Love, Chunibyou & Other Delusions, Japanese title Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai!, is the romantic-comedy story of first year high schooler Yūta Togashi, and his misadventures with a girl named Rikka Takanashi, a strange girl with chūnibyō, or “junior high second grade illness.” Those “afflicted” with chūnibyō suffer from delusions of a fantasy world where they take on a whole new persona. In the series, this is depicted as something comparable to LARPing (Live Action Role Playing). The anime is based on a light novel series of the same name. I am only reviewing the anime as I have not read the light novels.
Yūta also suffered from chūnibyō while in junior high; taking on the persona of “Dark Flame Master.” However, upon entering high school, he tried to adapt to normal schooling and hide his past as much as possible. This proves to be impossible when he meets Rikka and her delusion of being the master of the “Tyrant’s Eye.” This starts the outlandish adventure of Rikka trying to search for the “Ethereal Horizon”, while Yūta is trying to keep under wraps to keep his past hidden from the other students.
Throughout the course of the series, Yūta regularly witnesses several “battles” between characters. The battle scenes for these are beautifully animated. The concept of the battle sequences is also quite humorous. The battles consist of flashy animation and oversized weapons; however, the battles represent only what’s in the characters’ imaginations. The battles are not really happening.
The battles are nothing more than pretend. A prime example of this, is during one of the many battles between Rikka and her older sister, Toka Takanashi. In these battles, Rikka will use her “weapon”, which she has named the “Schwarz Sechs Prototype Mk II”, and Toka will use a large spoon shaped weapon. In reality, these “weapons” are nothing more than an umbrella and a soup ladle respectively. Another example of these “weapons” is with Rikka’s friend Sanae Dekomori. Dekomori uses a weapon she calls Mjolnir, which is a giant hammer, but in reality the weapon is just her pigtails with weighted bags attached to them. This concept of flashy sequences is also present in other areas in the series, such as when Rikka uses her Tyrant’s Eye, when it’s only a yellow colored contact lens.
All in all, the series was very enjoyable. I normally don’t enjoy any romantic-comedies, but a large majority of the romance was saved until the end of the series, so I found it to be easy to watch. The animation was well done, as was the voice acting.
I do have two main issues with the series.
The only character in the series that gets any major characterization is Rikka. She’s the only character who gets any real backstory. I would have liked to see more of a history between Rikka and Yūta. The only history we see between the two, is when Yūta was still afflicted with chūnibyō, Rikka witnessed him playing around and decided she would do the same, making Yuta one of the causes behind Rikka’s chūnibyō,. However, this is the only history shown, and really the only history shown for Yūta despite him being one of the main two protagonists of the series. This may be elaborated more in the light novels.
The other problem I have with the series is the plot. It’s your typical boring and cliché “boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love” storyline. Anyone who has any experience in romantic-comedy anime can call out the ending without even watching the series
(SPOILER: Yūta and Rikka become boyfriend and girlfriend. Oh wow, BIG shocker right? Nobody EVER saw that coming! What a surprise!).
While the details surrounding the events are obviously special to the series, and the use of the chūnibyō is unique, it’s the same ending we’ve seen before. It really was a letdown in the grand scheme of the series, but what can you expect from a romantic-comedy series?
I enjoyed the series even with its minor problems, and, as I said before, I haven’t read the light novels and so my opinions are based on the anime only and should be taken as such. But this is definitely a series to look into whether you like romantic-comedies or not.
If you’d like to watch Love, Chunibyou & Other Delusions, currently The Anime Network is streaming it online here.
Season 2 of the anime has also started. The first episode was shown on Crunchyroll on January 8, 2014 for premium users. For free users, they will have to wait until an extra week for each new episode. The Crunchyroll stream can be found here.