SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen up to Oregairu S3.EP8, everything that follows is a spoiler.
What, an episode is S3.EP8. Virtually every character in every scene lays out significant dialog, and anyone on board with this story will hang on every word. But this scene between Yukino and Hachiman is probably the most central and significant. Yukino calls an end to their relationship, and asks Hachiman to fulfill Yui’s wish. This is Yukino’s idea of self-sacrifice, for in some central way, Yukino does not want this to happen, but she is trying to be noble and clear the way for Yui by removing herself, deny yourself for someone else. And yet, the EP closes with Yui wanting everything and that includes Yukino. We even see Yukino and Yui holding hands during the credits. Yui wants to belong to this Service Club clique, in the same way that early on in the series, she wanted to belong to the Hayato clique. Yui perhaps even loves both Hachiman and Yukino, even though she does not understand either one. Yui is a joiner where Hachiman and Yukino tend to be loners.
ANN critic Richard Eisenbeis, hits the nail on the head when he says “Of course, Yukino assumes that Yui’s wish is to be with Hachiman. However, as we have learned over the past few episodes, this is drastically far from the truth. Yui wants many things, the love of Hachiman, a friendship with Yukino, and a close relationship between the three of them. But no single one of those is her wish—it’s all of them. As she has said before and says again in the next episode preview, she is greedy and wants it all—even if she knows it is not possible.” – ANN August 28, 2020
Most triangles end badly with jealousy and hurt, but in Oregairu, we are looking at three young people who actually like each other and enjoy being with each other as Yukino says in her monologue to Hachiman. With only 4 Episodes left, this is going to be a Herculean task to put the broken egg of the Service Club back together again and even Yukino says at the end, “I pray that …. This will be the correct ending.” which seems to indicate that she is not completely sure that this is the correct ending. But that is what Hachiman will have to do if he is to fulfill Yukino’s request to him, that he grant Yui’s request.
The increase in complexity of human relationships usually ends badly, because genuine contact in a relationship is lost due to misunderstandings and confusion about the others within the relationship. Not being honest in relationships and pretending, is a sure way to end that relationship. But on the other hand, truth hurts, and itself can drive people apart. There is no easy formula or answer to this. This is a very real thing and Hayato has been very careful to keep his clique together in harmony away from truth that hurts and disrupts. When Hayato learns that Tobe wants to confess to Ebina, he knows that she will refuse, and this will disrupt the relationships in his clique, so he makes a request to the Service Club to help fix the situation.
This leads to one of the most important moments in Oregairu, where Hachiman again sacrifices his own reputation by falsely confessing to Ebina first, and then that allows her to refuse and explain why, saving Tobe embarrassment and maintaining the Hayato clique harmony. This leads to Yukino’s anger against Hachiman for lying, and she tells him exactly that.
This is the essential theme of Oregairu, finding the truth, finding something genuine. Hachiman and Yukino are loners precisely upon this point. Hachiman respects Yukino for the same reason he listens to and accepts Komachi, his sister. Both tell him exactly what they think about his behavior, and do not soften their words. And he does the same to them.
And here we get to the real crux of Oregairu! Do we always speak the truth to others which can be very painful, or do we lie to protect another’s feelings?
Lets discuss a case study. Your girlfriend group is having a luncheon on a very special occasion. You sit down but your BFF is not present. As lunch is just about to start, in she rushes, apologizing profusely at being late, but she says that she was out shopping. The first thing you do notice is that she is wearing a new outfit, and your first reaction is “That’s the ugliest outfit I have ever seen, and it looks horrible on her! ” Sitting down next to you, she tells you that she just bought this new outfit, and she loves it to pieces, and then she asks you, “What do you think?”. So what do you say? You know exactly what you think about the outfit so do you tell her the truth?” Most of us would recognize the extreme nature of the situation. If you tell her the truth, you will hurt her feelings. If we were to guess, you would probably do what most of us do in this kind of situation, we lie.
We know what Yukino is capable of doing. After Hachiman’s genuine speech and request for help from Yukino and Yui, Yukino attends the next joint High School meeting, listens to Tamanawa briefly, and then takes over the meeting, laying waste to Tamanawa and the entire meeting, telling everyone present exactly what they are not doing,which is putting together actual plans for the Christmas party. She takes no prisoners. Hachiman did exactly the same thing, by telling Minami Sagami exactly who she is and why she acts like the Drama Queen around whom everyone must dance. Hayato almost punches Hachiman, but what Hachiman says to Minami is true. She was willing to sabotage the ceremony by hiding and forcing everyone to find her. Although this makes Hachiman the most hated student at the school, Yukino greatly appreciates what he did, actually winks at him, and says now she knows who he is.
This sort of behavior make Hachiman and Yukino a natural pair, but it’s a behavior that Yui abhors because she believes that one should never hurt another. Yui actually thinks like Hayato and is one reason she wanted to belong to his clique.
At EP 8, we are now looking at 4 more Eps to the end of the story in order to find “the correct ending”.
© 2020 Folcwine P. Pywackett (mox001)