Category Archives: Love Chunibyo and Other Delusions!

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN Episode 11: Blue Moon Ragnarok

Review:

Episode 11 serves up a good mixture of drama and comedy as Sophia continues to battle with her inner emotions. Interestingly enough, though, this episode actually focuses more on Rikka and Yuta to wrap up this plot line (well, sort of, as this is a to be continued episode). Picking up right where last week’s episode left off, this week we see Rikka suffering the consequences of standing out in the rain (namely, a cold), Yuta and Shichimiya receiving advice from Nibutani, and Rikka still trying to find that third coin.

This episode kind of relates back to my post concerning what we’re conformed to. The fact is that Rikka puts herself in a bad spot, as she goes out to look for this coin despite being sick. What this says to me is that she is so caught up in her delusions that she is willing to risk her real health for the sake of an imagined scenario. One could even question whether she realizes that this is all in her had at this point.

It was cute to see just how much Yuta actually cares about Rikka, though. In the end, they leave us with a bit of a cryptic conclusion. Despite the fact that everything seems to have wrapped up nicely, Shichimiya leaves with a bit of a cryptic departure, so I suppose the next episode will let us in on what that’s all about.

A Christian Perspective:

Most of what I could say here is standard throughout the series–imaginary magical battles and the like. If you’re watching at this point, then chances are that this stuff hasn’t bothered you, at least not enough to stop watching it. As for real world violence, there is one instance where a character is knocked off his feet, then later that character is (presumably) poked in the eyes. There is a brief flashback to Rikka in a bikini, and one use of profanity.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h**l”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A brief flashback to Rika in a bikini

Violence: A character is knocked off of his feet; a character is poked in the eyes (I think) off screen; there is a “battle” with explosions

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Two female characters touch noses; the typical stuff of the imagination battles (magic, magic circles, etc.)

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN, Episode 10: Gauntlet of Rain [or] A Midsummer Night’s… Rain and Whips

Review:

Here comes the drama! Last week’s episode started the drama of Shichimiya realizing her feelings for Yuta, and this week continues that plot thread, full blown. Of course, the episode still has some of its own funny moments, such as when Dekomori get a surprise attack in on Nibutani. Shichimiya’s emotional torment is definitely the crux of the episode’s focus, though, and to some degree you have to feel sorry for her. I mean, sure, she made her own decisions and denied her own feelings for the sake of living in a delusion, but still…

Honestly, I expected the episode to end with Rika discovering Yuta and Shichimiya talking, misunderstanding the situation, and ultimately causing drama. The fact that the episode didn’t end that way was a surprise for me, though. Of course, in all of this, poor Yuta is completely lost. It seems everyone else knows about Shichimiya’s feelings except for Yuta and Rika, the two other people who actually stand to be affected by those feelings. There are certainly some issues with this episode, as seen in the Christian Perspective, but the dramatic relationship side of things remains interesting.

I’d like to actually see some kind of deeper insight into these delusions. Do these characters truly believe they are “wicked lords” and “magical devil girls”, or are they aware that these are simply delusions that they are escaping into? Even Yuta mentions something to the effect of he stopped believing in his own powers, which seems to counteract my thought that he outgrew his delusions. Or maybe that’s what he was saying, just in a more cryptic way. Will we ever find out? Maybe, maybe not.

A Christian Perspective:

Well, early on the episode has a pool scene, so we see Rika, Shichimiya, and a host of background characters in bikinis. The little girl from last episode also shows up in a one piece, but there’s nothing particularly fanservicey about her, although at one point she does latch on to Rika and starts doing something that causes Rika to comment, “Not there.” Shichimiya’s bikini strap starts to fall off her shoulder at one point, the in-between shots show Shichimiya and Rika in their bikinis, and Rika is shown to have her umbrella strapped to her thigh. I realize that this is relatively mild in regards to fanservice, but just because one person doesn’t stumble over something doesn’t mean another won’t.

More concerning for me was Shichimiya’s “prayer” at one point. She says things like, “In the Devil’s name” and “In the profane name of the Angel Lucifer”. In a previous episode she declared something “in Satan’s name”. I don’t know if this all has something to do with her being a “magical devil girl”, but should we really be comfortable with a character exalting the name of the enemy of our souls, even if it is in a fictitious setting born of a delusion? It raises the question of how much we should, or perhaps can, tolerate before we start becoming desensitized to it.

Beyond that was some light violence, mainly in playful ways.

Content Guide:

Language: None, unless we count euphemisms

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Rika in a bikini; female characters in the background in bikinis; Cento is holding onto Rika, doing something, and Rika comments, “Not there”; Shichimiya in a bikini; Shichimiya’s bikini strap starts to slide off her shoulder; Dekomori is wearing a tube top; the in-between shots are of Shichimiya and Rika in their bikinis; Rika throws her kimono open to reveal her umbrella strapped to her thigh

Violence: A character is flicked in the forehead; two characters have a water balloon fight; two characters are hit in the head off screen, although we see lumps on their heads afterwards; a character is grinding his fists into another character’s head; a character grinds the handle of an umbrella into another character’s head

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Shichimiya is “praying”, and says things like, “in the Devil’s name” and “In the profane name of the Angel Lucifer”

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN, Episode 9: Resort – Last Resort

Review:

Oh, of course we couldn’t get through a season without a beach episode, so prepare for bikinis and cleavage. That said, at least this episode actually had a plot. In the beginning, it does play more like a typical, “Oh, we’re going to the beach and doing a random side job” episode, but it ends up actually having a point. At least it makes the episode more than just mere fanservice, although with the majority of screen time spent at the beach there are bikinis a-plenty.

The way this episode went, though, seems to destroy my previous line of thinking. Originally, I thought the point would be that Rika would be cured of her chunibyo by her relationship with Yuta. After the way this episode resolved, though, that may not be the case. In any event, the episode resolves by creating another point of drama, which, I suppose, will begin to play out next episode.

A Christian Perspective:

Plot or not, this episode is chock full of fanservice. To be honest, though, it doesn’t feel like they play it up, i.e., it didn’t really seem like they went out of their way to sexualize the fact that the female characters were in bikinis. Regardless, though, there were female characters in bikinis, and there was lots of cleavage. To make matters worse, there are times where the camera is basically zoomed in so what we see is a bust shot (chest on up) of the female characters, which places the subtitles more or less across their breasts, which makes averting your eyes from the cleavage very difficult. There are some other camera shots to be aware of, as well, which can be seen in the Content Guide. Outside of that, there was one instance of harsh language and some violence, both real and imagined.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h**l”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Beach episode, so you know the trappings: girls in bikinis and cleavage, both within the main cast and random extras; several times, the camera presents us with a bust shot, which places the subtitles right across the female characters’ breasts; woman in a bikini in the second in-between still photo; there are some iffy camera angles, too–at one point, Deko is doing a sort of dramatic pose thing, and the camera briefly focuses on her bathing suit-clad butt; another time, Deko is preparing to jump, and the camera zooms in on her from behind (thus, again, camera on her butt, though I think the intention was probably more to focus on the fact that she was about to jump); as she’s attacking, the camera sort of pans up her body (again, not really anything sexual, per se, but just know it’s there); there is a scene where a female character is “powering up”, so to speak, and the camera focuses on her lower region briefly, and also on her chest briefly (she’s wearing a bikini); in another scene, a bikini-clad girl is rubbing her chest over her heart, which means a close up of cleavage

Violence: A character is hit in the head with a ladle; a character is hit over the head with a wooden sword… twice; a character is hit on the head with a ladle; two characters are fighting

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN, Episode 8: The False… Mori Summer [Or “Holy Spirit Mother”]

Review:

Nibutani episode, go! Well, maybe character-specific episodes would appeal to me more if I’d been with these characters longer. In any event, this episode follows the plot thread that was started during the school trip episodes, when Nibutani found out about the Mori Summer web site. Now that Yuta and Rikka have grown closer (I would have been happy with more awkward relationship cuteness, though), it’s time to settle the score here.

With all that said, I’m not sure how to feel about this episode. The fake Mori Summer is a creep, which, granted, isn’t treated like it’s okay, but there is a lot of occult imagery in this episode, including a scene where several characters are sitting around a table with a pentagram on it. Nibutani claims it helps locate things or something. Granted, it ultimately does nothing, but it still has the look of an actual occult ritual, and that is not okay. More on that, though, in the Christian Perspective.

So content wise, yes, this episode is a bit discomforting in some aspects, particularly in regards to the occult symbology. Outside of that, there are some amusing aspects, including Nibutani’s complete embarassment over the things she used to do when she went around pretending to be (or perhaps believing herself to be) Mori Summer. We can thank Sophia for that. At the very least, the characters seem to realize that all of this is in their imaginations (or at least, the really fake, fake Summer does, as she comments that she has the greater power of imagination). The fact that all of the other characters seem to be able to see what’s going on in the delusions makes me wonder if they share the delusion or what, but at that point I’m just over-thinking a show. It would be interesting to see a cross-section of what is actually happening when they’re imagining these epic battles, though.

A Christian Perspective:

Ugh, this episode…. Part of my reasoning/justification/what have you with the pentagrams and stuff was that at least it was all make believe. This episode, though, had to go and include Nibutani actually performing an occult ritual where she sits around a table with a few other characters. The table has a pentagram drawn on it, and candles are lit around it. Supposedly, it’s to locate something. Granted, nothing actually happens, and I probably could just wave this away as a case of, “Well, they didn’t glorify the occult by making it look like it had any power”, but how much should I–or any Christian who desires to be discerning, for that matter–wave away and excuse before we stop? Now, does this kind of stuff open up our minds to accepting the occult and allowing Satan in? Honestly, I don’t know. For those who have previous ties to the occult, I would definitely think so, and advise they stay away (although I would suggest not even watching this show at that point). For the rest of us? Honestly, I don’t know. I like Chunibyo more than I dislike it, but this kind of stuff leaves me unsure of whether I should actually continue watching it. There are, of course, other instances of occult items, particularly pentagrams, throughout the episode.

The other thing, too, is that there is some mild yuri (or, perhaps, shoujo-ai) content in this episode. The fake Mori Summer, for example, is after Deko, and yes, in that way. She tries to kiss Dekomori, she makes a comment about Dekomori’s “thingies” being as cute as a baby’s, and she is shown chewing on Deko’s ear. There is another scene, too, where it is revealed that Deko and Nibutani have apparently kissed in the past, although they insist that it was an accident. Both characters are blushing in the scene, though, so I’m not sure what the implications here are, and I don’t know anything about the incident itself. I assume it happened in the first season.

My other issue is the title, or rather subtitle, of “Holy Spirit Mother”. Granted, I doubt they’re referring to the Holy Spirit, but it still sounds wrong…

Of course, there is also an imaginary battle in this episode, although that hardly seems worth mentioning in light of the other stuff. Despite all of this, I still do want to finish this series, although I’m questioning my previous intention to go back and watch the first season. Christian viewers, what are your thoughts? Am I over-thinking this? Or should I drop this?

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The fake Mori Summer tries to kiss Dekomori, off-screen she makes a comment that Deko’s “thingies” are as cute as a baby’s (don’t ask me what the “thingies” are), and she is shown chewing on Deko’s ear;

Violence: A character is yanked up by the shirt and then tossed; the same character is later tossed again; a character is knocked to the ground; two characters engage in an imaginary battle where they fight with magic; the fighting sends characters flying around; a character intervenes with a giant hammer

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Pentagram on the clubroom floor; the “Mabinogion” (or however it’s spelled) is referred to as “scripture”–specifically, the statement is scripture of the Mabinogion (sp?); Nibtuani is shown to have a number of occult items, including a tarot card, cards with a pentagram on the back, and a book with a pentagram on the cover; Nibutani, Yuta, Rikka, and Kumin are shown sitting around a table–the table has a pentagram on the top of it, and candles are lit around it; characters are using magic in an imaginary battle; the fake Mori Summer is apparently into girls; apparently, Nibutani and Dekomori kissed in the past (though it is supposedly an accident), and they are blushing as they argue (hopefully this isn’t going down the path of being yuri)

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN, Episode 7: Triangle… of Missed Encounters

Review:

How many cute scenes can this show pull off? Seriously, the end of this week’s episode topped the end of last week’s. Granted, we had to wait for it, and leave it to Sophia to create all of the waiting for us. If you think you’re going to get a cute episode of Yuta and Rikka exploring together, think again, because Sophia pops up, and we know how that goes.

With that said, it certainly doesn’t stop the episode from being amusing. Watching Yuta and Sophia work together to retrieve Sophia’s bag from a monkey, for example, was quite entertaining. I think I might fail a bit at common sense, though, because I really can’t understand Rikka’s reaction and subsequent actions to Sophia giving Yuta a certain item. On the other hand, it does open up the opportunity for a particular scene between the two female characters that sheds some light on the whole chunibyo thing, and after hearing Sophia’s story I have to wonder if Rikka will slowly start to grow out of her chunibyo.

This brings us to another point, though: while Yuta seems to have put his chunibyo behind him, he seems more than happy to occasionally break it out for Rikka. Simply see his actions at the end of last week’s episode as well as this week’s. I don’t know if he is actually aiming to break Rikka of her chunibyo or not, but if he is then indulging the delusions isn’t the way to go. Then again, perhaps his willingness to make a spectacle of himself says something about the genuineness of his love for Rikka. Who knows.

In the end, the events of this episode were kind of a mess. Not in the sense that it was sloppy and incoherent, but just in the sense that it created a lot of drama. The end result, though, was certainly cute, and overall worthwhile.

A Christian Perspective:

I’m coming up empty here. Sure, there are the couple entries in the Content Guide: one instance of vulgar language, and a fantasy where Rikka uses magic to freeze lava. There’s also a scene that shows Dekomori with a picture containing a pentagram in her bedroom. Honestly, that would probably be my biggest issue with this episode. I really just don’t get the obsession with the pentagram–couldn’t they have just made something up instead of using an actual occult symbol?

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d**n”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Rikka has a delusion where she uses magic to freeze lava; Dekomori has a picture with a pentagram in it hanging on her bedroom wall

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN, Episode 6: Traveling to the Island of Tsukushi… of Hesitation

Review:

So that was a break from the norm. Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions without a lot of chunibyo. Of course, there were still the instances of Rikka fantasizing, but it was significantly downplayed in favor of a focus on her and Yuta’s relationship, at least in this writer’s opinion. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would probably be cute.

There was, in fact, a large focus on Yuta and Rikka’s relationship, which ultimately leads up to Rikka being able to open up a little bit. Of course, this is sprinkled in with bits of humor and typical anime school field trip antics (such as the guys plotting to spy on the girls in the bath), though I suppose the show must be given credit for the fact that the bath scene was not really fanservicey in the sense that the worst you saw was a brief bit of cleavage.

This episode opens up a bit of commentary about how the world in general views sex, too. Yuta’s classmates begin to drill him on how far he has gone with Rikka, and at one point a comment is made to the effect of Yuta being a normal high school boy, so of course he’s “done it”. The classmates are so ingrained in their opinion, in fact, that they don’t believe Yuta when he tells them that he and Rikka haven’t had sex. While I doubt this was meant to be a social commentary, it does shed some light on how the world seems to view sex. It also makes the innocence of Yuta and Rikka’s relationship all the more sweet, as they are clearly going against the grain. Granted, this is probably due more to their mutual shyness than any sense of morality on either of their parts, but Yuta certainly isn’t the typical male lead with sex on his mind.

Character development in this show may be slow as molasses, but at least the characters tend to be cute and the tone light-hearted, so it’s never really burdensome to watch, and when character development does happen it is certainly satisfying (see: the end of this episode). That’s not to say that this show isn’t without its potential concerns for Christians, though; just see some of my earlier reviews. However, if you’re this far into the show, then those potential concerns probably aren’t concerns for you.

A Christian Perspective:

There’s nothing too terrible in this episode. The worst is the female bath scene, and even that is tame given the typical nature of anime bath scenes. Only one brief scene is of any concern, and even then the worst you see (at least, as far as I could tell) was some cleavage of a girl submerged in the water. After that, the majority of the scenes are zoomed in on the girls, showing only from the shoulders up. The camera does zoom out at one point to show a couple of girls in the water, but as far as I could tell they didn’t actually show anything at that point. It’s still worth approaching with caution, of course, because it doesn’t take a lot to set the mind down the wrong path. I don’t know at what point a thought becomes a sin, but the more we guard our minds/the less we let into our minds, then the less likely we are to sin (at least, that would be my thought). The boys are also shown in the bath, washing each other’s backs, but again no naughty bits are shown.

Other than that, there are a few scenes of violence, although they are comical in nature, and the pentagram/summoning circle that is on the club room floor is again shown. If you have not noticed by now, I’m not particularly fond of pentagram depictions

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Female characters are shown in the bath, although the worst that’s shown is essentially cleavage (a girl is in the bath, so you see the top of her breasts)–most of the scenes show the characters from the shoulders up, and the one other scene that actually shows female characters in the water doesn’t actually show any naughty bits; the guys are shown in the bath washing each other’s backs–again, no naughty bits are shown

Violence: a character is playfully chopped in the head; a character is tripped and knocked down; a character is stepped on

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Pentagram/summoning circle on the club room floor

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN, Episode 5: The Illusive… Siesta Labyrinth

Review:

This one is pretty comical through and through, with Kumin-senpai taking the central role for the most part. If you ever wondered whether an episode about napping could be entertaining, then you’ll find your answer this time around. I have to say, if there’s one thing this show does right, it’s this: the characters are cute. You just can’t help but to enjoy watching them.

The ‘Far Eastern Magic Napping Society in Summer’ is facing disbandment because of their lack of activity. Lo and behold, though, that napping actually counts as an activity! So, in order to prove that their club is “legitimate” they challenge another school’s nap club to a competition. The only problem is that the other club is actually a group of pros at napping, and Rikka opens her mouth, promising disbandment of her own club if they lose the competition. This leaves it up to Kumin-senpai to train this group of nap-rookies on how to nap properly!

Seriously, it is primarily an episode about napping. Kudos have to be given, too, because napping competitions apparently are a real thing, so they didn’t just make this up for the show. Brave, Chunibyo, bravo.

There really isn’t a lot to say here. If you’re looking for a show with cohesive plot and character progression, then you should probably look elsewhere. If you’re looking for an enjoyable viewing experience with amusing, likeable characters, then stick with Chunibyo (although this is season two, so you’re probably already aware of that). My one contention with the show continues to be the use of occult imagery, but at least they show the imagery as an element of imaginary creation, instead of making it seem like it has any real power. I could argue that this is also bad, because it’s de-sensitizing viewers to the use of such imagery, and may make viewers less cautious about being involved with these things in real life, but I’ll leave those opinions up to your personal convictions. Unless something in a show really rubs me raw (for example, if they started sacrificing sheep in a summoning circle to summon demons), I’m probably not going to definitively say, “Don’t watch this show because of this.” I will respect your conscience and say that if you’re unsure of something, pray about it and let God have the say.

A Christian Perspective:

As always, the big issue here is imagery. While it’s not overly prevalent in this episode, there is a female character with a pocket mirror/make up thing with a pentagram on it (it looks upside down, but that may be because she has it open), another character has a crystal ball, and there is also a giant summoning circle on the Napping Society’s floor, which seems to be made out of Christmas lights. Beyond that, Yuta makes a comment about not having a “chance in hell”, and there is magic used in an imaginary battle. If you’ve watched the show up to this point (and most likely if you’ve watched season one), then you probably aren’t bothered by this stuff for one reason or another, but just know it’s there. I would still say approach with caution, and be willing to drop it if God says so.

Beyond that are a few scenes that could be sexually tempting to some viewers. We have female characters shown in gym uniforms (thus, bloomers), school swimsuits, and bikinis. While none of the scenes are sexual in nature (and I don’t believe they were intended to be “fanservice” in and of themselves), I still mention it for anyone who may be sensitive. There is also violence in this episode. It is mostly comical, with a character being hit in the head with a flung rubber band while another is hit in the face with a toy, but there is also an imaginary battle where the characters fight with weapons and magic.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Female characters are shown in gym uniforms (bloomers) and school swimsuits (I realize these are fairly typical in anime, and in this case aren’t really used for the explicit purpose of fanservice, but if you’re sensitive to this kind of material then be warned); a still shot is shown with female characters in bikinis

Violence: A character is hit in the head with a flung rubber band; there is a “battle scene” in this episode, where characters fight with physical weapons and magic; a character is hit in the face with some kind of toy

Blood/Gore: None

Other: A girl is shown with a makeup thing with an upside down pentagram on it (although she does have it open, so it may only be upside down because the top is flipped up); another character is shown with a crystal ball; a comment is made about not having a “hope in hell” in regards to winning the napping competition; magic is used in the “battle”; there is a giant summoning circle (pentagram) on the club floor, possibly made with Christmas lights

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! Ren, Episode 4: Queen Maker

Review:

I want to know where these kids get their imaginations, because what they have is better than anything I’ve ever managed. Literally breaking into tears because your friend dons her fictitious persona again? That takes some serious commitment to your character.

Anyway, I don’t know the full extent of the rivalry between Dekomori and Nibutani, outside of the fact that Nibutani’s delusion used to be “Mori Summer”, whom Deko seems to have an interest in, and whom Deko thinks Nibutani is impersonating, hence the constant skirmishes between the two. This episode continues that trend, as Nibutani begins her bid for student council president, and Dekomori sets out to ruin her aspirations. The twist, of course, comes when Nibutani’s greatest enemy becomes her greatest ally.

This episode was fairly amusing, as a whole, though I don’t think it did much for the show’s overall plot (does this even have a plot?). There were plenty of funny moments, as the Nibutani/Dekomori war always seems to bring them. Beyond that… I don’t have much to say. It was just an amusing episode, and the ending was kind of… painful. I’m honestly not sure if a certain character got what they deserved or not.

A Christian Perspective:

There was some slapstick violence, which is probably to be expected at this point. Honestly, the worst thing in this episode is that Sophia declares something “on Satan’s name”, which is… a bit uncomfortable, I think. There is, of course, the possibility that the Japanese don’t know the weight of what they’re saying there, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s uncomfortable for a Christian. As usual, I won’t tell you what to do here, as I’m not really sure how to handle it myself. Is it something worth dropping the show over? Is it a bad choice of dialogue? Should we just chalk it up to the absurd delusions of the character combined with the Japanese peoples’ lack of knowledge of Christianity?

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: a character has a wire wrapped around her neck and is pulled into another character, which results in the two characters headbutting; a character is kneed in the face twice and kicked in the head; a character is being held in some kind of wrestling(?) move; a character’s hair is pulled; character punches a wall; a character is grabbed by the face

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Sophia declares something “on Satan’s name”… yeah…

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! Ren Episode 3: Magical Devil Girl in Pursuit

Review:

My previous query about obsession with darkness still stands. It seems like every character’s delusion has something to do with “wickedness”, “evil”, “devil”, or “darkness”, and yet somehow these are supposed to be the good guys in the characters’ delusions. Or something like that. Honestly, there’s part of me that is still uncomfortable with the delusions in this show (particularly the use of the pentagram), and there’s part of me that realizes it’s all gibberish nonsense. The more you watch, the more you kind of realize that Rikka is just making things up as she goes. Whether she’s aware that she’s living in a fantasy land or whether she actually believes that her delusions are reality, I don’t know, and that goes for every character in this show who indulges in their delusions.

As for this episode, we end up with some content that I am not pleased with, and by that I mean fanservice. The episode starts with Yuta having a dream about Rikka being naked in his bed, and while it wasn’t at all explicit (from what I saw), it still garners a, “was that necessary?” reaction which, in this writer’s opinion, it wasn’t. There is also a brief flashback to that scene early on in the main episode. Beyond that, the show stays clean of any nudity or fanservice, but it is still a blemish on an otherwise clean episode.

Plot wise, we get to view the arrival of Rikka’s potential rival, a former friend (as it turns out) of Yuta’s who has finally tracked him down. Much like Rikka, this friend also suffers from delusions, and, as we find out, is the reason Yuta became delusional in the first place. In the end, it all amounts to a number of hijinks, including Yuta wearing a magical girl costume (complete with wig) and a ‘battle’ between Rikka and her new rival. One thing I’d be interested to know is if the elaborate battle scenes are supposed to be what the characters are actually envisioning, or if they’re just put there for the audience’s benefit. Either would be a viable option, but if it’s the former, then that is an amazing imagination.

What I think the delusions come down to (and forgive me if this is explored in the first season) is simply Rikka’s way of dealing with the world around her. We clearly see her get jealous, especially of the closeness of Yuta and Satone, and we see Yuta deal with it through another “contract”. It seems clear that Rikka has at least some understanding of what it means to be boyfriend and girlfriend, but their relationship always comes back to some sort of “contract” within the delusional characters that the two embody (though Yuta’s is one of reluctance). Honestly, there’s probably something deep to examine here concerning one’s inability to adapt to the world around them, and how they make up for that, but I’ll leave that for the people who specialize in this sort of thing.

In the end, if you’ve enjoyed the series thus far, then there’s probably nothing that will surprise you or put you off, except maybe the bit of fanservice. I, personally, could deal with less of the pentagrams, although I don’t know if that’s really an issue of personal conscience or if it’s a hyper-sensitivity from letting the opinions of too many other people into my head. In real life I would completely avoid such symbols, but I’m still not entirely sure what to make of them in fictional media, especially in a show where they’re not being used for anything other than delusions (in other words, that the characters aren’t actually using them for occult activity).

A Christian Perspective:

Honestly, the review probably covered this for me. There is fanservice early in the show (skip to 00:42 if you want to avoid it), and a flashback to said fanservice around the 3:25-3:30 mark. One use of vulgar language is included, and there is violence, both real and imaginary (though with this show, the imaginary violence is, of course, animated as if it were a real battle). I mention below about Rikka drawing a pentagram on Yuta’s shirt, and Yuta eventually says that it looks kind of cool (or something like that), which certainly isn’t my reaction to a pentagram. Part of me is sitting here reminding myself that Japan does not have the same perception of pentagrams as we do, but then part of me wonders if that even matters. Given the basis of the show, is it truly safe to write off their inclusion as part of the delusions of fictional characters, or should we still be wary/stay away from them?

I also mention the inclusion of crosses on the clothing simply for the fact that they are being included among the other symbols. While the two never appear side by side, it just seems out of place to suddenly have them there, and perhaps a bit irreverent. Yes, I know we don’t worship the cross, but still… of course, again, the cross probably doesn’t have the same meaning to the vast majority of Japanese people as it does to us.

Oh, and there’s the fact that Rikka now refers to herself (that is, her delusional character) as a fallen angel.

So, again, I think it comes down to a matter of personal conscience and conviction. Do these things make you feel uncomfortable? Do you feel convicted from watching it? If so, then avoid this show. As you can see, I’m sort of on the fence about it, with one part of me put off by the symbols and another part waving my hand and saying, “You’re being silly, it’s just a show about delusional kids”. I’m sure some would push for the former opinion while others would rally around the latter. As a typical high school romantic comedy, it’s quite cute and interesting (I certainly want to see how Yuta and Rikka’s relationship develops, and if Rikka ever gives up the delusions), but the symbology in the show throws me off. It’s not even the fictitious use of “magic”. I’m fine with fantasy. It’s those stupid pentagrams.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d*m**d”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: At the very beginning of the episode, Yuta has a dream where Rikka is over top of him, naked. From what I saw (before scrolling down until only the very bottom of the screen was showing (so I could still read the subtitles)), they don’t really show anything in depth, but it’s clear that she’s naked. If you want to avoid this altogether, just skip ahead to 00:42. Yuta also flashes back to this scene briefly, around the 3:25 – 3:30 mark

Violence: A character gets his stomach stomped on; a character is kicked off his feet; a character is kicked in the head and then knocked out of the room; a “battle” ensues between Rikka and Sophia, in which they attack each other with “magic”, as well as physical blows; two characters are chopped in the head; two more characters are chopped in the head

Blood/Gore: Blood comes out of the nose of the student kicked in the head

Other: Rikka draws a pentagram on one of Yuta’s t-shirts (Yuta refers to it as a summoning circle); the magical girl outfit that Rikka produces has a cross on one of the ribbons; Yuta cross-dresses; there is also a cross on the dress Kumin puts on; Rikka refers to herself as a fallen angel; Rikka also has a cross hanging on her skirt (although that’s been there)

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! Ren Episode 2: Dolphin Ring Striker

Review:

This was a cute episode. While I have no idea about the origin of Yuta and Rikka’s relationship, but from this episode I know enough to know that it hasn’t gone anywhere… at least until now. Honestly, it’s a nice change of pace to see a show that doesn’t center around the male character chasing after sex. I also have to commend the writers of this show. Even though I’ve never seen the first season, I feel like I’m already getting a feel for these characters. First season viewers will undoubtedly be even more connected and invested in these characters, but I certainly don’t feel lost.

So in this episode, we see the influence of nosy friends. When Yuta’s friends–or, perhaps more accurately, Nibutani–realize that there is no advancement in Yuta and Rikka’s relationship, they tail them as they shop, which ultimately leads Nibutani and a friend of hers to give Yuta advice and ultimately set him up on a date. So, yes, the power of nosy friends. But honestly, it lead to a cute second half, with our target couple taking a trip to the aquarium.

One thing that I have to wonder about, though, is how Yuta expects to draw Rikka out of her delusions when he seems to indulge them from time to time. Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought that was what Yuta was ultimately aiming to do, yet he occasionally takes on the role of “Dark Flame Master”. That’s another thing, too: what is it with the fascination with “wicked” and “darkness”? I just don’t get why there is such an attraction for the characters to be delusional about being villains. At least, I’m assuming that’s the case. I can’t really think of any heroes with “dark” or “wicked” in their names.

Well, griping about names aside, this really was a cute, enjoyable episode. Seeing two anime characters in a pure relationship was refreshing, even if that purity seems to somewhat be born of naivety. Even more, it was nice that the friends (or rather, Nibutani) weren’t pushing them to “go farther”. One could argue that noses shouldn’t even be stuck in as far as they were, but, you know, plot devices.

A Christian Perspective:

Nothing really to say here that wasn’t expressed in the first episode review. I will say that the magic circles in the intro appear to have something to do with pentagrams (at the very least, they look to contain a star within the middle of the circles), so that is still something to keep in mind. Granted, I once read something on Wikipedia that said that pentagrams don’t have the negative connotation in Japan that they do here, but they are still symbols connected with magic in Japan, so let that be what it will. Honestly, I don’t really know what to do with this. On the one hand, yes, pentagrams are certainly against what we believe in. On the other hand, the whole thing is made up. It’s all in their heads. Plus, I find it highly unlikely that someone will fall into the occult from watching this show. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something that I can see being a concern, and I’m still unsure how to entirely feel about it. Let your conscience be your guide, and if it makes you uncomfortable then play it safe and avoid it.

Other than that, there’s just some typical comical violence, the worst of which is probably when Yuta spanks Rikka. It’s clearly not meant to be perverse or sexual, though. There is also the fact that Nibutani’s (female) friend makes a comment about having a crush on Rikka, though she plays it off as a joke.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None, except for the stuff in the outro (I don’t intend to include notes on the intro/outro on each week’s review, for the record)

Violence: a character flips a table and hits two other characters with her hair; a character is chopped in the head (twice); a character is spanked; another character is chopped in the head; a character is slapped into a wall

Blood/Gore: None

Other: a female character makes a comment about being in love with Rikka, although it’s declared as a joke