With all of that out of the way, what does Hachiman’s second “I want something genuine” speech mean?
The first part of Volume 11 covers the cooking event. Hachiman uses this event as an excuse to be able to accept the chocolates the girls want to give him, without having to deal with their feelings, under the pretense that he’s doing it for Hayato.
During the entire event, Hachiman is going from one person to the other, while occasionally checking up on Yukino and Yui, but he’s basically doing whatever he can to distract himself from that feeling of unease.
>He wants to walk Saki to the station, when Saki says it’s not necessary, for “some reason” he decides to sit down instead of going back inside. He’s “happy” with the way things are.
As she was doing those, we reached the entrance of the Communication Center. The sky outside was already dark.
“Do you want me to walk you to the station?”(!)
“There’s no need. I always go back at this sort of time anyway. Don’t you have other things to do anyway?”(!)
“Well then, good bye.”
“……Careful on the road.”
I called out to the two of them who were walking on the path that would lead to home, and watched their retreating figures getting smaller and smaller in the distance. There was no wind and no clouds, and the winter night sky was clear.. However, it incited coldness as well. The two of them clung to each other tightly, so they probably wouldn’t feel any coldness. I kind of regretted not wearing any coats before coming out. Although all I had to do was to go back inside, but what was unexpected was that I did not move even one step.(!) As I shivered, I sat down on the steps in front of the door and sighed deeply.(!) I had clearly not done anything worth of note, but nevertheless, I still felt a huge sense of fatigue. Yet, I felt that what I had done was sufficient as well. Hearing Miura, Ebina-san as well as the Kawasaki sisters’ request, then organizing this event with Isshiki and the student council. There was also Orimoto, and Tamanawa as well as the student council members of Kaihinsougou High, and Meguri-senpai and Haruno-san too came running over to join, and even Hayama and Tobe came to participate as taste-testers. There was also Totsuka and Zaimokuza, and Hiratsuka sensei who dropped by as well. It was more than enough. I am really happy.(!) And that was what I murmured.(!) Just like the feelings of itchiness that an ant crawling on your body gives, that same feeling extended all the way to my neck(!), the corners of my mouth continued to remain in a smile. This was probably the cold’s fault that caused my face to stiffen in such a manner.(!) I rubbed my face to try and disperse the cold, and stood up at last.(!)
(After this moment, Yui offers him the cookies that she baked under the supervision of Yukino, then Haruno comes in and gives them a wake-up call, asking them if what they are doing right now is what Hachiman considers genuine.)
The chapter where Hachiman is making his final round with the secondary characters and the same chapter where Haruno confronts the trio is called: The genuine article that he seeks is still out of his grasp and he continues to mistake what’s real. (What is important to know, is that during this chapter, Hachiman has accepted cookies/chocolates from Iroha, Orimoto, Saki and Yui.)
In the anime, this is the title for S2E12 in its entirety.
The final purpose the cooking event serves, is that it has brought all of Hachiman’s potential love interests in the same room: Yukino, Yui, Iroha, Saki and Orimoto. Yes, even Saki. Yes, even Orimoto.
The fact that all of his potential love interests are now in the same room, directly ties into the title, but also what the meaning of Hachiman’s second “I want something genuine” speech means.
Let’s take a look at the respective girls and the origin of the feelings of these girls.
Orimoto, the original nice girl from middle school that made Hachiman skeptical about the kindness of girls directed towards him. She isn’t the only love interest Hachiman has had in the past, there were others, it’s just that Watari chose to use her as a representation of Hachiman’s past crushes. Out of the five potential love interests present at the cooking event, Orimoto is the only one that has absolutely no romantic feelings towards Hachiman. She was nothing more than a one sided crush, a misunderstanding, a girl being nice to everyone which he mistook for something more meaningful.
“It was just a one-sided interest, or, well, a misunderstanding, so it’s not genuine.”
Just because she talked to me and paid me some attention, I ended up getting curious myself and then I convinced myself that she was into me. And the result? It was nothing more than a misunderstanding. In the end, the simple truth of someone liking me was what I was really fond of. Something that selfish had no resemblance with the feelings of love.
However, Orimoto’s presence at the cooking event does serve a purpose. Namely, to trigger this chain of events:
Which then triggers another chain of events. Haruno has been waiting for a moment to spring Hachiman’s former crush on Yukino, to see what her reaction would be. However, since this is about Hachiman’s love interests, I’ll just leave this for what it is.
Saki, a girl Hachiman helped out during the first season. Saki was working a part-time job as a bartender at a cafe where she lied about her age. As a minor, she was working past midnight.
The Labour Standards Act forbids minors to work past ten o’clock at night. By working even at this hour, Kawasaki was making use of the magic known as an illegal ID.
>She would often come home at 5 in the morning, which not only affected her school life, but also caused concern for her brother. After finding out the reason why Saki needed money, Hachiman told her about scholarships. (This was in Volume 2)
>In Volume 5, Hachiman encounters Saki at cram school during the summer break, Saki thanks him.
When that girl walked past in front of me, she stopped. Finding her actions unnatural, I directed my eyes at her.
“…So you’re taking classes here, too.”
A drowsy voice spoke to me along with a cold gaze. Under her grumpy looking eyes was a mole. She seems awfully familiar. Who was she again…?
“I might as well tell you now. Thanks.”
I had no idea why she was thanking me, but it didn’t seem like she got the wrong person. It’s not a common occurrence for a loner to be spoken to. Unless it’s something important, no one spoke to loners.
“You know how you told me about that scholarship? I managed to get it. Things are going okay with Taishi, too.”
“Uh, yeah, sure. You’re the one that made the scholarship happen, though.”
“I guess, but Taishi just keeps talking about you… Whatever. Anyway, I gave you my thanks,” said Kawasaki, telling me only that as if it was her obligation and left.
>Then during Volume 6, Hachiman is desperately looking for Sagami. First he asks Zaimokuza for help and he tells him he loves him as a joke. After that he encounters Saki and asks her for help. After she helps him, he tells her the same thing, which causes the following reaction:
“You’re going to help out?”
[Inevitably. Where shall I search?]
“Can you look near the annex? Thanks, man! Love ya, Zaimokuza!”
[Indeed, as do I!]
“Shaddup, that’s gross!”
I cut off the call vigorously.
I dashed up the stairs with the feeling of toppling over. Luckily for me, there was someone sitting on a pipe chair at the front of my class. The dark blue ponytail was crossing her legs in displeasure, absentmindedly gazing out of the window of the hallway. I called out to her as I desperately tried to catch my breath. “Kawasaki…”
“What’s with the hard breathing…? Don’t you have Planning Committee work to do?”
I didn’t pay any attention to her question.
“A while back, you were on the roof, right?”
“Huh? What are you blabbering about?”
“Answer my question.”
I was limited on time, so my voice came out rough. I ended up speaking to her with a blunt tone.
“Y-You don’t n-need to get so angry…” Kawasaki started trembling with teary eyes.
After calming down, I slowly breathed out.
“I’m not angry. I’m just in a rush for the committee.”
“O-Okay, good…” Kawasaki breathed out and pressed her hand against her chest. Surprisingly, she was weak to pressure. Agh, not good, right now, the roof came first.
“So, before, you were on the rooftop, right? How did you get up there?”
“You have a really good memory…” Kawasaki whispered with a soft voice in nostalgia. Her gaze looked at me in embarrassment.
…I said I was in a hurry, didn’t I? When that showed on my face, Kawasaki got flustered and tried to go back to what she was saying.
“U-Um, the roof door from the middle stairs has a broken lock. It’s famous amongst the girls.”
…Really? In that case, it wouldn’t be odd for Sagami to know about it. The condition that it was a place that other people would be aware of was also satisfied.
“What about it?”
Kawasaki asked me again, finding it strange why I went quiet after listening to her. My feet, however, were already on the move before I could even answer. While I may have been in a hurry, I wanted to at least properly give her my thanks.(!)
“Thanks! Love ya, Kawasaki!”(!) I yelled out and sprinted off.
The moment I turned the hallway, an extremely loud shriek could be heard from behind me.(!)
The reason why Saki took notice of Hachiman is because he helped her out. The reason why she started developing a crush on him is because he jokingly said that he loved her. Since this moment, Saki has been acting incredibly awkward around Hachiman. Saki’s feelings for Hachiman are nothing more than a misunderstanding.
Yui, the first “nice girl” Hachiman meets when the series starts. Due to his previous bad luck with misunderstanding the feelings of girls that were nice to him, he thinks that Yui is simply being nice to him because she’s nice to everyone. (Hachiman getting over Orimoto and learning to forgive her, plays a big part in his attitude towards Yui. It’s the reason why Orimoto plays a bigger role in ANOTHER.)
During the entire series, there’s this constant creeping suspicion Hachiman has that there may be something more to her feelings than just that. When Hachiman finds out that Yui was the girl whose dog he saved, he thinks she is hanging out with him out of pity or because she is worried about him. He tells her that if that’s the case, she shouldn’t bother.
>Yui reassures him that the reason why she wants to be around him is not out of worry, pity etc., but for a different reason.
Yui is in love with Hachiman because he saved her dog. (See Yui’s analysis.)
>Yui has “loved” Hachiman since Volume 3, very possibly before that.
>She has been holding feelings towards Hachiman ever since he saved her dog on their first day of the first year of high school.
>In Volume 3, during the conversation Hachiman, Yukino and Yui have about Hachiman and Yui starting their relationship over, Hachiman considers the possibility that Yui’s feelings may be something more than just pity, worry, concern etc.
Since the beginning was all wrong, it stood to reason that the results would be all wrong too. No matter what feelings came over me, the answer would certainly not change.(!)
Fake.(!) It would be the same as those feelings being fake. Even if those feelings were something special.(!)
Feelings that sprouted from a random accident, becoming the object of sympathy thanks to self‐sacrifice(!), love that could possibly have been born no matter who saved her(!) ‐ I could not acknowledge any of this as the real thing.(!) If I had saved her without knowing her for who she was, then she had been saved by me, not knowing me for who I was.(!) In that case, her feelings and gentleness were not directed towards me. They were directed at someone who had saved her.(!) That was why the last thing I wanted was a misunderstanding.(!)
I was done with being selfishly entitled and being selfishly disappointed. I wouldn’t expect anything from the start, nor would I expect anything afterwards. I would not expect anything, even to the day I die.
(The real thing = genuine.)
>In Volume 5, during Hachiman and Yui’s date (during the firework festival), Yui reassures him that her feelings don’t simply exist because he saved her dog. Knowing the way Yui is, she would have been sent to the Service Club with a problem, where she would have met Hachiman. Hachiman would have helped her, which would have made her notice him and then she would have fallen in love with him.
There are a couple of problems with this. First, it would have required Hachiman helping Yui for her to notice him. Second, the Service Club quite literally exists because the car accident happened. Since Hachiman at this moment in time doesn’t know why the Service Club exists, while he does intentionally indirectly reject Yui’s confession, he goes along with the notion that Yui’s feelings would have sprouted for him regardless of the car accident.
>Hachiman repeats the same train of thought in Volume 11, right before the moment where he says that what he wants is something genuine. (Once again, you need to take into account that during this entire time Hachiman is doing whatever he can to not have to address Yukino’s feelings. This is Hachiman trying to take the easy way out, literally a moment before he says that he wants something genuine regardless of the consequences.)
“I said that I’d try it on my own. I said that I would do it my own way. And this is what I came up with.”
And so Yuigahama gave her answer.
“... That’s why, this is just a thank you.”
With that said, Yuigahama puffed out her chest, and showed her bright smile. If this was about that time, then the matter should have already been settled. What’s past is past, it has already ended. I do not want to dig it up now after such a long time. If this was about thanking me, then I have already received more than enough. That’s why, it was illogical of me to receive this gift of thanks. It’s time to end what was already wrong in the beginning. It should still be possible for us to start over again.(!) If that’s the case, perhaps the feelings that were trapped inside, the answers too will change.(!) Supposing. Supposing if. If those feelings became anything special.(!)
Which then brings us to what purpose Yui plays when it comes to “wanting something genuine”.
As you may be aware, there’s a fairly big distinction between the HachiYuki and HachiYui pairings.
The HachiYuki pairing is based on two people meeting on accident (literally and figuratively), being placed in the same environment for a reason and slowly over time learning more about one another, constantly growing closer and opening up to one another and finally falling in love with one another for who they really are, knowing each other’s faults, weaknesses as well each other’s strong points, interests etc.
It is also a relationship where two people with extreme ideals at the beginning of the series, over the course of the series constantly clash with one another, but slowly over time start to influence one another. While other characters have had an impact on their growth, the biggest reason why both Hachiman and Yukino have started to change is because of the influence they’ve had over one another throughout the series.
It’s a relationship (or at least from Yukino’s side, since Hachiman has very likely been in love with Yukino the moment he met her) that goes from: Strangers > Acquaintances > Warming up to one another > First falling out > Reconciliation > Starting to develop a crush > Second falling out > Second reconciliation > Wanting an even stronger emotional connection with one another, wanting to know everything about one another by being more open and honest and actually communicating with one another > Love > ??? (Whatever their status will be in Volume 14.)
It’s a relationship built on two people having the best of intentions for one another, trying to “save” the other person, but because of a lack of real communication and because they’re acting on what they think the other wants, things go south twice in the series, only for them to forgive each other and come out back on top with an even stronger relationship than they previously had.
The HachiYui pairing on the other hand, is based on Hachiman performing a heroic act for Yui, without knowing who he did it for. From there on out their relationship is mostly based on Yui’s feelings towards Hachiman because of said heroic act. Hachiman and Yui hardly open up to one another or talk about themselves. Yui says she wants to know more about Hachiman and Yukino, but she never actually takes measures to get to know more about them. Most of the things she finds out about them are based on her own observations or from second-hand knowledge that comes from other characters. For instance, Hachiman starts talking about how Yukino really loves Pan-san:
(LN exclusive, Volume 3)
“Beyond your understanding, you say,” I said. “Yeah, that did show with stuff like the Pan‐san game.”
“Huh? Pan‐san? Why are you suddenly talking about Pan‐san?”(!) Yuigahama asked, a blank look on her face.
What, so Yuigahama didn’t know Yukinoshita liked Pan‐san?(!) Well, rather than saying she liked it, it would be better to call her a freak or a maniac or something, in my opinion. “See, the thing is‐”
“Hikigaya‐kun, what are you talking about?” Yukinoshita cut in, interrupting my sentence in quite an invasive way.
“Huh? What are you‐?”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying, Hikigaya‐kun… so fill me in on the details later.”
Man, if looks could kill.
Somehow, it didn’t look like Yukinoshita really wanted to make a show of how much she liked Pan‐san. What? Was she embarrassed? I thought she was fine with being open about it if that was the only thing she liked. And hang on, what was with her fill me in on the details later stuff? Did she want to pump me for information about Pan‐san while keeping her love a secret? I had no idea. What this chick got embarrassed over was completely beyond me.
>In Volume 6,5 (which takes place between Volume 9 and 10), Yui for the first time finds out that Hachiman really likes sweet things:
Yuigahama looked into my face apprehensively and asked, “Huh, you don’t seem too interested… Hikki, were you bad with sweet things?”(!)
Just as I was about to open my mouth to answer, an individual did so before I could.
“Not at all. As a matter of fact, he likes them.”(!)
“Why did you answer, Yukinoshita…? Was this self-introduction time or something? Well, I do like sweet stuff though…”(!)
Yukinoshita flicked away the hair against her shoulders and looked at me with a composed expression. “It’s not something we need to check. Coffee that sweet isn’t something you can drink unless you have a considerable sweet tooth, right?”
These seem like incredibly trivial and unimportant facts, but what is notable is that in both instances, it’s Hachiman that starts talking about Yukino’s interests and it’s Yukino that answers for Hachiman. Implying that these two do know enough about each other.
A couple of other examples:
>In Volume 10, Yukino reminds Hachiman of the time when she mentioned the occupations of Hayato’s parents, this was the first time Yui heard of this. 10 volumes in, Yui only finds out, because Yukino brings it up to Hachiman.
>In Volume 11 it was revealed that Yui didn’t know that Yukino is afraid of dogs. She probably knows Yukino doesn’t like them, but not that she’s afraid of them. Hachiman does know.
There are other things as well, but you get the point.
When Hachiman and Yui are on their own, their conversations are mostly about the Service Club, Yukino or it’s Yui making moves on him trying to become his girlfriend: “Let’s go on dates. Let’s eat this together. Remember that one time we went on a date? How nostalgic. You promised you would take me out on another date. I want us to make a lot of memories together.”
With Yukino, most of the growth in their relationship comes natural (with an occasional push from Sensei every now and then). A lot of the times Hachiman and Yukino sit silently next to each other, simply enjoying each other’s presence without having to say a word.
With Yui on the other hand, a lot of it comes from Yui forcing herself onto Hachiman (with plenty of pushes from Komachi. Yes, Komachi also occasionally pushes Yukino, but mostly Yui) or reminding him of the promise he made or the fun memories they had when they spent time together.
Something that has been emphasized is that the HachiYui relationship is mostly physical. If you’ve read the novel, in pretty much every special Yui moment, there’s always a line about Yui’s breasts.
No, seriously. Almost every time Hachiman and Yui have a nice moment, there’s always something along the lines of: “This stuff happened, then I looked at her breasts and then I looked away while blushing.”
Yui is a person that tries connecting with people physically (not in a sexual way). She does this with Hachiman as well as Yukino (even with Miura at some times), by initiating physical contact (hugs, leaning on them, wanting to hold their hands, invading their personal space etc.).
>Yui is the nice girl, the girl that showers you with affection and physical love. She’s the typical girl that falls in love with her hero, the knight in shining armor that saves her.
>In Yahari, she is essentially the ideal replica of what love actually is.
Hachiman said that he doesn’t want relationships that are simply given to him. Yui’s love for Hachiman isn’t something he had to fight for. It’s love that doesn’t exist for Hachiman for who he is, but love that exists for the boy that saved her.
In ANOTHER Hachiman ends up in a relationship with Yui, because Hachiman doesn’t find out about the Service Club’s existence. It’s the reason why Hachiman and Yui get together in ANOTHER so easily, because in Hachiman’s own words:
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.(!)
>Hachiman tried distancing himself from Yui, but discovered that Yui’s friendship meant a lot to Yukino.
“That’s why I want to celebrate Yuigahama‐san’s birthday. Even if she never comes back to the Service Club…(!) I would like to thank her properly for everything she has done,” Yukinoshita said blushingly, her eyes lowered furtively.
There was no doubt that to Yukinoshita, whose personality left much to be desired and whose high specs continued to inspire flames of envy on a daily basis, Yuigahama was the first friend she had ever made.(!) I doubted her desire to thank Yuigahama was a lie. Much as her words were coated with self‐defeat, she was probably desperate not to lose that friendship.
…ohhhh. So did all of this happen because of what I said to Yuigahama?(!)
(This is important, because it explains why Hachiman went out of his way to reconcile with Yui; because of Yukino.)
Feeling slightly guilty(!), I peered sideways at Yukinoshita, who recoiled in discomfort, having noticed I was looking at her. Ahh, she’d probably tell me not to look her because I was a disgusting creep all over again. With that on my mind, I averted my eyes quickly before she could say anything. I coughed, my cheeks reddening somewhat.
Hachiman makes up with Yui, but comes to the conclusion that even if her feelings for him were something more special, they’d still be fake. During the firework festival Yui tries rationalizing her feelings for being something more than just because he saved her dog. She would have fallen in love with him because she would have been sent to the Service Club and then he would have helped her, which would have made her notice him and then she would have fallen in love with him.
He indirectly rejects her, but from this moment onward, being unaware of why the Service Club exists, he becomes more open to her feelings. (Well, maybe not open, but more like open to the idea that her feelings don’t exist solely because of the car accident and that one day they might turn into something special.)
(Then of course there’s the whole element of Hachiman and Yui’s relationship growing, because the two of them are lying to other people during Season 2 all for the sake of preserving the Service Club. I’ve already addressed that in Part 4 by being incredibly annoying, so I’m not going to repeat it.)
So, the reason why Yui took notice of Hachiman is because he helped her out. The reason why Yui has fallen in love with Hachiman is because he helped/saved her. Even if the car accident hadn’t happened, it would have required Hachiman helping her for Yui to fall for him.
I hope you’re starting to see a pattern with: Hachiman helps a girl => girl falls for him. A common ending to a fairy tale would be something along the lines of: “the prince saves the princess, she falls in love with him and they live happily ever after.” Except that in Yahari, the entire point is that a person falling in love with someone simply because they helped them, isn’t what real love is about.
It’s going to be even more obvious with the following girl. This ties directly into what Hachiman’s second “I want something genuine” speech is about.
Iroha, the girl who was recommended as a candidate for the student council president position as a prank by girls that disliked her for her behavior/demeanor. Iroha initially didn’t want to become student council president, because she didn’t think she was qualified to fulfil that role. She did not want to back out or lose to an incompetent opponent, because that would be bad for her reputation.
>Hachiman tries solving the problem with self-sacrifice. Yukino says that is absolutely out of the question, she does whatever she can to try and stop him.
>Instead of self-sacrifice Hachiman decides to manipulate Iroha into actually wanting to become student council president, because he wants to preserve the Service Club.
>Iroha tries to refuse all of Hachiman’s reasons for wanting to become SCP. Hachiman continues to tell her what she wants to hear: you can ask others (Hayato) for help, you can walk home with Hayato, whenever you don’t feel like working you can say you have to do something in your other club, you can get revenge on the girls that recommended you etc.
>I only became SCP because you told me to. It’s only natural I have to do right by Iroha, but there’s one other person I need to do right by.
>Yukino and Yui helping out.
>Iroha helping out, by not doing anything herself and telling others what to do.
>Hachiman and Yukino, after making up, working together to save the Christmas event. When Hachiman and Yukino work together, they make for an almost unstoppable team. Hachiman and Yukino also openly reflect on their behavior during almost the entirety of the second season.
Iroha’s character serves several purposes in the second season.
The first purpose Iroha's character serves is that she plays the same role as Sagami. During Hachiman and Yukino’s first falling out over the car accident in the first season, Yukino attempted to help Sagami, without the help of Hachiman and Yui, because the situation in the Service Club had gotten awkward. Yukino tried taking on everything on her own, but quickly learned that the workload was too much for her, especially considering how Haruno had pulled some strings to make matters more difficult for her by telling Sagami to go enjoy the festival with her classmates, instead of working like was expected of her. Yukino learned that she wasn’t able to “save” Sagami without the help of others, specifically Hachiman’s help.
In season two, this time it’s Hachiman that helps Iroha out on his own without the help of Yukino and Yui, during Hachiman and Yukino’s second falling out, because Hachiman keeps self-sacrificing himself for the petty problems of others and Yukino doesn’t want him to hurt himself.
After convincing Iroha to become SCP, Iroha being in way over her head, barges back into the Service Club and demands Hachiman to take responsibility. Hachiman does what he can to keep Iroha away from Yukino and openly lies to Yukino about how he’s not helping Iroha. Hachiman does this because he doesn’t want Iroha to reveal how it was actually him that solved her problem. He also thinks it would be cruel to let Yukino deal with something which might have been hers had she won the election. Hachiman still wonders if that was what Yukino actually wanted to do of her own volition. Hachiman tells Iroha that “they” can’t help her and pushes her out of the Service Club, then he tells her that he’ll help her himself. He does feel guilty about manipulating her.
Hachiman tries helping Iroha out himself during the Christmas event, but quickly realizes that he can’t take on the committee with Tamanawa, Orimoto and others on his own. Tamanawa, Iroha and the others are too afraid to commit to something or take the lead, because if the event turns into a disaster, the blame will be put on the person taking charge. So, instead if everyone fails, then at the very least the blame can be put on the group, not just one individual.
Hachiman comes to the realization that he can’t do it on his own. 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 turn the event into a success. This is the second time 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.
(Or actually, it’s the third time. The first time Hachiman and Yukino worked together and made for an unstoppable team was during the tennis match. Then again, there’s also the Sports Festival, so maybe the fourth time. There are a couple of other examples, but basically the point stands.)
The second purpose Iroha serves is to push the story forward. Since she’s now in the position of the SCP, but also because Hachiman helped her out and she thinks he has a thing for her, she keeps coming back to the Service Club to introduce new problems that need to be solved and to spend time in the Service Club so she can be around Hachiman.
The third purpose she serves is to make Yukino and Yui jealous. Iroha is far more direct with her advances on Hachiman. By seeing this, Yukino and Yui now need to step their game up.
The fourth purpose Iroha serves, is to show Hachiman that it’s ok to reject someone that you don’t have romantic feelings for.
However, the most important purpose Iroha serves in the story is to emphasize how her interest in and affection for him stems from Hachiman continuously solving problems for her. (Read Iroha’s part)
>And you Hachiman, did a lot of work, which is why I now have a crush on you.
(Iroha’s character song: Wise girl)
Uh-oh this is bad! Please help me
Knocking and opening the usual door
I want to consult you about all sorts of problems today as well
I am counting on you to give me sound advice
If you happen to think of some problems that I had not foreseen, it would be great if you could solve those as well
Then of course there’s the date Iroha has with Hachiman in Volume 10,5. In this volume, Iroha tricks Hachiman into going on a date with her. Then she keeps the receipts of those dates to blackmail Hachiman to convince Yukino and Yui to make a free newspaper. Iroha doesn’t want her budget to get cut next year, so she goes on a date with Hachiman to spend the money and later on uses what remains to get the Service Club to make a free newspaper. She uses the receipts from those dates as leverage to convince Hachiman, otherwise she’ll tell Yukino and Yui about their date. Hachiman not wanting that to happen, accepts making an entire newspaper, which is something they don’t have a lot of experience with. What’s worse, they need to finish it in less than two weeks.
(While reading this, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about if you have only watched the OVA. They only show the date Hachiman and Iroha have, but not the reason why Iroha wanted to go on that date in the first place. Read Iroha’s part if you want to understand this.)
Now you need to keep in mind that this takes place after Volume 9, the volume where Iroha said she wanted something genuine too.
The point is: Iroha has said she wants something genuine, however all of her actions (at least in the LN) contradict this or at the very least: Iroha’s idea of something genuine isn’t the same as Hachiman’s idea of wanting something genuine.
(Iroha’s character song: Wise girl)
Even so, I still want something genuine.
That day, I thought it through.
I need to be honest occasionally as well, even if I may be utterly rejected,
I still need to do my best to surmount that distance.
Please don’t just decide that (he) isn’t the type who would love you
I need to plan my next offensive(!)
There’s still quite a bit to go from here. I need to show him my appeal!
There’s no way that I can
make everyone like me, but…
I won’t care about something like that
If I am to achieve my goals(!), I have to steadily press on, right?
My calculations are perfect.(!) With my forte, that is my upturned eyes.(!)
Yet he still looks at me so coldly? (Hayato)
Iroha’s character song contains certain lines like: “I need to plan my next offensive” and “My calculations are perfect”. Those obviously add to Iroha’s sly kouhai charm, however Hachiman doesn’t want a relationship where he has to constantly second guess whether someone’s feelings for him are the real thing.
Ever since Hachiman has gone through the trouble of helping Iroha out for someone else’s sake, Iroha has started to think he may have a thing for her. After confessing to Hayato, one could say Iroha uses Hayato as an excuse so she can trick Hachiman into doing things as “practice” for her real dates with Hayato. What I’m trying to say is: Iroha uses Hayato as an excuse, so she can grow closer to Hachiman. One may wonder if this is something you could consider genuine, but let’s leave it at that. Which then brings us to the last part of Iroha’s character song:
(Iroha’s character song: Wise girl)
This strange person, suddenly appeared beside me
My heart throbbed for just that instant… but even so
Once I’ve calmed myself down, it’s still a no as always
This last part is about Hachiman. While Hachiman may have made her heart throb for an instance, her answer is still no. If one were to look at the entire song, one could come to the conclusion that Iroha is still mostly invested in Hayato or at the least undecided by the two and she mostly just wants to flirt with both. Now, with that I’m not trying to say that Iroha doesn’t have feelings for Hachiman. The OVA and her route in the PS Vita VN clearly prove she does, however it’s the nature of their relationship, especially the way it is portrayed in the LN, that shows that this is not the “real thing” Hachiman is looking for.
Hachiman manipulated Iroha into wanting to become SCP, because he wanted to preserve the Service Club. Iroha’s interest in Hachiman exists because he’s helping her out. She thinks he has a thing for her and is helping her out for her sake. Except, the only reason Hachiman even bothered with her in the first place was for the sake of someone else. In other words, her feelings for him are a misunderstanding. Iroha and Hachiman’s relationship is based on deceit (I’m only going with you on a practice date or doing this for Hayama), manipulation, blackmail or a sense of guilt (because Hachiman pushed her into a position she didn’t want to be in).
(I know this sounds incredibly negative, but this is the way Hachiman and Iroha’s relationship was written in the LN. A lot of it hasn’t made its way into the anime, so it may seem like I’m being overly harsh here. If you don’t believe this, then read Iroha’s part. I go a bit more in depth about her relationship with the Service Club members there. It’s not without a reason that Iroha is not the “real thing” Hachiman desires.)
Yukino, the character that has tried saving/helping Hachiman since the first episode of the series, which is something Hachiman never asked her to do. At first out of a sense of personal obligation because of the car accident, later on because she cared about him.
While Yukino’s intentions were to help Hachiman become a better person, after their first falling out, when Hachiman saw Yukino being taken advantage of by Sagami and working herself to death, Hachiman decides to play the villain for her sake. This is clearly the exact opposite of what Yukino intended to happen, in other words Yukino hasn’t been able to “save”/help Hachiman. (This is intentional on Watari’s part.)
Then when Hachiman is self-sacrificing himself for Yukino’s sake to protect her from harm, something she never asked him to do, instead of helping her, he ends up crushing her spirit/self-confidence. Which is also the opposite of what Hachiman intended, in other words Hachiman hasn’t been able to “save”/help Yukino. (Also intentional.)
Yukino wants to help Hachiman become a better person => he becomes a villain for her sake.
Hachiman wants to protect Yukino from harm => he crushes her self-confidence.
>Hikki make sure you help Yukinon when she’s in trouble. Except that Hachiman only started helping Yukino once he saw that she was working herself to death, not necessarily because Yui asked him to.
>All I ever did was act like I could do anything, like I understood everything. Yukino’s self-confidence has been destroyed.
>Help me someday.
>If you stick to your ways, you won’t be able to help the person you want to help most/when you want to help someone the most.
During that student council election, Komachi gave me a reason. I moved with the position that I was doing it for Komachi’s sake, to maintain the Service Club’s ongoing existence.(!) That’s why I was probably mistaken that time.(!) Even though I should have acted with an answer and reason that I found for myself. Even now, I was looking for a reason to act from someone. For Isshiki’s sake, for Rumi’s sake, for the event’s sake.(!)
Were they all really reasons why I would act?(!) I feel like I’m mistaken about the prerequisites. The point I should be thinking about must be wrong. If I were to correct what’s right or wrong, then I needed to start from the beginning. To this day, what have I been acting for?(!) What was the reason?(!) I’ll trace back the events I had in mind earlier in reverse chronological order.
The reason the Christmas event needed to be a success was for Isshiki Iroha and Tsurumi Rumi’s sake. And the reason why I was helping directly with the event was because I had pushed the role of presidency onto Isshiki during the student council election. And during that election, why I did that was to keep Yukinoshita and Yuigahama from becoming president. Why did I want to keep those two from becoming president? The reason I received from Komachi was grounds for me to move, but the real reason why I moved was…
Was because there was something I wanted.(!)
>Who is Hachiman doing it for?
“Instead of the Volunteers Club helping Isshiki, you took up her request personally. Let’s consider why you did this. It was for the Volunteers Club- or, well, for Yukinoshita. Anybody could tell at a glance. After the whole election thing went down, Yukinoshita came to let me know. She’s not one to talk about herself, but I could tell how she felt by the way she was acting. It was the same for you, I take it? If you did come to the same realization, then it’d make sense for you to try to avoid hurting them by pushing them away. Maybe. Just speaking hypothetically. But that’s not what you should be thinking about. It’s why you don’t want to hurt them. You don’t want to hurt them because you care about them.”
Yukino is the person Hachiman has been helping others for and trying to do things for. He has been trying to help her without her asking for it, which ultimately resulted in her losing her self-confidence.
Yukino is also the first person to openly ask him to help her.
While Yukino may have been the person Hachiman has wanted to help the most, she is also the person he hasn’t directly helped yet, can’t help and in the final stretch of the series doesn’t want to help. Sounds contradictory.
Hachiman may have done a lot of things in the series for Yukino’s sake, but he has not helped her directly so far or at least not with the thing she needs help with the most: solving her family problem and choosing the direction she wants to go in with her life.
The reason why Hachiman can’t help Yukino, is because it’s not his place to help her. He has no ties with the Yukinoshita family. He doesn’t know anything about their situation and he doesn’t know Yukino’s parents. It would be incredibly out of place for him to interfere with another family’s business, especially considering how he’s a commoner and the Yukinoshita family are of a higher social status than him.
>Yukino needs to solve her own problems.
>I don’t care about the consequences, or if the group falls apart, all I want is something genuine.
The reason why Hachiman in the final moments of season 2 doesn’t want to help Yukino is for somewhat more selfish reasons. He doesn’t want Yukino’s feelings for him to exist because he’s helping her/saving her. If Yukino can solve her own problems and after that she confesses to Hachiman, that would mean that her feelings for him are the real thing. That’s the meaning behind Genuine 2.0.
The one time Yukino openly and honestly asks Hachiman to help her, he has to reject her, because he wants to be rest assured that her feelings for him are incorruptible. Unlike all the other girls in the series that have fallen in love with Hachiman, because he “saved”/helped them, Yukino will be the only girl Hachiman isn’t going to save, as much as he wants to. So, just like how Yukino hasn’t been able to “save” Hachiman, Hachiman isn’t going to “save” Yukino either.
(This whole “Hachiman helps a girl => girl takes an interest in Hachiman” also applies to Rumi (camping trip), Meguri (when he helped out during the cultural festival), Ebina (Kyoto trip) and Yumiko (Volume 10). Except they aren’t romantically interested in Hachiman, but they start interacting with him because he helped them out. Some of these girls do get their own routes in the PS Vita VN, but once Volume 14 comes out, you’ll essentially find out why in the grand scheme of things none of these other routes can be the “real thing”.)
In Volume 4, the chapter where Hachiman sets everything up to help solve Rumi’s problem with her friends is called: In the End, Tsurumi Rumi Chooses Her Own Path.
Hachiman tried to help Rumi (a representation of Yukino), but instead it was Rumi herself that chose to help her friends by flashing the camera and escaping with them.
This is going to be the same for Yukino. Yukino, the character without a sense of direction in life, is going to solve her own problems and “choose her own path”.
>This is essentially the thing Yukino needs to, so that she can properly confess to Hachiman and so that Hachiman can accept her feelings as genuine and not simply because he’s helping her out. (Except, instead of Kawasaki, I’m referring to Yukino.)
So to summarize:
Genuine 1.0: Yukino, I’m finally ready to cross the line with you, I want to know everything about you.
Genuine 2.0: Yukino, I want you to love me because you love me, not because I’m helping you.
And to be even more exact, Hachiman’s idea of wanting something genuine is:
1. He wants to know everything about a person.
2. He wants to know a person so well, that he and this person don’t need to exchange words in order to understand one another.
3. A relationship of total honesty.
4. A relationship where Hachiman can unconditionally rely on someone, because that person will always have his back.
5. Pure incorruptible love. Love that exists for love’s sake, not because Hachiman helped a person out.
6. A relationship that he had to work hard for to obtain. Anything “given” to Hachiman or that Hachiman obtains in an easy way is a sham.
7. A relationship that can withstand any obstacles.
And then of course, the final reason why only Yukino’s route can be the “real thing”, is that once Hachiman finds out why the Service Club really exists, he will come to the realization that every relationship, except for the one he has built with Yukino, is “fake”. That’s the reason why Hachiman’s Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong.