Post Reply Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions
Content Overlord
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F / San Francisco
Posted 4/15/14 , edited 4/15/14
Written by eclipsed_oblivion

Everyone has experienced those early years of adolescence they wish they could forget. Known as “chunibyo” in Japanese, those years of immaturity and pretending to have magical powers are deathly embarrassing, but with anime series Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - Heart Throb - these years can be remembered in a hilarious, but heartwarming way. Now in its second season, Chunibyo is consistent in quality with the first while still incorporating new elements, and it also continues its trend of fantastic character development. Most thought-provoking, however, is its focus on how to move forward in life while still maintaining a childlike heart.

This childlike heart is in reference to Yuta Togashi’s girlfriend, Rikka Takanashi, a high schooler still suffering from chunibyo. After they finally started dating at the end of the first season, one would think they would act more like a couple, but they haven’t even held hands yet! While Yuta is worrying about how to advance their relationship, a threat to that pops up in the form of Satone Shichimiya, his childhood friend and the cause of his own chunibyo in middle school! Both humorous and moving, Chunibyo is about growing up without losing one’s self, but how it isn’t always easy to do so.

Chunibyo is very consistent with its first season in both content and quality, but also makes sure to include new elements, such as this theme of growing up. It’s a logical progression from the first season, as the first season focused on whether one must give up one’s interests to become an adult, whereas this season considers how to grow up while still being oneself. Aside from this, Chunibyo also continues with its exceptional comedy, but this time, it ties in the humour with meaningful moments of character development. This means fewer slapstick moments and more surprising character revelations, which makes for more powerful humour. The newest element, however, is the inclusion of new character Satone Shichimiya. Her existence is certainly worthwhile and doesn’t feel included for the sake of it, as she propels the plot forward through both her interactions with the characters and her own feelings. This adds a refreshing flavour that is unique to this season, but also remains fun.

This season of Chunibyo also continues its trend of fantastic character development, but this time with a different approach. Instead of focusing mostly on Rikka like in the first season, now Yuta and Rikka’s relationship is in the spotlight. The two are incredibly shy, so the way Yuta and Rikka figure out how to express themselves and deepen their relationship without making each other uncomfortable is extremely charming. Besides just Rikka and Yuta’s relationship, Chunibyo also focuses a lot more on the side characters than before. All the members of Yuta and Rikka’s club, the Far Eastern Magical Napping Society, become much more fleshed-out than ever before, and we finally get to learn more of their own quirks, talents, and motivations. Though having only the main two characters well-developed worked on its own before, having the entire cast expanded upon makes us care more about not just the characters, but the series as a whole.

The series as a whole, however, wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without thought-provoking themes, and Chunibyo’s most captivating theme is definitely about how to move forward in life without giving up one’s childlike side. Chunibyo makes a point of showing how important it is to embrace oneself and to only move forward at a reasonable pace, and it shows this through Yuta and Rikka trying to advance their relationship to at least holding hands, not rushing through the stages. However, the series does also focus on how staying stagnant in a constantly changing world will only hold one back and potentially harm oneself, as is shown through the threat new character Satone poses to Yuta and Rikka’s static relationship. Most importantly, however, is that Chunibyo reminds us how we must respect both others and ourselves in the end. Yuta is constantly thinking of how he can move the relationship forward without scaring or hurting Rikka, but acknowledges that he feels uncomfortable with the idea of moving too quickly as well. It’s important to balance growing up with self-respect, as well as to never sacrifice who one is, and this is what Chunibyo is all about.

As a very much-anticipated second season, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - Heart Throb - doesn’t fail expectations. It is very consistent with the first season in both plot and quality, but also has new elements that make the series still feel fresh. The character development also continues to be terrific, especially since all the characters get equal screen time this season, which makes Chunibyo feel better rounded. The aspect of the series most accessible, however, is its take on growing up while not sacrificing anything about oneself. Chunibyo is ultimately a nostalgic tale that brings the most embarrassing years of our lives back to the surface, but does so in a way that is both so hilarious and moving that we can almost remember these years fondly again.
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24 / M / Colorado
Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14
Good and nicely written review.

Though, I disagree with you with on a lot of points. I do not think this season lived up to the first season at all. I thought this season was major let down. I liked how in the first season there was more of a vibe of growing up and letting go of certain things.

The charm of the chunibyo was pretty great and Yuta's and Rika's relationship was very interesting.

But this season, however, I felt was totally pointless and that they were just trying ride on the charm they had from the first season. Pretty much nothing happened between Rikka and Yuta at all, and it was a major let down. The first 7 episodes I thought were good because it had a good build up. Then, it just went off the deep end. in episode 7, something huge happens and it isn't even addressed till the last episode (barely). We are left hanging for 5 episodes and we basically don't get see anything between Yuta and Rikka after that. We're just left with Shichimiya and the other characters as being the main focus and I thought that was just wrong. I like Shichimiya and the other characters, but you don't just leave the audience in the dark for 5 episodes.

Because how they set up everything up, I didn't care one bit about the other characters since I just wanted to know what was happening with Yuta and Rikka! Which is a shame since I did like seeing more of the other characters, but since they left us with a major cliffhanger in episode 7 I just didn't care about them at all.

And then when we did see Yuta and Rikka after episode 7, it was like nothing happened! What is up with that? It was to the point where I thought it was almost too unrealistic for nothing to be happening between them. We had this major build up and then no climax. That doesn't just happen in real life especially in a loving relationship like they have. No matter how immature the characters were, they had been going out for like a year and nothing has happened. You're just going to tell me that the only "major" strides that happened in that year was at the very end of that year? Why the hell would even be going out at that point? That's absurd and not believable at all. I still felt like they had a brother and sister relationship at best.

And then the ending was absolutely terrible. They had one chance to redeem themselves and then Yuta goes back to, "we don't have to rush it!!! BLAH BLAH BLAH!" Give me a damn break. The whole season felt like it was worthless. They had a good set up the first few episodes and then crashed and burned to the point of no return in the second half.
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32 / M / Japan
Posted 5/12/14 , edited 5/12/14
I like the discussion coming up here.

I agree that there was an obvious "milking" of sorts with how the original author extended the series beyond it's original base. The presentation made Shichimiya more of a trivial inclusion, if anything, as her own inner conflict to resolve her past feelings was negated by deepening her own delusional sense of self-denial. If anything, Shichimiya is the pinnacle of running away from reality and not facing the truth. Her actions were all round-about, and Yuuta is an idiot for being the dense fool that he is.

Back to Rika and Yuuta's relationship, on the other hand, I actually appreciated the development that occurred in the second season. The reason why it seems like nothing happened is because that was precisely the point. As goes with any show that tries to play scenarios AFTER the confession scene (first season), you'll get a lot of side-tracking or status-quo situations that simply yank on the heart strings of the viewer. Unless the type of development you're expecting is hopping on the good foot and doing the bad thing (thank you, Austin), then you're better off reading Doujinshi.

But seriously, their development is somewhat interesting from the point-of-view of people who actually DO have a history of being delusional (chuunibyou). Coming to grips with who you are and reconciling the demands of a maturing relationship were the key elements in the second season. Although it did blunder around with the almost unnecessary inclusion of Shichimiya, the point was made much clearer come the final episode.

In the end, the intention was there, but the execution was somewhat haphazard. The story could have been a little more meaningful if more thought was placed into how pivotal a role Shichimiya could actually play in pushing forward the relationship of the two while maturing herself in the process. Instead, she's the image of a person in denial in the friend zone; Yuuta is a dense imbecile who waits for other girls to point out he's being a douche; and Rika is taking things at her own pace. That pretty much sums up the entire show.
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