Chuunibyou de mo koi ga shitai! Ren! 01

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 中二病でも恋がしたい!戀!「復活の…邪王真眼」 (Fukkatsu no … Jya-oo Shin-gan – Revival of the… Wicked Eye)

It’s a new year, it’s a new anime season and with Chuunibyou! Ren! we’re back with the whole gang from Season 1 starting a new year in school. A new year means a chance to make a fresh start, especially given the possibility of new classmates. From chuunibyou 中二病 to 高二デビュー (kou-ni-debut – 11th grade debut), Mori Summer aka Nibutani Shinka (Akasaki Chinatsu) has dyed her hair black, wears a knee-length skirt and wishes everyone ごきげんよう (gokigenyou – good day to you), fully changing her image by levelling up to a demure お嬢様 (ojyousama – lady), Makoto (Hoshi Souichirou) again does something ridiculous with his hair, Rikka (Uchida Maaya) moves in with Yuuta (Fukuyama Jun), Kumin-senpai (Asakura Azumi) inserts pun-riddled ダジャレ (dajyare) “jokes” in a bid to become more cheerful (coincidentally Yuuta seiyuu Fukuyama Jun’s specialty – e.g. Ono-san; Oh no!) and Dekomori (Uesaka Sumire) delivers the welcoming speech as valedictorian representative of the new freshmen, joining her master in high school.

Rikka moves in with Yuuta? Huh? What? Their relationship’s progressed that quickly? Rikka moved in with Yuuta!?!?! Yes, because both their mothers have conveniently moved out of Japan and Rikka’s apartment was mistakenly sold off, forcing her to temporarily move in with Yuuta.

And so the second season of KyoAni’s extremely popular Chuunibyou begins with Yuuta taking care of Rikka by waking her up for class, making breakfast for them, finding her new 2nd year ribbon and making sure she eats her cherry tomatoes. Rather than being a boyfriend he came across to me as being more like her mother. Although as Yuuta said, he’s never had a normal girlfriend before, what more a girlfriend suffering from chuunibyou. So his actions are very forgivable (and endearingly so) because honestly, he’s possibly the only person who can interpret Rikka 24/7. I mean the guy actually knew what she meant by “activating emergency code triple-4” and referring to the kotatsu as an “incubus in a coffin”. The Tyrant Eye and Dark Flame Master made a contract pact at the end of season 1 and that relationship shows delightfully with this opening episode. It’s great to have Rikka & Yuuta officially together and back on our screens for more chuunibyou!

Except that they’re both underage and living alone together… when the Priestess aka Rikka’s older sister Takanashi Tooka (Sendai Eri) checks in on Rikka before departing for Italy, we enter a battleground involving the Priestess vs Tyrant Eye, Dekomori, Dark Flame Master, Mori Summer (who in spite of levelling up, reverts) and even Kumin-senpai’s entered the fray. Maybe with season 2 we’ll see previously home-schooled Kumin’s chuunibyou debut.

「VAN!SHMENT TH!S WORLD!」Fans watching since season 1 will recall the smooth battle action scenes and crisp graphics. Thankfully the quality stays solid and we get an eye-full of their imagined fight taking place downstairs from Yuuta’s apartment. From last season, Tooka was the bad guy who wanted Rikka to grow up and stop her chuunibyou nonsense. This time, she plays along and indulges in our high schoolers, signifying that she’s really entrusted Rikka to Yuuta (she does at least believe he can take care of her better than Rikka can herself) or that she’s come to terms that Rikka’s chuunibyou is very much a part of who she is. Rikka’s classmates surely have.

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I have great hopes for season 2 and so far episode 01 has given me a vote of confidence towards it. We’ll definitely see more of Mori Summer and Dekomori’s interactions (how Shinka managed to accurately shoot a rubber band at on-stage Dekomori is a mystery but Dekomori’s comeback quoting Mori Summer was gold) and Makoto’s crush on Kumin is likely to continue. More importantly, as we saw in the last scenes (and in the OP), a new student has moved into Rikka’s old apartment meaning we’ve got a potential 2+1=3 situation. Is she friend? Or foe? Will the pact between Tyrant Eye and Dark Flame Master be threatened or with their powers combined, will be prove stronger than ever before? Will we be expecting more slice-of-life or can we expect more drama? I’m hopeful we’ll get a bit of both. What a great way to start 2014!

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