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.

Continue reading

Winter 2014 Anime Week 3 – Sunday through Wednesday

(Shows Covered – Buddy Complex, Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren (2nd season), “Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha”, Nobunagun, Noragami, The Pilot’s Love Song, Tokyo Ravens, Pupipo!, and Tonari no Seki-kun)

These are the shows I’ve watched this past week and how I order them. Each link leads to my episodic write-up of the relevant show. This week had been pretty weak, with various shows taking somewhat of a slump after we introduce the situation, and wait for things to pick up again. Hopefully the 2nd half of the week fares better.

1) Chuunibyou 2nd season Ren Episode 3

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren / Chuu2koi Ren Episode 3 notes anime Rikka

This show continues to be so very enjoyable for me. I laugh, I feel the “warmth” I associate with nice RomComs, and I like the cast. It’s sort of funny how we’re advancing and going back at the same time. This season Yuuta and Rikka are a “couple”, and as such they should be beyond the regular “I can’t tell them how I feel” sort of issues that plague all RomComs, right? Well, last season we had none of that, they dealt with their issues, they came together, and had just been there for one another, without needless chatter about how they feel not leading anywhere – they spent time together, they saw they need and care for one another, so they decided to be together. Simple and sweet, right?

Continue reading

Winter 2014 Anime Season Overview Week 2 – Sunday through Wednesday

(Shows Covered – Nobunagun, Buddy Complex, D-Frag, Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren (2nd season), Noragami, Pupipo!, The Pilot’s Love Song,  Tokyo Ravens and Tonari no Seki-kun)

These are the shows I’ve watched this past week and how I order them. Each link leads to my episodic write-up of the relevant show. Now, I have too many shows, so I’m going to be dropping shows each and every week until I’m fine with the amount of shows I have left, so keep reading for summaries of new shows, how the shows stack up against one another, Saturday will have the other half of the week’s crop, and which shows are being dropped this week (2-3 shows, most likely)

1) Nobunagun Episode 2

Nobunagun episode 2 anime

This episode had been so much fun. It was glorious destruction, with a character who is self-assured and cocky, in control even while in the throes of berserker rage, or is she? The visual direction in this episode had once more been top-notch, and even though in this episode the colours are there merely for the spectacle rather than supporting any themes, seeing as it’s a mayhem-oriented episode, all the clashing colours and very distinctive visual design work wonders.

On the story-front, the show is relatively self-aware, as aside from referencing various movies, including Pacific Rim, and making mention of Spiderman’s “With great power comes great responsibility” line, things are pretty standard. Our heroine is emotionally pressured into joining the fight, and similarities to Madoka Magica keep appearing (at least as far as I am concerned). The show also makes use of a very annoying sequence where our heroine pulls the “I couldn’t save you that time, so I’m useless!” but at least the other character makes the logical response.

Is this show special in terms of plot? Hell no. Is it the most over the top show you’ve seen, or the one with the most distinctive flair? Probably not as well, but the way all these elements meet? It’s surely the most fun we’ve had this year, at the very least.

Continue reading

Winter 2014 Anime Season Overview Week 1 – Sunday through Wednesday

(Shows Covered – Chuunibyou 2nd season, Log Horizon, Nobunagun, Noragami, Space Dandy, The Pilot’s Love Song, D-frag, Tokyo Ravens, Hamatora, Witch Craft Works, Nobunaga the Fool, Tonari no Seki-kun, Pupipo!)

Ok, let’s do this. I picked up too many shows (again), so I’m going to run a reality show here, and list the shows in order of my enjoyment of their last episode, those at the bottom might get the cut. Say I need to cut two shows, then the two at the bottom are gone. Say I need two to go away from Sunday, then the two shows rating lowest from Sunday are gone. If a show is consistently 1-3 on my list, but ends at the bottom one week (Samurai Flamenco) or is the only show I watch on that day (Koiuta), then it might get temporary immunity. Anyway, let’s go. (Maybe I’ll rate them by order of enjoying the show, rather than just the latest episode?)

Ah yes, I don’t plan to write about each show each week anymore in the weekly discussion threads, but I certainly did that for the first episodes, so each show links to my episodic write-up for that show in case you want to read more. I will have the second part of this post up on Saturday, and the placement there will also include the shows below, sans-description.

1) Chuunibyou 2nd season Ren Episode 1 

Chuunibyou Ren, Chu2Koi Ren, Chuunibyou 2nd season episode 1 anime

Though it might not be obvious since I rarely rank such shows higher than 7 on MAL, I love laughing, and I love RomComs. This is actually one of my most anticipated shows of the season, because I both laughed and smiled and teared up in the previous season.

This episode made me laugh, a lot. This episode reintroduced the cast, and although for now my wishes of seeing Yuuta and Rikka’s romantic relationships continue are put on hold, though I still hold faith for more to happen on that front. (though knowing what happened in the LN I think we might, once more, only get a “forward movement” moment in the final episode). The animation was superb, and had it been longer it could’ve beaten most dedicated action films/series who look good as well. Welcome back, Chuunibyou. I even liked the social commentary moment on how Rikka has made friends without changing, but Nibutani’s change only serves to isolate her once more.

Continue reading