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.