Okay, having read the official translation, I feel better about this chapter, even though most of my criticisms still stand. Yes, I think the plot is overwhelming the characters. Yes, I think the cast is getting dangerously overcrowded. Yes, I'm not a fan of the 'twist' for various reasons. Yes, I was upset at Mika going back to his 'let's run away and drop everyone else' routine. And yes, I'm annoyed that Yu's new attitude is not the result of growth caused by his experiences, choices, and mistakes; rather, his drastic personality change is something the plot needs to move forward, so it gets handwaved with the the 'namanari' explanation.
But, having appropriately lowered my expectations, I'm able to enjoy what little signs of progress that we got. I'm more or less satisfied with the first Yu and Mika conversation. It could have been written better, and I still can't believe it took them three months to come to this point, but with regards to Mika's old fears and self-hatred, their little talk felt like the definitive and much-needed closure. I don't expect his issues to be gone, of course; but I liked how it was pointed out that he thought it was his attempt to 'defy fate' that led to the Hyakuya's family being massacred. Someone on Tumblr noted that Mika seems to be incredibly lost, and always looks to Krul for guidance (on that note, I believe this is the main reason he suggests saving Krul when Shinoa's squad asks for his input; it's not so much affection for her that drives him as his need for her to tell him what to do next. At least that's the way I see it; he doesn't seem to be terribly concerned with Krul's plight). He seems reluctant to make choices that don't involve just burying his head in the sand. And it's understandable; the last time he was proactive, the last time he, by his own words, defied fate, it led to a terrible tragedy that got almost everyone he cared about killed. It's really no wonder that 'run and hide' is his default response now, and he has a very hard time letting go of it.
So I'm glad that Yu found the right words and finally reached him for the first time. The important thing about their conversation was that Yu finally managed to communicate to Mika that not only did he not blame him for what had happened to their family, he also thought Mika's attempt to defy fate was the right thing to do. And this is why we see Mika sway - for the first time - and at last, verbally agreeing to fight instead of running. When Yu shows himself to be willing to surrender to Crowley and Ferid, Mika doesn't try to frantically talk him out of it the way he would have in the past - instead he stands right behind him, accepting his choice, ready to confront fate alongside his best friend instead of running from it. And I think it's significant that Mika used Yu's own words ('Didn't you say we'd do it together?') when trying to reach possessed!Yu and bring him to his senses.
Anyway, I like the progress in their relationship, and am hoping for more good things to come.