Why doesn’t Yukino just tell Hachiman about her involvement in the car accident and why she is looking out for him?
Technically, Yukino has told him from day one what her intentions were.
She hasn’t told him the “why” part of it.
>LN exclusive; right after telling Saki about the scholarship.
“Yeah, see you tomorrow. No, wait. See you today at school.” Yuigahama did a little wave, her hand close to her chest.
Yukinoshita was silent for a moment, gazing vacantly at Komachi and me, but as soon as I moved my feet, she spoke up quietly. “I don’t recommend you ride with two people at once… you might get into another accident.”(!)
“Oh, see you later,” I replied as I started to pedal. My sleep‐deprived brain was unable to work properly, and almost all of my mental capacity was occupied on the road and avoiding the incoming cars. Thanks to that, I could only muster a perfunctory reply to what Yukinoshita said. Vaguely, I wondered how she knew about that accident…(!)
Yukino is very much an “actions speak louder than words” type of person. Or to be more precise: If Yukino’s goal is to help Hachiman become a better human being, but since he’s a proud loner that doesn’t accept anyone’s pity, then telling him the actual reason why he needs to join/be in the Service Club would not accomplish anything.
>This entire speech was actually meant for Yukino, because it’s Yukino that has been looking out for Hachiman since the beginning of the series. (My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected!)
Yui joined the Service Club for an entirely different reason. (See Yui’s part)
Just like Hachiman, Yukino is someone that needs a reason to act. Seeing Hachiman, a person heroic enough to prioritize the safety of a dog over his own, not doing anything with his life for an entire year is Yukino’s reason to take action.
At the beginning of the series, our main trio is in the second grade (classes 2-F and 2-J). The car accident happened on the first day of the first year. Yui has been keeping an eye on Hachiman an entire year before finally being able to verbally approach him (which happens the first time she enters the Service Club). Is it too much of a stretch to assume that the same thing could be said about Yukino? Hachiman is an unapproachable “proud loner”. If Yukino had observed him for some time (encountering him during breaks, near the lockers, in the library, in the hallway, on their way to class/school, when they’re going home), she would have come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be possible for her to reach out to him directly and say: “Hey, I was in the car that hit you on your first day of school which caused you to miss the first three weeks of school and because of that you are now a loner, let me help you, because I feel responsible, ‘kay?”. So, instead, with the help of Sensei, she does it in a roundabout way by starting the club and helping him by spending time with him in the Service Club while slowly raising his self-esteem and getting rid of his rotten attitude.
Take into account that Yahari is inspired by Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, a series where one of the main protagonists, Yozora, creates a club under the pretense that she wants to learn how to make friends, when actually she uses the club so she can spend time with her childhood friend Kodaka, except in Yahari, the club serves as a means for Yukino to make amends to Hachiman.
Near the end of S1E5, Hachiman finds out that Yui was the owner of the dog he saved. He gives her the “nice girl” speech and resets their relationship. This causes Yui not to want to show up to the club anymore.
This is a problem to Yukino, because she had grown to like being around Yui.
Sensei also has high expectations of Yui, because Yui’s presence in the Service Club makes it easier for Hachiman and Yukino to interact with one another.
“And yet… staying connected to people is indeed a surprisingly difficult matter,” Yukinoshita whispered. “Bonds can break so easily from such a trivial thing.”(!)
Her eyes welled with pain directed at herself. At that moment, the door suddenly swung open with a creak.
“But you can also fix those trivial things, Yukinoshita. It’s still not time to give up.”(!)
The person spouting cool lines at random as she walked towards us, her white coat fluttering, was none other than my sworn enemy Hiratsuka‐sensei.
“Sensei, knock first…”
Completely disregarding Yukinoshita’s demand, Hiratsuka‐sensei surveyed the room. “Hm. So Yuigahama hasn’t turned up for a week now, huh… I thought you guys would have done something about it by now.(!) Don’t tell me you had a serious illness till now. How like you,” she said with misplaced admiration.
“What, I’m just asking you to recruit one person,” Hiratsuka‐sensei insisted.
“Don’t think too hard about it.”(!)
“Come to think of it, that Yuigahama hasn’t been coming around these days… this is a good opportunity. Even if it means filling a vacant position, you ought to embrace this chance to acquire a new club member,” Hiratsuka‐sensei said, prompting Yukinoshita to lift her face in surprise.(!)
“Hold on just a second. It’s not as if Yuigahama‐san qu‐”(!)
“It’s the same thing if she never shows up. I, for one, have no use for a ghost club member.”
As soon as I saw the look on her face, the pleasant atmosphere from before vanished. Yukinoshita and I recoiled from Hiratsuka‐sensei’s cold, hard gaze.
“You guys are caught up in some misunderstanding, aren’t you?”(!) She did not say it like a question. From the way she phrased it, it was an implicit reprimand meant to stir up guilt in us.(!)
Yukinoshita and I fell silent without answering, and Hiratsuka‐sensei went on.
“This is not a club for you to play friendsies. Go somewhere else for that wishy-washy teenage nonsense. You’re here in this club to change yourselves for the better.(!) It’s not a place to get complacent and lie to yourselves.”(!)
Her lips pursed tightly, Yukinoshita furtively avoided Hiratsuka‐sensei’s eyes.(!)
“The Service Club isn’t a game. It is a recognized club activity at Soubu High School. And, as you guys know, you only deal with unmotivated people until compulsory education is over. People came to this place out of their own volition, and those without the dedication have no choice but to leave.”
Motivation and dedication, huh…?
“E‐excuse me… can I please leave since I don’t have the motivation nor the dedication…?”
“You think you have any choice in the matter when you’re being punished?”
Hiratsuka‐sensei cracked her fists and glared at me.
“I‐I thought as much…” So I really couldn’t run away from this, huh…
After she was done subjecting me to her light intimidation, Hiratsuka‐sensei turned to Yukinoshita.(!) Even as Yukinoshita remained stony‐faced, it was easy to see how disgruntled she was.(!)
Having noticed that, Hiratsuka‐sensei smiled somewhat uneasily.(!) “But you know, thanks to Yuigahama, I now see that there is a positive correlation between club activities and member count.(!) It would be good to have another member to balance things out. With that in mind… you have until Monday to find a replacement possessing the motivation and dedication to be in this club.”(!)
“You tyrant…” I said bitterly. The words came out easily.
Hiratsuka‐sensei smiled broadly. “I’m sorry you think that way. This is my way of being nice to you.”(!)
“I don’t see any niceness…”
“It’s fine if you don’t see it.(!) Right, today’s club activities are over. Time to think about getting the job done,”(!) Hiratsuka‐sensei said as she pushed Yukinoshita and me out of the room. As she slammed the door shut, our schoolbags fell to the floor outside the room.
She locked the door promptly, and with that she started walking away briskly.
Yukinoshita called out to her back. “Hiratsuka‐sensei. I want to confirm one thing, and that is whether we are permitted to fill the vacancy with anyone(!), are we not?”
“Indeed, Yukinoshita.” And with single, short statement, Hiratsuka‐sensei left.
Only, when she looked back over her shoulder, I could see a sort of smile on her face.(!)
As we waved Hiratsuka‐sensei off, Yukinoshita and I looked at each other.
“So, how do you plan to fill the vacancy?” I asked.
“Who knows. I have never once invited someone so I wouldn’t know. But I do happen to know someone close to joining.”
“You don’t get it? I’m talking about Yuigahama‐san.”
“Huh? B‐but hasn’t she quit?” I said.
Yukinoshita flicked her hair over her shoulder and looked at me with an undeniably steely gaze. There, I could see none of the resignation she had shown up until now.
“So what?” she asked. “We only need to get her to join again. Hiratsuka‐sensei did say it was fine as long as the vacancy was replaced.”(!)
“Yeah, I guess…”
Indeed, filling the vacancy would solve the problem. Still, the lack of motivation was a spanner in the works. In any case, Yuigahama would never come by the clubroom in the first place unless we fixed her motivation.(!)
Yukinoshita seemed to have realized this herself, because she stroked her chin tentatively. “In any case,” she said after a pause, “I’ll try to come up with a way to get Yuigahama‐san to return to her usual self.”(!)
“She had some serious motivation,” I said, prompting Yukinoshita to smile bitterly at herself.
“Indeed.” She was silent for a moment. “I only realized this just now, but I have grown fond of that part of her over these last two months.”(!)
I stared slack‐jawed at her. For Yukinoshita to utter such a thing…
Dismayed by my silence, Yukinoshita’s face reddened slightly. “W‐what? You had a weird look on your face.”
“Oh, nah. It’s nothing. And I didn’t have a weird look on my face, seriously.”
“Yes, you did.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Allow me to correct myself. You currently have a weird look on your face.”
Yukinoshita began to walk as if telling herself to get a move on. From the side of her face, I could see none of the depression from before, only an expression of utter self‐assurance. Yukinoshita was back.
What you should get from all of this is that to both Sensei and Yukino it’s important that it’s specifically Yui that needs to be in the club and not someone else.
(Well, maybe not so much Sensei. To Sensei what’s most important is that the Service Club exists and that Hachiman and Yukino better themselves. Yui is simply there to make their interactions smoother. That and also because Sensei sees that Yui means a lot to Yukino, is the reason why Sensei forced them to go get her back.)
Sensei walks into the club saying: “Yuigahama didn’t show up today either? I had high hopes for her though.” (she introduces the problem that needs addressing). Then she comes up with this Battle Royale thing as a way to provoke the two of them to try and find new members (she presents them with a reason to go and get Yui back). Yukino replies with: “It’s not like Yuigahama quit-” (as in: just give it some time, she’ll come back) which Sensei immediately shoots down. Then she gives them an ultimatum: “You have until Monday to get at least one new member.” And proceeds to kick them out of the club. (now take into account that during this entire conversation Yukino and Sensei are on the same wavelength: Hachiman needs to be a club member and Yui plays an important role in Hachiman and Yukino’s growth. So Sensei provides them with a reason as to why they need to go and find a “new member” and why they have to do it fast, without making Hachiman suspicious as to what’s going on.)
Once they step outside the clubroom, Yukino says: “Allow me to confirm one thing. All we need to do is get more members, right?” (as in: it doesn’t need to be a “new member”). Sensei replies with: “Exactly right, Yukinoshita. I wish you luck” and then she proceeds to walk away with a smile on her face, because Yukino and Sensei have come to an understanding.
Sensei has now given Yukino a reason to act. Yukino has new determination to find a way to get Yui back to her old self. She’s going to tell them about the car accident and the reason why the Service Club exists.
>Yui doesn’t show up to club anymore, Yukino wants to celebrate Yui’s birthday to thank her, she was the “first friend” she made, Hachiman realizes that it was because of his actions that Yukino is now feeling down, because of this he decides to make up with Yui.
“That’s why I want to celebrate Yuigahama‐san’s birthday. Even if she never comes back to the Service Club…(!) I would like to thank her properly for everything she has done,” Yukinoshita said blushingly, her eyes lowered furtively.
There was no doubt that to Yukinoshita, whose personality left much to be desired and whose high specs continued to inspire flames of envy on a daily basis, Yuigahama was the first friend she had ever made.(!)
I doubted her desire to thank Yuigahama was a lie. Much as her words were coated with self‐defeat, she was probably desperate not to lose that friendship.(!)
…ohhhh. So did all of this happen because of what I said to Yuigahama?(!)
(This is important, because it explains why Hachiman went out of his way to reconcile with Yui; because of Yukino.)
Feeling slightly guilty(!), I peered sideways at Yukinoshita, who recoiled in discomfort, having noticed I was looking at her. Ahh, she’d probably tell me not to look her because I was a disgusting creep all over again. With that on my mind, I averted my eyes quickly before she could say anything. I coughed, my cheeks reddening somewhat.
>They encounter Yui.
>Yukino says: “We need to talk about us, about our future.”
>What did she mean by that?
Near the end of S1E6 Hachiman and Yui have the same conversation in the club room about Yui not having to pity him/look out for him, except this time Yukino is present. This entire conversation, for all intents and purposes, is meant for Yukino, since it’s Yukino that has been looking out for him since the beginning of the series. However, as “the instigator” she still feels like she needs to do right by Hachiman.
Yukino restores their bond, by saying that “the two of them” can start over and the one they should be blaming is the person who is at fault (from her point of view: herself). After saying her thing, she immediately leaves the classroom, because she feels uneasy.
So, from S1E6 onward, Yukino knows how Hachiman would react if someone were to tell him why Yukino started the club in the first place.
Why didn’t Yukino just tell them she was involved in the car accident at that moment?
This was Hachiman and Yui’s moment of reconciliation. It would have been incredibly inappropriate of Yukino to suddenly say: “Oh, by the way, I was the person in the backseat of the car.” and once again: If Yukino’s goal is to help Hachiman become a better human being, but since he’s a proud loner that doesn’t accept anyone’s pity, then telling him the actual reason why he needs to join/be in the Service Club would not accomplish anything.
>In S1E8 Yukino says the following:
Depending on the translation it can either mean:
1. Even if no one will ever thank Hachiman, “something” good will happen to Hachiman because Yukino will make sure of it. (The French and Italian translations translate to this one.)
2. As long as something good came of it (helping Hachiman become a better person/become more sociable), even if no one will thank Yukino for it, hopefully he’ll at least be able to forgive her.
>During S1E6, Haruno encounters Hachiman and Yukino at the mall. Haruno recognizes Hachiman from his last name, but doesn’t want to confront Yukino about it on the spot, since Hachiman is there as well.
“I’m Yukino‐chan’s sister Haruno,” she said to me. “Play nice with Yukino‐chan, okay?”
“Uhh. I’m Hikigaya.” She introduced herself by name so I introduced myself back.
So, somehow it looked like the sister’s name was Yukinoshita Haruno. Right, got it.
“Hikigaya…” Haruno‐san paused only a moment to think(!), quickly sizing me up from head to toe. “I see…”(!)
In that instant, a chill went down my spine, enough to make me shiver. As if struck by temporary paralysis, I was rooted to the spot. But then she sang, “I’ll call you Hikigaya‐kun, then. Great, nice to meet you.”
Near the end of S1E8, Haruno comes to pick Yukino up in the car that hit him. Notice how Yukino (and Sensei) feels uncomfortable? Why? Because the cat’s out of the bag. She didn’t get the chance to tell Hachiman first and instead he found out this way, you can tell that by the sad look in her face when they drive off (it also doesn’t help that she has to go see her mother).
Hachiman says that he wouldn’t get to see or speak to Yukino for the remainder of the vacation. You can assume that this, Hachiman finding out this way and her not being able to apologize/explain the situation, has been weighing on Yukino the entire vacation. (It especially sucks for her, because at this part of the story, Yukino was starting to warm up to Hachiman and Yui and thinking that she could actually be friends with them.)
>During the summer break, Hachiman is thinking about Yukino a lot. (Since the story is told from Hachiman’s perspective, even though it’s not shown, it’s safe to assume that Yukino has been thinking about this predicament/him throughout the vacation as well.)
(Volume 5 takes up the remainder of the summer vacation. During the entire Volume (except near the end, where school starts and Hachiman and Yukino encounter each other by the stairs), Yukino the character isn’t present. However, in a sense, the entire volume is about Yukino. Hachiman spends all of his time interacting with the rest of the cast, talking to them about Yukino and how they perceive her. Near the end of the volume, Hachiman has one giant monologue about Yukino and how others look at her, then he asks himself how he looks at her. He comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t want to know more about Yukino, because he’s disappointed in her. Even Yukino lies, his image of the ideal Yukino has been shattered.)
>Hachiman and Yui go on their date. They encounter Haruno. They talk a bit about Yukino and a couple of other topics. Once they’re done, Haruno offers them a ride home.
>Haruno knows it was Hachiman that got hit by the car.
>It’s not Yukino’s fault, it’s water under the bridge.
Let’s take a look at Haruno’s words from S1E9: “It’s not like it was Yukino’s fault. She was only riding in the car. She didn’t do anything wrong. That’s fine, isn’t it Hikigaya?” to which he replies: “Yeah. She wasn’t the one who caused the accident. It’s got nothing to do with her (look at his awkward smile, you can see that he’s lying). Besides, it’s all in the past now (he turns his back to them). Not looking back at the past is my policy of sorts (also a lie, he constantly does this, look at all the monologues/flashbacks about his past and whatnot). If you keep looking back at everything, you’ll be living a life of total darkness.”
If it’s truly all water under the bridge, then why is the atmosphere in the Service Club so heavy in the next couple of episodes?
>School starts again, Yukino wants to apologize/explain the situation, Hachiman doesn’t want to hear it.
Notice how at the end of S1E9, when school is starting again, Yukino is standing at the top of the stairs, waiting for Hachiman? Isn’t this a very uncharacteristic thing for her to do? She asks him: “You saw my sister, didn’t you?” (implying that Haruno told her about seeing Hachiman and that she talked to Hachiman about the car accident and it not being Yukino’s fault etc.). When they reach the next floor, notice the awkward silence? Yukino says: Um- (this is the part where she would want to explain all of it and apologize), but Hachiman won’t stand it. He interrupts her and uses “her starting the club again” as a form of preserving the status quo, without having to deal with the issue at hand. From here on, S1E10-11 things get awkward for the Service Club for the first time, because no one wants to address the elephant in the room. As you can tell, Hachiman is not the easiest person to talk to when it comes to serious matters.
>Hachiman had high hopes for Yukino, but he ended up being disappointed.
Yuigahama moaned in admiration after that conversation. “When I hear god, I think of something perfect though.”
If it was the all-encompassing GOD, then he was probably established as such, but when you hear gods in Japanese, they weren’t confined to just perfection . The existence of many kinds of gods was this country’s legend. Absolutely righteous gods who were omniscient and omnipotent gods weren’t necessarily seen as such everywhere else. When that came to mind, I slipped out some words. “…Well, gods aren’t the only ones you should avoid forcing images on anyway.”(!)
I wasn’t expecting a reply from anyone. It was just number eighteen of my familiar and special monologues. After a considerable pause, a tiny voice slipped among the sound of turning pages.
“…I suppose so.”(!)
She held the same opinion as well, likely not expecting a reply either. Her voice and her gaze weren’t directed at anyone. You mustn’t force images on things.(!) Only gods were what you should expect perfection from. You mustn’t demand an ideal from anyone.(!) That is weakness. It is an evil that must be hated. It is negligence that must be punished. It spoils not only yourself, but those around you. You are allowed to be disappointed with only yourself.(!) You should hurt only yourself. Hate only yourself for not following your ideal. The only one who you must not forgive is yourself.
Conversation had halted. The atmosphere had frozen. Time had passed. The room was closed off, yet the suspended time felt as if it had brought down the temperature of the room.
Hachiman is a person that continues to tell himself that no one can ever truly care about him. He does that as an excuse so that he can keep his distance from people, because he’s afraid of getting his hopes up for them to be crushed again. Finding out the truth about Yukino’s involvement with the car accident, shatters his image of the ideal Yukino. Yukino was supposed to be “the one that stood above it all”, the person he admired since the beginning of the series, only for him to find out that she is just as human as everybody else. From this moment onward, Hachiman tries distancing himself from Yukino.
>Tension between Hachiman and Yukino. In the LN, on several occasions, Hachiman mentions how Yukino looks at him, but when she notices he is looking back, she quickly averts her gaze.
>First falling out, I’ll do it by myself.
>Yukino, knowing how awkward it’s going to be in the club, tries preoccupying herself with something else.
>After Hachiman sees that Yukino is working herself to death and being taken advantage of by Sagami, he decides to step in and stand up for her on several occasions (to the point where he is willing to play the villain for her in S1E12).
>Hachiman and Yukino always communicate on another level. Yukino saying “I’m sorry” is her apologizing for everything: not telling him about the car accident, him feeling the need to stand up for her etc.
“Yukinoshita-san, it’s also important to rely on others,” said Meguri-senpai, kindly admonishing her.What Hayama and Meguri-senpai had said was undoubtedly and absolutely correct. It was the best, it was inspiring, it was a beautiful showmanship of comradery. People used to being helped by others were fine.
Without hesitation, they could rely on others. Cooperating and combining your strengths. In the deepest meaning of those words, it surely was a wonderful thing. But I had no desire to blindly praise those things.
I mean, just think about it. If everyone doing things together was a wonderful and good thing, did that mean doing everything alone was a bad thing? Why should people who fought tooth and nail alone all their life need to be rejected like this? That was something I couldn’t allow.(!)
“…Relying is important and all, but there’re only people who do just that. It’s fine if they actually needed help, but there’re also people who were simply just taking advantage of you.”
I had taken a much more aggressive tone than I had imagined. Realizing that Meguri-senpai’s complexion had changed, I played it off as a joke. Frightening a beautiful, comfy person was a bit too much.
“More specifically, uh… umm, ah. Right, like the guys who keep giving me more work. Really, I just can’t forgive those guys. I can’t exactly take it easy right now since it’s out of my control… but I can’t forgive anyone else who can!”
“You’re horrible, aren’t you!? Meguri-senpai responded brightly back, interpreting what I had said as a joke.
“I’ll help you out too,” Hayama made a strained smile.
Yukinoshita gently exhaled a short breath. “Certainly, it looks like the workload is starting to affect even the historians, so I’ll rethink over the assignments. Also, since Shiromeguri-senpai believes so as well, I’ll gladly accept that proposal… I’m sorry.”(!)
Her gaze was still directed towards her PC. It wasn’t clear who that apology was meant for.(!) I could’ve easily passed it off as her form of consideration for me(!), but it’s not like I was trying to cover for Yukinoshita.(!) She had no reason to apologize.(!) I just couldn’t forgive anyone who had it better off than I did. It was as simple as that. I couldn’t tolerate how people who were doing things honestly were affected by those around them. I couldn’t turn a blind eye to how people striving earnestly were given all the blame.
>Looks like Yukino does everything. Don’t worry, Hayato will help you.
>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 Hachiman sees Yukino in trouble, he gets over her not telling him about her involvement in the car accident, because protecting her and keeping her safe from harm is more important to him. Not only does he forgive her, he also chooses to stand up for her and support her. Hachiman coming back to her after they’ve had their first falling out, proves to Yukino that her relationship with Hachiman is stronger than any relationship she has had with anyone else in her life. (More on Hachiman and Yukino’s relationship in Part 4)
>Hachiman stands up for Yukino, but makes it seem like he’s doing it because he’s lazy. This is where Hachiman starts sacrificing his own social status to protect what’s most important to him.
“Are you okay with this?”(!)
“With what?” I asked her back, but she didn’t reply.
“I think it’d be better if you cleared up the misunderstanding.”(!)
“I won’t be able to. It’s already out there, so the problem ends there. There isn’t anything more to clear up.”(!)
Right answer, a misunderstanding; whatever it was, that was my final answer.
You can’t take back disappointment, nor can you get rid of the stigma branded on you. Yukinoshita narrowed her eyes and lightly glared at me.
“…You make excuses for the most pointless things but never when it comes to things that matter. I think that’s somewhat cowardly of you. No one can make an excuse if you do that.”(!)
“There’s no point in making excuses.(!) People act on their own the more important something is.”(!)
“…I suppose so. That might be true. Things like excuses are meaningless,”(!) said Yukinoshita, as if reflecting on it.
You can’t take back the answer you already gave out. There’s no use in crying over spilt milk. The egg you broke won’t come back. All the horses and soldiers of a king will never return to his side again. It doesn’t matter what was said. You can never wipe away a bad impression. Even though the opposite is so simple in comparison. Just one word will make someone appear hateful. Just doing one thing would make you seem hateful. That’s why excuses are meaningless. Because even those excuses will make you look hateful. Yukinoshita held her body and stood idly. Even so, she didn’t lean against the wall. Like always, she straightened her posture and lifted her face.
“…Then, that means I’ll just have to ask again.”(!)
It was a will brazen and intense that could veil even hostility. Her beautiful eyes were as though they were stars that glowed translucently. It felt like those eyes were telling me: “I won’t make any excuses. So, look at me.”(!) Her earnest gaze turned into something slightly warm.
>What is it that she needs to ask again?
“Are you okay with this? I think it’d be better if you cleared up the misunderstanding.”(!)
(She’s indirectly asking him if he’s ok with the misunderstanding about the car accident between them remaining the way it is right now. It’s important that you know that this, Hachiman not wanting to clear the misunderstanding between the two of them, is the primary reason why Yukino doesn’t tell him about the car accident from this point onward.)
>Directly after the confrontation with Sagami, the others weren’t able to approach Hachiman because of what he did.
In the LN, after this scene, Yukino approaches Hachiman and asks him if he’s okay with this. In the anime they cut her bit out, but it’s basically Yukino and later on Haruno and Sensei that approach him here:
“Are you okay with this?”
My answer to the question presented to me from behind was already set in stone.
“Yeah, this is fine.”
You can’t clear misunderstandings. But what you can do is ask something new. The question she posed me and the answer I gave may not have been the correct one, but it was an answer I was fond of. That’s why this is fine. I slowed my walking feet. The gymnasium that was mostly devoid of people made the unchanging gait from behind me distinct. Coming up to my side and walking with me was Yukinoshita Yukino.
“…You really do try to save everyone, don’t you?”(!)
“Say what?” I asked her back, not understanding what she was getting at.
“Normally, Sagami-san shouldn’t have been forgiven for abandoning her responsibilities and running away.(!)
However, when she returned here, it was as if she was like a victim from whatever crude words you had told her.(!) She even had Hayama and her two friends as her witnesses. She was a perfect victim.”(!)
“You’re reading into it too much. I didn’t think that far ahead.”
“Really? But results are results, and that’s what it came down to. That’s why I believe it’s fine to say that you saved her.”(!)
No, that was wrong. It wasn’t an act worthy of that kind of commendation. It wasn’t an act deserving of acknowledgment or praise, but an act that should be denounced and blamed.
Something that is very important here is that Yukino is asking Hachiman if he’s “okay” with people hating him. While Hachiman may be fine with it, since supposedly he doesn’t care what other people think, a certain someone later on in the series is not going to be okay with it. Well, several people aren’t going to be okay with it, however it’s specifically this certain someone that is going to actively try and get Hachiman to stop self-sacrificing himself for the sake of others. (More on this in Part 4)
>Hachiman isn’t ready yet to know everything about Yukino. He wants to know, but is always hesitant about whether or not he should cross the line.
Most likely, both Yukinoshita and I had come here only because we were seeking out a quiet place. The places we could act weren’t very many and it just so happened that we inhabited the same place that we came across each other. In reality, we lived in nearby cities, yet we had never stumbled across each other once. It’s only because we were on campus that we could meet like this.
While Yukinoshita and I were alone for similar reasons, we were completely different people.
--She and I aren’t similar in the least.
--Maybe that’s why. Maybe that’s why, whenever we exchange words like this, it always feels refreshing and pleasant.
--I felt the remaining passion from the festival welling up in my body. I posed the question again and the new answer I arrived at is my conclusion.
--So maybe she and I.
“…Hey, Yukinoshita. We can?”
“I’m sorry, that’s impossible.”
“Gah! I didn’t even get to finish, damn it.”
Yukinoshita went and firmly denied me. She chuckled, finding it funny somehow.
“Didn’t I say it before? That it’s out of the question for me to be friends with you.”
“That’s right. I do not lie, after all.”
Sure, but you do say some rude and outrageous things, though. But I couldn’t ignore those words. I decided to not to force my ideals on others. I think this was a good time for both Yukinoshita and me to be freed from that curse.
“No, it’s fine if you want to lie. I do it all the time.” In fact, I just lie and lie and lie all the way. That’s me.
“It’s not a big deal if you lie about not knowing something. It’s more ridiculous to not be okay with it only to force it later.”
It should’ve gotten through to Yukinoshita with just this. That is, what it was that I was talking about and when. The morning of the school entrance ceremony. On the first day of the high school enrollment, I was involved in a car accident. It was just my luck to leave as early as possible on the day of the entrance ceremony, feeling giddy about being able to start a new school life. It was about seven. Yuigahama was walking her dog in the neighborhood near the high school where she lost her grasp on her leash and at a bad time, the limousine Yukinoshita was riding had come by. Those were the circumstances of the accident. That’s why it was only after that accident that Yukinoshita Yukino knew Hikigaya Hachiman. But even so, she said she didn’t know me. Not once did she ever bring up the accident. And this was the girl who would clearly say more things than she really needed to. The long, long silence continued. In the evening approaching club room, Yukinoshita remained looking down, unmoving. Staying still, I could hear just her voice.
“…I’m not lying. I mean, I didn’t know you at all.”
It was as though she was continuing an exchange we had some time ago. However, different this time was what came after. Yukinoshita lifted her face. She gazed at me, straight on, and smiled. “…But now, I know you.”
I looked at her expression and I finally understood.
“Yes, really,” said Yukinoshita as if in triumph.
Crap, I really just couldn’t win against her. If she’s going to tell me something like that with that cute of a face, how could I even say anything back? Suddenly, the words of the fox came to mind.
--Words are the source of misunderstandings, after all.
How completely true.
You can’t clear misunderstandings. There will always be things you can’t undo in life and your mistaken answers will stay as they are. That’s why instead, you should give up on them and pose the question again. All for the sake of knowing a new and correct answer. Both Yukinoshita and I didn’t know each other.(!) What is it we should have to call it “knowing”? We didn’t understand that. Had we just watched each other, then we could have understood too. What is essential is invisible to the eye. That’s because we would avert our eyes.(!)
In the span of almost half a year, we were finally able to know that we existed. Our statues were constructed from just our names and fragmentary impressions of each other, like that of mosaic, burying one fragment one by one until we were able to make up virtual images of each other.(!) And surely enough, those images probably weren’t even real.(!) Well, that didn’t matter right now.(!) With the end of the long break and the short festival, finally returning were the worthless and hopeless days of everyday life.
>He wants to know if Yui knows something, but he isn’t ready yet to ask Yukino upfront and directly.
What follows is a bunch of examples of Hachiman thinking to himself about how much he knows about Yukino or him hesitating whether or not he is willing to “cross the line” with Yukino/if he wants to know more about Yukino.
Well, it was true that Yukinoshita was just a different species, and not many people knew her true nature. And, of course, she was also beautiful. She also had that mysterious atmosphere around her; she gave off the impression like an unattainable flower that sits at the height of a mountain peak. It wasn’t really that she seemed scary, it was that she felt like some untouchable creature who one should not talk to.
That should’ve been the usual Yukinoshita. She was always calm, always quiet, always composed and you could say her appearance in general was beautiful. However, right now, there was a transience to it that looked like it would disappear as soon as you tried to touch it.
“I’m not just talking about you, onii-chan. Like say, Yukino-san, she’s living alone too, right? I wonder how Yukino-san feels about it… Is she okay?”
It sounded like she was implicitly saying that even Yukinoshita Yukino felt some kind of loneliness in her life. Always conducting herself flawlessly, occasionally she’d look fragile, or perhaps ephemeral, but they were certainly things I felt from her. But exactly what that really meant, I still had yet to understand.
The figure of her extending her hand, it looked like she was about to be sucked into the water and yet, she was unable to return to the place she ought to go, owing to the obstruction by the glass wall. Just like the bubbles disappearing, this moment was short-lived.
I skimmed through the report on the subject of flame reactions. Flame reactions were the cause of fireworks having color. By throwing metals or salts into a fire, the fire would impart a color unique to those chemical elements. Bluish-white flames would change how they appeared depending on the chemical element they were exposed to. Coincidentally, people were similar. When a person interacted with someone else, there would be some kind of reaction. The colors of those reactions would all vary. If a person changed from coming in contact with a single individual, that reaction would change as well. And a completely different color would be derived akin to the multicolored fireworks.
For example, Kawasaki Saki said that it’s difficult to approach her. The two who were similar in not approaching those around them couldn’t see eye-to-eye, so by both of them staying out of each other’s way, might actually be the most ideal form of communication for them.
Or, Kawasaki Taishi, who after seeing her, evaluated her as beautiful, yet frightening. On the surface, there wasn’t a more accurate description. An outsider’s perspective of her from afar was exactly like seeing her as someone who reigned over the precipice of a frozen sea.
Also, Zaimokuza Yoshiteru, after facing her, judged that her excess honesty was why she didn’t hesitate from hurting someone. That could very well be on the mark if you focused on only that part of her alone. Nevertheless, I felt that the problem wasn’t that she’d hesitate or not hesitate, but perhaps, she just didn’t know any other way.
Then, Totsuka Saika praised her as earnest and diligent after making her acquaintance. She certainly was that kind of person. She was devoted to her rules and principles which occasionally would go too far. Of course, that’s just something that conformed with her own justice inside.
On the other hand, Hikigaya Komachi interacted with her and felt she was lonely somehow. She had lived her life all this time with a hint of loneliness from living alone as well as being on the side that left and was left behind. Of course, that was nothing more than the sentiments of an observer. No one knew what the person in question felt-perhaps, not even the actual person herself.
Conversely, Hiratsuka Shizuka who had watched over her believed that she was kind and sometimes all too correct. She stated that it had to be hard for her to live in this world because it wasn’t kind or correct. But that’s certainly true, it’s possible that nearly all of her environments that encapsulated her was a burden to her. Perhaps, her only saving grace was the existence of a “friend”. Although those tens, no, several thousands of existences called “friends” had only served to torment her.
Be that as it may, Yukinoshita Haruno who had lived with her to this day had an apathetic smile. She stated with a cruel smile just how pitiful and adorable her little sister was for always continuing to chase after her and be defeated, for not being chosen. I don’t know what it was that she wasn’t chosen for. By a friend, her family, her parents, or perhaps fate? Whatever the case, the only one who could ever fancy the thought of her being pitiful was the strongest, Yukinoshita Haruno. Not once did the thought ever cross my mind.
But, Yuigahama Yui who had stayed with her thus far screamed that she liked her. Her words had not the slightest hint of embellishment, although clumsy and weeping of honesty, her confession was so beautiful that I knew nothing else like it. However, Yuigahama perceived a wall from her. But even so, she wanted to become much closer to her that she’d go as far to borrow the help from the likes of me.
Then, what about Hikigaya Hachiman?
Did I come all this way without seeing anything? There were certainly times where I could understand her actions and her mentality behind them. But that wasn’t equivalent to understanding her feelings. It’s just that because our circumstances and positions were so similar that I was able to correlate something between the two of us, but it was nothing more than a coincidental convergence. People always looked only at the things they wanted to see. I think what I did was pick out something that I was similar to her in. Adhering to isolation, sticking with one’s own justice, and giving up on things that couldn’t be comprehended; those perfect, superhuman traits were something I attempted to master, things that she certainly possessed.
I… won’t think that I want to know her more.(!)
The Yukinoshita Yukino that I’ve watched all this time.
Always beautiful, always sincere, uttering not a lie and even spitting out more than she needed to, she’s able to continue standing on her own two feet without the need for support. That appearance, the way she’d stand so beautifully like a freezing blue flame, yet look so sadly fleeting.
That Yukinoshita Yukino.
I’m sure I had admired her.
But I really didn’t know anything. I didn’t know Yukinoshita Yukino.
Of course, I knew her on the surface; I knew her name, her face, how good her grades were, how she didn’t get close to people, how she liked cats and Pan-san, how she had a pretty foul mouth, and how she could be rather careless sometimes. But that’s all I knew. Knowing that much was by no means knowing someone. In the same way people didn’t understand me, I didn’t understand them either. That’s something I mustn’t forget. Exactly what was necessary so you could claim you “knew” someone?
However, right now, it was just a tiny bit. It was far from understanding and I couldn’t even say it was ideal, but even so, the three of us had definitely spent and accumulated time together. Slightly over half a year wasn’t really all that long. But even so, compared to back then, I most certainly did know just a little more about her.
The Yukinoshita Yukino that I knew…
As I let out a deep and heavy sigh, I looked around the window of the now deserted classroom. Yukinoshita had been standing there just a while ago. It wasn’t even two metres between where Yukinoshita had been and the seats Yuigahama and I had been sitting on. Yet for some reason, it was hard to cross that looming distance, and I could sense an unseen line drawn there. It would not be long before the two of us discovered what exactly stood between us ‐ or rather, you could say, the truth.
In the end, I never asked anything more than that. I don’t make a habit of pushing questions about things I don’t want to talk about. I figured we’d be better off not knowing too much about each other, maintaining a comfortable relationship of our own fabrication.
Even if you thought you were close, there were a lot of things you couldn’t ask about.
About the future. About the present. And about the past. There’s no telling where a land mine could be buried. What would happen if you forced yourself to ask something only to receive an answer you weren’t hoping for? Just the thought of it caused you to be at a loss for words.
“This is the first time you’ve asked something like that, isn’t it?”
I knew that, but I pretended not to.
For all this time, there were plenty of opportunities to ask personal things like that, but I had drawn a line that I swore not to step over. It’s because I thought I wouldn’t be forgiven if I did.
I spoke at last, so as to prevent Haruno-san from questioning further.
That was because she was definitely going to say that one conclusive line. One that would thrust the truth in our faces. Hence, I could not allow her to continue. Not for Yukinoshita’s sake, but for mine.
Ultimately, Hayama and I began discussing the things that you could lose. Hayama said several things.
He was well aware that you will lose things eventually. Regardless of the type of relationship, that, too, will end as well. If it was really important as you claimed it to be, then you would try your best to avoid losing it or so he said. But, that was just sophistry.
“You sure like running your mouth. As far as I can see, you look like you’re doing everything for your own personal benefit.”
Hayama’s sharp voice reverberated. Hayama glared at me with a distinct look of anger. I returned his glare straight on. When I did, Hayama looked like he tried to hold back the shame from getting overly excited and sighed deeply. He slowly began to talk.
“Then, what would you do? If it was you, what would you do?”
“Don’t try to shift the subject to me…”
If it was me, then… or not. Thinking about it was pointless. I was different from Hayama. Of course that included Tobe as well.
Pondering what I would do in his situation was nothing but wasted effort. That’s why I didn’t want to talk about it.
“So basically, you don’t want anything to change.”
“…Yes, that’s right.”
Hayama spat his words out. His voice was diluted with anguish and impatience which was something you wouldn’t expect from Hayama normally. It’s just that. That feeling of not wanting anything to change.(!) At the very least, I could understand it. I mean, I had to. When you wanted to get your thoughts across, it wasn’t always the correct choice to lay bare your entire life story.(!) A relationship where you couldn’t move forward.(!) A relationship where you couldn’t forgive others for stepping over into your domain.(!) A relationship where you couldn’t forgive the person for trampling all over you. In dramas and manga, there was always a happy ending for those who crossed over that line. But reality wasn’t so kind. It was much more cruel and apathetic.
There wasn’t anything else important. The moment you lost the things that were irreplaceable was the moment you realize that you’ll never be able to obtain them ever again.(!)
As I am now, I couldn’t call Hayama a coward, let alone make fun of him.(!)
You could say his inability to move forward was the correct choice. If it was for the sake of his happiness, then it was fine. The words that could deny the entirety of his answer wouldn’t come to me.
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. As I stood there without a counterargument or rebuttal, I heard a short and resigned sigh.
“You’re exactly right… This is just me being selfish.”
As Hayama Hayato said that, he made a lonely laugh.
That laugh rubbed me the wrong way.
“Don’t look down on me, Hayama. I’m not one to easily believe in the words of others.”
I was the type of guy who looked beyond what was said. The owner of that worthless personality was me.
“That’s why I don’t believe you for a second when you say you’re being selfish.”(!)
Hayama’s expression was full of shock.(!) It wasn’t exactly anything to be shocked about. I imagine there were other people like who wanted the same thing. And that there were other people like me.
And girls who lie and put up a facade in order to protect something.
Hayama Hayato doesn’t want to hurt anyone. The reason why Hayama couldn’t act was because he knew someone was bound to be hurt.(!) The one step that he could take would ultimately hurt someone which would lead to something breaking. Exactly who had the right to deny the justice of those who agonize over their decision to try to protect something?
All of us were living in this laughably narrow world with a limited amount of time. It doesn’t need to be said that our time as high school student wouldn’t last forever.(!)
Who had the right to criticize you for wanting to value the limited time you had left?(!) It was understandable wanting to not lose anything.(!) What I needed to do was already decided.
Hayama Hayato can’t choose anything. There were too many things he had within his grasp that he held dear.
Hikigaya Hachiman can’t choose anything. Rather, there were no alternatives because there existed only one choice. As ironic as it was, Hayama and I were similar in the regard of “not being able to decide”, but everything else was completely parallel. The things Hayama wanted to protect were things I couldn’t understand.
But it was better that way. That’s why there were things that only I could do. Hayama called out to me as I left with my back turned against the river.
“I really didn’t want to rely on you for this too…”(!)
The same goes for me too, you bastard. Love and friendship were things adored by the masses. But that was a limited right granted to the winners. The cries of the losers fell on deaf ears. In that case, I will take them all in. I will sing out with all my might.
To Hachiman, Yukino has always been a person he looked up to/admired that has always been way out of his league. A transient being that could slip away from him at any time.
There’s this constant fear that he may lose the thing most precious to him forever in the near future, which is why he never wants to get too attached to Yukino (and Yui) and always keeps her at an arm’s length, because he’s convinced that one day all of it is going to come to an end.
“I have no idea when I entered that club. That was the same for Yuigahama. Well, I don’t really know about Yukinoshita as well. That’s why, should anything happen, it would probably disappear real quick.”
This was a 3 member only club. Furthermore, we were all second year students. Although unlike the sports-related clubs, we did not have an official time to “retire” from the club, but this club would only exist until the time we graduated. It could also be easily disbanded for a reason that had nothing to do with the time factor.
I had probably already noticed it. I was exceedingly aware of it. Yukinoshita Yukino, Hikigaya Hachiman, Yuigahama Yui. These three people’s club activities would come to an end one day. Our position, our environment, our personalities were all different. The relationship between us would be lost one day. This was not limited to just the three of us. To begin with, the relations between people were weak. It was probably always weaker than what I had imagined.
It’s also the reason why he grows fond of preserving the status quo and keeping things the way they are in season 2 so he can enjoy the “now” (after Haruno tells Hachiman that what Yukino feels towards him is something more sinister).
A Hachiman enjoying the “now” is a Hachiman that is behaving like Hayato, a stark contrast to the Hachiman of S1E1, who supposedly hates youth and the people that enjoy the “now” like Hayato and others.
If Hachiman were to find out something about Yukino that he doesn’t want to know, that may end up killing the illusion that she will always be with him. That is why he is afraid to cross the line with her. Throughout the series Hachiman is constantly jumping from one side of the line: “I don’t want to know anything about Yukino” to the other side of the line: “I want to know more about Yukino” and immediately back to: “No, I can’t overstep this boundary, doing so might mean I’d lose the things that were irreplaceable to me and I’d never be able to obtain them ever again” and ultimately to: “I don’t care about the consequences, all I want is something genuine.”
Only when he feels like he might really lose her if he doesn’t do anything, he reaches deep within himself and finds the answer he’s been looking for all this time: he wants something genuine. (More on genuine in Part 5)
One of the main themes in Yahari, or if you wanted to summarize the entire series and “wanting something genuine” into one line, it would be: Hachiman wants to know the real Yukino and wants to know everything about Yukino.
Season 1 ends with Hachiman and Yukino being on good terms with one another again, except this time, after surviving their first falling out, their relationship is a lot stronger.