Review of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions

chunibyo

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.

OVERALL

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.)

VERDICT

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!

10 thoughts on “Review of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions

  1. Another great review! That change to drama though really threw me off. After a second viewing, in the nice English dub, that problem went away. Perhaps because I was expecting it from the start and noticed all of the little drop hints. KyoAni makes high school seem like a heaven on Earth, which is very good but very untruthful (gosh dang, those pretty visuals)! I was also a Transformers nut – still am, in fact! Haha, the power to repel attractive women, I feel you ~

  2. Really great review. I love how you were aware of the different reactions to the structure of the show and factored them in, rather than just ignoring one of them like so many people do. I personally loved the shift too since it worked so well with t Rikka’s character development. Chu-2 is one of my few 10/10s; it isn’t perfect, but it left me wanting nothing more from the hilarious and emotional ride I’d been on.

    Need to watch it again some time. I might even brave the second season just so I can agree with everyone over how bad it is (since everyone seems to to agree over how bad it is).

    • When I enjoy a series I approach a second season with trepidation out of fear that it will harm my overall opinion of the show. That’s why I have yet to watch the second installment of Psycho Pass.

      • I try to treat each season separately as a critic, but I understand the damage it can do to your enjoyment of the characters and such. Haven’t watched S2 of Psycho-Pass either, started it and it didn’t excite me enough and I’d only just watched the first (and didn’t like the ending), so I gave it a pass (heh) for now.

  3. They have a separate word for that? I thought that was something pretty universal with every kid. I used to tell people I was really an alien wizard of sorts who was also super muscular in my true form.

    That eyepatch on the cover has always reminded me of Tokyo Ghoul whenever it pops up. Makes it a little hard to take things in the context they’re intended, sometimes.

  4. This was another fun series. The second season didn’t quite have the same edge for me but was still a good show. Rikka is such an adorable if kooky protagonist

    I often wondered if this was meant to a meta in-joke since a lot of people in anime don’t seem to have grown up much either! 😛

  5. Great review! I’m keeping a list of interesting anime around to nab if I spot it during conventions. I’ll be in Hartford next week, so I’ll look around the vendor area for this, and some of the other’s you’ve pointed out over the last year!

  6. I loved the first season of this show! The final narration is one of my favorite endings to a show so far. The second season has it’s moments, but didn’t have quite the same impact as the first for me, but maybe I need to give it a second chance.

  7. I really appreciated the tone shift. While I thought the comedy was fun and enjoyed it, I’m glad that this managed to tell a meaningful story. A lot of the “long title” LN anime adaptations coming out at the time were pretty generic and weak comedies that lacked any real impacted. This one bucked the trend a bit and that was enough for me to be sold on it.

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