If you’ve read Yui’s analysis, you should know what Yukino means by this. Otherwise I’ll just do quick recap:
1. Yui uses her puppy dog eyes/tears/emotions to get what she wants.
2. Yukino has been trying to stop Hachiman from self-sacrificing. While Yui didn’t like it, she just wanted things to go back to normal. To Yui it’s more important that Hachiman continues seeing her as a good girl. If Yui were to oppose Hachiman, that could only lead them to drifting apart.
>Yukino tries telling Hachiman that she cares about him and doesn’t want him to continue self-sacrificing himself, Yui interrupts Yukino.
Yuigahama forcefully placed her mug on the table and hoping to talk, interrupted the conversation. It was as if she had a feeling that what Yukinoshita was going to say were words that shouldn’t be said.(!) But that was nothing more than procrastination.(!) The way she acted as if she was trying to pretend she didn’t notice could only be seen as if she was trying to keep a secret under wraps.(!)
Yui is choosing her side: Hachiman > Yukino.
>Yui tries keeping everything normal so that the Service Club can survive.
It formally hit me again. Yuigahama was always supporting this space.(!) This meant that this relationship that would break down to pieces at any moment’s notice was held together by just one person.(!) An empty and monotonous exchange.(!) Depending on how you wanted to look at it, I felt it was a respectable and gentle period of time. A world that was guided by a conclusion based on compromise and management.(!) Words were properly exchanged and the parties had acknowledged each other and everyone would present a convincing answer and this would be established as consensus.(!) Was this really correct?(!) I ended up swallowing that doubt.(!) In place of that came out an uncomfortably hot breath that left my throat terribly parched. Unknowingly, I was watching the tea set that was no longer being used now.(!)
>And finally, the finishing blow, Yui lying to Yukino for Hachiman’s sake.
However, this is just the beginning. For all he has now are the words that he has prepared.(!) Because they are just words built upon by theory(!), he is rebutted by Yukinoshita, who thinks along similar lines as him. Though their line of thoughts are similar, they are really different people inherently. Because of how similar they are, they like to read between the lines(!) and often arrive at a misunderstanding.(!) For example, the intention of those words, “it’s my fault”, “it’s your fault”. Because they read between the lines, they interpret things as they themselves see fit and often come to a misunderstanding.
The point is: Yukino doesn’t want Hachiman to take the blame on himself. However, at the same time, Yui also has no right to call Yukino unfair, because Yui is one of the main forces that has been pushing this superficiality all for the sake of wanting things to go back to normal (because her Hikki wanted it like this).
>Yukino didn’t say anything because she thought this was what Hachiman and Yui wanted.
>Hachiman didn’t come here to play the blame game, it wasn’t his intention for them to deduce who was more at fault. Instead there was something he wanted. All of the (logical) words he stayed up all night preparing got wiped away by Yukino’s rebuttal. Since logic isn’t going to get across what Hachiman wants to tell them, instead he utters a few simple (emotional) words he didn’t exactly plan on saying. This is the moment where Hachiman lets go of his “I’m a cool loner that doesn’t need anyone else in his life” image.
“Hang on, I’m not here to talk about that.”(!)
Digging out the culprit and placing the blame on him was pointless.(!) I don’t want some kind of pretense where everyone was at fault.(!) I was here to talk about something entirely else.(!) Not so I could see a quarrel between Yukinoshita and Yuigahama(!), especially with those expressions they had. My voice, however, just didn’t reach them. Despite that, my still voice didn’t reach them.(!) Though they looked at each other in diffidence, their words continued to flow out without stopping. Yuigahama swallowed her breath, her white throat trembling. She faced Yukinoshita with moist eyes and spoke on.
“It’s because you never said anything(!), Yukinon… There are things we won’t understand if you don’t tell us anything.”(!)
“…You didn’t say anything, either. You would just keep talking as if nothing was wrong.”(!)
Yukinoshita’s voice was cold. Her expression resembled a congealed sculpture that simply and indifferently laid out only the truth. What she was speaking about was likely the time we spent together in the past few days.(!)
“That’s why… I thought if you? I thought if the both of you wanted things to stay this way, then…”(!)
Her murmur was so soft that it could disappear and Yuigahama choked on her words. The freezing and hollow clubroom simply waited for the end of time to come.(!) That, too, was something Yukinoshita had felt herself.(!) Both Yuigahama and I, however, had willfully swallowed that temporary nonsense.(!) And by doing that, it might’ve coerced Yukinoshita into acting the same way.(!) Everyone was the same for not saying the truth.(!) We were here, unable to say a single thing about the things we wanted.(!) Both she and I had been too indulgent on each other, on how we were supposed to be. Our ideals and our understanding should’ve been completely separate things, too.
How unsightly. To demand things of other people in such a tearful and pathetic voice.(!) I didn’t want to accept this kind of self.(!) I didn’t want to show it.(!) I didn’t want anyone to see it.(!) Even the things I said were incoherent. There wasn’t any logic or cause and effect anywhere. This was just a bunch of nonsense.(!) My wet and hot breaths caused my throat to shake. During that, I suppressed my voice that I felt was going to leak out.
The words that were prepared that in turn became the answer that he gave was sadly destroyed, but even so, he manages to squeeze out some vague words out of himself. It’s something abstract and intuitive. It’s probably something that not even Hachiman himself understands. That is precisely why Yukino, with her current thought system was unable to process it.(!) Hachiman himself probably felt relieved after saying those words. A sense of accomplishment that is similar to a form of acceptance and understanding. However, on the other hand we have Yui who accepts Hachiman’s ambiguous words as they are. Of course, accepting and understanding are two different terms altogether.(!)
Yui is glad Hachiman wants to talk to them. “Wanting something genuine” pretty much passes by her, which is natural, because it isn’t really meant for her. Yui is glad Hachiman is opening up to them and showing his emotions.
Yukino on the other hand has an entirely different reaction. Yukino tried pushing Hachiman away for his own good. Instead of turning Hachiman into a better person, as she originally planned, Yukino feared that her influence over him has only made him miserable. On top of that, he is hurting himself (self-sacrifice) for her sake and he has also become a liar. She told him to stop coming to the Service Club for those reasons.
Throughout her life, Yukino has endured plenty of people rejecting her out of jealousy, abandoning her, betraying her, bullying her etc. to the point where Yukino doesn’t trust people and always tries keeping them at a distance.
In a lot of ways, Yukino is the “not chosen one”.
After Yukino told Hachiman to stop forcing himself to come back to the Service Club, instead of abandoning Yukino, Hachiman comes back the very next day and tells her that he wants an even stronger relationship with her. Now because Yukino hasn’t had enough chances in her life to emotionally grow (family issues, bullying at school, creating a barrier around herself to push others away), she has no idea how to respond to such an honest request. An honest request she has been wanting to hear someone say her entire life. It also doesn’t help that Yukino hasn’t been able to tell them about the car accident, the actual reason for the Service Club’s existence and the motives behind her actions. Then of course there’s the fact that Hachiman’s actions don’t make any sense either. Up until the day before, Hachiman had been lying to her, pushing her away, making it seem like he didn’t want to be in the Service Club anymore and telling her that he solved problems on his own, because he’s always alone. Then the next day, after being told to take a break, he shows up and says that he wants a stronger relationship with her. Yukino, being unable to deal with these newfound overflowing feelings, runs away.
>Yui has never seen Yukino act this way, she tells Hachiman that they need to go after her. It’s now or never.
Again, Yuigahama pulled my hand along. It wasn’t as strong as the pull from earlier. It was a frailty that was trying to confirm and test something. I was sure even Yuigahama didn’t know what to do either. With our hands still together, she looked up at my face anxiously. That’s why I gently brushed her hands away. From that, Yuigahama’s hands dropped weakly and her face was about to burst into tears. But that’s not what it was. It’s not that I didn’t want to take someone’s hand because I was uneasy. It’s not that I wanted someone to support me because I couldn’t walk on my own. To hold hands was something for an even more different occasion.
>Hachiman and Yui go after Yukino. After regaining her composure, Yukino asks Hachiman what he meant with wanting something genuine. Yui says she doesn’t know either, but if they spend more time talking to each other (which was the exact opposite of what Hachiman wanted, he doesn’t just want words) they’ll be able to figure it out. Yukino and Yui hug and make up. Yukino says she accepts both of Hachiman’s requests.
I called her with a disconnected voice, but Yukinoshita didn’t turn around. Even so, it looked my voice had reached her as she spoke in a shuddering, small voice.
“…I don’t understand.”(!)
She voiced those words again. When she uttered them, my feet stopped. The chilly wind blew past as if dividing us apart. Yukinoshita slowly turned around as if that wind was agitating to her. Her moist eyes didn’t have any strength as she stood there strongly squeezing her clutched hands that pressed against her bosom. Yukinoshita asked me with a raspy voice, not bothering to adjust her hair that was disturbed by the wind.
“What in the world is that genuine thing that you asked for?”(!)
Even I didn’t understand it too well. To this day, I have yet to see it for myself, let alone touch it.(!) That’s why I was still here, not knowing whether that thing was something I could say “that was it”.(!) Of course, there was no way that other people would understand.(!) Even so, it’s something that I was wishing for.(!) As I stood there unable to answer, as if to make it up for me, Yuigahama took a step forward and placed her hand on Yukinoshita’s shoulder.
>After Hachiman’s emotional confession, the mood becomes awkward. Hachiman is embarrassed because this is the first time since middle school that he has tried reaching out to someone. Well, not entirely true, but there’s a huge difference between his emotional “I want something genuine” approach and this one:
After what happened, we went back to the club room in silence. We said our goodbyes and headed home with the lingering awkwardness of being unable to say anything and embarrassment.
I would go through repetitions of thrashing about, agonizing, and then stopping dead in my tracks like when a puppet’s strings were cut. When I was close to thinking I was dying, I’d realize that I was still alive and continue to thrash madly again like a cicada. An insect, that’s what I was.
(Hachiman is an insect again.)
>Hachiman tries convincing himself that it wasn’t a big deal, but that doesn’t work out as well as he hoped. He decides to go to the Service Club.
I woke up at the same usual time, had my breakfast, and commuted to school with my bike. Or that’s how it was supposed to go, but as I got closer to school, my feet that pedaled grew weaker(!), where I ultimately barely managed to slip into class before being late. …Yeah, like really, it’s just not possible.(!) For one thing, my personality wasn’t ever the type to just sweep all that stuff under the rug in just one day.(!) As I moaned internally, not making excuses to anyone, I continued to fall forward onto my desk. For now, I was making sure to be super careful of getting anywhere near Yuigahama because it was too embarrassing. Even so, Yuigahama seemed to be rather mindful of me as our eyes would meet accidentally during the morning homeroom and even during class. When they did, I would quickly avert my eyes and take a sleeping posture. What the heck is this? Really, what the heck is this…?
Well, we did have those superficial exchanges for a while now and we did have that mess yesterday as well. It might be a little difficult to try to get on good terms with each other like before so quickly.(!) Or so I was saying about them, but even I didn’t know how to properly deal with them either.(!) I didn’t know what the correct answer was right now(!), but I want to believe that this time now was much more alive than that frozen time.(!) In any case, I needed to do what I had to do.
>Things are still awkward for the members of the Service Club, however this time the awkwardness is good. Well, for the most part.
After Hachiman realized he wasn’t able to solve this case on his own, Hachiman showed some humility and asked Yukino for help. He decided to rely on her. After making up with Yukino in the Service Club and telling her that he wants something genuine/a stronger emotional connection with her, the two of them double-team the committee and eventually turn the event into a success. This is another one of those times where the series showcases how when Hachiman and Yukino work together, they’re unstoppable and far more competent than when they’re trying to solve problems on their own. However I’m getting ahead of myself.
>Hachiman asked the Service Club for help. For the first time, Yukino and Yui are about to witness just how bad the situation is.
>Yui asks Hachiman what they’re going to do, Hachiman says he has no clue. Yukino is surprised that there are things that Hachiman doesn’t know either. This is the first moment where the series shows that Yukino has lost her self-confidence.
In that heavy atmosphere, Yuigahama energized herself, hoping to turn it around, and faced me.
“So, what should we do?”
“…I don’t have a clue.”(!)
I answered honestly. Frankly, there was a part of me that thought if everything was decided in the conference today(!), we could’ve jumped straight into our jobs and things would have worked out for the better. I had the expectations that we would’ve made some significant progress even if everything wasn’t completely decided.(!) But now that the lid was taken off, this was what we got.(!) As I fell into thought about what to do, Yukinoshita stared at me and murmured.
“…So there’re things you don’t understand too.”(!)
“What, are you being sarcastic? Of course there’d be a load of things I don’t understand.”(!)
When I answered her by reflex like before, Yukinoshita stuttered with her words.
“I didn’t mean it like that, um…”(!)
As Yukinoshita said that, she looked away from me and lightly bit her lips. She then dropped her gaze. If this was in the past, then this should’ve been a meaningless exchange(!), but now it was rather awkward.(!) I couldn’t seem to get a good grasp of this distance.(!) Unable to stand the mood, I scratched my head.
“…No, my bad. I want to do something about it, but I really don’t know what to do.”(!)
“…I’m not criticizing you.”(!)
Yukinoshita answered in a small voice while still facing down.
>Yukino comes up with a plan of action, however there are still a couple of things that she can’t quite work out. Hachiman is glad, because before this they had nothing at all to work with. However, Hachiman notices Yukino’s lack of confidence in herself.
Well, I understand. In this short of a time, she organized the problematic points and proposed a detailed plan.(!) That’s Yukinoshita for you.(!) It was likely that there wasn’t a person at this school who could surpass Yukinoshita in regards to practical affairs like this. Still, even with Yukinoshita here, she looked like she couldn’t easily think of a solution.(!) When she made a big “X” mark on her own memos, she let out a shallow sigh.
“However, I don’t think that’s the issue. There’s something more fundamental…”(!)
The person in question didn’t seem too convinced, but for me, it was some progress.(!) At the very least, we had something we could do right now.(!)
“Anyway, let’s try the things you came up with just now.(!) For now, we’ll talk about the money issue at school. We’ll check if we can follow through with extra additions to it.”
I said that, stood up, and Yukinoshita looked up at me with a slightly apprehensive expression. To see Yukinoshita lacking in confidence was quite rare(!) that I was a little bewildered.
When I asked her, Yukinoshita abruptly turned away.
“No… I was just thinking that you had all this in mind already as well.”(!)
“No, I haven’t thought of anything that concrete.”(!)
“I see… Then that’s fine.”(!)
After saying that, Yukinoshita stood up as well.
I’d say this is a rather huge adaptation miss as well. The anime doesn’t show that because Hachiman asked Yukino for help, it’s Yukino that pretty much singlehandedly turns this entire event around (in cooperation with Hachiman of course). This is essentially Yukino’s “confrontation with Sagami on the roof” moment in the series. It shows that just like how Yukino can always count on Hachiman, Hachiman can always count on Yukino as well.
>The gang is out of ideas, they decide to go to Sensei and ask for advice. Sensei sees Hachiman has made up with Yukino and Yui and teases him about it a little. I see you finished your homework. What homework?
When I called her, Hiratsuka-sensei lifted her head. She then looked at me and then at Yukinoshita and Yuigahama behind me and grinned.(!)
“Hikigaya. Looks like you did your homework.”(!)
“We didn’t get any homework for modern Japanese.”(!)
>Because there has been tension between the Service Club for quite some time now, Sensei gives them tickets to Destiny Land, hoping that a little breather will help them restore their relationships. Yukino is bad with crowds, but she also knows that the atmosphere has been awkward and she probably doesn’t know how she should behave during a trip like this, so she refuses at first. Hachiman says that he wants to buy Komachi a Pan-san themed gift, this piques Yukino’s interest and makes her want to go. She’s the expert on Pan-san themed gifts, so she wants Komachi to get the very best... even though Komachi doesn’t actually have an interest in Pan-san.
(Lying to Yukino #9… Aah forget about it)
“…I want to go together with Yukinon. I mean, recently we’ve been kind of like that and it’d be a waste too, so…”
When she said that, Yukinoshita quickly looked downwards. If it was like always, then Yukinoshita would’ve surrendered immediately to Yuigahama’s wishes(!), but she was acting flustered. It looked like she didn’t know what to do.(!) …As expected, things wouldn’t be that easy, huh?(!) The things you lost wouldn’t come back.(!) It made me fully realize. Yukinoshita, Yuigahama, and I as well were trying to gauge the distance.(!) Uhaa, these guys are so bothersooome. Well, the one who’s the most bothersome was me though! But, well, I was the one at fault for letting things turn out like this. In that case, I’ll at least take responsibility for that.
They go to Destiny Land, the place infamous for couples breaking up. For the most part this is a part in the series where the characters are having fun.
However there are a couple of important moments that happen during this trip.
>Iroha invited Hayato, because she wants to confess to him. Hachiman’s words have inspired her to try a direct approach instead of her usual foxy/seducing/fake cutesy act-approach. Yui knows this and she invited Yumiko Miura, because she’s friends with her and she doesn’t want to choose sides. Hachiman knows what happened the last time their group tried interfering with other people’s love affairs (TobeXEbina), so he tells Yui to stay out of this one.
As I said that, there was something else that slightly bothered me. For now, this was probably something I had to mention.
“Yuigahama… don’t bother with trying to support them or anything.”(!)
“Ah, okay… Right, I guess.”
After she said that, Yuigahama made a gloomy expression and faced downwards. Right now, we weren’t mature enough to be sticking our heads into other people’s problems.(!) That’s why we would definitely end up being mistaken about a lot of things.(!) I thought this was something I had to mention for sure.(!) Yuigahama was fiddling with her knit cap as if she was thinking about something. Her gaze was still facing downwards, but seeing how she was acting, I was aware that she understood it as well.(!)
>Hachiman is happy to see that Yukino and Yui are close again.
The most impressionable part was probably how it was the three of them taking pictures and then it became just the two of them walking side by side. When I write those light-hearted scenes and such, I often insert some very important details into it.(!) I would be most delighted if you guys could be on the lookout for such things.(!) Anyway, it doesn’t hurt to have a light-hearted scene once in a while.
What Watari means is the following: Yui is Yukino’s only friend. Hachiman is very aware of this. He is happy when he sees the two of them being able to get along. This is one of the deciding factors in whether Hachiman wants to pursue a romantic relationship with one of the girls, since that could end up tearing apart Yukino and Yui’s friendship.
And then of course, when Watari says he inserts important details into scenes, he could also be referring to this:
>There won’t be a next time.
Which doesn’t make sense, because they take another group picture in Volume 10,5. (As well as a bunch of pictures for the prom in Volume 12.)
>We find out why Yukino is bad with roller-coaster rides.
Due to the parade, they were separated from the rest, and just before they rode it, Hachiman determines that Yukino is not really good at coasters. At this moment, Yukino says that she will probably be fine, because she was fine when she rode it together with Yuigahama-san. Without reading too much into that, let us move on. Then, they board the coaster, and the reason behind why Yukino is so bad at this is determined. Once again, it’s because of the trauma caused by Harunon.(!) He looked surprised at this revelation, just as the coaster reached its highest point as well.
>While Yukino is picking out Komachi’s present, Yui makes her move on Hachiman.
>Yui: “Remember our promised date?”
>Yukino is bad with crowds, but she is also bad with coasters, so she continuously has a headache. Hachiman notices this throughout this trip and out of concern asks her if she’s alright. This causes the two of them to be left behind and because of this they are able to have a moment together.
>Yukino talks about her past with her sister. Haruno’s “love” for her sister has not always been healthy.
“Um… We’re not going to drop yet, so you’ll be fine even if you don’t hold the bar.”
“Y-Yes. I, guess so…”
Yukinoshita finally let go of the bar. And she then let out an exhausted sigh.
“You’re really not good at this, huh…?”
While I did ask her, I didn’t think she was this bad at it. When I told her, Yukinoshita had a self-deprecating smile.
“Yes. Long ago, there was, something with nee-san…”(!)
“Hm? Aah, your sister, huh?”
That person again…(!) Yukinoshita Haruno. She was Yukinoshita’s older sister who was a perfect, super human demon that surpassed her little sister. Then again, you know, Yukinoshita-san, you didn’t seem so absolutely perfect recently…(!) It looked like Yukinoshita was able to calm down after talking as she looked at the attraction. And there, the frogs would frolic around with spurts of water. I mean, you’re still by far above the rest in excellence though.(!)
(Over the course of the series, Hachiman has been starting to accept Yukino for who she is, instead of being stuck with the idea of the “perfect” Yukino he had since the beginning of the series.)
Yukinoshita slowly spoke as if she was matching with the slow progression of the ride. “It was something back when I was younger. Every time we came to places like this, nee-san would always act so meddlesome.”(!)
“I can kind of imagine that…”
Haruno-san was already active since then and even now she would meddle with her little sister.(!) Since this was back when they were kids, it was no doubt that it was on the level close to bullying when she played around with Yukinoshita.(!) When I said that, Yukinoshita chuckled. This was probably the first smile she had shown after getting on this ride.
“Yes. She would shake the Ferris wheel, take my hands off the bar on the coasters, and she would do a lot of other things while going ‘now, now’.(!) There was also the time when she would keep the coffee cup spinning even when I stopped it… Nee-san looked like she was having lots of fun that time too…”(!)
Yukinoshita’s expression would gradually grow dull as she spoke.(!) Just listening made even me feel disheartened too. Wasn’t Haruno-san pretty much the main reason why Yukinoshita was bad at the things she was?(!)
“Nee-san’s always like that…”(!)
Yukinoshita said briefly.
>After opening up about Haruno, Yukino asks Hachiman to help her out someday as well. This is the moment where Yukino finally trusts Hachiman enough to open up to him. However at the same time, it also shows that Yukino has lost confidence in herself and is now looking at Hachiman to help her. This is very important. While Yukino is the first person to directly and sincerely ask Hachiman for help this way and while Yukino is the person Hachiman wants to help the most, she will be the one person Hachiman is not going to be able to help or want to help. Yukino has to solve her problems herself. (I’m once again getting ahead of myself, you’ll have to read Part 5 if you want to understand what I mean by this.)
Most of all, the many lights twinkled like the entire starry sky and the night scenery of Destinyland expanded under our eyes. Yukinoshita looked at that and let out a short sigh.
What locked my turned gaze in place was the white and bluish illuminated White Wall Castle. And also, garbed in her coat of pure white, smiling with a face that looked like she was about to burst into tears, Yukinoshita. When I looked at that priceless, yet transient figure, I lost my breath.(!) Yukinoshita let go of the bar and grasped my cuffs. In that instant when our skins touched, it felt like it had taken a hold of my heart.(!) Before long, a pleasant floating sensation(!) that seemed like I would continue to fall forever(!) visited me.
“Someday, help me, okay?”(!)
Her whispering voice disappeared along with the descending wind and I was unable to reply back to her. I think that might have been the very first wish that Yukinoshita Yukino had uttered.(!)
>Yukino trusts Hachiman enough to “pour her wish” to him.
(Yukino’s character song: A Crescendo To You)
That time when I pulled at your sleeve
I poured my wish into those words, “Someday”
Something is beginning to change
>Yukino, the person that doesn’t like taking pictures, buys a picture of her and Hachiman.
(Yukino’s character song: A Crescendo To You)
The countless times that I looked at that same photo
I break out into a smile ever so naturally
>After the ride, Hachiman and Yukino have a heart-to-heart conversation. Yukino talks about how everyone always used to love Haruno because of her outgoing personality/charm. Yukino always followed in Haruno’s shadow, tried to be like her, but she only succeeded academically. Yukino has never had the social graces Haruno has and this this is the origin of all of Yukino’s problems: she wants to live up to Haruno’s image, because she believes that’s what everyone wants her to be/being like Haruno will make others happy/make others like her, but at the same time she also wants to stay true to herself.
Hayato on the other hand not only successfully became like Haruno, he also accepted or came to terms with what his parents want him to be/society expects from him. The key difference between Yukino, Haruno and Hayato is that Yukino could never fully commit to becoming this:
It’s this struggle of “do I want to be myself” or “do I want to be what everyone wants me to be” that is the core of Yukino’s problem. Yukino has always been someone without direction in her life (because her parents left her to her own devices) or that has been following other people’s expectations. At first she followed in Haruno’s shadow and now she’s going to look at Hachiman to show her the direction she needs to go in. She wants Hachiman to be the one that “covers this frozen path in flowers and shows her the way to a place where she can grow flowers.”
Azalea flowers: passion that is still developing and fragile.
As in: she’s looking towards Hachiman to show her what direction she needs to go in life. Yukino has become indecisive, she wants to build a future with Hachiman (yes, they’re teenagers, but Hachiman and Yukino are both looking for serious long-term relationships), but she is afraid of rejection and she doesn’t know what he wants. At the last moment of Season 2, Hachiman will tell her to decide for herself what direction she wants go in, solve her own problems and to decide her feelings for herself instead of needing someone else to decide for her.
“Yes. Nee-san was there at the time too.”
If I remember correctly, that should’ve been the first time I met Haruno-san. Speaking of which, that time was when I forcefully pushed the plushy I won from the crane game onto Yukinoshita. We encountered Haruno-san immediately after that.
“I was really surprised because you suddenly pointed out accurate things about nee-san…”(!)
She made an abrupt ironic smile as if she was laughing in reminiscence as she spoke.
“It’s just what I thought after looking at her. Besides, she doesn’t smooth it over even when she’s being obvious about it.”
“I suppose so. But I think that’s also nee-san’s charm.(!) Since back then, nee-san was always loved by a lot of people. Even with that personality… No, it’s because of that personality(!) that she was expected of many things as well as being loved and doted on(!)… And she answered to all of that.”(!)
Yukinoshita spoke with a voice that was somehow enthusiastic and depending on how you listened to her, you could’ve thought that she was proudly boasting of her older sister. But that enthusiasm quickly sizzled away.
“I conducted myself like a doll behind her. Because of that, I was told I was obedient and a good, unproblematic girl, but… But I knew… That they were saying a lot of things like how I was unsociable and how I was lacking in charm underneath it all.”(!)
As I made short agreeable responses to Yukinoshita, I sipped my coffee again. It warmed my body, but it tasted awfully bitter. Obedient, not problematic, and a good girl. Those were probably words that trapped her.(!)
“I was told that too. Unsociable and charmless… Actually, I still get told that even now. By Hiratsuka-sensei.”
“Aren’t you more along the lines of impudent or cheeky or garbage or so?”
“Hey? Wasn’t that last one kind of different?”
When I told her, Yukinoshita cheerfully laughed. Before long, that turned into a gentle smile.
“Both you and nee-san are consistent in your actions(!) and that’s why I think you’re seen like that… But I just didn’t know how I was supposed to act.”(!)
>From Yukino’s character songs there’s always a reference as to how Yukino is looking for the perfect formula of how to behave herself. She is constantly second guessing her behavior. What is the proper way for Yukino to conduct herself? Should Yukino act in a way that is expected from her? Should Yukino be true to herself? Is Yukino allowed to go after things she wants? As you may be aware, Yukino usually needs a strong reason for her to act (this is something that both her and Hachiman have in common). One of the biggest obstacles she needs to learn to overcome is to stop being passive and go after things she wants because she wants them.
>Over time Yukino has slowly started becoming more open and behaving more like herself.
Back to the story.
>While Hayato fully accepted/came to terms with the life that was laid down on him and continues to meet everyone’s expectations, Yukino has tried to meet everyone’s expectations (including being socially charming among politicians and other important people during the important family meetings among other things), but for some reason she couldn’t. Something inside Yukino resisted the notion to conform to this superficial lifestyle. So while Yukino wanted to, she couldn’t, because she’s not that type of person.
Yukinoshita quietly looked up at the sky. And up there weren’t stars, but the orange light emitted by the lamps. Numerous of them lined up one after the other and were danced from the blowing wind.
“I think in that sense, Hayama-kun and I were definitely the same.(!) It’s because we’ve always been watching nee-san.”(!)
I was surprised when she suddenly brought up Hayama’s name. But Hayama was someone who had known the Yukinoshita sisters far longer than I have and probably even on a closer level too.
That was a domain that I still had no knowledge of.
It’s just even so, Yukinoshita Yukino and Hayama Hayato. I was aware that Yukinoshita Haruno was always at the place where these two would arrive at.(!)
One who continued to project her admiration and enmity to this day. One who tried to get closer from admiration only to be assimilated to this day. Just how was Yukinoshita Haruno reflected in the eyes of these two?(!) And just how did those two see each other? I started wanting to ask her about it, but even so, I didn’t. I washed away the mouth that was about to say something with the black coffee and jumped into another topic.
“Do… you still want to be like her?”(!)
At some point during the Culture Festival, Yukinoshita mentioned she held admiration of her in the past.
“I wonder. I don’t feel that way right now(!), but… I think it’s because nee-san has something that I don’t.”(!)
“And you want that?”(!)
Yukinoshita quietly shook her head.
“No, it’s just I wondered why I didn’t have what she did. And then, I became disappointed in myself for not having it.”(!)
>What Haruno has that Yukino doesn’t, is the ability to put up a fake smile/mask and socialize and indulge into empty superficial conversations with others. What Hachiman has that Yukino doesn’t, is the ability to “save” other people at the expense of himself. When Yukino realized that there wasn’t anything she could do (during Volume 8), Yukino started wanting something that neither of them had. This one is a bit difficult to crack, but based on all of the source material that’s available, I’d say the thing Yukino wanted was a sense of purpose/someone needing her/feeling useful to someone/that she matters to someone/a goal she had to strive for or at least something along those lines. (Which I know isn’t all that accurate, because there are people that rely and have expectations of Haruno, mostly her parents and the other VIPs, politicians etc.)
If Yukino had that, then she would be able to save something/someone. Hachiman is still unaware of who Yukino was trying to save.
I felt like I could understand that feeling. Aspiration, envy, and jealousy would eventually be connected to disappointment. Understanding from watching others was always just your own deficiency. Yukinoshita’s gaze dropped to her hands.
“It’s the same for you too. You have something that I don’t(!)… We weren’t similar at all it seems.”
We weren’t similar in the least. And yet, there was this aspect close to being half-hearted that repeatedly led me into thinking selfishly, misunderstanding, and getting mistaken about my feelings of myself.
“That’s why I thought I wanted something different.”(!)
After she said that, Yukinoshita adjusted the collars of her coat and directly faced me.
“It’s because I realized that there wasn’t anything that I could do(!) that I started wanting to have something that you and nee-san didn’t have(!)… I thought that if I had that, then I can save something.”(!)
Just what exactly was it that she needed(!) and what was it that she could save?(!) I wanted to fill in those lacking words so I asked her. However, Yukinoshita wouldn’t tell me.(!)
“…Who knows? What could it be, I wonder?”(!)
Yukinoshita’s only response was a girlish smile as if she was testing me.(!) Perhaps the answer to that question was her “reason”.(!) Why did Yukinoshita Yukino try to become a candidate during that student council election?(!) Or possibly, what was it that she had yet to talk about or that I didn’t try to ask about?(!) Here I was not asking her about the meaning of those words in that instant when that ride was going to fall. And Yukinoshita didn’t touch on it either. She talked about something else in bits and pieces as if substituting for that. It was like that mistaken wish that someone had where you could understand even if you didn’t talk or ask about anything.
>Iroha has been trying to confess to Hayato during this trip. She has asked Tobe to do the same thing Hachiman and Yui did during Ebina’s confession arc; Iroha asked Tobe to be her wingman.
>That ends up with Hayato rejecting Iroha, Hachiman confronting Hayato and Hayato saying that he isn’t the nice guy Hachiman thinks he is. Unlike Hachiman, Hayato is able to turn people down.
Hayama was someone who couldn’t maintain a relationship with someone unless he stayed ignorant to their feelings.(!) When a person’s feelings didn’t get across, then they would distance themselves and leave. That wasn’t entirely Hayama’s fault, but in order to avoid it, Hayama had to sidestep those feelings altogether.(!)
(This is something Hachiman is going to do during the entirety of Volume 11, except for the very end.)
That was something clear as day during that incident during the field trip as well. And it was that time that I became sympathetic to that kind of thinking.(!) I ended up understanding it.(!) It was something I couldn’t call a mistake. However, I knew that to avoid things was something that would turn into hurting others.(!)
>After the trip, we’re back to the Christmas event. Yukino confronts Hachiman about how he has been doing everything for Iroha and not allowing her to take on the responsibilities of SCP on her own.
“That may be true, but if you do every single thing for Isshiki-san, it won’t do her any good, would it?”
>Hachiman and Yukino exchange ideas on how to salvage the event. (LN exclusive)
“It must be that. The elementary students and also the nursery. We’ll have those kids do some things for us. The cheapness of their labor along with that feeling of amateurism can be used as weapons.”
“…I see. You thought of something good.”(!)
Yukinoshita was looking at me with incredibly glistening eyes. It’s just that the source of my idea was a little questionable, so it was hard to meet her eyes back. My answering voice felt like it was going to sound high-pitched too.
“Eh, ah, yeah, right. I mean, you see it in CMs right? Like, when they have trouble, they show animals and stuff, you know?”
But since Yukinoshita was concentrating on putting her thoughts in order, she wasn’t looking my way anymore.
“Certainly, if we show a play done by the children(!), no one would complain.(!) It seems like it’d go well with the elders as well.(!) That means it’ll all be dependent on what we do.”
Leaving this out is another adaptation miss.
>Hachiman says he has had enough of the meaningless discussions of Tamanawa and co. but quickly realizes his own hypocrisy. At least Hachiman is on the right track now.
“…What I don’t like is giving in to that superficial discussion. It’s something I hate the most.”
As I said that, I looked away and scratched my head.(!) When it came to mind how I was reveling in that kind of superficiality before(!), I thought I had the gall to be saying something like that.(!) Even so, I couldn’t be content with accepting that kind of sham anymore.(!)
>They enter the conference room. Tamanawa and co. start their usual discussions. Iroha quickly gets shut down.
>However this time Hachiman and Yukino aren’t going to allow things to play out the same way they have been playing out until now. It’s time to start rejecting ideas and actually do something instead. The plan is to NOT work together with Tamanawa’s group, but for both groups to come with their separate ideas.
Tamanawa wasn’t opposed to the entire plan of breaking things into two parts. Yet he was adamant in doing things together.(!) What was the reason for that? I opened my mouth in order to find the real meaning behind this feeling of discomfort.
“…Do we really have to do it collaboratively?”(!)
“We can have a large EVENT through collaboration which will bring about GROUP SYNERGY.”
“I don’t see anything synergistic about this. Besides, you say large(!), but at this rate, we’re not going to be doing anything worthwhile.(!) Yet, why are you still so fixated on it?”(!)
The greatest mistake of this conference was the nonexistence of rejection.(!) At the very beginning, there was no rejection. That’s why even if something was wrong, no one could correct it.(!) I also wasn’t able to reject anything.(!) Just maybe, this way of creating things existed too. That’s what I had thought. They were acting reserved with each other.(!) They were being considerate with each other.(!) By saying that, lies were being exchanged.(!) However, that wasn’t it. By all means, getting rejected wasn’t a bad thing at all.(!)
>Hachiman finally admits his mistakes. He is addressing Tamanawa, however every word Hachiman utters also applies to himself. Hachiman has been trying to sweep all of his mistakes under the rug. He forced Iroha to become SCP to not make Yukino or Yui have to run for the position so that he could preserve the Service Club. Feeling guilty about it he tried to fix it, but he couldn’t do it in front of Yukino, hence all the lying, scheming and deceit etc.
That’s why I needed to reject it. Although I couldn’t say that I was just at all.(!) But it was because I was able to reject that I realized where I was wrong.(!) In that case, there was no way I could accept this conclusion. I knew what I did wrong. But the world was much more wrong. I stared at Tamanawa. Then the corners of my mouth distorted.
“…Wrong. You’re acting conceited by thinking you can do it.(!) That’s why you can’t accept that you were wrong.(!) That’s because you want to hide your failures.(!) And to do that, you’re trying to make use of the plan and words to get commitment from others so you can feel relieved.(!) Because when you’re wrong, it feels a lot better to make it someone else’s fault.”(!)
Unintentionally, my voice was mixed with self-deprecation as if I was looking at someone just a while ago.(!) A gentle space with no rejection was probably like a dream. The superficial arguments remained in the minutes while only the conference in name continued. That way, you could fool yourself. But that was a sham.(!)
>Hachiman’s words alone aren’t going to convince them.
>Yukino steps in.
>Yukino admits her own mistakes of not openly communicating with Hachiman and telling him why he needed to stop sacrificing himself in Volume 8.
“You get involved in discussions with vague words and you think you understand(!), yet not a single thing was done.(!) There’s no way you’d be able to move forward like that…(!) Nothing will be created, nothing will be gained, and nothing will be provided…(!) That’s nothing but a sham.”(!)
>Iroha chews Hachiman and Yukino out, even though the two of them solved her problem. By rejecting ideas Hachiman and Yukino have done the exact opposite of what Iroha has been doing the entire time: saying yes to every idea.
>Hachiman and Yukino are back to a normal and healthy relationship where they can exchange jokes with one another again.
>Sensei comes to talk to Hachiman about the conversation that took place. Sensei says that it’s surprising to see Yukino, a person that is bad at speaking in public, who doesn’t like drawing attention to herself and doesn’t like standing in front of others, to openly show her weaknesses like that or take charge of the situation. Sensei says she’s glad that Hachiman and Yukino are able to share such a strong relationship where they can hurt each other, but also grow closer to each other. Sensei also points out that the two of them still have a long way to go before they fully understand each other. Hachiman once again reminds himself of the relationship he desires with Yukino, a relationship where they are able to share the most intimate of thoughts/emotions with one another, or at least that their relationship will someday be able to become that. (LN exclusive)
At the moment, I had nothing else to do so I pulled a seat nearby and fell back onto the chair and was looking at the ceiling. There wasn’t a single person who approached me in the area and this empty void of time flowed by. Sometimes I felt stares. I was supposed to have been used to the kinds of stares that looked at something odd and the whispering voices, but since it was a long time since I was conscious of it, it felt strangely nostalgic.(!) And that feeling was the same towards Yukinoshita.(!)
(Hachiman mentions a feeling of nostalgia in regards to Yukino, this will come back later.)
As I was sitting, Hiratsuka-sensei was looking down on me from above. Just how long had she been there?
“You came by?”
“I just came to check on things while I was in the middle of something.”
Hiratsuka-sensei didn’t sit, seemingly not planning to stay long. I felt uncomfortable being the only one sitting so I stood up. When our faces got closer, Hiratsuka-sensei looked at me fixedly and made a bitter laugh.
“Looks like you were quite obtrusive again, huh?”(!)
Aah, she was here that time too, huh…(!) I got bashful from having that stunt seen since it was a little embarrassing and Hiratsuka-sensei inspected the interior of the Training Room. And what she was looking at was Yukinoshita.(!)
“Still, for that girl to act like that… It’s a little surprising.”(!)
“Well, I suppose so…”
I gave a meaningless response. Even I was convinced that what Yukinoshita said that time was surprising.(!) But I felt like I couldn’t describe it well in words. Even so, Hiratsuka-sensei nodded in response.
“If you’re going to be hurt together(!), then that might actually not be painful at all…(!) The beauty of being out of tune, huh?”(!)
I questioned her, not understanding the mutter she let out. When I did, Hiratsuka-sensei talked without looking at me.
“To get hurt and to be twisted…(!) Also, to be rebellious; for those who are watching, there are things they would think as beautiful.(!) And in that, there would surely be value in it…(!) I don’t dislike those kinds of things.”(!)
She then turned around to me. And her eyes were seemingly sorrowful.
“But at the same time, there’s also fear. Because you end up thinking whether if this was good enough. The happiness of not being understood by others could be called a closed happiness(!), after all.”
“Isn’t that kind of bad?”
When I asked, Hiratsuka-sensei slowly shook her head. Her long, glossy black hair gently flowed back and forth.
“I wonder… That’s something that you can only check with the teachers during semester exams. That’s why I’ll at least continue asking you. So you should continue thinking about it as well.”
She parted with those words and left the Training Room. As I watched her off from behind, I dug around for the words I had to respond with. What I wished for probably wasn’t a relationship that was conventional in society.(!) It was probably something where you dragged down the hand you took along with you to the sea bed.(!) It was a terribly self-centered sentiment.(!) There was no need to say it. From here on as well, I’ll continue to ask, answer, and think for a long time.(!)