Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! Ren Episode 1: The Revival of… The Wicked Eye

Review:

Welcome to not knowing what’s going on! At least, that’s the boat I’m in. Apparently this is actually the second season of “Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions!”, but I was not aware of that. If you’re not aware, all of my up-to-date anime viewing is done via Crunchyroll, as I do not support fansubs, and Crunchyroll only has the current season. As such, I did not realize that this was the second season until I saw the “Ren” at the end of the title and did a little research (and by that I mean I checked Crunchyroll for other seasons and went to Wikipedia).

Okay, maybe saying I don’t know what’s going on isn’t entirely fair–they did at least make some effort to give a little background, and to somewhat introduce the characters. Still, I definitely get the feeling that I would have benefited from seeing the first season, if for no other reason than to understand the character relationships and back stories (which I have somewhat acquired thanks to ye old Wikipedia).

Anyway, early on we find out that Yuta and Rikka were both set to live on their own, but Rikka’s grandfather accidentally let go of the apartment, which lead to Rikka living with Yuta. On top of that, Rikka and Yuta are dating. So, of course, they want to keep this a secret while Rikka apartment hunts. But that’s not really the crux of this show (although it was certainly part of episode 1’s plot). No, the main point of this show is that we have a group of high school students stuck in fantasy delusions (the word chunibyo is literally translated ‘junior high school second grade illnesss’ or, as Wikipedia also puts it, ‘adolescent delusions’). Basically, they think they have fantasy powers and are part of some fantasy world. Rikka, for example, believes she is ‘Wicked Lord Shingan’ in possession of the ‘Wicked Eye’. She even goes so far as to cover one of her eyes (which is yellow, whether naturally or by contact lense, I do not know) with an eye patch.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, this isn’t really a serious show. There is one scene where the characters engage in ‘battle’, and the animators actually depict it as if a real battle was going on, complete with giant weapons and magical attacks. So, if fantasy delusions and themes aren’t your thing, then you may want to avoid this show. Keep in mind that everything that is shown along those lines is simply a delusion of a character/several characters, but respect your own feelings towards fantasy material.

In the end, I don’t expect LCaOD to be a serious show; really, how can it be? The show has some things that may make some Christian viewers uncomfortable, which will be covered below. For now, I think I’ll stick with it and see where it goes.

A Christian Perspective:

The biggest issue may quite possibly be the depictions of pentagrams. In one scene, Rikka is shown drawing a pentagram on her arm with magic marker. Other depictions can be seen in the ending credits (which I would recommend skipping, as they also have a portion of the end credits that depict each of the four main females naked, though nothing explicit is shown). Beyond that, the characters are also depicting using some sort of ‘magic circles’ during their imaginary battle, and the same circles are shown throughout the intro. How you feel about this will probably depend on how you feel about fantasy in general. Some are completely put off by depictions of magic, fantasy or otherwise, and some are fine with it. Use your best judgment. The characters also seem to have an interest in the occult (a comment is made to Rikka that Italy is ‘home to the occult’, which seems to intrigue her). Catholic viewers should also be aware that The Vatican is listed with occult institutions (I don’t know if this is a Japanese stereotype or what). It should be mentioned that nothing ‘occult’ is actually depicted within the show (outside of Rikka drawing the pentagram on her arm), but again, if this sort of thing makes you uncomfortable or not (delusion or otherwise), then you may want to skip this show.

Outside of that is the fact that Rikka and Yuta are living together (although nothing sexual is going on, and by the end of the show Yuta’s sister returns, making it no longer a case of the two living alone together). There is one use of harsh language, the display of a certain type of magazines (though the women on the covers are wearing bikinis or underwear), and the aforementioned nudity in the closing credits. Of course, as mentioned, the imaginary battle during the show is fully animated, so it looks as if the characters are actually engaged in battle.

In the end, I will neither recommend you watch this show or warn that you don’t. That, I believe, is up to your personal conscience. I personally don’t see anything here that will lead someone down the wrong path (all of the fantasy stuff takes place within the characters’ minds, and there doesn’t seem to really be any real depiction of occult activities), but if you are at all uncomfortable with fantasy elements or anything that’s been described here, then you will probably want to stay away.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d**n*d”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Rikka’s sister holds up several magazines, all of which belong to Yuta (they don’t actually show anything more explicit than women in bikinis/underwear); the ending credits show each of the four main females naked (from waist up), with each covering her chest in a different way — the most explicit is Sanae, who is simply holding her cupped hands in front of her (although you still don’t actually see anything)

Violence: The opening scene shows a battle between two characters, one wielding a sword and another magic–a few punches are also thrown, which connect with the sword; a student hits another student in the forhead with a paper wasp; a character chops another character in the head; a character pulls another character’s hair; a character is hit in the head with a ladle; a character launches some kind of magical attack at another character; a battle ensues in which characters use magical and physical attacks (it doesn’t seem to make sense to detail a blow-by-blow synopsis; just know that there’s a fight); a character is being tapped on the head with a ladle; a character is chopped in the head several times

Blood/Gore: None

Other: The opening sequence shows what appears to be a magic circle, as well as a character using magic; Rikka is shown drawing a pentagram on her arm; a character uses her ‘magic eye’ (or something like that) to summon another world (everything happening during this portion of the show is within the characters’ imaginations); magical attacks are depicted; Rikka seems to have an interest in the occult, as she is informed that Italy is the ‘home to the occult’; also, The Vatican seems to be listed as an occult place; during the ending credits, when Sanae is shown naked, what looks like a flashing pentagram appears on her chest; the pentagram is shown a few other times after that

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One thought on “Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! Ren Episode 1: The Revival of… The Wicked Eye

  1. rmiller1656 Post author

    Okay, I’d like to clarify something: in no way am I suggesting we take occult things lightly. My thinking with this show is simply that it is simply about a bunch of kids goofing off. We can argue about how wise it is to goof off with occult symbols (not very, in this writer’s opinion), but ultimately the show certainly doesn’t use them for their intended purposes. Now if we saw them performing occult rituals, I think I’d have a different opinion of the show. As far as the “magic circles” (because I really have no idea what else to call them), they are made up, as far as I know. Granted, I’ve never studied Japanese symbology, so it’s possible that they are based off of something that I am ignorant of, but I can only report things based on the observations I make and the knowledge I have. All in all, if you’re okay with fantasy in general, then there probably isn’t much in this show to bother you (save, of course, the few depictions of the pentagram, depending on how you feel in that area).

    Fantasy in general does not bother me; in fact, I quite like the fantasy genre. We can argue back and forth to no avail about whether it’s appropriate or not, but I honestly don’t believe there are many people who are likely to wander into the occult because of some made up magic they saw used in Lord of the Rings, Final Fantasy, or something like that. On the other hand, I think I would be more put off if we actually saw people performing Wiccan or Satanic rituals in a show/movie, because that, I think, would be more likely to entice people into actually practicing the occult, simply because those things can be done in real life. Overall, though, this is a point of debate that will probably never have a conclusion. Some Christians are fine with fantasy. Others think it’s evil and should be avoided at all costs. Still others are somewhere in between, not quite sure what to think. If you’re unsure, first pray about it, seek an answer from God, and follow the guidance of your own conscience, for to sin against your own conscience is to condemn yourself (Romans 14:22-23).

    Reply

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