Love, Chinibuyo & Delusions
Rikka's situation grew dire. Fleeing the countryside where the syndicate's influence grew too strong, she found herself boarding with a high priestess of evil. Rikka plays along with the high priestesses' ruse of "attending school", although she's considered an outcast there. An eye patch conseals the sealed "wicked eye", which reveals to her a new ally: Dark Flame Master. He attempts to blend in at school, but Rikka isn't so easily fooled. A fellowship is formed as a school club, with more joining the cause. Soon. Soon the syndicate will fall!
Back in reality...
Yuta reveled in
Watching the most seizure inducing intro I've seen since Kimagura Orange Road (with pictures flipping back and forth) I already felt good things - or maybe I was simply getting dizzy. The title is Chunibyo demo Koi ga Shitai! (often shortened to Chu-2), released domestically as "Love, Chinibuyo and Other Delusions". While I liked the setup, I was skeptical the story would hold up with the concept, but that turns out to be among the stronger features of Chu-2.
There's clearly great chemistry between Yuta and Rikka in the first episode, but I had my doubts the others joining the cast would fair as well. One girl likes napping (that's about all she does), and an immature friend of Rikka I found annoying. Then Nubutani is added only as a potential love interest at first, but she serves many roles in the anime, becoming a linchpin holding everything together.
The first season is a good comedy until shifting into a drama concerning Rikka's past, and why she adheres to juvenile behaviors of delusion. Chu-2 struck me as all gimmicky comedy (done well), but I was impressed with the gentle touch taken with this topic. Due to the quirky setup, I figured drama would surely fail but it's done in Chu-2 in a way that's relevant. Although another season follows, season 1 feels fairly conclusive.
After season 1 comes the movie, aka Rikka Takanashi's Revision. This makes it sound like a retelling of the TV series from Rikka's perspective. Instead it's a recap using existing footage. There's about 20 minutes of new content at the beginning and end which has no effect on the story. The movie is well edited, but shows nothing new, so I'd skip it.
In season 2 (Hearthrob) I became dismayed. Rikka reverts to full chinibuyo, and Yuta now accepts it. This dismantles the way they played off each other wonderfully in season 1, turning their relationship fairly dull. Thankfully other characters pick up the slack, with their time in the spotlight taking the show in good directions. A new girl is introduced: Magical Devil Girl. Instead of the typical added love rival, she supports Rikka and her relationship. Normally such characters become a spurious third wheel, but the way her story plays out I found endearing.
That's great and all, but what season 2 really comes down to is Mori Summer. OMFG Yes, Mori Summer! Many of the imaginary personas have their charm, yet none approach the awesomeness of Mori Summer. Seriously, you aren't worthy! She's only hinted at in the first season, but seeing her in all her glory makes this season so worth the watch.
Anyway, the relationship between Rikka and Yuta's becomes the focus again, and it works well. They want to progress their relationship, but the nature of Rikka's immaturity makes this difficult. Rikka finds this particularly stressful. Season two also feels quite conclusive.
Chu-2 is fun, with a good sentiment in its story too. That aside Rikka is a venerable factory of cute sounds, like some kind of anime girl squish toy (weird feature, but there it is). Chu-2 looks like the same anime stuff, but it's done well enough to say it's well worth the watch.
Rikka: Welcome to the dark side. Enter the formless chaos.
Yuta: That's kind of the same thing.
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reviewed by archen in 2015