Chuunibyou is a slice-of-life, romantic comedy anime revolving around one young man trying to leave behind a childhood phase of role-play and imaginary adventures to move forward with his high school years, and the young woman he meets who retains her phase of live-action role play adventures despite being in high school.
This one has interested me for a while. I thought it was really a sci-fi sort of thing, but I'm not disappointed for what it turned out to be.
The story deals a lot with what it means to grow up, what it means to be different, and whether happiness and normality can really coexist. In truth, it covers a lot about what it's like for many of us (otaku) to deal with life in a world where not many people are all that familiar with anime, and don't really get it even if they are familiar with it. Not that all of us do goofy role-playing sort of things just to get by in the world, but it feels like we're that sort of different, sometimes.
The lead male role, Yuta Togashi, enters high school hoping to start fresh and live a 'normal' life, declaring his 'chuunibyou' years to be embarrassing and packing away everything that could be considered evidence that it ever existed. When he meets Rikka Takanashi, the memories come back to him, much to his chagrin, at first. She is out on daily adventures, seeking 'invisible boundary lines' for a purpose left unknown for a while.
At first, he will have nothing to do with her. The last thing his 'normal' high school life needed was a 'chuunibyou' hanging around him, repelling all the 'normalcy' he desperately seeks. That is, until Rikka's elder sister black-mails him into befriending Rikka, and helping her return to acting like a 'normal' person.
Much of the story has him learning how best to interact with Rikka and her crazy 'servant' Sanae. How he can interact with them such that they understand him, and how he can understand them in return.
Every episode leaves him questioning further what it really means to be 'normal', and whether happiness can truly only be achieved by being 'normal'.
Honestly, if you asked who my favorite character is, I would have to say Rikka, as basic and obvious as that sounds. I like her crazy way of dealing with life. It's unconventional, but it didn't hurt anyone, and it kept her more sane than being 'normal'. She's quirky with an interesting view of the world, and her story is just perfect. She chooses to be happy in life, no matter what. And that's the sort of person I would like to be.
The opening and closing songs irritated me, to be honest. Although, if the opening was remixed to be just a voice and a piano, I think that would be lovely,
The actors were all wonderful. If I haven't yet noted Jun Fukuyama's talent as an actor, let this be the first: I adore his versatility as an actor, and the way he does a comedy role is one of my favorite facets of this acting gem!
This is a very good feel-good anime for anytime of year and anyone in the anime community could enjoy it. I recommend it to those looking to get into anime, as it shows that not all anime is about OP fights and explosive powers and crazy eye and hair colors. It's a different side of anime that puts a lot about modern nerd/geek/otaku life into perspective.
I liked this show very much. It's difficult to find good slice-of-life anime that doesn't have so many over-used tropes. This isn't the usual 'boy-meets-girl' drama, and I like that. I hope I can find more like this.