Going for an ending filled with reconciliation and the like is clearly not Haganai‘s thing judging by this final episode of the season. The episode focuses early on with Kodaka helping the Student Council members Aoi and president Hinata do ordinary jobs around the school as he took a week-long sabbatical from the Neighbors Club. That ends when Yukimura confronts him to give her reasons why she still helps him. Then, Rika forces Kodaka on to the rooftop where they engage in a final battle. Yes, that’s what happens, really. Finally, Yozora creates the inevitable sequel hook at the end.
If I were to take a primary theme in this episode, it would have to be the thought of Kodaka realizing that he is the main character in his own life. There was also another aspect that felt like he had to settle for a certain lot in life.
The latter is a fairly obvious link to make with the early portion of the episode. Here, Kodaka was going from being helpful to a group of girls who needed help to another group containing…girls who needed help. I think the point that was making is that with his personality and appearance being what they are, he will always find himself endearing to a certain type of person, but prone to misunderstanding and fear from others who wouldn’t give him the time of day.
As for the main character in his own life aspect, the conversation with Yukimura was important. I think she needed to tell him that the club was falling apart without his presence. Also, I think there was something that was affirming in her statement that she is by his side because she wants to be.
Then there was the battle scene with Rika. It was horribly contrived to extend what would normally be a short scene into a lengthy one, but it still lacked drama. It felt like it was inevitable that Rika and Kodaka would realize that they were friends. Maybe he just has to be involved in fights to realize he has friends out there. The scene also confirmed what Aoi said earlier in the episode. If Kodaka were to be dating a member of the club, it would make things awkward for everyone else. He just needed that realization that his desire to keep the club as it was actually was destroying it. The Neighbors Club is a group of friends in a club and not a group of people looking for friends.
As for the end, it’s fairly obvious that Yozora would be the one who would skip out. Every other character had a chance to confirm their feelings with Kodaka. Sena of course had the marriage proposal confession, Rika had a chance to have a fight to confirm her friendship and Yukimura effectively confessed her love to him as well. Yozora, meanwhile is still stuck in the past and has seen her club to spend time with Kodaka turn into a club for girls to try to steal him away.
Now for some final thoughts on this season as a whole. I think it did things that few shows in the harem genre do. Rather than sticking to each of the cast as simple husks of character archetypes the audience was presented with reasons why characters acted the way they do. It was obviously Kodaka-centric, but there was enough from each character to show that they cared for the club and more importantly each other. In the end, I don’t think this installment could get away from the fact that it was transitional in nature. It’s certainly a step above the first season and one of the standout series of its genre. Bring on the journey that will be the third season.