Thursday, 29 November 2012

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! - Episode 9

From a reluctant member of the The Far Eastern Magic Nap Society of Summer, it seems that Nibutani is now basically running the show after leaving (or being kicked out of) the cheerleading squad.  What's more, she seems to have decided that the club need to do something for the upcoming culture festival.

Despite moving all the way forward from the summer to the autumn, it appears that the occurences of last week's episode are still hanging heavily over Rikka - she'll barely make eye contact with Yuuta, let alone talk to him, and according to her sister she's hardly eating alongside her usual sulky behaviour in fron of her sibling.  Is the spat with her sister and thinking about her Dad what ails Rikka, or is something else amiss?

Alongside planning some impromptu "guerilla" performances for the club at the school festival, Nibutani seems to have landed upon the real reason for Rikka's malaise - the girl's in love, and she doesn't know it.  Or does she?  Quizzing her a little in private makes it clear that she knows pretty much exactly what she's feeling, but she simply can't reconcile it with her delusional fantasy world.  In spite of this, Shinka decides that the time is ripe to act as cupid for Rikka and Yuuta - something which is far, far easier said than done when it comes to a girl like Rikka, although ultimately she seems to have landed on the perfect plan to move their relationship forward even if it doesn'tpan out in quite the way she had in mind.

I feel like I've been laying into Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai on pretty much a weekly basis recently as it felt like it had become stuck in a rut - thank goodness then for this week's episode, which finally felt like the first instalment in a while to do the scenario and characters of the show justice.  With some more restrained but better targeted humour, and with Rikka's behaviour leveraged to create some genuinely funny moments while also expressing her character and emotions well, the lead-in to the super-sweet and joyously adorable ending perfectly.  In a way, this almost feels like it would have been a good finale to the show, so I really hope it doesn't spoil things from here onwards, but in the knowledge it has a few episodes still to run it feels like my enthusiasm for the series has been restored somewhat provided the series learns from its successes here.

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