Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN Episode 3

The grin says it all

Recap

Rikka detects a mysterious girl following her and Yuuta near their apartment and on the way to school. Her identity is revealed after a surprise attack, leaving Rikka fighting for more than just imaginary chuunibyou glory.

Jel’s Thoughts

This is the episode I was waiting for as the appearance of Shichimiya is theoretically the driving force behind season 2. Sadly I don’t think she’s done much to shake my apathy, as everything plays out exactly as you would expect. Shichimiya is basically Rikka with self-confidence, the perfect foil to highlight her flaws. Also as expected, Rikka is taken aback by her forthrightness and while I guess it’s kind of cute to see her get flustered I’m still not feeling any magic here. It’s all being presented competently enough, but it still feels like we’re going through the motions, dutifully telling a story that I don’t feel like I need to see.

Less fun than it looks

Padding out the rest of the episode with fluff like cross-dressing Yuuta and cosplaying Kumin was mildly amusing, but even that felt phoned in compared to the series usual antics. Mixed in with our first bit of legitimate plot development, it was really just a tacked on sidebar to kill time and had nothing else to add. In fact the entire structure of the episode felt a little off to me, almost like it was by a different director. Maybe it was the slight dip in animation quality – at least by KyoAni’s lofty standards – or something else but for a series that always has perfect pace and timing it just felt weird.

I love the "actual footage" shots after the chuunibyou battles

I will end things on a positive note and say this may have been the coolest chuunibyou battle yet, even with the aforementioned quality drop. The fact that Rikka and Shichimiya are not only equally insane but also have a reason to be adversaries adds a much greater level of tension to any of the previous fights. If anything is going to pull me out of my Chunibyo funk, it’s going to be seeing those two go at it. I really hope they go all in and just totally hate each other, at least for a little while. I doubt they will turn out to be more than Frenemies, but here’s hoping Chunibyo has some surprises left in it.

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