This week’s episode of Haganai sees the club scrambling to make an entirely new film before the school festival begins. With Rika’s help and Sena’s spare script, they manage to get it done. Then, at the festival the rest of the group watches the silent film Kobato’s class made. Afterwards, they discover that she is in fact popular among her peers, but she struggles to make friends with them. Later, after a speech from the student council president, who is hated by Yozora for being popular, Kodaka spots Rika on the roof of the school. What starts as a friendly conversation would turn into an intervention.
This episode really presented three different views on relationships between people. Those come in the forms of Rika’s relationship with the rest of the club, Kobato’s relationship with the rest of her class versus the club and Kodaka’s relationship with the girls closest to him.
First up is Rika. So badly has she reached out to the club to get close to all of them that she works strenuous hours trying to make their hastily made movie to look presentable. She took all of those secret pictures to make the models from the game they played in the first season. She puts in that sort of effort because she deeply cares for the people she is trying to help. That’s why she cares enough about Yozora to tell her that plagiarizing a film is terrible even if they wouldn’t have been caught. It’s why she also has to confront Kodaka at the end because eventually his actions will tear them all apart.
Kobato is a different sort of character in that she’s almost exactly like a young Kodaka. I’ll get to that conclusion in a bit. We first see her in this episode with her classmates coming out of the AV room. It really felt like the story of the movie she was in mirrored how she is with her peers. They all reach out to her wanting to be close, but at the same time they elevate her up onto a pedestal. The fact they refer her to “Kobato-sama” is pretty similar to how Sena is viewed by her classmates. The classmate who talked to Kodaka said that they were all trying to make friends with her, but she would push away whenever they got too close to her emotionally. Fortunately, it becomes better that evening when she returns to the club and it became obvious to me that she is happy to be friends with Maria. She doesn’t need to have 100 friends after all if she has just 1 as close as her, even if they do argue all the time.
Then finally Kodaka, poor Kodaka. He has a similar problem to his sister in being beloved by many. In the end, Rika tries to set him straight. He’s willfully ignorant of the way she, Sena, Yozora and Yukimura feel about him. Why? Because he’s afraid. He doesn’t want to have the responsibility of rejecting their feelings. He doesn’t want to have to choose one of them. He chooses to say they are fellow club members because it allows them all to be equal in his mind. Eventually, his inability to move forward will leave the rest of the club. The four girls have all developed feelings out of their quest for friendship, but without a resolution they can’t move on either. Ultimately, he needs to realize that he’s selfishly hurting more than himself by refusing friendship and the consequences that may have.
As for the rest of the week’s points:
- That wasn’t very convincing bad acting on the part of Yukimura and Yozora in that scene in the club’s film. I guess it’s too hard sometimes for professional voice actors to try to sound like hacks on purpose especially with the years of training they have had to make it this far in their careers.
- No shameless GJ-bu level sponsorship here. Upside down arches on that bag of burgers all the way.
- Yozora’s introduction of student council president Hidaka Hinata made her sound like a tragic character of sorts. Unable to turn down requests, used by the younger students which makes her seem popular. I’d be shocked if she didn’t somehow enter the tier below Rika and Yukimura on the Kodaka relationship chart.
- Finally, that scene on the way to Rika’s room was dumb. The whole “this is the first time I’ve walked down the hallway with her” before she says that statement was completely scene padding.
Next week, it looks like the student council gets involved with the Neighbors Club. Or maybe Aoi just want to make enemies with Yozora and have her existence acknowledged by Sena. Probably something in between.