「片翼の堕天使(フォーリン・エンジェル)」 (Hen Tsubasa no Datenshi ( Forin . Enjieru ))
“One-Winged Fallen Angel”

This is not why you first started watching this show, but if it’s done right, it’s why you’ll remember it. This is drama-land, the traditional dive into the serious that many light-hearted shows take for the last few episodes. And that’s alright…while jokes and flirting and loveu-loveu misunderstandings are fun, they’re dime a dozen, something we can find in every one of the multiple romcoms that air every season. Yet if KyoAni can pull off the drama angle, chu2koi will resonate far past its comedy punching power, and ascend to that next level I so want for it. So how is it doing so far?

Good. Great, even. First of all, there’s the lead in. The traditional mistake in these kinds of shows is ramping up the drama in the penultimate episode without building towards it in the 10+ prior (I’m looking at you, Kannagi). KyoAni has not made this mistake. Though I stand by my criticisms of episodes 7 and 8, they laid the foundation for these much more effective last few episodes. This dive may be steep, but we saw it coming, so many points are earned there.

Next is the atmosphere. The atmosphere was so oppressive this episode, just so dour and “off” that it almost made it painful to watch…but in a good way, in a “this isn’t right. How are they going to fix it?” sort of way. It was in all the little things, the lighting, the downcast eyes, the long pauses as thoughts tumbled uncertainly by. A special note there – the use of silence (as in the absence of action or dialogue, not necessarily the cessation of all sound) sometimes seems like a lost art in these days of endless adaptations trying to pack too much material into too few episodes. That’s why an original series (or a heavily anime-original one, like this) is such a treat…the pacing can be designed specifically for the screen, if the studio and its storytellers are up to the challenge. So far, KyoAni is.

Then there are the feelings. The feelings were raw in this episode, completely exposed, like a live wire rattling across the cement and incinerating anyone who treads too near. In this, it was Deko-chan’s show. While the others were willing to let Rikka move on – mostly, though I’ll get to that – Dekomori cannot stand it. To her, she is losing her compatriot, the one person who really understood her…but not only that, she’s losing a friend. The look on her face when Rikka withstood her first chu2-mode set the stage, and her crying as Shinka hauled her off damn near smashed it to pieces (and my heart along with it). Yet what truly delivered the final blow was in the final major scene, the one between her and Yuuta. But I’ll get to that.

Shinka deserves special note for being the most perceptive and wise of them all–a veritable sempai, even though she’s the same age and grade. Yes, Shinka can be bitchy and authoritative, and she once tried to deny her past more than any other, but lately she seems to have come to accept it. She now spends most of her time with her chuunibyou friends, and is secure enough in herself to play the Dark Flame Master in front of the whole school. Yet just as she’s coming to accept her past, Rikka turns away from hers, and Yuuta continues denying his own. Shinka can’t do anything but damage control–ohhhh how I wanted to yurigasm about that hug, but I cannot. Shinka is a good girl and a kind friend, and she just wanted to be there for Dekomori when she needed someone the most, when she needed assurances and someone to tell her that it would all be alright. Of everyone, it’s looking like Shinka will be the one to come out of this final arc looking the best.

Now, the elephant in the room – what exactly should Yuuta and Rikka do? Since she took off her eyepatch, it seems like all the magic is gone from her life. She may be facing reality, but she’s a shell of her old lively, silly, and super cute self. Is this truly the “happy ending” that’s in store for our heroes? Walking forward into the future – together, certainly, we got that at least – but with the gray, dead hearts of the most jaded of adults?

I don’t think so, nor should it be. Here’s the thing – as Dekomori’s case so clearly showed us, it’s not as if they actually believed. It was an escape, yes, but that’s not something inherently bad – why else do so many of us watch anime, but to take a break from the tiresome world around us? They weren’t running away, they were having fun! What they were doing is no different from when I leap out of my chair and crow in joy at an awesome mecha battle or a wonderful kiss, nor of when I used to try to use The Force to levitate things when I was a kid (and by “when I was a kid,” I mean I’ve done that within the year).

No, that’s not quite right–they never actually believed, but they wanted to. Backed into a corner, Dekomori admitted it – she knew the Mjolnir Hammer didn’t exist, that her attacks were all fantasies. She’s not dumb, nor is Rikka! But compared to the bleak, dreary world they live in, this world with not even a fraction of the magic and wonder that flourishes in the worlds of their imaginations…well, it was cruel to force Dekomori into a corner, to make her admit that everything was a lie. She and Rikka wanted to believe, they wanted to have fun, and they wanted friends who understood this and accepted them for who they are. That’s all anyone really wants, when you come right down to it – and unfortunately, now none of them have that. Yuuta didn’t stand by Rikka when she needed it most – though it was for the best of intentions – and now she’s turned her back on Dekomori. The prejudices of adults are poisoning the lives of children…now there’s a story I’ve seen before.

As I’ve noted before, I’m something of a KyoAni skeptic. They’ve proven themselves to be marvelous adaptation makers and shrewd business people, but neither of those are marks of courage–after all, established businesses are naturally risk averse, and choosing to adapt an existing story is a crutch for those not willing to forge ahead without a brand to lean on. Yet finally, KyoAni is starting to distinguish themselves in my eyes. Dekomori is crushed, Yuuta is angry and confused, and Rikka is riding off into the sunset, perhaps never to return. The train is hurtling firmly through drama-land, with one more episode to hopefully turn off into the station, to home sweet home. This has been a sweet ride so far, and once I’ve very much enjoyed both watching and blogging. One more episode and we’ll see if it’s one is worth remembering forever.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The atmosphere is dour & the feelings raw. This is the dive into dramaland, w/ the series’ legacy on the line. So far, looking good #chu2koi

Random thoughts:

  • There was so much in the pre-OP scenes that, any other episode, I would be fangirling about. A hug from Touka? Yumeha being adorable? Yet I can’t. The magic in Rikka is just too dead. Hau~…
  • It was a good stroke when Deko-chan’s chu2 mode didn’t work, and nearly gave me the biggest jolt of them all. This is realism in fiction, folks. Doesn’t seem so great now, does it?
  • I think the only times Rikka really looked alive was when she was with Yuuta, and when Deko-chan showed her those stones. Of the two, the latter won.
  • I find it impressive that KyoAni managed to make the Yuuta vs Dekomori scene so dramatic, despite all the ridiculous, chuunibyou things Deko-chan was saying. That’s what happens when characters say this stuff for 11 episodes straight.
  • You know, I’m actually quite fond of the real world, as I find it fascinating in a lot of ways. That said, I see where these kids are coming from in preferring their imaginations. I wouldn’t spend so much time reading / watching stories if I didn’t enjoy taking holidays into other worlds, after all!
  • I have to admit, I love writing about a good dramatic episode most of all. Nothing gets my muse going like seeing someone else trot out their own and make it earn its keep.
  • Related: KyoAni are still the masters of crying. No one can animate heart-wrenching tears like them. No one.
  • What I want to see from the last episode: everyone learns to accept their chuunibyou pasts enough to have fun with them, even if they go about normally most of the time. They should become more of chuunibyou secret agents rather than overt warriors. Wait…chuunibyou spies. Actually, that sounds like an awesome idea! Spin-off plzkthks?

Full-length images: 03.

End Card


    1. Good lord, look at all these angst.
      Angst in comedy anime everywhere it seems.
      Sakurasou and this.

      Why can’t they stick to pure comedy like Mitsudome to the bitter end for crying out loud! Must they result to this angst and crying fits??

      1. School Rumble rushed its ending like no other, and then had a random re-launch that got cancelled 😛

        As for this, there are plenty of shows that do pure comedy, and that’s fine. That said, the best shows always mix lots of different things in to make something altogether better. Why would I want chocolate ice cream all the time? Sure, chocolate ice cream is delicious, but if I have it each day forever and ever, ad infitium, it will be boring. Better to blend more elements to create something more delicious, says I.

      2. I get you. It’s just that liberal “intellectuals” want something “deep”. This should have stayed a comedy, and nothing but.

        KyoAni is a marvelous studio and doesn’t need to sell out to the masses.

  1. I’ve been skeptical of this show for the past few weeks because I’m ultimately not as fond of Rikka as I should be (sorry, not my type), but this episode was quite heart-wrenching to watch. Nibutani dragging Dekomori away and hugging her was not unexpected, but still managed to happen at such amazing pacing that I got caught up in Dekomori’s emotions as well.

    KyoAni never fails to impress in other areas besides animation. A lot of people give them crap and say they’re overhyped, but I still think they’re one of the few studios capable of such a naturally, high emotion episode like this. Those 24 minutes passed before I even knew it.

    Looking forward to seeing how it all ends!

    1. The dramatic tones more or less just flew by me. I loved how the bgm fits so well and all, but it didn’t really move me. I enjoyed this ep mostly for that Touka hug and how cute Dekomori was throughout. I found her crying in the end more adorable (like a kitten), than heart-wrenching.

  2. Well only one of my fears came true. They didn’t break up, which was my biggest one since it would’ve been too over-the-top, but the atmosphere went from boiling to freezing. The problem as I see it is that Rikka and Yuuta were having too fun fun before, and now like Shinka said, they’re trying too hard to be serious and “normal”. This isn’t good for Rikka, even if she is doing it for others. They have fun in imagining the crazy and fantastical, so as long as they aren’t truly delusional, they should allow themselves their imaginations at least. The rocks were a perfect example: what would Rikka hurt by admitting she thought those things were awesome? Nothing, but it’s too close to thinking they’re magical, so she’s shutting it out. Yuuta is coming off as majorly confused as to what he can/should do for Rikka, but he is trying, so points there.

    I think Yuuta should’ve followed Rikka to the cemetery. She needs to go there, but she definitely left with a certain ominousness about her. Inviting yourself to a family outing to a grave isn’t really doable, so I think he should’ve seen her off then followed her in secret, which is what I’m hoping he does next episode. Something is gonna go down at the cemetery, and be really should be there for it. If Rikka’s mother tries to get her to never go back to the apartment after the cemetery, I’m calling her the Final Boss. I want Yuuta to chase Rikka, but after the scene on the platform, it does feel like he’ll just wait for news, so here’s hoping for a swift return and that he comes up with a way to get at least part of Silly-Rikka back.

    1. I have a nasty suspicion that the mother is going to dump her onto the grandparents again. After all she’s done it once so she could do it again if she’s finding it inconvenient. If so it will have to be the gang to the rescue.

      1. Man, I hope not! Didn’t even think of that possibility. That would really make their mother void of sympathy though, and after Touka trusted her with Rikka, I’m really hoping their mother has more of a spine than that. That would be a step back while everyone’s trying to help each other move forward >.<

  3. I’m on the opposite opinion about this episode. This is exactly what I was worried about: overwrought, pretentious drama. Shinka summed up this episode, “You’re trying to hard” and I can’t help but feel like this is some meta criticism to the writers. It’s a pity, this show was doing so well with the last two episodes.

    I did like the scenes where Rikka was trying to adjust to normal life since it comes of as cute and natural. What I didn’t like is the fact that Rikka is going Chuuni cold turkey and everyone acting like this is SERIOUS BUSINESS. I think its wrong to use chuuni as a coping mechanism but I see no reason that they can’t still do it just for fun. The Magic Club is classified as a hobby club so there really isn’t a need to disband it other than to force more drama.

    Worse is that Dekomori becomes the designated wangster for this new development when they implied before that she was well adjusted to real life. It comes across as out of character. By the time Yuuta started wangsting(Why is he crying anyway?) it all came of as silly and difficult to take seriously. When I’m laughing at scenes like this its a sign of badly executed drama.

    At least this episode wasn’t a total loss for me, since it was able to fill my goggles. Shinka and Deko for OTP!

    1. you are saying all this out of the assumption that their chu2byo doesn’t have any weight behind them. Rikka wasn’t merely using it as an escape from her father’s death, it was the only way she could deal with it. Yuuta realises this and knows that putting it behind means finally dealing with that fact, and in case you don’t know, dealing with death is hard.

      with Dekomori, she’s losing a friend. she interacts well with her classmates, but what do you see there that can be really said to be a relationship Dekomori values? i’m going off on a tangent here, but maybe it’s her intelligence that sets her too far apart from her classmates and thus why she can’t truly be friends with them. the one relationship she truly cares about is her friendship with Rikka, because they had the chu2byo in common, and she’s losing it all. i’m pretty sure Yuuta knows this too.

      1. When did say that there is no weight in Rikka’s chuuni? She uses it as a coping mechanism I got that. But the whole overreaction to her shedding it is really silly, they’re acting like its a complete violation of her character. Is having a normal life and being able to talk to others a bad thing now? Why does Rikka even need to shed it all when its a part of her? None of these needs all this screaming and big tears.

      2. because Rikka doesn’t know how to do so. she’s struggling to find the balance she needs between her chu2byo, her life, her father, and her friendship with Dekomori, and everyone sees some part of that.

        characters don’t have the benefit of being able to see the whole picture like a viewer can. you’re not here to solve their problems, you’re here to watch them solve their problems themselves. you say it like this is bad storytelling, but if they just magically knew what to do like the viewer does, there wouldn’t be a story worth telling anyway.

      3. Balance, catharsis, whatever you want to call it. Yet none of it requires the ridiculous wangsting this episode put out. Its just trying to force the audience to feel something. That’s the problem. I can’t take it seriously at all.

    2. You’re entitled to your opinion, but personally, I’m not much bothered by “overwrought” drama. Take Kokoro Connect…others complained that dramatic things happened just to add drama, but so what? Funny things happen just to be funny all the time (people don’t tell so many jokes back-to-back, nor tell them so well, nor tsukkomi so perfectly in real life), as do awesome things, etc, etc.

      To me, where fiction is concerned, realism is fairly overrated…nice if you can mix some in to weave some more verisimilitude in, but it should be ignored 9 times out of 10 if doing something else would be more entertaining. This was (to me), so screw it!

      1. Funny you mention KC, because its a perfect example why I can’t stand overwrought drama. Drama to me requires craft and subtlety which KC doesn’t do properly because its trying to stall a rather dull love triangle. Very few shows have done drama right.

        Also suspension of disbelief in fiction is an excuse when it all depends on context. If a show bills something silly like girls riding tanks as a sport or space idols doing guerrilla concerts against dystopian rulers, I can stretch my disbelief. When Chuuni bills a fun comedy grounded an reality then shifts to drama and expect me to take it seriously, I expect a bit of subtlety. This episode was devoid of that.

      2. The argument can be made that the subtlety was all in the previous episodes, and that this episode is and was meant to be the gut-punch that follows.

        I really wouldn’t compare this to Kokoro Connect, at any rate – the reason I eventually grew disenchanted with that show didn’t have to do with the buildup, but more to do with the resolutions.

      3. I agree with your point, but my feelings for this episode is (kinda?) the same with my (and your) feelings with eps 7 and 8. There was nothing wrong with the execution for me. Everything was done superbly. But for some reason, it just didn’t affect me as much as it should’ve 🙁

      4. In the general concepts, I agree with you Stilts, in a fiction, realism is just an element like the others, authors can “use” it or not and be able to something good either way, the same goes for drama, comedy, etc.

        Nevertheless, I also agree with fragb85, Kokoro Connect failed in using its elements, and the drama felt forced in a way that made the result … average, instead of quite good. I’ll explain better.

        As in any other work of fiction with drama, it was planned from the very beginning. Nothing bad about that. Writers have that magic power, they can make funny things happen, they can make those things funnier than they would be in reality and I’m not only perfectly fine with that, I do want them to be like that. Same for drama.
        But a good writer would make drama happen into a story, not make a story just to connect some drama elements (no pun intended …?).
        In Kokoro Connect it seemed the latter case to me, and when you as a writer expose so blatantly your drama intentions, the fictional world I want to be immersed into just shatters. It’s like watching a puppets show with the puppeteer clearly showing himself, I could still enjoy it somewhat, but it could have been better. At the end of Kokoro Connect I was imagining the camera moving away from the stage and the director coming into the scene to congratulate with the protagonists for their performance. (Anyway, I still enjoyed that show to say the truth, but had to put it in the “wasted potential” list).

        That said, I’m glad Chu2 is not going to end in the same category. It is doing it right. It made me doubt about a bigger drama to enter the scene, I was expecting it but I still doubted. That’s good. And now it has made me re-think about all the previous episodes, searching for the elements that prepared the last arc, and they were there from the beginning, behind the comedy, but I can see them clearly only now. That is great.

        Please KyoAni don’t disappoint me in the very last episode, I want this to be a show that I will remember.

    3. The problem with your post is that you’re connecting this episode with too much objectivity as an observer, or in the other words, your own subjectivity.

      Look at it from a goggle of girl that had been clumsy at society for years and trying to cope herself with the something that she didn’t understand. Look at it from point of view of an ex-chuunibyou who just forced her girlfriend, the one who trust him the most, to stop being herself and coping with reality that haunted her for years. Look at it from the view of a girl who suddenly had lost her only friend that could understand her fully.

      Do you seriously expecting those people to act as a grown up mature all of sudden? The only one who act more mature, Shinka, could stand like that because she positioned herself as an observer and support. Having all of the cast acting like what you want IS the one which is out of character.

      Yes, this episode’s execution isn’t flawless by any means, some maybe are overdoing it a bit, but that “alternative” that you have proposed isn’t going to make the episode any better or “realistic”.

    4. I don’t think the reactions of the characters were particularly unbelievable. Rikka and Dekomori had been doing the make believe thing for a long time, and they never almost never turned off their characters. It was an enormous part of their lives and how they interacted with people. Like, everybody, all the time. Unfortunately, it was also heavily intertwined with Rikka’s unhealthy denial and inability to cope with loss. So, what, it’s unbelievable that 14-15 year old kids cry, shout, and get upset when something that’s been a huge part of their lives gets upended? And why is it silly that Yuuta would cry in that situation? He just verbally crushed Dekomori after losing it a bit, and on top of that he’s still worried (rightfully) about Rikka.

      The show spends like the first two-thirds of the show establishing how Rikka and Dekomori are 100% invested in their fantasies. The rest of the main cast is involved with the fantasies, too, because they’re in a club centered around them. So even understanding that, apparently it’s over-dramatic for there to be an episode centered around how Rikka is adapting to life after completely disowning her old persona?

      We, as an audience, know that Rikka shouldn’t have to ditch her old interests entirely, but to her it seems like an all or nothing type of thing. That’s not bad writing, it’s just her character struggling to accept and deal with new expectations. It’s not an easy transition, and I think the episode did a good job of balancing the melancholy with a couple scenes where Rikka benefits from not acting like a weirdo.

      1. Exactly! We all know that Rikka shouldn’t have to completely give it up, but that sort of 180 is what is creating the story now. Since she’s more or less trying too hard to be ‘normal’, it’s creating so much confusion in her mind that she’ll just want to escape from it – almost like a withdrawal period. But like any withdrawal period, that’s when you need the most help.

        It makes for a nice developed story line where in the ending is totally predictable. While it’s not the only way they could have handled the situation, it completely fits the bill for a bunch of kids that developed chuunibyou in the first place.

      2. The show spends like the first two-thirds of the show establishing how Rikka and Dekomori are 100% invested in their fantasies.

        This. All that time was build up to this. That’s what’s making it work pretty darn well, in my eyes.

  4. KyoAni spent too much time with Key, so many feels. Speaking of, Dekomiri’s seiyuu did a wonderful job this episode. Given that unlike Hyouka were everyone and everything was a named seiyuu, I wonder if this show will give a push to the careers of the relatively new seiyuu for the girls like it has with other KyoAni shows.
    And because it needed to be said: Sephiroth

  5. Posted from somewhere else, that explains the entire problem I have with this episode:

    “The destroying of Rikka’s chuuni is being equated by others in the show as being the solution to her problem when they are separate. THAT is the dissonance. The culture there is strongly against such behavior when it isn’t the chuunibyou that is the issue but the fact Rikka wont come to terms with things.”

  6. Yes Kannagi I completely forgot how they took a steep incline into the drama but it wasn’t bad. Risky, though not bad. The way I feel exactly for this episode is exactly like Kannagi, you just hate when all the good stuff gets smashed with reality. I think the best show I’ve seen get really deep and I mean drama wise was Da Capo (first one). Half way things went downhill and man the impact was so deep it’s still one of my favourite shows to this day.

    Don’t get me wrong though this show is high on my list next to CLANNAD but to do what even DC pulled off was nothing short of perfection. I still think this show is anime of the year potential next to SAO of course.

    Jason Isenberg
  7. Yeah it really feels as if all the life is gone. It’s as if the sould of the show has vanished. Obviously this deveolopment had to happen and as much as I “enjoyed” the episode it sure was hard to sit through. The ending card does not bode well for the next episode.

    I felt sorry for Dekomori, it really did seem like she was losing a friend. Also it seems like Rika is unaware that she can still have fun. Although at the beginning when she was trying to be “normal” it still had that Chu2 spirit. But of course the well of souls dried up from there and we have the ending where we don’t know if Rikka will ever come back.

  8. So much drama in my 8th grade syndrome! Not only is all the drama forced but the MCs are forcing themselves into all the drama. That only works if you like drama & you don’t care about it being forced. I guess the key word is forced.

    Can you FORCE yourself out of chuunibyou?! Yeah, but it makes you go emo, & it makes everyone around you go emo too. That didn’t make any sense at all. How in the heck an YOU make anyone go emo just because YOU do it. Oh well, the plot must go on.

    On a lighter note, this episode really made me feel all warm & fuzzy inside. Something which only SAO has done this season, BRAVO!

      1. You’re joking right…how did my post = SAO was ‘good’ drama.

        When is drama ‘good’.

        That warm & fuzzy feeling was sarcasm you know – from snickering at an overplayed situation, lol.

  9. Pretty good drama, but I do have to say its a fine line KyoAni is treading between the ‘good drama’ and the overly dramatic.

    I support the use of silence. By its usage many things can be expressed and while I do enjoy the noisy interactions between characters in the series, this is where silence is most aptly used in the creation of the mood and the expression of the emotions of characters. Ironic, but true.

    I’m guessing most of us would have more or less felt the oppressiveness of atmosphere and the magic of life seemingly gone from Rikka (thumbs up for KyoAni’s work on this). The build-up was great, especially when we see Rikka making adjustments to her life, to be more ‘normal’ by making friends, making small talk and greeting others normally. A few hiccups here and there till the moment we see Dekomori, and suddenly things turn a sharp corner in terms of the tension and drama. Up till then I was thinking, “Rikka just needs time. They’ll get over her chuu2 thing gone from her life. Yuuta will get used to her.” But by the end, it seems like that was no longer the case.

    The issue with her recuperation, I think, were repercussions from the previous episode; How the reality had so abruptly invaded her chuu2 world and conquered it in blitzkrieg fashion. Everything suddenly seems to be about getting rid of chuu2. Apparently Rikka isn’t doing what she REALLY wants despite what she says (the lack of smiles and energy is a dead giveaway) and Yuuta seems to be facing the consequences of that now and he has to do something about it by himself. Tearing into Dekomori? Cruel, man, cruel.

    The brighter spots are Isshiki and Shinka for me. Isshiki gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “In your dreams” used for rejection. XD Don’t give up!

    As for Shinka, seems like she is indeed the most level-headed one within the group. I like her, but can’t really connect with her as there wasn’t much in-depth focus on her as a character. She’s brilliant as supporting though – Wise, comforting and a little crazy at times.

    Let’s see how the series ends. Frankly, I’m hoping for Rikka to eventually take the example from Yuuta and Shinka – Living in the real world, yet keeping some part of her chuu2 with her.

    1. Your last line hit the nail right on the head. To paraphrase another character: “I know the difference between the 2D and the 3D world!” Shinka has finally come to a realization of what she enjoys and has accepted that as part of herself. Her decision to reject the Drama Club offer showed that. She’d rather be with her friends. She has her faults but she also manages to become very aware of what’s going on around her. As much as they fight, she really cares for Dekomori. This show really deserved two cour to allow us to see more of the supporting cast.

      Yuuta, actions with Dekomori were cruel, but he was really angry with himself. He’s just a young man thrown into a situation he is neither emotionally or intellectually prepared for. He knows that he needed to do something for Rikka yet is aware that he hurt her at the same time and he can’t resolve that dichotomy. He was yelling at himself as much as he was to her.

    2. The drama club? That’s an interesting idea. I had not considered that…

      As for Yuuta, bear is right…”He was yelling at himself as much as he was to her.” Hopefully he’ll set things right next week.

  10. Aw mann…anyone else kinda wished they watched this episode next week instead of today? I felt a ton of regret right now because I’m going to be depressed all week. Now I have to wait all that time for the sweet part in bittersweet. Right now it’s all bitter.

    … To think I always look up to this anime every week to cheer me up. I hope for a memorable conclusion.

    That Dekomori/Yuuta scene at the end…

    Me all week: http://s12.postimage.org/m9ls5krt9/doowwn.jpg

  11. I think what we all forget is that we can’t always let our perception be focused on reality and the truth that exists; When Rikka, before her 8th grade syndrome was cured, she was mesmerized by the flashing patterns of the light on the other side of the bridge, however, ever since her transition, she looks as she has lost her luster, suppressing her delusions and confronting reality. I think that’s what made the biggest impact to me, as I forgot that life is a mixture, of imagination and fantasy, I mean, that’s what sparked ideas to be born, where out there, people are creative and outgoing in this world, and where we experience the crazy aspects of life.

    Random thought: I think we can all learn from Dekomori, she very observant.

    1. As a wise author once said, just because you know how something works doesn’t mean it’s not magic, doesn’t mean it can’t be marvelous. So what if they’re headlights? So what if those stars are just big flaming balls of gas far away in space? Look at them with the sun having set as the light dances across the quiet water, and that is beauty. That is magic, for whatever reason it arises.

  12. This episode was so heavy.

    I really have no idea where to start but here it goes anyway.

    Interesting to see the contrast between ep 1 and ep 11. Back then Yuuta was clearing up his stuff and Rikka somewhat stopped him from throwing it away. This time it’s the other way around but with an exception that Yuuta rides to what Rikka wants which was to throw it all away. I guess it speaks for itself that the childish stuff that you have, build who you are. If you throw that away just to be completely someone you’re not, then you’d be fooling yourself.

    As much as the ED is off in terms of how the sound feels, it’s really about what we’re dealing with here. So this time around it made a lot more sense.

    Backed into a corner, Dekomori admitted it – she knew the Mjolnir Hammer didn’t exist, that her attacks were all fantasies. She’s not dumb, nor is Rikka! But compared to the bleak, dreary world they live in, this world with not even a fraction of the magic and wonder that flourishes in the worlds of their imaginations…

    Well it just proves that they do it as something they enjoy. I really felt bad for Dekomori in a way that it hurts when you lose a connection to a close friend. You can’t enjoy things you once had in common. Everyday the just becomes bigger until it gets to a point where you’re practically both strangers to each other. Dekomori must have felt that fear.

    Another thing interesting thing on what Dekomori said was

    They won’t work on humans, but they will work on demons.

    To me it seems as if it’s her way of saying this is our way of venting out our worries, frustrations. In general this helps them soothe the uneasiness within themselves. Sure it may be escapism but it doesn’t mean that they’re not gonna tend on her real world problems. We can see how dependable Dekomori is in class in the previous episodes.

    In the case of Rikka however, there seems to be something missing hence why I can’t peg any words as to what I think about it. Besides the fact that in the previous foreshadowing that Rikka might have met Yuuta back then, for me it feels as if there was more to it. It’s probably more than just seeing him doing his Chuunibyou antics and Rikka finding it cool.

    Back then I viewed Rikka’s chuunibyou as merely her way of amusing herself. Then we get to the middle part and we get fed with the idea that the cause was her father’s untimely death. Somehow I refuse to believe it solely revolves around her father’s death. Sure she has some issues with her family and her acceptance with his father’s death. That doesn’t mean that is the very reason why she does this.

    Anyway a great episode. I can’t wait for next episode. I’m really eager to see how the closure will be.

    PS: I really hope Eisaku Kawanami gets promoted to full director status. I’d put him near Takemoto as my favorite KyoAni director. Taiichi Ogawa also did a good storyboard which was realized well by the AD and the ED.

  13. I don’t have a problem with the points about fantasy in a general sense. It makes life more fun to be able to lose yourself in a make-believe world. The problem in this case is that Rikka WAS using it to run from her problems. I don’t think she needs to become a boring person with no imagination, but she does need to pause long enough to realize that her father is not coming back so that she can deal with that grief and move on. As long as she was using her delusions as a way to escape that reality it was very unhealthy for her. Once she’s dealt with it she can go back to imagination for it’s own sake.

    1. not to mention people seem to have forgotten what we learned last ep, which was the whole reason Yuuta changed his mind about pandering to her continued delusions =
      Rikka’s chuu2 WASN’T harmless childhood fancy.

      unlike Yuuta’s, it came at the cost of her barely talking to her sister and NOT talking to and refusing to see her mother. how quickly everyone forgot at the drop of a Rikka Sad Face that that is also what her chuu2 was doing.
      it wasn’t careful childish playing in the yard and her mean parents don’t want her tearing up the perfect lawn.

      like we learned last ep, Touka’s tactics didn’t work? neither was Yuuta’s pandering.
      is going with an equally non-working course just because its easier and spares you the Sad Face really the way to go?

      but all that having been said, i’ll say this since i fired off 2 more critical looks at the story before and after this i’m done.

      i am analyzing the characters from the standpoint of real life. why? just because that’s what i do anyway.
      Chuu2 is a work of fiction and if you are only interested in going into it with the intent of fictional childhood innocence idolatry, then that’s that.
      and i honestly don’t say that to be condescending, though i admit it might sound that way. we get what we get out of fiction, and we look for what we individually decide to look for.
      i suppose i’m just fundamentally not as satisfied with the whole “let Rikka just be an innocent child, it makes her happier. screw the rest of the world.” line of thought when analyzing the story.

      that’s just me. and i’m not saying purely looking for the happy ending payoff in fiction is wrong.

      1. The problem I see with Rikka’s chuuni is that she probably forced it on herself through the delusion that her father was still alive somewhere. That’s not just a fantasy, it’s an escape tactic.

        That said, it’s not really chuuni. It’s another personality she gave herself that overwritten whatever personality she had b4 her father died. Accepting reality is the only way out of that kind of situation. It’s way beyond what Yuuta ever thought he had.

        The usually symptom of chuuni withdrawal is embarrassment but Rikka was just a stoic doll every time Dekomori approached her on the subject. The revealing part of it was DM’s reply to Yuuta that she knew what he said was true. If we take her reply at face value, it can be implied that chuunis know what they’re doing is fantasy. However what Rikka was doing was based on a tragic event that she wanted to ‘correct’. There’s no way for something like that to just ‘go away’ like the others’ chuuni. It has to be forced away just like she forced it on.

        Yuuta’s problem is that he realized what he was pandering over was Rikka true self, that was her ‘normal’. For her to just pretend to shell it off like that is what’s causing this “trying to hard” mess. There are people that have TRUE interest in the occult, astro scales, mythology, & the sort. Rikka’s problem was that applied it to a real situation.

        Rikka doesn’t need to give up her interests. She just needs for it to not affect her reality. It’s easier said than done but that’s the reality here.

  14. Wow chu2koi is easily the best romcom-drama series for this season maybe rivaled by sakurasou but as this is only a 12ep anime, its the BEST in its category. All the episodes where really enjoyable to watch and the experience itself was like when im watching my favorites; you’ll gasp for air when the com starts, get diabetes when the rom kicks in and the drama, kah! i feel like i’m having a heart attack.

    and beyond that this episode was one of a million also! I think even if you haven’t watched the last 10 episodes, the execution, the screenplay, the drawing, the music, the SCENES for this episode alone was so synchronized and perfect it’ll make you feel like your in the characters shoes, you just wanna shout things like “YUUTA its ok to tell her!”. Lastly, the “holding back of what you really want to say but just smiles because you think this is how reality works,” it just made my heart compress for like the entire time starting from the bridge encounter with deko-chan to rikka’s last smile scene.

    PS: TOOKA SAN, Watashi Kekkonkudasai! I hope ill end up with someone like her. 🙂

    1. Gotta say, Sakurasou still wins out for me :X It just does uplifting drama so much better, and its message resonates far wider. That said, until we see the whole of both of them, an accurate comparison cannot be made…and I hope chu2koi gives Sakurasou a damn good run for its money with the finale next week!

  15. wow this episode was so heavy…but yeah you’re right, now that we have the confirmation that neither Dekomori nor Rikka actually believed their own fantasy world and that it was just for fun so that the bleak reality would become a more tolerable place to be in there is simply no reason to force the way into being normal, Yuuta now sees it too so hopefully and I mean HOPEFULLY he will say the right words next episode and fix this damage that was done to Rikka and Dekomori.

    1. I’d like a happy medium between the two. “NOrmal Rika” has her own charms too. Like just trying to be “NOrmal”. I put normal in quotes because in my view “normal” is an illusion. There’s no such thing as normal when it comes to people.

  16. Grrnnng… Now I need to wait yet another episode before watching the rest. I watched up to 9, but… I don’t want to watch the unhappy episodes until I know there’s some happiness coming to balance them out. Does that make sense? Endings don’t have to be perfect, but on a whole I watch anime to get more of a positive emotional feeling than a negative one.

    Also they made Deko-chan cry. I may have to kill them. I’m not sure who “they” are yet, but that’s got to be a crime against humanity there.

    1. I feel the same way; in the beginning of episode, it was very bleak, as if reality was slowly creeping back in. But there will always be a happy ending! (Anyone got a spare set of Yuri goggles?)

    2. Stilts said it was KyoAni’s animation of the tears that made Dekomori’s crying so powerful, but I attribute it to her seiyuu. That was quite the intense expression of real anguish; listening to it made me hurt deep down inside.

      1. It’s absolutely an awesomeness that was born from collaborative works of animation, music, script, atmosphere, voice, and of course the 10 episodes buildup. It can’t work if any of those elements went missing 🙂

      2. Oh no, I agree, Deko-chan’s seiyuu really sold it well. It really was all those elements that coalesced to make the scene work so well. I only mentioned the animation because, while there are other seiyuu that can pull that off, no studio does the visual component of tears as well as KyoAni.

  17. A few times in the episode Rikka had an expression on her face that she wanted Yuuta to say something, but Yuuta didn’t. I’m having trouble figuring out what she wanted him to say. Dekomori said that she wanted him to say “don’t go,” and “the Tyrant’s Eye is the strongest,” but I don’t think that’s it. It might be that Rikka didn’t know what she wanted Yuuta to say, but wanted him to say something to make her feel warmer. I do get the sense that she was looking to him for strength, the same way that Dark Flame Master gave her strength.

    1. I desperately wanted him to say “I love you” as the train doors closed. Her feelings for him are the only thing holding her together. Damnit go after her Yuuta! She needs you to support her.

    2. She wanted him to say that it’s okay for her to be herself, that he was there for her, that he loved her and understood her and probably a hundred other things that we all want to hear when life is pressing down around us. She may be chuunibyou – even now, I think she is way down, just a bit – but she’s still a girl, just a human, and always has been.

    3. that inaudible “yuuta” (that’s my guess at least) as she rides that train goes to show even more how much she’s depending on his support, even though he stayed behind while she’s off to the cemetery

  18. Since everyone already addressed the dramatic stuffs in the episode, I’ll just add the silly one. I think Yumeha’s line of ‘Will you let me see the kids sometimes?’ was a really nice touch. It was both funny and touching at the same time.

  19. Drama is overrated. When I come home, I want to be entertained, not reminded of life outside that I have to deal with the next day anyway. While laughter is, crying is not required in life. I would have rather had the fantasy battles to the very end. Even our favorite napping sempai thought they looked like so much fun. Most comedies ruin themselves at the very end for trying to hard to give some sort of meaning to the plot. If the series really needed that, no one would have watched the earlier episodes of the series.

    The first half of this series was excellent, the 2nd half has been more meh. The odds of me ever re-watching this series in the future is rapidly falling which is sad since it had so much promise early on. For me, the best ending possible to this series is to quickly get over this episode early on in the next one and then pretend it never happened for the remaining ones. Some series do just that, almost like the director was going, what was I thinking last episode. I shouldn’t have gone out drinking while writing it.

    1. Drama is good for life. When I come home, sometimes I want to see some other perspective of life that made me able to reflect on things. While laughter is good for health, crying also relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, remove toxins, reduces body “Manganese” level and crying means you’re human. I would have rather had a balanced show that offer good comedies, good romances and good drama in one package, as long they understand about what they are doing. Some comedies ruin themselves at the very end for suddenly trying to give some sort of meaning to the plot, but some could succeed by doing it with good transition (and buildup) and making drama to be the answer to the premise, not just some random insertion. Most people would love to watch both.

      The first half of this series was excellent, the 2nd half has been even better. The odds of me ever re-watching this series is good… Heck, I even in the progress of re-watching episode 9. For me, the best ending possible to this series is resolving all of the plot that had been brought up, and finishing it with awesome heartwarming moments. Some series pretend that the drama that they have brought to the table with effort never happened…

      Wait, what series? What a horrible move to do. What’s the meaning of bringing drama when the next episode didn’t get any impact at the development of the characters?

    2. Fortunately, not everybody in the world views entertainment as a shallow, escapist retreat, because how boring would the world be if they did? No Shakespeare. No Moby Dick. No Citizen Kane. No art like Picasso’s Guernica.

      A lot of history’s best authors were drunks. Maybe anime writers should do a little more drinking and turn their repetitive moe shows into something that can stir the heart a little. There’s plenty of things to criticize about this show, but it’s pretty damn baffling to criticize drama as a whole.

      1. I know you’re not actually trying to toot your own horn, but if you were sober while you wrote this review, then hats off to you. The section about how the tone of the episode is dour and “off” was particularly spot on; I was feeling that the entire way through. It’s been a while since I’ve watched an episode of something that managed to create such an effective mood.

      2. Ahaha, yeah, I was just goofing around. And I think I had like one beer while I was writing this post, which is nowhere near enough to get me drunk. Damn high tolerance!

        I will say one thing though. To quote myself:

        I have to admit, I love writing about a good dramatic episode most of all. Nothing gets my muse going like seeing someone else trot out their own and make it earn its keep.

        I do pride myself on my writing ability, but episodes like this make it easy. All I had to do was let go and sink into the atmosphere, letting the words bubble to the surface as KyoAni carried me along. Though part of that is experience (and a ridiculously large English vocabulary) I suppose, so I’ll take maybe 20% of the credit. Maybe ; )

  20. Thank to the thinking of “for the greater good” and “think about other before yourself”. You realistic adults and people that think they are mature just killed imagination, happiness, hope. Yuuta literally killed 3 person including himself this episode.

  21. I must admit, I would have never predicted the direction which this series would have taken after the initial first few episodes (Dekkomori accidentally shooting down Rikka’s maths ability back in epi 5 anyone?) But then again, this is the same studio who threw in that crying scene in K-ON!! after the final cultural fair performance.

    I think that, unlike the drama from Clannad or Kanon, the story here is much easier to relate with. Many of us would have things which we want to hold onto for the rest of our lives, but sooner or later we have to give things up to move on in life. Whether it is the death of someone close to you, the toys you grew up with or your childhood imagination, at some point most of us will simply have to let go and grow up. The difference is how we do so, whether it moving on willingly (Shinka and Yuuta), given a choice but reluctantly giving up (Rikka), forced into a corner with no other choice (Dekkomori) or simply defying the odds and doing whatever they want (Kumin).

    Looking forward to next week to see how this all ends 😀

      1. Pretty sure it’s not “Yuuta”. There’s a clear bilabial part way through, so that’s m-, p- or possibly even f-, but definitely not t-. Yes I know anime doesn’t usually bother much with mouth shapes, but from the amount of care the animators clearly took with this short sequence, I think we are supposed to be able to work out what she said.

    1. well if that is to follow, then i think the first letter for what rikka said was an “-u” and the last is an “-a” basing on how the mouth was opened. i cant imagine i/e or o in that shape

      but i think its a sad sigh… since she is clearly depressed.

  22. hmmm… last episode next week huh? oh i wish this can be remembered forever as well.. since this is 70% OC, i want to predict- or rather to see a scenario where yuuta follows rikka, sorting out their feelings and being a non chuu2 but fun and love is spread all aroud.

    stilts, i got the same feeling about touka hugging and yumeha being a deredere, theres something (not exactly)wrong with it.

    and a final thing KyoAni, you made me for with dekochan, truly you guys are the masters of crying. i still prefer ANIPLEX though.

  23. i kinda pity dekomori here… she looks up to mori summer and the wicked eye but now they are “gone” that’s why i can’t wait how kyoani will give an acceptable conclusion to dekomori’s sadness in the last episode. (MAYBE SHE WILL MOVE ON TOO?)

    its hinting that rikka is not happy with her supposedly “awakening to real world” in this episode. but fact stays that it would be hard for her to go back to her chuu2 side after all of those things that happened.

    well i attribute the high intensity of drama to superb EXPERIENCED staffs placed by KYOANI (well its no wonder… this guys were the peoples who maneuvered AIR, KANON, CLANNAD and i think HARUHI too to its huge success), the seiyuu who portrayed it so well and the BGM that goes with every scene.

    PS. if JC staffs hired this guys that gave chuu2 the success and placed it to little busters! maybe we see a better story plot a better LITTLE BUSTERs. not like this, its episode 10 and its still the same standalone, less impact, non linear story.

  24. Not since Clannad has Kyo-Ani used the desaturated background colours to signify the dulling of the world for the characters involved. (Referring to Rikka’s forsaking of her chuunibyou to Tomoya prior to his meeting Nagisa in Clannad and after her passing away in Clannad After Story )

    Poor Dekomori, of course she knows this is all a delusion, but all she wanted to have was someone who would share the fun in these delusions. And now Yuuta has gone and taken that from her and her master. Much like any of us wishing to escape from the hardships of reality and just relax and have fun – we all know how to draw the line between reality and delusions, though some may choose to push that line as far away from reality as possible, at the risk of their social standing.

    Nibutani has really improved a lot as a character since being busted as Mori Summer. My yuri goggles went max when she hugged a devastated Dekomori.

    Kinny Riddle
  25. wow. the DRAMA. as expected of kyoani. they produce one of the best quality animes you can get. they never fail to amaze me. anyway i kinda wonder what story the BLU-ray only episode 13 will show if the episode 12 is properly concluded.

    i kinda hope for a season 2 but with rikka overcoming her chunibyo, there’s no point of making it unless, they decided to make a “what if the delusions are actually real and they will have to fight other chuu2” plot.

  26. anyway nibutani’s saying of idiom: “you guys are sticking only to your guns” kinda hints this is not what they (yuuta and rikka) like… maybe, yuuta actually enjoys his chuu2 past so much as rikka because its FUN and they are just trying to act hard to show that they are now “normal” personas of the real world. if this idea is to be accepted, then this explains that kinda awkward err odd? emotion that “normal” rikka shows as compared to her chunibyo personality (that appeared slight when she picks one of “enchanted stones”) were she is enjoying her chunibyo life with the others.

  27. Sad episode~
    It felt like i got slapped in the face with NTR after just coming of a sugar rush !
    “welcome to reality” Rikka and deko-chan its not as sweet as u’d believe it to be “/
    on a more serious note tho why does Rikka feel that she must change everything about her self?? u can still function in reality and have an interest in unusual things!!

  28. so now time has pass with rikka’s sister now going to italy cooking with rikka now being normal person with all fine except for dekomori trying wake up her master back.

    during in school rikka being more normal to everyone then dekomori trying magic stones but no to get drag by nibutani give dekomori going why & crying on it nibutani calm her with hug.

    yuuta & rikka alone time with rikka mention she going visit her father grave then on train ready to go dekomori still trying wake up rikka but stop by yutta.

    which yuuta telling dekomori enough already this is reality speech yet dekomori but still yet cry & run which yuuta feel both sorry & guilty of what his saying doing while rikka on the train to see her father’s grave.

  29. Wow! One more episode to go (if the RC preview page is correct).

    A strong episode, but not unexpected as far as the plot goes. With growth (compliance), there is always reluctance.
    Wanting to grow because it’s what everyone expects, except Rikka does not have a clear roadmap of how to grow.
    This is all scarily new to her, and you can see the terror in her eyes from time to time as she forces herself to live
    outside (of) her former comfort zone. There are no baby steps here…

    I don’t know what I’m meant to put away and what I’m not. — Rikka

    She wasn’t talking about her “toys.” This episode make it very clear that she’s only doing things to please her mother
    (and to a lesser extent, Yuuta), for the sake of the living situation. Perfectly understandable. She’s displaying meekness.

    Okay, I agree with some that this wasn’t the strongest episode. Maybe an 8/10 for me.

    We’ve already seen how Yuuta enjoys “being” Chuu with her; IMHO, he’s making a sacrifice now by not doing any of that
    because he doesn’t want to see her regress to her old ways. He feels a loss, and he’s unsure of the correct path forward.
    I can see that in the way Yuuta distantly non-answered Rikka when she asked about visiting her father’s grave; he’s lost too.

    IMHO, I believe the series will wrap with a balance – that some of both their Chuus will return to their personalities.
    I think Yuuta will man-up and lead this. I thought there were a lot of clues that this may happen in this episode –
    looking at the boxes of packed memories, etc.

    Yes, there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasy in one’s life, as long as you’re in control, and it’s not in control of you,
    it enriches who you are.

    I’m hoping this series concludes with those details next week!

  30. If this show is to be epic as Stilts wants it to be, she should commit suicide next episode and crush the lives of those around her.

    There is no time for any kind of a happy ending, it would feel too rushed. WAY too rushed.

    As for me, I wish for a remake with all the sad stuff out. Gimme my Chu2 back, battles and all.

    On another note, the REAL victim here is Yuuta. Rikka’s sister was a selfish manipulative b**** to impinge all of HER responsibility on him. He is too young to be able to handle that and, as she expected, he just acted the way she wanted, since she lead him to believe it was the right thing to do.

    And so she got what she wanted: an out and a new life far away, all the while leaving Yuuta (a kid FFS) to handle things on his own.

    Downvote me all you want, but no one is ever going to make me believe she was right or just.

    And because of that, the ending has to be sad or this series will tank on the memorable scale. Sad times indeed.

    Again, I want my battles and happiness back. Reboot NOW!

    1. I agree that Touka’s exit was rushed and a touch selfish, as was pushing all the responsibility on Yuuta so she could have a clear conscious, but they can pull a good ending out of this series easy at this point, unless Rikka never returns to where Yuuta is. If she and her mother go straight from the cemetery to another home, that would be pretty much an instant sad ending and frankly, horrible writing.

      Yuuta needs to have a serious talk with Rikka, for both of them. They’ve yet to really talk now that they’re both willing to listen. Like you said though, they need to remember that they’re kids, and that they’re allowed to have fun. No pretending the magical is real in front of Rikka’s mother, and keep her room clean and “normal”, but otherwise there’s nothing wrong with pretending and fun. Yuuta needs to remind Rikka that she’s allowed to be happy. She was at a hard right, now she’s at hard left, so he just needs to give her the support she’s looking for and she’ll be right in the middle, basically where he’s been all season.

      So yeah, a good ending isn’t really that hard.

      1. If we end up having an ending like you described I will take it and cherish it, because it is the closest we’ll ever get to this series high point (fun and games).

        Sadly, the way I see it, even if they did a time skip, putting them together and happy again, given the state things are right now, will feel too much like an asspull.

        On another note, to have a really sad ending is, again, given the time constraints, the only way I see this anime going down in history and having an ending that really makes sense, sad as it may be.

        But I don’t want that. I thought Chu2 was perfect without the drama. This is why I’ll say it again: Reboot, please!

      2. @Fluca: Sorry, I don’t see where you’re coming from. It isn’t a sure thing that Rikka isn’t coming back right after the cemetery visit. She said she’s coming right back, so I’m believing that she believes that. This show hasn’t been nearly depressing enough for her to disappear into the night after lying to Yuuta and Dekomori.

        If Yuuta doesn’t follow her to the cemetery, I’m betting ep 12 will be about how seeing Rikka’s father’s grave made her feel, and Yuuta finally saying what he WANTS to say, not what he thinks he’s SUPPOSED to say. He held himself back a lot this episode because he didn’t think he had the right to support Rikka’s fantasies, but if she comes back as sad and hollow as she left, I’m betting that will change, he’ll snap, and they’ll end up happy together.

        If we get a time-skip after Rikka left without a word, I’ll be very disappointed. This show was so much better than that.

      3. @Aex No problem at all 🙂

        Anyways, given that there is only one episode left and things are too depressing, any kind of a real happy ending will be, for me, an asspull.

        Think about it, on only one episode Rikka’s mom problem (she not getting or accepting chuunibyou Rikka; Rikka reverting back to chuunibyou but still finding a way to appease mom); her relationship with Yuuta; her friendship with Deko-chan; her coming to grips with her father’s death; their return to school and the state of their club (she did close it this episode); and so on and so forth.

        And there are also side stories that have to have some closure as well.

        All of this on one episode. It’ll be too little time to do too much.

        But, for example (and I know this is as farfetched as it gets), if Rikka were to kill herself, all they would have to do is show all of them grieving (because naturally everything else would get suspended in a situation like this), do a time skip and show how they’ve grown because of it. Maybe showing Yuuta’s daughter wearing Rikka’s contacts or something and there: unexpected, truly original (in an anime of this sorts, anyways) and all tied up.

        Anyways, I repeat, even if this makes sense, I do not want that. Gimme your ending, I’ll have that and be happy we got something heartwarming, asspull or not 🙂

      4. @Fluca: We could go back and forth forever so I’ll stop after this XD

        Personally I’m not expecting the mother issue to be resolved beyond Rikka accepting her mother. The friendship with Dekomori and relationship with Yuuta are all that really need to be resolved. Everything else can be done with a montage/voice-over. Then there’s her father’s death, which I can see them rolling together with Yuuta. They talk about her father’s death, Yuuta stops pussy-footing and helps her come to terms with that they both love magic(maybe hinting that while she’ll never find the Ethereal Horizon, that doesn’t mean her father doesn’t know she loves him), then that they love each other, but to kinda-sorta keep the magic-fun on the down-low until her mom get used to stuff. After that Rikka and Dekomori will take all of two seconds (“I am you Master and I shall never leave you again!” “Dekomori loves Master!” *huggle* XD) or even just Rikka telling her that they’ll keep/rename the club and nothing really has to change, even if they “accept” reality.

        Really, with the anime endings I’ve seen, I could see that fitting nicely in about a twenty-minute span, with some love and goofiness like a new club banner and Chimera on someone’s head while they run around the school with the end credits play. No one’s dying though, not enough build up and not that kind of series 😛 To me it’s just a typical “super-serious penultimate episode” formula all too common in RomComs.

      5. Only gunna say one thing here – I don’t think Touka’s departure was selfish. Or at least, not the kind that should be looked down upon. She was invited to train in a restaurant in Italy. This is a once in a lifetime (potentially) opportunity for her – if she gave it up because her little sister sort of needs her, I–I just can’t even begin to explain how dumb that would be. Sometimes you have to be selfish, just a bit, and this was one of those times.

    2. No downvote here.

      Rikka’s actions felt uncomfortably close to actual suicidal behavior, the kind that’s not a “call for help”, but what many individuals do when they do not expect to continue living. I’m convinced the thought crossed Yuuta’s mind when he asked if she was coming back after the visit to the grave. I wouldn’t be at all surprised by a subtle suggestion of contemplated suicide next week, even if we do see a happy ending.

    3. @Stilts I agree that, from a selfish perspective she did the bare minimum to placate her own guilt about leaving (i.e. Throwing Yuuta under the bus, so to speak).

      But what happened to blood is thicker than water, to elders having to properly guide their youngsters, to the motherly role she fulfilled?

      Nope, I’m sorry. Although I can understand where you are coming from and even tell you it’s not a completely invalid point from my perspective, but those things have to mean more than selfishness.

      Otherwise sons must be excuse from taking care of their fathers when they get old, wives from husbands when they get sick, fathers from their children when they get too annoying the moment something better to do comes up.

      But, you see, that is a big part of the problem, but the worst was that, in order for her to fulfill her selfish desires, she thrust her problems onto a young boy who, by this very definition, was not capable or equipped to deal with them properly.

      Notice, she didn’t tell her mother to deal with her daughter, she told Yuuta to do it.

      You wanna follow up on your career, fine, but transfer the problems holding you back to the person who should be dealing with them in the first place.

      So, what she did was not only selfish, and by your reasoning forgivable (we can agree to disagree on that), but it was also mean beyond measure and probably will scar him for the rest of his life. That I cannot forgive or excuse.

      As a bonus, if she is as good a cook as it is implied, she surely would have gotten other proposals later in life…

  31. hoping kyoani will end it with the ex-chuus having their chuu side return to them.

    but of course being a chuunibyou in moderation.

    reality can be boring. that’s why we have fantasies.

  32. God this was brutal.
    I second the notion of appreciating Shinka’s onee-san attitude here. That was probably one of my favorite parts of the series so far, if not THE favorite. She went from being an airheaded beauty, to a bitchy, authoritative girl we grimaced at, to a helpful romantic advisor, and finally, the supportive elder sister who just knows how to be there when she needs to :’3

  33. In the words of Tonari’s Yamaken, “It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.” Someone should really tell them that (Shinka, maybe?). She can still be chuu2 wants but she should balance it out with real life (ie not shutting out her mom)

    Story-wise, I’m expecting Rikka to somehow regain the Tyrant’s Eye (go back to her chuu2 state) by the time the series end.

    Although, presented and written another way, this could have been a coming of age story with Rikka giving up her fantasy world in the end.

  34. I have no insight into what is going to happen, but I feel that the phone recording Tooka passed back to Yuuta will have a place in the final reckoning. Things just don’t get added to the script unless they play a part. It may be something to break the ice, since Yuuta can play it without actually saying it himself. I guess we’ll see.

  35. Just a followup and not really a spoiler, but Show Spoiler ▼

  36. man, was i let down by the recent development…i liked the first part of the dramatic shift (which spanned around episode 7-9) since we got deredere Rikka in exchange but this recent part was so depressing it seemed phony. First, because everything felt so joyful in the first 6 episodes (really, man, i can’t forget the bald isshiki) that the transition felt so jarring (i actually had the same problem with Angel Beats!), really, man, these japanese should try to learn from the likes of Quentin Tarantino who managed to blend comedy and drama with so much finesse and panache that they don’t overshadow each other (which is certainly the case here…).Second, i thought Rikka took the right step, maturing up, while Dekomori was trying to bring her into the dark side of childishness and lunacy and tragically everyone supported her…Yuuta did the right thing in the end…i’m assuming Rikka is going cold turkey..trying to adjust to her new personality and blending in like a normal person…and i’m sure Nibutani and Yuuta went through the same phase before….

    Rikka is doing something right here…moving on..support her, don’t try to drag her down with your worthless tears…

  37. I don’t know if you read this far down, Stils, but this was a superb review. Right from the first sentence “This is not why you first started watching this show, but if it’s done right, it’s why you’ll remember it”

    Thank you!

  38. I’m guessing depression is taboo in Japan. Something to be ignored or swept under the rug lest shame is put upon the family. Rikka showed all the signs of depressions: severe personality change, mood swings, isolating herself from her friends, getting rid of items that have emotional meaning, loss of appetite.

    Shinka is wrong when she said that Rikka was “Trying too hard.” What Rikka was doing was simply going through the motions of things that were required of her. Reality says one must have friends in school so she makes new ‘friends.’ Reality says that you don’t get involved with weird clubs so she dis-solves the hobby group. Reality says that you don’t make your parents worry so she gets rid of everything that were important to her. Reality says that you obey your parents’ wishes so she agrees to go to her father’s grave. As for Yuuta, he is not even trying at anything.

    Speaking of Yuuta, how does it feel to kill the girl you fell in love with? Sure her body is alive, but there is no spirit in her. I don’t know why you’re confused or sad about the development. You got the girl you wanted with her giving up her chuu2-ism and accepting reality. Were you really expecting her to continue being cheerful and full of energy, someone that you could have fun with with no hestitation? What were you basing those naive thoughts on, hmm?

    The support that Rikka always got from her family, perhaps? Oh wait! She never had any kind of support from her family. You have the frigid grandparents, the mom who is tired of her child and so leaves, and the older sister who is only doing things because she feels she has to be a little responsible for her younger sister. Maybe you were thinking that you were a support for Rikka. while true once it is not anymore. Yuuta, you went from a rock she could cling to to a pair of cement shoes. Why were you silent when everything Rikka was doing was for the sake of her mother?

    The reason Yuuta couldn’t say anything to Rikka is because he knows he is to blame for her current self. He couldn’t say ‘I love you’ because the girl before him was not the girl he fell in love with. He couldn’t say ‘Stay here’ because he was one that was pushing her to accept reality and her father’s death. Yuuta no longer has a connection with Rikka and I think both of them know it. Her answer of “I still have to go to school” when Yuuta asked if she was coming back is very telling. If the two still loved each other, she would’ve answered that she would be back because she wanted to be with Yuuta.

    Two episodes ago, I was already for a happy, vanilla romance ending.

    Now the only thing I want to save the show is a sad end where Rikka breaks up with Yuuta, Deko goes to another high school, and everyone that were once friends treat each other as strangers.

    A small part of me wants a bad ending where Yuuta is waiting for Rikka to return but learns that she has joined her father in death.

    1. What’s with people wanting poor Rikka to die?! I agree that Yuuta failed this episode, but he was under pressure, feels guilty for putting pressure on Rikka, and doesn’t feel like he has the right to but into an affair that has to do with Rikka’s family. Yes that’s the wrong way to think at this point after what he’s already done, and I think he’s figured that out now. Hopefully he fixes his head and works things out with Rikka for the finale, cause they really need to have a talk. It’d be plain stupid if this ended with them the way they are now because it’s “normal”, even for Rikka’s mother’s sake.

      After what this show has been for 99% of the season, I’m not giving up hope for a good ending.

    2. I…I really hope that doesn’t happen. That’d be mood whiplash of the highest sort. Bittersweet can be exactly the right thing, but I think sweet is the appropriate ending for this story. They just need to earn their happy ending, as we all do.

      1. I still want a sweet ending. A sugar-induced coma of a sweet ending. I want Rikka to be happy and the same with Deko. Right now, Yuuta is not on the nice list. I just don’t know how they have enough time to correct everything without it being an asspull. If they pull it off I will be overjoyed. If they don’t I will be severely disappointed.

        The bad ending comes from the darkness within.

    3. Perhaps a bit harsh, but that’s not an unfair assessment. Delusional or otherwise, Rikka is not solely to blame for the isolation she has from the rest of her family. Other authors or studios could take the same 11 episodes and fully justify a miserable, soul-crushing ending as social commentary. I’m expecting a happy end barely, perhaps just barely snatched from the jaws of depression, only because I don’t think KyoAni is quite ballsy enough to risk anything more.

    4. I pretty much completely agree with rh75, though I can’t quite go along with Rikka’s suicide.

      Basically, Yuuta needs to be hit by Mjolnir for reals — it needs to be something truly massive that nearly breaks him. His anger/crying fit at the train station isn’t enough; that’s just self-pity, and lashing out at those who don’t deserve it (ie: Sanae).

      Unfortunately, Rikka’s suicide, while soul-crushing, doesn’t feel like it would be sufficient. It would hurt him, but he’s already been drifting apart from her. It’s been 3 weeks since the festival, and it feels like they’re just pretending to be friends now, rather than actually being close. It also wouldn’t necessarily drive home the degree to which his own actions led to it. He would feel that he didn’t do enough to stop her, to make her willing to accept being ‘normal’, when he actually did too much.

      In the end, the ‘weight’ of the issue wouldn’t hit those it should (primarily Yuuta and Touka), while also hurting those like Sanae, and probably Shinka, who were explicitly not the causes of the problems.

      Therefore, Rikka can’t die (either suicide or ‘accidental’ death).

      Rikka can’t simply leave (eg: transfer to another school) since that just presents a long ‘nothing’ ending. The positives and negatives are the same as with her death, just not as harsh and more drawn out.

      Whatever resolution happens, has to happen soon. The Tyrant Eye isn’t entirely gone yet, but it’s almost there. It’ll be impossible to bring it back a year (or even a month) from now, and Rikka will be an empty shell, acting as a puppet for society and her mother’s wishes. If she’s still ‘together’ with Yuuta at that point, it will be artificial and hollow. Whether Yuuta would even notice it is debatable.

      At this point, the only person with the proper leverage to lay a beat-down on Yuuta and change the direction of things is Shinka. She’s the primary one of the group who seems to have finally integrated her chuuni back together with her real self, and can accept and be happy with it. She tried to become ‘normal’, to leave her past behind her, but ultimately realized that ‘normal’ is something she hated (cheese-covered potatoes, and all that).

      She primarily played the observer this episode, trying not to interfere, and let them work things through on their own, but clearly that’s not enough. She comforted Dekomori when Sanae was going crazy in the club room, but those were very different tears than what happened at the train station. Despite the overall relations within the group, it’s easy to see it as Shinka being The Mother, and Yuuta just hurt her baby girl; Yuuta’s in for a world of hurt. Shinka has had several weeks now, observing what’s been going on, and I fully expect her to come out full-force at bringing back to Yuuta’s face.

      So the Sanae > Shinka > Yuuta sequence is pretty easy to see play out. After that will probably be one of those ‘miracle’ moments, where he somehow takes the train to catch up to Rikka, finding her at her father’s grave, and having some amazing reconciliation. Horribly cheesy and overdone, and completely unbelievable, logistically, but emotionally workable.

      Personal preference, though, would be that the ‘miracle’ meeting can’t happen. That Yuuta has to wait for Rikka to return, and the Tyrant Eye is truly dead. At that point he is aware (due to Shinka) and able to see the consequences of his actions. Rikka will be back at school, but there will be nothing left between them. ‘Yuuta’ will be incapable of restoring what was lost. However, ‘Dark Flame Master’ may still have a chance…

      The original Dark Flame Master was created simply as a way of getting attention. There was no tragic past he was trying to overcome, or anything like that. To recover the Tyrant Eye, though, he has to travel past the Ethereal Horizon. One can’t get there simply wearing a mask; it has to be the real Dark Flame Master, one who has an actual purpose for existence, that makes that journey.

      Every one of the chuunis has had epic battles they were involved in, except for Dark Flame Master. I hope to see the entire last half of the episode play out around his battle to recover the Tyrant Eye.

      1. That would be brilliant and get the show to come full circle. I mean we go from Yuuta rejecting his chu2 and his past to embracing it to try to fix his mistakes. If he became the Dark Flame Master I would be so happy. If KyoAni could end the show like that this would probably become my favorite show of the year.

  39. https://randomc.net/image/Chuunibyou%20Demo%20Koi%20ga%20Shitai/Chuunibyou%20Demo%20Koi%20ga%20Shitai%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2017.jpg
    – I was hoping Stilts, you also screen captured the camera’s focus on Shinka’s face in this part. At first I was gonna say sisterly, but I really felt Shinka exhibited a more motherly aura when she was comforting Sanae. Just. Beautiful. After this episode, I can’t see these two anymore as natural enemies.

    – There’s nothing else to say about Uesaka Sumire’s performance in this episode. It was simply great. It was painful hearing Sanae’s cries when she was being dragged out by Shinka and it was just as sad seeing her break down in front of Yuuta.

    – Something I read at the animesuki forums pointed out Sanae’s tantrums could be because of her age. Come to think of it, while we know Sanae’s in middle school and is the youngest in the main cast, I wonder if her age was ever mentioned. So yeah while everyone is doing their to be mature about things, it would be unfair and harsh to force a kid like Sanae to do the same.

    1. Dekomori is only a year younger than them (she’s about to enter their high school, which she has already gained acceptance to), so she’s not that much younger. They’re all kids though, so crying when something like the seeming loss of your very best friend in the whole world is happening is totally understandable.

  40. This episode was so hard to watch. Personally I didn’t enjoy it, but that’s because I felt like I’ve gone through this enough in my life that I don’t want to watch it lol. It was so frustrating because everyone was just taking everything too far. Firstly Rikka took it to far. While some say she was fine as she was, we know she wasn’t satisfied with things they were before either. Like most things in life, it’s give an take. The problem here is everyone’s acting like it’s an all or nothing game. Rikka wanted more people in her life but she needs to learn to give time to others in ways that they enjoy. But that doesn’t mean stop being, doing, or enjoying things she likes, just learn time and place. Balance.

  41. Oh wow! This episode tears me up – literally. I haven’t felt like that for quite sometime. This episode is painful, difficult but you know what hurts the most – it’s all true! Arghhh! Damn it, damn it! … I… I don’t know what I want with Rikka. I want her to be happy but I want her to accept the truth. She can’t run away forever! But why is it that my heart hurts so much?


  42. If it hasn’t already been said, she made a good step into the real world – but too big of one.
    I think they should have moderated it slightly…. Ok, a hell of a lot more then this.

    I really want to hate the guy for being a dick about it. But I can’t because I know he has no idea what the hell to do, and thinks that anything related to 8th grader syndrome is irresponsible of him to nourish. He IS trying hard and doing the best he can with that restriction – the problem being the restriction in the first place.

  43. I think that in many ways it is interesting this show is challenging the Japanese belief of putting the whole before the self. I mean look, Rikka finally conforms and while it makes her sister and mother happy we see she is a shell of her former self. Yuuta is conflicted over the fact that she is now “recovering” but as a result she has lost almost all that really attracted him to her in the first place.

    It’s interesting that, outside of Dekomori, it is Shinka that sees how horrible is was forcing Rikka to change, instead of letting her gradually grow out of it. As I said, it seems to be an interesting take on the good of society over good of self.


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