>Orimoto encounters Hachiman (in the LN they encounter each other on their way home). She shares a drink with Hachiman. She tells Hachiman that she sees him in a different light now. She says that she’d not be opposed to the idea of them being friends. She also acknowledges how Hachiman and “that girl” make a powerful team when they’re working together. So much so, that Tamanawa’s group has decided to actually do stuff as well, instead of just talk. (LN exclusive)
“But as a friend, it might work out. You’re hilarious after all… Well, whatever though.”
When she said that, Orimoto threw the can of tea in the trash and straddled her bike.
“But like, thanks to Hikigaya and that girl(!), our side is totally getting into it. Our president’s like really motivated now. Like we’ll totally win and all.”
>Hachiman sees Rumi working on her own, while the others are having fun.
Rumi, who was particularly skilled with her fingers and focused in her work even in the group and to add the precedent where she came to us and asked what to do(!), was the odd jobs ace of the elementary team. Even now, she was silently working on the angel costume as the other elementary students were messing around and talking to each other.(!) They were watching her from afar(!), but they gradually dumped the work on her as if that seriousness of hers would be the end of them.(!) Still, doing all that alone really would be difficult, wouldn’t it…? I thought that and approached her and I selfishly sat down beside her. I then reached out for the tools to make the costume. When I did, my hand was stopped by a voice.
>Hachiman realizes that Rumi is very competent for her age. When she grows up she is going to be someone that is going to be able to walk alongside someone. Since Rumi is a representation of Yukino, this is what Hachiman wants from Yukino. He wants Yukino to be able to stand on her own two feet and be his equal. He wants to be able to walk alongside her, not walk in front her, while Yukino follows in his shadow. (LN exclusive)
It was fine if you did things yourself, but that’s because you had to. By living your life without being a bother to anyone, for the very first time, you’d be able to ask for things from people.(!) Once you’re able to live by yourself(!), for the very first time, you’d be able to walk alongside someone.(!) Because you lived by yourself, because you could do things by yourself, that you’d be able to do so with someone else.(!) I glanced at Rumi who was working next to me. This girl was probably going to be able to live by herself.(!) If she could already do this in elementary school, she was in a good position. She was also cute too. That’s why, one day, she’d be able to walk alongside someone.(!) For the sake of that moment… It’d be better for her if she had a rehearsal of that here.(!)
>Hachiman asks Rumi if she wants to star in their play.
>Yukino stayed up all night to make a plan/preparations on what they should do. She also gives Iroha a couple of books. (This is the Easter egg I was talking about.) (LN exclusive)
Yukinoshita greeted Yuigahama and Isshiki and began talking and giving instructions with occasional yawns mixed in.
“You look sleepy.”
“I haven’t slept. There were some things I had to do, you see…”(!)
When I asked her, Yukinoshita answered briefly. Still, what ever could it be that she had to stay up all night for?(!) As I thought that, Yukinoshita began taking things out from her bag.(!) She then looked straight at Isshiki.
It might’ve been her lack of sleep, but Yukinoshita’s eyes were sharper than normal. Thinking she got her upset again, Isshiki stiffened up. Yukinoshita made a sudden smile when she saw that. She then handed her numerous sheets of printouts.(!)
“I put this together so use it if it’ll serve as references.”(!)
Isshiki took the papers and I looked at it as well. When I did, it looked like a checklist and documents.(!) The checklist had things that should be completed before the day of the event along with necessary goods.(!) And for the documents, written on them were Yukinoshita-esque advice.(!)
It proposed preparing compensation for the children who would participate in the play(!), had recipes for Christmas cakes, Gingerbread cookies along with an estimated cost of the ingredients.(!) There were also a vacancy report regarding the cooking rooms located at the school and the community center.(!) As for advice for the play, there was a scenario of the sort written about having the guests participating. Hahaaan, this was totally that. It’s basically like that Miracle Light stuff you used to cheer at a Pretty Cure movie. Yuigahama, Isshiki, and I let out an “ooooh”, “haaaah”, “heeeeh” and as we became impressed, we continued reading on. Yukinoshita cleared her throat seemingly finding that a little uncomfortable and took something else from her bag.(!)
In Yukinoshita’s hands were several books.(!) She gave them to Isshiki.
“I’m not sure if these are to your tastes, but I gathered what I could find on traditional types of Christmas plays.(!) And also, there should be a free CD player in the student council room, so try looking for that. I believe it’ll be necessary for the play.”
“…T-Thank you very much.”
Isshiki stood there firmly with books and printouts in hand in bewilderment. I imagined being given all this stuff so suddenly would be a surprise. At least I was since I didn’t think Yukinoshita would go this far in her preparations.(!)
“You sure are something.”
When I blurted that out, Yukinoshita gently looked away.
“It’s because I can’t deal with people the way you and Yuigahama can.”(!)
When she said that, Yuigahama and I looked at each other. We then laughed a little. Despite how she was, Yukinoshita was probably quite worried about Isshiki. You’re so hard to read, gosh!
“So with this, most problems should’ve been dealt with.”(!)
Yukinoshita crossed her arms and placed her hand on her chin. It looked like she still had other things in mind. I tried to think as well, but the program was pretty much decided with this(!), so the only remaining problem should’ve been the time to finish the work.(!)
I’d say this is a huge adaptation miss right here, because it’s Yukino that almost singlehandedly turns this event into a success by coming up with a plan of how to change things around. The anime makes it seem like Iroha is the one that managed to turn things around as she walks into the light, when in actuality she’s just taking credit for other people’s work.
I’m not entirely sure if anyone was able to figure out from these two scenes alone that it’s Yukino that saved this event from becoming a mess, but it’s highly likely that you didn’t.
You certainly see Yukino looking content at the event being successful, but you don’t get to see that it’s mostly because of her. Once again, this entire sequence of events is Yukino coming through for Hachiman, just like how Hachiman came through for Yukino in Volume 6 (festival arc).
During this entire event Iroha has not done a lot herself. In the final stretch of the event, Iroha’s big character development is that she has now learned how to order other people around. Which is something she already knew how to do, since she’s been doing that Tobe all this time.
(If this is something you do not believe, then I’d advise you to read Iroha’s analysis. The anime doesn’t include a lot of this.)
Even in her last moments as Iroha is about to set foot on the stage as a proper SCP, she’s still mostly ordering other people around.
(The secretary is this girl.)
This is something that will stick with Iroha’s character for the remainder of the series: constantly coming back to the Service Club and asking them to do things for her. Watari has emphasized Iroha constantly needing Hachiman, Yukino and Yui’s help to do things to illustrate the difference between Hachiman’s relationship with Iroha and the relationship Hachiman wants to have with Yukino (more on that in Part 5).
Back to the story.
>Yukino has given Iroha entire documents with instructions on what to do, Iroha is still not certain if she is able to do it. Yukino tells her things are going to work out, she can always ask them for help.
“…Isshiki-san, I believe you should take over for the rest. That should be fine, right, Hikigaya-kun?”
“Yeah, it’s not like I was in charge or anything in the first place anyway.”(!)
(Sure, you weren’t.)
Up until now, I had only been working as a temporary stopgap so my actions weren’t as if I was in charge.(!) Until this very moment, a leader in the strictest sense of the word didn’t exist at all.
Isshiki altered looks between me and Yukinoshita and spoke with a discouraged tone. Yukinoshita stopped her.
“I don’t mind if you give out instructions.(!) I’ll participate in the work as well. It’s okay for you to ask for help if you’re having trouble.”(!)
“But, ummm… I still think it’s kind of impossible for me.”(!)
Isshiki let out a worried “ahaha” laugh. When she did, Yukinoshita closed her eyes and gently shook her head.
“You can do it. There’re people here supporting you, so it’s okay to believe in them.”
Which brings us to the final chapter of Volume 9: Chapter 10: Respectively, what the light in their palms illuminates is. The key words here are light and illuminate.
>Cue a montage of the Christmas event. What’s interesting is that immediately after Hachiman’s moment with Rumi, the anime starts playing the OP of the first season; Yukino’s song.
Remember how I said that there was another book that belonged to Yukino that would end up being the play where Rumi played the main role?
This specific book is probably the most important Easter egg in the series, because it describes Hachiman and Yukino’s love for each other. However you’ll have to hold on just a little longer until the end of the volume before I explain it.
Amongst the numerous books that were given to Isshiki from Yukinoshita, the one she chose was called “The Gift of the Magi”
>After the Christmas event was turned into a success, Hachiman returns to the place where he feels he belongs. The scent of tea fills the room again. Now finally things are back to “normal”. Hachiman mentions how nostalgic this feels again and, while he doesn’t admit it, how he has missed this.
I placed my hands on the door to the club room. In that instant, there was a whiff of a faint, but good fragrance.(!) Upon entering the room, it was slightly warm.
“Ah, welcome back.”
Yuigahama sat in her usual seat and Yukinoshita was just starting to pour tea. When I sat at my own seat, I stared at the tea set on top of the table. The warmth and smell probably stemmed from there.(!) It felt very nostalgic(!), not having seen this very scenery in the past month.
>Yukino and Yui have bought Hachiman a Pan-san themed teacup. Hachiman thanks the girls for their help. He still has doubts if it was alright to ask them for help, since it was all his responsibility, but Yukino said that his request of receiving something genuine hasn’t been fulfilled yet.
When Yukinoshita finished pouring the tea, she called to Yuigahama. On the top of the table, there was a mug with a printed picture of a lethargic dog and a pretty teacup resting on a saucer. The respective owners picked up their cups. And the last remaining one printed with “Panda Pan-san” was a teacup.(!) A puff of steam drifted upwards from the teacup that was picked up by no one.(!)
“Eh, what’s this all about?”
It was probably my portion of tea, but usually it was supposed to have been poured in a paper cup.(!) When I asked, Yuigahama and Yukinoshita’s voices overlapped as they answered.
“It’s a Christmas present!”(!)
“It’s quite a waste if only a single person was using paper cups.”
The reasons these two gave were clearly different from each other… What’s the right answer, huh? I looked at Yuigahama and she looked excited as she gave an explanation seemingly having fun.
“We both bought it for you! I picked the shape and Yukinon picked the design!”(!)
I thought so… The fact that a teacup with Pan-san printed on it was chosen just for drinking tea was enough to tell me what the deal was.(!) Still, what I didn’t get was their holding of a present exchange(!) party without me being aware of it. I never got an invitation though?
“Wait, you said present, but I didn’t prepare anything myself…”(!)
I said that as I scratched my cheeks apologetically to this one-sided exchange, but Yukinoshita placed her cup on the saucer and spoke calmly.
“You don’t have to worry about it. It’s just replacing the paper cups.”
Right, so you’re going with the paper cups explanation in the end, huh…? Well, that’s fine too. It may be just a replacement for the paper cups, but I wasn’t perverse enough to be stubborn about it and accepted it.
“…Thanks. For giving me the teacup.”
When I thanked them with words that were rather honest coming from me, Yuigahama returned a smile with a giggle. Also, if I was giving my gratitude, there was one more thing as well.
“Also… For the request too. Aah… Thanks. You really helped me out. I was able to finish it safely without much trouble thanks to you two.”(!)
I quickly bowed my head and stayed like that for a moment. The event that I thought I couldn’t see ending or rather, the event that I thought would end in a way that didn’t take responsibility was able to be finished safely due to requesting the help from these two.(!) I wasn’t sure if I had personally owed up to the responsibility(!), but even so, I bowed my head because I wanted to properly thank them.
“The request still isn’t over, right?”(!)
Yukinoshita spoke to me with my head still bowing. I lifted my head in response to the reply that didn’t consent to what I said. When I did, Yukinoshita traced the rim of her teacup with her fingers and smiled with a slightly troubled and surprised expression.
“…I said I accepted your request, remember?”
“No, that should’ve ended already. What’s this, a riddle?”(!)
When I asked her, Yukinoshita made an abrupt, cheerful laugh.
“I suppose so, it might be a riddle.”(!)
That smile and her teasing-like voice were innocent. It was in complete contrast to her typical adult image and I felt that I came to know another side of her that I was unaware of. However, her riddle answer was something I still didn’t understand.(!)
(Yukino’s character song: A Crescendo To You)
Lapsing into silence unexpectedly
those thoughts that gradually approach me
That sort of scene is right here too
I don’t know, (that’s why) I want to know
I am searching for (what you are) searching for as well(!)
This is pretty important for Yukino. For the first 8 Volumes, Yukino’s goal was to try and make Hachiman a better person, help him get friends and maybe even a girlfriend. Yukino gave up on trying to fix Hachiman at the very end of Volume 8, because she realized that it was pointless; Hachiman wasn’t going to change. In Volume 9 Hachiman does change, because and for Yukino.
>In Yui’s own words, there’s only one reason a person would change.
The “I want something genuine” scene is the first time Hachiman has opened up to Yukino about what he truly desires. Hachiman has essentially given Yukino a new goal of what she can give Hachiman. Hachiman is essentially rejecting Yukino’s initial intentions of setting him up with friends and possibly a girlfriend, because any relationship given to him in that way is a sham. Instead Hachiman wants something different. The two of them are going to look for and find this genuine thing Hachiman so desperately desires. (More on that in Part 5)
>Hachiman once again thinks about what it is he wishes for. He doesn’t want his wish to be simply given to him, because that is something that won’t last.
If what I wished for was granted to me(!), if what I wanted was given to me. Then, as I thought, I wouldn’t wish for anything nor want anything.(!) Because the things you were granted and the things you were given were surely shams that would one day be lost.(!) The things you wished for had no shape and the things you wanted were untouchable. Or possibly, they might be the most wonderful treasures ever that would become nothing if you were to touch them. On that shining stage, what my eyes laid upon was the conclusion to that “story”.(!) Here I was, not knowing what happens beyond it. That’s why I will surely continue to search for it for a long time.(!)
Which brings us to the final monologue Hachiman has in this volume. He thinks to himself: On that shining stage, what my eyes laid upon was the conclusion to that “story”. Hachiman thinks that he will continue searching for a long time for said conclusion.
What story is Hachiman talking about?
Although Jim and Della are now left with gifts that neither one can use(!), they realize how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other(!), and how priceless their love really is.(!) The story ends with the narrator comparing the pair’s mutually sacrificial gifts of love(!) with those of the Biblical Magi.
“Of all who give gifts, these two were the wisest.”
“Of all who give and receive gifts, people such as these two are the wisest.”
“No matter where in the world, these people are the greatest magi.”
“…That’s why from us, we will give them. And then, we will give to everyone. A gift containing only the heart.”
The main point to this story is (read the Wikipedia page) that there are two people that love each other so much, that they are willing to sacrifice themselves or anything for the sake of the other. That’s how priceless their love is.
These two characters that love each other so much also exchange gifts with one another.
If there is any message you should take from Yahari as a series, then it’s the one I mentioned above.
It’s Rumi (a representation of Yukino) that reads out these lines while she is making stars for the Christmas event. Right now you won’t understand the significance of said stars, but try and remember this until you reach “Symbolism”.
Like I’ve said near the very beginning of Part 4, Yahari can be separated into four parts, just like how Hachiman and Yukino’s relationship can be separated into four parts.
The basic story structure of each story arc is as follows: the first volume has the characters having fun, something happens in the final chapter of the first volume, in the volume after that Hachiman distances himself from Yukino and then in the last volume of that arc Hachiman and Yukino make up or come back together and their relationship, for a lack of a better term, “levels up”.
The only exception to this is the first arc/are the first three volumes.
Volume 1 serves as the introduction to the majority of the cast. In Volume 2, the car accident and Yui’s involvement slowly become apparent. Near the very end of Volume 2, Hachiman distances himself from Yui, he resets their relationship. In Volume 3, this revelation creates an opportunity for Hachiman and Yukino to go on a “date” and grow closer to each other. Hachiman realizes how much Yui’s friendship means to Yukino and he buys Yui a present. However it’s because of Yukino that these two are able to “start over again”.
Volume 4 has the characters going on a camping trip. Near the end Hachiman finds out about Yukino’s involvement with the car accident. Volume 5 has Hachiman spending his summer vacation interacting with everyone, besides Yukino, while he is constantly thinking of Yukino. Volume 6 deals with the first fallout between Hachiman and Yukino, but halfway through Hachiman and Yukino make up and their relationship grows even stronger. Yukino starts developing a crush on Hachiman.
Volume 7 has the characters going on an excursion. Near the end Hachiman makes a fool out of himself in front of others to preserve Hayato’s group. Volume 8 deals with the Service Club falling apart and Hachiman not wanting to show up to the Service Club, because he is unable to face Yukino. The first half of Volume 9 deals with the same. Halfway through Volume 9, Hachiman makes up with Yukino and once again their relationship grows even stronger. Both of them are now fully in love with each other, even if they won’t openly admit it.
Which brings us to the final arc of the series:
Volume 10 has the characters having fun for the most part, visiting shrines, celebrating Yukino’s birthday etc. Throughout the volume rumors about Hayato and Yukino pop up, which serve as a reference to what the two of them experienced in the past. Hachiman and Yukino share an intimate moment in the infirmary. This is the moment where Yukino is fully convinced that she is in love with Hachiman or that she won’t suppress her feelings any longer, but then the volume ends with Hayato and Haruno telling Hachiman something that makes Hachiman doubt whether or not Yukino’s feelings for him are the genuine thing he has been looking for. Because of those words, Volume 11 has Hachiman trying to do whatever he can trying to avoid Yukino’s feelings. He’s pretty much doing the exact same thing Hayato does:
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.(!) 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.(!)
Until at the very end Hachiman says he doesn’t care about the consequences, all he wants is something genuine. In order for him to obtain that, Yukino will need to solve her problems on her own. So, this should then bring you to the conclusion that in Volumes 12-14, Hachiman and Yukino, mostly Yukino herself, are going to deal with Yukino’s problems and that their relationship is going to level up once again into “something”.
With all of that out of the way, let’s dive into Volume 10:
The second half of S2E10 until S2E11 covers Volume 10. This volume deals mostly with Hayato’s final character arc; choosing to remain everyone’s Hayato Hayama.
In this volume there are three memorandums that belong to: Hachiman, Hayato and Haruno respectively. I’m not going to copy the memorandums themselves, but I’ll just point out to which character they belong to and what signs give it away.
The first one, “No Longer Human”, deals with Hachiman’s thoughts of himself of how he’s a monster of logic/self-awareness. Or someone that is constantly suppressing a monster inside himself (said monster being his feelings). This one should be easy to guess, because it’s the first thing that shows up in the novel and then it immediately shifts to Hachiman. There’s also a reference as to how Hachiman is cleaning his room.
I was called a monster of logic. But logic was the opposite of emotions. Therefore, a monster of logic was an existence inferior to people that didn’t understand emotions.(!) Wasn’t I told that? That it was an existence less than that of a person and that it would look at people not as a human(!) and that it would continue to be a slave to its conscious of its own free will.(!)
Even now as well, the repulsive monster of reason, the provocative monster of self-consciousness was lurking about in this self.
The second one with the mention of “Run, Melos!” is about Hayato and how he failed to stand up for Yukino. It’s also about how someone has expectations that someone would look in this person’s direction and see Hayato for the person he really is, except Hayato is the only person not looked at.
The last thing that gives it away, is the chapter title that shows up directly after the memorandum wraps up; Chapter 7: At all times, Hayama Hayato is answering expectations.
“Hm? Ahh, actually, we have a family dinner planned after this, but Yukino-chan refused to go. But if Hikigaya-kun and you are here, she doesn’t really have any other choice, right?”
“Are we hostages or something…?”
“Don’t make it sound so bad. But wouldn’t it make for a great story if she rushed here for the sake of her friends who were captured on her behalf?”(!)
“That just makes me wonder who the evil tyrant king is here…”(!) (= Haruno)
“Oh, we’ve got a Literature Boy here,” said Haruno-san, teasing me gleefully.
Yuigahama titled her head with a “huh?” Hayama made a slight smile when he saw that.(!)
“It’s from ‘Run, Melos!’”(!) (= Hayato)
The third one is about Haruno. Long ago Haruno used to believe in justice, sincerity and love. However due to the expectations placed on her by her family and Haruno essentially having very little freedom, she has come to despise all of those things. It’s also the primary thing that pushes Haruno into constantly forcing Yukino to choose her own path. Yukino has been given “all the freedom in the world” to do what she wants. Well, not really. As you may have noticed from the series, Yukino only has freedom as long as she does what is expected of her. As soon as she strays away from the path of what her mother wants her to be, Yukimom immediately comes knocking at her front door.
Haruno is upset at Yukino for having this supposed freedom to choose what she wants, but Yukino still chooses to follow in Haruno’s footsteps, because she doesn’t want her family to see her as a disappointment. While Yukino may not be on good terms with them, Yukino still doesn’t want them to hate her.
Haruno also mentions that she is a monster of reliance, whether that’s a reference towards Yukino or the expectations from her parents and society is up for debate. I’d personally say the latter. There’s no way that Yukino relying on Haruno and wanting kindness and a normal healthy relationship with her older sister, would have made Haruno into what she is today. One of Haruno’s goals is to restore her relationship with Yukino in any shape or form.
Besides, the first time Yukino asked Haruno for a favor was during S1E12.
So, it’s most likely the life Haruno is forced to live that she’s referring to and her living up to everyone’s expectations.
Haruno says how she sees evil in herself and how she has come to terms with it and accepted it. She compares herself to the tyrant king, except the conclusion to “Run, Melos!” was that the tyrant king saw good in people. Haruno doesn’t. Or maybe she will in Volume 12.
Then the final sentence of the memorandum leaves off with a: “do genuine things exist?” line.
And then of course, just like with Hayato, the last thing that gives it away, is the chapter title that shows up directly after the memorandum wraps up; Chapter 9: However, Yukinoshita Haruno states as such.
Enough about that, let’s jump into the events of Volume 10.
>Hachiman has a conversation with Komachi about whether or not they should go visit shrines for New Year’s Day. The most important bit about this is: the person you spend the day with is the person you’ll spend the entire year with. In the main series, Hachiman and Yukino go home together. In ANOTHER it’s Hachiman, Yukino and Yui together and on the way back Yukino falls asleep.
“As the ancients once said, New Year’s Day is the day to plan for the coming year. That is, if I make unpleasant memories on my first shrine visit, then the coming year is set to be a year full of unpleasant memories.(!) First thing right into the New Year and you want to make the unpleasant memory of being in a crowd of people? A foolish notion, do you not agree, Komachi-kun?”
“I mean, if I go with onii-chan on New Year’s Day, then that would mean I’ll be with onii-chan all year long.(!) That’s just so high in Komachi points.”
>Komachi pulls a couple of strings behind Hachiman’s back to invite Yukino and Yui as well to these shrine visits. There’s an entire bit about fortune slips that the anime cut out. The end result is that Hachiman, Yukino and Yui all end up with “small luck” after a bit of trading and bending the rules. Yui initially pulled “great/excellent luck”, but traded it with Komachi who pulled bad luck. In ANOTHER, Komachi doesn’t go out with them, so Yui doesn’t trade her “great/excellent luck” fortune slip with Komachi.
>Yukino goes to inspect a Pan-san plushie that you can win as a prize at a shooting gallery, which makes Yui remind Hachiman of the date they planned during the events of the Christmas Drama CD. The anime kind of changed that, but the overall effect is still the same: Yui is using Yukino’s birthday as an excuse to go on a date with Hachiman.
>In the anime Yui gets a call from Yumiko. In the LN, Hayato’s gang (minus Hayato himself) show up. Hachiman asks why Hayato isn’t there. Yui says that he was invited but he couldn’t show up. Yukino acknowledges that. This makes Miura angry that Yukino knows things about Hayato she doesn’t know. (This is going to come back later.)
The three idiots of Tobe’s group and Miura’s pair with Ebina-san were the usual faces. But in that lineup of people, the individual that was the center of those two groups was missing.
“Is it only them…?” I said.
Yuigahama took a step backwards and stood next to me after hearing me.
“I think they invited Hayato-kun, but it looked like it was a bad time for him.”
“I imagine so.”(!) Yukinoshita replied with a nod.
Those words were surprising. I looked in Yukinoshita’s direction as did Yuigahama, Miura(!), and Ebina-san.
“Huh? Do you know something?” Yuigahama asked, finding it curious how self-evident Yukinoshita’s tone sounded.
“Hayama-kun’s family has been that kind of family since a long time ago.”(!)
“Ohhh, so that’s how it is.” Yuigahama made a convinced nod.
Well, Yukinoshita had always been an acquaintance of Hayama’s. More accurately, a childhood friend, so it wouldn’t be that odd for her to know about his family circumstances.
“…You don’t say.” I responded in slight disinterest while realizing again that I wasn’t very knowledgeable about Yukinoshita or Hayama.(!) No, I mean even Yuigahama didn’t know all that much either.(!) And aside from Yuigahama and me, there were two others who reacted.(!)
“…Hmph, oh really,” said Miura(!) with a subtle voice, as if spitting it out, and then removed her gaze from Yukinoshita.(!) She took a few steps away from her spot, twirling her hair with her fingers, and made a bored sigh.
“Like, I’m hungry.” Miura spoke briefly and walked off without paying any attention to her surroundings.
>Yui asks Hachiman and Yukino what they plan on doing after the shrine visits. The two of them want to go home, but Yukino tells Yui that it’s fine if Yui wants to spend time with Miura.
“Um… W-What are you guys gonna do?” said Yuigahama, letting out a troubled “tahaha”.
Yukinoshita looked at her and smiled. “I should be on my way now. I’m not particularly good with crowds anyway.”
A complicated look floated on Yuigahama’s expression from Yukinoshita’s words. Yukinoshita softly touched her shoulders, realizing her anxiety.
“We’ll be able to see each other soon, won’t we?”
I didn’t think that would actually convince her, but Yuigahama replied back quietly. Well, it certainly wasn’t pleasant having to see Yuigahama be conflicted between Miura and Yukinoshita(!) this early in the New Year.(!)
(This is a hint as to how Volume 12 is going to play out.)
There was no way we could doubt that Yuigahama’s desire to get closer was just a show of her being affectionate. However, a friend of a friend not necessarily being a friend is common in this world in the same way having everyone being in the same space and spending the same together isn’t the best thing to do.
We left the area with Yuigahama staying behind, slightly waving her hand in front of her chest. Yuigahama was probably going to go group up with Miura and the others after this. Yuigahama’s circle of friends wasn’t just the Service Club.
>Because of a couple of turn of events, Hachiman and Yukino end up going home together. This line applies to this turn of events:
“I mean, if I go with onii-chan on New Year’s Day, then that would mean I’ll be with onii-chan all year long.(!)
(This is also the first time Yukino calls Hachiman by his first name.)
Back in the clubroom, Yukino gives a mysterious response.(!)
A response that Yui knows to what she is referring to. And the answer is…(!) Let’s go to the New Year scene.(!) When Komachi says that she is taking her leave, there’s a romantic wind to be felt(!) amidst the giant sakura trees, but anyway, Komachi here is cute. It’s so expected of the world’s best sister, Hikigaya Komachi to be the top assist!
(According to Watari, for “some reason” the answer to Hachiman wanting something genuine takes place during this scene.)
>The train suddenly takes off. Yukino loses her balance and doesn’t have anything to hold onto. She grabs Hachiman’s sleeve so she can stabilize, however she doesn’t let go. Hachiman notices this, but he doesn’t tell her to stop. Instead he starts talking about her family situation to make it less awkward. This serves as an introduction to Yukino’s family problems.
“No, I just thought since it’s the New Year and all, I was wondering what was going on with your family or something.”
“Ahh, so that’s what you meant… I’m not going home this year. I don’t have any business there in particular, and it’s quite bothersome, so…”
I didn’t know the exact details of Yukinoshita’s relationship with her family.(!) I replied back, unsure of just how far of a step I could take and ask her about it.(!) As if the anxiety was shown on my face, Yukinoshita smiled suddenly.
“It’s not that big of a deal. They have a lot to deal with during the New Year, too. If I went home, it wouldn’t be a very pleasant feeling for the both of us, so I’m just avoiding any unnecessary contact.”(!)
“Also,” said Yukinoshita, continuing. “There isn’t that much of a big difference even if I was there.”(!)
She looked out the window, looking at the scenery that rapidly ran past us.
“No problem then, right?”
Her turned expression had a slight look of surprise to it.
“If it doesn’t matter if you’re there, then that makes it easier on you. You also don’t have to worry about being a bother to anyone. After all, in this world, there are people who ruin the mood just by being there.”
“Are you perhaps introducing yourself?” Yukinoshita chuckled, showing a teasing smile.
>They arrive at Hachiman’s stop. In the LN Hachiman turns around himself to say something to Yukino. In the anime they changed it into Yukino calling out to Hachiman. Then of course there’s a difference in the line Yukino says to Hachiman. Both indicate that they are going to spend another year together, except one of them implies that Yukino hopes to be in Hachiman’s care as well.
I turned around looking to tell her “be careful on your way back” and it was that instant before the door closed. Facing downwards, Yukinoshita said with a quiet voice as if whispering, “…I’ll be in your care this year as well.”
>Hachiman asks Komachi to come along with him and Yui to buy a present for Yukino. Komachi tells Hachiman that the next time he wants to go out with a girl, he will have to go out with her sincerely and not use Komachi as an excuse. Hachiman is once again reminded of the promise he made to Yui.
“Oh well, I wanted to buy a present too, so I guess it doesn’t matter,” said Komachi, another cold breath drifting. “…Besides, this might be the last time I’ll be going out with onii-chan, you know?”(!)
“You make it sound like I’m going to die soon or something with a lonely smile like that…”
“That’s not what I mean… I won’t be going with you again next time.”(!) Komachi lightly glared at me, reminding me.
No, I get it myself, you know… I understood what Komachi meant when she said “next time”.(!) The “promise”, though I wasn’t sure if I could really call it that, was something I did make tentatively.(!) The problem was when, where, and how to ask about it.(!) Having no semblance of experience with going out with others had me at a loss at a time like this. Just how did everyone invite each other when going out?
>Hachiman goes on his date with Yui. I’m not going to copy the entire thing, but the most important thing to take from this is that Hachiman and Yui have nothing really to talk about together (besides Yukino). Also while on this date, Hachiman’s thoughts are primarily with Yukino.
The two picked out clothes here and there, chatting and frolicking. That’s fine and all, but we’re here to buy Yukinoshita’s presents, right? We’re not here for your own personal shopping, right?
When the three of us went shopping for Yuigahama’s present before, I received quite the shock seeing how far off Yukinoshita was from a modern high school girl.
“Yep, going out with onii-chan really is a bummer… Well, that’s one thing that makes Yukino-san super cute though! Right?” As if emphasizing that, Komachi peered into my face.
“Ohhh, right, that’s the one thing that makes me not cute at all. Totally.”
“Mmm, you darn hinedere…”
Leave me alone.
Well, it’s a bit rude to give Yukinoshita and me the same treatment. At the very least, Yukinoshita knew exactly what fit her and she wasn’t particularly indifferent to fashion. Despite that, the reason she struggled when we went shopping for Yuigahama’s birthday present might’ve been because she wasn’t used to “choosing something for others”. That honesty and awkwardness were things very typical of Yukinoshita. The problem was what would happen when Clumsy-san received a present.
“I’m going to go check out that area for a bit.”
I moved away from Yuigahama and Komachi(!), deciding to wander around the area. It’s when you’re actually looking at stuff and thinking about them that things came to mind. A present for Yukinoshita, huh…? I wonder what’s good… Clumsy Yukinoshita-san, in short, Clumsishita-san, but anyway, you really were putting me on the spot, Clumsinon. Aside from the things she liked, she was someone who liked practical things. Actually, her interests were pretty much that. As for reading related material, she probably had quite a bit of stuff already and since she was living alone, she probably had sufficient living necessities and cookware already. Chopping boards were standard equipment for her chest, too. What the heck? What should I even get her…? As I wandered around, a Destinyland store came into view. Uhhh, Pan-san… is something she’s more knowledgeable about than I am. I went further and there was a pet shop of related goods. Cats are… She doesn’t have one… She really doesn’t have one, huh? She should just get one already. I wonder if Yukinoshita’s apartment didn’t allow pets. I could give her a cat photo album, but she totally seemed like she’d have plenty of those… On the other hand, I could buy something from that accessory shop over there, but I’m not sure so about that… As I was circling around to the nearby stores and groaning, I found myself at my original position.
“Whatever, but she’s not going to wear that outside because of the design, you know.”
“…That’s true.” Yuigahama nodded convincingly.
As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure Yukinoshita didn’t openly wear those kinds of cute things apart from her normal school uniform. Would she even use what she received…? No, that’s not true. I get the feeling if it’s a present from Yuigahama(!), then she’d unexpectedly would be pretty happy internally as she put on those gloves while maintaining a composed look.(!)
With that logic, I’m absolutely sure she wouldn’t wear those gloves from earlier either… Well, now that she mentioned it, the sole of the socks looked like it had antiskid rubber attached, resembling the pink paw of a cat.
“Since she’ll be wearing it indoors, I don’t think she’ll need to worry about people seeing her… What do you think?”
“Well, she’ll probably be happy with them.”
I think Yukinoshita would probably be happy regardless of what present Yuigahama gave her. The crucial point here wasn’t the item itself, but who was giving the present. In the same way, who it was that said something was more important than what was actually said.
>Hachiman’s thoughts start off at Yui, then go to all three of them, then drift towards Yukino.
“Ah, no, no. It’s nothing… It’s just, kinda surprising how good you look with them, maybe.”
Getting praised made it somewhat difficult to react myself. Still, surprising, huh? Even if I thought I knew something, there were still a lot of things that I just didn’t know. Like how Yuigahama who normally didn’t wear glasses would surprisingly look good with them.(!) At some point long ago, there was something that Yukinoshita had once said as if out of regret. That she didn’t know about Yuigahama at all.(!) I was the same.(!) The way I was before, I truly didn’t even try to know.(!) Not just about Yukinoshita, but also about Yuigahama.(!) However, right now, it was just a tiny bit. It was far from understanding and I couldn’t even say it was ideal, but even so, the three of us(!) had definitely spent and accumulated time together. Slightly over half a year wasn’t really all that long. But even so, compared to back then, I most certainly did know just a little more about her.(!) The Yukinoshita Yukino that I knew…(!) How Yukinoshita would be strung along by Yuigahama’s pleas, how she loved cats, and how she would hug a Pan-san cushion while watching cat videos on her computer on her day offs. Surprisingly, I knew quite a bit about her. If Yuigahama was going to send her cat leg indoor socks, then I’ll give her something to match that. All in hopes that the time she spends on her own are as warm and comfortable as possible.
>Yukino didn’t want to go to the family gathering/New Year’s gathering, which is basically a social event for the Hayama and Yukinoshita family to mingle with other important families, politicians etc. because Yukino thinks she’d only be in the way and that no one wants her there. Haruno and Hayato accidentally stumble across Hachiman and Yui.
>Haruno uses Hachiman being here, being near Haruno, as a way to manipulate Yukino into coming here. Haruno knows that Hachiman being here is a good reason for Yukino to come over so she can meet with their mother. It’s also possible that Haruno wanted Yukino to see Hachiman and Yui together on their date.
“You two on a date, huh? You little rascal, you. As friendly as ever, I see. Yukino-chan’s not with you?”(!) Haruno-san poked Yuigahama’s body with her elbow and then looked towards the entrance of the store.
“Ah, we’re actually here today to buy presents for Yukinon…”
“Ahh, that’s right, it’s almost her birthday, huh… I see, I see.” Haruno-san nodded her head while listening to Yuigahama, but she then quickly took out her cellphone and started dialing somewhere.
Watching her, Hayama unassumingly spoke up. “…I don’t think it’ll get through.”(!)
“No, I’m sure it will today,”(!) said Haruno-san, wearing a smile full of certainty.
The ringing faintly resounded in the quiet interior of the store. After two rings, three rings, and a few more, the call finally connected, and there was a small audible voice from the other end.
“Ah, Yukino-chan? It’s onee-chan. Can you come out right now?”
[I’m hanging up.]
So fast! Yuigahama and Hayama who were listening to the immediate retort made a strained smile. But Haruno-san who was seemingly used to this reaction didn’t budge an inch and continued with a teasing tone.
“Ohhh? Are you sure you should be hanging up on me?”
Haruno-san made a broad grin.
“The thing is, right now, I’m actually with Hikigaya-kun!”
[Again with your ridiculous lies… Enough al?]
“Here you go, Hikigaya-kun.”
Before she could even finish, Haruno-san forced her cellphone on me.
I alternated looks between Haruno-san and the cellphone in my hand, but she started playing dumb after hiding her hands behind her. It looked like she didn’t plan on answering at all. On the other hand, Yukinoshita was calling Haruno-san. I guess I’ll have to answer for now…
“Ahh… hello?” I answered, not sure knowing what to talk about. When I did, I could hear her stifled breath from the receiver on the other end. After a brief moment of silence, she breathed out.
[Really, unbelievable…Why are you there?]
That’s what I want to ask. We were supposed to be here just to shop… Just why was I here!? Just why was I here!? Do-wa-ha-ha-ha! It’s the yokai’s fault, yes. Don’t blame me, blame the yokai.
“Well, I just happened to be out shopping and she kind of caught me…”
I made a scowl at that yokai and figured I’d try to explain my situation, but I was interrupted by another sigh.
[That’s fine. I’ll be right over there, so switch with nee-san.]
“…Yes, I’m sorry.”
I ended up apologizing for some reason. I wiped the screen down with a wet towel and gave back Haruno-san her cellphone. She exchanged a few words with Yukinoshita about our location and the sort and hung up.
“Looks like Yukino-chan’s coming,” said Haruno-san, wearing a satisfied smile.
Yuigahama spoke up in hesitation.
“Um, why did you call Yukinon over? It sounded like she didn’t want to come…”
“Hm? Ahh, actually, we have a family dinner planned after this(!), but Yukino-chan refused to go.(!) But if Hikigaya-kun and you are here, she doesn’t really have any other choice, right?”(!)
“Are we hostages or something…?”(!)
“Don’t make it sound so bad. But wouldn’t it make for a great story if she rushed here for the sake of her friends who were captured on her behalf?”(!)
“That just makes me wonder who the evil tyrant king is here…”(!)
“Oh, we’ve got a Literature Boy here,” said Haruno-san, teasing me gleefully.
Yuigahama titled her head with a “huh?” Hayama made a slight smile when he saw that.
“It’s from ‘Run, Melos!’”(!)
“Our parents have been pretty close since a long time ago… When we were talking about making New Year greetings, they started talking about having dinner together. They’re just having me accompany them.”(!)
“Ohh…” Yuigahama nodded convincingly.
Haruno-san traced the rim of her cup and let out a small sigh. “Our family and relatives don’t really have it easy on New Year’s Day and the day before the fourth when work begins again is pretty hectic too. So the day we can make courtesy calls with acquaintances is just today.”(!)
Apparently, it’s an established custom for the Yukinoshita household.(!) But still, if they’re going out to eat after this, then that meant Yukinoshita’s parents should be nearby… I kind of want to see them.(!) I did a light stretch and took quick looks around. But sitting diagonally opposite of me, Haruno-san chuckled, easily seeing through that sneaky behavior.(!)
“Our parents are making courtesy calls right now. We’re just waiting for them.”
“Ahh, I see…”
I accepted it after being told.
Listening, Yuigahama let out a fascinated gasp. “Making those greetings must be rough, huh?”
“We do it every year, so I’m already used to it. Well, I do think it’s a pain sometimes though… It’s surprising how this custom’s still alive, tradition rather,” said Haruno-san, her voice having some indescribable feeling of resignation.
There was something called an association, whether it had to do with Yukinoshita or even Hayama who didn’t make it to the shrine visit.(!) Respectable families, the so-called distinguished families, probably had their obligations.(!) For common people, it’s a story that didn’t seem all that real, but the fact of the matter was that it was. Well, a household with secretive relative associations wasn’t all that rare.(!) It’s just that I didn’t know too much about it, but surprisingly, I think there were a lot of households with unique communities. Even common people like ourselves had one or two things that shadowed over us. If you factor in social standing, then the obligations should increase accordingly.
Like, Harunon! Ah that’s right, she’s a character who is very free and appears quite frequently. This time, she is accompanied by Hayama. Up to this point, no one has ever read of her true intentions but from this conversation, you can see that there’s a trickster or joker part to her. After teasing Hachiman and Yuigahama, she manages to get Yukino to come.(!) Considering the timing and various things, one of her motives this time around could probably be said to get Yukino to meet with her mother(!), and with that, the meeting with her mother brought about a strange mood.
>Haruno says that it has been a while since she has given Yukino a present, the same goes for Hayato. Hachiman wonders what present Hayato had given Yukino back when they were younger.
Suddenly, Haruno-san who had been looking at the present wrapping spoke.
“It’s been a while, but maybe I’ll give her something too.” Her gaze then moved over. “Right, Hayato?”
Hayama lightly shrugged his shoulders and moved his gaze to outside the window. Ahead of his gaze were the lights of the city-then again, likely not. I looked at the mirror with Hayama’s reflection and unexpectedly, all I was thinking about was what it was exactly that he had given her a long time ago.(!)
>Yukino arrives. She sees that Yui is there as well. This is the first moment where Yukino becomes aware that there might be something between Hachiman and Yui.
“Yuigahama-san… you were here too,” said Yukinoshita, surprised. We didn’t mention her on the phone, after all.
“Right, right. Um… I was out shopping with Hikki and I somehow got caught too…”
“Shopping… I-I see…”
Unsure of whether she should reveal that we were here to shop for her presents or not(!), Yuigahama suspiciously stumbled over her words. Yukinoshita made alternating dubious looks between Yuigahama and me as she was listening.
However, since the two of them went shopping for her birthday presents, Yukino doesn’t think too much of it. Yukino has never received birthday presents from friends before, so she’s really happy and immediately puts them to good use.
>Yukino sits down, they start talking about the past. Something that is interesting is whenever Yukino, Haruno or Hayato talk about their relationship, they always talk about “back when we were younger”. They hardly ever bring up events from more recent years, implying that there has been a rift between this trio for quite some time now. It is revealed that out of these three, the only person with fond memories of the past is Haruno. Hachiman starts thinking to himself how little he knows about Yukino’s past. This is something that is going to be important in Volume 12.
“It’s been a long time since we all got together for tea like this, huh?”
While Hayama answered and nodded in agreement, Yukinoshita kept her eyes closed with her cup in hand. When the chat stagnated, Yuigahama spoke up trying to find something to talk about.
“Ah, ummm… Hayato-kun has known you two since a long time ago, after all.”
“Yep, yep. You know how Hayato’s an only child? Thanks to that, his parents were really affectionate with us. Right, Yukino-chan?”(!)
“I don’t really think so.”(!)
“That’s not true. It wasn’t just our parents that were affectionate with you two. Everyone else was too.”(!)
Even when Haruno-san spoke to them and even when Hayama maintained his smile and answered, Yukinoshita’s attitude didn’t change.(!) But Haruno-san didn’t pay that any attention and her gaze turned distant.
“It’s so nostalgic… Back when we were younger, whenever our parents had business to take care of, I’d always be the one taking care of you two.”(!)
Hearing that, Yukinoshita twitched and frowned. “You must be mistaken with forcing us to follow you around and do what you want. You were a real nuisance.”(!)
She set her cup on her saucer and sent a cold tone and indifferent gaze to Haruno-san. Hayama responded in turn.
“Ahh, like the time when we were at the public zoo… We went through a lot of trouble at the amusement park zone, didn’t we…?”(!)
“It was like that at the Rinkai Park too. She’d leave us stranded, she’d shake the Ferris wheel…”(!)
Hayama and Yukinoshita made gloomy expressions from recalling the days of the past.(!) But Haruno-san was nodding with a happy look.(!)
“Ahh, that happened, didn’t it? And Yukino-chan would always cry afterwards.”(!)
“Wait… Stop making up things.”
“But they’re not made up though. Right, Hayato?”
“Ahaha… I wonder.”
Haruno-san would talk to them, Hayama would smile and respond, and Yukinoshita would nod silently. As I watched them engaged in their nostalgic chatter, a feeling of reality suddenly sank in. Those three certainly had accumulated time together back then and they were memories that outsiders could not touch on. Yuigahama couldn’t join in on their conversation, let alone me. I don’t know what kind of relation these two sisters had a long time ago.(!) Even if I knew, there was nothing I could do.(!) The only things I could do were occasionally carry the bitter coffee to my mouth and ignore their stories of the past that continued even and respond agreeably. And lastly, imagine them. I don’t know when it was, but I was asked something before.(!) That if I had went to the same elementary school as those two(!), would anything have changed.(!) Just what did I answer at the time? As I indulged in my memories and thoughts, there was the simultaneous sound of a sigh and a placed cup. I looked in its direction and Haruno-san was resting her chin in her hands, gazing at Hayama and Yukinoshita with eyes lacking warmth.
“Both of you were sooo adorable back then… Nowadays… you two just seem so boring.”(!)
The more beautiful her nicely shaped, vivid lips were, the colder the words that came out of them. With a pinning glare and an icy smile, the voices of everyone there were stifled. Yukinoshita slightly squeezed her fist(!) above the table while Hayama gritted his teeth and looked away.(!) Yuigahama made a perplexed glance at me. When the table submerged in silence, Haruno-san chuckled.(!)
“Well, Hikigaya-kun’s here now. I guess I’ll just settle for playing with Hikigaya-kun instead.”
(This entire conversation has been reduced to these two lines in the anime.)
>Hachiman notices that people have been staring at them for quite some time. This is the moment where the rumors about Yukino and Hayato originate from.
In any case, the cheerful mood returned. That’s fine, but the four of them engaged in pleasant chatter somehow attracted attention from their surroundings.(!) They weren’t gaudy in the least, but they had presence.(!) These four sure do stand out, huh… For a while now, I could feel glances directed at us from the entrance of the store.(!) Well, it was a little bit noisy right now, but these four were attractive people.(!) They were the kind of people you’d end up looking at if they were walking in the middle of the city. Thanks to these four, my presence became even more nonexistent. I am a shadow… But the stronger the light, the darker the shadow, the more prominent the shine of the light becomes…
>Because Hachiman has nothing to contribute to this conversation he looks around, he sees a person approaching them. Yukimom makes her entrance. On first instinct, Hachiman thinks she resembles Yukino, but…
When I looked for a waiter inside the store, a woman in a kimono was heading our way. Put up black, glossy hair and a demeanor of tranquility. She seemed younger than my parents. She walked with a noiseless and graceful gait, balancing her well-proportioned body. Her unassuming countenance gave rise to a feeling of deja vu. She looks similar, intuitively, I thought.
Speaking of which, her appearance and her displayed demeanor was remarkably similar to Yukinoshita. Once she got older, they’d be two peas in a pod.
True, Yukinoshita did resemble her mother. At the very least, I think their outward appearances and surface demeanor were very alike.(!) But on a more intuitive level, she was closer to Haruno-san.(!) I felt like I could understand what Haruno-san had said about her mother back then a little.(!)
>Yukimom greets Haruno and Hayato first and finally Yukino. She does not greet Yui and Hachiman, until Yukino goes silent.
“Not at all, please don’t worry about it. We were able to pass the time thanks to everyone here.” Hayama answered in a friendly manner.
Then, he faced us and the woman moved her gaze around as well. Yukinoshita’s presence must’ve been rather unexpected.(!) She muttered an “Oh my” with a lively voice. She then wore a gentle smile.
“Yukino, so you did come. I’m glad…”
“Mother…” Yukinoshita muttered, either in surprise or in dejection.
Speaking of which, her appearance and her displayed demeanor was remarkably similar to Yukinoshita. Once she got older, they’d be two peas in a pod. Yet, the reason why I didn’t notice that on first glance was because there was a forceful intensity. She had a dignity that caused me to think twice before trying to speak to her casually. I instinctively straightened my back. Yukinoshita gulped, gently touched her elbows, embraced her own body, and averted her gaze as if she didn’t belong. Just how did her daughter look to her?(!) Yukinoshita’s mother expressed a gentle smile.
>Yukino goes silent, Yukimom acknowledges the presence of Yukino’s friends, but she’s more polite than interested. Hachiman doesn’t get a chance to introduce himself.
Yuigahama vigorously answered back and Yukinoshita’s mother lightly lowered her head. I missed the timing to name myself(!), but well, it looked like she didn’t have any interest in me at all(!) and I doubt we’d ever meet again, so I didn’t mind it. She then turned to Haruno-san and Hayama.(!)
“Well then, shall we get going?”(!)
Haruno-san stood up and Hayama followed suit after taking the checkbook in his hand. But Yukinoshita, who was sitting in front of me, didn’t move.(!) Seeing that, Yukinoshita’s mother calmly asked.
“Yukino, you’re coming along as well, right?”(!)
It was a question, but at the same time, it wasn’t.(!) Packed in that short sentence were all sorts of implications.(!)
“I…” Yukinoshita spoke hesitantly.(!)
Her mother added to her words as if imploring her. “We’re also celebrating your birthday.”(!)
It was an affectionate, warm gaze and a gentle, reprimanding tone. Yet, in them was a powerful force of compulsion.(!)
Yukinoshita bit her lips, faced downwards, and peeked a glance in my direction.(!) Uh, even if you look at me…
Haruno-san caught that.
“Yukino-chan, that’s no good.”
Feelings of amusement shook in those cold eyes.(!) With a vicious smile, Haruno-san spoke with a severe tone wearing a vicious smile and Yukinoshita’s shoulders jumped.(!) A moment of silence continued briefly. Haruno-san continued watching Yukinoshita while Hayama looked at the two anxiously.(!) Yuigahama shrunk back as if feeling out of place. I set my gaze outside the window and let out a weak sigh pretending not to notice.(!) In that time, no words were exchanged and the somehow uncomfortable period of time continued on. It wasn’t just for me. But also for Yuigahama. And also for Yukinoshita. Or possibly, everyone there might’ve felt the same way. Yukinoshita’s mother tilted her head wondering what to do and placed her hand on her temple. She then glanced at the two of us.(!)
“I know, by all means, your friends can join us…(!) What do you think?” Yukinoshita’s mother smiled at Yuigahama and me. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to overstay my welcome…”(!) I answered and rose.
With an attendance of complete relatives, it would’ve been too awkward to be there. More importantly, I wasn’t that dense that I would overlook a simple sign like this.(!)
“I see. I thought perhaps you could have joined us…” She said, not looking to stop us as obvious as that should’ve been.(!)
“…Well, we’ll be taking our leave here.”
Basically what happens is: Yukino is on bad terms with her mother, Haruno and Hayato. Yukimom is a scary person and doesn’t take no for an answer. When Yukimom says: “Let’s go.”, she means all four of them: Yukimom, Yukino, Hayato and Haruno, are going somewhere to celebrate Yukino’s birthday. It’s highly implied that Yukimom’s idea of celebrating her daughter’s birthday is a business meeting where Yukino has to celebrate her birthday with a bunch of old people/politicians she doesn’t care about, but Yukino gives Hachiman a desperate glance, which pretty much means: “Help me, think of something to get me out of here.” Haruno quickly shoots that down. This is the thing Yukino wants Hachiman to help her out with someday; help her solve her family issues. However, ultimately it will be up to Yukino herself to solve this problem. Also, it’s not like there is a lot that Hachiman could do in this situation. Him speaking up to Yukimom, a person he doesn’t know who also has a high social status, would be incredibly out of place. Hachiman throws an angry look at Hayama. Hachiman realizes there’s a serious problem with Yukino’s family and Hayama knows all about it, yet does nothing about it. Also Hayama knew that Haruno was manipulating Yukino to come here, but he didn’t stop her. Yukimom sees that she’s having trouble convincing Yukino to join, so she “invites” her friends. She’s putting Hachiman and Yui in an awkward position where they HAVE to leave. She’s basically indirectly telling them to leave.
>Yukino looks at her mother to see if she’s at least allowed to say goodbye to her friends. Her mother allows it. Yukino apologizes for the trouble her family put them through. They say goodbye to each other. Yui and Hachiman talk about Yukino’s mother, but they don’t really say anything substantial. This is important. Volumes 10 and 11 show the progress the trio has made with one another in a year’s time, how much they know about each other and how open they are when talking to each other. Whereas Hachiman and Yukino are slowly starting to open up to each other and in Volumes 13-14 Hachiman will get to know everything about Yukino, Hachiman and Yui’s relationship is still stuck on them never getting to learn more about each other. (If this is something you don’t believe, then read “Promised Date” analysis.)
Yukinoshita stood up right after us and sent a casual look to her mother. Her mother slightly pulled back her chin and nodded back. When Yukinoshita followed us to the front of the store to send us off, she hung her face.
“…I’m sorry you needed to be considerate for me,” said Yukinoshita, apologetically.
Yuigahama shook her hands back and forth. “No problem! I mean, I feel like we got something good out of it since we got to see Yukinon’s mom!”
“I see. Then that’s fine…” Yukinoshita answered, but her lifted face was still gloomy.
Yuigahama’s face clouded when she saw that. But she promptly thought of something and began rustling through the bags under her arm.
“Ah. I know, here. It’s a bit early, but this is for your birthday tomorrow.” Yuigahama handed her the bag with presents to Yukinoshita. Since Yuigahama was giving it to her now, I decided to do the same.
“Th-Thank you…” Yukinoshita had a look of confusion, stiffly staring at the bags, but eventually spoke with a disconnected voice. Then, she embraced the bags at her chest and her face broke into a smile.
Watching Yukinoshita, Yuigahama slipped a smile out as well. “Let’s celebrate your birthday again at school!”
“Alright, see you later.”
“Yes… See you later.”
After we bid farewell to Yukinoshita who was slightly waving her half-open hand, we headed to the elevator.
I pressed the button of the elevator to head down, but it was going to take some time before it made it up to our floor. While waiting. Yuigahama let out a moved gasp.
“So that’s Yukinon’s mom, huh? They really do look alike.”
“…I guess so.”
True, Yukinoshita did resemble her mother. At the very least, I think their outward appearances and surface demeanor were very alike. But on a more intuitive level, she was closer to Haruno-san. I felt like I could understand what Haruno-san had said about her mother back then a little.
>Yui confirms that Hayato and Yukino were childhood friends. She heard about it at some point. Unlike Hachiman, Yui didn’t hear about it from Yukino directly.
“Then again, I guess Hayato-kun and Yukinon really are childhood friends, huh? I mean, I did hear about it at some point.”(!)
“What do you mean by ‘really’? It’s not like they were lying.”
“I know that. They just didn’t give off that vibe. If they knew each other from back then, I think it’d be okay if they talked to each other a bit more.”
“People have their own circumstances, right? Just because you go to the same school as someone doesn’t mean you’ll talk to him.”
“Mmm, I guess so.”
The past is an inviolable domain for only those who are concerned. Beautiful and warm memories aren’t the only ones that existed there; so do unsightly and cold ones.