After going through the many shows I’ve watched and would want to do one of these spotlight articles on, I came to the conclusion that I’ve somehow completely forgotten to do this show, one of my favourites of all-time. It’s an adorable show worth your full attention!
The anime revolves around two characters. The first is Yuuta Togashi, a boy starting his new high school life. He tells the story about how in the eighth grade he was one of “those kids” who would pretend to be a hero from an anime or manga, making up a fake name, dressing up, using non-existent magic, even coming up with a gimmick to their character. In Yuuta’s case, he wrapped up his forearm, claiming by removing the wrappings, it would unlock his powers as the Dark Flame Master.
Naturally, he’s embarrassed by that past and transferred to a school much further away than the one he would’ve gone to, so no one knows him in his new class. His intentions are to be 100% normal, to not ever deal with “Chuunibyou” or “Eighth-Grader Syndrome” ever again. But that lasts about…two minutes.
Enter Rikka Takanashi, a girl who happens to be his next door neighbour at his apartment complex…and a girl still suffering from the dreaded Chuunibyou! Her gimmick is of course, her eyepatch and her shining golden third eye (aka a coloured contact lens). She also fights with a massive weapon (an umbrella) and has a chimera at her disposal (a cat with a costume on it). Naturally, she plays the game with Yuuta after discovering him doing his routine one more time to get it out of his system for good and thus the entire journey begins.
The first season is a solid mixture of comedy, silliness and then some real-life situations to bring the serious mood into the picture. The entire season pretty much focuses on Yuuta trying to deal with Rikka and her antics (soon bringing more people into the mess of things) while trying to distance himself from her, again trying to get away from that kind of character and start his “normal high school life”. Eventually he understands her won’t be able to get rid of her, so he starts to try and get her to snap out of her delusions.
Yuuta’s not the only one who wants Rikka to grow up, so to speak. Her entire family is tired of this shtick of hers, to the point her older sister essentially blackmails Yuuta into being more aggressive in trying to get her away from this chuunibyou side of her and become a normal high school girl. A lot of this season really spends time with the hardships a lot of kids face during that transition into their teenage years and adulthood soon after. We all had that time as we grew older that we didn’t want to grow up, we wanted to stay a kid forever. That ideology gets fought with throughout the entire season.
The second season is far different than the first. While there’s still that wish from her family to change, Yuuta’s fully accepted her for what she is and supports her, whatever she decides to be. And that’s where the focus comes in, it’s clear there’s a loving relationship between the two and finding their own way to make it work, as well as hide it from almost everyone is a challenge. Though it is absolutely adorable how Rikka comes up with ways to say she wants affection from Yuuta, without actually saying it point blank.
In terms of the remaining characters, there’s more than enough quality to keep any other moment in a good place. Shinka acts as a great fence-sitter, being a harsher female version of Yuuta. Sanae is pure comedy, constantly causing trouble for the other characters, particularly Shinka. Kumin basically naps all over the place and at the perfect times it seems. And Tooka as Rikka’s older sister does her job very well at being the serious character of the show, while still able to work within the craziness of the show.
Speaking of, the best parts about the show (other than Yuuta pretty much concussing Rikka by chopping her repeatedly) are the “magical battles” that take place often during the show. Since Rikka and others believe they’re real anime characters, they often have crazy battles with over-the-top weapons and explosions. Which becomes super funny when they cut to reality and it’s really just Rikka hopping around on the ground with an umbrella.
Overall, this show is an absolute wonder to sit through. If you have a problem with over-sexualisation, this show doesn’t go for that. It’s a cute show that has a bit of over-the-top anime comedy, nothing you haven’t seen before if you’ve watched anime for any substantial amount of time. But what sends this show over the top for me, is honestly Rikka. She’s one of my favourite female characters in anime, adorable in every possible way, you can’t help but cheer her on. And when the story goes from laugh out loud to a lot more somber, you’re invested. I certainly was.
I mean come on, how can you say no to this face?