It takes him till the eleventh of twelve episodes, but Yuuta finally figures out that Satone is in love with him. Because he’s in love with Rikka (the only girl he’s ever been in love with), he has no idea how to proceed. This irks Shinka to no end, and she’s irked even more when he takes Satone’s assurances that she’s alright at face value.
Having no luck with Yuuta, Shinka breaks out her middle school uniform and Morisummer veil, in a nice callback to the last Lite episode, which reiterated the fact that Satone reveres Morisummer and would therefore be receptive to advice from her on a delicate matter. Basically, Satone has to fight a legendary battle to overcome her despair, with Yuuta, or rather the Dark Flame Dragon within him, as her target.
On that note, Yuuta first learns about something else that’s been giong on all season: the answer to what Rikka has been up to of evenings. Having read a missive of his (which Satone also read years back) describing how to unlock and release the Dark Flame Dragon, Rikka has set out to do just that. Far from just a means of wasting some time, she considers the task crucial to becoming truly bound to Yuuta.
For someone who lives with her very doting, scoldy, oftentimes father-like boyfriend, she did a fine job keeping her mission on the downlow until now. It’s thanks to Satone that Yuuta’s able to figure it out. Unlike them, he’s not nearly as in touch with his chunibyou as he once was, but it’s still there, just as it is for Shinka. He knew it would remain a part of his and Rikka’s life; he just didn’t think she’d go so far to realize a dream he’d pretty much forgotten about.
It’s nice to see Yuuta get worried about Rikka and embrace her tightly when he finds her; it would seem he needs to take care of her as much as she needs to be taken care of, lest she stay out in the rain all night and catch a cold that will never end. At the same time, Rikka remains as good a fit for Yuuta as ever, allowing him to straddle the worlds of fantasy and reality, for stepping all the way into the latter just wouldn’t be as fun.
As for Satone, it’s gotta be tough watching Yuuta perform the ritual to release the dragon with another girl, she does get her battle when it emerges from the blue moon, in a stirring, gorgeous scene. Afterwards, Rikka has an even worse cold but is satisfied she’s sufficienly bound to Yuuta, while Satone seems to be fine, and may indeed be much better than she was behind the facade. Hopefully Yuuta’s learned a little more about women (those with chunibyou, at least, which are the best kind!) and the consequences of leaving his old notebooks lying around to be discovered.
Rating: 9 (Superior)