HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 EVERYONE! Ah, time really flies. Maybe I am getting old. Just like in previous years, I hope to watch more anime and hopefully they won’t suck as much. Yeah, maybe I should just change my taste and lower my standards, eh?

After the confusing I-don’t-know-what-this-season-is-all-about-or-heading-to sequel that left me more confused than ever, especially that kind of cliff-hanger ending that didn’t resolve anything but only raised more questions, I was sceptical if I should watch Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru Zoku OVA. Not too sure if I would understand what is going on if they decide to wrap and explain things up. The good news? This OVA isn’t all about that. It isn’t a continuation of where that ‘ending’ left off. I suppose that is good enough for me. So instead, this OVA is about Hikigaya ‘dating’ his girls. Oh yeah. That at least I can understand. I think.

Sugar, spice and everything nice… Thrice!
Woah! What?! Iroha meeting up with Hikigaya on a date?! What’s going on?! Yup, we’re as surprised as Hikigaya. Apparently yesterday she requested him to help out for a job. Since she put on her cutie smiley face, there is no way a guy like him can say no, right? So this ‘date’ is because Iroha believes Hayato is going to get busy so she would like to introduce some light casual fun. Is this just an excuse to date him? Oh wait. She makes Hikigaya say that this was his idea. So on their ‘date’, they first hit the movies but it seems they want to see different movies and Hikigaya is cool with that. Let’s watch what we want and meet back here once it finishes. I guess Iroha isn’t going to take that so change of plans. Playing ping pong? So Iroha is trying to make intimidating sounds during her smash but hits it all over the place. Trying to even cheat on the score? In the end, Hikigaya obviously wins but sly girl worms her way out that although she agreed for him to treat her if she won, he didn’t say anything about she treating him if he won. Loophole… Not that Hikigaya wants a girl to pay for him anyway. Next, Hikigaya takes her to a ramen store. I don’t know, she looks so disappointed. Hasn’t she eaten ramen before? She hates to admit it but it tastes good. Next, he takes her to a café for desserts. They see the student council vice president and secretary coming out together. She thinks they are dating and I’m not sure how Hikigaya’s comments made Iroha think he is trying to hit on her. Oh right. We got to have her usual annoying trademark on him. In the café, Iroha has Hikigaya take a group photo with her. He is getting quite conscious of how close his face is to hers. At the end of the day, Iroha’s criticism on just about everything landed him with zero points. But 10 points for being fun. I guess messing with him was it. I’m sure he finds her annoying at this point. However to show she isn’t a sly b*tch, she thanks him for today’s good reference.

Next day in the clubroom, Iroha thanks Hikigaya and the other girls are just giving that look. Iroha is here to request making a free newspaper by the student council. It will contain articles like places to hang out and restaurants with good food, etc. Thus yesterday’s ‘date’. She shows them the photos she took of the places they visited. But it’s that jealous look when they see the picture of Iroha and Hikigaya close together. Having fun, aren’t we? Not sure if Iroha was showing that on purpose as she now tries to give excuse on how he was trying to help out with the coverage. Since she claims it isn’t done yet, she wants them to help out too and take some pictures. Why looking at Hikigaya? I see. He must come too. So this time Mr Lucky Hikigaya gets to ‘date’ Yukino and Yui. They look through various clothing shops and there’s a lingerie store Hikigaya tries to avert his eyes but it’s like Yukino is keeping a close watch on him and matching his actions. Huh? Then he sees the inevitable of the push up bra on sale. So what? That’s pretty normal, right? Unless you see it with a girl… The rest of the outing feels quite normal. Iroha is satisfied with it. She wants to take a group photo of them. Hikigaya feels shy about it but relents. Yui’s nice smile, Yukino’s dumbfounded looks (?!) and Hikigaya’s typical sarcastic face. That makes a good photo? Hikigaya narrates he might not know how to define this club yet but it isn’t as bad as he thought it would be.

Date A Live Wire
Uhm… Okay, I guess… No, wait. ANNOYING! So I am thinking this OVA is a much needed excuse for Hikigaya to go on a ‘date’ with his ‘harem’ because screw everything else. Iroha is given more limelight because we just need to be annoyed by her sly ways. It is like trying to warn us guys that if you have this kind of girlfriend, DUMP HER IMMEDIATELY!!! Cute on the outside but devilish on the inside. In normal circumstances, normal guys don’t really want to put up with this annoyance so it is a sign to get out of the relationship or be trapped forever as her eternal punching bag-cum-slave. They didn’t really have to put Yui and Yukino’s ‘date’ in it because it somewhat felt forced. Like as though if they dedicated this entire OVA to Iroha, it would be unfair to the main duo. Besides, I don’t think we can stand it any much longer if their outing lasted the entire episode because as it is it already takes up more than half of the OVA. Yeah, I think it’s better to show some boring outing with the less radical ones than continue with an irritating foxy girl. Well, I figure that’s why some girls are sugar, spice and everything nice but at a price!

Time to get more analytical and critical comments from the point of view of a loner. Time for more ‘psychological lessons’ from a lone wolf’s point of view. That is why we needed another second season, right? Well, not too sure if I really needed another lesson from Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru Zoku but just in case I can find something related, maybe this will help. Since I am still a loner after all these years, might as well. I think. Though, I am not placing much confidence in learning a lot since the first season had lots of stuffs that I couldn’t understand albeit it was still amusing to listen and note what our main protagonist had to say and comment. So I hope this time around, things will be easier to my ears and I would pick up something or two.

Episode 1
School cultural festival. While the band is performing in the hall, there seems to be some bust up between Hikigaya and Hayato. The usual boringness at the Service Club. They talk about their upcoming school trip to Kyoto. Hayato then brings his friend, Kakeru Tobe. He wants to confess to Ebina without the risk of getting shot down. Hikigaya isn’t too confident about his prospects because he also experienced something similar before. They try to list down his good points. I guess they can’t. They then try to list down what Ebina thinks of him. This means calling her in person to find out. Like the true fujoshi she is, she wants to see Tobe and the other guys get down and dirty! The plan now is to create an atmosphere during the school trip for Tobe and Ebina to get together. During the trip, the duo are paired together during many sightseeing but nothing much happens. Hikigaya and Yui are paired together to keep an eye on their progress. Late that night back at the inn, Hikigaya and Yukino were talking when Hiratsuka brings them along out of the inn so she could go buy some liquor. They could get into trouble if somebody finds out. So they just need not to let anybody find out, right? I don’t know why but after she reaches her destination, they drop off and she lets them walk back together.

Episode 2
Before Hikigaya left on his trip, Komachi had a list of things for him to buy. She’s really looking forward to it. The second day of the trip, the same usual routine. Then at the magazine store, Yumiko hints that she knows Hikigaya is trying to do pull off something with Ebina. Whatever it is, she doesn’t like it. Because it is going to change things as it is now and she likes the way things are now. Later, even Hayato confronts Hikigaya about this. He likes things to be status quo. Because if this gets messed up, once you lose something, it’s gone forever. The bamboo pathway will be the perfect place for Tobe to confess. He is nervous as he waits for Ebina while the rest of his friends hide and watch from afar. Then Ebina arrives. Hikigaya who has deduced that this confession is doomed to fail from the start puts forth his plan. As Tobe fumbles in his words, Hikigaya quickly goes up to him and usurps his sentence. Hikigaya claims he has liked Ebina for a long time and wants to go out with her. Ebina then shoots him down and says she is not interested to be in any relationship now. Although it did save Tobe some face, he still won’t give up on her. Besides, she did say she isn’t interested now. Who knows in the future? Despite the friendship between the friends remain status quo, Yukino is not very happy with Hikigaya’s method. Perhaps Yui too. She’s crying how he could be so smart but yet couldn’t spare a thought for how someone else feels. Later when Hikigaya talks to Ebina, he knew that when Ebina talked to them at the Service Club, she wanted to prevent Tobe’s confession. She must have talked to Hayato too or else why would he be acting so strange. Ebina adds that she likes the way things are now. If she were to date someone, it won’t work out because she’s rotten to the core. That’s why she hates herself. But it might work out if it’s with him. He cheekily replies he might fall for her in that case. Hikigaya narrates about people having things they hold dear and do not want to lose. That is why they lie. But the biggest liar of them all is himself.

Episode 3
Komachi can tell something has happened. Hikigaya brushes it off. She continues to bug him. He tells her off. Fine. Back at the Service Club, the strain between Hikigaya and Yukino can be seen. Hiratsuka then brings in Meguri. Seems her friend, Iroha Isshiki has been nominated to run for student council president although it was meant as a prank. Now that it is official, she doesn’t want that. So why not just lose? She can’t. She is the only candidate so far. The only hope is for a vote of no confidence, something she also doesn’t want because it’s embarrassing to lose that way. Hikigaya thinks of somebody writing a bad speech for her. The question is who is going to write it for her but even so, don’t you think it will also affect her in addition to the speech writer? Yukino does not favour this idea. Since it cannot be solved today, Hiratsuka calls it a day and the find the solution another time. Yukino then wants Hiratsuka’s evaluation of who is leading (remember, the purpose the ‘trio’ joined this club was so that the winner could have the loser do something). It’s a tough call. Hikigaya is a step ahead with his results. Yukino is best for her long term vision. Yui has made some contributions too. In short, it’s a draw. No clear cut leader. In that case, Yukino believes they don’t have to use the same methods. She thought Hikigaya was like her, they hated superficial things above anything else. At the café, Hikigaya bumps into Haruno. Or rather, he forces him to accompany her. Then Hikigaya’s old female classmates happen to see them. One of them was the one Hikigaya tried confessing to and failed, Kaori Orimoto. I guess he is forever in that friend zone thingy since she coolly brushes it off that was all in the past now. Haruno then calls Hayato to come by to entertain the girls. Because it’s fun. I don’t even… Next day when Hikigaya arrives in the clubroom, the girls are already mapping out their plan with Iroha. But Hikigaya interjects that what they’re doing is only making things worse because it makes the candidate like a puppet. The difference in methodology has him clash with Yukino again. The tension got bad enough that he just got up and leave.

Episode 4
Haruno is like God. She calls Hikigaya and knows about his spat with Komachi and even about the invitation he turned down from Hayato when Kaori and her friend invited him to hang out with them. And like the God she is, she forces Hikigaya to turn up for that invitation. So they watch a movie, go shopping, bump into some classmates, all the while you noticed those girls are having fun teasing Hikigaya, right? And then at the café, Yui and Yukino pop up. Hayato called them. He is tired of them running their mouths over Hikigaya because this guy is more than they think. They shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The girls just get up and leave. Bye. Yukino mentions they were called here to discuss about Hayato running for president. Haruno who has been spying (and probably loving it) then makes her presence known. Seems there is some sort of high level tension between the sisters despite all the politeness, you can just feel they hate each other. Something about Haruno mocking Yukino that she doesn’t need to do anything and get her hands dirty. Others will do it for her. When all the ladies are gone, Hayato tells Hikigaya why he is doing this. To fix something he broke. Something about pinning his hopes on him and the need for Hikigaya to realize his own worth. He needs to stop sacrificing himself. Hikigaya disagrees with all that and doesn’t need his pity or force his ideals on him. He is not like him. He is always alone by himself. Next day, Hikigaya learns from Hikigaya that Yukino is running from president. She hasn’t told anybody yet because she wants to know what Hikigaya will do. When he confronts Yukino about it, she claims she is doing it not because of what Haruno said and on her own volition. Because she has so much free time in this club and she is familiar with the student council duties. Because their ideals clash again, Yukino warns him about overestimating and thinking too much of himself. Later Yui talks to Hikigaya that she too is running for president. Despite she believes Yukino will be the best student council president and improve the school, but it will be at the cost of the club that she has come to love so much. Sure it’s only the club? So by becoming president, she can do things half heartedly as nobody has expectations of her.

Episode 5
Hikigaya and Komachi can’t stay mad forever. So when he needs her for advice and she is all big smiles, they patch up after each apologizes to the other. Even Zaimokuza is so willing to hear Hikigaya out (after all that bugging). Komachi even brings Saki and Saika as ‘reinforcements’. They don’t like the idea of Yukino and Yui fighting each other especially Komachi who would love for them to remain at the club. Even if Hikigaya has got a job, Komachi makes him think if Iroha is more important than those girls. Hikigaya thinks about Iroha wanting to maintain her image and that his approach was wrong. The only way is to renegotiate with Iroha. Hikigaya and Zaimokuza did some sneaky preparations first like creating a fake campaign website to drum up the number support for Iroha. Of course it would be deleted once it is all over but so as long as nobody discovers this entire lie, it won’t be a problem. Next, Hikigaya talks to Iroha and asks her opinion on Hayato. He explains that those who nominated her won’t even vote for her and would be laughing hard when she loses. Doesn’t she feel the need to get back at them by winning? He shows her the list that he was making her copying. The list that contains names that support her. That’s quite a lot of names there. As Iroha still isn’t convinced she’ll do a good job despite the sweet perks as mentioned by him, what sealed the deal is that she is able to ask Hayato for advice or even order him around. With Iroha’s case solve, Yukino and Yui are still being stubborn to run. So he shows them the list and mentions about the campaign account. With that, they have no more reason to act. After Yukino goes off to inform Hiratsuka, Yui thanks Hikigaya for working hard although he as usual denies it. Iroha eventually becomes student council president. Hikigaya gives her motivation to do a good job since Komachi will be enrolling here next year. Iroha takes it as his creepy way of trying to hit on her.

Episode 6
Things return to normal. Their routine returns to normal. But it feels forced. Like as though they’re putting in a lot of effort just to keep up with it. Then Iroha comes in with a problem. There is a Christmas event that they need to work with Kaihin Sougou High School. Iroha wanted to turn down as she has her own programme but since Hiratsuka said she needs to do it, I guess she’s here. Hikigaya kicks her out saying that this is the student council’s problem and not theirs. But this is his way of not wanting the rest to get involved. But why doesn’t she ask for Hayato’s help? Don’t want to trouble him? So bugging Hikigaya is okay? So both schools meet to do brainstorming. Coincidentally, Kaori is from Kaihin and is sitting in this session. It seems Kaihin is the only side putting forth their ideas while Iroha has no idea what they’re talking, just nodding and putting up her sweet smile. Of course, Hikigaya having his own sarcastic monologue comments. Iroha’s own student council team doesn’t think highly of her as they rather do the work procedures themselves. Then Hikigaya uses flowery terms for his idea that he doesn’t understand himself what he is saying just to match the moderator Tamanawa (also Kaihin’s student council president) and his annoying hand movements. Oddly the moderator got that and I’m pretty sure Hikigaya is just as lost as Iroha. After the session, Kaori talks (tease, rather) to Hikigaya about the girlfriend he broke up with (how could he if he never had one in the first place?) and how he might be targeting Iroha. She starts laughing upon knowing those girls are from his Service Club.

Episode 7
Komachi’s present list. Electrical items? Yui seems to be worried if Hikigaya would be coming to the clubroom. Since he will, she’s happy all over again. Iroha didn’t turn up for a brainstorming session so Hikigaya thinks she is held up by her club activity and goes to get her. But talking to Hayato in his football club, seems she has already left. Hayato knows about Iroha’s problem but didn’t help since she didn’t ask. Besides, isn’t Hikigaya the one whom she relies on? The brainstorming good also got a bunch of elementary kids to help out with the Christmas decorations. Among them is Rumi. Hikigaya confronts Tamanawa about short listing what they need to do because they have not much time but he doesn’t want to narrow their views. I don’t know what they discuss this next. Hikigaya and Iroha walking back, bump into Kaori. From the way they say things, Iroha gets the hint that something happened between them but is left hanging about the details. Hikigaya continues to work hard and streamlined the activities that are possible and impossible. Most of them the latter in terms of budget wise. Tamanawa’s answer? Let’s discuss it too. Reminder: Only a week left and if they don’t get started even with the shortage of manpower right now, it’ll never be done. Wanna discuss that too? Hikigaya sees Rumi making Christmas decorations alone. He helps her out. On his way back, he bumps into Yukino. Seems she knows he is helping out Iroha but since it is on his free time, it is not that he lied about it. After coming clean about their own methods, Yukino suggests he take some time off from the club. Because if he is trying to look out for them, he is wasting his time. He can stop forcing himself. Because if this is all it takes to break them apart, they were never close in the first place. Therefore he doesn’t have to force himself to turn up anymore.

Episode 8
Hiratsuka picks up Hikigaya to send him home but she detours just to hear him out. He mentions about the problem at hand. Tamanawa and Iroha are scared of being the cause of failure and thus this collective brainstorming. The initial problem was nobody wanted to pick a leader to shoulder the most responsibility. Hiratsuka praises him for knowing what people think but not knowing how people feel. Then there’s a bunch of other advice she mentions like hurting others, emotions and some other sh*t that I just couldn’t get because I was too bored watching… She thinks he doesn’t need to worry about Yukino or Yui because somewhere down the line, they’ll change. It might or might not be him. Hikigaya notes if he was 10 years younger and met Hiratsuka 10 years earlier, he would have fallen in love with her. Hikigaya returns to the club, shocking the girls. He is requesting for their help but Yukino thinks he got into this mess himself and should clean up after himself. He is about to agree to that so Yui gives them her piece of mind that it isn’t his fault in the first place. There’s some sort of argument about not understanding each other if one doesn’t say it and it is bringing both girls to tears. Even more shocking, Hikigaya is actually crying while he blurts out what has been his wish the entire time. I believe it is genuine mutual understanding. If you don’t get what he said the entire time, don’t blame you. Because Yukino also doesn’t understand! But the situation is worsened as she runs out crying. It’s now or never so Yui pesters Hikigaya to go chase her. So at the rooftop, Yui also assures she doesn’t know what the heck Hikigaya said. Or what the heck is going on. But she knows currently she hates the way things are now. Time for the girls to get emotional. Girl cry. Girl hug. And so Yukino agrees to accept Hikigaya’s request.

Episode 9
Thanks to that, Hikigaya feels so embarrassed that he could just die right now! And Komachi doesn’t believe this identity crisis crap of his. Yui and Yukino sit in the brainstorming. Let’s say it was even enough to give Yukino a headache! So when they relay their findings to Hiratsuka, she gives them 4 tickets to some amusement park. She got it at some after wedding party. They’re supposed to use it to do some research. Yukino doesn’t want to go since it is crowded but Yui begs her. With Hikigaya mentioning he needs to get gifts from Komachi there, looks like they’ll be going. Since Yukino has a season pass, they have an extra ticket. Who is Iroha going to invite? It’s no surprise. Hayato. Somehow his friends too tag along. We have scenes of them having fun and some talk about stuffs that don’t really interest me. I wasn’t paying attention. Sorry. There is this ride that Tobe wants to pair up with Hayato but Iroha and Yumiko tell him to butt off. Ebina suggests Hikigaya help mend Tobe’s broken heart and make it Hikigaya x Tobe! Don’t worry. Hayato eventually chooses Tobe. I can’t believe guys prefer being gays… At night, there is some parade but Yukino wanted to ride some ride that she has been afraid of so Hikigaya accompanies her. More talk that was so boring that I failed to even listen to a word they say. I can’t be bothered to replay those lines again. They might have missed the parade but Yui at least got photos of it. Now it is for the fireworks display. It could have been a memorable one if not for this little matter. Thanks to the fireworks drowning out the sounds of everything else, it looks like Iroha and Hayato said things to each other. It ends with Iroha running away in tears.

Episode 10
Hayato confirms he did reject Iroha. Something about there is more than meets the eye about Iroha’s feelings. I suppose Hikigaya has to ‘take responsibility’ by accompanying Iroha home. From what I understand, she still hasn’t given up on Hayato and ‘blames’ Hikigaya for making her change so she has got to stick with it. Hikigaya calls his side to do something about the endless meeting. He knows it will fail because everybody gets their say but nobody is making any decisions. So when Iroha mentions about putting up a play, as usual Tamanawa goes into his usual crap mode. That is when Hikigaya tells him off about inflated egos and sweeping the problem under the rug. If that doesn’t convince him, now it is Yukino’s turn to tell him off about his meaningless prattle and his fun of playing upper management. If this goes on, they’ll never create anything. I’m not sure in between the scenes but the Christmas event finally takes off and proceeds without any hitch. After Hikigaya and co make their prayers at the shrine for New Year’s Day, Komachi wants to leave big brother alone with Yukino. Since he doesn’t get it, she insults him (his first name is also considered an insult word?) and this makes Yukino laugh. This is also because Yui and Komachi are planning to do something about Yukino’s upcoming birthday. While Hikigaya and Yui are choosing a present, they bump into Haruno and Hayato. The latter duo are together since their parents are good friends. Haruno then calls Yukino to come over. She is about to hang up but Haruno passes the line to Hikigaya. I guess she has to come then. Shortly after when she arrives, Yukino’s mom is also here. She wants them to come along for Yukino’s birthday party. Yukino doesn’t look to happy but is forced to. Hikigaya glaring at Hayato indicates that it might be partly his fault.

Episode 11
When the friends are trying to decide which stream to pick, suddenly somebody mentions about the rumours that Hayato is dating Yukino. Shock! Not as shock and annoyed as Yumiko. Iroha should have known better than to ask Yukino herself because she knows they aren’t dating or anything. Iroha notices more and more girls are trying to ask Hayato out ever since the rumour as Hayato was not associated with anyone before. Like he belonged to everybody. And now here comes Yumiko. Yeah, I think she’s got a real problem. She’s trying to hold in her b*tch anger while Yukino is trying to control her sarcasm. So keep calm and just talk what is going on. Yumiko feels Hayato is acting strange and distant. Hikigaya could guess she even knows this won’t last forever and wants to be besides him. Because Hayato has not made it clear which stream he chose (the cause of all this anxiety?), Hikigaya asks him directly and of course no clear answer. Yukino probably put aside her pride to even ask Haruno but she tells her to think about it herself. So when Haruno forces Hikigaya to walk her home and asks about his attempt with Hayato, she thinks Hayato is hoping for a certain someone to find him. During the school’s cross country run, Hikigaya confronts Hayato again. This time he irks him be saying Yumiko was a convenient way of keeping away other girls. He tells him to pick sciences as it will be the only way to be freed from everyone’s expectations. Many girls don’t choose this stream too. Then there’s some talk about groups naturally breaking up and thus he doesn’t have to betray everyone’s expectations and nobody will get hurt. Hayato’s answer: He hates him. He feels inferior to him. He can’t stand losing to him. That’s why he won’t do as he says. Hayato eventually wins the race and during his victory speech, thanks Yumiko and Iroha, dispelling those rumours. Hikigaya got hurt during the race. Yukino treats him in the infirmary. Some talk. A catalyst for their faces being close enough to… Oh, is Yui eavesdropping at the door? Nah… Then a party to celebrate. Hayato notes Yukino has changed. Hayato mentions his unwillingness to pick. Because if you are given a set options to choose from, can you call it your decision? That is why he refused to pick and choose. That’s the best way he believes to go about things. Hikigaya forgot to say this to him too: He hates him. On a side note: Hayato went with liberal arts.

Episode 12
Valentine’s Day is coming. But everybody knows Hayato won’t be accepting chocolates from girls. This puts a damper on those who’d really want to give it. Yui starts flustering when Hikigaya asks her if she is free someday. I guess she needs some time to think about it. I’m pretty sure it’s not what it is she is thinking. Iroha is seeking their help to make chocolates. They know her purpose so they tell her about Hayato’s policy. So she’ll settle for Hikigaya? Yui and Yukino feel creepy when they realize Hikigaya knows about Iroha’s birthday. Now here comes Yumiko. Request to make handmade chocolates too? Oh, here comes Saki too with the same request although it is her little sister who wants to try. Before any hostility could blow up between Yumiko and Saki, Hikigaya suggests instead of doing this for Valentine, they could hold an event where they make chocolates and have the rest test taste and eat it. It’s a great idea since all of them can make together without making any obvious ulterior motives and they can act natural too. Yukino and Yui can help teach all of them. Iroha has got Tamanawa and his side to join in. Unfortunately, Iroha has also called Haruno to come. When Kaori asks if she had given Hikigaya any chocolates before, all the concerned girls are all ears. Nope. None. In that case, she’ll give him some this year. Those annoyed looks. This has Haruno mentioned Hayato got some from Yukino before. He mentions it was a long time ago. Haruno then teases Yukino about making chocolates to give to somebody. This causes her to be clumsy with the utensils and awkward with Hikigaya. Yui saves the day by showing off her cool balancing of utensils. The event goes on quite well. Till Hikigaya tastes Yukino and Yui’s chocolate. Haruno then stirs up trouble that she is disappointed that this is their way of spending time together. She finds them boring and lame and prefers the old Yukino. Night ruined. It is going to get worse when Yukino’s mom arrives. She heard from Haruno about her future plans. She feels responsible and might have erred in her decisions letting Yukino do as she pleases. She fears she might go down the wrong path at this rate. Yukino will explain it all to her but wants her to leave just for tonight. Then there is Hikigaya’s narration of us dictating others by our own stereotypes and finding something genuine.

Episode 13
Yukino made some cookies for Yui but when the latter notices none for Hikigaya, Yukino gives some like as though she’s doing her a favour. Things get awkward between Yukino and Hikigaya. It is made worse when Haruno is here to accompany Yukino home as instructed by mom. Then there’s some b*tch talk about Yukino being herself so Yui assures her they are giving this a serious thought. Haruno agrees to let her be for now. They gather at Yui’s place. They think Yukino should sleep over here for tonight so when Yukino calls Haruno for this, she knows this means Hikigaya is around and wants to speak to him. She really just knows how to ruin it. Late that night when Yukino can’t sleep, Yui suggests going on a date. Next day after Hikigaya sees off Komachi for her entrance exam, Yui contacts him to go on a date. It’s not what you think. And certainly it is not going to be a double date with those ladies. Let’s just call it a casual outing to the aquarium. There’s some talk about things in between, but I didn’t really get it. Finally the biggest question of what they’re going to do from now, Yui looks like she is going to admit something. She hands Hikigaya her cookies as thanks for fulfilling her request then. Calling herself a coward who plays dirty, she has already decided. If they figure out how each of them feels, they won’t be able to say the same. Thus she wants her final request to fix their problems. Yui says she knows how to fix Yukino’s problem. And that itself is the solution to their problem. But if she wins this bet, she is going to take it all. Hikigaya notes Yui might have the right answer all along and accepting it would be easier for all of them. Before Yukino can answer to that, Hikigaya interjects. He is saying how this is wrong for her. Yukino is going to put her future in the hands of another, which is totally unacceptable. He wants Yukino to solve her problems herself. Since he doesn’t want vague answers or superficial relationships and be left with nothing, he wants them to think and struggle to find the right answer no matter how many times they go wrong. Yui had a feeling he would say this. Yukino reminds they still have his request. She also has one. Care to listen to it?

Yahari… Ore Wa… Wakaranai!!!
Seriously. I admit. Again. I had a hard time trying to enjoy this anime! Wait. That is just an understatement. In fact, I don’t think I enjoyed this season. I couldn’t understand what the freaking hell is going on. All I know is that, everybody has some kind of problem. Problems that they had to face and overcome. Problems that I don’t even understand what is it all about. Then there is some sort of disagreement between Hikigaya and Yukino’s method. Each has their own way of doing things but the end result of it is somewhat similar. So I’m not sure what happened if they just accepted their different ways or not because if they are still sticking around each other, it means they must have worked out something, right? Even more puzzling is that I know that there is some sort of hostility between Yukino and Haruno. There is some sort of tension within her family. But not hostile enough for the ladies to get physical. I just don’t get it. Maybe it is because I have mainly forgotten much of the first season and thanks to my sentiments this season, I didn’t really go back and read it again to pick up if I missed something important. I didn’t really care anymore. All I knew was I wanted to just finish this anime and get over with it. Move on. Thank goodness I’m here. Yeah…

Making it even worse is that cliff-hanger ending. Can you even call that an ending? It just leaves you hanging. Maybe smarter audiences will be able to guess what the problem is and what Yukino’s request is about. But for a dumb guy like me whereby watching and trying to understand what is happening is already damn hard enough, ending the season at such a state makes it even worse. I need to be told what is happening to at least have a chance of understanding or I will forever be stuck in unanswered riddle land. Heck, the final episode was just a big drama between the trio. Aside Haruno and Yui’s mom, the entire final episode was just them making the appearance (all other characters ‘killed off’?) and about them contemplating about their current status (I think) and where would they take it all from here. What would they do? I don’t know. From the looks of it, I think they are going to try it out till it works. Besides, if you want things done, you better do something about it instead of wishing for a miracle to happen and the problem to fix itself.

Sad to say, I have to assume while I am watching this season, that I am actually a newbie watching this series since I do not remember a lot of what happened in the first season and couldn’t connect the stuffs (if there was any). Therefore I am not sure if Haruno is the villain of the series. Despite her eternal sweet smile and gentle tone, she manages to pick the right words to irk Yukino. Not too sure if she is trying to make Yukino realize something with this method of hers, I’m not sure. Is she playing the bad guy for her sister’s sake? Not too sure. Whatever it is, it sure made Haruno look like a total b*tch in my books. A selfish b*tch who seems to take pleasure in watching others suffer. Whoops. Was that too harsh? Well, she seems to love calling and teasing Hikigaya for her own amusement (perhaps she views him as something different) and perhaps it is because she is a woman (like any in the real world) don’t really get to the point and dumb guys like me have to think a lot trying to figure what she is getting at but never got quite close to the answer. In the end, I don’t really know what she wants. The old Yukino? Can you please be clearer? No? Well, just my luck. The fact that she always had that gentle sweet sounding voice but her words sting always make me feel that a full blown out high pitch screaming is going to explode any time. It is ironic that the sisters do not ‘fight’ or even ‘spat’ as Hikigaya puts it, but I think this kind ‘argument’ (can I term it so?) is still as scary if not worse than if they get physical or raise their voices.

With this season, somehow I feel that Hikigaya’s psychological analyses were not as amusing and interesting as he once spouted last season. I don’t even remember if this season he had said more of those this season. But I do know this time that I don’t really quite understand many of them. Even if there were some funny ones and those that I ‘understand’, I would have probably forgotten by the time I reach the anime’s end. Oh wait. Not even that far. Even before the next episode starts. That bad? Yeah. To me. Sadly, as his comments and sarcasm were one of the funny points of the series, it has become a bane this season trying to understand what he just said. Sorry, I just couldn’t understand.

I also can’t see the relationship between Hikigaya, Yukino and Yui as the Service Club members going anywhere. Like I said, there is some sort of disagreement between their way of doing things. Sometimes I even forget the reason why the trio was in the Service Club in the first place. Hiratsuka reminded us for a while by giving her own unofficial records but it all feels like back to square one or never moved at all. Yui also reminded us in one of her final narrative but I think with time running out, there is nothing more that can be done for this season. And I think the problem theme of this season is about staying the way as it is. Surely the gang are having fun at how things are right now. Status quo. We’d love things to stay the way it is forever. But reality dictates nothing lasts forever. And so perhaps this thought of trying to preserve the current moment as long as possible becomes the big issue of the entire series. Yui wants the Service Club members as it is. Hayato and his circle want their friendship to stay as it is.

Iroha seems to be taking the spotlight this season as a new character. Noticed how she spends an awfully lot of time at the clubroom? Not too sure if she really has that much of a problem that needs some help or she is just there for a certain guy. Yeah… My guts tell me she secretly likes Hikigaya although continuing her crush on Hayato seems to be just a big façade. After all, she feels like a tsundere to Hikigaya in this case. Because at times she will warn him about trying to hit on her and mock about his weird non-existent fetish. Speaking of her retorts to Hikigaya, I find them more amusing and understandable than Hikigaya’s serious narration.

Some of the minor supporting characters from the first season didn’t really make an impact this season. For example, that girly looking Saika. The only reason why he makes his limited appearance from time to time is to remind us of that running joke that whenever Hikigaya is with him, he has to control and remind himself that Saika is a guy and not to fall in love with this pretty boy. That’s about it. Saki feels even worse. Making even less screen time, she is mostly forgettable and the show would go on even if she didn’t appear at all. Same case with that chuunibyou fatty, Zaimokuza. Maybe the producers don’t want us to forget them but since they have no important role to play here, thus their limited appearance. The same idea that had me thinking why Rumi was brought back into Hikigaya’s life again. It could have been a random girl but I suppose we need a reason why Hikigaya decides to spend a little more time and help a loli.

Not too sure if there will be a third season and what made me say that is the possible fruition of the love comedy that the series carries in its title and something that I was looking forward to instead of this psychological drama. I am speculating that there are a handful bunch of girls that secretly has a crush on Hikigaya. Some subtle hints of Yukino and Yui although nothing confirmed. Therefore the final episode from my perspective feels like a big troll of this. There were a number of scenes that would make you go, “Will she say it or will she not?”. With their ambiguous body language and facial expressions, it is all the more reason why it was a big troll since nothing conclusive was actually said. I am not psychology or love-cum-romance expert, but I can say that the trio hold some sort of degree of feelings for the other.

Yui and Yukino might be the main runners if ever this romance race comes true but don’t forget the other potentials like Hiratsuka too because Hikigaya may be into older woman if you remember his comment about marrying her if he was born 10 years earlier. Remember Ebina’s cheeky statement about things working out if it is him she is dating? Can I take that joke seriously? I deduce Saki too seeing that reaction she had during the chocolate making and testing stint. Iroha playing the tsundere and Kaori as the ex-flame sending mixed teasing signals of possibly coming back to his life may just add some spice to it. I might add Rumi for lolicon and Komachi as siscon to expand the harem but I’ll leave that to my fantasies. If I ever have time to think about it ;p. And then maybe even Hayato for some gay tropes ;p.

This season’s opening and ending themes aren’t that appealing to me either. Usually when a series fails to keep me interested in its story, plot, characters and everything else, the themes would be the saving grace of the series. Sadly, this isn’t the case and thus my overall views of this sequel plunging even deeper. Nagi Yanagi, who sang the opening theme for the previous season, again takes up that same role for this season’s opener, Harumodoki. The song is not really that bad but it just feels like another generic anime pop. Just like last season, Saori Hayami and Nao Touyama do a duet for the ending theme. This season’s Everyday World doesn’t live up to last season’s Hello Alone. It wasn’t as attractive enough. Just like last season too, there are ballad solo versions of Saori Hayami and Nao Touyama singing this song. Not too my liking either as both versions are slow ballads as opposed to the main’s pop style.

Overall, a disappointing and frustrating season simply because I just couldn’t understand. For those who do, I believe you will find a lot of character development amidst the dramatic moments and other stuffs that gives this romcom genre a different breath of fresh air (not too sure if I am deceived about it because I just don’t feel so). This season sits well for those who really understand the deep and slightly complicated stuffs instead of those relying on slapstick comedy and shameful fanservice to retain its audience. After all these years, it only goes to show that those kind of elements for romcom would be my typical cup of tea. And I’m sure with lots of similar otakus like me around the globe, they’ll keep making lots of those for years to come. Yes, such love comedies are once again on course in making the world on collision course with tragedy. The kind of tragedy so sad that you’ll find yourself laughing so hard at. Just sad…

P/S: Can I make a request? I hope the next season would be easier to understand. If it ever happens…

I only have myself to blame if I set high expectations of something and then it turns out not what I expected it to be. Just from the glimpse of the words in the title that include ‘Love Comedy’, I thought this would be some sort of nonsensical love comedy slapstick. After all, when love comedies go wrong, it could only mean that, right? Besides, the other clincher that had me thinking that this would be that slapstick comedy is the ridiculously long title. Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru – My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. The main title itself sounds long and suspiciously funny. And they had to add the second title with that SNAFU abbreviation. Google it if you want to know what I mean. If the title doesn’t sound funny, I don’t know what is. Or maybe it could be just me. Yeah. It’s just me, I guess. Heck, even the episode titles are long enough that I thought the producers were lazy to come up with one and just took a sentence and made it the title.

Even if the show didn’t turn out to be a slapstick comedy (I got to stop using this word too often in this blog or else I feel somebody might get irritated and annoyed a lot), I thought I should connect and find this enjoyable in a way because the main protagonist is a loner. Otakus are loners, right? Well, this guy isn’t an otaku but he already is a loner. At least if you look at it from society’s point of view. Thus the main motivation to watch this anime is not the love comedy that you thought it had (heck, I don’t think there is much to begin with), but rather the analytical and critical comments that our main guy depicts from his point of view. It is interesting to note how he sees them and analyzes them based on his own experience. So what happens if he meets another loner character but with a different personality and set of ideals? More interesting and critical comments from different aspects of course. The psychological lessons (if I should call them) should prove an interesting watch and refreshing view on how society works from the point of view of a loner. At least this makes up for the lack of slapstick comedy that I was hoping for.

Episode 1
Hachiman Hikigaya narrates about the ‘evilness’ of youth and how the norms of society mould around it. This guy. Very negative and pessimistic perception. It was supposed to be an essay about looking back at his time in high school and he deservingly gets reprimanded by his language teacher, Shizuka Hiratsuka. Hikigaya even has some wise cracks but teacher is no push over to show who is boss. As punishment for writing such crap, he is taken to the Service Club to meet Yukino Yukinoshita. Hiratsuka wants Yukino to fix Hikigaya’s attitude of being rebellious and a loner. When they are left alone, there is an awkward distance between them. Yukino continues to read her book in a corner while Hikigaya starts analyzing about their prospects of being friends. In order to avoid that from happening, the fastest way is to make her hate him. Too bad he got no balls to do that since she is giving that intimidating stare back at him. While maintaining their distance, he asks her about this club. It is some sort of community service whereby the members reach out to help those in need. Yukino is the only member and now Hikigaya is the newbie. Both of them have different ideologies on friends and there’s sarcasm in every sentence they say. Since this is going nowhere, Hiratsuka decides to hold a contest to see who can serve better. The winner gets to order the loser around. Initially Yukino declines but caves into Hiratsuka’s ‘cheap provocation’. Hikigaya has no say whatsoever. Hikigaya discovers despite Yukino being popular, she reveals she was once a bully victim. Because it is her popularity that becomes the source of jealousy for others to bully her.

Yui Yuigahama walks into the room since Hiratsuka recommended her to come here if she has any request. She wants their help to assist her in baking cookies for a boy she likes. Let’s say when the girls made it, it turns out to look more like charcoal. The problem would be easily fixed if Yui stops cooking but I don’t think that would solve the problem. Yui’s confidence is low so Yukino tells her to stop comparing herself with others because it’s embarrassing to blame her own weakness on others. Despite her harsh words, Yui takes a liking because she was being honest. Hikigaya has an idea and will show them how real handmade cookies are made. When he is done, he lets the girls taste them and they find it ordinary. Yukino finds it awful so Hikigaya wants to throw it away. Not wanting to waste them, Yui thought it wasn’t that bad after all. Hikigaya reveals these cookies are actually made by her. He starts telling his own experience how he thought a girl liked him but got embarrassed when it wasn’t him. The point? Guys are simple creatures. They get the wrong idea just from getting talked to and be happy to just get handmade cookies. He will be moved if he sees her trying her best so it doesn’t need to taste good. The girls don’t believe him and start throwing things at him. Yui gets motivated to do it on her own. Next week, Hikigaya and Yukino ponder if Yui’s effort went well. Yui enters the clubroom to hand them her cookies as gratitude. She would also like to help out with the club.

Episode 2
Once again, yet another sarcastic outlook on society acting in packs by Hikigaya and comparing it like the animal kingdom. He wants to be a bear. Because bears are loners. Say what? And yet again, another reprimanding from Hiratsuka about his misguided essay on how animals live in the wild. She asks his opinion on Yukino. He hates her. Noting their twisted personalities, she is worried they might not fit into society, that’s why she wants to keep them in one place together. A group of students gather around popular Yumiko Miura. Yui has problem talking to her that she wants to eat with Yukino instead with her groupie. Hikigaya didn’t want to get involve with this internal strife but he can’t help it after seeing Yui on the verge of tears while the b*tch dominates the conversation with her arrogance. Then he changes his mind after seeing her deadly aura that tells him to shut up or else. Yumiko continues to chide Yui for not being able to say things straight till Yukino enters the picture, wondering why Yui is late for their lunch meeting. Yukino’s sarcasm ticks off Yumiko for forcing her own beliefs on others. Everyone senses the tense atmosphere so it’s a sign to get out. Yui and Yumiko are left in the classroom so they somewhat reconcile. Although Yui thanks Hikigaya for standing up for her earlier, she isn’t happy he was eavesdropping outside with Yukino. I thought they were waiting for her to finish up things?

In the clubroom, Yoshiteru Zaimokuza. He is waiting for Hikigaya and has a serious case of chuunibyou. I don’t blame Hikigaya if he claims he doesn’t know this guy. Since Yukino points out the Service Club does not grant wishes, he downgrades for them to assist him. Take over Japan? This guy is creeping Yui out with his sick delusions. Anyway as pointed out by Hikigaya, he is acting out his chuunibyou because he shares the same name of some shogun so it’s not entirely a fantasy. Because Hikigaya’s name is based on some god of war, that’s why Zaimokuza calls him his comrade. His request isn’t actually to cure his chuunibyou but to get their opinion on a fantasy novel he is writing. He wants to enter it in a contest. Since he has no friends, he can’t get any opinions. The trio take back his script and read. So boring that well, I don’t know if they are lacking sleep or just fell asleep. Except Yui. Because she didn’t read it. I think in a way it spared her the ordeal. Yukino tells him straight all the bad points. I think everything is. You don’t want to have her as your book review critic. After going through that torture, I can see why Yukino has lots to say. And guess what? The story isn’t actually finished either. When it’s Hikigaya’s turn to comment, he just asks which story he copied his work from. That’s just mean, no? Although Zaimokuza is depressed, he is happy to have received feedback and got the balls to even ask them to read his work again. If he gets a new idea. Yeah. Writer’s block. Next day, Zaimokuza gets ahead of himself thinking if his work would win an award, turn into anime, get a voice actress he wants and marry her! Sure. If he ever writes his story first.

Episode 3
Hikigaya gets his wish when he is the odd one out during tennis so gets to play alone. That’s like playing squash, right? Yui joins Hikigaya to chat when he is enjoying lunch by himself. Can’t let a guy eat in peace? Their classmate, Saika Totsuka joins in. If you’re wondering, he is a guy. Trap potential. Enough said. I hope Hikigaya’s gay instincts won’t awaken because there is this lovely flowery effect each time he sees him talk. Saika hopes Hikigaya would join the tennis club since the seniors are about to retire and their club isn’t that strong. Talking to Yukino about this, she is sceptical about him joining because speaking from experience, the tennis club members won’t let him be part of them. They might come together as a team in finding a new mutual enemy in him. When she studied abroad, they tried to eliminate her. Because of that they were so fixated on that instead of improving themselves to surpass her. Yui brings Saika to the club as the latter requests for them to help with the club practice. Yui is disheartened when Yukino points out she isn’t a formal member because she never wrote in a formal letter. Yui is accepted when she quickly writes one. Yui and Saika undergo training under Yukino’s eyes while Hikigaya is just erm, watching ants. Is this more interesting? Yumiko and her groupie see them practise and she is interested to play. Since Yumiko is close to confrontational, Hayato Hayama tries to solve it amicably with Hikigaya but the latter gets sarcastic about Hayato having good looks and popular with the ladies and thus used to getting what he wants and now he wants to take this tennis court. Thus a competition is decided. They will play doubles and the winners will get to use this place during lunch and help Saika with his practice.

Yumiko-Hayato goes up against Yui-Hikigaya. Yumiko proves she is no pushover because she once made it to the prefectural tournament during middle school. Yui sprains her ankle so Hikigaya just wants her to stand around while he does something. Do what? Go on his knees and beg for forgiveness. WTF. However Yui brings Yukino to replace her. The usual mockery between the girls before they square off. Gradually, Yukino dominates the game however as the game drags on, she finds herself running out of stamina. She leaves it to Hikigaya to settle the score. For real? She may have spewed gaffes and insults but has never lied. From what Hikigaya explains, due to his time spent alone, he always played tennis by himself. So he has learnt to analyze and use to wind for this magic shot of his to even the score. Hikigaya serves a high ball, a technique he always uses when he plays by himself (so it makes it look like he is playing himself as his own opponent). Yumiko tries to get it but is in danger of running into the fence. Hayato saves her and this has the spectators cheer on them like lovebirds. Hikigaya’s win is totally ignored. Saika thanks Hikigaya but he says he should be thanking them and not him. Hikigaya notes the God of romantic comedies must be screwing around with him for this homo pairing (Yui is all over Yukino too). I suppose God heard his complaint so makes it the way Hikigaya wants them by having him walk into the clubroom while the girls are in the midst of changing and they throw the racquet at his face. Ah, classic. That’s how it’s done.

Episode 4
We are introduced to Hikigaya’s little sister, Komachi, lively but a little ditzy. As he cycles her to school, he remembers on the first day of high school, he got involved in a car accident after trying to save a dog and spent his first few days hospitalized. That’s when his loner syndrome kicked in. Yet again, Hiratsuka reprimands Hikigaya for another crap essay about wanting to be a full time house husband. Rewrite it again. Or else. She reminds him of the workplace survey and to be in groups of three. In the clubroom, Yui gets permission to have Hikigaya’s number. They’re friends, right? But Yui can’t believe he has texted girls before. From what he says, the girls can tell the girl he texted ignored his mail and to stop averting his eyes from reality. Hayato enters the clubroom seeking for a request. He shows them chain mails about bad rumours of his friends. He doesn’t want to find out the culprit but just make this stop. But Yukino insists that the perpetrator must be caught because the only way to stop this is to eliminate that person. She speaks from experience. So she really eliminated the source? Hikigaya thinks the workplace visit must have got something to do with this since that is when the rumours started circulating. Seeing that Hayato is a popular guy, the culprit may be one of them trying to kick the other out so they could be with him. Yukino has Hayato list down the personalities of his friends but it seems she twists and rephrases their good points into negative ones! Wow. That’s some deep analysis and she’s pretty good in that. Or she’s just sceptical about people having good points. Since there isn’t much conclusion from the descriptions (how could they?), Yukino suggests Yui and Hikigaya to observe them since they are in the same class.

Yui goes first by asking Yukino and Hina Ebina via girl’s talk. However they misinterpret she is interested in them and pester her to spill which one she likes. This somewhat turns on Ebina’s yaoi switch because she gets excited about the thought all of them being gay and gunning for Hayato’s ass. Dangerous girl… Now it’s Hikigaya’s turn as he uses his observation skills for the job. He notices how Hayato is mixing so freely with them and they are as lively as they are. He is interrupted when Saika comes by to ask if he could be part of the group for the workplace visit. Hikigaya asserts he has no guy friends (I thought he sees Saika close to a girl?). When Hayato goes to talk to Hikigaya, the latter realizes a vital clue. He makes his revelation to his pals about Hayato’s friends being his friend. But among themselves they are just mere acquaintances or friend of a friend. In short, whenever Hayato is around, they become lively but when he is away, none of them speaks to each other. He even proposes a way that will have them become friends and won’t fight anymore. That move is to make all 3 of them in the same group for the workplace visit. In no time the trio are chatting with each other normally. Hikigaya just dragged out Hayato, the source of the ‘problem’. Since Hayato is not in any group, he hopes Hikigaya could join him. Saika too. Because he has been bugging him for it from the start. Hikigaya ponders if this is friendship but when everyone sees the workplace Hayato wants to visit, they too want to visit that place and Hikigaya as usual is ignored.

Episode 5
Hikigaya tries to give excuses for his tardiness to Hiratsuka. Being late = justice? She doesn’t buy that crap. Speaking of problem kids, here’s another one waltzing in late: Saki Kawasaki. Hikigaya bumps into Yukino, Yui and Saika studying at the fast food outlet when Komachi brings her classmate Taishi to them. He is Saki’s younger brother. He has a request of them and is worried about Saki who has changed this year. Before you can blame it is Hikigaya’s fault from how she changed into a nice model student into a seemingly delinquent that returns home in the wee hours of the morning, because this trouble only began coincidentally when they are put in the same class this year. So Yukino suggests using some animal assisted therapy to draw out her inner kindness by using Hikigaya’s cat and make her adopt it. However Taishi calls to tell them she is allergic to them (but Yukino seems to be having a fun time with it). They watch Hiratsuka trying to get Saki to talk about her problems and think about her future. However Saki shoots back she’ll never understand due to her being single and all that. That must have hurt her heart very badly. Yui uses Hayato to help Saki but he got rejected. Hikigaya can’t help laugh his ass off. Popular guy gets rejected? Nobody’s perfect. Komachi calls her brother to tell him Taishi heard Saki got a call from a weird café named Angel or something. There are only 2 cafes in town that opens up till the wee hours of morning. The first is some maid café. Because Hikigaya doesn’t know much about this, he calls Zaimokuza for help. He should know better. But who else can he turn to? The girls are dressed in maid outfits. Sorry for those who would love to see the trap in maid outfit, be sorely disappointed. Although you get to see it shortly through Zaimokuza’s delusion. I don’t even want to think about it. Since Saki’s name is not on the shift schedule, they conclude it is the other café located on the top floor of a posh hotel.

Only Hikigaya, Yukino and Yui enter because they have the dress to look like the part. They see Saki working as a bartender. Yukino and Saki talk in codes in which Hikigaya was kind enough to translate to Yui (and us) that what they are implying is because minors are prohibited to work this late, Saki may have lied about her age. Saki hits a nerve of Yukino when she mentions she wouldn’t understand a thing since she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. If her family’s business is not her concern then hers should be too. When they leave, Hikigaya tells Saki to meet them at the fast food outlet tomorrow to talk. Saki is surprised to see Taishi there too. Hikigaya makes a guess why she is working. In short, she needs the money to go to college and doesn’t want to burden her parents who are both working. Komachi adds that both their parents work too and since she hated coming back to an empty house, she tried to run away once. However it was her brother who came after her. Since then, Hikigaya always started coming home earlier (and partly as Yukino pointed out, he has no friends!) and this made Komachi feel better. So the Kawasaki siblings somewhat reconcile realizing they don’t want to burden each other. As they leave, Hikigaya learns from Komachi that Yui is the girl who frequented the hospital to give him snacks when he broke his leg. Yup. It was her dog he saved. After the workplace visit, Hikigaya confronts Yui to tell her that saving her dog was just coincidence. He would still be a loner even if there was no accident. That’s why he wants her to stop being nice to him. There is no reason for her to feel guilty and responsible for what happened. Quit being nice to him out of guilt. Apparently he made her cry… We hear Hikigaya’s narration why he hates nice girls. Something about having expectations of it only to end up in some misunderstanding and a lie. That’s why at some point he stopped hoping and as an experienced loner, he won’t fall the same trap twice. When it comes to losing, he is the strongest.

Episode 6
A week has passed and since Yui is acting like normal, Hikigaya thinks the problem has blown over. Not quite because Yui hasn’t been showing up at the club either. Hiratsuka suggests Hikigaya and Yukino to have a battle royale. With just 2 people? She thinks if they want to recruit others, it’s fine. What about Yui? Although she hasn’t quit the club yet, her absence is a sign that she is as good as gone. Hiratsuka throws them another task to find another member by Monday seeing based on her observation that they are more active when they have more members. Yukino talks to Hikigaya about getting Yui back and a certain date that is Yui’s birthday. She wants to celebrate it and give thanks and asks Hikigaya to go out with her. To buy Yui a gift of course. Komachi tags along too but she went off herself since she has tons of stuffs to buy. Is she really shopping for the present? Because Yukino’s sense is different from ordinary high school girls, she allows Hikigaya to get close to her for today. In other words, act like her boyfriend. Hikigaya knows Yukino won’t lie and thus no misunderstanding should arise. Just act. That’s it. Halfway through their browsing, they bump into Yukino’s older sister, Haruno. Of course she is interesting in prodding them about their relationship. Especially Hikigaya. Since they’re not, she hopes if they do start dating, they should come drink with her. A dog is seen running towards them. Yukino starts feeling scared and hovers closely to Hikigaya. The dog seems to like that guy and jumps on him. The owner turns out to be Yui and she misinterprets Hikigaya and Yukino’s closeness despite trying to put up a brave front that it is nothing to her. Yukino wants her to come to the clubroom on Monday to clear things up. There, because Yukino and Yui are being ambiguous with their words, both are talking about different things (one about birthday celebration and the other about dating celebration). Hikigaya spots this and clears this up. Yukino gives her present as her birthday and token of appreciation. Hikigaya also gives his but in addition to her birthday, this is to call it even. This is for saving her dog and her guilty feeling. He didn’t do it to get any favours. Of course Yui says she didn’t do this out of pity or guilt. She doesn’t know how to explain so Yukino does the honours. Hikigaya had no intention of helping Yui and Yui had no recollection of pitying him. Everything was wrong from the start. Hikigaya’s decision to end it here is correct so they can start anew since neither of them was at fault so there’s no cause of argument in the first place. Yui opens Hikigaya’s present but finds the collar a little too tight. That’s because it’s for her dog…

Episode 7
Hikigaya ignores spams of calls and texts from Hiratsuka. So when he takes a peek, it’s about some activities for the Service Club. Each succeeding text gets shorter and scarier. Is it a wonder why she is still single? As Hikigaya sarcastically puts it, she loves him too much. He agrees to accompany Komachi to Chiba but it turns out to be a ploy from Hiratsuka using her to get him to meet up with the rest of the club members. They arrive at a summer camp, they will be doing a communal service as camp counsellors for the kids. Since Hayato’s group is also here, Hikigaya thought he’s not here to make friends with them (as part of Hiratsuka’s plan to make the Service Club members more sociable). Hiratsuka puts it they don’t need to be friends. Just learn to live and deal with them smoothly without fighting or ignoring them. While they are helping out with the kids, they notice a loner girl among the pack, Rumi Tsurumi (mini Yukino?). Although Hayato easily talks to her (as Hikigaya puts it, so smooth that it’s creepy) and brings her to mix with the other girls, pretty soon they ignore her and she’s back fidgeting with her own gadget alone. While making food, once more they notice Rumi doing things alone. Hikigaya and Yukino go talk to her. Yukino as usual with her icy harsh words (Rumi could equally match her if they go on). Yui is better in trying to persuade her to make friends but Rumi insists she doesn’t need such memories and can get her own new friends when she enters middle friends. Yukino tells her the girls who ignore her would end up in the same middle school and with other people from other schools as well, she’ll receive the same treatment. Rumi explains this isn’t the first time they shunned people but usually they’ll soon be on talking terms. She doesn’t know what she did wrong to get shunned for so long.

The counsellors along with Hiratsuka discuss about Rumi’s case and want to do something about it. Hikigaya recognizes that being alone isn’t bad. The problem is she is forced to be alone due to others’ ill will. Hayato wants to do what he can but was quickly shot down by Yukino. He looks pretty saddened with that reply. Yukino thought they would help if she just asks but Yui points out it isn’t as easy. She won’t even ask even if she wants to because Rumi might feel unfair she got help since no one else did. Everyone continues to discuss till Ebina comes up with this idea that no girls would hate homos! See where this is going. They shut her up but the argument heats up between Yukino and Yumiko. The latter chiding the former about her f*cked up attitude. The rest thought Rumi is just disillusioned and hard to blend in but Yumiko thinks she is more like looking down on them and got shunned because of her arrogance. Yukino throws this back at Yumiko. Before a full fledge cat fight can happen, Hayato tells her to stop. That night Hikigaya can’t sleep because he is aroused hearing Saika murmuring his name in his sleep! Creepy! He goes out and sees Yukino staring at the sky. It’s that sarcasm again wishing for him to just sleep forever. She is out here because she got into an argument with Yumiko and she was reduced to tears. While Yui is consoling her, thus she is out here. Yukino reveals she and Hayato went to the same elementary school. Their parents knew each other. His father is the lawyer of her family. Anything involving the family’s reputation falls under her sister’s job. She feels herself as a replacement. Nevertheless she is glad to have come here.

Episode 8
Hikigaya is so happy he could die because Saika requests for his handphone number. Now his handphone is more than just an alarm clock or time killing feature. As the kids have the day free before the kimodameshi tonight, the counsellors set up wood for the bonfire and then play some water at the nearby river. This is your chance to catch the girls in their swimsuit. Hikigaya sits out since he didn’t bring his and sitting next to him is Rumi. She wonders if Hikigaya has friends in elementary school so he starts calculating some theory of his about the probability of them being still friends down the road. Grim. Rumi’s mom kept asking her if she gets along with her friends and wanted her to take some pictures. But she feels she can’t do it as she is shunned. It’s miserable but she can’t do anything about it because did it to others before. Since it’s useless to try again, she thought it’s okay to stop trying since she thinks she can’t get along with them anymore. Hikigaya concludes she has already given up and about people judging others based on their own stereotypes. The problem is the world cannot change so it’s you who will have to change. How to do that? Be the god of your new world. For kimodameshi, the counsellors find their ghostly costumes more like for cosplay. Is a wizard a monster? What the hell? They get down discussing to solve Rumi’s problem. For Hikigaya it is easy. Since the problem is human relationship, destroy that and the problem ends. Because if everyone is a loner, there will be no wars or suffering.

Kimodameshi begins and Yui is so cute than scary that the kids are laughing at her! Rumi is in the last group and as usual, she feels isolated. They meet Hayato and Yumiko in their normal clothes. Weren’t they supposed to be monsters? They tease them when suddenly the counsellors act like gangsters. Because they don’t like being made fun of, they’re going to teach them a lesson about respect. This causes the girls to start feeling afraid. I guess acting like gangsters is far scarier than ghosts, huh? Although they apologize, Hayato says he will only let 2 pass and the other 3 to be left behind for their punishment. They will decide who will stay. Everyone first singles out Rumi and she doesn’t resist. When it comes down to the quartet, Hayato and Yumiko start getting scarier and they are forced to choose among themselves and start blaming each other. This is part of Hikigaya’s plan to split them apart because of some society norm that lays the blame on others and subordination. In the end, 3 of them gang up to single out Yuka but they have to decide the final one. They are threatened not to tell because they know their faces. All that’s left now is to pop out and say “Gotcha! You’ve been had”. However Rumi uses her flash camera to blind them and takes the girls to run away. Hikigaya concludes even though she is not their friend, she still wanted to save them, which makes her pretty much a real friend. So it’s an odd atmosphere for the quartet during the bonfire. Hiratsuka is impressed with Hikigaya’s technique but it could’ve been risky had it not gone well. Only the lowest of the lowest can come up with such low method. Is that a compliment or insult? Yukino notes no one will thank him (in which Rumi didn’t even say a word) but it’s not like he is doing it to get something in return. He thinks as long as some good can come out of it, they can still forgive you. Even Hayato has something to say. He experienced a similar situation himself back in school but he stood there and only watched. He wonders if it will be different if Hikigaya went to the same elementary school with him. Probably not. Just another loner. The camp ends and before everyone parts at the school gates, Haruno is here to pick up Yukino. She teases Hikigaya and Yukino being an item and is relieved Yui is just his classmate. She was worried she’d be in Yukino’s way. I think she’s just joking. Haruno knows Hiratsuka because she was once her student. When Haruno tells Yukino their mom wants to see her, she leaves with a sad face. Yui points out to Hikigaya if the limo looks familiar. He feigns ignorance. Because he well knows that was the car that almost ran over Yui’s dog he saved and got him hospitalized. They never saw Yukino for the rest of summer.

Episode 9
As thanks for taking care of Yui’s dog, she invites Hikigaya and Komachi to watch the fireworks. But it is Komachi’s ploy to hook Hikigaya up with her by feigning she can’t go, have stuffs to, blah, blah, blah. She wants him to go with Yui to get some stuff for her. Hikigaya isn’t dumb and he knows where this is going but can he say no when little sister is giving him that evil glare? Hikigaya waits for Yui (stumbling her way in with her yukata) at the train station. There are a few situations that might have given rise to a certain flag but Hikigaya will not be cowed into such destiny or fate. He thinks he is not an ordinary guy, otherwise he would have fallen for her. At the festival, Yui stumbles upon her classmates. They think they’re on a date though Yui maintains it’s not like that. Hikigaya sarcastically notes if it was Hayato, everything would have been totally different. With the crowd building up and the fireworks starting, they bump into Haruno and she takes her to the VIP seats. She is here to represent her father whose job is to deal with the government lot. Haruno whispers to him that it’s not good to have an affair though he asserts it’s not. All the more reason why she can’t let this slide now. Talking about Yukino, Haruno mentions she wants to attend a public university for sciences nearby. She has never changed. Always matching. Always hand me downs. Yui wonders if she dislikes her sister. On the contrary she loves her. What about Yui? She does too but it’s hard to tell sometimes but she’s nice. Haruno hopes they can continue to stay that way because in the end they all get jealous and avoid her. When it’s time to leave, Haruno offers a ride home in her limo. Hikigaya is hesitant to enter so Haruno assures there aren’t any of those accident marks. She realizes she might have said the wrong thing and says it wasn’t Yukino’s fault either as she was just sitting at the back. Hikigaya doesn’t sound convincing when he believes Yukino didn’t cause the accident and won’t dwell on the past. Hikigaya walks Yui home. They talk about some things are better left not known. Yui believes he will still step in to help regardless of whether he knows who he is helping or not, accident or not. Like how he saved her. Yui wanted to say something but was interrupted by a call from her mom. School term is back. Hikigaya and Yukino meet for the first time in ‘ages’. They didn’t say anything much before parting. Hikigaya narrates he loves himself and never hated himself. But right now he is on the verge of that because the Yukino he has known was always beautiful, honest, unable to lie and independent. He always admired her, chose to expect things from her, chose to know her and then got disappointed. He still can’t accept the fact Yukino lies and that’s why he is starting to hate himself.

Episode 10
Hiratsuka forces Hikigaya to become the male class rep for the cultural festival. As for the female rep, Minami Sagami seems ‘reluctant’ but volunteers when nobody else does. At the festival committee meeting chaired by the student council president, Meguri Shiromeguri, she wonders if anyone would like to volunteer to be the chairwoman. She thought Yukino would be ideal since her sister was once on it. However she wants to be only a committee member. Sagami volunteers once more seeing this is a perfect opportunity for her to grow. Yukino plans to suspend all activities for the Service Club until after the festival when Sagami and her friends enter to request for assistance for the festival. She agrees as long as it’s within those boundaries. Yui didn’t like this setting but Yukino says she is doing this alone and is more effective this way as she has an idea on the job scope. During the meeting, Yukino becomes the vice to Sagami and she is handling things more thoroughly than the chairwoman herself. Makes you wonder who the one really in charge is. Hikigaya’s class is doing a play. Thanks to Ebina and her yaoi theme between Hayato and Hikigaya (“Must gay!”). Since Hikigaya is on the committee, she settles for Hayato and Saika. When Hikigaya goes to the committee, he sees Haruno wanting to participate. Yukino doesn’t sound happy but she’s not the one who is approving. With Sagami waltzing in late, she learns of what is happening and agrees to let Haruno in. Maintaining relationships with people in the region? Sagami then makes a suggestion that will have the committee enjoy the festival and get a little breather. Yukino doesn’t approve since they are short of time and manpower. Sagami thought to keep personal matters out and think about what everybody wants. Hayato then comes in to hand in his group’s participation. He can tell Yukino is taking care of everything and knows things will turn into a disaster soon and should rely on others before things get out of hand. Hayato offers to help out and though Hikigaya thinks this work delegation is okay, it makes him wonder if doing everything by yourself is wrong. Why should someone who has been alone for so long be criticized? Relying on others is important but from what he sees is that everyone was relying on others in the first place. Sagami arrives late again and this time Yukino reminds her about her responsibility to stamp the approval. Because such duties can be easily done via proxy, Sagami gives her this responsibility of approving it on her behalf. Because Yukino takes home most of her work, she ends up with a cold the next day and is absent from school.

Episode 11
Hikigaya calls Yui about Yukino being sick. So they go to visit her home to talk. Yukino asserts she is okay and can work from home but Yui isn’t happy the way things turned out. Yui hopes she could rely on them instead of others. Yukino says she would one day but now it’s a difficult time for her. When Yukino is back for the festival committee, they discuss the slogan for the festival. There are some weird ones and when Sagami comes up with hers, Hikigaya indirectly teases hers. So he comes up with his own using the word ‘person’. Based on the kanji writing, it he talks about slacking off and the use of sacrifice in which he points out that everyone has been shoving work to him and using him as a scapegoat. Haruno laughs like mad. Yukino also tries to hide her laughter and once she composes herself, she rejects his notion and ends the meeting. Later Yukino talks to Hikigaya about his weird method trying to make everyone see they are not working their hardest by making excuses. Next day, the committee starts working harder. Haruno talks to Hikigaya how he made everyone his enemy by playing the villain. In a way, it made them united against him so if he works harder, it might just motivate them all to work even harder to surpass him. Yukino then dumps more work on him. On the day the festival starts, the opening ceremony seems to go well till it is Sagami’s turn to give the opening speech. She falters badly due to her stage fright and is obviously nervous. The festival gets underway and Ebina’s yaoi play is a freaking hit among the girls! She could have soaked the floor with her blood… Yui has lunch with Hikigaya and he wonders what the girls talked that night when they visited Yukino after he left early. Nothing much. Yui decides to wait for her and thinks she is trying her best to approach them and talk. But she won’t wait for someone who won’t try even if you wait so she won’t and will do it herself. Hikigaya wants to pay for his portion of lunch and since he insists on paying her back, he realized too late that Yui had asked him out. Meanwhile Sagami has locked herself alone in the toilet cubicle. She seems depressed of her inability to do anything.

Episode 12
The festival is now in its last day. Haruno as the conductor puts up a flashy and amazing jazzy orchestra performance. However Hikigaya and Yukino learn that Sagami is missing and without her, they can’t close the ceremony because only she has the results and figures for some awards needed for it. Once Hayato learns of this, he is willing to put on another performance to buy them time to look for her. Even so, Hikigaya is not confident if he can find her in that time. Yukino then asks Haruno for a favour. There is no penalty in rejecting it but merit. Do so and she will be indebted to her. With that, Haruno accepts her favour and the girls will put up a band performance. Haruno on drums, Meguri on keyboards, Hiratsuka on bass and Yukino on guitars. Now all they need is a vocalist and Yukino hopes Yui can do it. She is more than glad to do so. Hikigaya needs to narrow down the places to search for Sagami and calls Zaimokuza for suggestions. He finally finds her in one of the suggested place, the rooftop. She seems pretty frustrated and putting up a tantrum of not wanting to do her job. That’s when Hayato and Sagami’s friends enter the scene. They asked around and heard from somebody who saw Hikigaya went up here. Hayato’s friendliness and kindness to request Sagami to come back seem to be working. It’s like she’s totally changed. Is it because of him? But Hikigaya decides to do things his own way and plays the villain again. He tells Sagami off that she is doing it for the attention and just wanted somebody to tell her she is not doing a horrible job. She wanted to be like Yukino, acknowledged and relied upon and that’s why she jumped in to take the chairwoman title so that she wanted to watch someone else work and boss them around to feel superior. That’s what she meant about her personal growth. He pours further salt to her injuries when he says he doesn’t give a damn about her but is the first one to find her. This means nobody was looking for her in the first place and it shows her worth. Hayato roughs Hikigaya up to tell him to shut up. Sagami is consoled by her friends and brought back. Hayato wonders why Hikigaya can’t do things differently.

The makeshift K-ON! band has just finished their performance. Sagami closes the ceremony but she fumbles due to her nervousness. At the end of the festival, Hikigaya’s ‘heroism’ has spread throughout school and he becomes the school’s most hated man. Hiratsuka notes his amazing ideas but just can’t find the words to praise him for it. All she can say is that saving someone is not an excuse to hurt himself. Even if he denies this, she points out that there are people whose heart breaks each time they see him hurting himself. Hikigaya returns to the clubroom and finds Yukino alone. They aren’t joining the after festival party. After Hikigaya’s new reputation, you think he is welcomed? I’m not sure if Hikigaya is putting up a brave front saying he likes this kind of fame too. Yukino says they think similarly but he disagrees. They’re completely different. Maybe that’s why he feels their conversation is always refreshing. Before he gets a chance to finish asking if they could be friends, she rejects him. She told him before it is impossible for them to be friends and is not lying. He notes she can lie all the time like what he does. Yukino knows she wasn’t lying because she didn’t know him well. Now she does. Yui comes in to invite them to the after festival party but each give their excuses that they had to complete their work. Yui is more than happy to wait for them to finish.

Episode 13
Service Club seems to have a request made on their website. Somebody is seeking for advice and ideas how to make the sports festival a blast. That somebody turns out to be Meguri as she enters the clubroom. Because nobody replied her, she figured out of visiting the club directly. After seeing how successful the cultural festival was, she thought of doing the same for the sports festival. Since she has hard time remembering names, she is excited when she manages to remember Hikigaya’s (after not-so-nice comments from Yukino and accidental ones from Yui). She is quite close to him that it makes Yui jealous. So Meguri brings the trio to the committee to give some ideas. Each time someone comes up with some event, somebody shoots it down. Trying to play safe? I mean, the reason why they can’t hold a bread eating competition is because they might stoke the wrath of those who love rice. WTF?! So the ideas get more and more silly that they didn’t make any progress. Thus Hikigaya suggests that they get their ideas from somebody outside the committee. What was he thinking when he roped in Zaimokuza and Ebina? Passionate as they are, it seems their ideas went through. How come I feel worried? On sports day, Meguri is excited and thanks them because it is going to be so much fun. She is on the same red team with Yui, Yukino, Hikigaya, Zaimokuza and Saika. Every other supporting character you know is on the other white team. Zaimokuza’s idea is a slightly twisted cavalry version. The female generals are dressed as modified Saber of Fate/Stay Night. Why? Because he likes it! I wonder if they can move in that armour. Anyway red team wins it with Yukino being skilled in taking those headbands.

As for Ebina’s idea, it is some bringing down the pole thingy. I’m not sure about the mechanics but in order to prevent the other team from bringing down your home pole, you must stop the other players from advancing. This means boys piling on top of each other, right? See where this is going? Hikigaya hatches a plan by making Saika the team leader. See the guys getting charmed by his feminine looks? Man, this is ‘dangerous’. And then, he has Zaimokuza rally those without motivation with his whatever-the-hell-he-is-passionately-ranting speech. As the game starts with both sides trying to prevent the other from reaching enemy home base, Ebina gets all lively in commenting her favourite stuff. As part of the plan, Zaimokuza starts getting dramatic and this distracts the white team. They’re thinking what the hell this mad guy is doing. This allows Hikigaya to easily waltz over to the enemy’s base because after years of being an experienced loner, he has somewhat developed this kind of ‘stealth’. However, Hayato has been watching him and stands in his way. He orders some of his underlings to hold Hikigaya back and knows about his decoy plan. But Hayato is left surprised when Hikigaya gives the signal to Zaimokuza. He rushes towards to pole and pushes it down to win it for his team. Hikigaya was just a decoy for a decoy. Geddit? Saika is so happy that he hugs Hikigaya. I think that is the climax for Ebina. However at the end of the day, the red team got disqualified because Hikigaya used a bandage to camouflage his red headband as a white one. He thought nobody would see but in fact, everybody saw it clearly! So much about his stealth. So as our Service Club members look forward to next year, Hikigaya had to pour cold water suggesting they might not be even on the same team. Yukino thinks it is better that way since it will be interesting if they become enemies. Hikigaya ends with his typical narration that the day after the festival is just like any other ordinary day. There are things you can’t do over in life and whether you like it or not, life goes on.

Hikigaya narrates his negativity on marriage. It’s like death, right? Till Komachi makes tomatoes for him, he starts complaining and she comments he’ll never get married this way. But having a little sister is as good as being married? At the Service Club, Hiratsuka announces they will be helping out in some ways for a bridal magazine. The local government, bridal shops and hotels are banding together to make marriage look more appealing to youngsters but seriously, why does the Service Club have to get involved? No straight answers from Hiratsuka. Because she’s an inexperienced single? Marriage virgin, if I should say. I guess the rest have to give in seeing she’s going to break down further if they continue questioning her. Hikigaya suggests writing fake articles but even so that will take time and effort. Since Hikigaya or Yukino cannot come up with ‘normal’ ideas, they have Yui the normal one give her suggestions. Well, not good. How can everyone? Nobody got married at this age. It is decided that they will conduct a questionnaire and limit it to their class since the deadline is very close. Just by reading the ‘honest’ comments, you can tell who they are. Guess who is concerned about the Hayato x Hikigaya pairing in marriage? Uh huh. Yukino suggests next to get a teen who went through similar experience. That person also is also an expert in performing a thankless job of taking care of a useless deadweight. Hikigaya would really love to meet and get to know this girl. Turns out to be Komachi. Disappointed?

From Komachi’s point of view, she suggests to increase wife points. Huh? What’s that? To sum it up, she’s going to have the girls undergo some bridal crash course. First, cooking. Yui’s hamburger turns out to be some deadly blob. Zaimokuza hits instant death upon putting it in his mouth. Hikigaya doesn’t have to do it because he is so bent in protecting Saika’s smile, he swallows everything! Not because he doesn’t want to hurt Yui. Yukino and Hiratsuka’s cooking are simply delicious. Next is a quiz but Hikigaya is taking part too since he plans to be a house husband. For each question Komachi throws, everyone answers based on their personality (‘best’ answers go to Hikigaya), which is totally off mark to what Komachi has in her answer. Either realistic or naive. Lastly, the girls have to dress up in a bridal gown. The surprise package, Hiratsuka looks stunning in one! It’s like she’s a different person! Komachi is about to announce the results that everyone failed miserably and she herself as the winner. But because Hiratsuka is giving her deathly stares, she chickens out proclaims Hiratsuka as the winner. It ends with everyone having a group photo. Ah, this is what a harem should look like. The main guy marrying his sister, his friends and his teacher. Just so sad Hikigaya is disappointed since he didn’t get to see Saika in a wedding dress…  Back home, Hikigaya starts working on the article as fast as his can since the deadline is looming and has been given a warning by Yukino. He comments no amount of preparation could prepare one from the unforeseen grief in marriage. But everyone has a right to be happy. To prepare for such, one must work for the best possible outcome. Wow. He sounds like a marriage expert. In conclusion, all ladies must stake their claims on all promising future house husbands out there waiting for them. I guess he is trying to advertise himself.

When Life Gives You Lemons…
Seriously. I admit. I had a hard time trying to enjoy this anime. I know I said the psychological comments are the interesting aspects of this series but there is only so much this factor can play in contributing to my enjoyment of this series. Maybe it is because of that expectation of wondering where-the-heck-is-my-love-comedy-slapstick riding at the back of my head and hoping somewhere in the series there will be this super twist in the pace. I’m even amazed of how I even come up with that kind of hope. By the end of the first episode, something tells me that this is going to be what the series is about. The kind of characters, pacing, plot, development… Everything else. And true enough right till the very end this is pretty much how this show is about. A couple of loners in a club using their own perceptive and suggestions to help out what is requested.

Hikigaya’s psychological analysis are amusing and interesting, sometimes amounting to hilarious the way he puts them. Because most of his comments have this negative outlook and sounding to them, sometimes they sound more like sarcasm. It reminds me of that Kyousuke character from Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai (coincidence this anime had a long title too?). Come to think about it, don’t they look suspiciously similar too?! The hairstyle and that big frown on their face that says “I wish I wasn’t here”. Even the way they talk and the way they rebuke are somewhat quite similar. Yeah, they have sisters too although their personalities are poles apart.

Though sometimes it was hard for me to understand Hikigaya’s analysis, each one of them is nevertheless interesting to hear and note. It makes you go “Aha!” or at least ponder the point he brings up about how society works. It certainly grabs your attention (at least for me) and somewhat refreshing to hear them as they are from a different point of view, especially if you could consider Hikigaya’s approach to it as pragmatic. I think it is. If you think about it, it is not the fact if he is wrong or right but how close and true it is. Sometimes thinking further over it can be just scary at how society works. This guy should take up a psychology major and become a psychologist. Well, it might be hard if he still carries on his negative outlook. Also to note in Hikigaya and Yukino’s comments are the choice of words they use. Sometimes it makes what they say have an impact or it just makes you wonder. Like how Yukino didn’t eventually consider Hikigaya as her friend, but as an acquaintance. Is there a big difference? Well maybe to linguist but to a normal guy like me, they’re about the same, right? Unless I didn’t know something about friends not being ranked as close as acquaintance. Maybe just like “-san” and “-sama”.

It is also amusing to hear the way Yukino analyses and comments especially most of them are somewhat indirect jabbing towards Hikigaya. It’s like she has a knack and talent for running him down since she is quite ‘skilled’ in doing so ever since the day they first met. It’s like as though it is her destiny. If this was really a funny series, the duo would definitely make a good manzai comedy combination. If not, I feel they can actually go on with this pattern for a long time: Hikigaya makes a statement. Yukino gives her thoughts and sometimes doubles it as some sort of ridicule aimed at him. Hikigaya retorts. See the pattern? From the looks of it, with the very different ideologies and experience they have, I’m sure this process can go on forever repeating itself. If that happens, I don’t know it will be interesting or boring and thus harder to comprehend anymore.

Speaking of the characters themselves, there isn’t much to focus on but sometimes it leaves you wondering if there is more to it. Certainly Hikigaya and Yukino didn’t change much during the duration of this show. Still the same loners but brought together under circumstances. It’s hard for me to say that despite they’ve got each other’s company, it feels like they are still alone. There is an invisible wall between them even though they are just sitting right across each other in the clubroom. You can say that their interaction is like company to each other but to me, they’re there just because they had nothing else better to do. So in the end, did they really improve on their character or did they just realize even more how a pain society could be? Of course there is Yui to liven things up but the duo are still like how they were and it pretty much doesn’t change things. It feels like her existence was probably to break the tension because you know how bad it can get if 2 loners carry on such exchange throughout the series. Hikigaya thinks nobody cares about him or looks at him but as we see that many of the characters like Yui, Saika, Hayato, Haruno and his sister Komachi do make a decent amount of interaction with him. That’s quite the attention for a nobody, no? Despite Yukino’s holier-than-thou attitude and twisted sense of responsibility, though it caused lots of misunderstandings and made enemies, there are some like the cast of characters who are able to tolerate it. It shows that they accept her for who she is. Can you imagine Yukino or Hikigaya without that attitude of theirs? Strange, no?

I know some of the characters have their past but the way it was illustrated here makes it as though there isn’t any impact on anything. At least for this season. Like when Yukino’s limo almost ran over Yui’s dog and caused Hikigaya to save it and ultimately his hospitalization and loner awakening character, maybe it is such fate that brought the trio together. So Yui being nice to him and all was just out of guilt. And when he didn’t want her to be indebted in such a way, was it really the end of it after her birthday? It was like they got over this little incident in the past and in subsequent episodes, it doesn’t feel like there is such a ‘scar’ anymore. It is mentioned that Hayato and Yukino’s family shared some sort of connection. So? Any implications as far as the plot or development are concerned? Maybe that is why this popular guy always seen trying to help them out. I don’t know if I could say if opposite attracts. He too has his own past guilt and maybe he wants to atone it in some way. His ideal and approach differ very much from Hikigaya to the point that one might compare them with Hayato the angel and Hikigaya the devil based on their actions and words. So you want sugary words or the harsh facts? But I truly believe Hayato is a nice and kind person. He is sincere in helping out but maybe he just lacks the resolve to do them compared to Hikigaya because this guy has after all been there, done that and is not afraid to lose. He’s got no reputation, right?

Say, after that Sagami’s case, he became the most hated guy in school, right? How ironic for the hero to play the villain just to distract everyone’s attention from her failure. Then in the final episode, it doesn’t feel like that. I’m just speculation but well, at least it’s good that the students here do not keep a grudge. And what happened to Sagami after that festival chairwoman duty flop? Maybe she went back to her unnoticeable life. Do we really want to know? Same feels for Saki. I thought she’d appear more often after her case was solved in the same episode. But she was reduced to a mere side character, appearing on and off so as not to forget she still exists. Yumiko too. Come to think of it, ironically Hikigaya as a loner that no one notices or cares about, he is the protagonist of this show. Then there is Zaimokuza who is still passionate in his chuunibyou. Ebina’s true colours totally flaunting all the way whenever she gets the chance with her must-gay personality. I guess any kind of guy would do because during the sports festival’s pole event, I figure many of the guys aren’t as handsome or a quarter as good looking as Hayato and yet she gets stimulated seeing males being pressed against each other. So would old men do for her too? I don’t want to even think about it.

Hiratsuka could have been as quirky if not quirkier than our protagonists if you get to know her more. Maybe odd people flock together. Now that we know her taboo topics include her age and single status, make sure they don’t leave your mouth or else you’ll get what’s coming or see her go into depression mode. Not the best model teacher around but she does show her caring side especially the advices she gives to Hikigaya after the actions he take to solve a request. I don’t know if Haruno really finds Hikigaya’s suggestions amusing or not because she laughs her ass off at first but something in the way she comments them to him afterwards makes it feel like as though she is not really amused with his sh*t and there is sarcasm in her tone. Sometimes too, the things she says make her sound like she has an ulterior motive but so far so good. Maybe it’s just me. Is she really serious in making Hikigaya and Yukino a pair or is just one of her whims?

At times I feel Saika’s presence in the anime is just for that little running gag for Hikigaya to comment on his almost awakening trap fetish. I think every guy in school would too. That kid looks and acts so girly that it is no doubt is sending the wrong signals to Hikigaya. And he knows it too (I suppose he is taking it the wrong way too as a joke). The way he starts fantasizing all those sparkly sparkles and lovely frame roses around him, if that aren’t signs of him moving towards the trap direction, I don’t know what to make of then. That’s why I think if there are no other side distractions, Hikigaya could easily (and gladly) fall for this trap. Just listen to the comments he makes after their conversation or interaction. Then in this case I think this would become the love comedy that went wrong. On second thought, I don’t think I want to see this trap or yaoi thingy. Funny as it may be, it’s not my cup of tea.

Something trivial that has been bugging me. Hikigaya, Yukino and Yui pose for the mid-intermission and the thing that ‘annoyed’ me was how the trio put on their big frown. Well, at least it is quite obvious. I would understand that Hikigaya and Yukino’s frown would stem from their behaviour but Yui too? Yui not smiling? What is she mad at? Well, at least it proves that the ladies look prettier if they smile. That goes for Yukino too. I can’t say the same for Hikigaya too because he would just look creepy as seen in some of the scenes throughout the series. Really. It’s like he is really forcing the smile and doesn’t look natural. Really, believe me. Another trivial thing I notice is that many of the characters have their first name repeated in their surname. Yui Yuigahama, Yukino Yukinoshita, Saki Kawasaki, Meguri Shiromeguri, Rumi Tsurumi. If not something that closely rhymes like Hina Ebina or Shizuka Hiratsuka or alliterations such as Hachiman Hikigaya and Hayato Hayama. Is this some sort of inside joke? Are they trying to hint something? Also, I noticed that after some sort of event or request complete, a new sticker is seen pasted on the clubroom’s door sign. I wonder where they’ll stick once it runs out of space.

The casting seems pretty decent and depicts the characters as they are. Takuya Eguchi did well in making Hikigaya sound like lethargic and uninterested when he starts commenting. Like as though it’s not that he wants to analyse but is forced to. It’s a little different from the livelier roles he played such as Kon in Ixion Saga DT and Yoshiharu from Oda Nobuna No Yabou. That deadpan voice of Saori Hayami perfectly fits the personality of Yukino. There is that distinct uniqueness in her voice (sometimes I think of her as Mamiko Noto’s clone) that makes some of her characters sound, uhm, deadpan. Like Ikaros in Sora No Otoshimono, Azuki in Bakuman, Leviathan in Zettai Bouei Leviathan. Nao Touyama as Yui, I thought she sounded so much like Chiho from Hataraku Maou-sama. There is this similarity in their liveliness. Other casts include Takashi Kondo as Hayato (Train in Black Cat), Ryoka Yuzuki as Hiratsuka (Tokiko in Busou Renkin), Mikako Komatsu as Saika (Marika in Mouretsu Pirates), Mai Nakahara as Haruno (Mai in Mai-HiME), Marina Inoue as Yumiko (Kana in Minami-ke), Minako Kotobuki as Sagami (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Aoi Yuuki as Komachi (Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica), Ami Koshimizu as Saki (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Nozomi Sasaki as Ebina (Nanami in Bokura Ga Ita), Azumi Asakura as Meguri (Asia in High School DxD), Nobuyuki Hayama as Zaimokuza (Ikkaku in Bleach) and Sumire Morohoshi as Rumi (Seira in GJ-Bu). The opening theme is Yukitoki by Nagi Yanagi and I find it not as appealing as the ending theme, Hello Alone, a duet by Saori Hayami and Nao Touyama. There is slow ballad version of Hello Alone featuring only Nao Touyama but I prefer the faster rock pop version. I wonder if the ending credits animation is some sort of yuri fanservice of Yukino and Yui.

As you have probably guessed, the series tries to touch and address several social problems such as peer pressure, victimizing and group bullying. Though it doesn’t go deep into the main problem, it gives us an idea of how bad it could affect people. Both the victim and the perpetrator. If it is not stemmed early, the future generation’s society will have to deal with difficult and hard to reverse social ills and problems. Or you can turn into someone like Hikigaya or Yukino. At least they didn’t become delinquents or psychopaths. Just ‘hardened’. While Hikigaya’s methods of reverse psychology are not encouraged since it doesn’t guarantee it would work (thankfully it went well in this anime), at least he tried to do something rather than closing an eye and letting it slide. Or maybe does it because he had to since he was tasked to do so. Either way, it is much better than just not doing anything. That’s the funny thing about humans and society. It’s either eat or be eaten. Power corrupts and more so when you have the numbers on your side.

Sadly with so much turmoil in the world, you wonder if there is going to be hope for society and the future generations to come. Would the world be a better place if we had more Hikigaya or Yukino around? Well, without society, I think they’ve even lost a meaning to exist. They do so and act the way they are because of what society is now, right? If everybody was a loner, there won’t be society to begin with. Lethargic. That’s what I feel now despite should have been enlightened by a lesson or two from a fellow loner. I suppose just like society, it’s hard for a person to change drastically unless something awfully drastic happens. If you don’t change, do you expect society to change? Maybe the world should have more of Yui and Hayato instead. Happy, cheerful, kind, helpful and good looking. Yeah. Dream on. Definitely don’t want the world to have more of Saika or Ebina. It would be a very screwed up world then. Not just love comedy went wrong. A love comedy disaster in the making and heading for collision course with tragedy!

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