Published on December 20th, 2012 | by exo
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – 12 (END)
In my previous post, I had significant doubt that Yuuta could possibly tie up all of the loose ends before the end of the season. But, I am quite happy to say that I was wrong. My skepticism was based upon the idea that Rikka’s 8th Grade Syndrome developed solely as a mental defense mechanism to help her cope with the death of her father. This is true to some extent, but I never considered that Rikka could have just been doing it because she thought it was cool.
Unable to understand her repressed emotions, The Wicked Eye served as an outlet in which at least a part of her heart could be freely expressed to the world. Through her 8th Grade Syndrome, we could see that she held a strong feeling of longing for her father, under the guise of a quest to find the Eternal Horizon. The Wicked Eye wasn’t a means for her to run away from her emotions, in fact, she was trying to be as true to them as she knew how, searching for answers in hopes that one day she would understand what she felt the day her father died. This concept of “being true to one’s self” was the theme that resounded throughout the episode. Nibutani provides some commentary on 8th Grade Syndrome noting that it is far from abnormal, as everyone has their own way of expressing their personal fantasies. In the end, 8th Grade Syndrome is nothing more than a fancy colloquialism that describes a person’s desire to turn their dreams into reality.
Yuuta finally discovers this on his own after reading a letter from his past self. He is at last able to accept that there will always be a part of him that longs for a world that includes the Dark Flame Master. He realizes that he made a grave mistake with Rikka, even more so after speaking to Kumin and learning that Rikka had been watching him for years and based her own persona on the Dark Flame Master. By showing up at Rikka’s window in his Dark Flame persona, Yuuta attempts to redeem himself by giving her the confidence she needs to be true to what she really desires.
The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was Yuuta’s dramatic incantation, which transported the two into the very heart of the Eternal Horizion, a metaphor for the moment in which the last of Rikka’s inhibitions were cast aside. She became inspired all over again by Yuuta’s ability to “blast reality” (cast aside feelings of hesistance and self-consciousness) and be true to himself despite the external pressures of society to be normal. With Yuuta’s support and encouragement, she momentarily drops her guard, and is finally able to experience a cathartic release of her supressed emotions and come to terms with the death of her father.
As a show, Chu2Koi gave to me more than I ever thought that it would. Despite it’s underwhelming start, the seizure inducing OP, and deceptively generic plot, it finished very strong (something very characteristic of KyoAni shows) and left behind an overarching message and in a sense, a call to its viewers to pursue a path of individuality. Best anime of the year? Maybe, maybe not. But Chu2koi is one of those shows that will stick with me for a very long time.