If there’s one thing going for Haruo as the love triangle involving him, Akira, and Hidaka escalates dramatically, it’s that he has a lot of supporters in his corner. He has his friends. He has his mom. And he even has Akira’s sister Makoto supporting his efforts. So he does have plenty of people to turn to and who want to aid him.
It’s just, you know, slapstick violence or turning the TV to max volume to thwart his attempt at sneaking into the house is their way of supporting him, since his obliviousness knows no bounds. But after what Hidaka did while at Shibuya and Akira witnessing it, even Haruo knows he can’t run away forever. Well, in this volume he attempts to, but he fails in two ways, one of which we’ll get to later.
The first way is because he gets abducted.
Hi Score Girl volume 8, after a bunch of fighting game moves executed by his mom and Makoto before he does a hurricane kick in retaliation and then escapes, has Haruo getting brought to Akira and…they pass the time playing the Final Fight games in Akira’s room. The usual high school manga has the teasing, “Oh I’m in X’s room, maybe I should be expecting something,” with blushing involved. This high school manga has Akira clock Haruo each time he uses unintended words (like two-timed or all night) in her presence without thinking of the context of said words. This was also, according to Makoto to Haruo’s mom, Akira winning Round 2 of the fight against Hidaka.
Now it’s onto Round 3, which the majority of this volume revolves around: the two girls who fell for him, and them resolving their emotions the only way they can.
Through crane games and pull strength tests video games, and in this case, Super Street Fighter II. As Akira doesn’t speak, we can only view the words and emotions of Hidaka, who has it rough. After going through school without a clear passion, Haruo got her into gaming and didn’t dissuade her from joining in. This eventually turns into a romantic relationship that she wants to continue with.
The problem is Akira was first, and the shared history she has with Haruo is tough to overcome. So in many ways, Hidaka has a lot to overcome, and by facing Akira in this manner, this would be the only way she can feel comfortable in giving up on Haruo. Needless to say, she does almost everything possible to beat her…I bet you can guess how it went, even despite the Akuma-Zangief matchup. That’s mostly because gaming itself has changed her, so yeah, pride indeed can affect how you operate in a match.
So while that’s getting a resolution, the second way Haruo fails to run away is when he gets a moped.
Ok, prior volumes have already went over this, but yes, growing up means not playing games all the time. For Haruo, he’s now at a point in his life where he’ll have to focus on the future. And while the N64 approaches and there’re arcade games a-plenty in 1996, those won’t be going away immediately. So he ends up taking the advice of a few people and gets a moped. Will Akira actually think it’s cool?
I think the better question is how will Akira and Haruo’s relationship move now that things are changing around them? We’ll soon see in volume 9.