“Allow me the privilege of distorting your life.”
Only Hikki would make his love confession in such a way. But isn’t that just like him in the end? It’s as authentic as it is awkward, honest as it is strange, and precisely the proper way for him to end the first journey he was on and properly begin the second, longer, more significant journey into the rest of his life, which, by the way, is what Yukinon references in her “clearer,” better confession in return.
Yes, we finally got there. Through our Instagram account, I’ve realized how invested people are in the romantic aspect of Oregairu. This has been the moment that they’ve waited for—and I admit, I’ve been waiting on the bridge scene as well. But for me, that scene was about more then the confession (as good as it was)—it’s the last step of an adventure for both Hikki and Yukinon (and Yui, too, in a way), toward understanding themselves better and learning what it means to be genuine.
Way back five years ago now in season two, through tears in his eyes, Hikki told Yui and Yukino he wanted something genuine. But you can’t have authenticity just like that. It’s scary and awkward at first, because the self you show to other people must be pulled away, like a magic trick, to reveal the real person underneath. That real person is not the same as the image portrayed; it’s awkward for Hikki to throw off the chains of being a smart recluse and admit both his foibles and his “desire.” And Yukinon fears putting aside her perfect self to admit her insecurities, including a fear of depending on someone else and dragging that person down with her.
We’ve all been teenagers, so we get how hard to it is to be genuine (especially during those years when we’re not quite sure who we really are). And we’ve all engaged in relationships, whether it be just friendships or romantic ones as well. Both types usually develop over a long stretch of time, but for Hikki, Yukinon, and Yui, they don’t have all the time in the world. There’s a self-set deadline—the end of prom—that will mark the closure of their special relationship. A year or less just isn’t enough for this group, especially for Yukinon and Hikki, to go from being unaware of each other (and then even actively disliking one another) to breaking through all their pain in order to develop a deeper, lasting relationship. It’s just too much to expect for these two, and Hikki admits thatHe has to take the leap now, because he knows that their ties will disappear because of his own weakness and hers. He has to confess to her if we wants that something authentic.
AND HE FINALLY DID IT.
Of course, he takes a roundabout way to do so—he continues with the dummy prom, which now seems set to happen. I have to admit, this part confused me when reading the light novel, and it confuses me now: Did he have to do this so that he could tell Yukinon he loves her? Was this his weird, grand setup to let her know that he would like to continue distorting her life? Or was it to just show Yukinon that they can help one another, and also that her family has begun to trust her in her growth?
I don’t know, but the development shocks all parties involved, including Iroha, who scares the team of nerds with how forthright she is.
And Yui? Well, she cries one more time. But the tone now seems to be of acceptance—not fear, not holding on, not resignation. She’s moving forward, as much as it hurts.
And so are Hikki and Yukinon. The latter has received little screen time this season, but in episode 11 is finally front and center. I admit, I got teary-eyed and a huge grin appeared on my face as she started explaining all her faults, while Hikki calmly accepted them (this is sooo When Harry Met Sally: “I’m difficult.” “You’re challenging.” “I’m too structured. I’m completely closed off.” “But in a good way.”).
And then Yukinon, who for all of the focus in the series on Hikki, is the one that’s furthest from being able to become authentic person she wants to be, pursues him, grabbing on to him, and then giving her beautiful confession.
At the beginning of the episode, Hiratsuka-sensei explains how complex emotions are, how they can’t be conveyed in a simple word. And yet, she does just that when she explains to Hikki that despite his many, many faults, she loves him.
For Yukino and Hikki, it’s the same: Their feelings are complex, their issues deep, and their words scattered—and thus, words (and especially one word, as Yui mentions) aren’t enough. They have to do. And in this case, that doing meant becoming genuine; it meant being brave and showing their hearts to one another. For love is more than just a word, as our trio discovers. Love is action.
And ultimately, if the action of becoming vulnerable and showing your true self isn’t love—then I don’t know what is.
- Yui’s wish is to have it all. Sigh. Her ending isn’t happy now, but she gets a happy ending ultimately, I believe—she’s growing up, and she’ll be ready when the next Hikki comes along.
- Yui crying to mom is the kind of relationship I’m sure most daughters want to have with their mothers. Gahama-good-mama!
- MVP of the episode: Yukinon. She finally did it and opened up “clearly” and fully.
- I love how Hiratsuka’s speech to Hikki was foreshadowing of the confession scene. She explained to Hikki that despite knowing you, and because of knowing you, I love you; and Hikki says the same to Yukinon.
- MAXIS COFFEE gets some excellent screentime to make up for a couple of lost episodes!
- Ending with the song toward the end of the love scene and moving into a credit-only closing was NICE.
- And we come full circle with the title of the last episode and Hikki reading his opening assignment over the episode preview. Sniff sniff.
Oregairu can be streamed through Crunchyroll.
5 thoughts on “Oregairu Season 3 (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU CLIMAX), Episode 11: A Genuine Confession”
I’ve been on Team Yui since the first season, but deep down I knew it was going to be Yuki in the end. Thematically, Yuki and Hachi were the pair that had the most storytelling potential, since deep down their problems were very similar and the only way Hachi could help her was if he got a handle on his own issues first. The way the the preceding episodes conspicuously DIDN’T push Yuki as a romantic option was also a big tip-off (Iroha and Yui were both portrayed as ‘convenient’ solutions, but we all know Hachi is after something genuine). But this episode didn’t hurt as much as expected, perhaps I’m simply gald the resolution has been reached and everyone can start moving forward again.
I’ve noticed something about some of my favorite “Best Girls”, Yui, Miku Nakano, Nanami Aoyama: they’re all the sweet girl who falls for the MC first but loses in the end. I wish this type of girl would win just once. On one hand, since this character type falls for the guy too early for it to be the climax, the most dramatic thing a writer can do with the remainder of her arc is give her a tearful “It’s all part of growing up” ending. But on the hand, I think this character can still have plenty of storytelling potential AND win in the end. For example, what if this kind of girl falls for the MC early, but eventually realizes she was simply infatuated with some surface element of him and has to progress to a deeper, more genuine understanding before she’s truly ready for a relationship? I guess I’m just a sucker for this character type and want to see her happy once.
Thanks for sharing! It may be different with some light novels and manga, but just judging from anime, there are so few series where the creator has these deep / fulfilling endings in mind for multiple characters. I know there are some really creative minds out there (including the writer for Oregairu), but it seems that there’s little room to explore in such a way. Even shows that have a lot of depth, like Oregairu and Toradora, remain focused on the ending between the two main characters, though I’ll take the growth that these series do give the supporting cast!
Hey man, it’s been a wild ride with this show. I’ve been checking out your commentaries since season 2 days and it was great to read your opinions while following this last one as well. Thank you very much for doing this, you really made me have a blast with your posts after each episode. I can’t thank God enough for discovering your website!
I’ve been shipping these two guys non-stop since the beginning, and it was so beautiful to see their story come to a point where they could open up their hearts, it was a stunning episode that left me happy and confused at the same time. Since I really liked how the show addressed the codependency thing until now, I’m still sorta confused on whether Yukino actually overcame her codependency ways, and about all the implications of their confused, beautiful confession, but I think the message was both that she’s grown way more independent than she admits to herself, and that we’ll never overcome 100% of our weaknesses in this life, as we’re still bound to flesh and might fall sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we have to let go the right person for us! I mean, of course one can get into wrong relationships if one has unsolved issues, but with Hachi and Yuki they’re obviously made for one another and can grow together.
I don’t know how to feel about the fact that only one year has passed for them, and they’re still in HS, but in the end they’re not getting married now, they’re (probably) getting engaged and they’ll have time to more maturely discern and overcome the issues.
Finally I have a little objection over your final statement:
“And ultimately, if the action of becoming vulnerable and showing your true self isn’t love—then I don’t know what is.”
I mean, that’s a necessary but not sufficient condition for love. One could be awkward and expose too much of himself just because he has socialization issues, with people that are not so close to him (and that’s not good, that vulnerability needs to be earned with trust).
To me love is when Yukino lists her flaws, and Hachiman accepts them all, when Hachiman offers “his boring life”, and Yukino accepts it as it is. Meaning, sharing each other your true selves and vulnerabilities, yes, but also truly accepting another for what they truly are, with their flaws, and still wanting to give them your own life.
Which is what Jesus did with us, and the way I think we’re called to love. Maybe this confession was so beautiful because it reminded me of it, like everything that’s beautiful does, in the end.
Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad we were able to contribute to your enjoyment of the series.
And thanks for the last bit as well. I can’t disagree with you.
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