Talk about dropping the ball in one shot…
I really did not like how they resolved Shichimiya’s arc here. Without confronting either Rikka or Yuuta, her entire emotional breakdown is handled by fighting the Dark Flame Dragon as a way to “wake up” from her reborn love. Shichimiya has shown just how much feelings she’s had to repress, and how much of a struggle it was for her to continue that repression. Yet her final confrontation with these feelings is not only rushed, but lacks the feeling of impact needed to make it feel like everything has been resolved. For all the effort they put into making this character sympathetic, the solution for her arc is anti-climactic and lazy.
In fact, lazy describes a lot of my problems with this finale. While the circumstances are certainly different, most of these plot points are copy-pasted from how the first season ended. Yuuta may be less dense with Shichimiya compared to how he was with Rikka, but it doesn’t change the fact he remains inactive until he finds yet another letter from the Dark Flame Master. Revealing the Dark Flame Dragon is certainly not like revealing the Horizon, but they’re both delusions meant as wake-up calls to a specific character. And as for the other characters, they have the exact same roles in this ending that they did in 2012.
The real saving grace here is seeing Rikka try to progress her love contract on her own. Rikka realizes her connection with Yuuta can be distant with her childishness, so she does everything she can to make this relationship work. This ranges between preparing the first step in a proper kiss, searching the keys for unleashing the Dark Flame Dragon or even proclaiming to Shichimiya she can (and will) find a way to keep her delusions and feelings. It brings to perspective that Rikka is not just a delusional girl, and if there’s anything this sequel can be proud of producing, it’s giving her the depth of a troubled lover.
While this season was definitely a downgrade from the first, i’ve noticed alot of people say this sequel shouldn’t even exist. I agree it felt unnecessary, but I wouldn’t say it worsened my view of Chuunibyou as a whole. If you’re desperate to see more of these characters, there’s enough highlights to make it watcheable. However, this goes alongside all 3 of last year’s dissapointments from KyoAni (Tamako Market, Free, Kyoukai no Kanata). They NEED another masterpiece like Hyouka to return strong.