“If something’s not real, it’s not real!”
A brief summary : three weeks have passed since the school festival, and Touka’s leaving for France. Rikka begins her ‘normalisation’ process – she asks her classmates to let her be their friends (to much applause from the class). All seems fine and dandy until she disbands the society…I mean club. Sanae breaks down to her suggestion that everyone should ‘focus on what they want to do themselves’. Later, after they finish clearing up her room of all her ‘magical artifacts’, we learn that Rikka’s mother asked her to visit her father’s grave. She abruptly decides to head home, and is stopped by Kumin. Later on, as she departs for the grave, Rikka and Yuuta are confronted by a hysterical Sanae. The episode covers the period of time after Rikka’s decision to move on and its effects on her and the people around her, but from multiple perspectives.
Rikka’s normalcy resulted in the lack of her usual vibrancy and positivity – a marked change from her previous self represented by the simple change in the appearance of her eyes, which seem to have become duller and smaller. I believe this was something that tipped the others off as to Rikka’s inner self: Shinka seems unsure whether this was the best thing to do, and asks Yuuta for his opinion. Sanae breaks into hysterics, and is unable to take the new Rikka. Even Yuuta becomes unsure of his role: is his role to normalize Rikka, or serve as her ’emotional support’? IS he in any position to decide what is best, or what is not good? Rikka’s abandonment of her magical artifacts seems to be symbolic on a higher level: it sort of parallels how she’s essentially abandoning her old life, to the point where she makes new friends, disbands the club and expresses no visible sympathy for Sanae. They all know something is wrong, but are all unsure.
When you think about it, who really has the right to decide what is the proper life, and what is not? All of this is decided by society – but if we all simply follow to what’s normal in society, wouldn’t life be meaningless? There isn’t any free will in a life led by following the mainstream. This seems to be something that Rikka wants: her attempts to become normal all hint at some deeper emotional turmoil, the lack of a choice, it seems. She cleans her room so that her mother would be happy, she tries to become interested in whatever her new friends are interested in, and what she says seems to run contradictory to what she feels. When she gives her reason for the club’s disbanding, doesn’t that sound oddly ironic, oddly ironic that she just gave up her previous life, what she took so much pride in? It all hints to a sense of discontent – Rikka’s had Yuuta as her support for almost anything the entire series, and the sudden shock awakening into normalcy mustn’t have been a pleasant experience.
On another note, the voice acting this episode was brilliant. Uesaka’s voice acting as Sanae this episode took a sharp change for the better compared to her previous roles, or even previous acting in the series. In the breakdown scene and the train scene in particular, Uesaka manages to capture Sanae’s sadness, desperation, or even stubbornness – especially in the train scene where she reveals to Yuuta what he seems to have realised all along. This sense of desperation leaks through the previous scene where she’s literally dragged out by Shinka – a sign, perhaps?
All in all, I really hope that the finale next week will not disappoint. Will she return, or will she not? Will she go back to her old ways, or will everyone move on? Or will we have some retarded cheesy ending where everyone becomes the same bloody damn person? Only time will tell.
Butthurt MyAnimeList user reviews of episode 11