Ah yes, adolescents at its finest. I too, “suffered” from chunibyo, Japanese term for eight grader syndrome, when I was younger, though I wouldn’t call it suffering by any means. Sure, mine was only from elementary school until sixth grade or so, yet they were some of the most fun, carefree years of my life. Today, we invest ourselves in a girl who claims to “live in the world beyond” – yet she’s an incoming freshmen in high school.
The “Dark Flame Master,” AKA Yuuta Togashi intended to leave behind his embarrassing past when his family moved to a different city. Wanting to start anew with his freshman year in high school, he tries to make a fresh batch of friends. This changes when a mysterious girl appears climbing out of her apartment. That neighbor – that same delusional girl in his class, Rikka Takanashi the “Wicked Eye,” hears him speak of his past when he lets it loose on the school balcony for relief. She becomes fascinated, hooked – drawn in by his cool display of chunibyo. This crazy chick is the full on thing, though – eye patch, umbrella shield, battling with the “priestess” (her sister) and more ridiculousness. Together, the two recruit members for a trivial club and hilarity ensue.
Let’s just face it: the characters in this anime are beyond incredible. Yuuta is a simple boy desiring to leave behind his childishness. He’s awkward when trying to meet people such as Makoto Isshiki, a kid who attempts to rate the girls in his class; however, the two become best of friends. Isshiki’s love, Kumin-senpai, spends the majority of the show sleeping – no joke – but is still adorable.
Another duo is Shinka Nibutani, class representative, cheerleader, popular, yet ex-chunibyo sufferer “Mori Summer,” and the middle school servant of “The Wicked Eye,” Sanae Dekomori. Nibutani is beautiful and regarded as gentle or sympathetic by her classmates, but when playful Dekomori is found carrying around a book written by Shinka from her delusional days, she does everything in her power to protect her image by retrieving the tome.
Dekomori’s extremely long blonde twintails, her preferred weapon, are very original in design. She even loads them with weights when she enters harsh combat against the “fake Mori Summer,” for she doesn’t believe that Nibutani wrote the book. Also, unlike Rikka, Dekomori is the highest in her class – smartest, cutest, and rich. This background gives Nibutani and Dekomori great depth and memorable scenes. I love them both :3
Rikka is the epitome of Yuuta’s past, and thus presents major problems to the guy – well, just comedy for us. She finds pleasure in the smallest of things that we as viewers often forgot ourselves, be it in the form of a calculator lock taped to her door or spinning around an umbrella as a sword. But she’s more than just creative, as the two develop genuine feelings for one another to the point where they start dating. Even Nibutani backs down to kindly support Rikka and her motives, returning as “Mori Summer” when absolutely necessary. They don’t get very far at first due to Takanashi’s delusional state of mind, but that’s the time when we get to enjoy the couple, cause from here on the story sadly loses its touch.
The second half of the series throws in a concept that I absolutely love, yet classically hits the viewer like a bus – drama. Rikka’s family and past are delved into with sudden furiousness that made me go “wut, I thought this show was built upon light-hearted comedy and romance, not overused dramatic clichés.” Sure, the events improve Rikka as a character and explain her motives, but that development throws the rest of the plot down the drain. Takanashi and Togashi spend several episodes apart which made me drop most of the momentum their relationship carried through the first half; they had worked so enchantingly hard to sculpt an unfinished project. The writers took the “Chunibyo & Other Delusions!” out of the show, leaving a failing “love” to support the title.
A better side to the show is its visuals. If I tell you anything, it’s that this show is cute! J Kyoto Animation, as always, does a remarkable job capturing the youthfulness of the characters by using bright colors and outlines. Movements are extremely fluid to the point where any few seconds of the show would make a hilarious gif. Characters are lively and background sceneries stand appealing.
The OST, though nothing fancy, sounds fairly decent. To contrast the energetic or more comedic moments in the show are lovely slow-moving piano pieces played during depressing/relaxing scenes. The opening, “Sparkling Daydream” by Zaq is paired up with fun, fast visuals of the characters doing what matches their personality and Rikka shakin’ her ass, which is just awesome!
So, is Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! worth the watch? Yeah, I think it is. I feel younger and older audiences can appeal to the characters equally. The show’s highlights were any of the cute chunibyo-filled scenes and quick-witted character interactions, though they substitute those later on for more, and I put this in double quotes, “”character development.”” Chunibyo is definitely better than most rom-com anime out there, and I enjoyed it a lot; however, I wanted to watch these lovable “kids” goofing around doing stupid stuff and not worrying about real life. It’s a shame we all have to grow up sometime . . . “Reality, be rent. Synapse, break. Banishment, this world!!!”– Rikka Takanashi
You can watch the series to its entirety for free over on Crunchyroll, as it has a really enjoyable Japanese voice cast. Also, it has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks if you wanna pick up a copy. Thanks for reading and hit the like button if you thought this review was somewhat decent! Until next time, this has been
– Takuto, your host