Trying to be spoiler free as possible when crafting these posts does prove to be a bit of a challenge. Anyone whose done even the slightest amount of research on Haganai would know the biggest revelation in this episode, but I’ll get to that later. This was another 2-parter. The first was a trip to an amusement park with the whole gang which was centered around Kobato participating in a live-action show of her favorite anime. The second half was in a bath house due to the end of the first part, whereupon Yukimura’s big secret is exposed in a criminally obvious way.
There’s probably 2 parts of this episode that really mattered, so I will get that out of the way first. As the gang all ride the roller coaster for the first time, it all turns into one gigantic reaction scene. What makes it standout is just how true the reactions are to each character.
- Yozora yells insults at Sena
- Sena pleads for the ride to stop
- Maria yells poop all the way down
- Kobato tells Maria to shut up
- Yukimura just calmly talks the whole time
- Rika angrily swears profusely
- Kodaka just reacts to Rika
Those panicking end up yelling for Kodaka, but really that scene has no bearing on what happens elsewhere in this episode.
What was actually relevant to the plot were the scenes at the Iron Necromancer live show and the bath house. The live show was leveraged as a way to build on the romantic tension between Kodaka and Sena. Even Kobato’s dismissal of Sena’s knowledge of the Iron Necromancer series was an important element of this scene. It put Sena on Kodaka’s level as both are incapable of penetrating Kobato’s fandom. Then all throughout that scene were reminders of how the two resembled a couple. The people running the show thinking that Sena was Kobato’s mother for example. Kodaka’s father’s words fresh in his mind made the experience of being close to Sena rather awkward for him. He was framing their relationship in romantic terms rather than members of the same club, or the friends that they really are.
Oh and Yukimura’s a girl. I figured I would just get that out of the way quickly. The way it was handled by this episode was really poor, but at the same time could be making an incredibly deep social observation. Now that I can refer to Yukimura using the correct pronoun, she went into the men’s bath with Kodaka, and Maria (presumably because she’s young enough though the last episode should have shattered that). Maria notices the difference in genitals and off we go.
After it’s discovered and with Rika publicly molesting her for good measure, the group all come to the realization that Yukimura is a girl. Rika then drags her into the restroom to convince her and thereupon the entire group dynamic changes. I had 2 thoughts after watching this scene. The first was why Rika couldn’t do the part in public in the bathroom, and the second was that this is becoming ever more harem like by the day. By the end of the scene, Yozora was lamenting that the friends club that she created with Kodaka had made her more distant from him than ever before.
The social commentary portion comes in after Rika explains to Yukimura that she isn’t a man. What we have here may be the greatest instance of epistemic cloture (I love that term) in this history of fiction. Yukimura is so attached to the idea that she can become a man that she ignores every single person who ever told her that she was actually a girl because they weren’t telling her what she believed. So in essence she was believing that despite life experience she was a man, until it became strategically important to believe otherwise. I’d make a larger point of this, but I don’t think you really want me to get political. The few of you who are left anyway.
As for the rest of the episode, I did have a few more thoughts on that:
- After riding that roller coaster 8 times, why did Yozora and Sena vomit just at the time? I know, it’s to conveniently set up the plot of the 2nd half of the episode.
- Yozora and Sena. Just admit you are friends (or more) already. Seriously.
- With Super Kawaii Maid Yukimura-chan (ugh), how will this show distinguish itself from the bland harem genre pieces it hopes to distinguish itself from?