This week’s Haganai episode is yet another character study of one of the girls vying for Kodaka’s attention as the club decide to make a movie for the school festival. After making that decision, Yozora forces Kodaka to go watch a random movie with her at the cinema, which happens to be an erotic French romantic drama. After visiting a cat cafe, they recall a childhood experience taking care of a stray cat. In the second half, Yozora creates the script and begins making casting and writing decisions to try to get closer to Kodaka. Eventually it leads to a clash with Sena that looks bad, but Yozora finds a way to create something positive out of it.
This episode was probably as in-depth look at Yozora as we will ever get, so much like Kodaka and Rika before him, it’s time to dive in. After watching this episode, it was fairly easy to tell that Yozora is driven by a desire to relive the more innocent time when she and Kodaka could be the Sora and Taka that went off on various kid adventures. The story of the cat named Night that the two of them took care of probably would not have registered were it not for Kodaka leaving without saying a word on that fateful day ten years earlier.
More than anything, that trip to the cinema and cafe seemed to confirm that she was unable to move on after that. She just wanted to play around in a simpler time when she had the one person to play with and relationships with others didn’t matter. I think it’s safe to say that most of that 10 years between their separation and reunion has seen Yozora continue to be defined by that relationship.
That she was able to finally say that they had a history to the others must have been a relief. She had a trump card on the others because she and Kodaka had known each other earlier. That was something none of the other girls could say. So in the second half of the episode she tried to pull repeated power plays in trying to set herself up as Kodaka’s friend in the movie they were making for the festival. She was deservedly called out for that by everyone else.
The conversations with Sena and Kodaka at the end really show the first signs of character development that I’ve seen from Yozora this season. Sena telling her that the past didn’t matter was something that had to be done. She was working on the movie for the group as a whole and not just so she could spend time with Kodaka. That Yozora said that she wished that Sena didn’t exist was not unsurprising for someone as immature as she is. The whole point of the club from Yozora’s perspective was simply to spend some time with Kodaka. She never meant for it to be a functioning club which had its roots in Sena joining.
The conversation with Kodaka at the end was the resolution to the end of their childhood friendship that she needed. Her desire was to be his childhood friend again. By bluntly asking her whether the present mattered to her at all, it forced Yozora to prioritize the fun she had on the trip in the first half of the episode with the past. That first half showed that she could have fun with the Kodaka of the present, and by asking her that question, she realized that her present wasn’t so meaningless.
Hopefully I can cover more of next week’s episode, but I think all of the characters have had at least parts of episodes devoted to them. Anyway, here are the other parts of the episode I found interesting at least:
- I’ll lead off by just mentioning Rika’s attempt at cosplaying as Kobato. It was worth a shot.
- Rika’s expression at the beginning of the episode to Kodaka’s remark about the birthday party said more than any words.
- Kobato being given the lead role in her class’s movie struck me as a bit odd. It was as though she was actually popular with her class. Is she hiding something about making friends?
- C’est si bon!
- Sena actually came through as a friend for Yozora. If only they would realize it.
Next week we get to see one of the new girls seen in the OP pointing out Kodaka’s questionable choice of appearance. Also the two people in the French film mock Yozora for being unable to show her love, but I don’t know if that’s even an issue for her.