This episode brings us what we’ve finally been waiting for: the conclusion to the Christmas event arc that has been running for several episodes now. As we all knew, including Yukino and Yui (but mostly Yukino) in the plans was the trump card that everyone needed. Before we get to that, though, we have to deal with the fall out of Hayama rejecting Iroha, which honestly isn’t as bad as it could have been. The writers do take the time to remind us that Hayama isn’t really the good guy that everyone thinks he is (a fact that seems to be further hammered home in the episode’s conclusion, when Hayama is seen with Haruno as she forces Yukino into a situation that Yukino herself did not want any part in). Iroha is clearly dejected as one might expect, but she bounces back fairly quickly, even going so far as to have the usual exchange of banter with Hikigaya. Of course, there are the usual hints that she may be developing feelings for Hiki, as well, and to be honest Iroha is starting to win over even this writer.
Once the drama from the previous episode is over, the preparations for the Christmas event finally get under way. Unfortunately, this portion of the episode is almost over before it even starts. This portion of the episode begins with the Service Club and the school council meeting to discuss their plan of action for dealing with the other council. This is all well and good, as it goes along with what one would expect for a “final confrontation”, of sorts. Unfortunately, the resolution to the whole even isn’t nearly as dramatic as one might think. Both Hikigaya and Yukino confront the other student council, which seems to basically break them and get them to agree to the idea of having each school do a different event. To give you a better idea of how fast this all happens, the first half of the episode contains the fallout and resolution to the Hayama/Iroha situation, the meeting between the Service Club and student council, the final confrontation with the other student council, and the actual Christmas event. While it is nice to have this plot point finally resolved, it felt a bit rushed, as opposed to being an epic battle of wit between Yukino and the other school’s student president. Regardless, the situation still wraps up nicely, and the Christmas event would have been a nice way to end the episode altogether, but ending an episode of OreGairu on a positive note doesn’t seem to be the thing this season, so the plot marches on.
After what would have been the break, we rejoin the Service Club, along with Komachi, as they visit a shrine (presumably for the New Year). This portion of the episode really only seems to serve two purposes: to push the Hikigaya/Yukino relationship (and, to a lesser extent, the Hikigaya/Yui relationship) further along and to set up the next major plot point. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the love triangle device was pretty evident from the beginning, yet there hasn’t been a lot of development between Hikigaya and Yukino (after all, they did spend most of this season being somewhat hostile towards each other), and watching Komachi set them up to be alone was amusing in its own right. Having this followed up with Hikigaya’s outing with Yui seems to further cement the direction the “romantic” side of this story (which has been woefully neglected) is going (that being the love triangle). Of course, as with other moments in this series, the fun, lighthearted interactions don’t stick around for long, as Hiki and Yui encounter Haruno and Hayama while out shopping. Haruno invites the two of them for coffee, which ultimately serves as a pretext for dragging Yukino out into public, and subsequently into a confrontation with their mother.
This portion of the episode is really the only negative part (other than the kind of rushed conclusion with the student councils), because it is evident that there is some kind of tension between Yukino and her mother—or, at the very least, some reason that Yukino does not want to be around her mother. While there are comments made among the characters, they are comments that seem to hinge on possessing other knowledge that, quite frankly, the viewer does not possess at this time. While this may ultimately be explained later, it does sort of leave the viewer in a weird position: on the one hand, we certainly want to know what’s going on (which will bring us back next week); however, on the other hand, it makes it hard to truly be impacted by what we’ve just seen when we are not capable of clearly understanding what we’ve just seen. Since OreGairu has not seriously disappointed this season, it is probably safe to assume that the situation will be handled in a way that will ultimately answer all of the viewers’ questions, but only time will tell if that is true.
A Christian Perspective:
1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
I quote the above verse because I want to talk about humility. I think it is safe to say that we’ve seen the fruits of this discipline played out in this episode. Remember how Hikigaya was originally bent on handling Iroha’s situation on his own, and how that ultimately failed for him? Eventually, he was lead to set his pride and whatever else he had aside, and to ultimately bear his soul and true feelings to Yui and Yukino. While we know this embarrassed him, we also get the opportunity to finally see the results in today’s episode.
Simply put, Yukino was the silver bullet that Iroha’s team needed. Once the Service Club was working together, they were able to formulate a plan in conjunction with the student council and stick to that plan, even under the pressure of the opposing student council. Perhaps my initial comment gave Yukino too much credit, because Iroha certainly stuck to her guns, and Hikigaya didn’t hesitate to throw in his two cents, either. It’s also worth noting that both Yukino and Hikigaya get reprimanded by Iroha for coming on too strong. Either way, the point still remains the same: this result was only reached because Hikigaya was willing to be humble and, despite the embarrassment of it all, open himself fully to his friends.
Humility may take many forms, be it setting aside your pride for the sake of a better outcome (or fixing a friendship, congratulating a coworker who got promoted above you, celebrating the accomplishments of someone else instead of drawing attention to your own accomplishments, or any other number of scenarios, but the point is that God wants us to be humble. Let’s try to learn from Hikigaya’s example and be more humble as we go about our days.
Spiritual Content: None
Language: 1 “Oh, G*d”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None