Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! - Episode 12 (Completed)

Yuuta's outburst towards the end of the penultimate episode of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai was always going to reverberate through things in this finale somewhat, but nobody would have imagined those reverberations would be so widely effecting.

While Dekomori has decided to hang up her pigtails, as it were, and set aside her delusions in the wake of Rikka's decision to do likewise, so Kumin seems to have "inherited" the Wicked Eye and is now wandering around school wearing that  trademark eye patch and bandage.  As for Rikka herself, Yuuta has heard nothing of her since her last meeting, and his worry turns to outright horror when he realises that Rikka has outright moved away.

Thus, it's time for Yuuta to stand up and do what Rikka needs him to do... but what is that exactly?  Surprisingly, it's Kumin who seems to hold the answer to that question, revealing that it was in fact the Dark Flame Master who "inspired" Rikka even before Yuuta had actually met her face to face, and that it was his world of fantasy and its influence upon Rikka that allowed her to carry on living after the death of her father.  In other words, it's time to dust off the Dark Flame Master's schtick one last time to snatch Rikka away from her mundane reality and give her an opportunity to say the one thing she'd never been able to... goodbye.

Although it dug into me with all of the right emotional hooks and made for a satisfyingly sweet and sappy ending to the series, I'm not too sure what to make of this finale from a logical point of view - it ultimately asserted that daydreams and fantasies are a-okay (and they are, of course), but that didn't quite sit straight against the over-reliance on them that Rikka exhibited to the end.  Still, perhaps I'm over-thinking things - this is a light novel adaptation, after all - and from an emotional standpoint this felt like a good ending, to close out an impressively strong final few episodes to the show.  Given how its comedy worked pretty well initially before becoming repetitive and tired, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai feels very much like a series which sagged in the middle as it seemingly struggled with its direction before finally finding its footing again.  That the show managed to get away with that sag to some degree says a lot for what Kyoto Animation get right time and again, but this isn't one of their classics in terms of overall entertainment value no matter how strongly it finished.  More importantly though, it's no Nichijou either, and for a while I was concerned that it would turn out to be just that.

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