Chuunibyou de mo Koi ga Shitai! Ren! 04

An innocent… Queenmaker 「無垢なる・・・ 生徒会長選挙 (クイーンメーカー)」

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After the formal introduction of a possible love rival to main couple Yuuta and Rikka, one would normally expect the next episode to further that story line. Instead, the spotlight moved to supporting characters Shinka and Dekomori this week, the other lovable duo in Chuunibyou. Nibutani Shinka aka Mori-Summer is running for student council president and for a moment there, I honestly thought she had the chances to win! Because her eternal nemesis Dekomori (first year representative – must have quite a bit of influence among the freshmen) was actually helping her run her campaign! But alas, things backfired and the sadistic side of me can’t wait to see how Shinka’s popularity will plummet as her chuunibyou middle school persona Mori-Summer was revealed in front of the entire school.

This episode highlighted what I love most about KyoAni’s production apart from their high quality visuals – they genuinely bother with the supporting characters. In Free! KyoAni chose to focus on outsider Ryugazaki Rei, in Hyouka both Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka had their fair share of screen time. When done well, an arc – even an episodic one, devoted to a supporting character, can make the whole anime that much more complete and fulfilling for a viewer. Conversely when done badly, the episode comes across as a filler or a waste of time. Most anime will give supporting characters air time as it usually helps move the plot along or to strengthen the main character’s presence. Yet this episode was squarely all about Shinka and her interaction with Dekomori from start to finish, so much so that I want to see more of them now instead of main couple Yuuta and Rikka.

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We’re all familiar with the endless bickering between Shinka and Dekomori which started back in season 1 when Shinta renounced her chuunibyou cult-status Mori-Summer, a witch who’s teachings astound her followers of whom Dekomori was is a most devout one. Extremely unhappy that Shinka tainted the image of her beloved Mori-Summer by “impersonating” her (remember Shinka was but is no longer Mori-Summer… it’s technical…), their never ending feud results in the daily comedic relief of Dekomori launching surprise attacks on Shinka and the latter fighting back against a freshman while holding onto her desired high school popular girl image. So when Shinka decides to run for student council president as part of her high school dream, the only thing getting in her way would of course be the troublesome Dekomori – that drawing-on-the-knee sequence was very very funny!

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Shinka ropes in Yuuta to lure his girlfriend Rikka and her servant Dekomori by engaging in some chuunibyou battle. (It’s so easy to forget sometimes that Chuunibyou is NOT a fantasy action anime because the graphics are just way too good! Please do another dear KyoAni, Kyoukai no Kanata wasn’t enough!) Yuuta’s understandably hesitant as he’s constantly trying to prevent the resurrection of the Dark Flame Master (DFM). Shinka threatened the resurrection of DFM’s 2nd form and one of Yuuta’s more embarrassing parts in his chuunibyou past – Guerzoniansus (seriously how do they come up with such bombastic names?) and bargained by reminding him how it was she who brought Yuuta together with Rikka and gave them the much needed push to move things along. Instead of being grateful, Yuuta’s retort was that no one asked Shinka to do so! That was SUCH a middle/high school thing to say Yuuta! It’s true that no one asked her to be a busybody but you’ve got to admit that if it weren’t for Shinka (and Makoto and Kumin-senpai) we wouldn’t be watching a season 2!

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As it turns out, Mori-Summer is an old acquaintance of Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII (see, bombastic) when Mori was 216 years old (aka middle school). Sophia still remembers Mori’s Mabinogion teachings and her crystal potions, even showing the gang a mobile phone pic of Mori-Summer in all her bangles and head scarf glory. Dekomori finally relents and believes Shinka IS Mori-Summer after seeing the same bangle and boy oh boy, to describe the ensuing 180 degree change in attitude and level of hysteria as cult-like is a huge understatement – she made Nibutani-senpai cookies in her goddess-likeness! When Dekomori cried a tsunami of tears, I can’t help but wonder if maybe Mori-Summer was more than a chuunibyou idol to her? Was she a spiritual guide or companion to the presumably lonely rich-girl upbringing she has? Because otherwise, why would anyone cry THAT much?

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This episode highlights the devotion and loyalty of our chuunibyous. As we’ve seen in season 1, the bond between master and servant is sometimes stronger than that of real family kinship. It is not easily severed unless another greater master comes along and the Wicked Tyrant Eye gets a taste of it when Dekomori declares Mori-Summer her new master! With her renewed respect for the once-lost-but-now-found Mori-Summer, Dekomori is the absolute devotee. And to prove that, her one act of devotion was at none other than at the president nominee speech held in front of the student assembly where Dekomori preaches to all the beautiful gospel of Mabinogion. There’s no turning back now Shinka. Good luck to the rest of your high school life.

P.S.: Fukuyama Jun’s comedic timing is perfect with his one-liners – “Stop it Nibutani, the wall’s done you no wrong”; Makoto teaches us all how NOT to deliver a speech as fellow nominee (bring him and Kumin-senpai back KyoAni!).

 

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