"I Tried to Put it all Behind Me...But They Kept Dragging Me Back In."
On the face of it, Love Chunibyo and Other Delusions is just a high school slice of life show, but this series possesses a dark secret. It's the tale of a young man trying to put his terrible, shameful past behind him and find happiness as a productive member of society. His quest for redemption is complicated by the fact that fandom is like the Mob, but without the benefit of Omerta.
Yuta Togashi is just starting out in High School. His goal is to be normal.
You see, in Jr. High, Mr. Togashi was an imaginative young lad. Actually he was a geek, a fanboy...a RAVING Otaku who became legendary for his bonecrusshingly idiotic antics. He imagined himself to be "The Dark Flame Master" which was a fantasy personality that seems to have been based on a dreadfully cliched TV/ light novel series.
He's better now.
Looking to put his reputation as a complete addle-brained looser behind him he has enrolled in a high school that's a couple of counties removed from his apartment...which necessitates an exceedingly long commute.
He is able to do a pretty good job of passing as normal....
Unfortunately, he has a new neighbor, Rikka Takanashi, who is also in his homeroom, knows about his past and if anything is more delusional than he ever was. She seeks to enlist the Dark Flame Master into her crackerjack team of shortbus commandos who are looking to...chart the areas ley lines.
Rikka is at once obnoxious, pitiable and hilarious as she sets into motion a series of events that bring together a surprisingly well realized cast of characters in a show that is a rare and special kind of treat. Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions is masterfully well done. I found it not just funny but genuinely touching. It has fully lived up to it's early promise.
This blog has 369 posts in the Fanboy Recidivism category, which probably represent 80-100 shows. This is one of the best.
They pretty much went through all the applicable tropes for the climax and cranked them up to 11. I do think it went on one episode too long,
with the the final installment being a parody of the shonen fight trope "AND NOW THE BATTLE REALLY BEGINS!"
There has been some consternation expressed about the fact that towards
the end of the series, the male members of the cast were clothed only in
leather bandoliers and frequently engaged in gymnastically dubious poses. I almost suspected that there was some sort of commentary or statement in that directorial decision, but I cant for the life of me figure out what it might be. The contrast of that unspeakable vulgarity with the dynamic and empowering poses of the strong female characters wearing attire intended to permit freedom of movement via its near total absence could not be more profound.
I guess it's just a complete mystery that can only be racked up to "art".
Nevertheless, it is with profound shame and a great deal of rueful self examination that I must admit to having thoroughly enjoyed this show.
Unfortunately, standards and practices has informed us that any images from the final episode that are not spoilers would be inappropriate for the blog. So here is an utterly unrelated landscape by Kasi Takahisa.
Of which this is a rather non-representative excerpt.
I'm hard pressed to think of any show I have felt so guilty about enjoying.
The fact that I'm enjoying it a great deal only adds to my nagging guilt.
However, I'm able to somewhat assuage my conscience as I am now pretty sure that this show is not actually pr0n. I base this assessment on the fact that I don't think the audience is supposed to stand up and cheer while watching pr0n.
Posted by: Mauser at Mon Mar 24 04:30:49 2014 (TJ7ih)
Eh, Whedon would probably hate it with the fire of a thousand suns, Wesleyan doctrinaire second-wave "feminist" that he is. The cheesecake is kind of up-front. But I wouldn't call it porn - it's no dodgier than anything in Utena, for instance, which is pretty much the gold standard for feminist anime texts.
I tend to think of Kill la Kill as heavily Go Nagai-influenced - the Trigger people worked on Re: Cutie Honey and you'd have to be blind not to see the Nagai influence on Gurren Lagann, although it's no-where near as crazed over-the-top Nagai-batshit as Kill la Kill has been. More third-wave feminist than you'd expect from Japanese creators, almost Be Papas in sensibility, but as far as I can tell, there's no direct staff overlap. Enokido's been all over the industry in the twenty years since Utena, including a stint with the Trigger creative people on Diebuster, though, so who knows?
Posted by: Mitch H. at Mon Mar 24 10:50:38 2014 (jwKxK)
Log Horizon has been fairly surprising all along and its ending was more so. It is not at all the sort of climax one would expect from a fantasy adventure show that has been steadily escalating, being instead something of a denouement to the epic tale that was the first 22 episodes.
This series of character vignettes is the final installment of the three episode cour that began with the cake episode (which can now be seen in a completely different light).The various guilds are having a festival to celebrate their victory as well as the treaties of friendship with the Free Cities of Estal. However, what seemed like little background annoyances the characters navigated in the cake episode turn out to be part of an escalating pattern of disruptions, with a real risk of blowing up everything they've worked for.
Instead of a climactic hack and slash battle, the situation is resolved
by Shiroe, Crusty and Minori using their skills and wits and diffusing the
situation without major incident.
There's also a brief conversation with the first real villain we've seen since they escaped that Demikas bastard in Suskino, and she is a piece of work. Exhibiting a venal but extremely dangerous sort of evil, it seems that she is what is behind the weirdness in MInami and the disruptions of the festival. It looks like she will be a major antagonist moving forward.
(UPDATE: OH! She was the "bard" telling the alarmingly accurate story to the children in the castle in Estal.)
There are quite a few major revelations not the least of which is that there will definitely be a season two in the fall.
This has been a very good series and I highly recommend it. As an added bonus, it has remained quite kid friendly and as I said in an earlier post, if I had kids this is the sort of show I'd be wanting them to watch.
It's a show about a bunch of decent people who display great courage, ethics, hope and even a decent sense of civics. It portrays a world where
intelligence is admirable, ones principles are important and experience
(and study habits) really do matter.
It's also been fun.
The fall season is going to have at least one show to look forward to. more...
Bah. Those aren't even Space Marine sized, let alone Vlad Tzepesci sized.
It is a pretty great show, though. Had a lot in common with Maoyuu - stories of enormously powerful people trying to change the world through progress, who could just say "screw negotiation, I'm killing everyone else here" but for whom resorting to that is a losing solution. That said, much higher production values and a good set of characters.
Was expecting a more MMO-oriented solution to the merchant thing, though. "Five hundred tons, huh? Hm... how many magic bags we got here? Eighty? Ninety? That'll manage..." ;p
The reason why it's kid friendly is the location it's being broadcast, NHK. The adaptation streamlines some of the less tidy bits from the light novel. Defeated monsters don't just drop coins and loot, you have to literally skin and harvest the parts. The fight description is also a wee bit more graphic, for example, Shiroe actually decapitating Demikas to get the point across in that fight for the rest of the bad guys there.
What I'm most surprised at is how fast the adaptation come into place. The author of the light novel was having lunch with his agent when the agent mentioned that NHK was interested in adapting the novels into a Friday afternoon show. He approved and though that the novel was a wee bit odd choice for NHK (to be sure, this show does teaches you the working of Capitalism and Governance rather well, so they do have the education bit down). 8 months later, the first episode aired.
Posted by: BigFire at Fri May 2 08:47:11 2014 (9QOKK)
..however, the first one can be yours for $34.95 whereas the second can't actually be purchased as such and certainly requires considerable social skills, a sense of humor, good looks, similar interests, compatible belief systems, patience, integrity, discipline and a great deal of personal responsibility.
The choice is obvious...in part because we have no idea who the awesome cosplayer is and wouldn't ruin her life by posting contact info if we did.
I agree, the first season was a nice bit of fun. The only problem is it resolved the issue for the most part and they had to resurrect a fair amount of the problem for the second season to work. Certainly not unheard of in these series.
The other thing is the second season is somewhat more episodic and has less of an over all plot. Another character is added who is going through a bit of the same problem the main female character went through the first season.
All in all it is a pleasant show with some fun "battles" fought in fantasyville. The sleep episode is a particular joy.
Definitely watch the first season before the second.
Posted by: topmaker at Sat Mar 15 18:09:58 2014 (2yZsg)
A Question for My Readers
The erudite humor, subtle social commentary and deep philosophizing of Space Dandy are expertly weaved via its multi-layered storytelling into a tapestry brilliantly designed to stimulate the intellect of the most sophisticated viewers while still conveying (with somewhat less success) entertainment on the squalid, unimaginative and vulgar level of storytelling accessible to the gauche masses.
Regrettably, as you may have gleaned from my previous post, my artistic appreciation is such that I'm really only comprehending the last part.
Hence my question.
Is there anyone here who gets the first part?
I thought the first episode had a "feeble glint of promise", and with the ED song promising to throw out any hint of continuity, they could do a plausible reset each episode. After that, the only one I honestly liked was 5; I have 8, but felt no urge to watch it after 7.
Posted by: J Greely at Wed Mar 12 01:15:19 2014 (+cEg2)
There are far less boobies than originally promised. I think it fails on level 2 as well.
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Mar 12 15:19:03 2014 (TJ7ih)
Saturday Morning Cakefight
In my youth this meant sitting down with grotesquely unhealthy cereal and watching Saturday morning cartoons, which was the programming block for kids back in the days when there were only 3 TV networks. These were almost always billed as exciting adventure shows. However, due to a malevolent confluence of progressive hysteria, lawyers and network departments of standards and practices, theses shows were almost uniformly a profound disappointment. While kids everywhere else in the world got to watch various iterations of Grendaizer, we poor American children were being tormented by The Funky Phantom, Devlin and Jabberjaw.
This morning, I decided to have revenge upon the programing directors who ruined my childhood. I got up, pulled a Go-Cup of Fruit Loops out of the hurricane box, sat down in front of the computer and went to Crunchyroll which airs new episodes of Log Horizon at 07:30 on Saturdays. I just thought it would be amusing to go through those motions of yesteryear but actually see something really good.
Just like they had with Clue Club, the gum-numbing dregs of the Fruit Loops served to exquisitely accentuate the disappointment.
Heretofore, every single episode, of Log Horizon has not only been good, its been better than the last. This episode continues the shows habit of surprising its audience by abruptly reversing that self improvement trend.
No...no actually, this was pretty much the exact opposite of that.
In fairness, part of the problem here is that previous episodes have set a rather high bar.
In the last episode, the plot had taken yet another intriguing turn. With only four episodes to go, many of us were looking forward to find out just what had gone down in Minami....
....so naturally, we got middle school soap opera and cake.
Yes boys if you get to level 90 in W.O.W. you too can have an adoring underage harem.
It seems that Minori is deeply in love with Shiroe.
Just a reminder, she's 13.
This puts her in direct competition with Akatsuki...which only serves to remind us that Akatsuki really doesn't look 25...which may be part of the reason that Shiroe has been so oblivious to her pining.
That and he's been dismissing her somewhat off-putting 'loyal minion' antics as just roleplaying in the game setting.
In any event there is a fierce cake feeding duel...
...and the public service educational message of today's Saturday morning cartoon, is that cakes...like Fruit Loops...are bad for you.
It was made plain after much high calorie drama and numerous misunderstandings that Minori is not in the running for her mentor's afections. That wacky hijinks are required to inform a 13 year old that a 24 year old is not actually her soul-mate probably says something dreadful about the times we live in.
Of course she seems to still be carrying a torch....
Shiroe also seems to be avoiding any signs of exhibiting even the tentative beginnings of a hint of a clue regards Akatsuki's feelings...and this after she gats the courage to be quite obvious about it....so nothing is actually moved forward by this episode.
Now, I'm not really likening this episode to...the execrable squalor that was The Funky Phantom...
"Good God I should hope not!"
This story wasn't actually bad, mind you. It was even kind of cute.
However, it was just a complete non-sequitur of an episode that seemed to belong in some other show.
There are only three episodes left, so I'm wondering (now with some trepidation) about how they're going to wrap this generally excellent series up.
I'll be watching next weeks installment with a lot of interest.
...but without the Fruit Loops.
Some people noted that the whole cake story seems to be an apology for not doing more with Akatsuki during the light novels. But apparently there's also a faction who thinks it's wildly funny. Um. Anyway, they left out the stupidest part, which is a restaurant staff thinking that Shiroe is a pedophile and doing nothing about it except leaving offensive messages in the decoration of the cakes. (What??)
Having people think Shiroe is a suspicious character can be done better, and I don't know why it wasn't. I guess because the writer likes Shiroe and can't bring himself to write plausibly suspicious gamers.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 4 15:01:59 2014 (nh8FR)
It was a cute enough episode
One of the things that I'd LIKED about the show is the perfectly reasonable suspicion of Shiroe.
I was thinking after the episode before this that his somewhat heavyhanded machinations were starting to backfire, because people don't react well to being manipulated. I'm guessing now that that is not the case.
Shiroe has a totalitarian streak that's not really in keeping with the organization, let alone the attitudes of the round table. Exploring that would have been nice. One of the things that I've liked about the show is that after the first
few episodes it has focused more on the other characters like Minori's
team and that business with Lanessia and Crusty...which is awesome. I know nothing of the LNs but the show is doing a good job of conveying the idea that the Princess is rather more savvy than she lets on.
The smile when she "fainted" after basically saving the world is priceless...
The ensemble cast is actually working much better than these things usually do, in part because the cast is pretty intelligent.