Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb

Alt title: Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

TV (12 eps)
3.907 out of 5 from 14,752 votes
Rank #1,511

In case Yuuta’s hands weren’t full enough with his delusional girlfriend, Rikka, the arrival of a former friend claiming to be his soul mate is about to take Yuta's crazy life to a whole new level!

Source: HIDIVE

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I saw the 2012 season of Chunibyo, Love & Other Delusions, then jumped to 2018 movie.  Now, with skipping this second season (winter 2014-15), I wondered what I missed in the jump.  I didn't feel the viewing of the movie was hampered by the skip, but when I had the chance to fill the gap I took it. New characters play a major part in advancing the story.  And the significant difference is the character of Satone, Yuta's former acquaintance (perceived by Satone as 'soul mate') from middle school now catching up in high school as the latest transfer.  Of course, Rikka would take Satone as a rival, and the animation technique to display those epic power-battles went full bore in these showdowns of contenders for the affections of Yuta's love.  But Satone has this fear that she can no longer remain the fallen angel if she falls for Yuta again.  It’s a delusion wrapped in a delusion, as Satone suffers through two episodes over the real danger love inflicts.  For Rikka, it is a renewal of the Compact which would move from pinky grips to hand holding to ... could kissing be that far down the road?  But would the new compact destroy her as the Wicked Eye of Lord Shigan?  And so, she avoids Yuta for an episode and falls into an inexplicable draining of her powers. Season two boils down to the battle of two delusions, chunibyou vs. love.  In Rikka's case, she feels that yielding to love would be the death blow to her chuni-life.  But note these two extremes in her delusion.  The Wicked Eye is code for Rikka's attachment to her dead father (season one quest).  The Dark Flame Master (and the Dragon within him) is code for the relationship Rikka wishes to have with Yuta, at the possible cost of her dear chunibyou.  Yuta, while generally clueless to girl-boy relationships, does know when to yield to Rikka's sensitivities and deal with her, sometimes as Yuta, sometimes as the Dark Flame Master.  But the tension between chuni and love persists even at the climax when Yuta professes that the time to deepen the relationship must come, and he will allow his Dragon to surface.  Love can be complicated ... or was that the chunibyou? But the strength of Chunibyou, Love and Other Delusions comes from the great chemistry from other directions, particularly Shinka and Sanae, two frenemies who can't stand each other, but this doesn't let them keep from caring when one is in danger.  The tightness of the CL&OD plotline is demonstrated in Sanae's encounter with another  Morisummer fake (a real fake, not the pseudo-fake that Shinka really, really is), an older woman who would draw Sanae into an uncomfortable lesbian relationship.  Shinka refers to a first kiss given in the first season OVA which sullies the wily freshman with that 'first kiss' mystique.  When these two get together, great comedy ensues (which is why Shinka and Sanae was the heart and soul of the 2018 movie).  Usually placid (when not snoozing) Kamin proves to be a sage senpai when she gives Yuta advice for the lovelorn.  Yuta turns out to have a near-harem relationship with the four girls of the series.  Not so much Mokoto, the luckless boy who can't win a heart and becomes totally invisible when his summer lifeguard job darkens his skin to the point of lack of recognition (the new transfer student?).  Luckless with girls, but Mokoto is in danger of gaining a devoted ‘boyfriend’ with whom he may be the best ‘girlfriend.’  More discomfort. It struck me when I noted that the power of DL&OD is the girl cast members.  Watch the opening and closing credits.  Fascinating technique of imaginative scenes.  Count the number of boys.  If you reach one ... other than the silhouette of Yuta at the very end of the closing.  It is all the girls' perspectives of falling in love during that dangerous time of high school.  Boys either are too clueless or too hormonal at this stage. But don't let those lovey-dovey things get in the way of all the magical moments of battles in realms mystical.  Delusional as things may be, time will resolve things (AKA get that third season going!).

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