WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Horimiya Episode 8, "The Truth Deception Reveals," now streaming on Funimation.
Deception is the name of the game in Episode 8 of Horimiya. While Yuki is quietly struggling with Toru and Sakura growing closer, she receives an unexpected love confession and relationship request from Akane Yanagi. She doesn't want to go out with him, but she also doesn't want to hurt his feelings. Hori hatches an idea for Toru to pretend to be Yuki's boyfriend so she can tell Akane she's already in a relationship rather than turn him down cold.
As the plan takes shape, Yuki's conflicted feelings are thrown into overdrive. Her longtime bond with Toru is driven by humor and silly insults, but also plenty of affection and unflinching loyalty. Toru doesn't know the whole situation but is happy to help Yuki out of an awkward predicament. He playfully reminds her that he's only pretending to be her boyfriend for that day -- which revealingly leaves Yuki downhearted.
The plan works -- hilariously. With Hori and Miyamura quietly watching the scene from a railing above, Akane finds Yuki and Toru standing together behind the school. When the others see Akane for the first time, they're all blown away by how attractive he is. Hori proclaims he's even hotter than Miyamura. Not that Miyamura cares; he and Toru are similarly lovestruck, saying they'd date Akane if he asked them out. In fact, Yuki is the only one whose heart isn't racing. The plan succeeds, as Akane believes Yuki and Toru are dating, but a later reveal drives home the idea that Yuki is deceiving herself more than anyone else.
As with every character in Horimiya, there's more to Akane than initially meets the eye. He's presented as a model of perfection: kind, humble, soft-spoken and devastatingly handsome. However, he has one big problem to deal with -- his eyesight is terrible. This is revealed in typically comical fashion as Akane keeps running into lockers and mixing up the names of everyone in Hori and Miyamura's group. Yuki, whose self-confidence has been down lately, wonders if Akane really intended to ask out Hori but his eyesight caused him to mix the two girls up. She decides to ask him outright, to which Akane kindly responds that there was no mistake -- he's had a longtime crush on Yuki and finally roused up the courage to confess his feelings.
Akane may be nearly blind, but Yuki is the one who's truly struggling to see what's in front of her. While Akane's feelings are clear, Yuki has yet to fully grasp or accept her growing feelings for Toru. Toru likewise remains oblivious; she didn't appear bothered when learning Yuki got a love confession. However, he also senses when his friends have a problem and is there to help in a heartbeat, and he came through for Yuki once again.
Yuki and Toru are in some ways similar to Hori and Miyamura. They developed a close friendship over time and, despite their sometimes standoffish attitudes, are fiercely protective of each other. Where the two longtime friends move forward from here is unclear, but Yuki has surely gained a little more clarity from the idea of being Toru's girlfriend -- even if they were only pretending for a day. When will she admit her feelings to Toru? Perhaps more importantly, when will she admit her feelings to herself?