Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Weekly Update – Episode 8

Yuuta and Rikka get closer than even they realize.

The story continues from last week, with Rikka facing off against Touka at the vacant lot where the house they used to live in was. And throughout their ‘battle’, Touka gets the opportunity to vent some of her frustrations toward Rikka. She really doesn’t understand where Rikka’s delusional worldview comes from. And Rikka’s answers seem to indicate that it’s not because she hates their mother for abandoning them, nor her grandparents. It’s also obvious that Touka hurts as well (and it wasn’t until I was getting screenshots for this post that I saw the tears in her eyes), missing their father and the life they used to have. But she’s moved on, and wants Rikka to acknowledge the truth and move on as well. And I think there’s a little bit of a fundamental misunderstanding here, both between Rikka and most of the other people, and also in a lot of the commentary about last week’s show. I don’t get the impression that Rikka is trying to run away from the fact that their old life is gone. I don’t think she’s in denial about her father’s death. She’s stated plainly that her father is dead. It’s not like she thinks he’s just gone away, like their mother did. But she thinks he’s somewhere else, some other dimension, the Unseen Horizon. And she doesn’t want to give up searching for it.

Yuuta stops the fight

And I think Yuuta sees this to, because he steps between the two girls and tries to explain, using his own memories of escapism, and the knowledge that for Rikka it was a sudden shock that her father was sick and died. And I think Touka is being harsher than even she herself is, trying to get her message through to Rikka, because even as she doesn’t know what Rikka is really after, she still engages with her, when everyone else won’t. And perhaps Touka feels a little jealous and abandoned herself, since the only other person who might understand the way she feels, the sister who could be a friend and person to share grief with, has put an overlay of fantasy on her own reality, and become inaccessible. Yuuta stands up for Rikka, who he thinks does understand what Touka is saying, but it’s easy to say it, and hard to understand and live it. But Rikka runs off feeling smothered by the attention and memories and the virtual burning of the fantasy that her former ‘base’ is still there.

The twin lives of two people intersect

The end result is that Rikka runs for the train to go home, and Yuuta barely catches the train as well. And this point may mark the change for the series from focusing on the “Chuunibyou” to focusing on the “Koi” in the name. Yuuta and Rikka go back home, only to find that Rikka has forgotten her key. With nowhere else to stay, Yuuta invites her to his apartment, where everyone’s out at camp or work, so they are there alone. And through some shared adventures – a trip to the konbini for food (which Rikka has never had, Touka having always made her lunches and dinners), demonstration of Yuuta’s old Dark Flame Master gear, time spent walking together, even their discussion on the train – Rikka and Yuuta become closer. And through this time, some different feelings seem to awaken in Rikka.

So many cute moments for Rikka

I’ve said before that I think Rikka has had a crush on Yuuta since the beginning of the show. Well, it seems that I’ve overstated it some, because this episode explores some of the burgeoning feelings that Rikka doesn’t recognize or understand. I’m sure that she liked hanging around Yuuta, and attention from him, to the point of showing jealousy when he would pay too much attention to Shinka or disappointment when he said he wasn’t going to join her group. That was probably a bit of a crush, but her feelings toward Yuuta have grown to a point where she feels uneasy, and is more frequently thinking of him. The borrowed clothes smell like him, and instead of going to sleep, she gets up to watch TV (mushy kissing, hehe). The resulting conversation is so cute, and shows what she’s feeling:

R: “My heart is filled with unease.”
Y:”It’ll go away if you sleep.”
R: “My heart is pounding!”
Y: “That’ll go away, too.”
R: “I’m excited!”
Y:”This isn’t a theme park commercial!”
R: “I’m gonna explode!”
Y: “Why?!”
R: “I Don’t Know!!!”

(“wakaranai” is “I don’t know”)

It’s been a while since I’ve been a teenager, but I can remember about that feeling, where you just feel roiled inside, and for a first love, that’s something that can be really surprising. Rikka doesn’t want Yuuta to go away from her, even though she doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with him there. I even wonder what she wants to do when she asks him to close his eyes, because it seems kind of a scared off response to then just draw on his hand (and let me also remember about that sort of attention from a girl. Whether he admits it or not, Yuuta likes Rikka, and likes attention from cute girls. He just can’t believe that Rikka would be interested in him as a boy). And even after Yuuta gets her back to her bed, her heart is still pounding, her mind still racing. And in the morning, we finish the show with Rikka beside Yuuta’s bedside, caressing his hair. How will Yuuta respond? Will he realize that he feels for her the same way? Or will he reject her, unready for those kind of feelings? He’s seemed to be interested, only to convince himself that there’s no way that Rikka could feel that way. What if it’s clear she does feel that way? Will he hold back?

So many missed chances

In Bad this week, let’s put Matoko’s terrible handling of his chances with Kumin. Waking up to go to the bathroom, he finds Kumin putting her shoes on to go for a moonlit walk, and she invites him along. Instead of just going, which is what he wants to do, he goes and calls Yuuta to ask what he should do! Baka! Just go! And that’s the advice Yuuta even gives him. And then later, he calls Yuuta again, to ask if he should confess! Kumin, with her usual innocent sensibility, leaves him a note and goes home. Just do it, Makoto! Sometimes you can bro out too much.

That’s not a sponge…

And just because it can be here, let’s put Shinka and Dekomori’s small interaction this week in the Ugly, because that’s what Dekomori probably looked like after Shinka found out that she’d had the same trick played on her that she played on Sanae. So she decides to ‘help’ Sanae by washing her back with a special ‘sponge’, which was really a loofah. Oh the humanity!

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