Hachiman Hikigaya is the main protagonist of the Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru anime and light novels.
Hachiman is an isolated, friendless boy who is pragmatic to a fault. His most prominent feature is his set of "dead fish-eyes". He firmly believes that "youth" is simply an illusion created by hypocrites, for hypocrites, born from the ashes of past failures. In this state of apparent corruption, he is coerced into joining the Service Club by his futures advisor in the hopes that exposing him to the world will change his personality, and ultimately make him a "better person".
In the XP4 fics, Hachiman is a student at the Vanguard Academy.
In the AWA fics, Hachiman debuted in All Worlds Alliance Stories Chapter 32.
Hachiman is a teenage boy of average height with medium-short length black hair. His most prominent feature is his set of dead fish-eyes and a short strand of hair sticking upwards (Ahoge). He is usually seen wearing his school uniform, but sometimes wears a long sleeve undershirt and a casual orange T-shirt. At home he sometimes wears an "I <3 Chiba" shirt spelled with Kanji.
In the light novel, Yukino Yukinoshita states that she criticized Hachiman's unattractive facial expression, not his facial features, which she believes to be the proof of his twisted nature. Yui Yuigahama once mentioned to Saika Totsuka that he is quite plain-looking and it would take quite a lot to notice a person like him (Hachiman).
According to Komachi Hikigaya, he's not very photogenic. In the drama C.D., Komachi pointed out that his eyes were not always rotten and that they were once normal in pictures and videos when he was younger.
In the anime version whenever Hachiman's past is shown, it should be noted that his eyes are mostly covered by a shadow or purposely not shown to the audience.
He is a cynic, stoic, and loner. He does things by himself and has never relied on anyone (other than Komachi). As he does not like to rely on others, he has an unusual prideful side. Hachiman refuses to accept anything he considers pity, sympathy, or charity.
Shizuka Hiratsuka describes his personality as "rebellious and loner-prone." She also says that he has the nature of a petty criminal and spineless goon with which Yukino instantly agrees with. She is the first person to point out his rotten eyes and mindset, and that he has a sour attitude.
Yukino and Yui often used words such as gross, disgusting and creepy to describe Hachiman.
Hachiman is sometimes described as "twisted" by other characters in the series because of the pessimistic way he thinks and the solutions to requests that he comes up with. He often explains his thoughts by using examples from his own life experience by saying "Source: Me". He often blames society and other people for his personality.
Hachiman has a self-depreciating, sarcastic, as well as observational style of humor. People who know him and his way of thinking can understand, while others may feel pity for him. Other people are often uncomfortable with his style of humor. Despite being self-depreciating, Hachiman can act quite vain, sometimes claiming that he has a nice face, is a nice person for not seeking revenge on bullies, and that he would be a desirable husband.
Hachiman firmly believes that nothing good happens to him and forces himself not to hope for something that is not existent. He makes others hate him as a way to keep himself distant from others so that he won't be disappointed or hurt by their superficial acting. Hachiman dislikes superficial acting just to blend in.
Hachiman dislikes youth and firmly believes that youth is simply an illusion created by hypocrites.
Hachiman doesn't have a positive opinion of girls either. He has a belief of girls not being genuine and only being after looks and money.
Hachiman was the victim of verbal and psychological bullying which has caused him to remain alone and develop his avoidant & pessimistic attitude. Yet, he refuses to change, as he believes that to change is to "lose" and give in to the pressures of the world around you. However, at one point he wanted to forget his past traumatic experiences and wished to reset his life by joining Sobu High School, thus avoiding anyone from his middle school. His plan did not work as he failed to change his avoidant personality.
He considers himself to be a hindrance to others and avoids being with them. Hachiman believes that he is insignificant and is thus willing to become the scapegoat, no matter how significant the situation is to him, in order to protect everyone and keep them happy. He turns down all invitations and avoids engaging in all social activities as the first reflex of a loner. Hachiman assumes and fears that there must be some ulterior motive to any invitation he receives because of his experiences of being bullied in the past.
However he makes exceptions for those that make a genuine attempt to be friendly with him. Haruno, Shizuka, and Iroha who manage to force him to comply however he replies. As well as his fellow Service Club members Yui and Yukino. It should be noted Hachiman will readily accept any invitation if it's from Totsuka or Komachi.
Hachiman has a soft spot for younger girls (or little sister type girls) given that he's an older brother himself, as seen by how he treats Komachi, Iroha, Rumi and Keika. He does not count Yukino because of her cold mature personality.
His hobbies include reading, watching TV and sleeping - anything that prevents interaction with others that may result in ridicule or gossip that is targeted at him.
It was mentioned that he used to cosplay. He was an otaku to some degree and often makes references to different animes and mangas during his inner thoughts.
Despite his so-called rotten personality, he really is kind underneath his exterior. He often keeps his face stiff and thus surprising everyone by his concern for the individual.
He is mostly result-oriented, hence he is not bothered by any process if it gives him the desired result. However, this often comes at a cost of causing pain to himself or others. His teacher, Shizuka pointed out that his intentions of helping others are not a good reason for him to hurt himself, as even if he himself is used to the pain, there are those who will find it painful to see him hurt. She also adds that if he sticks to his ways, he will not be able to save the person he wants to save the most. Even though Hachiman doesn't like his own method of doing things, he has pride in his work, and won’t let anyone call it self-sacrifice.
Later in the series, Hachiman realizes his mistakes in doing things and thus vows to change little by little. He gives his word to the service club members that he will do something about his attitude and in a rare display, he shows an emotional side of himself where he was on the verge of tears when he states to Yui and Yukino that he wants "something genuine".
Hachiman's twisted personality can be seen in his recorded essays and school work.
Hachiman was responsible for house chores when his sister was in elementary school to keep her safe from sharp instruments in the kitchen. He can cook curry pretty well.
He has decent artistic skills, as he drew a bear in his Ecology of Wild Animals report (anime only). He also refers to himself as a "second-rate artist" (light novel).
Hachiman is a fast learner once he applies himself and he is often able to formulate a plan with the given situation and time.
After spending a lot of time being a loner due to unsuccessful socializing in the past, he obtains an extensive knowledge in general psychology, often using this understanding how to manipulate social interactions and dissect motivations, intentions, judgments, and ascertain hidden meanings in behaviour.
He tends to read between the lines to see others true motives. He strips away Sagami's, Iroha's and Haruno's facades almost immediately, and some characters don't even bother to resume their cover when they are with Hachiman. Hachiman isn't always able to guess peoples true motives and is sometimes distracted or blinds himself with his own perception of a person.
Hachiman is shown to be a capable leader, able to organize people and meet assigned project deadlines. A few people that have realized Hachiman's leadership potential and intelligence are Shizuka, who brought him to the Service Club, Shiromeguri Meguri, and Saki who even mentioned he could be student council president. Isshiki and Kaori notice how well he handles a leadership role during the Christmas Event.
He also has decent negotiation skills, as Hachiman is able to convince others to go along with his twisted plans, even if they are against it.
Hachiman's 108 Skills
Hachiman has his own list of 108 skills he boasts about. They are not listed in any sort of order.
- Finding faults in others.
- Cat's cradle. (This is a reference to Nobita from Doraemon)
- Human Observation.
- Shooting with a gun. (This is another reference to Doraemon)
- Feigning Sleep.
- Becoming a good guy in later arcs. (again a reference to Gian from Doraemon)
- Stealth Hikky.
- Blabbering to himself.
Hachiman is quite intelligent. He ranks 3rd in Japanese behind Hayama (2nd) and Yukino (1st). Hachiman is also proficient in English and other humanities/social science subjects. However, he is incredibly bad at science and math, an example of this being when he confused a hernia for herpes, and his summer midterm score of 9/100 in math.
Hachiman also has an astounding knowledge of Japanese history. He quickly deduced that Yoshiteru Zaimokuza's delusions were based on the Ashikaga Yoshiteru. Furthermore, there is a Bodhisattva whom Hachiman shares his name with forcing him to be included in Yoshiteru's delusions.
Hachiman also knows a lot of things about his home town Chiba.
Hachiman also has a wide range of trivial knowledge pointed out by Komachi, Yui, Yukino due to reading of variety of books.
Hachiman is skilled at tennis according to Saika. He even invented two techniques that Zaimokuza gave fancy names to, much to his chagrin as he feels there's nothing special about them.
Hachiman is skilled at swimming, according to the drama CD, he swam two kilometers in middle school because he had nothing else to do when his class had swim lessons.
In middle school Hachiman got 'A' on sports testing earning him a medal (although this was more due to his so-called 'friend' sardonically recording false shuttle-run times).
He also has a lot of physical stamina and was able to keep up with Hayama during the school marathon, something he attributes to riding to school on his bicycle everyday.
Social Suicides Done by Hachiman
- Confession to Kaori Orimoto - in middle school and was rejected as she wished both of them to remain friends, but they didn't speak to each other afterwards. The incident spread in their class, and Hachiman was ridiculed and bullied further.
- At Chiba village summer camp - Hachiman planned to break the relationships of Rumi Tsurumi's peers who loathed and frequetly badmouthing her for no valid reasons by convincing Yumiko, Tobe and Hayato to act as delinquents threatening them in order to expose their selfish nature to each other. The girls have intense quarrel with each other after "sacrificing" Rumi. At the end of the cultural festival, Tobe shared his opinion that Hachiman was seriously terrible and told his clique members that something not unlike the rooftop incident happened during summer also.
- During the cultural festival planning committee members meeting - Hachiman suggested a slogan containing thinly-veiled, harsh criticisms on slacking off members and also Sagami's hypocritical own. This earned him contempt from them as they muttered what was wrong with him. However, this made the entire members started to fulfill their duties more seriously.
- When Sagami refuses to come out of hiding and return to her duties as a chairwoman of the culture festival, even after being coaxed by the popular Hayato and her two friends, Hachiman berated her with harsh words and sneered at her unworthiness, causing Hayato to slam him against the wall. Sagami was moved when she saw the school idol defending her, and agreed to return. The incident spread among the planning committee members and throughout their school, drawing disapproval and disgust from them, as all of them were under impression that Sagami became a victim of Hachiman's behavior. Fortunately, there were some that were aware of Hachiman's true motive, and felt that he was very brave. As time passed, this blew over.
- During Kyoto field trip - Hachiman falsely confessed to Hina Ebina in front of Tobe, who was about to do so, much to the shock of Hayato, Ooka, Yamato, Yukino, Yui and Tobe himself. Hina then solemnly replied that she was not yet ready to date anyone and will reject any confession, no matter who he is. Later Yukino then voiced her intense hatred of Hachiman's method and Yui cried as she asked him whether he didn't understand others' feelings. Fortunately, the incident was kept secret from their classmates, not to mention Hina was grateful for him keeping Hayato's clique intact.
- Hachiman has a list of people he wish to murder (naming his notebook's "People to Kill"), which includes Yukinoshita Yukino.
- Hachiman used to have "spirit world diaries" and "government reports".
- Hachiman likes the teachings of Buddhism, since he feels that his ideals match with it.
- Hachiman likes MAX coffee which he seems to drink frequently.
- Hachiman hates tomatoes and insects.
- Hachiman used to drink tea in the Service Club with a paper cup, but later Yui and Yukino gave him a cup with an image of Pan-San as a gift.
- In the fandom Hachiman is occasionally compared to Batman.
- There was a scene where Batman takes all the blame for Harvey Dent's murders in The Dark Knight and it was very similar to how Hachiman took the blame for Sagami's failures during the Cultural Festival.
- In an English fan sub of season 2 episode 13, Hachiman is wearing an "8-man" mask with a similar resemblance to Batman's mask. Twitter user skiddiks takes credit for the creation.
- Hachiman enjoys eating at Saizeriya.
- It was shown on the 2nd episode of the first season of the anime that he owns a Nintendo Gamecube. Then on the 7th episode, it was also shown that Hachiman also owns a Black PSP.
- Hachiman Hikigaya won an Award as Best Male Character Award held October 10, 2015 at the NewType Awards in Japan. Including his voice actor, Eguchi Takuya.