My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected, Vol. 10.5

By Wataru Watari and Ponkan 8. Released in Japan as “Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabukome wa Machigatte Iru” by Gagaga Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jennifer Ward.

As with the previous .5 volume in this series, this is not really a short story volume, as all three stories are interconnected and build on each other like a normal book. If I was to guess why this got a .5, I’d say it’s probably because it does not really advance any of the major plot beats, romantic or otherwise. If you skipped this and went straight to the 11th book, you would be perfectly content… unless you’re an Iroha fan. She’s all over this book, and the costar of the second story, having essentially become a member of the Service Club without ever actually doing anything or officially joining. She just sits in the room all the time. Still, the point of Iroha is that she’s a different type than both Yukino and Yui, and in this volume, despite her supposed ongoing desire for Hayama, we see that she could be a potential third love interest for Hachiman. One that will not win, of course, but hey.

The first story in the book is the one that has the best argument for being a real unconnected short story. Zaimokuza is once again having a crisis of faith about his abilities, and decides that rather than be an author, he’ll be an editor! This leads to the Service Club researching just how hard that is. Lots of funny, biting the hand humor here. The second story has Iroha going on a date with Hachiman, ostensibly to research what she plans to do with Hayama in the future. The best parts here are those where he treats Iroha pretty much the same as Komachi, which is probably the best idea. Finally, Iroha is trying to use up the rest of the student council budget (so that they don’t get a budget cut the next year) by making a magazine to give out at school… and blackmails Hachiman into providing most of the content.

As with the previous volume, Hachiman is still in a pretty mellow mood here. The romance is also on the back-burner, except when Iroha is trying to manipulate Hachiman or get Yukino and Yui pissed off. The best parts of the book show off the contrast between cynical Hachiman and helpful Hachiman, which means the date with Iroha is the best story in the book. They may not make a good romantic pair, but they make for a good faux brother-sister dynamic. The chapter also had some great laughs, such as Hachiman deciding, on a date with another girl, that they should go to separate movies. The most interesting parts of the book, however, come near the end, as Yukino and Yui quietly, in murmured asides that only Hachiman hears, set up the remaining books in the series. The two of them are nearing a crisis point.

So yes, it’s inessential, but it’s still good. Those who enjoy the series’ razor wit will like the first story, those who enjoy Iroha the second, and those who enjoy the main trio will find the third most appealing. This is the last .5 volume, so from here on it’s onward to the end.

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