That was probably my favorite Haganai episode so far, but I’ll freely admit I’m biased – I adore Sena. Along with Miu from Mashiroiro they’re probably my two favorite females of the season though they could hardly be more different. So the long-awaited visit to Sena’s estate definitely had a head start in my esteem, but even objectively speaking I think it was excellent. The humor was spot-on right from the beginning, as Kodaka and Kobato walked in on Yozora in the zebra suit and horse head in the clubroom, and just kept getting better. Pegasus and Stella were an excellent addition to the cast as well, and I loved the scenes at the mansion
Kashiwazaki-san (Okiayu Ryotaro) was quite a bit different than I expected. Okiayu-sensei has a long, long track record in anime and he’s done the eccentric father bit to perfection before (Clannad, for one) and he nailed the part here. I was expecting Sena’s home to be a little more cold and distant, but while the house itself is certainly austere enough, both Pegasus and his household have an agreeably madcap quality to them. Adding to the mayhem is Pegasus’ steward Stella (Yuzuki Ryouka) who probably comes about as close to the dictionary definition of snark as you could imagine. It’s very obvious that Pegasus has a very close relationship with Kodaka’s father, judging from the level of familiarity in his tone when discussing him. We still don’t know all that much about Hasegawa-san but it’s clear that he’s an eccentric sort and that he made a pretty big impact on Pegasus.
More than anything, Pegasus came off as lonely to me. In a series about people with no friends, it was obvious how much he misses Hasegawa-san, who I’m guessing may have been his only friend (at the very least his best, by far). It was plain that he took a great deal of pleasure in having Kodaka in his house, even “drinking” with him though this being all-ages material, he gave Kodaka grape juice. The old man can’t hold his liquor, that’s for sure, as he was soused after the first glass and wound up passed out in the guest room bed. Meanwhile, Sena is in a paradise living out her obsession with Kobato (which should be creepy but I just find incredibly cute and funny). It’s more like a nightmare for Kobato, though, especially when she’s too sleepy to resist Sena’s invitation to take a bath together. Just what Sena did to Kobato is not clear (Kodaka asked her the next morning, with perfect comic timing) but it led to one of the best renditions of the “see the girl naked” trope in a long while, with Kobato running naked and screaming into the living room with Sena on her heels, only to have the world turn into a slow-motion hell when she sees Kodaka. Finally it’s Sena who ends up fleeing into the night, using the catchphrase from Rika’s doujin in a way I don’t think it was intended to be used.
While I don’t expect an official pairing in the anime version of this story, I’m starting to believe that in addition to being my wish, a Kodaka-Sena prospect is not all that far-fetched. Naturally Pegasus wants it – Stella humming Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” after he asked Kodaka to “take care” of Sena could hardly have been more obvious. And while Kodaka is typically main-character tone deaf when it comes to romantic signals it’s obvious he cares for Sena, though his claim that he was drunk and didn’t remember seeing her naked could be argued to be more a sign of general kindness than romantic interest. Still, pretty much every romance flag has flown for that pairing, while with Yozora it seems much more of a friendship scenario. As Kodaka wished he’d someday have a friendship like the one his father and Pegasus shared the director cut to Yozora, alone in the park where she and Kodaka had played as kids. Unless they’re hinting at something deeper between the two fathers (which does get a few obtuse hints, I admit) it seems to point towards a friendship with Yozora. Given the theme of the series, it doesn’t seem impossible that the nominal female lead might get the friendzone, and Sena the romance end.