Anime Review: Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai!

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Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! has “embarrassing” written all over it.  If you ever were in “that phase” back in middle/high-school, and those of you who have know exactly what I’m talking about, this is a series just for you.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! is an anime adaptation of the light novel series of the same name.  It follows Togashi Yuuta, a “normal” high school freshman, attempting to rid himself of his “abnormal” past middle school years of having chuunibyou, or “eight-grade syndrome.”  To summarize the concept of chuunibyou, it is essentially the state of mind of being overly self-conscious to the point of making up stories to build an image of oneself for others or fully believing they have mystical powers of some sort.  Anyways, Yuuta enters high school believing he will be able to put all his days as the Dark Flame Master and as a social outcast behind him, living a normal student lifestyle.  However, his plan becomes difficult when his classmate, Takanashi Rikka, knows of his past identity and has chuunibyou herself!

Throughout the beginning of the series, the ideal of believing in the fantasy and unreal is certainly shunned upon.  Hell, you might even start to feel embarrassed with the characters if you’ve gone through a phase similar to that growing up.  However, during this time following the characters, you’ll begin to understand why they all act the way they do.  It is certainly entertaining to see the interactions between Yuuta, the one trying to be normal and fit in, and Rikka, the delusional one with a self-proclaimed mystical eye hidden underneath her magic-sealing eye-patch.

The rest of the cast is sets up a good range of similar semi-outcasts that are either trying to lead normal lives, or just blatantly don’t care about how others perceive them.  The events and relationships that happen between these side-characters, outside of the main story, never really get proper closure.  Then again, this is a light novel adaptation that just can’t encompass everything.  But it is still worth mentioning.

Kyoto Animation (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Clannad, Full Metal Panic Fumoffu) has once again amazed me with a series with good direction and animation.  While I am not too fond of the fact that all of Kyoto Animation‘s character designs for their shows these past couple years have started to all look the same, the production value overall makes up for it.  For the delusion scenes throughout there series, it is apparent that the animators had fun (and a hell of a hard time) drawing them.

The scene direction and set up is fine-tuned to really set the mood every time.  For a story that questions the teenage psyche, nearly every scene is treated to really delve into at least one character’s thoughts.  Additionally, the sound direction to further boost the mood of the scenes are really well placed.  This is a series that will likely tug at your heart.

What I truly love about this series is the way it fully illustrates that child within all of us that wishes for fantasy to be reality.  Even if our hobbies are merely existent for us to escape from the tortures of real life, that breather is what keeps us sane.  I know that despite how logical a personality I have, a part of me deep down still wishes I could become as amazing as the Dark Flame Master.

(Note: I will be changing up my rating system from here on out. From “x/10” to “x/5” to make it simpler.)

Story: 4/5

Art/Animation: 4.5/5

Sound: 4.5/5

So, should you check this out? Verdict:

Confirmed (GOOD)

– Pros: Great story, animation and sound direction.

– Cons: Some side stories don’t get closure.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! can be found as Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions on the Anime Network.  The first episode is available for all, but the rest is only for subscribers.

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