Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – 07

 This week on chu2koi, sparkles and gay rainbows everywhere!

I LIED. Get your tissues ready guys, you’re in for some sobbing :’c What do you know, I’m actually on time for this! It’s funny how I’m “busier” during the holidays – yeah right, busy enjoying life and partying *coughs* Aaanyway, here’s to this week of chu2koi!

This week we find out what really happened in Rikka’s past to make her what she is today. I hadn’t really expected chu2koi to go into a topic as serious as death, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how they’ve handled it. Rikka’s chuunibyou is a coping mechanism, and the severity of her case is easily explainable when you think about what she has to deal with (or escape from, for that matter) – her father’s passing and her mother’s abandonment. Her father keeping the bad news from her only made the situation worse as she didn’t get to treasure the last few moments with him, and that only served to make his death seem like a surreal thing. In a moment of denial and despair, she hallucinated about seeing her father on the other side of the Ethereal Horizon, and that’s why she is completely obsessed with this – it is the only way to pretend that her father is still alive somewhere, watching over her, and this firm belief may be the sole thing that is holding her together.

This also brings to light how important Yuuta actually is to Rikka. Just imagine, after such a traumatic experience, Rikka still had to face the general disapproval of her family members towards her chuunibyou – how scary is that, to be so haunted by death and at the same time shunned by people who’re the ones closest to you? Yuuta is more than a friend, he is a pillar of support that Rikka had so very desperately needed. Rikka was probably barely holding herself together before she’d met Yuuta, and I can’t imagine how she would be if she lost him now – she would very likely crumble into pieces. Which is a scary thought, because I can picture this unfortunate circumstance that Yuuta and his family would have to move overseas to be with his father more often – what would become of Rikka then?

Yuuta is in a very difficult position – I would say that he does feel something special for Rikka, and although he doesn’t completely agree with her obsession with magic/the Ethereal Horizon, he is willing to make compromises and do things that he swore he would never do again for her sake. That makes things really hard for him – he knows that Rikka’s perception of her father being on the other side of the Ethereal Horizon is unrealistic, but he doesn’t have the heart to tell her otherwise. Trying to strike a balance between pacifying Rikka’s delusions and making her realize the truth is definitely a problem he is struggling with, and I’m sure we’re in for an emotional rollercoaster as he helps her through this phase of accepting her father’s death.

Needless to say, Tooka is facing this problem too. In her case though, it’s probably even more painful for her to watch Rikka going through this phase as her sister. Being an adult, it would be expected of her to be the sane one, the one who’s helping to keep the family going after the loss of both of their parents. Adding on to the fact that she can’t be there for Rikka as she has to go to work, I’m sure she’s torn between comforting her and making her accept the truth. Unable to do so herself, she has to rely on Yuuta, an “outsider”, to indirectly help her sister – imagine how hard it is for her to be unable to do anything and only watch, and how desperate she must have been to have asked someone else to be Rikka’s support?

The last scene right there really tugged on my heartstrings, because that empty field of flowers must’ve really hit Rikka in the face. That place and that house had held so many precious memories for her, and their disappearance may just as well be shoving the hard truth of her father’s death into her face and forcing her to admit it. And for the first time, we see her cry, because the world of magic that she’s so painstakingly built up in her head is falling apart – and what we see inside is a very fragile heart of a girl that can’t keep herself together anymore.


What more is there if your world falls to pieces?

Oh gosh I am so impressed at how KyoAni has just transformed chu2koi from a comedic, slice-of-life anime into something that really captures the meaning of death and loss. I went from giggling at Isshiki’s pervy ogling at the unsuspecting Kumin, to smiling at how sweet Yuuta was to Rikka, to really tearing up at Rikka’s painful realization – ALL THE FEELS!!! It takes a lot of effort and some really good execution to transition so smoothly between evoking different emotions like that, and that’s why I think this episode is really a work of art. You know what, I take back what I said about chu2koi not being as emotional as AnoHana – it’s not quite to that extent yet, but at the rate things are going, I think I better get my tissue box ready for the next episode.

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A stressed-out jyoushi kousei doubling as Metanorn's loli with a soft spot for sappy romance animanga. She will watch anything with bishies in it. :3
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8 Responses to “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – 07”

  1. Highway says:

    I may turn out to be wrong, but I think people are laying too much of Rikka’s chuunibyou characteristics on the one event of her father dying, to the point where people have been saying that “If she realizes her father is dead, then she’ll stop acting like that.” Why? Why would she? It’s not like the things she likes would go away. She still thinks that stuff is cool. Might some of the urgency go away? Perhaps. But it’s not like a tragedy is necessary for someone to live a fantastical life. Yuuta, Dekomori, and Shinka are all examples of that right in front of us.

    On one level, Rikka knows her father is dead. She even said that she saw whatever phenomenon on the night her father died, so she knows it happened. But I think it’s the total combination of her father dying, her mother abandoning them, and then living with a strict grandfather that encouraged her to make her own overlay on reality. She doesn’t seem to reject the reality that we all live in. She just puts more on top of it – things like her answer to Yuuta about the Electro-Protocol Code: “email?” “You could call it that too” (one of the cutest lines in the show, imo).

    And I think she does realize the Unseen Horizon is the boundary between death and life. How many other people strive to contact the dead? How many others feel they are being guided by ancestors? Especially in a culture like Japan’s, where ancestors are revered even more than in the US. Yes, the destruction and pending sale of her childhood home, the place where *all* of her good memories are, is hurting her right now. But she’ll get over it, I think, and come out the other side still interested in her weird stuff, and more interested in Yuuta. :)

    Also: Kumin is so cute!

  2. BlackBriar says:

    The anime has done a good job introducing a very serious element. I can speculate Rikka’s eighth grade syndrome started when her father was still alive and continues it now because if she stops, it would mean acknowledging that he’s gone and she refuses to cope with it. Even though using magical references, she’s more lucid here than the previous episodes. The grandfather is such a bastard for denying her especially when she’s hurting so much.

    I’ve grown to like Tooka. She’s cool despite her cold composure. While Rikka is still childish, Tooka is doing her best as the older sibling to handle the family issues. It made sense she dragged Yuuta because he can reach her in a way she couldn’t.

    • Highway says:

      In addition to liking Touka because she’s a complete badass, I’m coming to the opinion that she’s the best character in the show. She definitely cares about Rikka quite a bit. I would imagine that Touka willingly opened up her home to Rikka, even knowing what that would do to her own life, in order to allow Rikka to move out of her grandparents house where everyone was unhappy. She’d like Rikka to face up to their father being gone, but is willing to battle her in her own space to get her there.

      And on top of that, she looks really great, and can cook up a storm. What’s not to love?

  3. Yippy says:

    I don’t think it was the best “DA FEELS” moment in my book (that goes to the entirety of CLANNAD) since they didn’t really go deep enough. It just felt tacked on for me.

    Plus, the humour kind of dulls the mood it’s trying to convey. How am I supposed to feel for Rikka when I just laughed at some amazing jokes? There’s a dissonance, and that’s what holding it back from being the best in my opinion.

    Still, I’m willing to credit them for actually exploring Rikka’s chuunibyou cause. I do wonder why Rikka’s mother left though…And why are dead/missing relatives’ photos in anime always obscured? Not like they’d mind…

    • Highway says:

      I felt that the jokes helped to keep the mood of the episode from being too maudlin. The jokes were of a much different tenor than they’d been throughout the show, with no abusive physicality, almost no yelling, no threats. It was much more ‘buddy comedy’, especially with Shinka and Dekomori (I *still* doesn’t feel right to call her Sanae) and you can really see their companionship beginning to grow, as some part of them starts to realize that they can get along, even with surface clashes.

      • Yippy says:

        I agree, their relationship has matured slowly as the series progressed, along with the show’s humor. Still, I feel kind of awkward and guilty laughing at DekoSummer’s antics right after learning about Rikka’s tragic situation…

        And I agree, Sanae sounds way too adult for her behavior. Plus, the name Sanae will always be attached to that one sensitive baker in my heart. =)

  4. Highway says:

    Something I just realized is that the show has done a great job short-circuiting the possible love triangles that were speculated about around episodes 4 and 5. It’s now 3 pairs: Yuuta and Rikka, Kumin and Matoko, and Shinka and Dekomori. And it’s clear that neither Matoko nor Yuuta have any romantic interest in Shinka anymore, although they are definitely both still friendly with her. Plus, Shinka’s now shipping Yuuta and Rikka, a relationship that will probably be kind of a shock to Dekmomori when she finally realizes it.

  5. AllenAndArth says:

    a wild plot appears

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