Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ep. 1

Initial impression – youthful silliness vs mature rationality

Autumn 2012 (12 episodes) (English title – Regardless of My Adolescent Delusions of Grandeur, I Want a Date!, title literal translation – I was Sick, but Now I Want Love!) (more info)

A boy named Yuuta Togashi has abandoned his childhood fantasy just in time to meet a girl his age named Rikka Takanashi who hasn’t yet given up her own.  While I find the premise of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! interesting, there’s a self-conscious part of me that can’t help but feel it’s making fun of me.  I’m aware of the stereotypes associated with pen & paper RPGs, but could this be how many throughout the world see the people who play D&D?  Because I can assure you that sane / mature tabletop RPG players don’t extend the fantasy world into their everyday lives.

Not even at a young age was I ever a witness to this kind of self-delusion or desire to be special.  But when I think about it, as a child, who hasn’t seriously thought about what his/her life might be like if such an unlikely development could be made a reality?  So in this way, I think Chuunibyou is touching on some very honest topics about childhood, growing up and how our perception of the world and of ourselves changes during that process.

In some ways this series puts me in mind of a more playful Denpa Onna.  The heroine is trapped in the belief that she has superpowers and contact with outside forces and it’s the protagonist’s job to bring her back to reality.  Only this time, the hero can relate to the leading lady’s predicament since he’s already gone through the transition away from his childhood delusion on his own.  As concepts for quirky girls go, Chuunibyou has a charm to it that has caught my attention without being completely batty.  And then, by the end of the first episode, there’s already a conflict of desires between the protagonists as each vies for the legitimacy of his and her respective lifestyle—needless to say it looks like a lot of fun.

2 responses to “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ep. 1

  1. Luminas March 23, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Hehe, you were an unusually sane child then! A lot of people who were huge fans of anime and manga as kids, including me, go through this phase where they’re either able to convince other kids or convince themselves into the delusion that they have special powers and know special things. I actually ran a chuunibyou gang as a child (I was the American Rikka??) so the show resonated with me in that respect.😄

    While you may feel the show’s ending strays away from the central theme (Accepting oneself and reality)…I’m not so sure. I think that Yuuta and Nibutani were actually just as “wrong” as Rikka herself, trying to force every aspect of their personalities to conform to whatever they think is “normal.” Refusing to show any aspect (Like Yuuta’s love of antique pistols or Nibutani’s abrasiveness) of themselves that doesn’t conform—- That is…”special.”

    I may be far away from the days where I confused fantasy and reality, but I accepted Chuunibyou Me’s tendency to use symbols to explain Reality and my belief in a non-Christian, non-monotheistic God. The second season, although vastly inferior, has one scene that strikes me as vividly important. Where Yuuta “summons” the Dark Dragon and provides closure to both another character’s delusions and her feelings for him. Roleplay isn’t just escapism. Like writing, sometimes it’s a way to understand your real problems later and confront them without cracking under their weight.

    Sometimes, I think (To use both a specific and vague example), you have to go on a vision quest before you can face your father, or you’ll face him with tactlessness and immaturity.

    • Marlin-sama May 3, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      I didn’t get into anime until I was already in college.

      As far as pretending to have abilities and playing fantasy, I think everyone did that as a child. But you grow out of it. It doesn’t mean you forget about it, but you have to face reality–especially by the time you become a high school student.

      You may say the other characters don’t understand or appreciate Rikka, but I say that’s because she’s not normal. Growing up isn’t a bad thing. Change is life. Rikka doesn’t have to give everything up, but she can’t confuse her fantasies with reality if she wants to be healthy.

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