Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren Review

Happy New Year!!! I’m writing this at 10 PM on December 31, 2015, and I think I’ll proofread it after my family is drunk off their rockers. TPAB wants to get this year going on the right path with a long ass review about a show I didn’t like. It’s a KyoAni show, and boy, is it a bad one. This is review number three hundred and forty three. This anime is part of the Winter 2014 lineup, and it’s a twelve episode anime. The anime I’ll be reviewing is called Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren or  “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions -Heart Throb-“. Yeah, this one hurts. Let’s read on already.

Story

This anime continues from the first season. Rikka and Yuuta are now a couple, and they are living together after a weird incident causes Rikka to lose her home. It’s a great way to improve their relationship, and its good thing their families are Ok with this sudden change. Romance is about to bloom, but someone moves into Rikka’s old apartment. It turns out to be a childhood friend of Yuuta, and she likes him very much as well. Rikka, Yuuta and the childhood friend are now about to have a love triangle fully charged with eight grade syndrome.

Taking the Pants Off

Oh man, I hate KyoAni. Let’s just get this out of the way. I don’t like what they’ve become, but I used to be a massive fan. I was into the Haruhism craze, I checked blogs that featured pilgrimages of their shows and I still have the opening song of Full Metal Panic in my laptop. I am a fan of KyoAni, but I hate them now. As a reviewer, you kinda notice a pattern with studios and directors. I guess after watching a diverse load of sh*t, you can see if there is really effort put behind the show. Lazy writing, awful animation and one dimensional characters are elements you can easily see. It’s like a skill you earned when you not only watch this much anime, but you also review them. For KyoAni, there is also a trend in their shows. I guess the general feeling I have is that they just doesn’t care. Compare the opening sequence of Haruhi Suzumiya to any of their recent shows, and you can discuss more things about the Haruhi OP. They’re just a lot more effort in the previous KyoAni shows, and it’s the reason why I’m such a big fan. KyoAni is as much of a geek as I am, and they’ll pour so much love of the fandom in their works that it just makes you smile. After K-On, I think KyoAni realized that people love moe and they can harness that energy to live on forever. I don’t mind that they keep pushing out the same slice of life cute bullsh*t that made them into an animation titan, but it also feels like they’re past celebrating the geek inside them. It’s like they’re better than that, and it makes sense just to create stuff for more money. For me, KyoAni is one of the studios that do a lot of soul-less shows. Yeah it has great animation, cute sh*t and all the other things that make it KyoAni but what else is there? I’ve already seen those in K-on, Tamako Market, and even Free. What else can you really show me? I’m getting bored seeing the same old thing. Is there really nothing new that KyoAni can give us? So that really they have to give? I know KyoAni can do so much more, but it feels like they don’t want to. It’s frustrating, because I honestly want to see them grow.

I haven’t touched a KyoAni show in a long while. I purposely avoided Free, and I’ll get back to that on another day. The last show I’ve seen is Kyoukai no Kanata, and I hated that anime. Something about a cool light novel being reduced to the same KyoAni formula just doesn’t sit right with me. Do we really need scenes where the characters act cute to one another? One or two in lull moments, but to have it topple the action oriented story just doesn’t feel right. Not only is KyoAni not trying anything new, it’s also forcing anything it adapts into the moeblob that it’s known for.  It pissed me off so much that I urged myself never to try another KyoAni show. A year has passed though, and I think it’s time to check up on KyoAni once again. So I recently saw Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren, and I got to admit: it’s the same KyoAni sh*t. Good gawd, this one is even worse than Kyoukai no Kanata. The other shows has a story to really get into, and it distracts from KyoAni’s attempt at spreading the moe virus on every single f*cking character. In the second season of Chuunibyou, there is no story and the KyoAni formula is badly stuffed to bulk up the anime. I honestly wanted a second season of this show just to see the romantic progression of our main characters, and I think that’s the point of making this. KyoAni absolutely ruined one of their good shows though. There is no attempt at making a story, the same old K-On formula of having cute girls do cute sh*t is prominently featured and every single thing about the first season is just poorly translated into the second season. This show didn’t have to exist, and you can tell how badly forced it is. It’s like KyoAni didn’t have anything good to show in the Winter season, so it decided to make Chuunibyou season 2. Oh wait, is there enough source material to make another season? It’s best to let the light novel widen the gap first. LOL, no, it’s OK. We’re going to wing this f*cker, because we have enough of the KyoAni formula to make up for the lack of content from the source material. It’s going to be alright. Hush now, and just watch this GIF of Azunyan in cat ears.

The second season is about the main characters entering their second year of high school. It’s a brand new year, but things still feel very much the same. The napping club is still doing its thing, Rikka and the gang still sports their awesome eight grade syndrome and Yuuta still feels exhausted trying to keep up. There is one big change though, and it’s that Yuuta and Rikka are now officially dating. They’re young kids in love, but it looks like neither of them really knows what to do from this point on. The rest of cast try and guide them, but it looks like their relationship is eventually challenged when Yuuta’s childhood friend reacquaints with him. This is the same girl that inspired him to be the Dark Flame master, and Rikka knows this girl has the hots for Yuuta as well. Rikka must now try and improve their relationship, or else the classic childhood friend will take Yuuta away from her. She must act fast, and prove that her love for Yuuta is stronger than anyone else’s.

I’ll admit that I love the premise. It is interesting to see another character with eight grade syndrome try and ruin the good thing that our main characters have established in the first season. It feels exciting, because you are invested in these characters and you want them to come out of this love triangle unscathed. The story isn’t anything exciting, but it still feels solid enough to be featured in this second season. With that being said, you can tell this anime has some very noticeable problems and it’s pretty evident in the first episode alone. First of all, the eight grade syndrome is back but it’s padded with absolute cuteness. For some reason, the anime decided to feature the eight grade syndrome at its full annoying force and pass it off as cute. The dialogue is now full of eight grade syndrome bullsh*t and I never notice how grating the damn thing is. I understand the appeal in the first season, because we have cute girls acting weird. In the first season though, the story calls for normal people to cringe with the absolute stupidity of the eight grade syndrome. Yuuta tried to erase his embarrassing past, and part of the entertainment comes from him going on a rage about how stupid the eight grade syndrome is. The first season also clearly express that the eight grade syndrome is an attempt by people to escape their problems. Rikka try to be the Tyrant’s Eye because she has some problems with her family or something. In the first season, the eight grade syndrome is a problem but also an identity some people are gallantly proud of. They shouldn’t be proud of it though, because it’s a pathetic attempt to escape real life. The first season has this wonderful message that the eight grade syndrome is a mix of a good and bad thing, but the show ends with Yuuta accepting the bad side of Rikka because he loves her. In the second season, the eight grade syndrome is nothing more than an excuse to deliver the typical KyoAni cuteness in another fashion. The story aspect of the eight grade syndrome is gone. In other words, this second season doesn’t have a story in it.

Wait, what about the premise of the show about the love triangle? It slowly unfolds in the anime, yeah, but it isn’t as well executed as you’d expect. For some reason, the love triangle isn’t properly developed in this anime. I call absolute bullsh*t about this, because the last thing you’ll expect from an LN anime is a lack of exposition. What? Did those volumes of the original source just contain fan drawings or something? No. It contains a story, so what the hell? The love triangle is badly developed? That doesn’t make sense. Well, if the story isn’t featured in this anime then what is? Well, it has the same thing KyoAni loves to feature in all of its show. We have cute girls doing cute things and it’s in a school slice of life setting. The focus is mostly on their club’s activities and their time just doing random things. The love story is set aside, because the show wants to feature the cute characters, with the annoying eight grade syndrome, just doing cute things with very little story.  KyoAni has once again forced another adaptation to look like the typical KyoAni show, and I f*cking hate it. Chuunibyou has a lot of potential to be so much more, and yet we see the story deliberately pushed aside for something so unsubstantial. I like the realistic approach of Chuunibyou, because the characters are humans but they act so animated that it hits a soft spot. The first season draws you in because you can weirdly relate to the eight grade syndrome. Rikka’s stupid fantasy rants feels familiar and comforting, but it also looks weird. The first season has a very rich story that I am a big fan of. It distracts from KyoAni’s petty attempt to make the show as cute as possible. In the second season, it seems like KyoAni didn’t like their cute sh*t unappreciated. They gutted the story, and they shoved the same old KyoAni formula down our throats. Chuunibyou had the decent balance of cuteness and story. I once saw the first season as the studios attempt to change, because they were injecting action scenes in the show signaling that they might try more action oriented anime down the line. The sudden change from the first to the second season is a sign that KyoAni is afraid of change. They don’t want to lose the “moe”, and they’re happy being a mediocre company while other studios are daring enough to try and change the anime landscape.

Ah, f*ck. I’m going off topic. Anyways, this show has three plot points. Keep in mind that they are developed rather sloppily. The episodes themselves feel a bit self-contained that nothing really develops. When an important element of the plot points is presented in an episode, it’s often resolved in the same episode as well. The buildup is dead, and the show is also loaded with the typical KyoAni scenes of characters just talking and playing with each other. Actually, the story is overshadowed by the characters just acting cute and play-fighting. While the cute sh*t is part of the first season, the overarching story of Rikka and Yuuta is the main focus. It’s a bit switched here, as the focus is more on the group having fun and trying to be the light music club. You can forget character development because nothing really happens here. The anime is really repressed so hard, so it can act like the typical KyoAni show. Anyways, the first plot point is the love triangle. Rikka and Yuuta started living together, and the people in their lives freaks out. The couple promises to behave though, and they were given a pass. It just means that their relationship is going on the up and up, and it’s a good sign moving forward. Rikka’s apartment is vacated though, and the new neighbor is Yuuta’s childhood friend. She is a magical girl, and she is actually the reason why Yuuta got eight grade syndrome as well. This is a girl Yuuta admires, and she’s now back in his life. Rikka can only see red flags though, and she tries her best to keep them apart. This is love though, and the story between Yuuta and the classic childhood friend has enough unresolved emotions that it also signals something big. Rikka is obviously concerned, and she realizes her bond with Yuuta is being tested. This big revelation comes after a wonderful date between her and Yuuta. They decided that they shouldn’t rush their relationship, since they aren’t like any normal couple. I got giddy when I saw that scene, because it contained all the warm feelings created in the first season. The love triangle angle might not look impressive, but a dash of eight grade syndrome can make anything bright and entertaining.

Right off the bat though, childhood friend admits early defeat. KyoAni shows hate conflict, so this anime doesn’t have any conflict whatsoever. While a love triangle can only end in one character blurting her feelings for another, two girls grabbing hair and calling each other a b*tch and a sweet kiss after a bad breakup, the second season wanted childhood friend to fold early. She goes to Rikka and tells her that she doesn’t want to fight. She understands that Rikka is in a relationship with Yuuta, and childhood friend respects that. This happened in the third episode, by the way. The love triangle premise is killed off this early, and it’s replaced by random K-On lite sh*t. Instead of using the love triangle as a chance to improve the couple’s relationship and really make a juicy drama out of the childhood friend, the second season decided that it doesn’t need it. The childhood friend still hangs around with the group adding cuteness to the scenes, and you just know she is being badly wasted by the show. Instead of a love triangle, the show just gives us small bits about why she likes Yuuta. She is a shy girl that uses her syndrome to talk normally to Yuuta, but she couldn’t take it one step further. Realizing that she might lose the magical girl inside her, which is a euphemism for her being madly in love with Yuuta that she no longer feels like herself, she decided to vanish from his life. She didn’t say anything, and she just left Yuuta in the dust. Her feelings are now being stabbed though, because she is an idiot for leaving Yuuta behind. She discovered Yuuta accepted a girl much like herself, and it’s too much for her. Once again, the eight grade syndrome is used as an escape, and I just feel annoyed that this wonderful potential is left crippled by the anime. This IS the story that made the first season awesome, and KyoAni just left it under developed so it can feature cute sh*t. That’s not fair. We didn’t deserve that. Give us the plot of the light novel, damn it.

[SanKyuu] Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai! Ren - 06 [BD 720p Hi10P AAC] [DB941425].mkv_snapshot_15.39_[2015.12.28_15.50.17]

That’s okay though, because we still had Yuuta and Rikka’s romance to focus on. After their cute date in the second episode, surely the relationship can only grow strong from here. Surely KyoAni isn’t such a d*ckhead that it would not focus on the one thing that people wanted to see in the second season. Well, KyoAni loves to disappoint. The love story is badly developed after their cute date. You can just feel the anime straying off the plot of the light novel, so it’s just doing things on the fly. The show does focus the couple, but it’s mostly just the usual stuff of Rikka being weird and Yuuta deadpanning her stupidity. It’s cute for a couple of minutes, but then you realize the show is short changing you. It’s deliberately not trying to develop the relationship, and keeps using the couple as another way to deliver the cuteness. It even got to a point where the rest of the cast is asking “why in the holy mother of the sweet glorious Pikachu haven’t you kissed her yet?” The cast is literally spelling it out to them “dude, you’ve been together for a LOOONNNNGGGG f*cking time. I think you can f*ck her at this point, and she wouldn’t even fight back.” But nothing really happens. Yuuta gets all embarrassed, and it looks cute but their relationship is stalled. The romance dies slowly until you realize it’s the final episode and all they’ve ever done is touch noses. They hug, but they don’t kiss. It feels like a massive betrayal, because the show has been teasing a kissing scene all throughout the entire eleven episode leading into the finale. It feels more like watching two kindergarten kids hold hands while eating ice cream. Yeah it’s cute, but that’s all you’ll ever get from that. Rikka and Yuuta behave just like two kids blushing and holding hands, but they never really take their relationship seriously. If KyoAni can dedicate time on an episode of the characters napping, then they can make the love story work. That’s just it though, because they don’t want to do anything. Effort extends only to the animation, and the story is neglected because the KyoAni formula is reserved there.

To be fair to KyoAni, I think they do their tired formula because they know who their audience is. Perhaps they know them too much, and they know that as long as you put in cute then their fans will flock to buy their sh*t. I do get it, and I respect that. I mean, KyoAni gives us high quality animation in all their anime, and people should be able to realize that it’s one of the good things left in the anime industry. Between the otome shows and Shiba Inuko-san, KyoAni remains that one unchanging studio you can count on for all your cuteness fix. When the world has gone tired of watching sports from Production IG, then they can trust KyoAni to deliver the cuteness they love watching. I understand that bit, and I think that’s all good.  I think KyoAni doesn’t realize though that JC Staff relied on the same logic. They thought their audience would forever want school girl romance, but that particular generation grew up and it’s replaced my millennial that prefer watching ninjas in orange jumpsuit than anything else. It was too late to transition, so they flopped in mediocrity. It wasn’t until they decided to change that they turned their luck around. KyoAni will lose its audience as well, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

The second plot point involves Nibutani and Dekomori. They’re the other girls in the anime, and they have this cute dynamic of hurting each other. They’re banter usually come off like two sisters play-fighting and it’s charming to watch. KyoAni understands that as well, and they decided to focus some episodes on the two characters. There’s no story here, and it’s mostly just some standalone episodes involving the two characters. The episodes mostly involve Nibutani’s days as Mori Summer and Dekomori worshipping Nibutani’s eight grade syndrome. Nibutani is trying to shake this away though, but Dekomori loves Mori Summer so much that she would preach her writings if given the opportunity. This is probably the most satisfying part of the anime for me, because the episodes are pretty funny. It’s mostly because it contains the dynamic I loved from the first season. Yuuta would cringe at the eight grade syndrome but he doesn’t anymore. The only character doing that now is Nibutani, and I love her for it. Whenever Dekomori would remind her of Mori Summer, the same embarrassing reaction I miss from the first season re-appears and I often enjoy it. The episodes themselves are pretty stupid though and it also feels like dumb filler. The show shouldn’t really focus on the side characters, and it spells something bad when they are more entertaining than the main characters. Dekomori and Nibutani are entertaining as hell, since they play off each other. The weird-serious dynamic Rikka and Yuuta used to have are carried over by the two side characters. It adds a refreshing comedy element to a rather bland and tired show.

The third plot point is something lightly told in the overall run of the series. It only started to make sense at the last two episodes, and it’s mainly because the eight grade syndrome got in the way. So Rikka discovers a piece of paper in one of Yuuta’s Dark Flame master books, and it apparently signaled the start of the third plot point. This is probably the best told plot point, but only because it isn’t really focused on that much. I think only the ones paying close attention can piece it together, and it’s tough doing that when the tired KyoAni cute scenes are being shoved down your throat. The small scenes of Rikka sneaking out at night, the stupid talks about those coins and something about re-awakening the dark flame dragon culminates in a sweet story about Rikka and Yuuta. They didn’t kiss in the second season, but I think the sentiment behind the third plot point is a nice way to end the series. I won’t spoil it, because I think it’s the one good thing untainted by the KyoAni formula. Even though it feels a bit cheap, I think the idea of the LN shines in the third plot point. It’s not that good of a story, but it’s a good enough pay off to serve as a palette cleanser to an otherwise awful anime.

The characters are pretty bad. Of course, they shouldn’t be. They had a full season to develop, so they shouldn’t come off as one dimensional. Sadly, they are one dimensional and it’s primarily because of the KyoAni formula. In order to have cute scenes of cute girls, they shouldn’t have stand out personalities. I mean, it feels weird watching two characters play-fight when one of them is having issues with her family. In order to keep it all light and fluffy, the characters are reduced to one dimensional things. As long as the cuteness is effective, then it’s all good. Yuuta and Rikka is soul crushingly disappointing. Coming off their cute journey in the first season, they didn’t really do anything worthwhile this time around. I didn’t mind them not developing though, but their romance should’ve grown at least. They opened the show with the couple living together, and it’s the damn story on a silver platter. Have them handle the love triangle while keeping things awkward in their living arrangements, and gawd damn it, it f*cking writes itself. Rikka is incredibly annoying this time around. She was cute in the first season, and even I fell for that moeblob. She’s reduced to the same person she was in the first season before she met Yuuta, and it’s annoying. The emotional journey the two characters had is somehow cancelled so Rikka can sport her eight grade syndrome proudly. It feels pointless though, because she’s not weirding anyone out. Well, except for the audience, but she has friends now. She has a boyfriend, but she’s still the same person in the first half of the first season pretending to open automatic doors with her powers. She has scenes of acting normal, but I think we needed more of that because their love story is established beyond their eight grade syndrome. Rikka should be mature enough to know when to drop her eight grade syndrome, and it’s something she learned in the first f*cking season. So, she learned nothing after all? It’s OK to have eight grade syndrome as long as there are people ready to tolerate you? No, that doesn’t sound right. It reminds me of this assh*le classmate I had in college. He knows he has a rotten attitude, but he doesn’t care because he expects people to accept it. They should be the one to bend for him and make the compromise, and I f*cking gave him a judging grin he knows is insulting enough to not speak to me ever again. Seriously, we don’t talk and I’m fine with that. So, other people should make the compromise if you have eight grade syndrome? Sweet flaming Pikachu, that’s reverse the message of the first season. As long as it’s cute, right? Gawd damn it.

The rest of the cast is the same characters as they were in the first season. Everyone, from the classmates to the clubmates, are all the same. I’m a bit annoyed at Nibutani though, because she was forced into a role where she pushes the couple to do something more romantic. Yeah, someone should do it, but it crosses the point of “please mind your own gawd damn business” because she mostly just talk than anything else. “Oh, do this and do that even though I have no experience with romance myself. It makes sense though, because I’m the person rooting you on. Listen to me, Yuuta.” There are other characters piling on about his lovelife, and it’s a bit stupid. I don’t need you to have other characters tell Yuuta how to love his girlfriend. I want you to f*cking some me that he loves his gawd damn girlfriend. I’ll give points to Kumin though. I recently learned that she was a f*cking original character, and it all makes sense now. Kumin is often just a background character, but I like her because she acts as a buffer. If things get too serious, she comes in and cute the place up. If it’s too cute, she comes in and adds comedy. It’s an overlooked role, but I love how she got away with being a smart plot device serving the KyoAni formula in a unique way.

This review has gone on for too long, and I apologize. I usually follow this up with a comment about the studio, but uh…yeah, I kinda littered that all over this review. Lastly, let’s talk about Tatsuya Ishihara. He directed a lot of KyoAni shows that I love, including Haruhi and Clannad, and I think he also leads the banner in making things all cute for KyoAni. I don’t like what he has become, and I think the smug attitude that emanates from KyoAni seems to come from this guy as well. He used to be fan, but he’s too good to be associated as one now. He has talent, and there is no denying that. To make convoluted shows like Clannad and Haruhi great takes a lot of talent. I feel like he isn’t challenging himself anymore though. He directed this crap, so what happened to the amazing guy that made Haruhi have her own religion? Please bring him back, because I would rather see a director try something and fail than to see him play it safe. As an anime fan, I love seeing the effort a director puts in his work. The animation is something he can do in his sleep, so why not improve beyond that? Or, is he afraid of failing? I guess I understand that as well, but let’s be clear that Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren is a failure. Shame on you.

Sight and Sound

Character design is your typical KyoAni look. It’s designed by a Nozomi Ousaka, but I’m not really sure if she’s the LN artist or the KyoAni designer. Either way, I hate her design. It’s the same design that reminds you of K-On and I hate K-On. It’s cute, and that’s the main appeal. We have characters with big heads, long flowing hair and bright expressive faces. The design is to make sure the “moe” is delivered on full blast, and it makes sense because this show relies on the “moe” too much. It’s a pretty great design though. I hate to admit it, but it’s a flawless design. It’s so detailed that even the earlobes have great details on them. The hairstyles are good, and it matches with the characters. The outfit designs are pretty solid as well. From the school uniform to the imaginary uniforms they have when they fight, the design is pretty incredible. I f*cking hate it, but I’m an impartial review so I give credit where it’s deserved. The male designs aren’t that polished, but it’s still good. They aren’t the focus, but they still have enough detail work to pass them off as good looking characters.

The animation is obviously outstanding. I don’t think KyoAni ever sucks at animating their shows. Everything is so gawd damn detailed that I am jealous of it. From simply sleeping to play-fighting, the animation is so smooth and highly detailed. The hair bounces when a character moves, and this show is the perfect place to really go all out. The characters behave so over the top, but it’s perfectly captured by the anime. The animation is so top notch that even an episode of the characters simply napping has high quality animation. Of course, facial reactions are wonderfully animated as well. The blushes and the cute faces are delivered so smoothly that the KyoAni formula does shine proudly in each scene. The directing is top notch as well, and you can tell Tatsuya Ishihara has great talent. He uses smart camera angles to tell a scene, and he uses smart editing to make simple scenes work great. He does suck at fight scenes though. They don’t have a good pacing to them, and it’s flashy without any substance. I think that’s the KyoAni specialty anyways. They like to make mundane scenes look special, and they now fumble when a scene calls for high animation AND a good storytelling to them. He doesn’t know how to do action scenes, and that’s pretty stupid. The smooth graphics can’t hide how much of an amateur Tatsuya is at fast paced fight scenes.

The anime’s OP is “VOICE” by ZAQ. It’s another typical KyoAni thing where they go over the top flashy in the OP sequence. I didn’t listen much to the song, since I was more captivated by the OP. It’s a forgettable song as well, and just generally loud. The singer’s voice is decent though, and it’s a cool song to get you pumped up for an action anime. The OP sequence is amazing. The animation and the small details in every scene are just orgasmic. I love the 3D spin of each character, and you can just tell someone is showing off here. It also sports the only decently paced fight scene in the anime, so that’s saying something. It’s just a small sequence of introducing the girls, and then a battle between Rikka and the childhood friend. It’s pretty awesome how much they packed in such a small time. The anime’s ED is “Van!shment Th!s World” by Black Raison d’être (Maaya Uchida, Chinatsu Akasaki, Azumi Asakura, Sumire Uesaka). The ED is pretty much the same as the OP. It’s a flashy over the top thing, but you kinda sorta admire it. The song is sung by the female characters, and the lyrics are really just some eight grade syndrome inspired ramblings. It doesn’t mean a damn thing. I love how each girl gives it their all in their very small lines though. The ED sequence features the girls dancing, topless and then just doing raondom sh*t. You know what it is: fan service. It’s a pretty shameless one as well.

Overall Score

5/10 “It’s your typical KyoAni show full of cute scenes, high quality animation, pilgrimages and adorable characters. However, it is not the second season that Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai deserves.”

The show is simply boring, but it shouldn’t be. The characters are reduced to the same moeblob KyoAni loves in their shows and there is just so much potential wasted in this anime. It isn’t the satisfying follow up to the Fall 2012 show that I find was a satisfying show. This second season is just boring with the same tired KyoAni cliché replacing the good quality story I expected from the series. The animation and the cute scene do carry the show, but the story should’ve done that instead. This isn’t K-On. This is a light novel anime with so much exposition unfaithfully adapted by a studio that doesn’t know sh*t. If you’re a fan of KyoAni then you’ll enjoy this. If you liked the first season then prepare to be disappointed with this one. If you like romance, then see this one because it doesn’t know how to do romance. It’s standard KyoAni though, so there’s very little pay off in this outside “the characters are cute and they act cute” argument.

10 thoughts on “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren Review

      • Depends on your viewpoint: a narrow one may find itself lucky enough to hit bullseye, but that almost never happens.

        Your basing your hatred of a studio on its general style and preference of production…kinda u like hating mecha, which immediately makes u hate Sunrise because of it. It’s not WRONG, but it’s a narrow view: prevents you from seeing that KyoAni doesn’t rely on moe: it’s just a substance resulting from their style, especially post-K-on! Oh, and I’m sure Love Live! Is mecha, as well.

        Even films like Tamako Love Story suffer from this preconception: Tamako Market is a moe show through and through (a well made one, at that), but Love Story sets itself up as a mature story about having a love so close, you never notice it…until you start to feel it disappearing.

        Hibike!’s brand of character drama is very much in line with the atmospheric character studies Hyouka went for, which immediately sets Hibike apart from Chuuni, Amagi and Nichijou: sure, Hibike employs gag humour that are similar to Chuuni, but by episode 2…you start to notice tones and relational climates that are much more substantial than comedy-based drama shows. And by episode 8 and 12…all hell breaks loose. It all ends with a climatic performance by episode 13, with a alternate perspective provider solidly included in an OVA right after.

        BUT. Like I said, it’s probably not worth recommending Hibike! At this point, because I can recognise the obstacles the show will need to get through, in order to bypass your preconceptions…it’s a well written, composited and animated (duhhhhh…) character drama, with flickers of moe banter, but with substantial…well…substance.

        • it’s funny because you seem to think my hatred is out of narrow preconception. I’ve seen a lot of kyoani show before I came up w/ my hatred. You mentioned Sunrise’s mecha, but those shows does have a story. Cliched, but they’re all different in how they deliver the experience. Its not the same for KyoAni shows. They do rely on moe, or otherwise it wouldn’t just be only thing to like about their show.

          I haven’t seen Love Story because Tamako Market is basically a cute sow with a mascot in it. It doesn’t hold much beyond that. And it’s not fair to counterpoint with a show I’ve never seen before. So you don’t know where I’m coming from as well because you haven’t seen pre-K-On shows? That’s pretty narrow of you as well.

          KyoAni can do so much better, imo.

          • Not really…Air, Kanon, Clannad, MFP, Lucky Star, Haruhi, seen it all, where did you get the idea that I haven’t watched anything pre K-on? My opinions of the studio haven’t changed, having experienced both the era before and after their studio structure change around 2010: each of their shows are fundamentally different, Hyouka is different from K-on!, Lucky Star is different from Clannad, Full Metal Panic is HELLA different from Tamako, Hibike! Is different than Amagi. I don’t get your point, and by that, I don’t get how you formed the idea that KyoAni experiences are all the same, even after claiming that you watched all the shows you mentioned.

            • I’m claiming evreything after K-On are the same, because KyoAni no longer challenge themselves with good shows. Evrything is the same cute stuff. K-on elements is basically the format used in Tamako Market, Kyoukai no Kanata and this show. You don’t see the diversity in their previous titles and how much they lack it now? That’s why I mentioned pre K-On, lol.

              • Still haven’t got ya.

                You can honestly say to me, with a straight face, that Nichijou’s 4 panel, crayon art style and non-sensical gags, K-on!’s focus on a music band’s members, Tamako’s focus on an entire community and actually having a love story (and a MALE lead), Hyouka’s mystery solving and finding interests in a mundane life, Chuuni’s take on self-induced fantasies as an escape from reality, Kyoukai no Kanata’s identity crisis between a half-phantom and an exiled phantom hunter, Amagi’s commentary on comedy and trope cliches, Free!’s early man service before delving into more traditional sport competition elements, Hibike’s character study on musicians’ differing ideologies and the upcoming A Silent Voice film’s focus on bullying and forgiveness, are all the SAME CUTE STUFF?! Lol.

                • Yeah, because ideally all show have a premise. It’s basically a foundation of an anime, and it’s how the anime uses it that matters. Kyoukai no Kanata’s identity crisis is diluted by forced scenes of a guy touching another’s armpit and the characters acting cute throughout the series. The premise is basically there so people can differentiate it from other shows, but I think only a good three or four episodes focused on the identity crisis while the rest of the show is about characters being cute.

                  Tamako does have a premise of a community, but it isn’t well utilized. The fact that it doesn’t have a main story, outside that one about the bird, means that this premise is basically just a base for the show to feature more cute things. Do I think the idea that adults are as much of a cast in the show have potential? Yes. But is it told properly? No. When it comes down to it, it’s just another cute show oozing slice of life. Yknow, kinda like K-On.

                  K-On does have music, but is it ever the focus? Yui played at the beach, and then she learned the complicated guitar riff for no reason. The music is just tacked on, and yeah it’s charming, but it doesn’t have anything beyond cute girls doing cute things.

                  Free is basically the same K_On formula. We have a group of four guys, but they act sexy instead. Story? Thin. Cuteness, I mean, fan service sexiness. Plenty.

                  And Chuunibyou does have a great premise of self indulged fantasies, but like i said in my review, it isn’t properly developed. It could’ve been better.

                  KyoAni can do so much more because they did do that before. Haruhi’s complicated story and Clannad’s ability to make you cry is unmatched. The story is as good as the cute scenes, in fact, they were focused as much as the fluff. Newer shows doesn’t do that anymore. There is no balance. There is a premise, but the cute scenes eventually take over. They can do better than that, but it often feels like they don’t want to.

                  How many shows will have an interesting premise, but it’ll be taken over by cute stuff as well? It’s not like KyoAni hasn’t done variety before. FMP is an amazing mecha show. Why is it the only one they’ve produced? It even works with Fumoffu when the cuteness and the story are well balanced. New shows are the SAME CUTE STUFF LOL when you realize the premise isn’t really used properly.

                  • Still doesn’t take away the reality, that you haven’t touched Hibike! on the basis, that you believe its going to be K-on 2.0, when its not. It’s the best show to come out of the studio since Hyouka, a statement that’s all the more significant for me to utter, since I see all their titles to be good ones, with great ones scattered all over. With or without me and Frog-kun’s delving inside its story constructs, Hibike! is a proof of the studio’s diverse ability for storytelling; a show you still refused to acknowledge interest in during the entirety of this conversation, under the guise that, it’s…unfair to point out a show you haven’t seen in a discussion

                    • I haven’t touched Hibiki because I’m currently watching 2014 shows. I watch them all. It’s kinda my thing. I review everything. I didn’t even know about Hibike until you brought it up. I’ll watch it eventually, but I go by lineups. Right now, I’m watching Winter 2014 shows All of them.

                      And I never said I won’t watch the show. There ya go again trying to counterpoint with a show I’ve never seen before. But, yeah, to be fair, I’m going to not like it but I don’t hate blindly. I actually like Hyouka, which is why I didn’t point out its flaw earlier. Also Nichijou, but the rest of ’em are really the same.

Thoughts~

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