Back in 2010, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai light novel was given an honorable mention in a Kyoto Animation award competition. Obviously, this means that they will eventually make an anime based off this work. (Image Source)
This story involves around a former 8th grade syndrome student named Togashi Yuuta who is haunted by his alter ego named “Dark Flame Master.” Because of that, he wants a normal life. He suddenly meets a girl that makes his dream of living normal out of reach.
Believe it or not, this show started with a bang. I simply enjoyed the hijinks of imaginary battles and the cast pretending to be a character from a role-playing game. Most of this has to do with the enjoyable cast that consists of Rikka, Shinka, Sanae and Kumin, each having quirks of their own. The character driven drama gave us various moments of excitement and cuteness. Besides Rikka’s cute, yet eccentric behavior, we also have Kumin’s sleeping and have course, the rivalry between Sanae and Shinka, which is probably the most entertaining. Out of the whole cast, I tended to like Shinka a bit more not because of her dynamic personality, but when she accepted her 8th grade syndrome as a unique part of herself in the end. This can be seen when she shows some aspects of “Mori Summer” while she tried to play cupid with Rikka and Yuuta. However, this lighthearted feeling didn’t last for long as the death of Rikka’s father starts to settle in towards the end.
When the show turns up the drama and the romance, this is where things got a bit shaky. I felt that they rushed the romantic aspect and haven’t spent enough time developing their relationship. While there is some hints of it in the first half, they brought it in with a bang starting with episode 8. While the moment where Yuuta saves Rikka from the roof is one of the sweetest moments in this show, I felt that the romance aspect was used just to make Rikka normal. When Yuuta forces normalcy on to Rikka, he done it at extreme levels to the point where Sanae cries, After that scene, viewers simply gone amok and called him the biggest jerk ever for doing this. Although he redeems himself a bit in the last episode by doing a 180, viewers were already turned off by the over the top drama and ended up being disappointed. As a result, I thought that the finale didn’t give a satisfying feeling compared to their previous works even though the ending was heartwarming. The mix of heart wrenching drama and few moments of comedy in the finale didn’t quite mix well compared to Hyouka, which they did a great job in recognizing Eru’s feelings for Oreki in the end.
As a whole, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai just wasn’t Kyoto Animation at their best, but it’s certainly not their worst. It’s apparent that there were some noticeable flaws as they diverged away from the source material and done their own original writing. While they managed to fit the writing to the premise, their weaknesses started to show when they abruptly started cranking up the melodrama and romance. While it wasn’t terrible, history simply repeated itself when they made an original series named Munto and it failed miserably. While they got a bit better at it since then, there are other studios whom done a better job at this type of story such as PA Works.
With Tamako Market being another original story, which will air in about two weeks, what I seen in this show gave me slight feelings of unease. Even so, I still enjoyed it despite the flaws and I hope they can improve their original writing. Otherwise, they should stick what they do best, faithfully adapting source material.
Final Overall Rating: 8.6/10, B, Very Good