A kid trying to be normal, and one who isn’t, meet up in this great comedy.
Following up the excellent Spring / Summer series Hyouka, Kyoto Animation checks in for Fall 2012 with Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai (English title: “Regardless of My Adolescent Delusions of Grandeur, I Want a Date!”). Can this Light Novel adaptation match KyoAni’s other LN successes?
Starting right off, the show is hilarious. I think everyone can relate to the issue of Chu-2 Byou, otherwise known as 2nd-year Middle School syndrome. It refers to the tendency of late middle school students to reinvent themselves, sometimes in some affected or even outright fantastical way. And in the case of Yuuta Togashi, our main character (voiced by the seemingly omnipresent Jun Fukuyama), he’s trying to shed this part of him, and the reputation that he had as the “Dark Flame Master”. He just wants to be a normal guy, with normal friends, and a normal life.
See? Totally normal!
But this goal is threatened by his meeting Rikka Takanashi (voiced by Maaya Uchida), his new neighbor and a girl who also goes to his school (a school that’s pretty far away from Yuuta’s house, in order to further avoid his past reputation). She’s apparently still got the sickness, believing herself to be an agent with special powers. And indeed things keep lining up for her, with the train door opening on her ‘command’, and the vending machine giving her a free drink. It’s not really power, it’s just coincidences, and they both know it. But it’s fun to pretend sometimes.
The power to open the train door… on the platform.
The show is great to look at. The colors work well, the settings are nice. The backgrounds aren’t nearly as detailed as Hyouka, but they definitely suit the style of show. If I had to describe the characters, they’re more towards the K-On! look than Hyouka, actually very similar to K-On, but they drawing style seems somehow tighter, more controlled, and it doesn’t really seem to slip into what I would call the “moeblob” style. It’s a good cartoony style. But I have to admit, the first though I had upon seeing Yuuta was “This is what Houtarou Oreki would look like in K-On!” With the semi-physical style of comedy that’s used throughout the show, the character style works perfectly.
And the humor is definitely there. Rikka’s the center of most of it, so far, projecting her life of delusion on others, and encouraging Yuuta to not give up on his. Her antics don’t disappoint, and her smug satisfaction at her ‘power’ working is priceless. And her dragging of Yuuta into her delusional life just makes him wonder if he’s still ‘weird’. It makes a really fun dynamic, knowing that high school students are always worried about how ‘normal’ they are.
I love the way she struts!
No bad, the whole show was completely enjoyable, start to finish. The only bad is that I have to wait until next week for another episode.
Chuu2Byou is off to a great start, and if it keeps up like this, or even gets better, it could be another tremendous KyoAni hit.
Quite frankly, I’m very amused by Chuu2byou right now. It’s off to a very good start, and hopefully it’ll stay that way. The art looks good so far, and the OP and ED are a slightly catchy, albeit seizure inducing. As for the characters, I find Rikka to be hilarious. She’s so far removed from reality that I wonder if she’ll ever be “cured”. And the way things keep working out for her, despite the silliness of her actions, isn’t helping. It’s interesting that most of us probably consider her to be “cute”, while in real life we’d probably immediately distance ourselves from her and point and stare at “that one weirdo”. But I suppose the answer is; it’s anime. That said, undoubtedly there are those condemning Chuu2byou as yet another “moeblob” show. It’s true the character designs are on the “cute” side, but honestly I don’t think that’s the selling point of the show. Rather, I’d say it’s got some good comedy.
Bonus Rikka Dancing Gif! (thanks to Sumairii for the animated gifs!)