As this second season of Haganai approaches a close, it’s clearly narrowed its focus down to one thing, Kodaka’s fear of change. The episode begins with Rika being discovered lying on the floor of her production room ill. That leads the screening of the movie to be cancelled for the reason that the group would not be able to see it together first. They eventually do watch it as a group later. The second half of the episode is a battle with Aoi over the club’s right to exist. It’s a match of knowledge of the rules as Aoi tries to get the club shut down as Yozora shows knowledge of the various loopholes that allow it to exist. When Aoi does find that sticks (Maria not actually being a sister), Sena uses her influence to get Maria hired as a special part-time teacher. With that battle over, Sena shocks everyone with a request of Kodaka.
I was particularly struck by two moments in this episode. The first was as Kodaka was leaving Rika’s bedside. They had bonded over Rika’s BL doujinshi and then Kodaka’s explanation of male anatomy. As he leaves, he says it was all possible because they were club members.
I felt pretty disgusted at this point. Here was the lone male in the club trying to dictate the terms of a relationship between them in this way: If you want to be able to have this friendly relationship, you may never view me as a friend. That’s where the comparison with Kobato from last week. He’s endeared himself with a group of people, but he is so afraid of going down the path of accepting them that he pushes them away. Life was so much easier when everyone was afraid of him because of his appearance and he didn’t have to take on responsibilities other than caring for Kobato.
Of course that selfishness came in at the end of Sena’s marriage proposal/regular confession at the end of the episode. Kodaka is just going to pretend that he never heard Sena because having to think about his own feelings is something he doesn’t want to have to do let alone provide an answer to Sena. That’s exactly the point that Rika was making last week. Eventually, relationships between people change, but Kodaka’s afraid of that. He is using the club as a way of fulfilling his regrets with Yozora 10 years ago.
Finally, I should speak out on the interesting dynamic between Yozora and Sena in the clash with Aoi. I interpreted that as symbolic in what each of them can provide to Kodaka. Yozora was effectively playing the defensive role. She’s trying to protect Kodaka from any outside threats to his life within the club. She’s there to preserve the status quo as much as possible. Sena’s role is different since she has power. In a sense, her role is to change situations to better Kodaka’s life within the club. Her confession was really the best thing she could do for him. She was offering him an out where he could accept and any questions about relationships within the club would be answered. Unfortunately, he’s a coward who thinks he’s unworthy of love.
The other points from this penultimate episode of Haganai NEXT:
- Sena finally uses the Move controller in a way that seems properly functional. I didn’t think that was possible.
- I don’t see the motivation in Aoi trying to destroy the club. Really, it just seemed like a random plot created to show a larger point, but her motivation still makes no sense to me.
- Rika’s movie of database elements made more sense from a plot perspective than many first episodes I saw this season.
- I refuse to believe Rika didn’t know there was no such thing as a yaoi hole.
Next week’s episode looks like it is one of those where Kodaka will have a fateful encounter with the student council president after running away from the club and end up having her fall in love with him. At the very least, she could maybe teach him not to trample on others feelings.