This is my very first review, please take it easy on my judgement ^v^ Heads up, this review is only for the first season.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai, a light-hearted romantic comedy with its own fair share of drama. To me, although I may have been reading too far into it, it truly a great anime that I enjoyed watching. I used to have my own fair share of chuunibyou, and that's the thing you have to have to really relate to this story. You have to really share that childish imagination to see more of this story. Like a child, enjoy their whimsical fighting scenes and laugh like an adult would when they reveal the reality of it.
During my time as a chuunibyou, I experienced most of the same things. Magical creatures all around me, taking parts in imaginary battles with dragons or creatures of shadow, protecting a magical artifact that connected the real world to my "imaginary" one... and so on. Which is why I find it strange to really call it an illness, I simply consider it part of a child's gigantic imagination. To the main female lead, Rikka, it was an escape route from the boring, and quite harsh, reality. She's aware of it, that it's probably the wrong thing to do, but it's special, and interesting, and fun, so why does she have to stop? A continuous conflict. Same with the main male lead, Yuuta, who found himself different and so, isolated himself, although not entirely on purpose.
To start off, let's talk about the story.
Yuuta Togashi, a freshman, transfers to a new school with the hopes to completely forget about his "embarrassing" past as a chuunibyou. The night before the opening ceremony, he sees a rope hanging from outside his veranda. Curious, he looks out to see a girl climbing down. This girl, Rikka Takanashi, is an absolutely severe case of chuunibyou.
The premise is actually quite interesting, I don't think I've heard it before, or maybe I just haven't seen enough anime yet (which I doubt).
Rikka's backstory, which I will spoil a bit here so this is a warning, makes a lot of sense when it comes why she got chuunibyou. To put it complicatedly, the world denied her of her father and all fun after that. She never really hated anyone, she just found everything boring. Then she finds the Dark Flame Master, just doing what he wanted. In a random passerby's eyes, DFM would definitely have looked weird. But to Rikka, he looked like he was having fun, which sparked her creativity and imagination. She was inspired by his relentless indifference and his continuous doing-whatever-he-wants, and thus developed her own chuunibyou.
Their romance isn't half bad really, Yuuta cared enough for Rikka to chase after her multiple times throughout the series and even showed her what she's been wanting to see from the begginning, the Ethereal Horizon, which truly was beautiful.
The message of the series is quite beautiful in it's own right. To me, the message was: Don't be afraid to accept who you are, or who you were, no matter how shameful it can get. Some people don't have the courage to fully accept themselves, and are always afraid of acting how they want to in public. All of us, at some point, have thought of ourselves as special in some way. And so, we tried to be who we thought we were, special. It's shameful, and at some point you'll think back to it as embarrassing. But we'll always have those crazy fantasies, although hidden away, deep in our minds. We should hold it dear to us, because that, my friends, is called "self-consciousness." No matter how embarrassing it is, don't deny it, because it is part of yourself.
Moving on now, to animation.
The animation was pretty generic, the typical KyoAni cutesy animation for all your moe girl needs. It complemented the comedy part of the series. KyoAni was also the animation studio of one of my favourite anime, Kyoukai no Kanata, which is more of the dramatic side of things. But I don't think they really executed the dramatic scenes in Chuunibyou as well as they did in KnK. Still, I have to say that the animation really shined during the fighting scenes or any scene in the characters' imagination.
The scenes that I thought were actually pretty well animated was Rikka's fight with her sister when they get to the empty lot, the scenes when Dekomori were trying to convince Rikka to go back to how she was, and, the Ethereal Horizon. I have a weakness for beautiful starry skies, and if you've seen KnK, then you know how well KyoAni does beautiful starry skies (laugh).
Now, for the sound.
I'll be completely honest, I wasn't very comfortable with the music. Specifically, both the Opening and Ending. The sparkle noises were probably the only parts that I enjoyed in the opening. To me, it didn't quite fit, and always made me want to skip the opening. As for the ending, there's just something about the opening note for the lyrics "Inside identity" that just struck me the wrong way every single time. The last few verses of the ending was probably the only part I stuck around for.
BGM, I don't really have a problem with. It's pretty normal, really. I love when Rikka and Dekomori actually sing the BGM, I'm still not entirely sure why.
As for the voice acting, it was probably one of the best parts of series. It fit the light hearted tone, and, albeit not as good, the dramatic tone as well. But the series is mostly comedy, so it's mostly pretty good as well. Personally, I loved Yuuta's voice, especially when he's DFM. Rikka's voice pretty much fit as well. Isshiki is probably the only one whose voice I constantly flinched whenever I heard, but well, he's supposed to be a weird pervert, and it certainly sounded like a really weird pervert most of the time.
Lastly, the characters.
I won't go through all of them of course, I'll separate it into two categories: Main and Supporting.
As for the main, which are Rikka and Yuuta, I find little fault in their characters. At first, Yuuta complains a lot about his chuunibyou, and Rikka is so childish she could get a little annoying to some people. But you see them grow, to some a little to others quite a lot, throughout the series. You see the actual conflict in Rikka's feelings about being a chuunibyou, why she is one, why she wants to be one and, when she gives up on it, how much she wants to be one again. As for Yuuta, he's always been a nice guy, but you do see that his kindness towards Rikka does change a bit. His feelings towards chuunibyou as well. It's ironic actually, how I love Rikka's normal personality and Yuuta's chuunibyou personality.
The supporting cast are not as interesting as the main characters, but they're pretty enjoyable too. Isshiki and his, "I want to be loved" personality that really reminds me of the song, Anybody's fine, I just really want to date. (I'm cheering you on, Isshiki, gambatte.) Dekomori is sometimes annoying, but I found her constant "Des"-es cute after a while. I loved her when she gave up on Chuunibyou though, you do see that she had always had the potential to be normal. Nibutani is enjoyable, with her sort of tsundere personality. I found her desperation to hide her secret funny. Kumin is so laid back, so calm, but she was actually doing well when she was impersonating Rikka. Tooka is pretty awesome too, her relationship with the youngest Togashi was hilarious.
Overall, this anime was enjoyable, I laughed quite a bit at some parts, and other parts really made me think, "Hey, I know how that feels!" which made it even more enjoyable to watch. It pained me when Rikka was trying so hard to be normal, to be honest, I think her quirks are just part of her "true" personality. Her normal self was so forced that it sort of came off as that. It's a fun little anime with an interesting premise and pretty good comedy. The entire season is worth at least one viewing.
Like Toradora but with a good ending where he actually fights for the woman he loves instead of spending 20 agonizing episodes blue balling us and then finally confessing to each other and gettnig married and then getting left in the lurch and just being like "welp, at least she's being responsible now!" Wait, this is a chunibyou review, not Toradora, right? Love the "moeblob" chara designs, and FINALLY I have a chara I can cosplay with Aimee - The Dark Flame Master!! VANISH INTO THE EMBRACE OF DARK FLAMES! Curious what the second season will be like, since this one wrapped up pretty nicely.
Chunibyo Demo Koi ga Shitai! (Chunibyo for short), is an interesting little anime in its own right. It fell into a season with a lot of other romantic comedies, but strangely enough that doesn’t hinder it, because you’d struggle to find one quite as crazy and amusing as this one is.
Our lead male character is Yuta Togashi, a seemingly normal enough guy just about to start his first year of high school. But then we’re shown that, strangely enough, Yuta has picked a high school which is as far away from his original school as you can get. Why has he done this? Well, because Yuta suffered from eighth-grader syndrome. Eighth-grader syndrome is where kids pretend they are something they actually aren’t, such as having magical or dark powers, and generally act really differently to everyone else, which in Yuta’s case amounted to him becoming the “Dark Flame Master” and thinking he had the powers of the dark flames. Needless to say, once you grow out of it this syndrome is embarrassing and we can’t really blame Yuta for wanting to make a fresh start away from all his old classmates. Of course, life isn’t simple and Yuta may think he’s escaped his past, but in truth he hasn’t, which quickly becomes apparent when he meets Rikka Takanashi who lives in the apartment above his own and will be attending the same high school. Oh, and she has yet to grow out of the eighth-grader syndrome.
The first few episodes go on to show the interaction between Yuta and Rikka as the two seemingly always end up together with Yuta embroiled in Rikka’s random delusions regardless of if he wanted to be involved or not. Add in the most popular girl in Yuta’s class, along with a couple of other characters and you have the base for a fun little comedy, especially once Rikka sets up a school club based around her delusions. That said, while the comedy is nice and all, after five or so episodes the series starts to lose its touch and you wonder just how it will spend the last of its episode when the middle is feeling so lacking. Thankfully, it’s here where the series begins to tone down the comedy and focus on the romantic interest between Yuta and Rikka, but the series also begins to explore Rikka’s backstory and the reasons why she’s the way she is.
The later episodes of this series really are the ones which shine. Once we learn about Rikka’s past its hard not to really become attached to her character and as the series goes on and we see the feelings between her and Yuta progress and you realize how right the two are together, you only want to see this series end on a high note and it doesn’t disappoint. The last episode didn’t feel as fulfilling as it could have, especially after the build-up the episode before it gave, but nevertheless I came away happy. It’s only looking back that, while the earlier episodes could feel pointless, the offered great character development for Yuta and Rikka which is what allowed the series to have such emotion for its final few episodes.
As far as the animation goes it was really nice throughout. When Rikka got really sucked into her delusions and did ‘battle’ with other characters we were treated to some really nice animation which made it feel as real to the viewer as Rikka found it. While the series kept up really nice quality throughout, it was undoubtedly the later episodes which offer us the prettiest of scenes which will have you not wanting to look away. The character designs were all really nice too, Rikka is suitably cute and Yuta looks like the older brother type who will happily look after her and you want him too.
As far as the soundtrack goes the are some really nice pieces of music here and there and it all seems to fit together nicely. It likely won’t be memorable for a long time to come, but it’s nice for what it is. The opening and ending themes are both really nice too, but again likely won’t be as memorable as other openings from the past few months.
As mentioned earlier, the character development given to Yuta and Rikka early on is very well done, but that isn’t to say the series hasn’t handled looking after the other characters in the series well, because it does and each gets enough focus where you care about them too, even if Yuta and Rikka are at the forefront of your thoughts.
Overall it’s a good series. It may start to lose its why in the middle while it decides if it wants to continue with the comedy or go down the more serious route, but once it makes up its mind it certainly is a special series and a nice watch for those looking for a fun romantic comedy.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! is a great anime, especially for those who can't get enough of romantic comedies. I must admit, the romantic part of the anime doesn't really kick in until about episode 7 or 8, but enjoy the hilarious antics of our main cast up until then. Our main duo consist of Togashi Yuuta who used to suffer from Chuunibyou (8th Grade Syndrome) and Takanashi Rikka who still has it. The other main cast consist of Kumin Tsuyuri, Mikoto Isshiki, Shinka Nibutani and my favorite character Dekomori Sanae who also has Chuunibyou and calls Rikka her master. Before I can go into telling you what this anime is about, you must first understand what is Chuunibyou. Chuunibyou is sort of like playing pretend, you know back when you were younger and you used to play things like house, doctor or maybe cowboys and robbers. The only difference is that people with this syndrome are normally in the 8th grade and take their pretend world very seriously which is what lays down the comedy sketches in this show. Now for those who have forgotten this condition and moved on like Yuuta has, that time of their life is the most embarrassing moment of their entire life and it is something they would like to forget. When someone like Rikka comes along and begins to make Yuuta relive that embarrassing time over and over again, it's quite aggravating for him but is hilarious for us the viewer. As the show progresses we get to see how and why Rikka developed Chuunibyou and eventually her and Yuuta begin to fall in love as a result, but this blossoming romance brings another problem. As Rikka's Chuunibyou induced make believe world begins to collide with reality, this brings an ultimatum that produces a somewhat tragic scene that I don't want to spoil it for you so I will let you see for yourself. Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai is only funny for those who understand the art of randomness, but those who are looking for actual punchlines and such, go somewhere else. The characters are each unique in their own way and each play a role in the comedy that makes this anime so funny, and the overall plot is well put together, smoothly building up each episode until it creates a magnificent and beautiful climax that makes you want to stand up and start clapping as if you just got finished watching Titanic (not to say this anime is as good as Titanic).
I just recently finished re-watching Chuunibyou Demo KOI ga Shitai!, and felt compelled to write a very favourable review.
Chuunibyou is an anime that attempts to open a lot of registers at once and how well they combine is the truest grade meter for a show that is both a romantic comedy and a drama series, with some crazy action scenes thrown in the mix.
Playing in and around high school, that tried and tested scenery of most all Japanese productions, the cast is made up of ex-fantsy world dweller Yuuta, his currently diseased neighbour girl Rikka and the Magic hobby club they draw around themselves. A lot of the show's humour is in how these figures, drawn to the club willingly or otherwise, interact; little feuds and budding loves abound in the close quarters of a club room.
Sometimes the feuds erupt into battle and these are portrayed as magical fantasy duels in which the animators have spared absolutely no effort. Many kudoes for the graphical representation of this bright and shining anime.
From a cute high school comedy the tone chages as the drama is introduced halfway the series in the reason why Rikka is holding on to her fantasy world, apparently common in middle school, well into high school.
Then the show gets a real romantic edge as Yuuta and Rikka gradually discover their feelings for each other, but are at a loss how to tell each other this, and they circle around each other like lost souls. The romance is as cute as the humour is, and really got to me some times.
This is one gem of a show and I am happily starting with season 2 now that I'm all refreshed on the plot.