12 Days of Anime #10 – Enjoying (Almost) Every Episode, Disliking The Show – Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, localized as “Chuunibyou, Love & Other Delusions” in the west, or known simply as Chu2Koi, was a show I watched in November 2013, and quite enjoyed. I’ve enjoyed it enough to give it an 8/10 score, when most RomComs hover around 7 if they’re good, and 6 if they’re not. It had some delicious drama, it had good acting (Fukuyama Jun is my favourite), it was beautiful, it was heartfelt, and it felt genuine, exactly because it dealt with the fantastical, in a manner not too dissimilar to The Fisher King.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren anime - Nibutani Shinka giving her Togashi Yuuta impression

Oh, it shouldn’t have been, but that’s “drama” for you.

(Sorry about the lack of post yesterday, got engrossed in a book and stayed up all night to finish it. Today will have two posts, enjoy!)

So when season 2 was announced for January 2014, I was quite excited, my main problem with most romantic stories, which is even more prevalent in anime, is that once the couple “gets together” and overcomes the “real difficulty” of admitting to each other and to themselves how they feel, and get over whatever outside interference there is, the piece just stops, and we don’t get to see an actual couple having an actual relationship. Chuunibyou Ren (the title of the second season) seemed to promise it’d give us exactly that. But it didn’t. Oh boy, did it not.

Before we continue further, most series after they end give you “OVAs” or “Specials”, non or semi canonical stories, often the so-called “Beach Episode”, content that is fluffy and just has you spending more time with the characters you like, but without progressing or addressing the main narrative much. It’s bonus content, and you take it to just spend more time with the characters. Often, they’re a bit dull, and not very interesting.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren anime -Takanashi Rikka wants change

A common refrain in such shows, but not at the point it was said – Season 2’s finale.

Chu2Koi Ren had 12 episodes. Of which, at least half were “OVA-like”, in how they dealt with the characters just having fun, messing about, having a sleeping contest between sleeping clubs (yes, really). I won’t lie, with the exception of the aforementioned sleeping-contest episode that almost bored me to sleep (I mean it), I’ve enjoyed almost every single episode, I liked the antics, I liked the small moments, I even really enjoyed the Nibutani and Dekomori arcs, but it wasn’t what I came for.

It didn’t help matters that we’d have two episodes of “story”, of relationships, then 2-3 episodes of amusing nonsense, and so it went. You see, we were promised relationships, but for most of the season the so-called couple had not only not progressed, but regressed, to where months went by between episodes, and they didn’t even hold hands. The show made a good point, that this is how Rikka, the heroine, is, and that Yuuta (the male lead), would take time with her. But at some point it felt sort of a stretch.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren anime - Togashi Yuuta, Nibutani Shinka, Tsuyuri Kumin discuss napping

I wish I didn’t either, honestly. A “competitive napping” episode, I kid you not.

And then came the finale. They kissed, and told us, “From now on we’ll move forward, and have a real relationship!” but at this point I was a bit annoyed with the series, they’d taken the promise of the first season, and didn’t deliver on it, but instead told us, “This will be our promise for a potential third season”! A kiss is a fine place to stop such series, sadly, but it’s exactly where we stopped last season, basically. The show gave us the old “RomComs are about sweet misunderstandings and nothing, and when we talk, the show ends.” – But again, we’ve been there, done that, with these characters! And the show knew this story was barely enough for 5-6 episodes, which is why the other half was essentially filler. It was very much what I spoke of in my Nisekoi piece on the nature of RomComs, but from a show that promised to go beyond.

Shichimiya’s story and sadness reached to me, I enjoyed my time with the characters whose antics I like, I enjoyed the show almost every single week, but I still think it was both wasteful, and insulting, in how it made a promise, didn’t deliver, then gave us the same promise again, while trying to sell us on how this delay is “good”, and “fitting”. Phooey on that. You can read my notes for every single episode of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren here. I still heartily recommend the first season.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren anime - Shichimiya Satone crying

They did. Well, this was the one genuinely great part of the season, my depraved heart feels.

I will also, once more, leave you with a song, the ED of the series which was magnificent, one of the better OPs/EDs of the past year.

So, dear readers, any show that disappointed you this year? Or perhaps a show where you liked the episodes but not the series, or disliked most episodes and still liked the series?

6 comments on “12 Days of Anime #10 – Enjoying (Almost) Every Episode, Disliking The Show – Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

  1. Namhur says:

    Pheww, thankfully i avoided the second season of Chu2koi. I saw a couple of Shichimiya related episodes though.

    Probably standard answer at this point, but yeah i am going to have to say A/Z.

    It has good three episode and then steadily it became more and more disappointing. Throughout each week i kept rationalize myself that it’ll gets better and i kept rooting for the show, but looking back…..yeah it’s kind of empty.

  2. PP says:

    Not this year but a series that did the exact same thing was Kokoro Connect, the “couple” admit they like each other pretty early on, wasn’t even midway through, they kiss and all that fancy stuff but nothing happens, nothing, then the season ends without any conclusion whatsoever and then 4 extra episodes are released to break the couple and put MC with another girl in a way that was nothing short of an asspull.
    It pisses me off how shows can go from being good to horrible so fast.

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