「混沌の…初恋煩(カオス・ハート)」 (Konton no … Hatsukoi Han ( Kaosu . Ha^to ))
“Turmoil…of the Chaos Heart”

Ohhh Rikka, how far can your chuunibyou go? That’s exactly what we found out today. Since the beginning of this series, Rikka’s chuunibyou has been both the thing that made a relationship between her and Yuuta possible – without it she would never have approached him, he wouldn’t feel like he can’t leave her alone, and in fact, she would have probably never moved in with her big sister at all – as well as the biggest thing that stands in their way. While she’s still chu2ing it up, Yuuta isn’t able to think of her as a girl concerned with love, and even Rikka herself couldn’t understand it when it smacked her in the face! Thus, this biggest impediment was what needed to be circumvented before they could come together.

But first, KyoAni showed us how hard of an obstacle it would be with Rikka’s obliviousness to love…but honestly, I don’t have a lot to say about that other than “Rikka is cute“, so I’m going to talk about something else. During the first half, I supremely enjoyed the bit where Touka appeared from under Yuuta’s bed. It was funny to be sure, but I’d like to enhance (or ruin?) the scene by explaining why it was subtly brilliant. With gags like this, my first instinct is to go “How the hell did she get under there?”, so when Yuuta asked as much, I immediately smiled. The stroke of genius comes when Touka gives an explanation that doesn’t actually explain anything (how does being on the gymnastics team in high school explain coming in through a closed window and slipping under a boys bed?), and then swiftly deflects us away from questioning that by pulling out Yuuta’s dirty magazine for another gag. It’s like they get credit for making the joke more realistic, save without having to actually explain how it really worked. Genius!

Anyway, blushing Rikkas aside, the episode really started to heat up when Shinka started to meddle. Just coming out and telling Rikka she’s in love…a novel idea, but it sure got some quick results! Their whole conversation was adorable, from Rikka in denial to Shinka going into ikemen Yuuta mode. (Nice touch on the heart of butterflies, by the way). But most interesting of all was the fact that Shinka was the first one to punch past Rikka’s chuunibyou (here, when Rikka accepted her love advice)! I had always expected that would be Yuuta – and I guess he was there when she dipped out of character when talking about her family a couple episodes back – but you still did well, Shinka. You’re a good friend. (Except to Isshiki).

Shinka’s plans were amusing – especially in how the first two failed utterly – but I have to give her credit for the third one. Mind you, Yuuta did a lot of the work by bringing up the elephant in the room when he and Rikka were finally alone and not doing anything…so come to think of it, the same effect could have been reached without Rikka almost falling off the roof. Sooo…nevermind!

But in all seriousness, my heart definitely jumped when Rikka slid down the roof and stopped, only barely holding on. “Well that’s not good,” my notes read for that scene. I hadn’t expected legitimate danger in chu2koi! But the payoff was undeniably sweet. Like he has multiple times before, Yuuta gently guided Rikka’s feet to the rail and helped her down. Yet this time the situation was a little more serious, and the ensuing event was a treat to behold. Seeing Rikka’s arms snake around Yuuta’s back as she cried into his chest with the sun setting behind them…that was some nice ambiance. A sweet moment, and I can’t wait to see what it means for our heroes going forward.

And yet still, I find myself wondering why this show hasn’t resonated with me as much as other romances. Here’s what I think – chu2koi is too one-dimensional. Now don’t get me wrong; it’s a good dimension, one that’s entertaining and well executed…but there’s still only one of them. To me, the best romances are the ones where something else is going on, whether it’s an adventure or political intrigue or epic drama or merely a romantic rival to shake things up. Chu2koi has other facets, but only the comedy really holds its own – Rikka’s drama has so far fallen flat, there are no appreciable rivals, and even Isshiki and Kumin-sempai aren’t seeing enough development to hold their own as a potential B-couple. Danger, too, just isn’t there…the roof scene was the only taste of that, and compared to what we’ve seen in a hundred other stories, it just doesn’t hold a match. Just as an adventure is better if there’s a little well-done romance mixed, a romance is better if it has other elements wrapped around it, like braided cords of a rope that link together to increase the strength of the whole.

One last thing on my previous point, namely the reply to an objection that I’m sure will be raised. As far as rival love interests go, it doesn’t matter if the other ones are “doomed to lose.” It’s generally pretty clear which girl (or boy) is going to win, with only very rare shows subverting those expectations. That’s the thing though – other options insert uncertainty, no matter how small, and a little uncertainty is what makes you want to keep watching, juuuust in case this is one of the shows that is going to surprise you. Yet here, there’s no one like that, so Yuuta and Rikka are 100% assured. I’m absolutely okay with that if there were something else of substance to sink my teeth into, but there’s not. I feel like I’m eating cotton candy; it’s delicious to be sure, but once it’s finished I still find myself hungry. That’s okay if cotton candy was what I wanted, but this show always struck me as having more depth beneath the surface, the potential to be one of those dual-threat romances I love so much. I wish it would hurry up and show me.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Rikka’s chuunibyou keeps getting in the way of her love…until, thanks to the help of Shinka (& gravity), suddenly it doesn’t #chu2koi

Random thoughts:

  • “I’d better be careful around you.” No, Touka, you’d better be careful around me. *licks his lips like predator-kaichou from OniAi
  • I’d totally take Dekomori as my servant. She’d be, what, Rider? (With Cereberus as her mount). I can just imagine it….”Activate Noble Phantasm: Mjolnir Hammer!” Then she’d trip over her twintails and get impaled by Berserker-Shinka. Frack.
  • It’s interesting how Rikka’s chu2 mode didn’t activate. Maybe they’re saving the Tyrant’s Eye vs Dark Flame Master battle for the climax? Or just for next week. Either way, a great way to show that not all was normal with Rikka’s heart.
  • You’re not going to get anything from dancing with Yuuta, Isshiki. Well, other than back in the yaoi rumour mill.
  • Related: The Oklahoma Mixer? Oklahoma sucks! (Man, I’m just pissing everyone off today, aren’t I?)
  • I gotta admit, Rikka’s evil laugh…was pretty bad. I just can’t imagine her as anything other than a cute girl. Which is totally fine with me!
  • At first I thought Shinka was wingmanning for both Rikka and Isshiki…only, nope. So cold, Shinka-chan! Forever alone, Isshiki-kun!
  • Seriously, how does Chimera stay on these girl’s heads? And actually…why is the cat at school again anyway? That’s one talented feline, lemme yell ya.
  • One final note on my earlier criticism. To be clear, I don’t by any means hate this show – this is the criticism of a fan trying to understand why something he enjoys isn’t entertaining him as much as it seems like it should be. Yet I think my criticisms here back up an old qualm I have of KyoAni itself. Hype backlash (trope!) aside, KyoAni has always struck me as tactically brilliant, but not strategically so. That is to say, while all the small movements and tiny details are taken care of, the major strokes can sometimes fumble. That’s why they can take great source material and polish it to a mirror shine (Clannad), but occasionally crap out an egg like Endless Eight. Perhaps that’s still preferable to the other more consistently imperfect studios, but for my money I’d rather bet on a Gainax, a Shaft, a J.C. Staff, or a Sunrise. Sure, you’ll get a lot of more flawed efforts, but you’ll also occasionally get a TTGL or a Madoka or an Ano Natsu de Matteru to make it all worth it (or a Kyoukaisen…shut up I like it!). KyoAni is like the diligent perfectionist while the others are the weird kids who occasionally come up with a brilliant idea that change the world. But then again, maybe I’m just weird too.

I apologize for the less-spirited-than-normal post. Unfortunately, I think Stilts-oniichan is coming down with something, so I’ll be going to rest shortly. But the strange thing is, by the time I finished writing this post I actually felt a lot better. That just goes to show you the power of RandomC…or something!

End Card


  1. Great episode! My heart was fluttering with Rikka once she realized she was in love and didn’t want to admit it. She falling off the roof made my heart jumped a bit; it surprised me supposedly this was a love comedy. All ends well, it was great when it seem the world just revolves around them both. So lovely, and cute.

  2. After an ending like that, I strongly recommend that all viewers go see a doctor. Because its very likely you have diabetes now.

    Interesting that Shinka denies chuuni past, but is still a closet romantic and actively trying to get Rikka and Yuuta together.

  3. do you watch kamisama hajimemashita? do you enjoy it more than this? could it be that you’re not fully enjoying this because you’ve set your mind that this is gonna be a comedy start to finish? i admit that i didn’t like this series in the beginning because of rikka’s antics. the serious parts from the past couple of episodes is what made this entertaining for me actually and gave depth to rikka’s character. what yuuta said at the rooftop about him not understanding her before is the exact same reason why i like this show now.

    1. No, I’m not watching kamisama. And it’s not that I thought it was going to be a comedy all the way through. I would prefer that they mix in more drama and other things. The only problem is that everything from the comedy and romance has fallen flat for me, and a rope with two threads isn’t as strong as one woven from three or more.

      Sorry, I’m enjoying that metaphor.

      1. IMO KyoAni was never good with character development in 1 cour shows ever since… I dunno… forever(Yes, I will include AIR). Probably with the exception of Haruhi 2006 but then again the real development was set up by the new episodes from the 2009 re-air(including E8) and showed itself in Disappearance.

        It’s on 2 cour shows where they shine the most. However let’s disregard Nichijou as it is a comedy with no real intention for such development.

        Anyway as much some people would call Hyouka boring for me the characterization is what pulls it together. IMO(don’t kill me) the characters, especially Houtaro was more developed than any of the cast of Haruhi. In fact if it weren’t for Haruhi’s premise being more fun and Kyon being a more fun person than him, I’d peg him as my most favorite male MC in all of KyoAni’s adaptation.

        Another point for me is as much as I’m an avid fan of K-ON you can see me rage at S1 causing me to nearly drop it. Truth be told I barely even finished the show. S2 however caught me which is again, a 2 cour show.

        One of the strengths of KyoAni is characterization and that’s an important element in their every show. However it doesn’t become that prevalent in 1 cour shows. I think that they haven’t found the right approach for 1 cour shows. Though IMO this sits at top of most of it’s kin.

      2. I guess the reason you aren’t enjoying this as much is because it’s probably too vanilla. I for one thoroughly enjoy this series because it’s just exactly what I’ve been wanting for a long time now. Just two people falling in love naturally with one tiny quirk to tie them together. No overly dramatic arcs, love rivals, sudden tragedies, or any of that stuff. Besides, you gotta have some vanilla every now and then 😉

      3. And this is why this is my weekly dose of diabetes. They certainly done that right and aside from the quirky humor this is welcoming.

        Only gripe I have is at least give the supporting characters some little depth. Kumin, Ishiki, and Dekomori are lacking some of it hence why I appreciate the drive Nibutani’s been giving.

        Oh well, we still got 3 episodes. Anything can happen. At least Dekomori’s showing some different side with the way she was very dependable in class.

  4. Great ep!

    I missed the sensation of hitting the pause button several times out of sheer embarrassment/excitement.

    Note to self… Never mess up Nibutani’s plans while throwing a terrible pun.

    1. Also, forgot to mention that I liked the Yuuta home sequence. Yuuta burning dinner so resorting to pizza delivery was funny. Mom and Konoha got speaking scenes this time around. But seriously, more Yumeha please.

  5. Kumin is usually the perceptive one so its strange she didn’t catch on straight away when Rikka confided in her.

    And I’m backing you on Kyoukaisen, together with Chuu2 and Binbougami the most fun I’ve had watching anime this year. One good thing about Kyoani is that they tend not to beat dead horses. Some sequels should never have happened (cough)Last Exile(cough)E7(cough). But when Kyoani ignore great material like the end of FMP it’s just baffling.

    Btw can I have an OVA starring Shinka, Nana chan and Touka. Please?

    1. Well, Kumin’s been shown to be particularly dense about love, with no experience with boys, and obliviousness toward Makoto’s feelings for her. Plus, she fully invests in everyone else’s chuunibyou episodes, so she’s going to look at things that way when Rikka starts talking about it.

    2. And I’m backing you on Kyoukaisen, together with Chuu2 and Binbougami the most fun I’ve had watching anime this year

      you seem to have my exact same tastes 🙂 so I recommend giving a try to Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo if you didn’t pick that up. Well, if you did and didn’t enjoy it, just ignore me

    1. I’m not wishing for it per say, just saying that, without something else going on in the plot somewhere, it’s not really striking me. But then again, I’m coming to think that may be just a problem of perception, or more correctly, my wishing this to be more than it is. A vanilla romance with some pro comedy is a pretty damn good thing, after all.

    1. Are you talking about the doujin where Shinka NTRed Yuuta from Rikka, by deliberately doing him infront of her and leaving together with him in the end? She was jealous of Rikka and so she stole the guy from her. That was a horrible doujin completely unlike the original where she actually acts as the wingwoman who sets them up, gotta love her role here.

  6. I think this show is more about the complexity within the simplicity of a ‘normal’ couple’s blossoming relationship. We’re here for innocence and the magic of love, not some over-the-top, contrived, action-packed, mystery, whatever-other-combination extravaganza people have come to expect out of the anime industry.

    I like this show the way it is.

  7. its been a while since i got excited with this kind of anime, really good episode for me.

    touka’s acrobatic moves dodging yuuta’s attempt to steal back his porn(?),
    shinka being their love cupid,
    isshiki forcing yuuta with that weird dance LOL
    deko-chan’s servant antics
    and rikka’s more cute side and realizing her feelings towards yuuta, full of win!

    btw, what does touka means when she said, “i should watch my figure” after looking at yuuta’s porn? she means she needs to watch her figure to match yuuta’s preferences?

  8. I can only say that I’m happy that this show is not overdramatic, without a pointless lovetriangle nonesense where it is clear who will be together anyway, genrally without forced Drama that many shwos in this genre tend to have.
    We have and interesting plot(nothing groundbreaking), comedy, countless of sweet moments, two characters who gradually fell in love with each other, and charcters that are by far not so onedimensonal like in many other shows with only 13 episodes and in this genre.
    I like ikt far mor like this. I don’t always need forced drama to make me happy.

    1. without a pointless lovetriangle nonesense

      not to say that a love triangle is more or less expected, so the lack of it is actually kind of a surprise (I was expecting something concerning Shinka, for instance) that adds a nice touch to the show instead of detracting from it.

    2. I do enjoy the lack of a love triangle, my point was merely that it feels like it’s lacking something else. Then again, I’m beginning to think it’s more of me wishing it to be more than the sweet vanilla romcom that it is. Staying as that might not get it into my own personal upper echelon of shows, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be damn good. Which it certainly is!

  9. Just telling someone you’re in love really is a pretty novel approach but I guess Shinka just couldn’t stand it anymore. And thankfully the only thing that was really necessary was leaving them alone but the near fall also made it much faster.

    Also when you think about it, it’s pretty funny that Shinka thinks she understands the situation and is trying to help as a normal girl but she doesn’t actually have any idea what to do so she has to use shoujo manga as a guide.

  10. Cats unique ability to stay on top of female heads is esttablished law since… Utamaru in DC, I guess?
    Stilts, bringing up predator-kaichou made me smile… have you seen the swimsuit ep? 😛
    SS#35 “Just as planned!” Shinka!

  11. A bit off-topic to bring you news concerning Kyo-Ani. Already they’re lining up another series right after Chuunibyou for January 2013.


    Unlike previous shows, including Chuunibyou, which are all adaptations which are arguably better than the original in most cases, Tamako Market will be Kyo-Ani’s first forage back into original anime since the underhyped Munto.

    Though seeing as the crew is basically the same as that of K-ON, expect a moe slice-of-life like story pacing, if there’s any story.

    Kinny Riddle
  12. Oh, Mori Summer, without you we would not get the best cuteness out of Rikka, you are indeed a good friend to have. She should consider rebranding her former Chuunibyou-life by emphasizing on the romance fortune telling aspect, that should help her regain her popularity. (But I’d take her even if no one would. 😀 )

    Can Touka be considered a tsundere of sorts? In how she puts up a front towards Rikka, and then reveals her insecurities towards Yuuta. lol

    Kinny Riddle
  13. I like how Yuuta freaked out when Touka was doing the backward roll. That was extremely hilarious. And gotta love how she said she has to ‘keep up her image as a big sister’. Blushing Touka is extremely cute.

  14. so time prepare for school festival yet rikka feel on “wonder” cause of yuuta since beach/alone with yuuat at his home.

    got like rikka’s sister appear from nowhere in yuuta’s bed with his “stash” to rikka talking to kumin about it to try beat out “wonder” in yuuta.

    but nibutani see it yea rikka is in love with yuuta so give dating tips to help in with lead bridge part cause rikka almost “yikes” but yuuta catch & yea could cupid’s arrow hit rikka?

  15. Am I the only one who cringed and yelled out “DAMN!” when Rikka was defeated by Yuuta? Rikka avoiding Yuuta, blushing, was just too much for my heart…it was too cute…

    Touka scared me I swear…

    You know Rikka is feeling it when she eats a tomato, especially when she’d rather challenge the final boss….most likely at level 5

  16. KyoAni is like the diligent perfectionist while the others are the weird kids who occasionally come up with a brilliant idea that change the world. But then again, maybe I’m just weird too.

    Lol, but from a more cynical perspective KyoAni might just have significantly more financial backing than the rest of the studios, and therefore more money to burn on better writers and animators. So KyoAni sticks to the beaten path because they know that they have the means to do it better than anyone else- while the rest of the studios that don’t are occasionally forced to go off the rails to stand out, which is why we see crazy ideas from one and not the other. (That is, if my assumption about KyoAni’s budget is correct, I could very well be wrong.)

    KyoAni has always struck me as tactically brilliant, but not strategically so. That is to say, while all the small movements and tiny details are taken care of, the major strokes can sometimes fumble. That’s why they can take great source material and polish it to a mirror shine (Clannad), but occasionally crap out an egg like Endless Eight.

    Again this could be attributed to their averseness towards straying from the beaten path. Their predominant production methodology relies on throwing money at tactical (micro) things in order to refine existing strategic (macro) paradigms to perfection, that is derivative stories and/or tried and proven tropes. So whenever they’re forced to take macro-strategy into their own hands (Due to things like sparse source material [like Endless Eight which was a short story adapted into eight full-length episodes], or the time constraints of a 1-cour show. [like Chuuni here]), they have a tendency to fumble because they possess little actual experience in doing so. I think Kinny Riddle was talking about Tamako Market being an anime original production- my money is that KyoAni plays it safe by sticking to the K-ON winning formula for their macro-strategy, while maintaining their impeccable micro-tactics. (Everything here is speculation, and all speculation here hinges on the assumption that KyoAni has a significantly larger war chest than other studios.) You never know, they might end up surprising us all- but I highly doubt it…

    “I’d better be careful around you.” No, Touka, you’d better be careful around me. *licks his lips like predator-kaichou from OniAi

    (LOL) For me, the thrill of the hunt has always come from mutual predation. Chefs like Touka are just a little too…domestic and herbivorous for my tastes. I’d much prefer a certain flamboyant white-haired arms dealer who just wants to watch the world burn- or a one-handed atheist terrorist, or perhaps the sadistic heiress to a Japanese Yakuza dynasty…XP

    I apologize for the less-spirited-than-normal post.

    Even if this post was indeed somewhat less spirited, I didn’t see it; I found it to be genuinely funny and entertaining. Don’t worry about your writing, just get rested and get well, Stilts! 😉

    1. A thought came to my mind when I read your comment–KyoAni are better business people than the other studios. The thing about most entrenched businesses is that they tend to be pretty risk averse. Why shake things up when what they’re doing is still working? That’s why you only rarely see a Hollywood studio do something crazy and artistic, instead of crapping out countless superhero movies or romantic comedies starring Matthew McConaughey which are guaranteed to sell. Likewise, it’s the same reason the most innovative video games are usually indie – they have to try harder and take bigger risks because they don’t have the money and the resources to do the easy things better than everybody else on the planet.

      So KyoAni takes the safe path because they know they can get guaranteed returns by taking decent to good material and just adapting it well. The only problem is when they’re occasionally forced to think strategically and fuck it up. There’s also the fact that, while good for their bottom line, this kind of adaptation precludes adding anything truly wonderful to the world. They’re taking the safe path, in short. I can respect the skill at which they do it, but not where they’re going. Meh.

  17. I really misjudged Shinka. At first, I thought her meddling was for the purpose of making fools of either Rikka or Yuuta.
    But her sincerity won me over. I thought, as Touka did, that Yuuta would be the one to reach Rikka since, being a former
    chuu, he would understand Rikka best. Talk about your sleeper character. Who’d of thought that Shinka’s a hard-core
    romantic by teaching Rikka about all of those confession situations (like in the movie Rikka was watching last ep.)
    Okay, she’s no expert herself, but demonstrated a heart of gold and dedicated effort to help a fellow Chuu.

    I think the phrase “All (former and current) Chuu’s stick together” applies to this series and was underscored
    by Shinka’s abandonment of helping ship Isshiki and Kumin-sempai.

    I thought the last third of the episode was very strong and well done. I especially liked that his rescue was like their
    first meeting. It’s the third time she has descended into his arms, figuratively speaking. Also, the way he had to grab her
    was (fairly) realistic, and I’m happy that there wasn’t the stupid comedic “don’t touch me there” as I’ve seen elsewhere,
    which ruins the emotions of the situation in a lame attempt to humourize the event.

    What I really pray for is that this episode begins a real change for our main chracters and that the story doesn’t degrade
    back to it’s olde self after what has happened (as I’ve seen in some other series).

    …why this show hasn’t resonated with me as much as other romances…

    @Stilts IMHO, I think it’s because Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo has/is ruining rom-coms for all of us with it’s superb
    quality, and the fact that you’re covering both at the same time. For a 1 cour, Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai has the
    right amount pacing and supportive character depth to accomplish the telling of its primary love story.

    @Stilts Hope you’re feeling better!

    1. Well, Dekomori had certainly helped hint that Shinka was the love and romance type of person, reading Mori Summer’s passages from the Mabinogion. Every one of them is about love. I don’t think Shinka wanted to get away from the love guru part of her old personality, just the magic and supernatural part.

    2. I agree that it always looked like it would be Yuuta and thought that until the beginning of this episode. Shinka and Dekomori were more comedy relief than anything else. The fact that Shinka went on vacation with them was where it was obvious that, like Yuuta, these were people she wanted to be friends with. She admitted she never fit in with the cheerleader crowd and her fortunetelling books shows she still likes mystical things. She’s become something of a big sister, taking care of Dekomori and now helping Rikka. Supporting that idea is that I just thought about the scene with their advisor and the boys commenting that Shinka and the advisor were alike. Even when Rikka tried to fend her off (splashing her, using her umbrella) she didn’t back down. She’s able to do for Rikka things that her real sister can’t, probably because she understands Rikka.

      I also liked the way they tied the rescue to their first meeting even down to seeing her feet on the railing. They’ve been very good about not utilizing the usual tropes. When they shared dinner together we didn’t get the usual “indirect kiss” reaction. Now here we don’t get a reaction to an unintentional grope.

      Overall I thought these last few episodes raised the quality of the show to a higher level. They’ve managed to mix the comedy and drama without degrading either. Yes, comparing it against Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is somewhat unfair even though their both romcoms. Both have had moments I rank with the best of Toradora! for emotional impact, but Sakurasou has more time to let things develop and more emotional issues to resolve.

      1. When it comes to rom-com, I’ve yet to find one that beats ToraDora handsdown.

        At the rate Salurasou and Chuunibyou are going, its too early to say if its on par with Toradora or exceeds it

    3. I see quite a few people changing their feeling for Shinka now (do not read any reprimand here, just satisfaction).

      Well, I liked her from the very beginning. Yes, her character portraits a type of girl that is not your perfect moe sweet girl, and has traits that may be considered not entirely positive, like being subtle, thinking about herself and the likes, but they are not the main one, she is still a nice, determined and kind hearted “person”, just not perfect.

      And let me tell you, that’s a damn good thing. In real life, too.

      To the younger people reading this blog, that may still have to experience being in a relationship that is more than a flirt, I will tell this. I am at least as old as Stilts (and glad to still be able to find some time to watch a good anime) and have been in a few relationships. Not that many, but over the years they summed up. I have been with a girl that was shy (in public) and sweet, but depended completely on me for everything, and we never had a fight. I’ve been with a girl that was very caring, everyone loved her (expecially children), but constantly didn’t know what she wanted to do, not even where to go for fun, and was always “happy” for whatever I proposed.
      And I’ve been with a girl that was even “worse” than Shinka, sometimes she was prickly, sometimes she said harsh things. We had some serious fights too. But in the important moments, she would never abandon you, and she would fill your life with surprises, organize vacations and events, and just make things happen …

      That was a long time ago. Sometimes memories just come to your mind for no reason. Then you know who was really important in your life. There is no need to tell who I miss the most.

      ok oook back to anime mode! Please do not dismiss characters like Shinka here, or Ichiko from Binbougami ga! just because they are not the “standard” anime heroines. They may have their issues, but also be more deep and multi-dimensional. You need more effort to work out their defects, but they will provide you with much more to think about, and in some cases, create a deeper connection with you.

      That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prefer the other more likable characters! In this show I like Rikka the most (shame on me), but I like Shinka a lot too, as she resonated with me. As in every matter of taste there is not right or wrong, and _you_ are absolutely right in liking what you like.

      I just wanted to recommend to always try to go past the first impressions, even with fictional charachters. Ehm, I should probably had to write that single line instead of this wall of text … Stilts is influencing me in a bad way …

      1. @ Voyager

        Nyahaha, I’m rubbing off on ya! But in all seriousness, though friends have sometimes accused me of liking meek Japanese girls due to my love of anime (despite the fact that I’ve never even dated a meek Japanese girl!), I actually prefer strong women. Sure, you’re going to butt heads sometimes – and if you’re not right for each other, it might all even implode nicely – but it’s always better to have a partner than a dependent. A little shy is fine – there was a time when I was far less outgoing in social situations, and even now I’m less so than many – but she needs to be able to stand on her own, just as you should be able to stand on your own. Only then can you stand together.

        Note: it’s probably not a good idea to take romantic advice from an anime blogger. Also, all this applies to women as well, though you’re liable to have to knock us strong guys in the back of the head (figuratively speaking) to stop that spilling over into excess ego. What can I say, we’re idiots like that sometimes 😀

        @ mac65

        Yeah, I think you’re right. It’s not that chu2koi is bad by any means – I was sure to mention that myself – it’s just that it’s being eclipsed by Sakurasou. Also, it’s merely not my absolute favorite type of romance (which once again, Sakurasou is), so it “loses” points there. Though really, it gains them back because variety is the spice of life, right? 😀

        And I’m already feeling mostly better, so thanks!

      2. she needs to be able to stand on her own, just as you should be able to stand on your own. Only then can you stand together.

        this. totally.

        Oh, and I think that most people can recognize the value of an advice, even if it comes from an anime blog. (this whole conversation is not even related to anime anymore eheheh so I’ll stop here. Plus I need to go to work, have a nice day everyone :))

      3. Cheers and amen to that brother…

        Though assertive and independent girls are my type as well; hitagi being the epitomy of the perfect partner…

        Just like “a certain snake girl says” – “I’m good at both giving and receiving orders” *throws in the trademark SHAFT head tilt*

      4. I can’t speak for others, but the reason I start “liking” a character is when they show they are multidimensional. Shinka could have turned out to just be a mean hypocrite, ragging on the others for being losers while denying her past (and present as it turns out). Think of two of my favorite characters: Taiga and Ami from Toradora!. Both mean, spoiled, and snotty by all appearances. Their only saving grace is their beauty. As the show unfolds we see the layers peeled back and the rest of their personalities revealed. As Kitamura said: “”I don’t hate Ami’s real self at all. It’s all the deception that I want to end. I think it’s best for people to just be themselves”.

        Shinka’s calling Yuuta a fool when he admitted he was chuuni rankled, then she becomes a comic foil for Dekomori, but by the train ride we see her taking care of her “enemy”, then joining in with the club and abandoning the cheerleaders, and finally even giving love advice to a chunni girl. Each step we watch her grow and change or at least reveal true self in all it’s complexity, which to me is one of the joys of watching this type of show. I doubt if I could think of many shows that I like of this type where we don’t see at least one character exhibit this.

      1. Np, but make sure to thank Ultimatemegax. He was kind enough to offer to help whoever covered this series even before I knew that would be me, so I just like to throw some publicity his way. Enjoy!

      2. hmmm, based on what i have read, theres a wide difference between the anime and the light novel.

        It was in one of ultimatemegax’s scan translations of Staff interviews. They did say they would put a lot of OC into this show as the novel didn’t have that much material.

        Strange though, I never really expected to go this far with OC. It’s as if the is 70% anime original.

  18. I actually really like this show exactly because is a straight love story without any triangles or harems. This was pegged as a romantic comedy from the beginning, I expected there was going to be some drama but just to move the story, which is what has been going on.

  19. awah I was literally yelling “Say the words girl! Say the words!!” When they were hugging, but alas that has to be saved for later, and my friend there may not be other elements involved here but you have to admit that’s one of the most if not the most adorable ways for a girl to fall in love. You normally don’t get characters whose imaginations allow them to create their own world only to find that being in love doesn’t allow her imagination to ‘activate’ properly.

  20. Takanashi Touka is like the most gorgeous thing that ever graced animeverse. She can slip under (or into) my bed any time she wants and oh god, imagine what she can do in bed with her sexy back flips and superhuman flexibility *SeishunOtoko swoons and dies from Touka’s hotness*

    Seishun Otoko
    1. Indeed *has been smitten by her since her introduction. Would absolutely love a short ova about her. Or from her perspective. Even if it’s just her watching Rikka from a far or cooking. (though then I think a heart attack may happen for me…)

  21. Was that a Caramelldansen meme reference from Dekomori during the “umi umi umi umi” reaction?

    Here’s what I think – chu2koi is too one-dimensional.

    I agree that with most romance shows, the main pair usually overcomes some big drama/adventure. I think in Chuu2Koi case, it’s simply the title of the show, overcoming (possibly) chuunibyou syndrome. My feeling is that had Chuu2Koi been slated for a full 24 – 26 episodes, KyoAni may have been able to add more dimensions/rivals to the series without ruining the great pacing. With 1-cour, I’m glad that the focus was on the main relationship. Ultimately, the focus on Yuuta/Rikka means “love rivals” wouldn’t make much sense currently. I admit, with all the harem Animes and occasional Shoujos I’ve seen, I found Chuu2Koi refreshing because there weren’t complicated love triangles (squares/pentagons/hexagons). Though, if a second season showed up with with said dimensions, I would be completely on board…

    Lastly, Yuuta rescuing Rikka off the roof in front of schoolmates: Yuuta is the man!

    1. What is with all this “rivals = dimensions” stuff I’m seeing? Having a romantic rivalry can certainly add dimensions to a romcom, but having said that it’s far from the only way to do it. It is arguable that rivalry is certainly the easiest and most obvious way, which is probably why it is employed ad nauseum in anime and various other media- and this in turn leads us to argument that romantic rivalry is essentially a dead-horse trope that is difficult to present in a compelling, innovative manner because it’s so overused. It’s certainly not impossible to do so, but it takes one h*ll of a writer to pull it off.

      Allow me to suggest several less worn-out alternatives to romantic rivalry that are equally capable of adding much dimensional value to romance stories, and that are arguably far easier to pull off in a compelling and innovative manner because they are not as dominant in the genre, although they do tend to be less obvious and more intricate. But before we get to these, we must first examine why rivalry adds dimensional value to romances to begin with. And the answer to this question is quite simply that it forces introspection on the part of the main couple; it forces the party who is object of the rival’s affections to contemplate why the other protagonist is a better choice of a partner for him/her compared to the rival. And in doing so the intricacies of the main couple’s relationship are brought to light; the audience now has a clearer understanding of the nature of their bond. That’s what a rivalry’s supposed to do in theory; of course, there are always those dreadful shows throw a rival of two into the mix simply for the sake of having rivals.

      So dimensional value (for relationships) is generated in romances when a plot mechanic (like romantic rivalry) highlights the intricacies and nuances of the main couple’s relationship, advancing the audience’s understanding of the nature of their bond- when enough of this value is created, the couple become more than simply “some couple” in the eyes of the audience, instead their bond becomes something unique and special that we care about.

      Aoihoshikage alluded to the first of my alternatives above, “…the main couple usually has to overcome some big drama/adventure…” That is to say, writing the fleshing out of the main couple’s relationship into the overarching plot/conflict itself. A good recent example of this is Kyoukaisen; while there are indeed a number of “rivals” vying for Toori’s affections, they are not the dominant plot mechanic through which Toori and Horizon’s relationship is developed; this is instead done through the overarching plot/conflict, that is, the quest to retrieve the Seven Deadly Sins Armaments which are incidentally, also Horizon’s lost emotions. Kyoukaisen literally uses MacGuffins (Deadly Sins Armaments) to hardwire relationship development into the plot, which is actually quite a common occurrence- like when the girlfriend finds the teddy bear that was her only friend when she was abused by her dad as a kid and falls into depression, or something- and her concerned boyfriend is forced to confront her dark past when he asks about why she looks so depressed. Other more subtle ways to write relationship development directly into the plot include things like disease, disability, family conflict and stimulus from the antagonist.

      In Kyoukaisen Toori is constantly forced to deal with the fact that Horizon is incomplete as a person because she doesn’t currently possess most of her emotions; he is constantly challenged to find a reason to love her regardless of her incompleteness, and regardless of what she may become as she incrementally regains her emotions. Whereas Horizon who starts out emotionless struggles to find a rationalistic, non-emotional reason to love Toori (Which she does- “Unity of purpose”). This reason is challenged every time a Deadly Sins Armament is acquired and an emotion re-enters the picture- the very nature of Horizon’s worldview is altered and she is forced to re-examine her love for Toori, but instead always ends up finding more reasons to love him. Through this the author gives himself a reason to explore and explain the many dimensions of Toori and Horizon’s relationship, which emerges as something that is far more beautiful and intricate than anything most brain-dead “romantic rivalry” gambits could ever hope to achieve; the power of plot/conflict induced relationship development is undeniable.

      The second alternative method through which dimensional value (of relationships) can be generated in a romance is through an intra-couple conflict of personality. This occurs when there is something incompatible about our hero and heroine’s personalities; e.g. one’s emotional and the other’s stoic or something- and they are forced to find reasons to continue loving one another in spite of the “flaws” each party perceives in the other, through this the intricate dimensions of their relationship are revealed to the audience and it becomes something more than mere superficial attraction. This mechanic is usually used to supplement other means of relationship development such as plot/conflict induced and/or rivalry to varying degrees. But it can also be convincingly used as the dominant method of relationship development in scenarios where the main couple consists of two individuals who are diametrically different from one another, personality wise of course. The classic example of this is a situation where a nobleman falls in love with a poor girl (Or vice-versa); their nurtures are fundamentally different, so it comes as no surprise that the same would be true about their personalities. What begins as shallow superficial attraction gradually develops into something more as both individuals change and learn mutual tolerance in an effort to accommodate each other’s idiosyncrasies as their relationship develops. And we the audience are allowed to observe their relationship evolve into something beyond mere physical attraction- the intricacies of their relationship are revealed to us right as they develop, every step of the way in a progressive, logical and incremental manner, presenting powerful emotional impact potential that few mundane rivalry tricks can…err…rival…

      So clearly rivalry is not the only way to add dimensional value to a relationship in romance stories; far from it. In fact, there are many other more advanced methods such as the ones mentioned above that may also be employed to varying degrees, and in various combinations depending on the author’s needs. Indeed it is arguable that almost any modern author who is aiming to craft a critically acclaimed tale of romance should favor techniques such as these over rivalry, which is overused, because it is easier to present a story in a compelling and innovative manner when employing less-tired tropes- or he/she should at least consider heavily supplementing any use of rivalry with them…

      1. Indeed. I delved into the rival point in my post to point out that the “doomed to failure” nature of a rival does not matter. Yet in fact, having a romantic rival would have been my least favorite way to spice up chu2koi. As with any true Kyoukaisen fan, I’m fond of a show full of OTP. That said, as with Toori and Horizon, having some other obstacle or challenge to overcome would have elevated the show for me.

        As is, it’s a pretty nice vanilla romcom though, and that makes it better’n most by far

    2. ^ tl;dr

      I really hope there is no second season. The must fall in love, kiss, and live happily ever after at the end of this season. No cliffhangers – no continuation to upset their happiness.

      1. There are three main reasons for making sequels, and only one of them is good – that there is more worthwhile story left to tell in the source material. The other two are that the production companies have run out of ideas so they need to rehash old ones, or that they’ve run out of money so they need something that’s already got an established fanbase to sell it to. More often than not, sequels made for those two reasons end up being at best a disappointment, and at worst a disaster.

        As for Chu2 specifically, yes, I’m right with you there. This is one couple that must be allowed to have an unspoiled happy end. And if there ever is a sequel made, I for one will give it the “Darker than Black” treatment – “Sequel? What sequel??”

  22. Shinka just leveled up as a character for me. Who knew she was such a romantic?

    I like how it’s being done so far – Nothing too dour or over the top, yet containing enough seriousness to aid in the mood switches KyoAni is famous for (at least, to me).

    Somehow I get the feeling both sisters are a little not so normal. Maybe even Touka herself had some problems of her own before. Talk about breaking and entering and not even batting an eyelid!

    1. Somebody pointed out that her Mori Summer wrtings were all love related, but I didn’t expect this. She’s really become an Onee-chan to the other girls.

      I love it when there is a character that appears to be one thing on the surface and then we slowly see that they are more than that. Tsundere, kundere or whatever.

  23. Great episode!

    – This scene overall was simply beautiful. Rikka calling Yuuta’s name was made me go D’AWWW.

    – You really gotta feel sorry for Rikka after she took this hit.

    Saw this at animesuki so I’ll just leave this here. Whoever made this is really good. http://auaurikka.web.fc2.com/

  24. Did anyone else get a sneaking suspicion that Rikka’s sister may actually be her mother?
    I know it’s far-fetch’d but her conversation with Yuuta in this ep made me think that maybe she was a really young mother? (I can’t tell ages in this anime because everyone looks so young =/)

    Kurisu Vi Britannia
    1. The family photos show Touka and Rikka with a woman I assume is the mother. Touka is in her early teens and Rikka is about 5 or so. Unless the photo is totally misleading, she can’t be the mom.

    2. I think Touka’s manner is a function of how she had to grow up so soon after the father died and the mother left. We see the older sister show up in her quiet insecurity when she talks to Yuuta and asks his help. It would be fascinating to come up with a story line about her a bit before all the tragedy, then the problems, and even her story as it continues through the Chuu arc and beyond. Her job is somewhat at odd with her athletic abilities, so it would be interesting to see things from her side, and it would open up her character more fully. Just sayin’…

  25. I’m glad I don’t feel the same way about the show. I feel like I’m mindlessly enjoying the show but I prefer it like that because I feel truly immersed in the characters and what’s going on. Someone may say I’m just not really paying attention but the fact of the matter is that I still have my feels thrown all over the place. :]

    Looking forward to the big battle.

    -Sent from my thingy.

  26. One thing I’ve always wondered about is how dangerous it was for Rikka to climb a rope on the side of an apartment building. After the events of this episode, it wouldn’t surprise me if she stopped doing that out of trauma.

  27. I really like how Yuuta supported her feet when she came down from the roof. It’s much like how he first meets her. We’re actually getting some kind of proper development and hopefully, closure on the relationships in this anime. MARVELOUS.

  28. Oh, and as I seem to have unusually a lot of time today, I’ll leave you a summary of my impressions so far.

    Animation: top notch. KyoAni, enough said.
    Characters: well defined, detailed personalities and consistent, plus, you will fall for at least one of them
    Character development: good and steady, sometimes subtle
    Comedy: fun! maybe second to Sakurasou only (this season)
    Story: easy flowing, never overdramatic.
    Verdict: this is a very enjoyable show that will not stress your mind. Sometimes we need just that, sometimes this may be considered a weak point, it all depends on what you are looking for.

    Oh, and Stilts is one of the best commenter I have had the pleasure to read, so find the time to read his reviews.

  29. OK, things are going great, 3-4 episodes to go. Want a bit of drama? (I haven’t read any manga) Then, what are the odds that ‘Mom’ returns in the next to last episode? IT might be too much, too late, but . . .

  30. Stilts, I’m kinda surprised that you didn’t like Vanilla romance as much as I imagined before. I guess I could see another side of you in this episode, pretty interesting character development. (err wait…what?)

    Anyway, I’m going to disagree about “being a simple vanilla romance is something to be criticized”. For some reason, I take this statement similar to “slice of life is bad since it doesn’t has enough plot”.

    Okay, maybe that’s too extreme. I know you like Chuuni, Stilts. But this is the kind of romance that I (and some other people) are longing for. Short, simple, cute, full of doki-doki, romantic, but didn’t have too many unnecessary divergence (a.k.a plot). Adding something like…let’s say, triangle love, will destroy the current value of Chuunibyou, and while it could be a something entirely different AND good, I guess it most likely will fail in Chuunibyou’s case (Not to say that it also destroy some people’s wish to see a simple romantic vanilla. Strangely, this kind of romance is kinda rare in current Japanese animation)

    Ah well, I’m going to sleep. I hope you’ll feel better soon, Stilts 🙂

    1. Short, simple, cute, full of doki-doki, romantic, but didn’t have too many unnecessary divergence (a.k.a plot). Adding something like…let’s say, triangle love, will destroy the current value of Chuunibyou, and while it could be a something entirely different AND good, I guess it most likely will fail in Chuunibyou’s case (Not to say that it also destroy some people’s wish to see a simple romantic vanilla.

      I do see what you mean, and that is certainly a significant portion of Chuuni’s appeal, even for me, but even then in theory it should still be entirely possible to maintain that appeal and inject a healthy dose of dimensional value into the romance, assuming, of course, that your writer is up to the task.

      At first glance, it may sound entirely self-contradictory to most when I say that it is possible to craft a tale of romance that is simultaneously both simple and intricate- but it totally isn’t. When attempting to write “simple and sweet” stories it is relatively unimportant that the construct of the plot itself remains simple, it is only crucial that it maintains an appearance of simplicity so that it is perceived as such by the audience. But how is this done?

      Well, first off, you should remove overly complex and/or dark scenarios (Like death of family, crime, etc.) from your relationship development toolbox, for the most part anyways- if you absolutely must use them, make sure they occur infrequently, and water down the darkness with things like comedy. Instead bright, cheery and simple scenarios are your bread and butter, things like childhood friendship, protectiveness and silly little misunderstandings which are easily understood and commonly identifiable that will maintain an aura of simplicity around your story even when they are employed to flesh out some rather complex aspects of the main couple’s relationship. Audiences will find it easy to understand the many facets of the couple’s relationship even if the gist of a few of these is somewhat more complex because everything is explained through the use of simplistic, universal, foolproof scenarios- therefore an appearance of simplicity is retained.

      Although the essence of the story and its thematic interplay might certainly end up being a little bit more complex, most members of the audience who are simply watching the show for enjoyment’s sake aren’t going to look past the surface; they’ll find that your story is easy to understand and perceive it superficially as light-hearted, sweet and simple- and its superficial appearance is all that matters because most members of the audience are casual viewers who, unlike critics, won’t bother to take the extra step of strict scrutiny that is (usually) requisite to perceiving its hidden intricacies.

      For example, I could play the childhood friend card and make it abundantly obvious that the earnest, carefree male protagonist is his precocious female counterpart’s place of refuge through a simple playground scene where the little girl is excluded from a larger group because of her precociousness but is accepted by the easy-going male protagonist who declares that he likes everyone- but he likes her more because she is “special.” A complex, central aspect of the couple’s relationship is revealed through a simple, endearing scene.

      Or I could set up a petty misunderstanding at the school festival; she gets all pissy at him because he appears to be lazing/wandering around while she’s getting swamped by customers at their cosplay café. But later she finds out that he wasn’t lazing around at all, in fact he’s the sole reason for their café’s popularity- he’s been diligently going around and telling groups of dudes from other schools who showed up at the festival that “The hottest chicks in our school” are at Class 2-F’s cosplay café or something- and they share a tender moment when she apologizes for misunderstanding. Here we have highlighted the male protagonist’s dependability and ingenuity through a common, stereotypical anime scenario that also incidentally has much comedic potential.

      The examples above present two sweet and simple scenarios being used to convey the complexities of a couple’s relationship in a romance story; clearly it is entirely possible to weave an intricate, compelling romance that retains both a facade of simplicity and the air of a feel-good vanilla tale. Of course, doing this is easier said than done, and it’d take a real hotshot of a writer to pull it off convincingly, especially with the time constraints of a one-cour season- but in theory, a truly great writer should be able to portray most complex nuances (of the main couple’s relationship) through the use of simplistic, universally identifiable scenarios.

    2. It’s not that it’s to be criticized so much that I was musing about why it wasn’t striking as high as I felt it should. In a way, I’m surprised myself that I don’t enjoy this straight vanilla as much as other romances! But it’s the lack of going deep in the relationship I think. It doesn’t have to be dark – in fact, it would be best if it wasn’t! – but exploring the dynamic more (such as how Zen outlined some ways) would sell it more to me.

      That said, this is still a solid 85-90 on my scale. Related: it’s hard to get a 100 with me, and a 50 is average. No easy D’s from Stilts!! …even if I enjoy shows down into the 40’s pretty readily, lol

      1. That said, this is still a solid 85-90 on my scale. Related: it’s hard to get a 100 with me, and a 50 is average. No easy D’s from Stilts!! …even if I enjoy shows down into the 40′s pretty readily, lol

        Mirrors my own sentiments entirely!

  31. I think one thing i like about this and Hyouka is that they do not have trope-y characters. So many articles have been written saying they don’t watch KyoAni because of the Moe or the cutesyness but i think they are the least trope-y studio out there.

    You watch either of these compared to say, Blood-C and Pet Girl and compare the crappy trope characters in both of those shows.

    Maybe KyoAni doesn’t have the deepest, darkest stories but the polish and detail are always excellent.

    1. They’re pretty damn tropey still, just people only seem to notice tropes and cliches much when they’re in shonen action shows. Also Kyoani isn’t the only studio that has polished and detailed presentations, people just celebrate them for it more for whatever reason, people just celebrate them more for what are honestly some pretty meager accomplishments by the standards of the anime industries history. Like most of the things people praise Kyoani for and claim make them this top tier exceptional studio…not terribly different from what some others are doing as well. I guess people just don’t pay that much attention to what’s really going on in the industry these days.

      Kaioshin Sama
    2. First of all: tropes are not bad.

      Secondly, what KyoAni is good at is consistent quality and branding. Because they always turn out shows that are technically adept, people watch for them and think of them as a top-tier studio. They’ve branded themselves well, which has turned into a competitive advantage.

      That said, it’s always wise to think whether a brand message is true. In this case, it sort of is…their shows are always technically adept. Story-wise? Usually pretty good, and sometimes great, but they hit it out of the park about as often as other studios – which is to say, rarely. So they deserve their reputation up to a point, but it’s important to remember that other studios are quite adept too…and sometimes, they’re even better.

      Also, to reiterate, tropes are not bad! Just enjoy the show for what it is, and pray that “trope” does not slide into “cliche.” Only then does it grate.

      1. Sound about right to me regarding Kyoani and with regard to their branding I think it still comes down to the above, people just seem to celebrate them more. I don’t think you can deny the power of that branding and image people have of them as it’s obvious they have quite a hold on many, I just don’t happen to think there’s a whole lot of truth to it nor that it’s a catchall. Also I agree that they come out with an episode or scene that’s exceptional about as often as any other major studio, which is too say pretty infrequently, maybe twice a season, but again though when they do have that climactic episode people just seem to pay more attention and celebrate it more.

        Also indeed good point. The trope is basically the inclusion of a familiar element, the cliche is when said element is executed in a way that is entirely unoriginal and unimaginative.

        Kaioshin Sama

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