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Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
I suppose things aren't as they would seem on the surface with this series. On the surface, Love, Chuunibyo and Other Delusions appears to be an anime comedy title poking fun of the social awkwardness faced with a growing phase unique to the Japanese culture, in this case Yuuta trying to move on from this awkward phase from his middle school years and encountering a girl in his class undergoing the same delusional phase. For those not in the know, chuunibyo is a growing phase common in mostly second-year middle school students in Japan that develop delusions of grandeur like acting more mature than they really are, those who obsessively follow ongoing trends to try being different or those convinced that they have mystical powers. Many of the focused characters within this series suffer(ed) from the third mentioned element of the phase, with Yuuta and Shinka trying to move on from what they seen as an embarrassing phase in their life at that point. For the first half, the series is mostly focused on comedy with the chemistry between Rikka and Yuuta, the formation of a school club used mostly by Rikka and Sanae to delight in their delusions and encountering several other characters connected to the chuunibyo phase in some form. While I'll give the show credit that it offered something different with its comedy thanks to showing off the delusions experienced by Rikka and Sanae, I wasn't into the comedy to the show for the most part.|
The second half to the series is where I got better enjoyment out of Love, Chuunibyo and Other Delusions as it offers up depth to Rikka and Yuuta's characters that explain the reasons for why Rikka became a chuunibyo and gives Yuuta much of her attention. This leads the show to slowly shift into a dramatic mood as Rikka's character back story is a tragic one that is convincingly believable and Yuuta finds himself increasingly pressured by Rikka's family to have her break out of her chuunibyo persona due to their own perceptions of why she developed it. These developments also help to make the romance seemingly developing between the two characters to be more convincing as Yuuta becomes conflicted over his feelings for her and trying to move on from his chuunibyo delusions while entangled in Rikka's family woes, while Rikka is confused over what she feels for him thanks to her chuunibyo delusions. Their relationship is tested in the show's final two episodes when Rikka tries distancing herself from her chuunibyo ways, with the resolution being a bit of a cop-out when things come to an end with the series. Still, the drama and developments for the show's second half saved it from complete mediocrity in my viewing of it.
Being animated by Kyoto Animation, the Chuunibyo sports a good deal of detail and vivid color in the designs of its settings and characters. Character designs are made in KyoAni's typical style, though scenery shots are still pleasing on the eyes with them. The animated highlight for the series come from the occasional bits in the series where we see the delusional worlds of chuunibyo characters come into their play with the mystical powers they believe themselves to possess.
Overall, Love, Chuunibyo and Other Delusions is somewhat of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, its first half mostly offers unique, yet subpar, efforts at comedy with the chemistry between chuunibyo students and those who are former chuunibyo themselves. But its second half offers up engaging dramatic developments with Yuuta and Rikka that explore the latter's past and offer convincing developments in their relationship that are only hindered by the title's cop out of a resolution. Its a decent enough title on its own merits, but I don't think I have enough interest in the series to be tempted in checking out its second season that came out earlier this year.
Last updated Saturday, May 31 2014. Created Saturday, May 31 2014.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
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(All episodes watched):
This show seems to be about adolescents reaching the point at which they realize how foolish their behavior as children has been and become embarassed by it. Basically, here's a strange girl, Rikka, who believes in all sorts of magical crapola and a guy who used to but now desperately wants to distance himself from it. The fact that the premise addresses an interesting phenomena such as '8th Grade Syndrome' (as my fansub called it) is encouraging. And wacky girls with nevertheless a brain in their heads are generally fun; this reminded me a little of Nazo X. This is a fairly amusing show which I didn't mind watching, but for the first half of the series or so there didn't seem to be much of a longterm plot to it. When I started episode four I realized that I couldn't remember what had happened last time, because I basically just get some modest enjoyment out of the jokes and then quickly forget what happened. The girl who likes to use the word 'death' in whatever she says is kind of amusing.
In episode seven we get a plausible explanation of why Rikka has clung to her mythology for so long. It turns out that she's trying to avoid coming to terms with a traumatic event. At a stroke this turn, which I certainly wasn't expecting, promised to make the series as a whole more serious and interesting--except that the potential kind of fizzled out afterwards, as her problem remained confusing and I couldn't feel much sympathy for her. Rikka has got to face up to reality if there is going to be much of a long-term meaning to this story, but the the story remained unfocused and unexciting. I guess that the climax that this show was building towards had something to do with Rikka accepting her Father's fate and making peace with it. But it seemed to me that it was never really made clear that her Father was all that important a factor, why believing in magical nonsense would offer any relief, and how coming to terms would fix everything. Perhaps her eight-grade syndrome was played as such an amusing thing early on that it's hard to understand why doing away with it is so crucial. As a result, I was kind of apathetic going into the final episode. To be honest, I can't remember how the final episode went, even though I'm pretty sure I watched it. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly a touching and cathartic conclusion. But CDKgS! wasn't totally boring or uninteresting, and the comedy was OK.
My favorite line: "Who the death do you think you're talking to?!" --Sanae
Last updated Monday, February 04 2013. Created Friday, October 19 2012.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
I really like the quirkiness of the first couple of episodes, but it's too early to tell where the series is going.|
Update: So far (Ep.6) this is mostly just silly, but the characters are so well-done that they keep me interested. Would be nice if it actually started going somewhere soon, though.
Final: The ending wasn't very satisfying, sort of a "we'll grow up sometime, but not just yet" sort of feeling. Not exactly the sense of closure I was hoping for, but the series was worth watching despite that. The fantasy parts had me thinking of "Calvin and Hobbes" comics, with the blurring of the line between fantasy and reality, and with a similar sense of fun.
Favorite line: "The Human Realm has corrupted you."
Last updated Sunday, January 20 2013. Created Thursday, October 11 2012.