Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT 11 – Always Running Away

Cool Movie Bro.
*Adds Mecha tag to Haganai*

As this second season of Haganai approaches a close, it’s clearly narrowed its focus down to one thing, Kodaka’s fear of change. The episode begins with Rika being discovered lying on the floor of her production room ill. That leads the screening of the movie to be cancelled for the reason that the group would not be able to see it together first. They eventually do watch it as a group later. The second half of the episode is a battle with Aoi over the club’s right to exist. It’s a match of knowledge of the rules as Aoi tries to get the club shut down as Yozora shows knowledge of the various loopholes that allow it to exist. When Aoi does find that sticks (Maria not actually being a sister), Sena uses her influence to get Maria hired as a special part-time teacher. With that battle over, Sena shocks everyone with a request of Kodaka.

Kodaka has told Rika there’s no Santa.

I was particularly struck by two moments in this episode. The first was as Kodaka was leaving Rika’s bedside. They had bonded over Rika’s BL doujinshi and then Kodaka’s explanation of male anatomy. As he leaves, he says it was all possible because they were club members.

He doesn't really like this on a subconscious level.
Kodaka is merely acting here.

I felt pretty disgusted at this point. Here was the lone male in the club trying to dictate the terms of a relationship between them in this way: If you want to be able to have this friendly relationship, you may never view me as a friend. That’s where the comparison with Kobato from last week. He’s endeared himself with a group of people, but he is so afraid of going down the path of accepting them that he pushes them away. Life was so much easier when everyone was afraid of him because of his appearance and he didn’t have to take on responsibilities other than caring for Kobato.

Sena doesn't really care about the others when it comes to her feelings for Kodaka.
Good Job destroying the club’s harmony.

Of course that selfishness came in at the end of Sena’s marriage proposal/regular confession at the end of the episode. Kodaka is just going to pretend that he never heard Sena because having to think about his own feelings is something he doesn’t want to have to do let alone provide an answer to Sena. That’s exactly the point that Rika was making last week. Eventually, relationships between people change, but Kodaka’s afraid of that. He is using the club as a way of fulfilling his regrets with Yozora 10 years ago.

Aoi cannot win.
Aoi is nothing compared to Sena when it comes to political power.

Finally, I should speak out on the interesting dynamic between Yozora and Sena in the clash with Aoi. I interpreted that as symbolic in what each of them can provide to Kodaka. Yozora was effectively playing the defensive role. She’s trying to protect Kodaka from any outside threats to his life within the club. She’s there to preserve the status quo as much as possible. Sena’s role is different since she has power. In a sense, her role is to change situations to better Kodaka’s life within the club. Her confession was really the best thing she could do for him. She was offering him an out where he could accept and any questions about relationships within the club would be answered. Unfortunately, he’s a coward who thinks he’s unworthy of love.

She's a little upset.
You do not argue rules with Yozora.

The other points from this penultimate episode of Haganai NEXT:

  1. Sena finally uses the Move controller in a way that seems properly functional. I didn’t think that was possible.
  2. I don’t see the motivation in Aoi trying to destroy the club. Really, it just seemed like a random plot created to show a larger point, but her motivation still makes no sense to me.
  3. Rika’s movie of database elements made more sense from a plot perspective than many first episodes I saw this season.
  4. I refuse to believe Rika didn’t know there was no such thing as a yaoi hole.
Rika appeals to Kodaka on a physical level only.
No, you shouldn’t wish for her to be sick all the time.

Next week’s episode looks like it is one of those where Kodaka will have a fateful encounter with the student council president after running away from the club and end up having her fall in love with him. At the very least, she could maybe teach him not to trample on others feelings.

9 thoughts on “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT 11 – Always Running Away”

  1. It will likely turn out to be misplaced, but I’m starting to give Kodaka more credit, even if it’s subconsciously driven. As you mention, Sena’s announcement / proposal to Kodaka is likely to completely screw up the Rinjin-bu. And perhaps Kodaka has somewhat known this for a while, that acknowledging the feelings of any of the girls in the club would likely sound the death knell for the group. If the group was an idea for Yozora to spend time with Kodaka without saying how she feels about him, and turned into the same thing for the other girls, then what is the point of them being there if he is committed to any other one of them?

    So if Kodaka – who obviously enjoys the group dynamic, and also enjoys seeing the growth of the different members as friends with each other, even if he can’t admit it (because admitting it would also be something that would go against the stated purpose of the club) – wants to keep the club together, he can’t pair up with any of them. Such a choice would destroy the club. And I think it’s important to remember at this point that the club is only a few months old, probably about 6. By stalling, could he have made the difference between Yozora and Sena being mortal enemies and becoming comrades in rivalry? That last month may have been crucial. Or the same with Maria and Kobato, who have also evolved into close friends.

    So yes, Kodaka has been actively denying what he knows, but perhaps it’s been in the vein of “the pain I inflict now by not acknowledging the feelings of these girls who care for me is outweighed by the value they get from strengthening friendships by being in the club”. Now, I can’t argue this is conscious. His conscious decisions are to ignore this, but I don’t think it’s far-fetched to think that this decision tree might have been something he has subconsciously been following.

    1. I don’t think it’s a case of Kodaka thinking about the group at all. He’s so frightened of getting close to people that he instinctively does stupid things to put distance between others and himself. Now if we were making this into a thought exercise, if Kodaka wanted to keep things the way they were, he’s best off rejecting all of them together. If he wants that and not to be friends with any of them, his best option is to avoid any situation that can alter relationships. I think consciously he wants the latter, but he’s torn.

      1. Hmm, I find it hard to reconcile the idea of ‘not wanting to get close to people and instinctively / subconsciously sabotaging any advances in that direction’ with his continued presence in the club where they are being friends, and obviously growing closer to each other. If that was his true aim, to not get close to people, then he would have stopped coming to the club a long time ago.

        I would believe more that since the stated purpose of the club is “for people who do *not* have friends to learn about what to do with friends”, he is more afraid that if they realized he was friends with them, that would somehow mean that he’d have to stop coming to the club. Or perhaps if he acknowledged friendship with one or more of the girls, then he’d have to start facing the future of ‘more than just friends’ with one or more of them. And then we’re back to ‘Don’t fish off the club pier.’

        So I think he wants it both ways. He wants to have the friendships that he has, but not lose the them due to the club not being needed anymore. I realize this is stupid reasoning (because you just change the purpose of the club), but it’s also something I’d attribute to high school.

  2. On a couple other points, I thought that Yusa Aoi’s attempts to shut down the Rinjin-bu were pretty much just petty one-upsmanship directed at Sena. Constantly beaten by her, and making so little impression that Sena doesn’t even know who she is, Aoi probably feels like she needs *some* victory over Sena.

    And I thought ‘yaoi hole’ referred to something different, at first…

    1. That just seems unbelievably petty then on Aoi’s part. She’s messing with more than Sena at that point. As for the “yaoi hole,” I’m shocked that all the BL doujins referred to it that way.

      1. I agree it’s really petty, but I can’t think of another reason for her effort, unless it’s just that she’s a rules dictator (which is also really petty). But even then, you’d think that there would be plenty of other targets for rules dictatorship, so why come after Sena’s club? Because Aoi’s unhealthily focused on her rivalry with Sena is all I can come up with.

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