Which brings us to the nature of Hachiman and Yukino’s relationship.
Volume 9, The Gift of the Magi.
So, the “something sinister” that Haruno was talking about near the end of Volume 10.
This is the follow up to the conversation Hachiman had with Haruno in Volume 10. These are the last two pages of chapter 6 of Volume 12:
Hachiman and Yukino are both codependent people.
Take note of the “savior” thing in the first link. There’s a reason why Watari has emphasized the theme of “Yukino wants to save Hachiman” and later on “Hachiman wants to save Yukino”.
Now, obviously not all of the things mentioned here apply to Hachiman and Yukino. I intentionally chose to keep: “Yukino wants to save Hachiman” separate from this in all the other parts of my analysis (except for Part 2), because I wanted to show that Yukino legitimately wanted to help Hachiman and that she has never tried to manipulate or control him. That was never her intention. Besides Yukino is too socially awkward to even try and manipulate someone.
Over the course of the series, every time Yukino has felt Hachiman didn’t want to be in the club anymore or be around her, Yukino has given Hachiman the option to leave the club.
Yukino’s issue is pretty much that she never received the love or care she needed from her parents, to the point where she was brought up believing she should bury her own wants, needs, desires and feelings “beneath the snow” (her name is “Snow beneath the snow”).
As you may have noticed, Yukino burying her own feelings is becoming increasingly more difficult for her ever since she met Hachiman, because Hachiman pretty much awakens all of these dormant feelings inside of her to the point where she can’t suppress them anymore.
From here on out I will be explaining codependency through Yukino’s character, but a lot of it also fits Hachiman’s character.
Yukino is a “people pleaser”. Since Yukino doesn’t love herself or has a very low self-esteem, she thinks that if she helps others, she will find happiness for herself when she sees that she can make others happy.
Which is great and all, but what that means is that the only person that ends up not being happy is Yukino. That’s kind of how ANOTHER ends. Yukino swallows her own happiness for the happiness of her friends.
Yukino not loving herself is also the reason why she is willing to go so far as to try and save Hachiman. If Yukino can save Hachiman, then maybe someone will acknowledge her or even come to love her, because she’s pretty much sacrificing her all for this other person.
Initially Yukino only wanted to fix Hachiman and be done with it to make up for the car accident. But since the two of them spent a longer time together, Yukino started to develop feelings for Hachiman. The reason why Yukino becomes so depressed during volume 9, is because Hachiman refused to change. Yukino failed at what she tried to do since the beginning of the series and because Hachiman refused to stop self-sacrificing (and later on started lying, manipulating, scheming etc.) Yukino felt that Hachiman becoming worse than he initially was, was her fault. It’s why her self-confidence plummets the second her “goal” gets taken away from her. (Her goal of wanting to help Hachiman, not becoming SCP.) Codependent people namely need to feel like other people need them or need their help in order for them to feel strong.
However, if you remember from Part 5 (if you’ve read it), Watari intentionally made it so that Yukino wasn’t able to save Hachiman, just like how Hachiman doesn’t want to save Yukino in the last part of the series (however it seems like he changes his mind towards the end of Volume 12 and in Volume 13 he still wants to help Yukino, but luckily Yukino doesn’t allow it).
The lesson learned from all of this is that wanting to save or help someone else (especially your partner) is great, but it should never come at the expense of yourself. Yukino essentially needs to take control of her own life, start making her own decisions and be her own person (which is what is currently going on in volumes 12-14), before Hachiman can acknowledge Yukino’s feelings for being the “real thing”.
If Watari plans on making Hachiman and Yukino end up together, then the journey of their relationship is pretty much: Independence (the way they start out at the beginning of the series all the way until volume 6, where Yukino starts relying on Hachiman and Yui for the first time) -> Codependence (from volume 8 until 12) -> Interdependence (volume 13 and onwards).
So, to explain it in simpler terms. Both Hachiman and Yukino are codependent. Both come from families where they have been neglected.
While Haruno's entire life has been planned out by her mother, Yukino has pretty much been neglected:
Yukino sees her family (or at least her sister) as her closest strangers.
As for Hachiman, both of his parents are never at home because they are always working. If you remember from previous novels, Hachiman has on several occasions “jokingly” said that his parents treat Komachi a lot better than him (for instance, one time the Hikigaya family went on vacation, but Hachiman stayed home alone) or how even their cat is higher up on the hierarchy in their family.
The only difference between Hachiman and Yukino is that at least Hachiman has had a normal relationship with Komachi. In Volume 12, Haruno says that while Hachiman may have been a good brother towards Komachi, Haruno hasn't been a good sister towards Yukino.
Both Hachiman and Yukino help people at their own expense. Both have trouble communicating with people and telling them “No, I won’t help you.” or “I won’t do that.” (Although Yukino probably has a little less trouble with this, unless it’s something that Yui wants. Hayama criticized Hachiman for always helping other people while using the club as an excuse.)
Hachiman and Yukino need to feel like someone needs their help, in order for Hachiman and Yukino to feel strong or needed. Without being able to help other people, codependent people feel like they’re empty shells. People like Hachiman and Yukino need others to need their help.
Dependency = the need to rely on someone else.
Codependency = the need to have other people rely on you.
And it’s very important to understand this difference, because I constantly keep seeing people try and explain codependency as just regular dependency, but the two are different things. From what it seems like, people seem to think that the issue is that Yukino depends on Hachiman or depends on others too much. However, Yukino has never asked Haruno for help up until Volume 6. From spoilers from Volume 13, it seems like Yukino also didn’t want Hayama’s help in the past and she insisted on solving her problems on her own (probably by being pushed by Haruno).
In Volume 13, Yukino tells Hachiman that before she met him, she didn’t know that it was alright to depend on someone else.
All the way up until Volume 9, Yukino is still helping out with solving requests. When Hachiman makes a mess out of the Christmas event, it’s Yukino that almost singlehandedly turns that event around (although not properly adapted in the anime) after Hachiman asks her to help him. Yukino stays up all night making preparations on how to turn the event around.
It’s only during Volumes 10-11 where Yukino starts relying on Hachiman in an unhealthy manner. In Volumes 12-13 Yukino is back to solving issues on her own and Yukino’s request is for Hachiman and Yui to merely observe as Yukino solves her issues on her own. Yukino’s request partially involves Yukino proving herself in some way to her mother that she can take on big events and lead them, in an effort for Yukino’s mom to take her request to work with her father at their family company more seriously.
Because they have been neglected their entire life by their parents, people with codependency believe they can’t or shouldn’t rely on others. They can also be workaholics who devote themselves to working or overworking themselves as a way to not have to deal with their emotions, which can lead to them not properly taking care of themselves in situations where they have a huge workload.
Hachiman also lied to people and manipulated people in season 2 in order to keep the Service Club alive and his relationship with Yukino and Yui. Codependent people are willing to go through great lengths to keep a relationship going out of fear that they will be left alone. (Hachiman is doing the same thing in Volume 13 (as is Yui), which is why near the end of it Yukino decides it’s for the best to end their relationship.)
Also, I feel like I need to add the following. While the last part of the series focuses on the codependent relationship of Hachiman and Yukino, in reality Hachiman has the same type of relationship with Yui and Iroha as well. If you’ve read Part 5 of my analysis, the most important thing I tried getting across was that every single girl (except for Yukino), only likes Hachiman because Hachiman did something for them (Yui, Saki, Iroha etc.). The reason why it’s so important for Yukino in this volume to solve the prom issue on her own without the help of Hachiman, is so that (unlike the other girls) Yukino likes Hachiman for who he is and not because he saved her or did something for her. Another thing that should be noted is that Yukino is the only character trying to grow or move forward in Volume 13. Yukino is the only one that is actively trying to break away from their codependency. Hachiman and Yui on the other hand aren’t. Hachiman in Volume 13 was still trying to do whatever he could to intervene or help.
Hachiman’s logic is: “If I help Yukino, even if she doesn’t want my help, then our relationship isn’t codependency.” Except that’s wrong, because it still means Hachiman needs other people to rely on him and he needs to help others.
Yui tried arguing with Haruno that she didn’t believe their relationship was codependency, because Yui thought that at least she wasn’t codependent. However, Haruno didn’t agree with that and said that Yui has spoiled Hachiman a lot.
However it’s the first time Yui has heard the term “codependency”, so her initial reaction is an emotional one and one where she wants to deny that’s the truth. (However, while Yui isn’t correct in this situation, neither is Haruno. Haruno only sees the evil side of everything and she doesn’t believe in love, kindness, sincerity etc.)
Which brings me to the reason as to why Yukino chose to put an end to their relationship. In order to explain that we kind of need to backtrack a little bit to when Hachiman said he wanted something genuine.
So, if you remember from the first part of my analysis, initially Yukino’s intentions were to help Hachiman make friends and get a girlfriend to make up for the fact that he missed out on those opportunities because of the car accident and then for her to disappear. (Although, like Hachiman said in the first season, he would have ended up a loner without the car accident anyway.)
Since early on in their relationship, Yukino had always drawn an invisible line between the three of them, the two “victims” and the “instigator”.
As it stands now, Hachiman has made friends because of the club and he is currently going towards Yui to fulfil her promise of the two of them going out on a “real” date, because Yukino won their bet from the first novel and told Hachiman to go fulfil Yui’s promise. So, if the series ended in that way, that would mean that Yukino accomplished what she set out to do since the beginning and that she would be the only one that ends up with nothing. (See Part 1.)
However, a couple of things happened in the meantime. Hachiman and Yukino started growing closer together and falling in love. Second, Hachiman turned out to be way more difficult to fix than Yukino initially imagined, which led to Yukino giving up on trying to save Hachiman around Volume 8-9. The last thing that happened is that Hachiman said he wanted something genuine/something real.
As Hachiman was giving his initial “something genuine” speech, he was thinking to himself how he never desired friendship, companionship etc. Instead he had a selfish wish of being able to truly understand someone and know everything about them. He wanted to be able to share that selfish desire with someone. He basically wanted an even more intimate relationship with Yukino.
Later on, Hachiman said that he wants “something genuine” to be something that he has to fight hard for to obtain. Anything that’s easy to obtain or simply “given” to him, isn’t worth keeping because it won’t last.
So, Hachiman’s desire for “something genuine” can be seen as Hachiman rejecting Yukino’s initial intentions of helping him make friends and getting him a girlfriend. Slightly prior to that, Yukino had also given up on trying to achieve that. Instead both Hachiman and Yukino set out to find this “something genuine” and Yukino promises Hachiman that she will help him find it.
However, then Haruno pointed something out to Hachiman, namely that what Yukino feels for Hachiman isn’t trust, but something more sinister.
Since then Haruno is the one that has been reminding the three of them of what their relationship is through Volumes 10-13. Since Haruno initially pointed this out to Hachiman, he has slowly started distancing himself of Yukino/he has become wary of her feelings for him. In Volume 11, as Hachiman is headed home after walking Yukino home together with Yui, Hachiman starts thinking about how he doesn’t want to define his relationship with Yukino. If he did that, then it would lose any other functionality. Hachiman wanted his “something genuine” to be something incorruptible.
Hachiman wants his something genuine to be pure incorruptible love.
Which brings us to the last couple of pages of Volume 13.
Yukino tells Hachiman that they should end their current relationship, because the current relationship they have surely isn’t the “genuine thing” he wished for. Yukino feels like she can’t give Hachiman “incorruptible love”, so instead she uses her wish to have Hachiman go fulfil Yui’s promise. If you’ve read ANOTHER, you should know that Yukino did a similar thing there as well. Yukino swallowed her feelings for Hachiman in ANOTHER and she kept the truth about the club to herself. In Volume 13, Yukino puts an end to the club, but she doesn’t tell Hachiman what the purpose of the club was and she pushes Hachiman to Yui.
(If you’ve read ANOTHER or my explanation of it, then you should be aware that ANOTHER ends with Hachiman being unable to tell Yui that he loves her and there’s a lot of foreshadowing that it’s a relationship that won’t last.)
Just like how I said near the beginning of my explanation, because codependent people have been emotionally neglected as they were growing up, they grow up in such a way where they always put their own wants, feelings, needs and desires behind those of other people. In Volume 12 Chapter 1, Yukino says how she wants to be able to work with her father at the family company. However there is also something she wants to give up on.
In Volume 12 Chapters 2 and 6, Haruno also says that in order for Yukino to grow up there will be things she will need to give up, namely Hachiman.
So, Yukino sacrifices her own feelings for the sake of Yui and Hachiman in this timeline as well. The reason why Yukino is crying throughout Volume 13, is because Yukino knows that she will eventually have to give up on Hachiman. The other reason is that it’s incredibly difficult for Yukino to keep pushing Hachiman away and to deny him wanting to help her.
Since Hachiman is also codependent, he also doesn’t act based on his own wants, desires and feelings. Instead Hachiman is going to Yui out of obligation based on Yukino’s wish, because Yukino won the bet from the first volume where the winner gets to decide what the loser does.
So, what does this all mean? In order to explain that, I first need to explain how to put an end to codependency. There's a reason why a lot of the cast members (Yukino, Haruno, Sensei, Iroha, Hayama etc.) have been telling Hachiman not to get involved and to let Yukino solve this problem on her own. However out of that entire group, it’s only Yukino and Haruno that have stayed persistent in their desire for Hachiman not to get involved.
There are really two ways to overcome codependency:
1. Cutting yourself off from the person you're in a codependent relationship with, permanently.
2. Cutting yourself off from the person you're in a codependent relationship with, temporarily. However, in this case it's important for the codependent person to work on bettering themselves, basically instead of being obsessed with helping other people at the expense of their own happiness, that person needs to focus on bettering their own lives first and establishing a sense of self that is separated from the source of their codependency. That is basically the reason why Yukino wants to do the entire prom thing on her own without Hachiman’s assistance.
(There is another reason that is more tied into which of the two Yukinoshita sisters will work with Yukino's dad. By hosting this prom, Yukino is trying prove to her mother that she is capable at organizing these types of events, so that Yukino’s mom might take her desire to work with her dad at their company more seriously.)
It was incredibly important for Yukino to solve this on her own, in order for her to grow and become more independent. At most Hachiman could have supported her from the sidelines and trusted Yukino to solve this on her own and in order for them to overcome this, they needed some boundaries in their relationship. However, that’s not what happened. Since Hachiman himself is also codependent, he needs other people to rely on him. Hachiman doesn’t trust that other people can solve their problems on their own.
In Volume 13, instead of trusting Yukino and letting her handle it on her own, Hachiman turns it into a competition and he decides to do his own prom idea, where he intentionally creates a worse prom proposal and then makes the PTA decide between those two, so that they choose Yukino’s idea. Since Hachiman decided to do this, by the end of Volume 13, Yukino comes to the realization that this will never come to an end unless she puts an end to their relationship as well as the Service Club herself. So, out of the three Service Club members, the only character that is moving forward and growing is Yukino, whereas Hachiman and Yui (and Iroha) still decide to remain in their codependent relationship.
So, what does this mean? Is this the end for Hachiman and Yukino’s relationship? Well, no. Hachiman and Yukino have also had a lot of positive influence on each other and for the most part they’ve gone through the biggest hurdles of codependency. Yukino gave up on actively trying to save Hachiman/fix Hachiman. Hachiman also stopped self-sacrificing because of Yukino. Yukino has now also stopped relying on Hachiman and she proved that she could handle the prom on her own without him. She has also most likely proven herself in her mother’s eyes. We have yet to find out if Hachiman will stop feeling the need to solve other people’s problems or having others rely on him for him to feel fulfilled. But most importantly, the Service Club has come to an end. Hachiman and Yukino are now not stuck in a place anymore where other people can come to them and ask them for their help/take advantage of them.
So, what would be the next steps in their relationship? Well, from Yukino’s side of things, it’s still the same as it has always been:
However to put in in a different way, what’s most important is for Hachiman and Yukino to properly start communicating with each other, with the two of them learning more about each other. Since codependent people always place their own feelings, desires, wants, needs etc. in last place, it’s also important for them to become a bit more selfish and focus on what makes them happy so they can try and better their own lives instead of the lives of others.
So, Yukino should actively pursue her feelings for Hachiman and not just give up on them.
Hachiman on the other hand now has no more “reasons” to interact with Yukino. Their relationship is over, the club is over, Hachiman “saved” her and the two of them don’t have to help others anymore. So if Hachiman still wants to be around Yukino, this time he should do so out of his own will without using any other excuses.
I also feel like I need to dedicate a small section to Haruno. Since I feel like there will be a lot of people that will try and praise Haruno like some kind of unsung or misunderstood hero, I feel like I need to point out to everyone that all of the drama that is happening in these past 4 volumes, is because Haruno has been constantly filling their heads with this codependency stuff.
So why is Haruno doing this? For this we have to go back to Volume 10 and look at Haruno’s memorandum.
Haruno basically doesn’t believe in justice, sincerity, love etc. and she only sees the evil side of everything.
(Not done yet. To be continued.)