Here it is ladies and gentlemen: The obligatory beach/summer vacation episode, with a little twist.
Having fun under the sun
It is summer. It is time for a vacation. It is time for
romance to brew fun! Continuing from last week’s “cliffhanger”, it wasn’t very surprising to see everyone from the Oriental Magic Napping Society in Summer crashing tagging along even though Yuuta was the one being invited simply because, the more the merrier right?
Kumin continues to steal some of the spotlight with her “charm” – That one piece dress and swimwear! Well, a tanned Nibutani/Dekomori duo is fine too.. Come to think of it, maybe my memory is failing me, but the only other anime that I can recall having tanned characters is none other than Azusa from K-On, which is ironically also produced by KyoAni. Maybe sun tans aren’t really a big deal, but it does makes me wonder, why aren’t we seeing more of that? In the larger picture it doesn’t matter either way, still I wouldn’t mind seeing more tanned characters, just because they are an uncommon sight.
Anyway, there isn’t anything really constructive or noteworthy to touch on for the first half of this episode as a beach episode pretty much speaks for itself – Characters frolicking around and having fun, or maybe sleeping even.
Plot, in a beach episode?!
Here comes the twist, under the guise of an innocent-looking typical beach episode that we’ve seen countless of times, this is where Chuunibyou managed to be different from the masses. Yep, the generic beach episode is generally light on the brain cells and heavy on the eyes, however it wasn’t the case here. There were hints that this wasn’t purely a “service” episode, the first being Tooka inviting Yuuta along for Rikka’s summer vacation – there has to be an agenda behind it other than for “fun” right?
The second giveaway was when Rikka’s grandparents were shown to be less than happy to see their granddaughter – a sign that family relations aren’t going very smoothly for Rikka. Under the guise of being a beach episode, there was more than meets the eye. There are some upsides and downsides in trying to be different, namely that plot/character development is always welcomed, on the contrary though beach episodes are called beach episodes because they serve that sole purpose of being a “service” episode and nothing else. In that regard, I’m slightly disappointed about the lack of actual beach action, which lasted a grand total of 2-3 minutes.
Mini rant aside, I have to say that I’m caught a little off-guard about how they decided to use this episode to expand on Rikka’s past. While it wasn’t explicitly stated how Rikka became a chuunibyou, it is definitely related to her being unable to accept the passing of her father and thus escaping from reality. I’m going to go on a limb and say that Rikka isn’t a “true” chuunibyou unlike Dekomori. Simply put, Rikka’s turning to her fantasy world as a means to escape reality. That cold cruel reality being the death of her father, her strained family relationship with her sister and grandparents. From this point on, it is probably up to Yuuta to guide her back onto the right path as he’s in the “been there, done that” position – being able to semi-relate to what Rikka is going through now, him being a former chuunibyou.
As for Tooka, there’s a reason why she called Yuuta to tag along for the summer vacation. Again, it isn’t explicitly explained, but the answer can be inferred from how the episode unfolded. She’s most likely hoping that Yuuta can reach out to Rikka and bring back some sense into her as he’s the only person that Rikka really opens her heart to. The heartwarming thing to note is, from the very start, Yuuta has no obligation whatsoever to help Tooka out or bother about Rikka for that matter. In reality, majority of anyone in Yuuta’s shoes would have shrugged off Rikka in an attempt to leave that “shameful” past behind and lead a normal school life from thereon.
In an upcoming (delusional) rematch between the Takanashi sisters, I have a gut feeling that it is going to be a dramatic continuation, especially as Rikka has to slowly come to terms with reality. To think that Chuunibyou isn’t solely about fun; laughter; peace and joy, there’s also a tinge of melancholy that can be felt from this episode, and I’m sure this is just the beginning of it. Despite having some gripe with the lack of actual beach content, on the overall I’m impressed by how there is a lot more emphasis on character development instead of being the typical “moeblob” show that everyone was expecting.
- I-it’s a mole!!
- Even dogs can’t resist Nibutani’s charms!
- Who’s the idiot here?
- Dere Tooka for the win!
- The priestess strikes!