Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Title:Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! REN
中二病でも恋がしたい 戀
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: FUKUYAMA Jun
A sequel to Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!

12 episodes

'戀' ("ren") means "in love" or "darling".
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 8 8 5 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:2848#1552]
This second season of Love, Chuunibyo, and Other Delusions slips into more typical rom-com territory with Yuta and Rikka's developing relationship, and her chuunibyo ways serving as comical fodder. Without the dramatic weight that came from the first season of the series, the series has its romantic developments and chuunibyo-focused humor to rely upon to carry it, yet even that failed to get my interest thanks to how archetypal the characters felt. While retaining KyoAni's excellent animation used for the first season, it isn't enough to help raise the series beyond mediocre status in my book.

Last updated Friday, January 13 2017. Created Friday, January 13 2017.
Watch Stretch [series:2848#628]
(All episodes watched):

CDKgS! Ren seems to 'reset' things back to the way they were in season one before Rikka realized that she had been using her fantasies as a shield to avoid facing up to the loss of her father; I'm guessing that that whole business had been tacked onto the story in order to provide a quasi-climax to what was otherwise just an unremarkable arc in an incomplete manga. Her Eighth Grade Syndrome personality is the strongest and most important element of the show, and once it was decided to produce a second season it surely couldn't be sacrificed if the show was to continue--so let's just forget about how season one ended. Rikka's delusions are back in full force; whatever maturity she gained last time is gone, which seemed kind of annoying to me. I wish there was at least a sign of change; maybe she could find that Eighth Grade Syndrome is a hard habit to break, even if she wants to, and that angle could be used for comedy. But no, I can't help feeling that while this was a show with a clever gimmick--what if your girlfriend has eighth grade syndrome?--it didn't expand much on it. It was just used to set the premise, but has little to do with the romance that develops afterwards. The effect is that the characters don't do much growing; girls repeating the usual magical jargon is only funny for so long.

Episode two, however, was a good deal better than I had expected. This was fairly amusing but best of all had a sort of pleasing sweetness to the romance. Rikka isn't a total fool and is beginning to grasp what maturity and love mean, even if progress is maddeningly slow. In episode three, the pink-haired girl (I forget her name) shows up; she's a middle school classmate of Yuuta, still subject to Eighth Grade Syndrome, and a potential romantic rival for Rikka. Instead of focusing on a developing romance between Yuuta and Rikka, which might have made it special, the show wanders about various topics like the appearance of yet another female friend of Yuuta's with Eighth Grade Syndrome, or another friend running for student council. Episode five was sort of amusing, as the half-assed 'Eastern Magic and Nap Club', which is nothing more than an excuse for the characters to hang out together after school, comes under scrutiny. These things are amusing but hardly memorable, and it was hard to see CDKgS Ren amounting to much if some sort of longterm plot doesn't develop--for God's sake you two, what does it take for you to admit that you like each other!?

The show really needed some more of this, since the humor alone is barely good enough to make watching worthwhile. Episode nine surprised me in that the pink-haired girl got genuinely sad as she realized that she was in love with Yuuta but he was already devoted to Rikka. There was some palpable emotion here, which has been largely lacking from the series as a whole. What with all the previous goofing around and now things suddenly starting to happen, I couldn't help wondering just how seriously Rikka takes her daydreams. There's Eighth Grade Syndrome and there's mental illness--in episode ten I began to wonder if the second term might better describe Rikka, which was kind of disturbing. Maybe the fact that she had been ill and feeling feverish was meant as an excuse, but it dawned on me that maybe she isn't just addicted to pretending to be a magical warrior, she might really be believing that this is the case. Back in elementary school a friend of mine and myself would sometimes pretend that we were under attack by 'invisible kung-fu assasins', but even then we knew (or at least I did) that they didn't really exist. The idea was to act convincingly enough to make the other guy wonder if maybe you really were crazy. But it seems like Rikka and perhaps a couple other characters aren't just acting.

In the end, the show manages an OK conclusion. It takes an entire second season, but Rikka and Yuuta actually kiss each other! Not bad—but unless some LOL jokes are added to fill the empty space, please don't produce yet another season to carry this confusing, snail-paced romance onwards any farther.

Last updated Thursday, April 24 2014. Created Sunday, January 12 2014.

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