Annotated Anime: Chuunibyou Ren Ep. 3


Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII just rolls off the tongue.

A new challenger approaches! We finally have our new character, and it looks like she'll fit right in with the rest of the cast. That is, assuming she's going to invite herself into their school every day, or she gets herself transferred. Either way, there's a new chuunibyou on the scene, and she's found a rival in Rikka. 

But is this going to be the love triangle that Nibutani thinks it will? I find myself doubting this the further we get into this series, but it has to be, right? Anyway, let's forget about that for a bit and talk about how Yuuta finds himself as a magical girl. 

Well, that sure was an interesting way to start an episode. Seeing Rikka naked and clamouring over Yuuta is probably the biggest delusion we've seen in this series so far, and even Yuuta knows that it has to be a dream. It does give us a tastr of what's to come in this series, as while we're not going to be concluding the show with anything that raunchy, I think Yuuta will find himself torn between Rikka and the lunacy that comes with her, and a more normal relationship. Holding hands will only get you so far, and I think he's becoming increasingly worried that it's feeling a lot more like a close friendship. But I'm jumping the gun here, and if we're to see Yuuta evaluating his relationship, we need a third party. Kumin to the rescue!

We get to see their relationship take an unconventional turn when Rikka attempts to get Yuuta to wear the customized magic-circle T-shirt she made for him. Instead of agreeing just because she's his girlfriend, or declining and potentially upsetting her, he challenges her to get a better test score than him in exchange for wearing it. It's almost like a fatherly reaction to the situation, as he knows that her chuunibyou tendencies distract her from studying. We also get to see that Yuuta will just roll over and submit to rule changes, as the T-shirt somehow gets replaced by a full-blown magical girl outfit. Looks like this show is giving Is this a Zombie? a run for its money. 

But all of that stuff is rendered unimportant because the new girl from the opening has just showed up, and she's looking mighty fabulous. Her chuunibyou status is quickly confirmed not only by using the PA system to challenge Rikka to a 'fight', but with yet another full-blown special effects sequence for their battle. That these two who barely know each other can roleplay a big fight like this, including the reactions to their opponents attacks and what all of their random attack names actually mean, is genuinely quite impressive. Rikka's rival is firmly on the scene, so expect there to be plenty of competition between these two over the rest of the series....especially because Yuuta knows who this mystery girl is.

Satone appears to be a friend from Yuuta's previous school (surprise!), but is actually the whole reason why he became a chuunibyou in the first place. Satone having seen Yuuta in his true chuunibyou state is enough to make Rikka incredibly jealous, but there are plenty of questions that have yet to be answered. As Nibutani points out, who's to say that there wasn't some kind of romance going on? After all, Yuuta was intrigued by this girl enough to start copying her crazy antics, so could it have gone further? Did he want it to go further but moved away before it could happen? They could apparently rub noses together without much of a care in the past, so I'm not dismissing it.

Having Satone over for dinner seems reasonable, especially since Yuuta's sister knows her. Rikka is understandably a bit peeved, but it's how Satone acts that is really intriguing. Her reaction when she discovers that Rikka and Yuuta are dating only seemed positive, yet even though she was aware of their relationship, she felt it was okay to rub noses with him before bolting out the door. I mean, if we'd seen her with those typical shaded-over anime eyes, I'd have assumed that Satone was upset over losing the Yuuta of old. Even their conversation outside the apartment made no indication of there being any past or present signs of romance.

So you can consider me well and truly baffled. I'm sure that there's going to be some sort of love-triangle situation, but as of right now, it just doesn't seem like it's there. Perhaps Yuuta did used to like Satone, and that's enough to have him reconsider his relationship with Rikka, but all I can do is continue to speculate. We still seem to be setting up at the moment, so I don't think we'll truly see sparks flying for a few episodes yet. In the meantime, we're getting a pretty enjoyable show. 

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Chris Walden
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