Shinka makes Rikka’s head explode
A month has passed since the events of the last episode, and the school is getting ready for the cultural festival. And in that time, Rikka has been pulling back from Yuuta, Touka, and everyone else, even Dekomori. She thinks that the Administration Bureau has cast a spell on him, implanting a singularity in him that affects her, because every time she looks at him, her heart starts pounding and she starts sweating, and blood rushes to her face (she just has the cutest blush, doesn’t she?). And just like we saw last week, she can’t figure out the reason for these feelings.
What did you do to her, Yuuta?
But the rest of the world hasn’t stopped just because of that, and to raise the opinion of the Oriental Magick and Napping Club in Summer, Shinka thinks they should do secretly staged performances, since all the stalls and stage time are booked. And her idea for the flash mob performance? “The Tyrant’s Eye versus the Dark Flame Master!” But Yuuta’s totally dead set against it, because it’s embarrassing, and Rikka’s not that enthusiastic, about anything, because it tends to bring her face to face with Yuuta, and that’s what she can’t figure out right now. And because Rikka’s avoiding Yuuta, everyone wants to know what he did to her that night in summer vacation. Despite his claims of innocence, they’re not buying it.
I think Touka wins, hands down.
And even Touka wants to know what is going on, so she appears in his room, under his bed (a place Rikka’s appeared from as well), and after perusing his choice of girly magazines, asks him about what is going on. Touka continues to shine in this series, and even after her apparently stern fight with Rikka last week (which was plenty emotional for Touka as well) she’s still caring for and about Rikka. She’s really trying to take the place of her mother in some ways, while still trying to be a sort of Cool Big Sis, and is frustrated that Yuuta can’t give her more information about it. But her involvement does give Yuuta more impetus to talk to Rikka, fruitless as that turns out to be for him.
Kumin doesn’t quite understand.
But for Rikka, it spurs her into action. First she tries to ask Kumin about it, of course couched in Rikka’s chuunibyou lexicon. So Yuuta is now affected by a “Dark Singularity”, a spell cast on him when she took him with her on vacation. And every time he comes near, her heart pounds, and every time she looks at his eyes, she gets all fluttery inside. Of course, innocent Kumin isn’t much help because she doesn’t know about love, and she buys into anyone else’s chuunibyou anyway. Neither is Dekomori any actual help, as she enthusiastically goes along with Rikka’s plan to fight this terrible power out of Yuuta. But their fight, which Dekomori, Rikka, and Yuuta have all gone to instead of Shinka’s planning meeting for the festival, goes horribly wrong when Rikka can’t transform the scene with the Tyrant’s Eye, so she and Dekomori fight normally, and are quickly ‘vanquished’ by Yuuta. But then his gallant helping Rikka up causes her to be all overcome again and she runs away. But the fight has had some good results, because Kumin had time with Shinka to describe Rikka’s ‘symptoms’, allowing Shinka’s “Mori Summer” love guru personality (remember all of Dekomori’s ‘readings’ from the Mabinogion? All about love, aren’t they?) to come out, and realize how much in love with Yuuta Rikka is.
Shinka tells Rikka the awful truth!
And using this information, Shinka confronts Rikka about it, eventually getting her to accept 1) that it’s love, not some nefarious force and 2) that Shinka can help her get what she actually wants: to be with Yuuta. Playing expert dating book matchmaker, Shinka sets up scenarios for Rikka to close the deal, but in romantic comedy fashion, they go predictably wrong. And the third try, putting Yuuta and Rikka up on the catwalk on the roof, almost goes disastrously wrong, as Rikka slips and almost falls off the roof of the school. But Yuuta saves her, embracing her in safety after helping her down in a fashion reminiscent of the start of the series. But now that she’s got him, Rikka doesn’t want to let Yuuta go.
Rikka holds on tighter here than she did on the roof.
I think we have seen a good progression of their relationship. From the start, I think she was interested in him (and her flashback shows that she knew about his chuunibyou before moving in with Touka – does that add to some of the reason she moved?) And then when Yuuta first steps in on her behalf to save her from Touka, and then chases her down on the train and takes care of her, we finally see it really bloom into teenage love. But she doesn’t know what it is she’s feeling, and while it’s been a (long) while since I was 16, I can certainly remember that kind of feeling with someone. I’m sure on one level she knew she was in love, because otherwise why would she try to refuse listening to Shinka so vehemently? She actually shows a lot of similarity to Shizuku Mizutani in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: “If I ignore these feelings, they’ll go away.” Yet every time she sees him look at her, she blushes, her heart skips, and she gets all wobbly inside. And eventually she accepts what Shinka’s saying, that it won’t get better by running away. Her inability to deal with these feelings isn’t solely because of her chuunibyou, but more because of her naivety, a lonely girl who hasn’t been interested in love or boys or even had many friends. And when she accepts it, she goes all for it, even though she makes normal beginner mistakes. And when she finally gets across that last bit of distance, after having been so close and yet so far for so long, she doesn’t want to let him go. The scene of their embrace is masterful and touching, Rikka’s arms moving to embrace Yuuta more tightly, Yuuta cradling her head and gently saying her name.
Maybe Yuuta folk dancing with Makoto is bad?
The only bad about this show is that it’s episode 9 of 12. Only 3 more episodes to go, but we’re also talking about KyoAni, who always do a great job of series planning, never rushing towards the end but always reaching an ending. Hopefully, this show will continue that and wrap up with a great finish.
Of course there’s no ugly. Instead of ugly, here’s the peerless Takanashi Touka with style and grace, along with more screenshots!