Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai is a twelve episode anime that has a hard time figuring out what it wants to be until about halfway through. The initial half of the show is uninteresting and generic while the last half is touching and romantic. It’s the kind of show I started off making fun of and hating completely, an obvious three or four out of ten. But past that initial slump, it manages to be an entertaining and sad romance that satiates the thirst for decency you’ll want after the first six episodes.
The generic start to the plot is probably the most painful part of the anime. A mysterious girl shows up in front of main male character Yuuta. Yuuta is the generic character of all romance related anime. He’s got one strange quirk and is otherwise cardboard. That quirk is he just got over a case of eighth-grade syndrome, which is when you become engulfed in delusions. He believed himself to be the Dark Flame Master and owned swords and guns and rolled around pretending to fight evil.
The girl shows up once, then disappears, then reappears in his high school class. She is just like the Yuuta from a few months before as she’s completely delusional and believes herself to possess the Tyrant’s Eye. She sees things differently from Yuuta, she sees the world as a magical place and when having silly fights with friends, they turn into epic battles in her mind. She’s totally delusional beyond anything. She even wears an eyepatch and has a yellow contact so she can pretend to have this special eye.
Yuuta gets wrapped up with her and meets a few friends along the way. Nibutani is the class representative and a really pretty girl who Yuuta has a thing for. She becomes a cheerleader and seems like a totally normal girl until she joins the club Yuuta creates to search for a Horizon, some mythical, magical place. Then she turns out to be just like everyone else having had an eighth grade syndrome where she blogged about being a powerful mage.
Kumin is an older girl who joins the club to nap. She’s not really that exciting, nor memorable.
Makoto is that stupid, silly friend that all main characters in all romance anime have to have. He’s in love with Kumin.
And Dekomori is the silly, stupid loli that all anime have to have. She is the servant to Rikka and uses her twintails as a weapon. She’s the reason I almost quit the show.
Like I said, the initial six episodes are forgettable. They’re all fairly generic and you’d assume the rest of the show manages to continue to be crap.
But the last half is actually very touching. The reason for why Rikka is the way she is becomes apparent, a budding romance develops amongst much tragedy, and the ending (while fairly typical of anime of this type) manages to still be emotional and pretty powerful.
Even if half the show is crap and the characters aren’t great, I can give the little character development credit for being well executed and the animation is definitely fantastic. Characters look really good and environments are pretty. The one downside is how awful the tears look. Good God, dramatic scenes become hilarious because of how stupidly huge the tears are.
At first this show appears to be nothing less than a failed attempt at comedy (seriously, I might have chuckled three times over the course of the show) but as it progresses and the characters start to develop, you see that this isn’t at all as generic as it seems. It manages to take a stupid concept like delusional weirdos having a club and makes that into a highly likeable romance that is both cute and touching at the same time.
Cute girls, cute romance, but an overall mediocre show. I’m hoping that the second season manages to stay in touch with the romantic and character-specific side rather than the stupid goofiness of having eighth-grade syndrome. Or even strike a balance between the two. Because the show only seems to shine when it does just that, gets that balance between dumb and decent.
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