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Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Little Bit of Self Indulgence

Yozora, Kodaka, and Sena
Please excuse this bit of an exercise, but I've got to get something out of my system. I recently finished watching the Anime "Haganai", which has two seasons and ends on a cliffhanger. The last episode came out in 2013, so the cliffhanger has not been resolved, even though the light novels on which it is based has continued.

This is going to be a writing exercise for me to work out what I think would have been a better ending, even keeping a cliffhanger, but not one so frustrating. Since this includes spoilers for the anime, I'm going to put in a jump break. If you want to read on and haven't seen the anime, you have been warned.

The premise here is that everything takes place exactly as it did in the anime up to and including Sena's confession in Episode 23. Kodaka, in this version, doesn't run, though. We'll take it from there.

Everyone is shocked by Sena's confession and the fact that she isn't taking it back. Kodaka is the first to recover. He turns to the rest of the group, appearing to be calm.

"Guys," he says, "Could you give us the room? Yozora, Sena, and I have some stuff to talk about."

Rika and Yukimura smile at this and lead Maria and Kobato out of the room. The two younger girls are still in a state of shock, so it's easy to get them out. Once the door closes, Kodaka turns back to the girls.

"Why don't we have a seat," he says, motioning to the couch. Yozora and Sena, also a little shocked, move over there and sit down. Kodaka kneels down in front of them, taking thier hands in his. He's smiling, but obviously nervous.

"I'm sorry," he says, "This is all my fault. I wanted everything to stay the same so much that I ignored your feelings."

Both girls are taken aback that Kodaka actually knew how they felt, and their faces show it.

"No," he says, noticing, "I'm not that oblivious. Rika had me figured out. I purposely ignored what was going on so that we could all stay friends."

"How ...," Sena starts, "How long have you known?"

"With you? Pretty much since you asked what cell phone I had," Kodaka says, smiling, "Right down to the color."

He turns and looks at Yozora. "For you, Sora," he says, and notices her smile at the name, "That was a little harder. I suspected something when you got so upset about Sena joining us, but once I knew who you were, I was certain."

"Taka ...," she starts, but then trails off as tears come to her eyes.

"I'm sorry," he says again, "You both deserve to be treated better then I've done. I didn't want to have to choose between you, and I still don't, but we have to move forward."

"Kodaka," Sena says, starting to tear-up herself, "I didn't mean ..."

"It's alright," Kodaka says, interrupting her, "This is needed to happen. I just want you each to promise me one thing. No matter what happens from here on, we'll all still be friends."

The girls look at each other, realizing that Kodaka could choose to be with the other one. They then both look down at the hands that Kodaka is holding.

"Sena," Kodaka says, "I've really enjoyed our time together, whether we were with the group or on our own. I don't want that to change."

Sena looks at him, so choked up that she can't speak, so she merely smiles and nods.

"Sora," he says, looking at Yozora, who is startled out of her thoughts, "You're my best friend, and I don't want to lose you again."

Yozora can't keep it together anymore and starts to sob. Kodaka embraces her, which makes her cry even harder. This sets off Sena, who starts crying and hugs both of them.

"I don't want to lose you, either, Taka," Yozoroa manages to say after a little while. She looks up at Kodaka, and then at Sena, "I don't even want to lose you, Sena."

The fact that Yozora just used her name, and expressed that feeling to her, makes Sena start to cry all over again. This time Yozora hugs her while Kodaka stands and backs off a bit. He smiles as he looks at his two closest friends comforting each other.

After Sena seems to calm down a little, Kodaka says, "So, can you both give me some time to think this though?"

"Sure," Yozora says, with Sena nodding in agreement, "But first ..."

Yozora stands up, grabs Kodaka's head, and plants a kiss on him. Once she breaks it off, she says, "I love you, Taka," to a very stunned Kodaka.

Recovering from her shock, Sena stands up saying, "I said I loved him first!" grabs Kodaka and also kisses him. Yozora laughs, saying, "Always a step behind, aren't you, Meat?"

Sena breaks the kiss, giving Yozora a dirty look. "At least I admitted my feelings!"

"And we're back to normal," Kodaka thinks to himself. Instead of staying out of it, though, he hugs both girls, causing the fighting to end and they both realize that they've just had their first kiss.

"And I love both of you," Kodaka says, "But I still need to think things through."

Releasing them, he gets his bag and opens the door. "I promise that I'll come to a decision soon," he says, "Please wait for me."

Smiling, he leaves, nearly running into Rika, who was waiting in the hall. She doesn't say anything, but smiles at him while wiping her own tears away.

End Episode 23

Episode 24 takes place pretty much the same, with Kodaka helping out the student council as he thinks things through. His confrontation with Rika, though, isn't hostile.

Getting to the roof of the school, Kodaka sees Rika standing by the fence and goes over to her.

"What's up, Rika?"

"Rika was wondering why you've been hanging around with the student council," Rika says, "Rika thought you'd have a decision by now."

"I did, too," Kodaka says, "The problem I keep coming back to is that I don't want either Yozora or Sena to feel like the second choice."

"Rika understands," she says, "Rika wouldn't want to be in your position, but you've got to make a choice soon. It's not fair to them."

"I know," he says, "Yozora is my best friend and we've had history together, but I love spending time with Sena, too. If I was with Yozora, I might be able to curb some of her more malicious tendencies, but I could look out for Sena and make sure she wasn't in over her head if I was with her. What would you do, Rika?"

"Rika isn't good at social things," she says, "If this was a science problem, Rika would experiment with all the variables and see what the best outcome is."

"That's it!" Kodaka says, giving Rika a big hug, "You really are a genius!"

Kodaka runs off, leaving Rika on the roof and a bit confused.

Later, at the club room, Kodaka comes in and both Sena and Yozora are there (which is a change from the episode). Both girls look at him anxiously and he smiles.

"I think I've got the solution," he says, proud of himself, "To see how things will work out, and to be fair to everyone, I think I should date both of you."

Both girls answer with, "WHAT!?!?!"

Roll credits.

So, as you can see, in my version, Kodaka grows a spine and confronts the situation. No, it's not a wholly satisfying ending, but it leads into a possible 3rd season with a better premise, in my opinion. Plus, if a 3rd season is never made, at least you have a new mental status quo that doesn't, really, mess with any of the characters.

Keep in mind that I have only just started reading the manga, and the anime cleaves pretty close to it, so it's possible that they were setting up a situation in the next volume. However, if they were doing that and didn't intend on continuing the anime, then I question their storytelling. Of course, I'd love to be proven wrong and have season 3 come out next year.

Sorry for getting a bit fanficy on this one, but I've been rolling this around in my head for awhile and just had to get it out. I hope you enjoyed it.

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