First Impression – Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren

winter14-romcom-chuuni

Vanishment This World!

spring13-highwHello 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?

all prurient interest

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.

loli chaperone

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

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.

The gang

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.

Kaboom

And being thoroughly routed

The Rest of the Gang

gokigenyou

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 bad look

Don’t ask

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 this

I will never tire of Kumin getting walloped by the ladle.

header-spr13-highway

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.

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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26 Responses to “First Impression – Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren”

  1. zztop says:

    Makoto, this isn’t Chuuni Ball Z. (;-_-)
    Now you’ll have to become a Grillin again.

    • BlackBriar says:

      The poor guy can never catch a break.

      • Highway says:

        Well, he brings it on himself. You can give him credit for wanting to push the envelope, but he does it in so many bad ways.

        • BlackBriar says:

          His persistence despite knowing the possible consequences is to be admired.

  2. Foshizzel says:

    Great first episode for the new season! I am happy to see this cast of goofballs again and wow the first imaginary fight was awesome~

    • Highway says:

      Yep, at least for me, it was like “THIS is the fighting action they should be doing”. It really did put Kyoukai no Kanata to shame, imo.

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        I honestly didnt see any difference in the fighting choreography of the two shows. Technically they are of the same variety; the only difference being chuu2koi has the luxury of being whimsical since its a romcom (therefore ppl tend not to be as judgmental about it) while KnK’s fights needed to be tense and desperate since it was a dark fantasy, which it didnt do(which in my opinion was one of the major reasons why the fights werent as appeasing to the general audience). Besides that, I think the fights are handled are almost exactly the same.

        • Highway says:

          Some of it might have been that I didn’t care for the ‘blender style’ attacks that they used in KnK. These are much more what I’d consider nuke attacks: One big strike. So to me, the KnK fights kind of were weak, with a lot of swirls and swooshes, but not really much dynamism of major masses. This just appeals to me more.

          • sonicsenryaku says:

            I definitely see where you’re coming from and i agree to a certain extent. I thought KnK’s fight scenes where decent (animation-wise they were beautiful but that was about it) not too boring yet not tense or visceral enough to give some relevance to the sequences in regards to the narrative. And while their where swirls and slashes going on in KnK, a lot of the slashes had individual in-between animations to back them up so that they would stand out and not be looped like most shows(most of the time). Decent is the best way i can describe the choreography of those scenes. And i see what you mean by “nuke attacks” and yes, they do care that visual flair to make action scenes a bit more exciting.

            I think what grasps me most when it comes to the chuunibyou fights (besides the stellar animation) is the thought that these fights arent actually happening so my mind wanders as to what the hell the characters are actually doing in reality and it really adds to the experience of watching these chuunibyou fights play out… I mean that upside down castle??? now kyo ani is just showing off.

      • skylion says:

        I’ve always seen your point, but I’ve always thought it was an apple/orange argument.

        With KnK, the fights were meant to be quite sudden, and visceral in the appeal.
        But Chu2Koi, the “fights” are character moments. Visual leitmotifs, if you will. And they follow a different tone.
        I like them both for what they are, and what they contribute to the story. With the addendum that they should have had more variety in style in KnK.

        • Highway says:

          They’re definitely more personality driven in Chu2koi. But some of that may have been hurt in KnK by Izumi’s personality itself.

  3. MR.KLAC says:

    well give refresh aka re-introduce to those give new year yet same chuu-lifestyle as usual.

    now yuta & rika in same room with yuta sister being hang-on well just see how s2 be like?

    • BlackBriar says:

      I have a feeling it will easily be better than last season.

  4. skylion says:

    Ah, HWY we are on opposite sides on the music. Earworms are fine, but these new ones feel more like actual songs, but then that is me.

    All my chuunis are off to a good start. It will be interesting to see how the living arrangements will work now that the Chimera is out of the bag.

    This show has become an interesting litmus test. Lots of folks on other places on the ‘net just scream in outrage: “They’re living together, and they ain’t doin’ it! Dropped!”

    Well, that is rather the story, isn’t it. How on Earth is Yuuta going to make any advances when she can’t even tell him how she like her eggs cooked, without going chuuni?

    • Highway says:

      For me, a song that I’m listening to has to be one I *want* to listen to. And for it to be something I want to listen to, it has to have a hook. That’s not just a catchy part of the song, it could be something about the song’s circumstances, even. But it has to be something more than people singing and playing instruments. And neither of these two did that. They felt like “We gotta have 90 seconds of music to go along with these animation sequences. What can you get us? Eh, I guess that’ll do.”

      Teenager hormones can go a long way. But there’s also a wall between them that (primarily) Rikka has placed around herself, and while Yuuta can at least talk to her through it, he’s really not able to figure out how to open it up.

      Plus, they’ve only been living with each other for a week. I mean, come on.

      • skylion says:

        After three days, I don’t even have to imagine the detritus of random convince store items that would be stockpiled around my living space to hide the “shameful” item I would have bought to fit the circumstance. But then, this isn’t a normal context we are talking about.

        As for music, again, we see things from different perspectives. The original OP and ED felt just like “let’s fill up ninety seconds”, whereas the new ones feel like authentic songs. Ah, we live and learn.

        • Highway says:

          For me, “Sparkling Daydream” was made more special by the polarizing animation that accompanied it. And then Rikka Finger Spins synched to the chorus nailed it shut. And to be honest, “Inside Identity” didn’t really take off for me until the ZAQ version that’s the B-side of the “Sparkling Daydream” single. I still like it much more than the Black Raison d’Etre version, mostly because of the handclaps.

          I wonder if in Japan they actually sell those “shameful items” to minors.

  5. CarVac says:

    I found the scripting in the show to be… Really unnatural. And it wasn’t the translation, I thought it sounded awkward in Japanese too. It just wasn’t polished like the first season.

    Although I felt that also true of most of this season’s shows, unfortunately.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Chuunibyou is back in all its delusional splendor. It’s good to see the series again since the OVA left us hanging after being so good. The new school term and Nibutani and Dekomori are at it again like cats and dogs. Toka has a temporary appearance as well. Is it just me or has she gotten more skillful with her ladle and invading people’s privacy?

    • skylion says:

      Tooka has magic powers. Boomerang ladle, and hammer space gravure mags….

    • skylion says:

      The new school term and Nibutani and Dekomori are at it again like cats and dogs.
      Oh, my, yes.

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