The latest installment of the Haganai epic centers almost entirely on the Sena-Kodaka relationship, as seen by others. The episode kicks off with the beginning of filming, which would later have it’s own issues. Kodaka then runs into one of Sena’s classmates named Yusa Aoi. She assumes he is dating Sena, spouts a bunch of stuff about how the two of them are perfect while she is second best, then storms off. Kodaka later runs into Pegasus and shatters his illusion that he was dating his daughter. The next day, Sena grabs Kodaka and reveals that their fathers had arranged a marriage between the two of them and had a picture of the two of them playing together as toddlers. As Pegasus had run his mouth to numerous people, Maria ends up revealing this to Yozora and Rika, whose morale is totally shot. Finally, Kate and Kodaka talk about the movie the club is making and how she says it is similar to a cult classic. Kodaka watches that movie and finds a creepy similarity…
There was a lot that happened in this week’s episode. I think first it would be best to start off with the insight into Sena’s character that was provided by Aoi and later Kodaka’s own internal monologue.
Aoi provided that commonly held view of Sena’s character. She has all the attributes that one needs to succeed. She’s intelligent, beautiful, athletic and on top of that her family is rich. In Aoi’s mind, this absolutely must mean that she is popular. Since her taste in men is well off the norm, Aoi believes that it is no wonder that she ends up with a cool guy like Kodaka. Given this massive boost of confidence Kodaka went back to the clubroom and talked to Sena while thinking more about her.
I think Kodaka hit all the marks on Sena. It isn’t that Sena is much more talented than everyone else, it’s that she is able to focus entirely on anything she cares about. If she wants to be the top student, she knows she has to pay attention entirely in class because that is where the test material is presented. She doesn’t focus on any other portion of the school experience. She doesn’t need to worry about the rest of her classmates because she could spend more time on those things she cares about. Say what you will about playing galge, lusting over Kobato, stalking Yozora and spending time with Kodaka, it’s clear that she puts total effort into each of those.
The other aspect of this episode I found interesting was Pegasus. He presented the classic case of wanting something to come true and not even considering the actual truth. It’s clear from the history between he and Kodaka’s father, plus the whole arranged marriage business that he really wants his daughter to marry Kodaka. The 2 trips to Sena’s house by Kodaka in the series to date have made Pegasus happy and allowed him to connect to his old friend. Sena’s talk about Kobato only confirmed the desire in his mind to see them together. To interpret her comments as anything other than literal would destroy that illusion. In addition, he had to tell everyone he knew about it because if “everyone” knows then it must be true. So for a while, he happily lived in a world where his daughter was marrying his friend’s son and no one was questioning this. That is until Kodaka began asking.
As for the rest of the episode, there were a few other points worth talking about:
- Have we reached the point where it is obvious that Sena “wins”? Rika and Yozora are now openly talking about how distant they are from Kodaka right in front of him.
- Kate may be the person who saved the club from doom by watching cult teenage angst films.
- Did they write an entirely new character just for that scene? That’s Urobuchi-esque contrivance there. At least it didn’t feel like they read a book right before writing Aoi’s character, though.
- Pegasus. Leaping through the air.
- Was that shot of Kobato necessary?
Next week, everything gets scrapped and they just film the OP. That’s easy enough and it’s going to turn out terrible. But fun to make? Hell yes.