Yuuta finds out the extent of Rikka’s loneliness.
Rikka has a problem. She does fine in most subjects, but apparently is terrible at math. Really terrible, like “2” out of 100 terrible. So Nana-chan (perhaps the most innocent-faced devious teacher in anime, with the voice of Belldandy to make it even worse) threatens to shut down the club if she doesn’t improve her score on the math final to above the class average. But she just doesn’t understand math, and struggles mightily, even praying at the shrine and trying to earn goodwill by having the club do some service for the school instead of studying. That ends in disaster as they waste hours playing around in the pool rather than cleaning it.
What can she do? Yuuta, please help!
So finally it falls to Yuuta to help out Rikka. And here we see how Yuuta, despite his vows to leave his chuunibyou self behind, would rather be nice to Rikka than mean. After having no luck with threats or other stick-based motivation, he finally offers things that her delusional self would find compelling: to create an electro-protocol code for her (you could call it an email address, too) as the Dark Flame Master. And with that overarching carrot, she puts her mind to work on math. He also finds some small rewards for her along the way. When the math final comes, she thinks she understands it… but doesn’t see it. Ultimately she struggles her way to a 52. But the class all did poorly, and the average is a mere 50, saving the club!
Hooray! (and so cute!)
In and amongst that storyline, we got to see a lot more of Yuuta-Rikka interaction. If you read our guest article at Nabe, about the Romance and relationships in Chuu2Koi, you’d know that I’m already convinced that Rikka’s got a huge crush on Yuuta, and has for almost the entirety of the show. This episode adds more evidence about how much Rikka likes Yuuta, and also may be showing Yuuta on the reciprocal path. Because while he spends more time with Rikka, trying to help her study, he starts to learn more things about her. For instance, when she’s eager to change her email address, he asks if that won’t be a hassle, because she’ll have to tell everyone she knows. But it turns out the only people she knows are Touka and Dekomori, as they are the only people who will acknowledge her existence. And most nights, Touka has to work late, leaving Rikka home alone. Finally getting more of a glimpse of why Rikka seems to always want to be with him, Yuuta decides to help her, staying up late to help her study, and keeping the carrot out in front of her. When she finally succeeds at saving the club with her above average score, we see a true break from her character (and an oh-so-cute smile!). And let’s not forget when they’re cleaning the pool, and Yuuta starts talking to Shinka, Rikka conks him on the head, and then claims her broom slipped (although I am partly wondering if there are some shenanigans with Shinka’s membership in the club, although Shinka admits that she turned in the form, if only to get close to “that kid” Dekomori). I can’t tell if Rikka’s expression is “Hey, don’t talk to her” or more “Hey, don’t bring up that subject.” I think Rikka’s definitely jealous of Shinka’s attention from Yuuta, although that attention has really cooled off even as they’re spending more time together in the club.
Here’s a final laugh that I wonder how many people noticed: while Shinka and Yuuta are talking to Kumin, Dekomori and Rikka take the opportunity to get in a little curling practice:
Along with Yuuta, we see those glimpses into the emptiness of Rikka’s life. This episode, without directly mentioning it, brings up the issue of the Takanashi sisters’ parents, and from interactions with both Rikka and Touka we get something that’s not the prettiest of pictures. When Rikka mentiones that Touka and Dekomori are the only people who acknowledge her existence, that doesn’t include either parent. And when Yuuta comes home after Rikka falls asleep studying, Touka is playing ‘house’ with Yumeha, and when Yuuta walks in, Yumeha is just signing the divorce papers, and vowing to raise their children by herself, as Touka pleads for the opportunity to see them once a month. When Yuuta protests this serious tone of their play, Touka says she thought it should be more realistic than playing ‘normally’. Neither Rikka nor Touka have mentioned their parents yet, in any way. They are complete non-entities in their life. How much did that contribute to Rikka’s delusional nature? And did Touka also have chuunibyou? She certainly seems to have a very dark nature, and quite the ability to understand Rikka. Not really knowing how much older Touka is, we don’t know how long she’s had to get over it, but I think it’s definitely possible.
Touka definitely seems to have a kinder side, too.
Just to put something in ugly, let’s put the simmering war between Dekomori and Shinka here (for some reason, I can call everyone by their first name except Dekomori. It just sounds better). These two do bring the comic relief this week, first with Dekomori’s struggle to drink milk (and ewwww, it’s warm? No wonder she doesn’t like it), and then with a battle in the pool.
Some screenshots from this week, and really cute Rikka pictures!