Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren — Final Impressions

Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a new­er world.

Chu­u­niby­ou demo Koi ga Shi­tai! was nev­er an ani­me that I held to a very high stan­dard. Sure, the ani­ma­tion is breath­tak­ing, the char­ac­ters are wacky and lov­able, and I always found each episode to be an over­all enjoy­able expe­ri­ence, but I nev­er found the capac­i­ty to take it all that seri­ous­ly in a crit­i­cal sense, because it’s not meant to be tak­en seri­ous­ly. Mind you, this is a good thing. Heck, the first sea­son became one of my favorites back in Win­ter 2012.

That’s not to say it does­n’t have the capac­i­ty to leave me a bit dis­ap­point­ed. It might be a moe-tas­tic show that may not amount to any­thing more than that in terms of appeal, but the char­ac­ters did man­age to grow on me dur­ing that time, and I found myself car­ing about their per­son­al con­flicts if such things were ever brought up.

Innocence be damned

Inno­cence be damned!

In the first sea­son, we see Yuu­ta and Rikka’s rela­tion­ship devel­op from an awk­ward acquain­tance­ship to the blos­som­ing begin­nings of a roman­tic com­pan­ion­ship. That’s a very big leap in terms of char­ac­ter devel­op­ment. In com­par­i­son to that, what we get here is pret­ty abysmal.

That’s not to say Chu­u­niby­ou demo Koi ga Shi­tai! Ren did­n’t build up their rela­tion­ship at all. On the con­trary, I’d say Yuuta/Rikka did pret­ty well for a cou­ple with­in a roman­tic com­e­dy — in fact, they pro­gressed fur­ther than most of their oth­er-series coun­ter­parts in 24 episodes, espe­cial­ly when the unex­pect­ed “third per­son” came along. They man­aged to hold hands, act a lit­tle bit more lovey-dovey like they should be, and they’ve even start­ed kiss­ing each oth­er on the cheek. It may have been slow­er to devel­op com­pared to more func­tion­al cou­ples (remem­ber: this is an ani­me about man­chil­dren), but it was cute and does fit the nature of the ani­me.

So close, yet so far

So close, yet so far

How­ev­er… that’s as far as they real­ly got. The ever-so-often teased kiss (on the lips) between the two nev­er hap­pened. We’re basi­cal­ly cheat­ed out of it at the very last minute by the means of a very forced and infu­ri­at­ing inter­rup­tion — a phone call, pos­si­bly one of the worst uses of a roman­tic com­e­dy cliché known to date.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS

YOU SHALL NOT PASS.

These types of sit­u­a­tions are meant to be fun­ny — for exam­ple, the many times it’s employed when­ev­er either Syao­ran or Saku­ra try to con­fess to each oth­er in Card­cap­tor Saku­ra nev­er failed to make me laugh. But here, it’s not fun­ny. It’s the last episode of the sea­son and it’s infu­ri­at­ing. All of this rela­tion­ship build-up to the moment your main cou­ple exchange their first kiss­es and you yank that con­clu­sion away for an attempt at com­e­dy. Some would call this a “kick in the ass”.

WANT SUM OF DIS BITCH NIGGA

You bet­ter back the fuck up before you get smacked the fuck up!

Ugh… despite that, I still enjoyed watch­ing Chu­u­niby­ou demo Koi ga Shi­tai! Ren. The char­ac­ters were still as wacky as they were in the first sea­son and, of course, I always felt that their per­son­al­i­ty, quirks, and inter­ac­tions are what ulti­mate­ly car­ry this series — the Nibu­tani/Deko­mori-cen­tered episodes were actu­al­ly some of the high points of the sea­son.

Outta the way, best girl coming through

Out­ta the way, best girl com­ing through

Which brings me to Satone Shichimiya. She’s the new addi­tion to the cast and was expect­ed to be the “roman­tic rival” of sorts for Yuu­ta’s affec­tions. As we saw a bit more of her char­ac­ter for a few episodes, I pre­dict­ed that she was nev­er going to become a true roman­tic rival and it seems like I was cor­rect in that assump­tion. While Satone did make Rik­ka jeal­ous on mul­ti­ple occa­sions, he was indeed one of those “I Want My Beloved to be Happy”-archetypes and served to progress Yuu­ta and Rikka’s rela­tion­ship rather than hin­der­ing it. The real con­flict was her deal­ing with her feel­ings.

There can be only one

Four girls in the pic­ture… sad­ly, only one can be best girl

Her adork­able per­son­al­i­ty traits and feel­ings real­ly clicked with me — she’s become my favorite female char­ac­ter in the Chu­u­niby­ou demo Koi ga Shi­tai! series and it’s a real shame she did­n’t get as much screen-time as the over-glo­ri­fied ani­me-orig­i­nal char­ac­ters (for any­one not in the know, Deko­mori and Sanae were not in the nov­els this ani­me was based on). They could have at least show­cased her in the end­ing theme… but alas. Any­way. Between her and, well, this scene:

…they pret­ty much sum up the high­lights of Chu­u­niby­ou demo Koi ga Shi­tai! Ren for me.

;___;

Two sea­sons of cute hyper-imag­i­na­tive antics is prob­a­bly enough for KyoAni even if it would be nice to have more. After this, KyoAni will prob­a­bly try and make us for­get this ever exist­ed like the Full Met­al Pan­ic!adap­ta­tions, the Haruhi Suzu­miya adap­ta­tions, the Lucky Star adap­ta­tion, the Nichi­jou adap­ta­tion, etc. The list goes on.

Not only is it super suc­cess­ful, but it’s a good thing that Chuu2 is actu­al­ly an IP that’s com­plete­ly owned by Kyoto Ani­ma­tion. And thus does­n’t suf­fer from any of Kadokawa’s bull­shit (I think).

2 thoughts on “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren — Final Impressions

  1. I agree that the the kiss teas­ing is prob­a­bly the worst part of the finale and prob­a­bly the cliche I hat­ed the most since Nogiza­ka Haru­ka abused the crap out of that. Still, while it’s under­stand­able that their rela­tion­ship will devel­op slow­ly, I felt that the direc­tors did­n’t give Satone a chance to become a real rival, which would have been a bit more inter­est­ing as men­tioned in my review. Still, I have to say that I still enjoyed it despite the short­com­ings.

    1. chikorita157: I agree that a real tri­an­gle would have made things a lit­tle more inter­est­ing. At the same time, I’m pret­ty divid­ed on the idea. I did end up real­ly lik­ing Satone’s char­ac­ter due to the way they por­trayed her here. Plus, it’s a bit under­stand­able they did­n’t go that route because Yuu­ta and Rik­ka were already in a rela­tion­ship before Sophia ever came to town.
      HOWEVER, it would have worked if they had adapt­ed Satone’s “kid­nap­ping” game with Rik­ka that was sup­pos­ed­ly in the light nov­els. The con­flict set­tled here is so abrupt.
      Over­all, I agree with what you said on your blog post. Despite its short­com­ings, it was still an enjoy­able show to watch. The light nov­els are avail­able at my local Kinoku­niya, so I might get around to read­ing that plus a trans­la­tion online in order to find out how the how Satone thing was orig­i­nal­ly por­trayed.

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