy knew about Haruno as well, probably from meeting her at home or whatever. But even if we knew the same person, I had to disagree with Hayama.
“Nah… you don’t have to say that. Just imagining Yukinoshita with good social graces creeps me out.”(!)
“Haha, guess you’re right.”
It was dark so I couldn’t see him, but it was hard to imagine Hayama’s smile from the way he spoke. His tone suddenly dropped, and I could hear him breathing slightly.
“…hey, I wonder how things would’ve turned out if we went to the same elementary school, Hikitani‐kun.”
I answered his question promptly. “It’s obvious. There would’ve just been one more loner in your school.”
“You think so?”
“I think so.” My voice was extremely thick with confidence.
I could somewhat make out the sound of Hayama’s quiet chuckling. In order to distract me from the fact he had been laughing, Hayama let out a little cough.
“I think a lot of things would’ve been ended up differently. It’s just… even so…”
There was a pause as if he was choosing his words.
“I probably wouldn’t have gotten along with you, Hikigaya‐kun.”(!)


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>Sagami arc happens.

>During Hachiman and Yui’s date, they encounter Sagami. Sagami openly mocks Hachiman. Hachiman knows what the deal is and leaves.

>Sensei forces Hachiman to be in the committee. She gives a lame excuse as to why she’s doing it.

>Next up is deciding which of the girls is going to be the representative of class F. Yui shows an interest, because Hachiman is the male representative (the LN makes it clearer). Sagami mocks her for it. The reason why Sagami is doing this, is because she’s still angry at Yui for leaving her group for Hayato and Yumiko’s group. (See Yui’s analysis)



>Hayato steps in for Yui’s sake. He peer pressures Sagami into the role.
(What’s important to take note of here, is that Hayato does want to help Hachiman and Yui. However, later on in the series there will be a character that Hayato has no interest in helping.)



“…Is it, like, a lot of work?”(!) Yuigahama asked, seemingly unable to watch the situation any longer.
The class officer showed an obvious expression of relief. “I think if you just do it normally, it won’t be all that difficult… It might end up being pretty hard for the girl though.”
That damn four-eyes, he totally glanced in my direction when he said that. That damn four-eyes, he was totally indirectly telling me I’d be useless. But because he looked so shameful saying it, I ended up feeling apologetic before getting angry. It was my fault, four-eyes. Okay, okay, help yourself to the glasses.
“Uh huuuh…” Yuigahama said, looking in my direction with slight anxiety.(!)
The class officer went on the offense, interpreting her to be wavering, as if this was his only chance.
“Honestly, if you took up the mantle, Yuigahama-san, that’d be great. I think you’re really suitable, since you’re popular, so I’m sure you’ll be able to get everyone working together in no time.”
“No way, I’m not really…” Yuigahama answered, embarrassingly shaking her head, and a voice resembling the freezing temperature of ice, could be heard.
“Oooh, Yui-chan, you’re gonna do it, huuuh?”(!)
“Eh?” Yuigahama turned and ahead of her was a female student.
Let’s see. I think she was Sagami?
Sagami was solidified in a group of four, sitting a distance away from Yuigahama and the others. Opposite of the window side, furthest back in the class, where Miura’s group resided was the hallway side, slightly farther in towards the classroom, where Sagami’s posse was located.
“Hey, that sounds sooo awesome too! Close people at an event sounds like a tooootally cool party~,”(!)
Sagami said, and her nearby friends giggled with sardonic laughter.(!)
With a vague smile, Yuigahama replied. “Well, that’s not really it.”
Sagami directed a meaningful look my way.(!)
That smirk was disgustingly repulsive. The mingled snickers from the girls sitting nearby, even more so, were altogether grating. Exactly what was inherent in those sneers?(!) There was no way I couldn’t know.(!) They were the same things underneath the laughter that time(!), the day of the fireworks display. To Yuigahama, who always belonged to the inner circle, and to me, who always belonged to the outer, those sneers were chock-full of scrutiny and scorn. The laughter resembling ripples echoed deep within my ears.
“Hey, like,” said a voice, sounding pompous in nature, and cleaved the commotion apart. It was like the sudden halting of insect noises when stepping audaciously into a thicket. “Yui and I are going to get customers, so no way that’s possible.” Miura Yumiko asserted decisively and brazenly.
As if pressured by her intensity, Sagami and the others stuttered, and then went silent. Sagami’s smile continued to keep its shape. “Oh okaaay, getting customers is important too, yep.”
“Y-Yeah, yeah, getting customers is important, er, since when did we decide I’d be doing that!?”(!)
Yuigahama answered, conforming, but ended up surprised. I was pretty sure only the male representative for the planning committee was elected so far, though…
Yuigahama’s reaction caused Miura to get flustered in her own special way. “Eh…? Y-You’re not going to do it with me?(!) W-Was I wrong? Was I totally jumping the gun there…?”(!)
“No worries, Yumiko. You’re not too far off. That reaction of yours is what makes you Yumiko too!”
Ebina-san replied, sticking her tongue out, and winked, followed by a thumbs-up. Yes, well, that really was something you’d see from Miura.
“Wha, Ebina, stop flattering me! You’re gonna make me embarrassed!”
Miura, I know you’re already completely red and hitting Ebina-san, but I don’t think that was a compliment, sorry.
On the side, Yuigahama’s shoulders were downfallen. “I-I guess I don’t have a say, huh…”(!)
You finally noticed? But you should be relieved. I mean, I didn’t even have that right. Heck, not only did Hiratsuka-sensei decide things with her arbitrary judgment, everyone clearly had some misgivings about it. I was seriously an unwanted child. Seeing absolutely no progress, the class officer let out a short sigh. I could feel the grief coming from the middleman.
“In other words, how about something like this?” Hayama, who had been silently watching the entire time(!), started up without bothering to raise his hand. Everyone’s attention was naturally lured in. Even the class officer was looking at him with sparkling eyes of expectation. “We just have to ask someone who can show leadership, right?”(!)
Hayama’s words were extremely reasonable and valid. True, it wouldn’t hurt to have leadership experience considering you’d be in charge of various responsibilities. Though, if there was one problem, then it’d be how he sounded like I had no leadership at all. Okay, sure, the only things I had were cold compresses. Still, in that case, then it became a discussion about how jobs like these should be left to those in the top caste. But since the male representative seat was already occupied by me, the girls were quickly declaring their lack of willingness to take up the role. If we think about this from a general perspective, in the event where people from the top caste didn’t take up the responsibility, then it would fall in the hands of the next group down. The implications of Hayama’s words were perceived exactly as that by Tobe.(!)
“Sounds like Sagami-san, yeah?”
“Yeah, that might work. Sagami-san seems like she’d do a good job too.” Hayama looked convinced despite being the one who had come to that conclusion.(!)
Tobe, in his own special way, looked proud, going “I know, right?” It was a little sad how cute he was trying to be. On the other hand, Sagami, who was suddenly mentioned, shook her hands in front of her face. “Whaat? Meee? I dunno if I can. It’s, like, toootally impossible for me!” She may have been refusing, but there was no sincerity in it.
Hey, hey, as a leading expert in rejection, you can’t fool my eyes, you know? When a girl really rejected something, she’d say, “Um, could you stop please?”, with a near blank expression and extremely colder eyes.
It’s so scary that you’d feel like your heart was going to stop and you’d want to die. Grasping this standard of pre-established harmony, Hayama clapped his hands together, with an apologetic look for insurance. “Sagami-san, could I ask you to do it somehow?”
“…Well if no one else is going to do, then I guess I’ll have to. Buuuut, me, huh?” Sagami’s expression happily turned red, intentionally mumbling her words. She probably wasn’t in a bad position since she was being asked by that Hayama, rather, “I’m getting relied on by that Hayama!”(!)
“Okay, I gueeeess I’ll do it.” Sagami answered, looking reluctant.(!)
The class officer breathed a sigh of reassurance on his glasses and said in exhaustion, “Okay, let’s end it here for today…”
Everyone then stood up and left the class.



>Haruno comes in and asks who the chairman is. She sees that Sagami isn’t taking her responsibilities seriously. She tells Sagami to continue goofing off like she has been, so she can apply pressure to Yukino (see Haruno’s analysis as to why). Hayato (not in the anime) realizes what Haruno is doing and silently leaves the classroom.



“So who’s the chairman? Meguri… or not since she’s a third year. Hikigaya-kun?”
It wasn’t a particularly funny joke if she was trying to tell one. I answered only by shrugging my shoulders.
With the continuing unusual tension, the door of the conference room flung open without reservation.
“Soooorry, I kinda showed up to class and ended up late!” Rushing into the class with not a hint of shyness was Sagami Minami. Well, there wasn’t a meeting today, and at the present moment, we were pushing up the schedule of the work. I could understand why had loosened up.
“Haru-san, this girl’s the chairman.” Meguri-senpai said.
Haruno-san’s gaze was locked onto Sagami with curiousity.(!)
Those eyes again. Those demonic eyes that chillingly evaluated your worth.
“…Ah, I’m Sagami Minami.” Sagami’s voice waned, pressured by the glint in Haruno-san’s eyes.
“Hmmm…” Haruno-san didn’t look the least interested, yet she let out a small breath and took a step closer.
“The Cultural Festival planning committee chairman is late? On top of that, you showed up to class instead? Uh huuuh…”(!)
That tone of hers was terrifying. Her oppressive voice that sounded like it was wrung from the depths of her body caused Sagami’s entire being to shrink. Her energetic conduct earlier made her appear more vicious with the sudden transition to a frigid expression.(!) Not only was there a disparity of intimidation between Haruno-san and Yukinoshita, she also wore her dark emotions on her face without suppressing them.(!) She exhibited this truth in her attitude, where she’d stay docile up to a given point so she could interact with you amicably, but the moment she decided to strike back, she would strangle you mercilessly.(!)
“Ah, um…” said Sagami, desperately looking for an excuse.
Then, Haruno-san broke into a smile. “Yeah, a chairman has got to be that way, right!? As someone who can enjoy the Cultural Festival to its fullest, that’s absolutely perfect for a chairman! Sounds good to me!(!) Um, Somethinggami-chan I think? Amagami? Oh, whatever. Chairwoman-chan works.”(!)
“T-Thank you very much…” Haruno’s abrupt alteration of her lips upwards caused Sagami to be confused, all the while vitalizing her.
This very well may have been the first affirmation for Sagami since her arrival here.(!) As Sagami’s cheeks turned red from joy, Haruno-san continued. “Anyway, I have something I want to ask you, chairwoman-chan. Like, I really want to participate in a volunteer organization. So. I talked it over with Yukino-chan, but she’s a little bit reluctant about it. It’s because she’s not too fond of me…”
She showed her meek side and sniffed. I couldn’t get the urge to criticize her because of how cunning, yet adorable her outlandish attitude was.
“Eh…” Sagami sent a look towards Yukinoshita.
Yukinoshita’s discouraged expression didn’t crumble. Nor did she meet anyone’s gaze.
“…I don’t see why not. We’re short on volunteer organizations anyway, and if an OG student participates, then we can appeal with the, um, connecting with the local community? Or whatever.”
Those sounded like secondhand words that were uttered by a certain individual(!), but Sagami informed Haruno-san as if they were her own.(!)
“Kyaaa, thank you!” Haruno-san factitiously embraced Sagami in snappy fashion. But she quickly released her, and muttered with distant eyes. “Yep, yep, it really is wonderful being able to come back to your Alma mater after graduation. I better tell my friends, they’ll be toootally jealous!”
“Is that how it works?”
“Uh huh, that’s how it is for me. I really do get this urge to come and visit sometimes…”
Haruno-san’s words caused Sagami to contemplate for an instant.
Only Hayama and Yukinoshita were letting out brief sighs, as if conceding.(!)
Ignorant to that, Sagami clapped her hands together. “…Oh I see. Ah, how about you call those friends of
yours to show up too?”
“Oh, good idea! Do you mind if I call them now?”
“Sure, sure.”
The moment she had finished saying that, Haruno-san buoyantly began calling her friends in one hand.
Yukinoshita, looking flustered, tried to stop Sagami. “Wait, Sagami-san.”(!)
But Sagami nonchalantly said with a lackadaisical face, “What’s the problem? We’re short on volunteer organizations anyway. We’ve also cleared the issue with connecting with the local community, right?”
Sagami had a triumphant grimace, but had she realized?(!) That Yukinoshita Haruno was the one who strung her along for the majority of that proposal.(!)
“Besides, I don’t know what’s up with you and your older sister, but that and this are two different things, right?”
“!……”(!)
Just observing Yukinoshita and Haruno’s interaction was more than enough for anyone to realize they weren’t getting along. Pinpointing that, Sagami’s proclamation caused Yukinoshita to stammer. Sagami smiled victoriously, finally being able to stand above Yukinoshita for the first time.(!)
“So it turned out like this after all…”(!) Hayama briefly muttered. I wordlessly looked at Hayama, my interest piqued from his tone that sounded like he knew how everything was going to play out.(!) My intention was to get an explanation from him, but Hayama didn’t touch upon it at all, as if on purpose. “Okay, I’m going to grab the documents and go back.”(!)
Hayama left the conference room just like that.(!)



>Due to Haruno’s actions, telling the committee chairman to go goof off, other people start following suit. It’s mostly the student council, Yukino, Hachiman, Meguri and occasionally Haruno that continue working.

>Looks like Yukino does everything. Don’t worry, Hayato will help out. Meguri chimes in and tells Yukino how important it is to rely on others. The entire room is waiting for Yukino’s response.

>I will not let that happen, Yukino isn’t going to rely on the likes of Hayama. I won’t allow all of her hard work and dedication to go unnoticed/be unrecognized.


>After Sagami slowly starts realizing the results of what her negligence has brought to her reputation (Yukino being treated as the chairman over her, people not taking her seriously) and how overall incompetent she is, she starts getting depressed and hides on the roof during the festival.

(Insert laughter from the audience.)


>Sagami is nowhere to be seen. They can’t hold the ending ceremony this way. Sagami is the only one that knows the voting results of the awards they’ll be giving out.

>Hayato steps in to help. Yukino thanks him for helping out.


>Hachiman finds Sagami on the roof, but he can’t tell her the nice words she wants to hear to get her to go perform her duties. Luckily Hayato and her friends show up. Certainly they can do it. Except, Sagami still doesn’t want to go. She’s afraid that she’s going to humiliate herself. Because time is of the essence and because Hachiman doesn’t want Yukino’s effort to go to waste, Hachiman decides to play the bad guy. He knows that this will force Hayato to play the good guy, because he has a reputation to uphold.

>Hayato experiences first-hand how Hachiman solves problems. This is important and will tie into the next arc.


(Oh, now he’s Hikigaya again.)

>Hayato decides to stand up for Hachiman, because he cares so much about Hachiman. What a nice guy.


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