Vanishment This World!
Hello and welcome to one of the most looked forward to sequels of the season! So how was the return to the world of the Tyrant’s Eye and the Dark Flame Master?
Living Alone or Living Together?
They’re all full of prurient interest
Of course, the biggest deal made in this first episode of the show is about living arrangements. Yuuta’s living on his own, since his Mom and sisters moved to Jakarta where Dad was working. And Rikka, no longer living with her mother since she moved to a different location for her job. And Touka’s moving to Italy. So of course, Rikka’s grandfather let the lease lapse on her apartment, getting her ceremoniously dumped out on the street, at which point Yuuta offers a spare room.
Kuzuha ends up being the loli chaperone
It’s pretty darn silly to me that Yuuta and Rikka living in the same apartment is any more scandalous than Yuuta and Rikka living alone each in two separate apartments that are right next door (well, upstairs / downstairs). If these two kids were going to be enjoying some cuddly time, what difference would having TWO apartments make? It’s not like there’s some magic apartment chaperone. But to everyone else this is a big deal. I guess they had to make a big deal out of something.
What do you do with a girl like this?
In reality, tho, these two aren’t any closer physically than they were at the end of the last series, or the Christmas OVA. And while Yuuta says they’re “kind of dating”, he admits he has no idea how to take their relationship any farther, and it’s pretty obvious that’s because of Rikka. He just has no idea where to go with her, and it’s pretty obvious that she’s still in the “what do I do with a boy, I’m too embarrassed!” stage. So instead of being rabu-rabu, she reverts into her chuunibyou persona, keeping Yuuta at arm’s length with the obfuscation of her delusion.
Defending their turf
But the living arrangements are resolved with the sudden return of Kuzuha, interrupting the grilling Touka (along with the rest of the gang) is giving Rikka and Yuuta after the expected set piece battle. I’ll be honest: compared to Kyoukai no Kanata, I find the battles in Chuu2koi to be more imaginative, more fluid, and just all around more interesting. And it really helps that it encompasses both the ‘real’ world and the shared delusional space. I just find the overall package more appealing. But back to Kuzuha: She’s back for school, and even if she’s the younger sister, I think everyone realizes she’s the most responsible person there. So Rikka will continue living in the same apartment as Yuuta for the foreseeable future.
And being thoroughly routed
The Rest of the Gang
A joke book and a maiden
I died. After having been immersed in Lillian jogakuinkotobu (Girls Academy, High School Division) for the past week and a half, I absolutely died when Shinka bust out with that “gokigenyou” after walking up in her long skirt with her long black hair. At least for me, that was perhaps the funniest thing in the show. Not that there weren’t some other good parts. Kumin trying – and failing miserably with bad puns – to be a comedian and the continued bromance of Shinka and Sanae also pinged on the funny meter, especially since their rivalry has moved from the realm of chuunibyou to actual school grades as well. I do think it’s continually funny that Shinka wants to ‘erase’ her Mori Summer persona from existence but keeps doing it with other fake personas. She might think that one is better than another, but all she’s really doing is compartmentalizing herself. About Isshiki… we shall not speak.
Another thing I’m kind of reluctant to speak about is the new OP and ED, again both written by ZAQ. Neither “VOICE” nor ‘”Van!shment Th!s World” captures the catchiness of the first series’ themes, and maybe they’ll grow on me, but they’re certainly not the instant earworms that “Sparkling Daydream” and “Inside Identity” were, which is a little disappointing. Other than that, everything’s definitely up to the level of the first season of Chuu2koi, that is to say great KyoAni animation, good voice work and timing, and overall high production values.
I will never tire of Kumin getting walloped by the ladle.
Chuu2koi is back, and almost feels like it never left. That’s good, in that it’s still feeling like the same show, but it’s also a little disappointing in that there’s zero development since the things we’ve already seen. We’ll see if the new character stirs things up too much, or helps contribute to the fun.