Information below contains some spoilers!
|“||If wishes could be granted, if desires could be fulfilled, then I wouldn't wish for or desire anything after all. The things you're handed on a silver platter are never genuine and never everlasting: and that is why I'll always keep searching [for something genuine].||”|
—Hachiman Hikigaya, My Teen Romantic Comedy, SNAFU!
Hachiman Hikigaya (比企谷 八幡 Hikigaya Hachiman) is the main protagonist of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru as well as the viewpoint character of the series. He is a student in Class 2F of Sōbu High School and the second member of the Service Club.
Hachiman is a teenage boy of average height and build. He has medium-short black hair and an ahoge. His most prominent feature is a set of dead fish-eyes. He does not wear his uniform up to school standards; he omits the tie and wears a black shirt underneath the dress shirt.
In the light novel, Yukino Yukinoshita states that she criticized Hachiman's facial expression, not his facial features. This implies that, if not for his dead fish-eyes and gloomy expression, he would be somewhat attractive.
He did not always have dead fish eyes. In the past, he had normal eyes as stated by Komachi.
He is initially a cynic, nihilistic, stoic, and a loner. He is quite prideful; he does things by himself and has claimed to have never relied on anyone (other than Komachi). Hachiman refuses to accept anything he considers pity, sympathy, or charity. However, he is slowly revealed to be very caring and sensitive to the feelings of others throughout the series, and eventually lets go of his past beliefs due to his relationships with those close to him. He will often rapidly think slightly sarcastic thoughts in response to for example Orimito's teasing or Yukinoshita blushing after revealing that she had styled her hair specially for him.
Hachiman possess an astounding level of intelligence and keen observational skills. His mentality and conversations are very factual and detailed-oriented , since lack of social interaction made it almost impossible for him to properly express his true feelings. Thus, while in a verbal conflict, he will almost always triumph using logic, facts and sometimes techniques he regards as "underhanded". He used one of these techniques to sway Yukino's mother into swaying the PTO to continue with Yukino's prom.
Hachiman most noteworthy trait is his unrivaled self-loathing. He always regards himself as lesser than those around him, and undeserving of human companionships. He actively describes himself as pathetic, a loser, and other similar terms.
His overwhelming self-loathing, social intuition and lesser view of his own existence makes him conduct activities which further deteriorate his own self-worth, most notable committing large social suicides. Thus, when someone is undergoing a serious problem, he will come up with an effective solution that almost always involves him committing a social suicide. These acts of self-sacrifice manage to always solve everyone's problems, but it also destroys any optimism, hope, self-esteem, leaving him with only loneliness, cynicism, more self-loathing, pessimism and nihilism.
He states that he does not care about the consequences since he is always alone and does not care about how others think of him anyway. Despite his repeated statements about not caring how others view him or how feelings are unimportant, he is extremely affected by any drastic actions he has to take and will often be almost paralyzed after doing it. For example, after insulting Sagami aggressively in a ploy to get her to return to the festival, he was slammed against a wall by Hayama and slumped down into a sitting position, staying there for an unknown amount of time.
Similarly, when his efforts succeed and he is given credit for it, he is very touched and bashful, seen on several occasions, for example Komachi kneeling and bowing to him to thank him, and Ebina coming to him to thank him for helping with Tobe. He does not like popular people because they have everything he doesn't, yet still take from him.
Described by others
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, which Yukino instantly agrees with. She is the first person to point out his rotten eyes, mindset, and that he has a sour attitude. Hiratsuka admits that she does regard Hachiman as the ultimate student at the end of the second prom, and is strangely fond of Hachiman, who often thinks that someone needs to marry her already, and if he were a few years older he would have fallen in love.
Yukino and Yui often use words such as gross, disgusting, and creepy to describe Hachiman when he says strange things. However, they are grateful for his support and both ended up wanting to be close to him. He is sometimes described to be a lot like an older brother to most younger characters out of instinct, as he has had almost zero social interaction for his entire life apart from caring for Komachi.
Komachi is very fond of Hachiman and always cooks meals for him. She appreciates all that he has done caring for her, as their parents are not shown once during the anime, suggesting that the siblings do not have a very close relationship with their parents. Despite his often sarcastic and egotistical comments, she is not affected in the same way as others and responds with an equally dry comment. Hachiman often describes himself as pathetic and states Komachi would be extremely embarrassed if people found out she had such a lame older brother.
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, though he does accept that he does not really encourage self-improvement. At the end of the anime, there are many people he has helped, including Ebina, Hayama, Yukino, Yui and Iroha who are grateful for his social suicides and will interact with him as if they were good friends.
Hachiman has a self-deprecating, sarcastic, as well as observational style of humor. Other people are often uncomfortable with his style of humor. Despite this, Hachiman can act quite vain, sometimes claiming that he has a nice face, is a nice person for not seeking revenge on bullies, or that he would be a desirable husband. He also claims that he scores "high points" in his sister's book for his flattery.
Hachiman firmly believes that nothing good happens to him and forces himself not to hope for something that is nonexistent. As a result, he distances himself from others so that he won't be hurt by his perceived notions of superficial kindness and companionship. He believes that those who try to fit in are ultimately superficial and fake.
Hachiman's beliefs lead him to conclude that youth is nothing more than an illusion created by hypocrites.
His self-deprecating tendencies has led him to adopt a result-oriented way of thinking, believing that if only he himself is hurt in pursuit of results, then it is ultimately worth it. However, this often comes at a cost of causing pain to others close to him. His teacher, Shizuka, pointed out that his intentions of helping others are not a good reason for him to hurt himself; even if he 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.
As the series progresses, Hachiman realizes how harmful his self-sacrificing behavior is to himself and those around him . He vows to change little by little, giving his word to the Service Club members that he will do something about his attitude and, in a rare display of emotion, states to Yui and Yukino that he wants "something genuine". From this point, he refuses to settle for inauthentic relationships and works to grow closer to other people in a meaningful way while ultimately letting go of his past beliefs.
Hachiman was the victim of verbal and psychological bullying which has caused him to remain alone and develop his avoidant and 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, as well as his fellow Service Club members Yui and Yukino, manage to force him to change how he replies. It should be noted Hachiman will readily accept any invitation if it's from Saika Totsuka or Komachi Hikigaya.
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.
Despite his so-called rotten personality, he is kind beneath his exterior surface. He often keeps his face stiff and ends up surprising everyone by his concern for the individual. Later on in the series, he goes to very significant lengths to help those whom he cares about, especially Yukino.
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.
He is usually seen reading a small notebook that he holds in one hand, usually drinking coffee or tea, which he says is for studying. He also often games on several devices and researches on his phone at home. He will often have little verbal skits with Komachi while they are conversating with each other, for example expounding on how Komachi accuses Hikigaya of having a sister complex.
It was mentioned that he used to cosplay. He was an otaku to some degree and often makes references to different anime and manga.
Essays, Monologues, and Soliloquies
Hachiman's twisted personality can be seen in his recorded essays and school work.
- Looking Back on High School Life Report
- Ecology of Wild Animals Report
- Looking Back on High School Life Report (Revised)
- Workplace Tour Application
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".
Hachiman is a fast learner once he applies himself and he is often able to formulate a plan with the given situation and time frame.
Hachiman has an impressive grasp of understanding how to manipulate social interactions and dissect the motivations, intentions, judgments, and ascertain hidden meanings in behavior. It is hinted that he possesses a much more calculating and ruthless side, one that has been observed during his inner monologues when he adopts a method that deliberately excludes him as the expendable factor.
He tends to read between the lines to see other true motives. He strips away Minami Sagami's, Iroha Isshiki's, and Haruno Yukinoshita's facades almost immediately. However, Hachiman isn't always able to guess people's true motives and is sometimes distracted or blinds himself with his own perception of a person or negative image of himself.
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 Hiratsuka, who brought him to the Service Club; Meguri Shiromeguri; and Saki Kawasaki who even mentioned he could be student council president. Isshiki and Kaori notice how well he handles a leadership role during the Christmas Event. Mrs. Yukinoshita also becomes impressed with Hachiman's organizational skills as he plans an alternative prom.
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. He is willing to resort to tactics such as using business-speak to negotiate with Tamanawa, or use his role as a victim in the Yukinoshita limousine accident to negotiate with Mrs. Yukinoshita but he never talked about this until Mrs Yukinoshita brought it up herself. Sometimes, these tactics come across as deceptive, as Yukino notes during the prom-planning process in Volume 14.
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 academically gifted. 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 being when he confused a hernia for herpes, and his summer midterm score of 9/100 in math.
Hachiman has an astounding knowledge of Japanese history. He knows that Yoshiteru Zaimokuza's delusions are based on Ashikaga Yoshiteru and a Bodhisattva whom Hachiman shares his name with forcing him to be included in Yoshiteru's delusions.
Hachiman knows a lot of things about his hometown Chiba and constantly mentions bits of information in conversation.
Hachiman has a wide range of trivial knowledge pointed out by Komachi, Yui, Yukino due to reading a variety of books.
According to Saika, Hachiman is skilled at tennis. He even invented two techniques that Zaimokuza gave fancy names though 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 every day.
Social Suicides Done by Hachiman.
- The Chiba village summer camp - Hachiman planned to break the relationships of Rumi Tsurumi's peers who loathed and frequently badmouthed 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 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.
- The cultural festival planning committee members meeting - Hachiman suggested a slogan containing thinly-veiled, harsh criticisms on people who were slacking off, for example Sagami and her friends. This earned him contempt from most committee members as they muttered about him just wanting to receive less work. However, this prompted all members to start to work more seriously.
- The culture festival - Sagami refused to come out of hiding to 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, forcing 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 - for example, Hayato, who was angry at Hachiman not trying to find another solution. After the culture festival, he was hated and turned into the butt of jokes for many episodes.
- During the 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, which rejected Tobe's feelings without harming their friendship. Yukino later 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. This was one of the last self-destructive acts he did after seeing how strongly it hurt Yui and Yukino.
Addressed As / Nicknames
Hachiman has earned several nicknames from others. He detests most of these names and gets annoyed with the people who use them, but has reluctantly accepted a few of them.
- Hachiman (first name basis) by Saika Totsuka, Komachi, Hikigaya (as an insult that is later echoed by Yukino Yukinoshita)
- Hikki by Yui Yuighama
- Hikitani-kun by Tobe, Hina, Hayama
- Hikio by Yumiko Miura
- Haa-chan by Keika Kawasaki
- Senpai by Iroha Isshiki
- Hikigaya-kun by Haruno, Yukino
- Yukino has also called him Hikigerma, Hikifroggaya, Hikigay, Hikifoil, Mr. Most Hated Guy in the Entire School, Mister Lonely, and Fishigaya.
- Onii-chan by Komachi Hikigaya, Taishi Kawasaki
- Monster of Logic by himself and most people
- Monster of Self-Consciousness by Haruno
- "What if... And this is strictly hypothetical... What if you could reload your save data to change your previous choice, like in a game? Would it change your life? The answer is a resounding no."
- "I consider myself a Utilitarian of the finest standards. The ends always justify the means."
- "Everyone has something they hold dear, something they never want to lose. That's why they pretend. That's why they hide the truth and that's why they lie.. but.. the biggest liar of all.. was me.
- "I hate nice girls. Just by exchanging greetings with them will get them on your mind. Start texting each other, and your heart will be set aflutter. If they call you, you're done for. Enjoy staring at your logs and grinning like a fool. However, I won't be fooled again. That's what your kind calls kindness. If you are nice to me, you're also nice to others. I always end up nearly forgetting that. Reality is cruel, so I'm sure lies are a form of kindness. Thus, I say kindness itself is also a lie. I always ended up with these expectations. And I always ended up with these misunderstandings. And before I knew it, I stopped hoping. A highly-trained loner is once bitten, twice shy. As a veteran on this battlefield of life, I've gotten used to losing. That's why I will always… hate nice girls." 
- "I hope that we're not just human garbage headed toward a big sewer. But I think so."
- "We only change to avoid the current situation. The true meaning of not running away is planting your feet firmly in the ground and doing the best you can with your present. Who's running away now? Why can't you just accept who you are and who you were?" 
- "Hard work betrays none, but dreams betray many. Working hard alone doesn't assure you that you'll achieve your dreams. Actually, there are more cases where you don't. Even so, working hard at something is some consolation at least."
- “Oh yeah? Good on you to notice. You’re right, I am nice. I’ve been through all kinds of things in my life, but I haven’t gone out for revenge on a single person at all. If I was any other normal person, this world would’ve ended already. You could even call me the savior of the world.” Hachiman to Yui
- "Guys are simple creatures. They get the wrong idea just from getting talked to. They'd be happy just getting handmade cookies. They don't need to taste good."
- "I hate private parties and inside jokes… Ah, but I do like internal strife. Cuz I’m not on the inside!”
- "The world won't change, you must change yourself in this world. Now, how will you change yourself? The answer is, you become the god of the new world."
- "We're back to how we started and can now live our own lives again. There's no reset button on life, but at least you can reset your relationships."
- "People often say, "If I change myself, I'll change the world." That's a load of crap. People's judgment of others create a stereotype, and that's the impression that lasts. Loners are forced to do things alone. If you try to stand out by working hard at something, you just become a target for attack. It's the rotten rule of the children's kingdom."
- "MOT is cool and awesome!"
- "There's probably no one who's more of a realist than the unpopular loner. I have lived my life with the Three Nevers of the Unpopular: Never to hold (hope), Never to open (your heart), Never to treasure (sweet words)."
- "Hey, stop getting so chummy with me, I might even start treating you as a friend."
- "The rich want their private jets and beaches. So it follows that loners, who always have plenty of private time, are the victors in life. Ergo, being alone is the new status symbol."
- “I want something genuine.”
- "Life goes on regardless of whether you're laughing or crying, and your high school days will eventually draw to a close."
- "It's not like I can't talk to people. I just don't indulge in pointless small talks."
- "Life is something that can never be lived twice. Even this pointless act will eventually end. And while thinking that one day, I'll surely regret its end."
- "Fake people have an image to maintain. Real people just don't care."
- “The thing is to understand myself: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die; Genuine. That is what I now recognize as the most important thing.”
- "See, it’s simple. ––A world where no one was hurt is now complete."
- "There was no meaning to things that were only superficial. That was a single belief that both me and her once shared."
- "Girls were made of sugar and spice, and all things nice."
- "Everyone is a slave to their past. No matter how much you wish to move forward, the events of yesteryear will bear down on you like the light of the stars as soon as you glance up. Unable to laugh or to banish your past, you carry it ceaselessly in a corner of your heart, waiting for it to resurrect at an inopportune moment."
- "If you want to see who controls you, look at those you are not allowed to criticize."
- "It is not self-sacrifice. How could it be self-sacrifice if there is nothing to sacrifice?"
- "Behind every cynic is a disappointed optimist."
- "She and I both know that there's a much easier way to convey what we want to. However, we don't think it's the right way to do it. So the least we can do is try not to make any mistakes. I gazed at the two of them... with something that felt like a prayer."
- (To Yukino) "It's fine. No matter how much of a hassle or nuisance you are, it's fine. I might actually like it that way.” 
- (To Shizuku) That's why I will forever doubt it all the same. Maybe, for both of us, its into something we can believe in so easily. 
- In Japanese beliefs, the name Hachiman (Japanese: 八幡神 Hepburn: Hachiman no kami/Hachiman-shin, also known as Yahata no kami) is the syncretic divinity of archery and war. Although often called the "god of war", he is more correctly defined as the tutelary god of warriors. This was also explained during Zaimokuza's introduction in Episode 2 of Season 1.
- Notably, Yukino's quote on Episode 1 of Season 1, "We do not give a starving man a fish. We teach him how to fish and make him independent." is also a slight reference to how fishermen worship the god, Hachiman, as the god of agriculture and hope to catch fishes in their nets. It is also a direct quote from Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher.
- Hachiman has a list of people he wishes to murder (naming his notebook's "People to Kill"), which includes Yukino Yukinoshita.
- Hachiman used to have "spirit world diaries" and "government reports".
- Hachiman appears to have a soft spot for Totsuka and constantly has to remind himself that Totsuka is a guy.
- Hachiman likes the teachings of Buddhism since he feels that his ideals match with it.
- Hachiman likes Georgia MAX Coffee which he seems to drink frequently.
- Hachiman's favorite manga series are Naruto and One Piece.
- 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 fansub of season 2 episode 13, Hachiman is wearing an "8-man" mask bearing a resemblance to Batman's mask. Twitter user skiddiks takes credit for the creation.
- Hachiman enjoys eating at Saizeriya.
- It was shown in the 2nd episode of the first season of the anime that he owns a Nintendo Gamecube. Then in 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 on October 10, 2015, at the NewType Awards in Japan. Including his voice actor, Eguchi Takuya.
- Hachiman's character and personality have some close resemblance to Houtarou Oreki, from a 2001 novel and 2012 anime adaptation, Hyouka:
- Both were apathetic, introverted, and above all that, being known as both lazy yet clever when it comes to certain scenarios.
- They also share their messy-hair trademark, similar "dead-fish" eyes (although Houtarou's eyes are more drowsy in comparison), unenthusiastic emotions, and had similar scenarios where they were also being forced to join a club — which then later introduced by another girl character as they enter the club for the first time in the very first episode (with Houtarou meets Eru Chitanda, one of the main characters in Hyouka, while Hachiman meets Yukino in OreGairu Season 1).
- Both Hachiman and Houtarou are voiced by Adam Gibbs in English dub.
- Alluded to in Season 1 Episode 2, Hachiman appears to have suffered from "8th Grader Syndrome" or 'Chunibyo' when he was in middle school
- Volume 2, Chapter 3. Note that in the official YenPress LN it has been changed to "A vast array of skills". The fan translation, official anime, as well as fan sub all retain the 108 skills moniker.
- Volume 6.5 - not specifically mentioned as one of his 108 skills
- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Anime: episode 1; part A
- Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru Light Novel: Volume 1, Chapter 1
- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Anime: episode 5; part B
- My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected Manga: chapter 1 pg.39
- Volume 14, Chapter 7, Season 3 Episode 11
- Volume 14 Chapter 9, Season 3 Episode 12
- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Anime: episode 2; part B
- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Anime: OVA
- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Anime Season 2: episode 1; part A