Remember that big, Satone-flavoured push I mentioned they needed? Well, it happened.
It’s strange – every time Satone appears, she somehow manages to get Yuuta and Rikka closer together. Satone’s not strictly a love rival per se (and thus there isn’t really a love triangle in place) but the issue here is that she’s perceived as one by Rikka, which is the important bit really. I can’t blame Rikka at all for feeling betrayed and stuff, especially as she was supposed to be sharing some quality time with Yuuta – and it’s unfortunate that it happened on her birthday as well. Both Nibutani and Kuzuha were appalled (“onii-chan, what are you doing?“) and rightly so! It almost seems like Yuusha’s getting closer to Satone without realizing the implications of what he’s doing – he’s not romantically interested in her, but that’s not how Rikka sees it. Their shared chuuni days (and the fact that Satone is pretty clingy) makes it seem like their relationship is more than it actually is.
Both of them should really do more to avoid that sort of misunderstanding… especially as it seems like Satone’s genuinely not interested in going after Yuuta. It was emphasized by how she kept refusing to engage in chuuni fights with Rikka, as if she’s aiming to avoid conflict even on an imaginary level (they’d better fight at least once more before the show ends though, or the OP will have all been a lie). Satone’s little talk with Rikka was also rather interesting – the idea of chuunibyou conflicting with romance is something that remains on the forefront of Yuuta and Rikka’s relationship. Satone linked her previous crush on Yuuta with her gradual “loss” of chuunibyou, and she decided to prioritise the latter instead, so that she wouldn’t rock the boat too much. Focusing on one comes at the sacrifice of the other, and that’s what I think Yuuta and Rikka are trying to go against, instead preserving them both. And they’re doing it, no matter how slowly things are progressing – that final scene where Rikka gets her present is proof enough. That was CHOU kawaii.
Concurrently, there seems to be a side plot development involving Dekomori, Nibutani and a certain shady Mori Summer website. While I don’t exactly know what sort of fanbase Mori Summer’s managed to attract online (beyond Dekomori’s unhealthy obsession, that is) she certainly has some loyal fans – fans who are devoted enough to maintain a website of her “teachings” in her absence. I was genuinely surprised to learn that it wasn’t something Dekomori cooked up… Satone may have done it, but it’s just not her style. News of the website is apparently going round their school, too – Dekomori herself received a note in her bag a few episodes ago, and I’m guessing a similar note is how Nibutani’s friends caught wind of it themselves. To be honest, I actually can’t think of anyone within the current cast who’d do something like this, but whoever they are, they’re the real fake Mori Summer!
Actually, wait. It might be a long shot, but could it be something to do with that odd stalker that keeps popping up every now and then?