中二病でも恋がしたい！戀/ Chu-2 byo demo KOI ga shitai! Ren
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren 09 anime review
On the night before their beach trip, Rikka becomes concerned over her power loss, though Yuuta fails to notice this as the cause of Rikka’s troubles. At the beach, the club’s members plus Kuzuha and Satone, show up to help Kumin’s aunt’s beach cafe in exchange for her giving them a place to sleep during their trip. Although the shop isn’t that popular, is suddenly becomes popular with Kuzuha’s yakisoba being a huge success. When Touka makes a surprise visit, she likes Kuzuha’s cooking well enough to offer her a job back in Italy. When a young girl attacks Rikka and runs to Touka with an embrace, Touka jokingly says this is her daughter.
The girl, Cento, is actually the daughter of the head chef in Italy with a thing for Japanese samurai dramas, so much so that she even has her own bokken. After hearing about Rikka’s “powers” from Kumin, Cento decides to challenge Rikka. When Rikka and Sanae dodge Cento’s attack, Cento scolds them since they are supposed to catch her blade in the palm of their hand. Rikka is nervous about this but Sanae is confident Rikka can stop it without the use of her eyes. Rikka says that one should never fight unless going all out, so she attempts to unleash her Tyrant’s Eye, but fails to catch the blade and gets whacked in the head instead.
That night, Yuuta notes that Rikka hadn’t put her eye patch back on. He gets a text from Touka, so he goes to meet her, where she discusses his relationship with Rikka and Rikka still being caught up in the chuunibyou thing. Yuuta explains why he doesn’t mind going slow with Rikka. Though Touka thinks they should pick up the pace, she does admit to being both relieved and disappointed with how things have gone between Rikka and Yuuta. Meanwhile, Satone discovers Rikka missing and goes out to find her. They have a frank discussion on Rikka’s power loss. Satone understands since she’d been in the same place, but says that Rikka will have a choice to make on being with Yuuta or reviving chuunibyou elements.
The next day, Nibutani wants even more customers as Cento challenges Sanae to a fight. Touka and Yuuta see Satone and Rikka in a fight/discussion over Rikka’s feelings for Yuuta. Seeing Rikka in trouble, Sanae races to her, followed by Cento. Sanae “blasts” the humans away. Under Satone’s verbal assault, Rikka says that Yuuta made her what she is today. With that, they enter the chuunibyou realm, where Satone, Cento, and Sanae are surprised to see Rikka’s memories. Rikka does a “version up” thanks to the special contract she has with Yuuta. Touka notes Satone being in the group, so Yuuta explains who she is. With things between Rikka and Yuuta OK, on the train ride home, Satone sits with Yuuta, where she painfully begins to wish she’d not given up on Yuuta.
Ah, the beach episode so we can get the girls in swimsuits. And, since it is a swimsuit episode, it is the perfect time for Touka to come back to show off her well developed, twenty-something year old figure in a black bikini.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! had a two beach episodes (here and here), but the setup was different (and with Makoto along for the ride — boy has he gone AWOL). This time, the group heads to the beach to help the family member of one of the group work a beach cafe.
The setup reminded me big time of Love Hina, where the lead male and a group of girls head to the beach to help his aunt run the beach cafe to help raise funds for Hinata Inn (dorm). After I watched the episode a second time, I was reminded that in Ai Yori Aoshi, the lead male and a group of girls head to the beach to help one of the girl’s grandmother run her beach cafe. In both cases, the hot girls in swimsuits cause business to boom.
That got me to wondering just how many parodies are in this episode. Rikka’s power up moment seemed to be a mix of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (the magical, speaking technology), Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 3 (Rikka’s memories shown in film strips), Neon Genesis Evangelion (the entry plug mention), Vandread! (certain aspects to how the mecha unit evolved and fired missiles, but not in the open-air cockpit), and other ones I couldn’t even begin to venture where they were from. If you know, let me know. ^_^
With Touka’s arrival, Rikka’s losing power, and Yuuta’s monolog saying he hadn’t noticed it at the time, I thought we were heading into an arc whereby Rikka would be forced to choose, but would opt for something combining the chuunibyou life and her romance with Yuuta. As I said in episode 7,
…I suspect that in the end, we’ll see some advancement in Yuuta’s and Rikka’s relationship, but not a total abandonment of the chuunibyou life.
Having Rikka resolve things in this episode surprised me. However, I liked it because it shows how Rikka has grown. Sure, she still engages in the chuunibyou fantasy world, but she has a boyfriend who accepts her for whom she is, so she can have it all. She didn’t need to give up her chuunibyou lifestyle for Yuuta.
I was surprised that Satone is the one that is having the issues. After all, while episode 7 showed that she had gone through what Rikka was currently going through, Satone made a choice to give up Yuuta for the chuunibyou life. Throughout this series, she’s been rather firm in that, and indeed was instrumental in getting Rikka to her “version up” moment. So it will be interesting to see how that turns out. I suspect Rikka will be there to help Satone.
What I don’t get is why Yuuta was sitting with Satone on the train. Seriously, if Rikka is your girlfriend, you sit with Rikka. Had there been a scene where Rikka had Satone sit with Yuuta, then I would have been fine with it. Not having that moment, it makes no sense for Satone and Yuuta to sit together.
In other, minor notes, I liked Cento as a character. At her young age, the chuunibyou stuff is cute. It is funny how this subtly shows how truly childish the chuunibyou stuff is, even if the beach crowds applauded Rikka after her “version up” moment.
Finally, I have to say that I loved the sisterly moment between Sanae and Nibutani sleeping. Sanae appears to have needed her “oneechan” since Sanae appears to be having a nightmare. ^_^
In the end, an enjoyable episode, which though filled with fanservice, doesn’t come off as exploitative. Now, we have to deal with Satone and her re-emerging feelings for Yuuta and how this affects Rikka and Yuuta.