S2E3-5 covers Volume 8. I will continue going through entire volumes like this, because I think this is the place where a lot of people stopped understanding what has been going on. Like I said in Part 1, it’s mostly because people don’t understand what Yukino’s intentions have been since the very first episode of the series, but also because apparently no one has read 6,5 or understood why it was so important to stop Hachiman from self-sacrificing. (I’m being very liberal with the word “apparently”.)
If you want a TL;DR version: “Yukino is trying to do whatever she can to stop Hachiman from inflicting pain on himself, Hachiman is too stubborn to stop.”
It’s that simple, but apparently it isn’t, otherwise there wouldn’t be this much confusion about it. So let’s just go through the entire volume together. Yes, this is going to suck, but hopefully by the end of it a couple of things will be a lot clearer.
So, Yukino wants to do whatever it takes to stop Hachiman from hurting himself. Hachiman and Yui want to pretend like everything is normal. The next time a Service Club request pops up, Hachiman is just going to solve it again by hurting himself or by making a fool out of himself in front of the entire school. No problem.
Yukino is trying to find the words to tell Hachiman why he can’t continue like this, Yui interrupts her and at that moment Sensei walks in and asks them if they’re willing to take on another request.
>Sensei notices something is wrong.
>Hachiman says everything is alright. Sensei asks Meguri and Iroha to come in, they introduce Iroha’s problem.
>Iroha was recommended as a candidate for the student council president position as a prank by girls that dislike her for her behavior/demeanor.
>Hachiman says that the easiest way to solve the problem is to lose the election. The problem is, Iroha is the only candidate. Yukino suggests that Iroha loses due to a vote of no confidence.
A vote of confidence was a system that takes place when there was only a single candidate in the entire running. Unlike the normal system of choosing a person amongst a number of other candidates, this system was simpler in that you simply circle yes or no on a vote ballot in regards to whether you should leave the position of student council president to that one candidate.
>Iroha doesn’t want to lose due to a vote of no confidence, because that would be bad for her image/reputation.
“Like, wait a second, losing a vote of confidence would be supeeeer lame! I mean, a vote of confidence is just lame in the first place… That’s too embarrassing. No way!”
Ugh, so self-centered. It’s exactly because of that personality that you were forced into this situation, you know? Or so I thought for a second, but in truth, Isshiki wasn’t at fault for arbitrarily being thrown into the forefront. Putting aside the silly details of how she managed to get into this position in the first place, being forced into the role of student council president only to lose because of a vote of no confidence would make for a funny story. That’s why, I guess I could understand where she’s coming from. There was no way you could be satisfied with something that the majority agreed on against you. That’s why just losing wasn’t something she could do.
It wasn’t that she had a reckless amount of pride. She would take care to flatter someone when it was necessary and she would do it in a way so that she could be loved forever. However, she would be careful to not damage her own advertising and wouldn’t sell herself short. With all that’s been said, all she wanted to do was protect her brand image. That’s exactly why she didn’t like the very idea of the vote of confidence. The vote of confidence was a system that she was afraid would damage her brand image. Winning a blatant fight wasn’t anything bad. And appearing in something like that wouldn’t raise her stock at all.
>Hachiman suggests to be the person that will hold the awful election speech, so that when Iroha loses, no one will blame her, but instead all of the blame will be put on the person giving the speech: Hachiman himself. He’s basically proposing to do the same thing he did for Sagami.
“Only the names of the candidates will show up right?”
In order to get my thoughts sorted out, I checked with Meguri on some facts.
“Eh? Yes, that’s right.”
“So that means there isn’t a person who’d do the campaign speech for Isshiki.”
Meguri’s eyes met with mine and she nodded. But in that head of hers was a question mark indicating that she hadn’t realized what I meant. But that was fine. All the information I needed was at my disposal.
“In that case, there’s one quick and easy method.”(!)
“Um, what do you mean?”
Asked to clarify, I laid out the facts one by one.
“At worst, even if Isshiki clearly lost the vote of confidence, as long she didn’t get hurt in the process, then that should be fine.(!) In short, if they understand that the reason she lost the vote of confidence was out of her control, then that should be enough.”(!)
“If the campaign speech serves as the reason for her loss, then Isshiki won’t be the center of attention.”(!)
All we needed to do was simply just sidestep the cause of her defeat, why she was rejected, and why she was denied. With that in mind, we still had some options left. Before I got into the details of the plan, I cut off my words for a moment. I wanted to get my thoughts in order. I wanted to catch my breath and take control of the flow of the conversation. But those weren’t the reasons why I stopped talking. It’s because I noticed that the room was submerged in an uneasy silence.(!) Yuigahama looked at me with still, painful eyes and lowered her head as if she drank something incredibly bitter. Noticing this change, Meguri rotated her look between Yuigahama and me in confusion. Isshiki seemed to be sensitive to the change in the mood and stood there in discomfort. And then, there was a small clanking sound. When I turned reflexively in the direction of the sound, Yukinoshita had placed her arms on the table. It looked like the button on the cuffs of her blazer had clashed with the table when she unfolded her arms. In this dead silence, that sound was awfully louder than it should have. Then, in the silent room, Yukinoshita’s cold voice reverberated.
“I can’t agree with that kind of method.”
With a harsh and critical tone, I moved my eyebrows and asked her instead.
“Your reason being?”
I wasn’t planning to sound forceful, but my tone grew sharp regardless.(!) Yukinoshita averted her gaze for a quick moment.(!) Her long eyelashes not only flickered but quietly shook. But that was only for an instant. She quickly returned to looking at me, but this time I could I feel a strong will behind her eyes.(!)
“…It’s because it’s not guaranteed. Her definitely getting the vote of no confidence isn’t the only issue either. Also, making a horrible campaign speech so she gets the vote of no confidence would be only cause trouble for Isshiki. In the chance that even if the votes of no confidence are the majority, do you think they’ll bother to run another election? Despite not having ever done anything like that in the past? And also… and also, since there isn’t much interest in the student council anyway, no one’s going to mind if we just publicize the results without the vote tally… So in other words, if it’s just that, then we can do that whenever.”
As I was caught by her sharp gaze, Yukinoshita spoke rapidly.(!) It was like she wanted to express every reason she could think of.(!) Having seen that, Miss Hiratsuka chided her with a kind tone.(!)
“…That was rude of me. I’ll take that back.”(!)
>In the LN, it’s Yukino that objects to his idea first. Yukino is desperately trying to think of whatever she can, just to prevent Hachiman from hurting himself/making a fool out of himself.
>Yui says it’s not “nice”.
A screaking sound from a chair could be heard. When I turned my head in the direction of the sound, Yuigahama was facing me. But even though we were facing each other, our eyes weren’t.
“Hey, about that speech, who’s going to do it…? I don’t think I really like that.”(!)
It was a weak and delicate tone that unpleasantly stayed in my ears.
“That’s… Anyone that’s able seems fine to me.”(!)
Although I said that, it was clear who was the one most suitable for this job.(!) It was absolutely unnecessary to declare who the person was with the highest success rate of making this plan work.(!) With the sun coming down, the shadows of the room started to grow in size. The artificially created light from the class lights slowly began to fill the room. Yukinoshita, who was looking down the entire time, suddenly raised her face.(!) “Shiromeguri. In the case where Isshiki withdraws from the position, another candidate will be needed, correct?”
“Yes, that’s right…”
When Meguri answered, Yukinoshita let out a short sigh and spoke.(!)
“Then, the only thing left is to find another candidate and support him so he can win the election.”(!)
“If there was someone raring to go with the position, then they should have been candidates already. There’s clearly something wrong there. Don’t tell me you’re going to talk to people one by one for their support?”(!)
“…Fine. So let’s say we did find someone willing to run for the position. But can that person win against this first year here? I’m sure you’re already aware, but high school student council elections are essentially popularity votes.”
I glanced at Isshiki. This was a surprisingly high hurdle to overcome. A quick peek at Isshiki and you’d see that she was cute. Normally speaking, it was fine to even call her a beautiful girl. With a playful, cheerful, gentle, and bright demeanor, it was pretty likely she was a hit amongst the guys in the school. In high school student council elections, the main issue didn’t lie with the campaign pledge or manifesto.(!) Regardless of what school system reformations they had promised to make, everyone fully understood that there was a small chance of them ever happening.(!) That meant that the name of the game was one of the following: a candidate’s popularity or a candidate’s ability to round up an organization to get voted to office.(!) With that kind of popularity contest in mind, the ones that came directly to mind that could win these types of contests easily would be Hayama and Miura. But, Hayama was part of the soccer club, president even, and Miura as the student council president just didn’t fit her image either. So that meant we needed to lower the bar a bit when looking for a capable individual, but the chances of that dropped considerably. Not to mention, it wasn’t as simple as asking the person and being done with it. There was still another big problem left.
“Before the day of the election, there are things like picking cabinet members, promoting the campaign, and other election activities. Do you think you can do all of that by then? You have to be doing them with the intention of winning too. If you have something else realistic in mind, then by all means. But given the current situation, I don’t see that being possible at all.”(!)
I spoke with full confidence that it was impossible. The calmer I tried to talk, the deeper the tone of my voice started to sound.(!) I wasn’t trying to come off as critical, but my tone clearly said otherwise.
With a look of surprise, Meguri called out to me. Taking a step back to look at myself, I realized I was irritated.
Yukinoshita and Yuigahama were both silent.
Both of them were already fully aware of what the implications were despite whether I had voiced them or not.(!) A little thinking and a little knowledge of how the school operated was enough to understand what was going on.
>Yukino tries coming up with yet another solution: finding another suitable candidate to prevent Hachiman from continuing with his plan. Hachiman shoots it down. He says there’s no one willing and there’s no time to find someone who is more popular than Iroha or so competent to make everyone want to vote for this individual.
>Yukino tries another approach: if Hachiman and Yukino can’t see eye to eye and Hachiman is dead set on solving the problem by humiliating himself and making everyone hate him, then Yukino asks Sensei if there’s any validity in Yukino’s methods. She’s asking Sensei if it’s ok for them to not work together on this case. Yukino is trying to solve this without allowing Hachiman to hurt himself again.
>Yukino is taking a long time to come up with another way of solving the problem.
“Miss Hiratsuka. Do you have a moment?”
“Ah, then, we’ll be going then.”
Realizing what was going on, Meguri took Isshiki and left the room. After seeing them off, Miss Hiratsuka turned towards us.
“Okay then, let’s hear what you have to say.”
After pulling out a chair, she sat down with her legs crossed. Just a little longer and the room would become darker. In contrast, the sky outside the window was dyed with a crimson red. As we approached closer to the winter solstice, the evening would inch earlier and earlier day by day. Miss Hiratsuka waited motionlessly for Yukinoshita to start. The tea on the table had already lost all its warmth and the candy prepared was left untouched. The hands of the clock continued to move and occasionally you would hear someone sighing in exhaustion. An unknown amount of time had passed and eventually, Yukinoshita spoke up.(!)
“There was something that I just remembered.”
“Ah? What is it?”
Without answering me, Yukinoshita faced Miss Hiratsuka.
“Has there been a clear winner so far?”
“If the match is still ongoing, then there won’t be a problem with our opinions being divided this time, correct?”
“…Um, what do you mean?”
Yuigahama’s shoulders slightly shrunk in anxiety. In the same way, I didn’t understand the meaning behind Yukinoshita’s words and waited for her to continue speaking. Yukinoshita looked at Yuigahama but not me and spoke.
“It means it isn’t necessary for me and him to do the same thing.”
>If Hachiman and Yukino can’t work together, Sensei asks Yukino what is going to happen to the club.
“Guess there’s no helping it. You guys should do as you please then. So until the problem is solved, what about the club?”
Once asked, Yukinoshita answered instantly without hesitation as if she already knew what she was going to do with the club.
“You have the freedom to come to the club if you like.”(!)
“…Well, that’s the correct decision.”
Miss Hiratsuka looked convinced. At the very least, the way we were now, there wouldn’t be any meaning for us to sit in this room silently.(!) If we’re going to be doing things our own way, there wasn’t a need for us to gather in this room. That’s why I had no qualms regarding this decision. I picked up my bag and left the seat that was always on the other end of the table.
“I’ll be heading home then.”
“Ah, w-wait a second!”(!)
Yuigahama stood up with the chair clattering noisily. I stopped Yuigahama who looked like she was going to head my way.
“…You should think about what you should do too.”(!)
Yuigahama stood there motionless. Does she really know what I mean? I mean, there were other times like this anyway. More than likely, we had to think about what would happen in the future. As she stood there, I turned my back on her and headed for the door. There was a sigh directed at my back.
“We both hated acting superficially friendly with others the most, too…”
I turned my head naturally in response to Yukinoshita’s words. With no words that could possibly answer to that seemingly sad smile without the slightest hint of self-deprecation, I silently closed the door behind me.
>Sensei wants to talk to Hachiman about what’s wrong, Hachiman says it’s nothing. Sensei tells Hachiman that he’s kind and that he has saved plenty of people, but if he continues solving problems the way he’s solving them right now, one day he won’t be able to save the person he wants to save the most (Yukino).
As I continued to walk along while watching that shadow, emotional footsteps could be heard chasing me from behind.
Called out, I stopped at that moment. The owner of the voice was someone I knew. That’s why I stood there in place without turning my head. Miss Hiratsuka sped up her pace and stood next to me.
“I imagine it’d be pointless to ask but…”
She combed her long hair roughly with a small complaint. That’s the teacher for you, quite all foreseeing. But, it was something that she had to ask no matter what. We both descended the stairs.
“Did something happen?”
“Nothing at all.”
I wasn’t sure how many times I had said that already.(!) If I were to continue repeating those same words over and over again, I thought I wouldn’t feel that way anymore.(!) Instead, I’d just end up having doubts about my own words.(!) As if Miss Hiratsuka knew or didn’t know about that feeling, she smiled bitterly.(!)
“I see. Well, that’s fine. I didn’t think you’d be honest enough to answer anyway.”(!)
And from then on, she never asked another question. Miss Hiratsuka and I continued down the stairs and into the hallway in silence. Around the next corner was the faculty office and straight ahead would be the front entrance. As we approached the point where we would go our separate ways, before I could say anything, Miss Hiratsuka spoke first.
“You are kind after all… There were a lot of people you saved too.”
I thought that was different. Kindness or saving people were things that were not meant for me. I wasn’t a human capable of that. Besides, people simply don’t just save people for the sake of it. What they really did was look for someone beneath them and get into a mood to help them. By discovering a meaning behind a person’s actions, they use it to comfort themselves.
“With the way you handle things, when you meet someone you really want to save, you won’t be able to at all.”
>Hachiman decides not to go to the Service Club anymore from this point onward. He is also still planning on going through with his plan if Yukino and Yui aren’t able to solve Iroha’s problem.
Starting tomorrow, I’ll be able to go home earlier. Attending the service club was now optional temporarily. With a battle royal rule in effect, since the way I handled things differed from the two in the club, there wasn’t a need to force ourselves to work together. I was already set on what I planned to do and it actually didn’t require any preparation beforehand. It was fine as long as I managed something on the day of the event. That being the case, the only thing I could do before the day of the vote was not get in the way of the two. Even more so. Even if I didn’t do anything, as long as those two did something, then that was good. There’s no doubt they’d solve the problem more effectively than I could. We both chose to not interfere with each other. There wasn’t a need for us to tread that thin rope just for the sake of getting closer. Preserving an adequate distance between another was a way for people to get along with each other, after all.(!) I decided to stop thinking about anything related to the club. But humans were mysterious creatures. Whenever you wanted to free your mind from all thoughts, you ended up thinking about troublesome things instead.
So, let’s do a quick status update as to what is going on: Yukino is desperately trying to prevent Hachiman from self-sacrificing. Hachiman is still stubbornly holding onto the idea that he’s the best person to solve everyone’s problems at the expense of himself, because his well being doesn’t matter to others. Hachiman and Yukino can’t come to a compromise, so they decide to solve things using their own methods. Hachiman still refuses to admit anything is wrong. He doesn’t want to talk to anyone about it, not Sensei, not Yukino and Yui, not Komachi. He’s a proud loner after all. As long as he keeps repeating to himself that everything is okay, then surely over time he will actually start believing those words, right?
>Hachiman is able to be an open book towards the people that don’t matter to him.
A couple of other things that are important here are the following:
Yukino says that Hachiman doesn’t have to force himself to show up to the Service Club if he doesn’t want to. Since the beginning of the series it has been Yukino’s intention to help Hachiman become a better person. She has never intended to force him to be in the Service Club against his will. Now, you might be thinking that’s wrong, because in the early parts of the series Hachiman tried weaseling his way out of the Service Club on a couple of occasions.
The point is, those weren’t strong enough reasons for Hachiman to quit. Hachiman didn’t want to be a part of the Service Club, because he “hated” interacting with other human beings (because of his past, out of fear of being hurt again if he tried reaching out to people) and wished to remain a loner rotting away in his room for the rest of his life. However, that was the entire reason he needed to join in the first place. The point is, because he had nothing better to do in life, he may as well join the Service Club. However, every single time Yukino has felt that Hachiman had a really good reason to not be in the Service Club (to be more precise: be around Yukino), she has given him the option to walk away.
>Hachiman finds out about Yukino’s involvement in the car accident, Hachiman wants to continue hurting himself while Yukino tried stopping him, Hachiman forcing himself to be in the Service Club so he could “look out” for the girls (I’ll come back to the third one later on).
Ever since the moment Yukino told Hachiman that showing up in the Service Club is voluntary, in the period of two weeks, he doesn’t show up in the Service Club (in Volume 8), except for three times. (He also shows up in the last chapter of Volume 8, after the whole election is over, but I’m specifically talking about the period in time before the actual election takes place.)
Yukino and Hachiman both hate superficial relationships. They would rather be alone than be close to people while pretending to be something they’re not. Because Hachiman wants to pretend like everything is alright, he has taken the first step into making the relationship the trio has something superficial. The next step is going to be when he starts lying to Yukino and others, but that will play a role later on.
“We both hated acting superficially friendly with others the most, too…”
Yukino’s intentions were to make Hachiman a better human being and help him get friends, however Hachiman being in the Service Club is apparently having the opposite effect: he’s hurting himself/making himself the most hated person in school for the sake of others. This is going to come back in Volume 9.
Back to the story.
>Komachi is still angry at Hachiman for the way he reacted to her. Unable to face her, Hachiman decides to go kill some time (LN exclusive). He enters a donut shop and encounters Haruno.
>Hachiman and Haruno talk to each other for a while, they talk about Yukino and if Hachiman has made any “progress” (if you get what she means).
>They start talking about the student council election and Haruno finds out that Yukino isn’t going to run. Haruno says it’s “lame” that Yukino isn’t trying to surpass her or trying to obtain a position that Haruno never went for, because Haruno sees this as an opportunity for Yukino to distinguish herself from Haruno in the eyes of their parents. If Yukino had taken the position of student council president, she would gain more administrative and managerial experience (even more so than the experience she gains from helping people in the Service Club), which would give Yukino more credibility (in her mother’s eyes) to succeed her father with their family business.
>Orimoto and her friend show up. Orimoto reveals how Hachiman used to have a crush on her. This piques Haruno’s interest.
“You don’t say, Hikigaya confessed huh~.”
Haruno spoke with a surprised tone. But those amused eyes of her were dyed with a sadistic color. It made me suspect she wanted to know what happened between me and Orimoto after seeing my reaction to her.
>“I wonder what Yukino’s reaction would be if she heard about this.” Haruno sets the four of them up on a date.
>Hachiman gave off the vibe that he won’t be showing up in the Service Club any more. This is clearly a problem for Yui, because the Service Club is where Yui can freely interact with Hachiman. Yui asks Hachiman if he’s coming to the Service Club.
“S-So, about today… Are you… going to the club?”
She asked with a very awkward, but probing tone. But I already knew what I was going to say.
“No. I’m not going.”
After I said that, Yuigahama tried to laugh it off as if she already knew what I was going to say.
“R-Right… U-Um, the thing is, we’re going to talk a little bit more with Iroha later so we can get a better idea of what to do or something.”
Judging from her tone, Yuigahama was probably working together with Yukinoshita. It was probably after I was on my way home that they talked to each other. While Yuigahama continued speaking, we had only climbed a few steps up the stairs.
“So, I just kinda thought Hikki not knowing was kinda that, you know…”
There were a lot of meanings in the word “that”. It was a pronoun that made you curious just exactly where the truth was and made you want to dig into it. When I glanced at Yuigahama, her facing down expression made me realize she still had more things to say. The stairs that I was used to ascending felt longer than usual.
Words suddenly escaped my lips.
“…Er, it’s nothing.”
“Aren’t you angry?” were the words I kept myself from saying. How unsightly. How incredibly lame. What’s the point in trying to act dumb? Yuigihama wanted to spend the days just like always; the same way as before.(!)
That should’ve been in line with what I wanted to do as well.(!) You keep things to yourself and make a composed face as if nothing was there.(!) You continue to do this every day. But eventually, you’ll forget about them.(!) And when the time comes when you can’t take it back, you’ll look back on these memories nostalgically wondering if that was how it really went with hints of regret.(!) You’ll end up telling yourself that they were nothing more than just bittersweet memories.(!)
>After being asked by Yui, Hachiman shows up for the first time at the Service Club. This takes place the day after Yukino told Hachiman that showing up was voluntary. (First time he shows up at the Service Club.)
As long as the service club stayed voluntary, there was no obligation forcing me to go.(!) But given my brief exchange with Yuigahama(!) in the morning when I bumped into her shortly after arriving at school, I needed to go to the service club room so I could hear out what the deal was with Isshiki. To be honest, my plans could be executed regardless of what Isshiki’s thoughts and circumstances were.(!) That’s why it wasn’t necessary at all for me to listen to what they had to say. That being said, there could possibly be things that could come up that would affect what Yukinoshita and Yuigahama had in mind regarding their plans. So basically, it boiled down to listening to what Yukinoshita and Yuigahama had to say instead. With that in mind, exactly how far could I go in facing Yukinoshita head on? This was exactly similar to when we first met each other and how we argued over the validity of our methods at every opportunity. Or actually, I got the feeling it was mostly her criticizing what I did half the time. Right. If I thought about it like that, then this time was exactly the same as back then. Yukinoshita rejected the way I did things this time as well. With that being so, this formality between us would continue as usual without the slightest change and our situation would stay maintained. If nothing changed, then there wouldn’t be any problems.
>Yukino and Yui present their plan of trying to find another competent candidate that will defeat Iroha fair and square, so that way Iroha doesn’t have to lose face. Hachiman says there’s not enough time to find someone that’s willing and competent in two weeks. Yukino says she’s aware of how little time they have left, so they’re going to start right away.
“Yuigahama, let’s get started.”
“Okay, good idea. So, we’re going to decide what our objective is so we’re gonna ask you about a few things, okay?”
Yuigahama got into the main topic and Isshiki responded with an idiotic sounding yes.
“For now, Iroha, we’ll find another candidate to step in and you’ll face off with that person in the election. And then you’ll lose as simply as possible in the final vote. We think this is the best way. Is that okay with you?”
“Let’s see, that really does give you a ‘final vote’ feeling. Ah. But, if possible, I’d like to lose someone who’s amazing. It’d be better for me personally!”
She looked like she wasn’t thinking at all, but Isshiki replied vigorously anyway. Although Yuigahama was the one explaining it, the actual brains behind the ideas were probably Yukinoshita who filled her in yesterday. They talked with each other to get a solid grasp of what their objective was. Today’s goal was to check Isshiki’s thoughts on it. From there, they would proceed to the next part of the plan. That was fine. But, there was still a part that was problematic.
“Did you find someone willing to be a candidate?”(!)
“Not yet actually…”
Yuigahama choked on her words and averted her face. Well, there’s no way it’d happen in the time span between yesterday and today. What was important was when they could find the candidate.
“What’s the cutoff for when you can run as a new candidate in the election?”
“The Monday two weeks from now. That said, the deadline’s supposed to have already passed, but that Monday is tentatively the new cutoff day. It’s the only day when they’ll accept any more candidates. The voting will take place on the Thursday of that week.”
My question was directed at Yuigahama, but the one who answered abruptly was Yukinoshita. Her eyes were focused on the paper at her hands and the minimal information that left her mouth had no feeling of emotions at all.
I lightly crossed my arms and began calculating the remaining time between today’s date and the cutoff date. Today was Tuesday. It was also after school already. If they were really going to go with the other candidate plan, then it was best to think that they’d start tomorrow. If you consider that you can’t do much on a Saturday, then there wasn’t much wiggle room. If you also factor in the time needed to collect the written application to become a candidate as well as the list of names endorsing the candidate, then the time was even more limited.(!) On top of that, they also needed to support the candidate as well as the personnel involved in the campaign.(!)
“Until then, you need to find a candidate, persuade him or her(!), and find over 30 people to endorse her.(!) After that, there’s also the election campaign as well huh…”(!)
“We’re very aware of how little time we have left.”(!)
Yukinoshita snapped back at my words I accidently let out with a cold tone. And then, she finally raised her head and spoke to Isshiki.
“That’s why we plan on going on ahead regarding those things… Isshiki.”
>Yukino gives Iroha a list of campaign promises that Yukino prepared. She wants to make a difference between the two platforms, to ensure that the speech the other candidate gives is better.
“Regardless of how it’s done, a speech needs to be made for Isshiki.”
“Haa, well, that isn’t too much of a problem…”
Well, she looked like she was used to being seen by people anyway. But her voice sounded like she didn’t get it at all so that made me worry. It’d be a problematic for me if she acted like that. It’d be like Yukinoshita said and it’d boil down to the plan I had in mind which was to make the speech myself.
“In the speech, the promises of the campaign need to be laid out so you can talk about them. Although, I don’t think there’d be anyone who would listen to it seriously…”
Somewhere in those words were feelings of self-mockery. It sounded like there were more to those words, but instead of brooding about it, Yukinoshita continued on.
“It might be better for the other candidate to have different campaign platform when Isshiki is doing her speech. If it’s the same thing, it’d just become a popularity contest. We want to aim for a somewhat noticeable difference in the two platforms.”
If all they needed to do was support some candidate, then that would be ideal. But, if it became a popularity vote, then it’d be a fierce battle dictating who was less popular than the other.
If they preach the same thing, then it’d boil down to a battle of who was more ostentatious. The center of attention would end up being on who the speaker was rather than what the speaker was talking about. Isshiki and Yuigahama nodded with an expression that ambiguously walked the line between understanding and not understanding the issue. Not making a big deal out of their reaction, Yukinoshita held out a piece of paper.
“I thought up the details of the campaign platform and the speech so could you take a look at them? It’d help me out if you could think of other things that are slightly different using this as a reference.”
>Hachiman calls Yukino’s idea bad, because the candidate would be a puppet. Is Yukino going to support said candidate forever? (Which is pretty ironic, considering this is the exact thing Hachiman ends up doing to Iroha.)
What bothered me was what would happen later on.
“…You guys were the ones who thought up what the campaign should be about. This means that the candidate is pretty much a puppet candidate, but is that okay with you?”(!)
Yukinoshita’s smile she had been making up until now cracked.(!) Apparently, I hit a sore spot as Yukinoshita went silent. Yuigahama and Isshiki looked at me with eyes asking for an explanation.
“It’s fine doing it your way if it turns out well. That is, if reality was that simple… But let’s say the candidate does win the election, what is he going to do about managing the student council?(!) Are you going to continue helping him after that? Maybe even forever?”(!)
I had no intention of criticizing Yukinoshita, but every word was sharp. Yuigahama quickly interrupted.
“T-That’s why we want to look for someone capable first.”(!)
>Then what meaning is there to Hachiman’s methods? If it’s just this one time that Hachiman has to hurt himself, then it will be fine, right? No problem.
“You’re just making it harder. If you think about the future, then it doesn’t really mean much. It’s not a very good idea.”(!)
This wasn’t just about this election in particular. This also involved the student council administration from here on out. Yukinoshita and Yuigahama’s solution was still incomplete.(!) I couldn’t figure out the meaning behind it. Yukinoshita’s gaze dropped to the surface of the table and I couldn’t see anything from her expression. There were no signs of movement at all in her downward facing expression, her gorgeous intertwined fingers, or her slender shoulders. Just after a short breath, I could hear a slightly feeble and quivering voice.
“…Then, what meaning is there behind your methods?”(!)
When she asked me, I couldn’t give an answer right away. Even though that was a question that seemed so obvious and even late, I had yet to think of an answer for it. What meaning did my methods have? Obviously, nothing at all.(!) There was never any meaning at all. All I did was just push things onto the backburner and kept it there until it all became for nothing.(!) The way I did things fell under that kind of type after all. It didn’t matter if someone pointed it out to me this late in the game, I was well aware of it. But cases where those methods were the only ways to resolve the problem and where those methods were the most effective existed.(!) That was indeed the truth. This case was all the same. If this was the same way, then what I was going to say was already set in stone.
“If it’s just this time(!), then for now, I’d say avoid everything. After losing because of a vote of no confidence, then we can pull out and let the special election happen. That’s the right answer.”
“Just this time? No, that’s wrong.”(!)
Yukinoshita’s voice wasn’t as feeble as before. It was a criticizing voice that was dyed with a stern chillness. Yukinoshita who was looking downward the entire time looked up. Her blue eyes were fired up.(!) The light from her sharp eyes wouldn’t allow me to look away.(!) It was a glare that felt as if she was holding an ice prick to my neck. It took a hold of me and wouldn’t let me go. I swallowed nervously. Yukinoshita bit her lips.(!) It was like she was trying to swallow her words.(!) But even so, she couldn’t stop herself and the words came flowing out.
“…You did the same thing before and avoided the situation.”(!)
Her voice was so quiet. It was so quiet yet it reverberated so well in my ears. It was shaking. The inside of my head was assaulted by a jolting sensation.(!) The vivid, blue moonlight illuminated the bamboo forest and the cold wind blew past the leaves and branches. What floated into my mind was that kind of scenery.
As I tried to shake those thoughts away, I unconsciously rustled my hair.
“So… was there a problem?”
The incident during the field trip wasn’t solved in the least. Instead, the problem was pushed into the darkness.(!) The result of avoidance wasn’t something to convince everyone. Rather, the whole point was aiming to not convince anyone at all. That’s why there wasn’t a single person who could criticize my actions at the time. Except for Yukinoshita Yukino.(!) Yukinoshita’s gaze maintained their intensity as she continued staring at me.
Her sealed lips trembled.
“Weren’t you the one who said there wasn’t any meaning in those kinds of superficial appearances…?”(!)
Loneliness reverberated somewhere in that cold and soft voice of hers. I couldn’t help, but look away. Those piercing words alone were words I couldn’t bring myself to answer. That was probably the one and only shared belief between Hikigaya Hachiman and Yukinoshita Yukino. As I sat there without saying anything, Yukinoshita sighed in resignation.
“You don’t plan on changing, do you?”(!)
I answered without hesitation. I won’t change.(!) I just can’t change.(!)
“…I’m going to head home now. I already got the gist of what’s going on now.”
There was no point in staying in the room any longer because there would be nothing to gain from doing so. It was likely only things would be lost if I stayed.
The chapter where this conversation takes place is called: Quietly, Yukinoshita Yukino becomes determined
Something happened during this scene that made Yukino make a decision, namely Hachiman’s unwillingness to change. Yukino becomes determined to do “something”. What exactly? To do whatever it takes to stop Hachiman from making a fool out of himself in front of the entire school. Yukino is willing to go as far as to ask Hayato (a person that has wronged her in the past and a person Yukino has been keeping at a distance during the early parts of the series) to help her out.
>Is this going to work out? Don’t worry, if worst comes to worst, Hachiman will solve the problem “his way”.
>Hachiman hasn’t shown up at the Service Club for a couple of days, not just that, he hasn’t spoken to anyone either. Don’t worry, everything is still normal.
A few days passed since the day I talked with Yukinoshita and the others in the club room. In that time, my life consisted of only going home and going to school back and forth. Even at home, I didn’t even see Komachi and never really had a real conversation. My only speaking partner was just my cat, Kamakura. I would probably go straight home after homeroom without visiting the club today as well.
>S2E4: Due to Haruno’s meddling, Hayato invites Hachiman out on a date with Orimoto and her friend. Hachiman declines. Haruno calls him later and insists. She lets Hachiman know that Hayato, for some reason, really wants Hachiman to come as well, implying that Hayato is planning something Haruno isn’t aware of.
>Proud Hayato bows and asks Hachiman for a favor.
>I wonder why Hayato insists on taking you along?
>They go out on a date. Orimoto and her friend treat Hachiman poorly throughout the entire date. Hayato smiles all the way through.
>I don’t like the way you’re acting. Hayato has been keeping quiet throughout the entire date while the girls were mocking Hachiman. Hayato stands up for Hachiman, just as Yukino and Yui are about to show up.
And in that silence were the sounds of footsteps. The sound came from the stairs and it was heading in our direction.
“…Looks like they’re here.”(!)
Hayama muttered and stood up.
>If Hayato has no intention of running for SCP, then what was Hayato’s real reason for calling Yukino and Yui here and for forcing Hachiman to go on a double-date?
>“I just wanted to do whatever I could.”
>“Oh? Is that so?”
As expected, Yukinoshita and Yuigahama planned to nominate Hayama as the candidate. That decision itself wasn’t all that mysterious. You could even say it was correct. But it was odd for Hayama to actually accept it.(!) Regardless of how much of a “can’t refuse someone if they asked for help” personality he had, Hayama was in a club. On top of that, he was the club president. If he was half-hearted about either one, he’d cause trouble for both. Hayama should’ve been well aware of that.(!) So there was no way he’d be able to accept the offer so easily.(!) As I stood there not understanding what Hayama’s real intent was(!), I looked at Hayama. When I did, Hayama who took on my glare responded in a weak voice.
“I just wanted to do whatever I could.”(!)
Basically what happens is the following: Hayato forced Hachiman to come with him on the date. Hayato invited Yukino and Yui, under the pretense that he wanted to talk about the SCP candidacy. Orimoto and friend treat Hachiman poorly throughout the entire date. Hayato suggests they go to a specific cafe. Just as Yukino and Yui are about to come in, Hayato starts making his speech about how Hachiman is actually really great. He does this to make amends for allowing Hachiman to fix his group’s problem during the Ebina arc and felt guilty that Hachiman’s actions now distorted the balance of the member of the Service Club.
(For a more in-depth analysis on Hayato, read his part)
>Haruno enters the scene and confronts Yukino about how she doesn’t want to run for StuCo president. She compares Yukino to her mother: “Always forcing work on others… You don’t even have to lift a finger. Others always get their hands dirty for you.” Yukino slaps Haruno’s hand away. Yukino replies with: “So, that’s what this is about.”. (It’s possible that this is about their family business.)
After that she throws a quick glance at Hayato. Yukino leaves. (You could say that in the anime she throws a glance at both Hachiman and Hayato.)
>“The way you go about forcing work on others is just like mom. You don’t even have to lift a finger, others always get their hands dirty for you.”
>“So, that’s what this is about.”
“I was told we were having a meeting regarding the election.”
As she said that, Yukinoshita sent Hayama a sharp glare. The glint in her eyes directed blame at Hayama more so than words could. Hayama couldn’t think of how to answer and looked away.
“Hmmm, I see, I see.”
The woman who had been sitting at the seats for smokers in the corner the entire time stood up. She took off her hat and walked up to us.
When Haruno appeared, for the first time, Yukinoshita was trembling. She probably wasn’t expecting to meet her in a place like this. When Haruno saw this, a malicious smile formed on her face.
“So, Yukino, you’re not going to run for student council president, huh? I was totally under the impression you were going to.”(!)
She took one step after another, closing the distance between her and Yukinoshita before eventually standing in front of her. Yukinoshita bit her lips and softly casted down her eyes. But even if she averted her gaze, she couldn’t keep her ears from listening.
“You’re exactly like mom in the way you push someone to do things for you.”(!)
Those words were words Yukinoshita couldn’t respond to and all she could do was strongly clench her fist. Haruno moved her face closer to Yukinoshita and softly rubbed her nape.
“Well, I guess that suits Yukino-chan just fine, though. After all, it’s fine if you don’t do anything. I mean, someone’s always going to do it for you, right?”(!)
She traced her long, supple fingers smoothly across her pale nape. She continued on as if she was tearing out her arteries and as if she was gradually strangling her neck. When her fingers reached her throat, Yukinoshita brushed off Haruno’s arms. For several seconds, Yukinoshita and Haruno stood off against each other. No one was allowed to come in between them.
“I see, so that’s what this is about…”(!)
Yukinoshita murmured and then shot a glare at Hayama.(!) Hayama made a deep sigh and closed his eyes while Haruno fearlessly smiled. Yukinoshita adjusted her bag on her shoulders and turned around.
“If there’s nothing else, I’ll be leaving…”
She turned half her body to say that and began walking.
“Just why would you say things like that to Yukinoshita?”
When I asked, Haruno’s cruel smile she had the entire time disappeared and she let out a small sigh.
“Do you really have to ask? It’s just the usual.”(!)
“You’re going a little overboard if you’re just trying to meddle with her.”
Up until now, Haruno had always meddled with Yukinoshita in some way. But today, there was clearly a difference.(!) Those supposed words of provocation had a hint of lukewarm aggression.(!) Curious about the reason, I decided to ask, but Haruno tilted her head in a sweet fashion and played dumb.
“You think so?”
Brothers and sisters were, no, it was exactly because they were brothers and sisters that there were things that just wouldn’t work well together. It was especially even more apparent when these two sisters were continuously compared for their excellence.(!) That’s why, it was reasonable to see why Yukinoshita would think a particular way towards her older sister. At the same time, Haruno was also subjected to this comparison. Then from just that alone, it wouldn’t be odd to think Haruno thought the same way towards her younger sister.(!)
What is important to take note of here is the following:
In Volume 2, Yukino wanted to use her father’s influence to run for office/student council president.
In Volume 6, Yukino showed interest in joining the committee during Sagami’s arc, because:
1. The mood in the service club became awkward after Hachiman found out about Yukino’s involvement in the car accident. It would give Yukino a reason not to be around Hachiman.
2. Back when Haruno attended the same high school, she was the chairman of the committee. Haruno assumed that because Haruno once held this position, Yukino would want it as well.
>“Really? I’d figure she’d do it. I mean, it’s probably gotten awkward for her in the club. And I, her sister, was the committee chairman once. That’s reason enough for her to do this.” (Right after Yukino told Haruno that she wasn’t the chairman.)
When Meguri offered Yukino that position, Yukino turned it down.
During the same arc Yukino says the following: “There was a time when I wanted to be just like her.”
Implying that Yukino doesn’t want to be like her sister any more.
>During Volume 6,5 Meguri asks Yukino if she wants to be the chairperson for the Sports Festival committee, Yukino declines.
“The truth is, we still haven’t decided a chairperson for the Sports Festival committee……. So, will you do it, Yukinoshita-san?”(!)
Yukinoshita blushed under her fixated stare, however, she still seemed to have a little bit of strength inside of her to object, and managed to gently extract her hand from Meguri-senpai.
“As I expected~”
After Sagami and Ebina’s arc, Yukino now fully knows how Hachiman solves problems and what the consequences of said actions are.
Actually so do Haruno, Hayato and Sensei. In fact, Haruno encourages him to play the bad guy.
You could say that self-sacrificing Hachiman is Hachiman under Haruno’s influence, whereas trying-to-maintain-the-status-quo-Hachiman from the second half of season 2 is Hachiman under the influence of Hayato (and Yui) after spending some time observing their group about how to cover the cracks of an artificially/superficially restored relationship/bond.
>In the early parts of Volume 8, Yukino showed to have a lot of knowledge about the requirements for running for student council president. At the very end of Volume 8, Hachiman is going to come to the conclusion that maybe Yukino really wanted to run, but he doesn’t know why.
“Yes. I believe it was already publicly announced. I think the running candidates should have been as well.”
“Still, this is rather complicated. I believe you needed more than thirty signatures to be qualified.”
“Regarding the withdrawal of the candidacy, is it because there isn’t anything officially written about it in the election rules?”(!)
“Yukinoshita, you sure know your stuff…(!) That’s right. There’s nothing written about it in the first place…”
I see. Well, sure enough, people who wanted to go work for the student council were, without a doubt, people full of ambition. I imagine they didn’t even bother to think it would be necessary to write down about how to withdraw as a rule either. But still, that’s the Yukipedia for you. All knowing as per usual.(!)
“Ah, wouldn’t it be enough to say she can’t become the student council president because she’s a first year?”
Yuigahama raised her hand as she spoke. However, Yukinoshita had a sullen expression as she turned her head.
“Eh? Why not?”
Yuigahama asked in puzzlement. Meguri answered that question with an empty smile.
“That’s not in the rules either… There isn’t anything regarding a restriction of second years only for student council presidents written down.”
“Basically, student council presidents tended to be second years out of custom.”(!)
Yukinoshita added, convincing Yuigahama. She then had a troubled expression.(!) It was essentially an unspoken rule, but as long as it wasn’t officially stipulated, then it wouldn’t serve as a pretext to get out of candidacy.
>When Haruno is telling Yukino how she always lets others solve her problems for her, she is possibly referring to the time Yukino relied on Hayato to help her when they were kids and Hayato essentially not doing anything to help Yukino (maybe Yukino also asked a teacher to help her out) or it’s possible that once again this has something to do with their family business. Haruno is telling Yukino that if she wants something done, she shouldn’t rely on someone else to do it, especially not Hayato.
From Yukino’s point of view, she was hoping to ask Hayato to run for SCP. After being confronted by Haruno, Yukino comes to the conclusion that if it’s up to anyone to stop Hachiman from hurting himself, it’s going to have to be Yukino that does it.
The point is: before becoming friends with Hachiman and Yui, Yukino may have wanted to run for student council president, because taking on roles like this and doing a good job at them would serve as a means for her mother to take her request of wanting to work with her father at their family company (instead of Haruno) more seriously. After becoming friends with Hachiman and Yui, Yukino kind of lost interest in that. After spending time with Hachiman and learning to accept herself for who she is instead of constantly forcing herself to live up to Haruno’s image or to become better than her, she realized that there are other more important things in life. However, since Hachiman wants to solve Iroha’s problem with self-sacrifice, Yukino is now kind of back to the point where she needs to become SCP herself.
In Volume 4, Hachiman found out about Yukino’s involvement with the car accident.
In Volume 5, Yukino spent her summer vacation with her parents.
In Volume 6, Hachiman and Yukino aren’t on good terms with each other, so Yukino joins the committee. So, in the early parts of Volume 6, she’s choosing committee work over her friends (Yukino chooses to be the Yukino her parents expect her to be), because there’s a rift between Yukino and the other two.