Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN Episode 4 & 5

OTP

Recap

Shichimiya convinces Dekomori that Nibutani is the real Mori Summer. Nibutani uses this to her advantage and gets Dekomori to help her with her student council campaign. Later, the school begins cutting down on inactive clubs and it’s up to Kumin to save the Far Eastern Black Magic Napping Society with the power of sleep!

Jel’s Thoughts

One of the things I loved about the first season of Chunibyo is how perfectly paced it was. Even at its silliest, the story kept moving along and never veered too far off topic. Season 2 began in similar fashion but after these two filler episodes its clear this train has derailed and is quickly tumbling down a cliff.

Look at that smile

It’s not to say there isn’t any fun to be had here, as the side cast has always been one of Chunibyo’s strong points. Dekomori and Nibutani’s begrudging relationship is one of my favorite parts of the show, and I kind of want them to just realize how much they care and ride off into the sunset together. Look at how genuine that smile is in the image above and tell me you don’t want to see more of that. We got a preview of that scenario in episode 4 and it was rather adorable to see Dekomori essentially revealing her true feelings. Unfortunately, something that good can’t last when there’s a status quo to maintain, and I thought the final betrayal was pretty harsh. As crazy as Dekomori comes off at a glance, she’s proven time and again that she knows exactly what she’s doing and crushing Nibutani’s student council bid seemed out of the bounds of her usual trolling.

THIS IS NOT A THING THAT PEOPLE DO

Things go from bad to worse as episode 5 was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever watched. Even with all the chuunibyou antics of the cast and some rather dubious plot coincidences, the actual world the show exists seems pretty normal and realistic. Introducing a secret underground competitive napping circuit with poser clubs around the country goes pretty far beyond my suspension of disbelief compared to what we’ve seen until now. I might be OK with that if they played up how ridiculous that concept is, but the entire thing is played 100% straight and devoid of irony. It’s so blatantly obvious that someone at KyoAni decided “hey, we need a Kumin episode” and realized she had nothing else to work with but her napping habit. If ever an episode needed Ishikki to make a triumphant return to the regular cast, it was this one. Kumin’s playful dismissal of his advances made for some really sweet moments in season 1, and now those are just totally gone. As a sole bright spot, at least Kumin’s final chuunibyou form was pretty cool.

The only cool part of episode 5

All of that would be somewhat forgivable in the context of a longer series, but the worst offense is how they’ve handled Shichimiya. Way back in episode 3 when the show still had a plot, she was introduced as this major character that was poised to shake the foundation of Yuuta and Rikka’s relationship. She was then promptly relegated to the background, making a brief cameo here and there just to remind you she exists. Basically, the series destroyed what little momentum it had going for it. I already was having trouble getting excited about Chunibyo season 2, and stamping out what little spark they had was a poor choice. I really want to give the show the benefit of the doubt since I enjoyed the first season so much, but this is clearly its own, far inferior entity. I’ll keep watching but as far as writing every week, I’m sad to say Chunibyo is…

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