Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions once again sees Kyoto Animation pluck one of the light novels that scooped a honourable mention in their Animation Awards and turn it into a fully-fledged anime. This time round the books penned by Torako are the basis for a twelve-episode series that has spawned an anime movie, follow-up season and a smattering of short OVAs. As alluded to by the title, the show deals with characters suffering or recovering from chunibyo complex – a condition were youngsters act as if they have been endowed with special powers. Hmmm, that reminds me of the days when I would rush home from school at top speed pretending that I could morph into a car (yes I was a big Transformers dork.) Nowadays the only power I believe I possess is an aura that repels attractive women.
Yuta Togashi has just commenced high school marking a new stage in his life. During middle school Yuta was an outcast, as he would scare people off by proclaiming that he was actually “The Dark Flame Master” a supernatural entity proficient in various mystical arms. Yuta has since grown out of that embarrassing phase and would now like nothing more than to cover up his cringe-worthy past. The new educational setting, populated with students who are unaware of his goofy history, should theoretically allow him to make friends and live out a normal life. Unfortunately for Yuta that won’t be easy as one of his new classmates is a fervent chunibyo who is aware of his Flame Master persona.
The delusional girl in question named Rikka Takanashi (aka True Eye of the Evil King) will not be easy to avoid. Not only is she Yuta’s new neighbour, but she has also managed to convince him into joining her newly established after school magic club. Perhaps she brainwashed him into enlisting with the fabled “wicked eye” she usually keeps under wraps (in actuality a gold coloured contact lens.) The other member’s of Rikka’s club include her faithful servant Sanae Dekomori (a wealthy girl who believes that her pigtails are Mighty Mjolnir’s Maul), Kumin Tsuyuri (a sweet girl who loves a good nap) and Shinka Nibutani (the beautiful class representative whose responsible facade hides the fact that she is a former chunibyo who specialized in posting online incantations.)
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions is pretty much what you would expect from a Kyoto Animation release. Much like Clannad and Beyond the Boundary, the series uses it’s high school location to deliver plenty of chuckles in addition to some heart warming moments. Many of the laughs come at Yuta’s expense. He’s trying his best to distance himself from his chunibyo origins, but more often than not he’s put into compromising positions by Rikka’s silly antics. Speaking of Rikka, I really dug the scenes were she squabbles with her sister. When the two feud you see the action from Rikka’s perspective. From her point of view Rikka is blasting her sibling with prismatic rays and she is performing all manner of flashy acrobatics. In reality however she is just making silly poses and swinging a parasol (which she claims is a sword that can transmute into a shield.
My rating for Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions is four stars. My only concern with the anime is that some viewers will dislike the script’s change in tone, which happens around the midway mark. Those watching purely for the comedy may not appreciate how the gags run dry once the plot begins to focus on the root cause of Rikka’s eccentric behaviour. On the flip side audiences who’d enjoy the romance that develops between the leads may not get that far into the story if over the top jokes are not their thing. For me however the show’s structure worked. The funny skits got me attached to the cast so I had no problem rooting for them once the emotional drama began to surface. Overall I can recommend the series for both its humour and message. Chunibyos are branded as childish for pretending to be something they are not, but is that any different to what adults do? To fit in we pretend to be what society expects from us. Screw maturity, I still want to be Optimus Prime!