Kyoto Animation’s Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! brings us into the world of Takanashi Rikka and Togashi Yuuta, two high-schoolers who are… not that normal. Togashi Yuuta is a former chuunibyou, or “eighth-grader illusions of grandeur” syndrome patient. During middle school, he lived the role of Dark Flame Master, an original made-up character. When he entered high school, he vowed to lead a normal life, leaving the Dark Flame Master behind. On the other hand, Takanashi Rikka, or known by chuunibyou name The Tyrant’s Eye, is in high school and is still living the role. What’s worse is that Rikka starts getting into Yuuta’s life, replanting the seeds of chuunibyou into Yuuta. Yuuta tries with all his might to reject Rikka’s influence, but in the end, they fall for each other. But, there’s a dark side behind Rikka’s chuunibyou and it lies in her past. It’s Yuuta’s job to find out what happened in the past, which may hold the key to finally curing Rikka from her chuunibyou.
Assisting Yuuta are Nibutani Shinka, your typical serious, ambitious, striving-to-be-perfect, beautiful girl; Isshiki, the wannabe womanizer who is just desperate; Tsuyuri Kumin, a cute upperclassman who just loves napping; and Dekomori Sanae, better known as wielder of the Mjollnir Hammer and servant of the Tyrant’s Eye (chuunibyou-wise).
Now let’s get on to the review!
Chuunibyou arguably has a good plot, though it may seem a bit unoriginal. It’s a vanilla love story with a few twists, nothing more. If you’ve played any visual novels or watched romance anime, it’s similar to that. It’s the chuunibyou that makes it original, the “secret spice” that makes the anime noticeable. Also, the plot is taken at a nice pace: not too fast, not too slow; just right. However, there’s a certain something that happens in the later episodes: time-jumping. The good thing is, it adds to the suspense and produces cliffhangers, which I kinda like. On the downside, we can’t really see some development, especially after Rikka decided to let go of her eyepatch.
Nonetheless, Chuunibyou’s plot is still above average. Starting from Yuuta and Rikka’s first encounter, the story progresses smoothly to the part where they confess to each other. The flags are very explicit, which is kinda nice, because it prevents me from making up scenarios. Kudos to a nice plot!
Chuunibyou’s characters make the series shine. The idea of having a chuunibyou heroine is just… original, and the hero has to be normal as a control variable. The characters are developed nicely, especially Yuuta and Rikka. The side characters are also given enough appreciation as they are given lots of airtime. It’s good that they didn’t decide to use Rikka as a fans service target.
Takanashi Rikka is, without chuunibyou, a normal, somewhat innocent high school girl who has a petite physique yet pretty busty. With chuunibyou, she’s a mighty ruler of darkness who talks in her own jargon and roundabouts and wears an eyepatch and colored contacts. She has had a dark past with her father dying and family breaking apart. To seek refuge from the harsh reality, she embraced her chuunibyou self. She is known as a weirdo in school, but she doesn’t care. A touching yet dark back story. Rikka’s development is quite rich: from facing hardships, having chuunibyou, releasing chuunibyou, until finally embracing chuunibyou again with the help of Yuuta.
Yes, Takanashi Rikka is the main center of this anime. I’ll just come clean; she’s too damn cute! And the best part is, she isn’t exploited for fans service.
Togashi Yuuta is not your perfect character, but he knows what needs to be done. His indifferent attitude towards Rikka in the early stages was understandable; he wants to get away from chuunibyou. However, the story developed him into the perfect match for Rikka. The result? A heartwarming story of two souls seeking their true selves in this world through chuunibyou.
I first thought Nibutani Shinka will be Yuuta’s guidance counselor, but it turns out she’s also a former chuunibyou patient, ruining her “perfect” image. However, it’s a good thing. Without the “former chuunibyou” part of Shinka, she wouldn’t even fit in the story. And yes, she’s pretty cute. She also adds to the humor of the story and she’s the one who gives Yuuta his epiphany. Without Shinka, the story may not even progress at all.
Dekomori is the closest link to Rikka that Yuuta will ever have, thus she serves a major role in the story. She is also there for comedy purposes because its funny seeing her swinging her twintails around. Isshiki and Kumin are just there for comedy purposes. They serve as the side couple, adding humor to the story. Isshiki’s endeavors at trying to chicks to dig him are good laughs, while Kumin’s innocence is just cute.
Sadly, I find the music to be somewhat… ordinary. I kinda liked the opening, “Sparkling Daydream” by ZAQ, but the ending, “Inside Identity” by Black Raison d’etre was just not to my liking. However, the background music was good and played at the right timings.
Graphics and Artwork (5/5)
It’s KyoAni, home of the best illustrators in the anime industry. The character designs are splendid and cute, and the backgrounds were drawn very nicely. You just can’t deny it, Chuunibyou has superb graphics. The chuunibyou battles were also animated perfectly, with those amazing skill flashes and lights.
I’d say that Chuunibyou is, in fact, one of the best series I’ve ever watched. The story and characters were perfectly made and developed nicely. I can’t explain it in more words; just go watch the damn series already! You certainly won’t regret it, unless you’re an anti-love or anti-cute or don’t have a heart because it’s already been taken by Satan.