Yuuta laments that it’s July and Rikka still hasn’t spoken to anyone who isn’t in their club, but his attention moves elsewhere when Isshiki reports to him with an anonymous love letter and a plea for help. They take their conversation to the clubroom, where Isshiki sees things Shinka warns him never to disclose to anyone, or else. Isshiki leaves his notebook with the cutie poll at the train station, and it ends up in Shinka’s hands. Isshiki fesses up and takes full responsibility, and Yuuta shaves his head. As his family considers moving to Jakarta where his dad works, Yuuta is visited by Touka, asking him to spend summer vacation with her and Rikka.
This episode focused primarily on the “Token Annoying Male Classmate” AKA Makoto Isshiki. Were we given the choice, we would probably decline most of one twelfth of a series be dedicated thus. While it contained quite a bit of him yelling, it wasn’t that bad. But we can’t stress enough: we don’t watch this series for Isshiki, nor is the series about him. He doesn’t even struggle with Chuunibyou. He’s just an ordinary, horny, dull guy. The entertainment in this episode, then, is how the rest of the cast – the cast we’re invested in – react to his continued presence in the episode. The results are what make this episode, as previously stated not that bad.
Isshiki sees the other side of Shinka, watching her ongoing feud with Dekomori. For much of the episode, we thought Shinka wrote the love letter, but it made less sense as things progressed. Kumin and Rikka’s obsession with his shiny, Buddha-like chrome-dome is pretty amusing. And Instead of meeting a potential girlfriend under the Gingko tree, Isshiki is mobbed by his fellow male classmates, who all appreciate him covering for them in Cutiepollgate. But our favorite scene had nothing to do with Isshiki. It was Rikka taking Yuuta’s hand and holding it as a train passed. For a brief moment, Yuuta was thrust into the world of magic he had abjured, and found it…seductive. It should be an interesting summer.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
The teacher who approved the circle says it will be disbanded if Rikka doesn’t pass math exams. Rikka is terrible at math and hates studying, so she first tries praying at a shrine, then has the circle volunteer to clean a pool. Her teacher then tells her she’ll have to at least meet the class’s average score, not merely pass. Yuuta takes her under his wing and gives her a crash course in math, using nomenclature that appeals to her Chuunibyou. She ends up beating the average by two points. As a reward, Yuuta bestows her the email address “Black Raison d’être.”
Just about everyone in the circle revealed something new about their characters. Sanae is really good at math. Shinka is just class rep and cheerleader because it’s the opposite of Chuunibyou, not because those things actually interest her. Yuuta softens his self-embargo on Chuunibyou in the service of education. Kumin…well, Kumin still just likes to nap. Finally, Rikka is extremely bad at math; may have ADHD…and while we’re quite familiar with her upbeat, over-imaginative side, this week things got a little more…melancholy.
Rikka’s not the best when it comes to chores (her room’s a mess and she leaves dirty dishes around), and her sister is almost always late. Tooka and Sanae may well be the only contacts in her phone. In short, she’s lonely and isolated, and for her, Chuunibyou makes life that much less depressing. So rather than insist on minimizing its role in their interactions, Yuuta, having gotten to know Rikka more, embraces it in helping her cram. Math, like high school socializing, is a language she isn’t comfortable with. If Yuuta wants her to learn either, it must be on her terms.This seems to be steadily building up to a weird but interesting romance.
Rating: 8 (Great)
P.S. Sanae really should stop ending every other sentence with “desu”…but she probably won’t.
Yuuta is chosen as one of the class reps with the beautiful Nibutani Shinka, and feels like things are looking up. But Rikka acquires a lost “chimera” (cat) and requests he take care of it, as her sister is allergic. Shinka points them to Tsuyuri Kumin, whose cat is missing. They go to Rikka’s house, and the cat isn’t hers. Rikka’s sister Tooka confronts them, and blackmails Yuuta into taking the cat with inflammatory audio of him from eighth grade. Rikka escapes, Yuuta and Kumin follow, and Tooka pursues and duels with Rikka, defeating her. Yuuta adopts the cat.
The surprisingly engrossing story of a lost cat combined with Yuuta’s clinging to the notion of living a normal high school life and gradually failing was enough for us to rank this as an 8 relatively early, but that was before a totally unexpected diversion into Rikka’s imagination when she battles her older sister. What’s merely and umbrella and ladel become huge, FLCL-esque weapons wielded with lightning speed and deadly force in a kick-ass action scene. But this eye candy was only the icing of the cake; a means to an end.
It showed Yuuta that there’s still value in a vibrant imagination – it gives excitement to life and makes the ordinary extraordinary. He totally geeks out on an antique weapon on Rikka’s wall – checking himself too late to avoid Kumin’s bemused/charmed gaze – but it doesn’t seem to matter. Both Kumin and Shinka earlier on aren’t really put off by Rikka’s behavior, nor do they turn their nose up at Yuuta for it. Perhaps Rikka’s over-active and Yuuta’s re-emerging Chuunibyou-ness and Yuuta’s desire to make friends in high school aren’t mutually exclusive. Only his desire to be dull and normal is.
Rating: 9 (Superior)
Car Cameo: Honda Civic sedan on the bridge, right in the beginning.