My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 8 of
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax (TV 3) ?
With this week's episode we see not only the end to the drama surrounding the creation of the prom but also the end of Hachiman and Yukino's relationship as we know it.
By taking mock pictures of what their beachside prom alternative will look like and setting the corresponding webpage live, Hachiman's plan finally reaches its moment of truth. With all the prep done, the only thing that's left is for the knowledge of his prom to get into the hands of the PTO complainers. But rather than leave it up to chance, he decides to get the ball rolling by “leaking” the info to Haruno.
As expected, it doesn't take long for Mrs. Yukinoshita to show up at the school on behalf of the PTO to confront Hachiman about his prom. However, things immediately don't go as Hachiman had hoped. Mrs. Yukinoshita sees through his plan to prepare a second, worse prom proposal and make the PTO choose between the lesser of two evils. She states that his plan would only work if they weren't dead set against having a prom at all.
At this point, Hiratsuka steps in as well, stating that the true problem is not the prom but the possibility of a student rebellion where the kids do an unsanctioned party of their own, completely unsupervised. And while this information, along with Hachiman's fake prom plan would normally be enough, Mrs. Yukinoshita claims the data alone cannot change the other PTO members' minds. However, this serves to confirm something that had been mentioned during Hachiman's conversation with Haruno earlier in the episode.
While condemning Hachiman's codependence and his attempt to lie to himself and others with semantics—Haruno let slip a vital piece of information: the complaints against the prom do originate from within the PTO and not from her mother. Up until this point, it wasn't clear whether Mrs. Yukinoshita's attempts to stop the prom really were on the behalf of other PTO members as she claimed, or if she was the ringleader herself. However, knowing that Mrs. Yukinoshita is the weapon, rather than the perpetrator changes the situation and reveals a new lifeline for the prom: if Hachiman and Hiratsuka's data is sound, what they really need is an advocate within the PTO. And as the old Jedi saying goes, “what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?”
So Hachiman sets about doing just that. Banking on Haruno's assertion that her mother is actually rather apathetic to the whole situation, he asks Mrs. Yukinoshita to switch sides as Hachiman himself is a nobody as far as the PTO is concerned. However, while such a proposal is aligned with Hachiman's true intent (unlike his false prom plan), it is also a trap. By stating he is a nobody, he subtly brings up the fact that Mrs. Yukinoshita hasn't even bothered to ask him his name. And when she does, he gives it—revealing that he is the boy that got hit by her car.
What follows appears to be little more than the two politely apologizing to each other—but that's not what this is. What's really happening is that Hachiman is blackmailing Mrs. Yukinoshita. As he puts it “I shall display [my legs'] newfound strength by dancing at the prom!”—implying conversely that he wouldn't be doing well if he couldn't show off by dancing at the prom.
This more impresses Mrs. Yukinoshita than intimidates her but she agrees to his terms regardless. Thus Yukino's prom is saved and all that remains is the fallout.
Hachiman's whole plan with his false prom was to help Yukino indirectly. His prom would not affect her prom planning at all. Instead, it would simply change the zeitgeist of those against the idea of a prom in general—forcing them to choose the lesser of two evils.
However, Yukino isn't buying it. To her it is nothing but a matter of semantics. He made the fake prom in order to help her succeed. Thus, he helped her, plain and simple. Moreover, she knew he would find a way to help her and depended on him like always. Thus, his plan worked and he won the bet.
Of course, he deflects Yukino's assertion with more semantics, stating that their bet was based on whose prom was chosen, not on who's plan worked. And so Yukuno moves to the end game, saying that as this competition was winner-take-all, she will then get the prize: getting to command the loser to do any one thing.
Now Hachiman knows what this means. It's the end of their relationship. The bet is what tied them together in the first place and is the excuse they have used to stay together. So he argues, claiming that “winner-takes-all” is just a phrase and he didn't mean it. This is a way out—a way for them to continue on as they have. All she has to do is agree and the status quo is restored.
However, at this point, Yukino knows that is not what either of them truly want. While their friendship was valuable for both of them, it has run its course and become something more harmful than helpful. Somewhere along the line, Yukino went too far in relying on him and Yui; she has given up her own agency and became codependent. The prom planning was their final chance to try and salvage the situation—for her to regain her independence while remaining friends. Even then, Hachiman could not stand idly by on the sidelines and Yukino couldn't refuse his help in the end. Moreover, whatever they have between them now is most certainly not the “real thing” that Hachiman so desperately wants—and both of them know it. Thus Yukino wants to bring it all to an end: the bet and their relationship.
Hachiman reluctantly agrees and asks her for her wish. Just as she told Yui last episode, she wishes for him to make Yui's wish come true instead of her own. While their relationship as they knew it might be over, it changed how Yukino viewed the world for the better. She found friends she could rely on and that she truly cared about. While for her own sake they must break apart, that doesn't mean she loves them any less. Thus, she wants them to be happy.
Of course, Yukino assumes that Yui's wish is to be with Hachiman. However, as we have learned over the past few episodes, this is drastically far from the truth. Yui wants many things, the love of Hachiman, a friendship with Yukino, and a close relationship between the three of them. But no single one of those is her wish—it's all of them. As she has said before and says again in the next episode preview, she is greedy and wants it all—even if she knows it is not possible.
• Hayato once half-heartedly tried to help Yukino when she had wanted to "do things on her own.” It just made things worse for her. He hates that he doesn't have the will to disregard a person's feelings and give his all to help them when they don't want it.
• Haruno, like Hachiman, wants to see something real. Her problem is that rather than building something real, she wants to tear everything down until she finds it.
• Haruno and Yui have an interesting argument. Haruno believes that Yui is as codependent as Yukino when it comes to Hachiman. However, Yui disagrees. She believes it is love. If it wasn't love, it wouldn't have hurt so much.
• Best wordplay of the episode: Hachiman's “Host Name.” Without getting into what a host club is and everything behind it, a Western equivalent would be saying that his stripper name is “The Person in Charge.” Which, as Hiratsuka put it, means he must be the most requested one around.
• Best sight gag of the episode: After Hina succeeds in stripping Yumiko for the photo shoot, she turns to attack Yui only to find that Yui is already barefoot and no longer wearing any winter clothes.
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