My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 12 of
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax (TV 3) ?
In last week's penultimate episode, we arrived at the series' climax where our destined couple was finally able to admit their feelings for each other and lay down the foundation for a healthy relationship going forward. This week we get to see what form that new relationship takes—and how exactly everyone else fits in.
Much of this episode is centered around showing how Hachiman and Yukino act as a couple. And frankly, it's just as you would expect—basically normal but without their barriers up. They have left themselves vulnerable to each other and are able to work closer than ever before because of it. Sure, they still prod each other occasionally but it's clear both are making a conscious attempt to communicate their true feelings at any given moment.
Yukino is a bit better than Hachiman in that department. While she was unable to say “I love you” during their confession scene last episode, she finds the words after they complete the (not so) fake prom by working together. Hachiman, unfortunately, is not able to respond in kind (not that Yukino expected him to). He's just not quite there yet when it comes to putting his feelings into words like that. However, what's important is that he wants to, and is eager to work on himself until he can.
But as heartwarming as the surprise confession is, it's not the most important scene in the episode (nor is the equally cute official first date near the start of the episode.) Rather, it is the one where Hachiman offers Yukino a hand up from the bench she is sitting on after his time in the sauna. It is a metaphor for their new relationship and the understanding they have of each other.
Yukino doesn't need Hachiman's hand to “stand.” She is capable of surviving all on her own. Of course, he knows this, as well as the fact that she would verbally refuse any overtures of help. However, he offers it anyway—putting himself out there for rejection in a way he couldn't have before.
Yukino knows his offer comes from a genuine desire to support her, the woman he loves—not from a condemnation that she is unable to go it alone as her long time inner fears would claim. And as was established last episode, he has given her all the power in the relationship. He will offer a hand but won't force her to take it—doing what he wants but always leaving the final choice with her. In so doing, he is giving her the freedom to follow her heart and accept the help without fear of losing herself to codependency in the process. So she accepts his help (in both this instance and others) without worry or reservation.
Another fun aspect of this episode is getting to see how everyone else reacts to the new reality of Hachiman and Yukino being a couple. Ms. Hiratsuka is 100% behind it, thinking that perhaps he has finally found the “something real” he has been searching for. Meanwhile, Iroha chooses to see the situation as it likely is—a high school relationship destined to fail as most do—and the boys are generally happy with what they see (jealous though they may be).
And then there's Yui.
Yui has few lines in the episode but her actions speak volumes. She has backed off in a major way, and it's easy to understand why: She is trying to define her role in whatever relationship comes next. Unable to “have it all” as she wished, she must now decide what she realistically wants to obtain. Of course, the first step is getting a bit of distance from the situation—both physical and emotional. While not actively avoiding Hachiman, she barely talks with him at all this episode. Both of them know she can no longer be his confidant—he has chosen Yukino for that role. So where does that leave her?
Luckily, Iroha has some good advice (hidden among some terrible ones). There's nothing wrong with Yui liking her best friend's boyfriend—as long as she doesn't act on those feelings. If she can accept her feelings for the one-sided thing they are, and the fact that they will never be reciprocated, she may have a chance for happiness alongside Yukino and Hachiman.
And in the end, Yui makes the tough choice. She doesn't try to pretend things are going to be the same as always by rejoining the club, nor does she try to rekindle a friendship with Hachiman (because, let's face it, it would be nothing but her trying the Platonic Friend Backdoor Gambit to get with him whether she meant it that way or not). Rather, she decides that her friendship with Yukino is more important to her than anything else and states that publicly—hoping her friend will be willing to help her navigate the emotional minefield to come.
And honestly, that's the closest thing to a happy ending for everyone we were ever going to get.
• Ms. Hiratsuka is best girl. Change my mind.
• Am I surprised that Mrs. Yukinoshita is interested in Hachiman? Not one bit. Few are the high schoolers capable of using grown adults as pawns in their schemes.
• When all the guys are in the sauna, Saika is wearing his towel up around his chest like a girl would.
• It may be played for laughs, but Iroha's evil plan to catch Hachiman is literally a date-rape honey trap.
• I love that the president of the new Service Club is Komachi. While Yui, Yukino, and Hachiman couldn't bring the club back due to all their baggage, Komachi is related to none of that and can do whatever she wants.
• You gotta love that Komachi put down Yukino and Hachiman's names as club members without asking—and that Iroha knowingly approved the club anyway.
• The literal translation of Komachi's reason for coming to help set up the (not so) fake prom: “I'm here to wipe my brother's ass for him.”
• Komachi has the best insight of all: Hachiman needed someone who would pull him along (Yui), someone who would push him (Yukino), or someone as pessimistic as him (Iroha) to get him out of his shell.
• Thank you all for reading this episode-by-episode deep dive into My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax. I hope you found it insightful and enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!
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