The 9th episode of Haganai is a story about how people deal with discomfort, whether that is simply the heat or other people. The end result is that nothing really happens from a narrative standpoint, but really creates a massive gulf betwwen two characters and the rest. In between, there’s the usual mix of perversion and commentary on bad visual novels that have become a staple of this series.
So the first item on the agenda I want to discuss is Kobato. In this episode we got repeated flipping in-and-out of character as her mood changed. Whenever she has time to be composed, she plays the part of the Reisys character, when under any sort of adversity she reverts to a brocon character. Not really the tsundere type of character that Sena thought of. That also tends to be the standard for all of these characters, seemingly arrogant when in a position of power, and someone entirely different the rest of the time.
It was rather funny how Kobato became a target of Rika and Sena when she appeared in different clothes. The latter’s interest in yuri from earlies became relevant here rather than a forgotten joke. Sena, on the other hand, simply saw her as another one of the cute girls in the games she plays. Trying to get her route is probably meaningless in this case.
All of which leads into the second item, Rika and Yozora’s situation with crowds. To put it bluntly, they took the easy way out and ran away without explaining how they were feeling to the rest of the group. This both creates an embarrassing situation for them as well as worry from everyone else. No one wins. If you couldn’t tell by that, I know the situation all too well and looking back on it I can’t tell why I would have done it.
Still, I shall attempt to piece this together from the standpoint of those characters. Rika and Yozora are probably the most socially isolated of the characters in the series, with Rika literally isolated from the rest of the students. What we know of Yozora’s past is that she had just 1 friend in the past and was comfortable with that. Now that said friend is back, she would be comfortable with just him again. In this scenario, while Rika has an arsenal of perverted jokes she used to try to lighten the mood, Yozora has nothing but Kodaka’s company. When that goes away, both of them panic and retreat back to their comfort zones.
The final point I wanted to talk about was the “infamous” game that Sena was playing in the club room. Yozora’s wish was fulfilled as a shark appeared in the pool and killed off the character Sena was pursuing. In the context of the game, it made no sense on a narrative level. The point is that really base desires sometimes make no sense in the grand scheme of things. In addition, I think making a game with numerous catastrophically bad endings was a brilliant decision from my perspective. Why settle for just a dull bad ending that few will remember when you can instead put together a bunch of terribad endings that will be remembered for a long time?
Thoughts: The whole Yukimura character is really starting to get tired. All of his interesting conversations happen offscreen and the same jokes with him are much more repetitive than any other character. Even Index Lite’s appearance in this episode doing whatever Yozora tells her is less tiresome because she’s only a semi-regular character. So next week will probably revolve around the fallout from this episode, and maybe Kodaka will have that air conditioning unit fixed by the end. I’ll be watching for that.