Chuunibyou – 03

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Uh-oh – KyoAni and a school club, eh?  I guess it was inevitable, for better or worse.

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_03_[F0F2EAFB].mkv_snapshot_00.48_[2012.10.19_11.38.03]I definitely enjoyed this episode of Chuunibyou more than the first two, for the simple reason that it made me laugh when it was trying to a good percentage of the time.  I really think this is a series that’s trying to work on two levels – as a straight-up farce, and as a nostalgic and sincere take on the innocent delusions of adolescence. I can’t speak for the novels but as for the anime, it isn’t really working for me in the second sense – I find it too self-aware and self-indulgent for any sincerity to take.  But this episode really did work on the first level, and that’s a definite step forward.

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_03_[F0F2EAFB].mkv_snapshot_01.17_[2012.10.19_11.38.32]The comedy was very solid here, and part of that is the fact that Rikka’s utter inanity is starting to wear down my resistance.  It’s an interesting take on the gender roles too, as it’s the guy who’s physically rough on the baka girl this time.  I’m not too invested in Yuuta or his quest for normality, but it’s fun watching Rikka go through her paces because of two things that must be present for that kind of gag to work: she’s absolutely 100% invested in the fantasy, and she’s completely incompetent in executing it. 

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_03_[F0F2EAFB].mkv_snapshot_02.16_[2012.10.19_11.39.31]The focus of Rikka’s delusion this time is setting up the Choir and Part-Time Badminton Far Eastern Magic Nap Society of Summer, as a base of operations for her magical battle with, well – her sister.  I’m not quite sure why Yuuta goes along with this for as long as he does to be honest – maybe a case could be made that he secretly longs to unleash the Dark Flame Master again, or perhaps he’s just too soft-hearted to let Rikka completely make a fool of herself (which she does anyway), or even has illicit feelings for her already.  Rikka’s interests soon merge with that of Kumin-sempai, whose own quest to form a napping society is meeting with it’s annual futility.  My favorite part of the episode comes when Rikka tries to convince Nanashi-sensei (Inoue Kikuo) that she has a fifth club member by unleashing her “other personality” Katherine (after unsuccessfully trying with the cat).  Problem is Rikka can’t understand any English, and I loved both her hapless panic and Nana-sensei’s deft dismantling of the ruse.

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_03_[F0F2EAFB].mkv_snapshot_04.55_[2012.10.19_11.40.52]There are all kinds of funny little tidbits – Rikka actually saying “Blah, blah, blah!” in the middle of one of her daft explanations (and Yuuta’s reaction, one of FukuJun’s best moments), and the term “Electric Ocean” to refer to the internet (actually has a certain poetry to it).  Rikka’s acolyte Dekomori Sanae (Uesaka Sumire), equally delusional but in an age-appropriate way, as she’s a middle-schooler, has some funny moments in her intro but may wear thin quickly.  And when the beautiful Nibutani decides to join the FEMANSOF – for reasons unknown (reciprocated crush?) – she at least gives Yuuta a legit reason to stick around.  I’m still put off by how shameless the show is with the vamping – KyoAni really never learned the lesson that just because they can do things doesn’t mean they should – but comedically, this ep was definitely a step in the right direction.

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  1. M

    Actually Enzo, the reason for why Shinka joined the club became quickly apparent for those could actually read kanji. Remember the book that Sanae revealed, the one she got from the net from a legendary Chuuni with a handle of Forest Summer? Well, guess whose name has those EXACT kanji in it?

    Methinks someone just wants to get her book back, and keep her lurid past as a mega-chuuni under wraps as well.

  2. Heh, I didn't get that and neither did the sub I watched – interesting.

  3. M

    To be specific Shinka is spelled as 森夏, where 森 is forest (mori), and 夏 summer (natsu).

  4. D

    Actually I think it was pretty obvious that she was the writer. In this kind of anime, named characters like the book author, usually makes an appearance. And we all know she's going to join them sooner or later.

    One way to improve your kanji is to play mahjong, enzo

  5. S

    Beweare the Twintails of Destruction! That was a great introduction for a character.

  6. B

    Haha I loved the scene with the teacher. At first I thought we were getting the standard "idiot teacher" trope but turns out nope, she's actually quite savvy and also apparently likes letting her students make fools of themselves. Excellent turnaround, Nanashi sensei! Rikka totes walked right into her trap lol. This show is definitely one that I am looking forward to every week.

  7. H

    I thought this episode came down a little from the level of the first two. It was still very good, but I just didn't think it was as great (Kumin napping is not as much fun as Kumin fangirling). Dekomori is fun as well, but a little too serious at the moment. I did think it was especially funny when she pulled out the book and those glasses.

    If Shinka does have a background of chuunibyou, it would explain a lot about why she's seemingly so tolerant and interested in Yuuta.

  8. A

    I liked this episode the best as well. Some good LOL moments had me cracking up.

  9. K

    It feels like the show has all but finally run it's course with me with this episode as I find myself as expected starting to grow a little tired with Rikka's antics after the 3rd trip to her fantastical delusions and now we have another character that comes off in her introduction as an even more extreme cutesy chuuni version of her. I find the show is at it's best when it's not solely focusing on Rikka (like say when big sis came in or when Yuuta had that dream at the start of the last episode) being all cutesy Chuuni for extended periods, but I know Kyoani would want to use her as much as possible because she is almost certainly the shows "greatest weapon" in Japan and almost certainly the key to it's success with the moe crowd I suppose so it's no surprise that she maintains the spotlight here yet again. I suppose Shinka is okay, but I think that owes more to the crazy fantasies Yuuta has surrounding here vs. the reality of her character that have made her scenes work a little so far. Also very important is that generally the rule for anime comedy with me is that the less hard a show appears to be trying to make a scene come across as funny, the more I tend to find it funny, and I think Kyoani is amongst the most guilty studios when it comes to this pitfall of overselling the comedic value of a scene (be it via over the top animation sequences or having the characters just scream their lines while doing wild takes) and they seem to be falling more into their old habits as of this episode. None of the above is a good sign to me.

    With the show transitioning into the tried and true start a club phase of moe anime it's becoming a little more typical and mundane to me too and I have a hunch it's only going to continue even more strongly in that direction with successive episodes and I doubt that will translate into many fun times given past experiences I have already mentioned. I'm debating whether to give it one more episode, but my intention was to drop it while it was at it's most watchable and amusing and I feel fairly certain that that time has already passed for me barring a sudden shift in focus to another character(not twin tails though) other than Rikka next episode. Guess we'll see.

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