Reviews: Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai
Great Series, Hits Hard and Soft
While technically a romantic comedy, a dramady would be more accurate to describe this anime. The art and animation are very high quality. The central idea of this show is how pervasive escapism (whether believed, as in Chuunibyou, or not, as in acting) can be. The romance between Yuuta and Rikka is the archetype that frames and often drives the show. Morally, it explores how far one should escape into delusion, deal with one's past, and deal with your feelings. It also explores the social contagion of delusions and the path they take. Satone infects Yuuta who infects Rikka who infects Kumin, Shinka infects Sanae, and it continues on. I also like how "escape real world" becomes "escape imaginary world" becomes "escape preconceptions" - saying it's ok to dream and imagine but also you have to have a tether in reality too. Ex-Chuuni Yuuta tries to reject imagination and dream to escape embarassment he feels while Rikka pulls him back and continually tries to pull him back into it in her own special way. They balance themselves out, stabilizing them between the imaginary and real world. Unlike Yuuta, Shinka is in denial about her past and Sanae's constant antagonism forces her to deal with her past. Sanae, in my opinion, also opens up Shinka's heart to love that was closed off when she decided to stop being Morisummer. (I believe they are destined to become lovers.) The show hits on romantic love (soft hits) between Yuuta and Rikka but also takes on harder familial love and such (harder hits), such as Rikka's father's death and her escapism triggered by it, family unacceptance and understanding, dealing with close idols, one's own past, and such. One of my favorite parts of the show is how they deal with the romance developing between Yuuta and Rikka. Both of them are drawn by society's views of how a relationship should progress. They decide to buck those norms and love each other regardless of how they show it. In some ways they progressed to marriage before dating. They live together in the second season, and basically do before that given proximity. They hold or touch pinkies, touch noses, hold hands, all at their own pace. They love being around the other and don't feel the need to rush anything or do things they don't want to do. More true love, less stereotypical love in my opinion. Overall: 5/5 Stars
Curing a mental disorder... or not?
So, having watched the whole anime of this, what can I say? The idea that there are young people who have these sort of delusions is funny and frigthening at once. So how does the anime handle it? Awfully stupid, that's how. Let's get this straight, the whole idea was that Rikka can finally get over her Chuunibyou completely, face reality and accept the death of her father to finally move on to become an adult. You know, just like how life actually works. And she does this by... returning to delusions? Broken Aesop doesn't begin to describe it. The whole premise was thrown out of the window for a dumb ending of an otherwise awesome show. No thanks, I like the fact that most people do not have Chuunibyou Mr Supernarrator thrown in into the last minute to tell us nonsense we already knew and didn't want to hear. No, in fact there aren't all that many people who have chuunibyou and they certainly do NOT have it for their whole lives. Don't lie to us. Yes, I enjoyed the idea of seeing these teens face reality and overcome their childishness and grow up. That's because growing up doesn't suck. This makes it all the harder (and much dumber) to see the last shot of Rikka having returned to how she was at the beginning of the show, having undone essentially all character development. That's not how it works and certainly not a good message. "Oh, so you cannot handle reality? Don't worry, just pretend you do and everything will be fine." Thanks, I sure didn't need that.
What an Idiot The Anime, That's What This Is.
I personally do NOT like this anime, and for the following reasons: the characters (aside from Yuuta and Shinka) are so cliche and gimmicky it's not even funny, the situations get really awkward and pointless at times, there's a lot of overacting, and, most egregiously of all, I REALLY don't like the way it portrays its material. The show's about a kid who, when in middle school, used to pretend he was an anime character...no, I don't mean just for a little bit just to make people laugh. He actually BELIEVED with ALL his heart that he was a Dark Flame Master, and masqueraded as him EVERY SINGLE DAY. IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. IN PUBLIC. AND NOBODY SO MUCH AS BATS AN EYE. I know it's a matter of HOW they want to portray these issues, and I get that not everything has to be exactly accurate to real life, and I know this is a comedy and all, and I did laugh at some parts, but...it'd be one thing if Yuuta was in kindergarten when he did this, but...he was a freaking middle schooler! Who SHOULD have known better than to act like an anime character in situations where it's not appropriate! Anyone I know who'd have done that would have been bullied to the point of suicide if they got caught doing that in public where every one of their enemies could see them! How did NO ONE pick up on this?! I don't know if this is a Values Dissonance thing or what, but the creators really could have handled this a whole lot better, without making every character act like idiots. Also, does chuunibyou really exist? Because I don't believe that's true! I cannot believe that 8th grader syndrome is an actual disorder, because it sounds more like an excuse to me than anything.