Chuunibyou – 06

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There are few shows doing idiocy as well as Chuunibyou, and there’s definitely something to be said for that.

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_06_[BF8B7DD9].mkv_snapshot_00.03_[2012.11.11_10.40.24]It occurs to me that this show would get a lot more interesting if it were revealed that Rikka (or even Yuuta or, God forbid, Dekomori) actually had magical powers.  I mean, that would be a serious plot twist with a boatload of irony to it to boot.  Not expecting that, mind you, but it would certainly elevate the series above the pleasing but somewhat predictable groove it seems to be in.  Taking a more serious approach to the whole matter of chuunibyou and what it represents would do that too, but I’ve more or less assumed that ship has sailed at this point.

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_06_[BF8B7DD9].mkv_snapshot_00.14_[2012.11.11_10.40.42]But still, what we’re left with is pretty good – a straight-up slapstick comedy that pulls no punches.  And I mean that literally, because in addition to Dekomori and Nibutani beating the crap out of each other we actually have lots of moments where Yuuta tries in vain to pound some sense into the baka duo.  It’s pretty rare to see guys hitting girls for comedic effect in anime, and even more for it to happen and not have legions of viewers crying foul about it – that’s the magic of KyoAni’s hypnotic powers, I guess.  Normally I’m not crazy about that sort of thing whichever way it goes but at least Chuunibyou is striking a literal blow against double-standards here, and getting away with it.

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_06_[BF8B7DD9].mkv_snapshot_00.46_[2012.11.11_10.41.14]We’re definitely still in full-on comedy mode here, but in addition to one or two semi-serious moments we had a new comedic direction in an episode centered around Isshiki.  As voiced by eternal aho sidekick Houshi Souchiro Makoto hasn’t made much of an impression so far, and that’s putting it kindly.  But as a subject for an episode his brand of idiocy sort of works, because it’s a different strain that Rikka and Dekomori’s and it tests Yuuta’s patience in different ways.  It’s also a break from the “sensible guy surrounded by batshit girls” mode which has been a non-stop fixture for five episodes.  Some of the bromance gags between he and Yuuta are pretty clever, and while we’ve certainly seen Makoto’s brand of oversexed insecurity before it’s been done a lot worse.

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_06_[BF8B7DD9].mkv_snapshot_03.43_[2012.11.11_10.42.57]There are a few interesting canon-type developments here, starting with the question of who actually did give Isshiki the love letter (I haven’t dismissed Nibutani as a candidate).  Is Kumin actually interested, or just a bald otaku?  Most importantly there’s the matter of the ever-deepening cracks in the damn Yuuta has built to keep his chuunibyou at bay.  He’s back in his old gamer mode, he actually wears the silly T-shirt Rikka makes for him (hint: white dress shirts hide very little) and he’s showing more and more interest in connecting with Rikka.  The scene where she holds his hand at the railroad crossing was an interesting one, about as “straight” as Chuunibyou has gotten so far, and could certainly be interpreted as the closest the socially awkward Rikka could get to communicating her interest to Yuuta. 

[gg]_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_-_06_[BF8B7DD9].mkv_snapshot_04.50_[2012.11.11_10.44.04]As for the rest, I still find Dekomori far too much to take – though she occasionally makes me laugh from sheer volume of idiocy mostly she annoys the hell out of me – but Nibutani’s quite literal take on the tsundere model might just be the most interesting character profile in the cast.  And if she’s actually attracted to a social loser like Isshiki (though he did score serious bro-points with his noble self-sacrifice) that would make her convoluted and increasingly desperate flailing at trying to maintain her high standing on the social league table even more interesting to watch.

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  1. E

    This scene made me lol until my house mate knocked on my door. That magic circle really makes me laugh most of the time it was used.

  2. L

    "It’s pretty rare to see guys hitting girls for comedic effect in anime, and even more for it to happen and not have legions of viewers crying foul about it – that’s the magic of KyoAni’s hypnotic powers, I guess."

    Really? Since day 1, I've seen people whine endlessly about how 'abusive' Yuuta is for smacking Rikka on the head whenever she says or does something stupid, or for tying Dekomori to his bedposts or hold a (toy) gun against her head for trespassing and being plainly annoying to him. And him hitting Nibutani on the head will probably make matters even worse.

  3. I haven't, but I confess I haven't been frequenting message boards about this show much. Double standards will always have a home in anime fandom.

  4. H

    I've also heard of a lot of complaining about Yuuta's 'abuse' of the girls in the show, but I don't tend to read message boards that would have a lot of complaints like that (because the signal to noise ratio is usually terribly low). The show's obviously set up a cartoony violence atmosphere, so I have no problem with it, but the double standard is worth pointing out (if you think there's no acceptable reason a man should hit a woman, how can you think there's an acceptable instance of a woman hitting a man?).

    I think it'd be pretty much impossible for the writer of the letter to be Shinka. From what I can tell, she's not interested really in anyone in particular, just in keeping her "normal person" reputation intact, something she's not really that good at since encountering Dekomori. And Kumin just likes whatever comes her way that she thinks is fun. Different, out of the ordinary, she's just interested in everything (and her "presentation" sequence was adorable). I really think that the love letter is unimportant, just a way to get Isshiki more into a story and provide a vehicle for more cooperation between the main group, as well as show a bit of futility for Shinka's goal of keeping her 'secret' limited. I think the fact that she's Mori Summer is totally out of the bag to her class, since after Dekomori attacked her in art class and called her Fake Mori Summer, she yelled back "Don't call me Mori Summer!" which I'd imagine would be taken by everyone as an admission of the past use of the name (plus, it *is* the kanji in her name, so it's not like people won't make the connection).

    The character I'm finding most interesting is Touka, as well as the circumstances surrounding her and Rikka's living situation. I also think Touka's got a bit of chuunibyou in her past as well that's stuck with her judging by her home lounging outfit: jersey pants and a loose t-shirt are good, but a choker and strappy pumps? I can't imagine she's going out in jersey pants, so why dress up with the choker and pumps to come down a rope to visit Yuuta? And then why the rope? Why not walk down the stairs and ask him to come with them? This makes me believe she's got a bit of adventurism in her as well (and I've been thinking that despite her frustration with Rikka, Touka is perhaps the model of people that the show would hold up as a good balance between the delusional world that Rikka is in, and the super-serious world that Shinka thinks she should be in, but repeatedly fails to).

  5. A

    yuuta isn't getting (as much) crap for hitting girls, I think, because he's so androgynous himself. If the male characters in this show exuded more masculinity, you know, maybe if he was taller, or blush every 2 minutes, then I can see people making a bigger deal out of hitting the opposite gender. When you see Yuuta hitting girls, gender sort of goes over your head

  6. S

    Chunnibyou has a wonderful streak of physical comedy. Something you don't see too much in anime, given the animation required. Which probably explains some of the audience responses. Yuuta is a straight Tsukkomi to everyone in his life (minus his sisters), which is the reason for all of the head bopping, but they've upped the physical aspects to the humor.

    This isn't a series for everyone, and there's nothing much deep here, but it's a lot of fun if you're not taking it too seriously.

  7. K

    I hate to be so cynical, but I can't help but feel that in real life, things might not have ended any where near as rosy for Isshiki. Not sure about Japan, but certainly I feel in the West it would have been really easy for the guys to scapegoat and ostracise Isshiki to stay cool with the girls. Unless he was already popular with the guys already, it would've left him in a dark, lonely place in high school.

  8. But wasn't that in part the reason why he took the blame himself before they had a chance to throw him under the bus?

  9. A

    It kind of sucks that Yuuta no longer has any interest in Shinka. He moved from having daily fantasies of her to feeling disgusted at the mere thought of being in a relationship with her. I was hoping that we'd get a love triangle between Yuuta, Rikka and Shinka. After all, Shinka is basically a female version of Yuuta. But then again, I guess Shinka is too much of a painful mirror for him, so the aversion is understandable.

  10. B

    Speaking as a girl with brothers, guys with sisters often do bop girls, twist their fingers, etc. As long as girls are still in the sister zone, physical punishment is fair game.

    When Yuuta stops hitting girls, that's when you'll know he's hitting on them. So to speak.

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