Hey guys. Bobduh here, maybe talking about the best show of the season. Or maybe talking about nothing at all. Who knows! Anyway, I have a secret.
Chuunibyou S1 is one of my favorite anime of all time.
Okay, not really a secret if you actually read my stuff, considering half my responses to people are just Rikka reaction gifs. I loved the first season – loved the characters, loved the humor, loved the way it built relationships, then a love story, then an actual drama. For me, the first season is essentially perfect.
I have another secret.
I don’t really give a shit how perfect this season is. Sequels can’t damage their precursors, and I believe thinking they can is a silly idea that only leads to disappointment. We’re working in a commercial medium here – we don’t get sequels because auteurs feel their works are incomplete, we get sequels because daddy needs cash. Which is fine, as long as you keep things in perspective.
I have a third secret.
Well, basically the same secret. I really don’t give a shit how perfect this season is. That is, if this season is just the Paranormal Napping Club of the Summer (was that the title?) derping around scattered with episodes of Yuuta and Rikka adorably progressing their relationship, I will be grinning the whole goddamn time. The standard pattern for romance shows is: couple dislike or are indifferent to each other. Couple spend time together, revealing chemistry and affection. Couple declare their love. Show ends.
Fuck that! I want to see couples together – I want to see the interesting stuff! Not only is this just silly because “love declaration” is obviously not the end of relationship conflict, it’s also just shitty because seeing a couple I like happy together is adorable. I am a tremendous sap when it comes to romance, and would happily watch 26 episodes of, say, Okabe and Kurisu bickering over what takeout they should order. Or Lawrence and Horo going on picnics. Or Yuuta and Rikka acting flustered and self-conscious at the movies.
So yeah, if you’re tuning in for insightful textual analysis, my last secret is hahahahahaha. I loved the first season, I’m intending to love this one, and I have no interest in picking it apart. What does that mean for writeups? Couldn’t tell you. Let’s see what happens!
0:16 – Strong out of the gate with this cute effect. KyoAni’s trademark color work and attention to detail make Rikka’s room look cozy as fuck
2:16 – Sort of an odd thing to say, but I like that KyoAni’s characters aren’t stick figures. Girls have hips!
3:04 – Plz report chuuni abuse. It’s good to be back
3:15 – Another nice little directorial flourish. This already seems more confident than something like Free! (well, outside of Yamada’s kickass Free episode)
3:32 – And another. Nice “I remember that day… the day my partner was murdered” effect
4:02 – Our first nod to the audience. Every “hey, I remember that!” moment is both its own reward and draws them back into the world
4:41 – Aw yiss. THIS IS WHAT I’M HERE FOR, KYOANI
4:49 – And another nod. Also adorable
7:36 – Jeez, brutal reactions to everyone’s new look! Nibutani’s face is also fantastic
8:51 – Dekomori huge troll. Also making it clear she knows Nibutani isn’t a “fake,” but that’s pretty much a part of their friendship now, so she only uses that knowledge for evil
10:35 – I swear this is a line from JoJo
13:58 – More of what I’m here for. The cute couple trying to figure out apartment searching together
15:24 – Wait what. She just carries a ladel on hand for emergencies?
16:58 – Actually laughed out loud at this. No half-measures this season!
16:59 – Uh… yeah. Yep, I’m impressed
17:03 – KyoAni and their disgusting fanservice, giving us the whole team in the first episode. Shameless!
17:29 – Nibutani your attacks are extremely silly. I like that the cheerleader costume she started out with is now just her default “battle uniform”
17:42 – Well, she tried. Also, Kumin’s weapon is a combination of a clock and a harp. Perfect for naps
18:31 – And we even get Nibutani-Dekomori banter. KyoAni really have fallen to the depths of fanservice depravity recently
20:32 – KyoAni’s timing is so good on these throwaway gags. Setup->punchline with the quickest beat possible. There’s a music to comedy, and KyoAni are very good musicians
I am satisfied. Pretty much a textbook “and we’re back” episode there, reintroducing the characters and relationships while showing off a little of what made the first season great. I appreciated the various little nods to how much we already know these characters, and if this episode is anything to go by, it seems clear they’re going for more of an ensemble feel this time. That’s all fine by me – I like this crew and I like this production, and I’ll be happy to spend a little more time in their world.