Chuunibyou de mo Koi ga Shitai! Ren! 03

Magical devil girl in pursuit 「追撃の…魔法魔王少女」

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I really take my hats off to the creativity of Japanese high school students, anime world or not. It was amazing how both Rikka and newcomer Satone (Nagatsuma Juri) managed to engage in an entirely imagined, impromptu rapid-fire magical (mock) battle. They could keep up with each other and create plot and character developments AND invent new sorcery and weapons, all on the spot, in the school hallway. Maybe as a child one’s imagination could run wild without holding back but between 2 high schoolers? I’m in awe. Keeping up with the effects from the opening episode, KyoAni has done it again here. The fight between the Wicked Eye Lord Shingan (now improvised) the Fallen Dark Angel (邪王神眼堕天使) vs Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII had gorgeous visuals and special effects that I was very nearly fooled into thinking I was watching another of this season’s high-school-magic/supernatural (looking at you Tokyo Ravens, Mahou Sensou, Strike the Blood, Witch Craft Works) anime. Thankfully it’s not. It’s WAY better! I mean, what other show opens with what looks to be the makings of a high school boy’s wet dream that in reality, actually features his girlfriend hanging off a ceiling?

That opening scene. I know things between them were more like parent-child than boyfriend-girlfriend in the last episode… That opening still frame of a (kinda) naked Rikka (straddling) on top of Yuuta was undoubtedly such a teaser for viewers. Either you’re rooting for the couple to move onto the next stage (albeit quite suddenly) and glad to see it happen or you’re shocked at KyoAni for being so naughty or you’re a fanboy seeking out some ecchi from Rikka/Dekomori/Kumin/Nibutani and finally got some. Well, Yuuta is like any other high school boy after all and honestly, kudos to him for managing to very logically realise he is in a dream and that such a scenario probably signifies his subconscious harbouring of real-life expectations. Who does that? A dream’s a dream Yuuta just savour it and stop being so mature and grown up about things already lol.

The day started off as normal as any day with a chuunibyou sufferer and ex-chuunibyou sufferer can – with Rikka hanging off the ceiling in Yuuta’s room in a zero-gravity magnetic force field. Oh and a brief glimpse of the new neighbour (now residing in Rikka’s old apartment upstairs) climb down a rope past Yuuta’s window as we saw in the last scene from the last episode. This is the 2nd encounter for Rikka, who has dubbed her the magical devil girl because deep down, Rikka probably instinctively views her as a love rival enemy of sorts, ‘one of the demon elite’.

Hence the reason Rikka wants to help the Dark Flame Master unleash his inner dragon (chuunibyou one or metaphorically Rikka?) soulmate – the Dark Flame Dragon. It doesn’t make sense to you or me but remember, Rikka doesn’t know how to properly express herself (which is really a very moe trait in case you haven’t noticed). When Yuuta loses a bet with her, she makes him “brave up” in a hilarious story development, by cross-dressing as a magical girl. What is it with Fukuyama Jun voicing male cross-dressers?! The imaginative streak in Rikka again shines through here when she and her disciple Dekomori cook up some reason for the dress as being all magical in order to bring out the Dark Flame Dragon. This may seem like any other day in the after-school club room but perhaps, it’s Rikka’s solution to keeping Yuuta to herself by turning him into such a turn-off for Satone? With Satone living in her old apartment, it was only a matter of time before the Dark Flame Master encounters Sophia. Oh Rikka, I just want to give you a hug for your warped sense of expression!

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Unbeknownst to the Wicked Eye Lord Shingan Fallen Dark Angel, Sophia is an old acquaintance of the Dark Flame Master formerly known as Hero. They were in middle school together and in fact, Sophia was patient zero for Yuuta’s chuunibyou outbreak and from whom he got the inspiration (imitated) for the Dark Flame Master’s name and his powers. Up to now, if you thought Rikka’s chuunibyou was serious then prepare yourselves for Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII because she went as far as to infiltrate another high school, hijack it’s PA system and declare war on the Wicked Eye Lord. Guess it really takes one to sniff out another.

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What ensues from Yuuta and Satone’s reunion is so endearingly sweet it left me grinning – Rikka squeaking ‘too close!’ when Satone talks to Yuuta; Rikka turning jealous and upset at Yuuta inviting Satone to dinner; Satone bidding Yuuta goodbye through touching noses! Every scene was compounded by Rikka’s reactions, which were as pure as her child-like innocence. You can see Rikka really treasures Yuuta and in return, so does he, as he tells Satone he’s outgrown his chuunibyou and so she can’t be so clingy to him anymore.

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There’s obviously a back story to Yuuta and Satone and I’m very excited to see it unfold because for a high schooler to want to hold on desperately to the younger days of chuunibyou, like Rikka, Satone may be escaping something. Why has she moved closer to Yuuta? Did she track him down after he transferred schools without telling her? Is she really no longer a threat having befriended Rikka? There’s plenty of juicy drama here and I trust KyoAni will deliver. For now, the contract between the Dark Flame Master and Wicked Eye Lord Shingan has been renewed with a new level of intimacy borne out of Rikka’s jealousy – 鼻ポチ and the Wicked Eye Lord has cut off Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII’s rope so bring it on Satone! Because as Yuuta is unsure of the newfound uncertainty that is Satone, he is filled with careless joy for being one step closer to Rikka.

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