「追憶の…楽園喪失(パラダイス・ロスト)」 (Tsuioku no … Rakuen Soushitsu ( Paradaisu . Rosuto ))
“Paradise Lost…of Memories”
For a show that has gotten by so far on cute moments and pitch-perfect comedy, there were a lot of deep, mournful scenes this week. But it’s too soon to talk about those. Let us do as KyoAni did…start it off light, with some fun and comedy and budding romances, and then gradually move into the deeper stuff, the meat of the issue, from the uplifting moments of acknowledgement down to the crushing moments of realization. Then I’ll probably cap it off with a bunch of gushing and some jokes, because I can’t be serious all the time. Seriously, it’s in my contract. “Be the crazy, silly one.” Damned inconvenient at times, but there it is.
I had thought that last week’s episode might be a one-off Isshiki affair, but clearly I had too little faith in KyoAni, as they didn’t waste the character development they laid out. (I blame a combination of hype backlash (trope!) and Endless Eight…hey, someone has to be the cynic!) Up until the beach scene, I was prepared to declare this an Isshiki x Kumin-sempai episode. I was especially fond of Shinka catching Isshiki looking at sempai’s mole (*droooool*), and then later trying to obscure his view of her in her pure white swimsuit, only to fail (until she succeeded). As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of B-couples, so I’m wholeheartedly rooting for these two. Go get you some awesome Naptime-sempai, Isshiki!
Speaking of B-couples, Shinka and Deko-chan. C’mon Shinka…first you’re fighting with her, then you”re taking care of her, then she sicks her familiar on you, and then you’re taking care of her again (plus those
tramp stamps “sun marks” you got together)…face it, you’re just asking to get shipped with Deko-chan! *puts on his yuri goggles* Shipped haaaard!! I love it when all the major characters get a love interest, don’t you? :3
But for some couples in potentia, things aren’t that easy. You know, in the revelation of what was bothering Rikka, I’m reminded of the latest episode of Sakurasou. With one parent dead, the other having abandoned her, and an older sister and grandparents who don’t approve of what she’s doing, Rikka had no one who believes in her, no one who acknowledges her, no one who’s on her side. Sure, her belief that her father is beyond the horizon is a bit silly, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important to her. And sure, she has had Deko-chan, but she’s a subordinate; it was an equal or elder whose support Rikka needed here.
Enter Yuuta. All he did, the only thing he really did, was acknowledge her. He didn’t say he agreed with her belief, he merely said that it was valid and offered to help her find out, once and for all. That’s when Rikka returned to her old self, where she moans cutely after getting smacked on the head and tells Yuuta he looks cool at slightly inappropriate times. When I saw that, I smiled, warmed straight through to my heart. D’aaaww!
They escaped, bouncing off the hedges and then racing through the streets! When Rikka proclaimed “The Dark Flame Master is the greatest!”, my heart sang, and when Yuuta accepted it with a contented smile and a burst of speed, the singing redoubled, and took on a bit of reverb, some soul. Silly though it is, she had to do this, and thanks to Yuuta, she would…and they would grow closer because of it.
Then it all shattered. The moments leading into this scene were perfect, moving from the hopeful music and the soft warmth of Rikka’s memories…only for all of the music to cut off, leaving nothing but the sound of chirping bugs, the coldness of the summer night, and Rikka’s stunned disbelief. I must say, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the ED this week, for it would have ruined the mood. Better was the silence, like that inside Rikka’s heart.
Last week we didn’t have a chu2 battle, and this time, as tears tumble down Rikka’s cheeks, we end on the cusp of another one. I once said that the chu2 moments only really worked when there were some kind of stake in them, something on the line – even if it was something silly! – and next week it looks like there will be a lot on the line, all of it serious. Amidst Rikka and Touka’s battle with umbrella and ladle, Rikka will fight with her feelings on her breast, raw and exposed. I wonder what will come of it, and where another week will leave our young couple. I can’t wait to find out.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Beach ep! We have Kumin x Isshiki, Shinka x Deko, & Rikka…all quiet & mournful? It’s time for Yuuta to rescue her, as only he can. #chu2koi
- Mjolnir Tornado~~ XD
- Way to show your uncool side in front of sempai, Isshiki-kun. Faaaaail!!
- Shinka’s bikini is nice, no denying that…but Kumin-sempai’s pure white one-piece? HNNNNNNNNNNNNN– *massive nosebleed*
- I’ve got to say, after glomping Shinka and then chasing after her at Dekomori’s behest, Cerberus is now officially the best familiar in this show. Also… *takes a giant breath* PUPPY!!!!! *Stilts runs off to kidnap a Golden Retriever* *stops, comes back* Chimera, you’re on notice! There’s a new best familiar in town! Prepare yourself!! *runs off again*
- We had some good shippers on deck (trope!) this episode. First there’s Shinka, who was totally behind Yuuta x Rikka, but if you look closely enough, I do believe you’ll see Kumin-sempai shipping Shinka x Deko as well! Or is that just a hint that my yuri goggles are on too tight?
- I like that there’s more equality in media now-a-days. Yes, now the father can be the one who dies, while the mother can be the dirtbag who runs off and abandons her children. That’s progress…of a sort. Right? =/
- Best. point of view. EVAR!! Seriously, Touka is the perfect waifu. Caring, sexy, an awesome cook, just a little bit frightening, and she can effortlessly flip herself onto a roof and stick the landing. Touka is amazing!
- Vulnerable Rikka in her little black dress is super cute as well, in a fragile and delicate way. I just want to hold her close and protect her. Guuuuh, get on it, Yuuta!
- “Onee-ch–I mean the Priestess…” D’aaawww :3
- One last item, a little theory from ‘ol Stilts-niinii. You know how Touka always carries around that ladle? As much as she seemingly wants Rikka to snap back to reality (though mostly just so she’ll accept their father’s death), I think she’s purposefully playing along with her chu2 fantasies a little bit, because she knows that’s the only way she can communicate with her imouto right now. Just a bit, though ; )
- Actually, I lied, one more thing…though effective, I never got the “chill of awesomeness” from this episode, that visceral feeling that tells me I’m watching something special. It was good, yes – great even – but it didn’t rise to the level of an emotionally cathartic gut-punch. I guess we’ll see if KyoAni can up their game even more next week.